Thursday, 9 April 2020

Book ~ "Logging Off" (2020) Nick Spalding

From Goodreads ~ Andy Bellows is in a right state. Plagued with insomnia, anxiety and neckache, he’s convinced there’s something seriously wrong with him. And the worst thing is that his doctor agrees. The diagnosis: Andy is in the grip of a self-destructive addiction to technology - he just cannot put that bloody mobile phone down.

Texting, tweeting, gaming and online dating - technology rules Andy’s life. His phone even monitors his bowel movements. So how will he cope when he’s forced to follow doctor’s orders and step away from all of his beloved screens?

From having to leave the flat in search of food like some kind of Neanderthal to engaging in conversations with actual people, Andy’s about to discover just how bewildering - and scary - the analogue world can be.

And when his sixty-day detox hits the headlines - making him a hero to suffering technophiles everywhere - Andy is sorely tempted to pack it all in and escape in the nearest Uber.

Can he get himself out of this mess, and work out how to live a better, technologically balanced life…without consulting Google even once? 

Andy is stressed, his neck hurts and he's having a hard time going to the bathroom.  Convinced he has a serious disease, he goes to see his doctor who tells him he is addicted to the Internet and all the technology that goes along with it.  His doctor suggests that he do a sixty day detox ... no gaming, texting, tweeting, Facebooking, Googling, etc.  To get healthy, Andy agrees.  But he's ready to give up after a couple hours when he has to actually go outside to get something to eat ... it was so much easier when all he had to do was use an app on his phone.

His friend, Fergus, is a journalist and sees Andy's detox as a great story and perhaps an inspiration to others so writes about it in the newspaper.  So no matter how tempted he is, Andy can't quit now because he starts to gain a following.  Along the way, he finds out how hard it is to live without technology (like having to actually use a map to get where he's going) but he also discovers how nice it is when he meets Grace and goes on day trips outside with her.

Could you give up technology and the Internet for sixty days?!

This is the sixth book I've read by this author and I liked it.  I liked the writing style ... it was funny and sarcastic.  It is written in first person perspective in Andy's voice and it's as if he was speaking to me, the reader.  The author is English and the story happens there so some of the references weren't common to me.  As a head's up, there is a swearing.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Book ~ "Pussweek: A Cat's Guide to Feline Empowerment" (2020) Bexy McFly

From Goodreads ~ "Pussweek: A Cat's Guide to Feline Empowerment" is full of hilarious spreads, quizzes, and advertisements, as well as top-notch photos of cats in all their cuteness and weirdness. Based on the magazine series "Pussweek", written "by cats, for cats," this book is a feline parody of fashion and celebrity gossip rags.

In a market saturated with "cat shaming," "Pussweek" gives cats their claws back. With an intelligent editorial voice of their own, these cats don't want dumb memes - they want you to stop secretly filming and posting them on the internet, and they want to empower all of the other feline friends out there who are sick of human nonsense.

  • With their own forum, these feisty cats provide a rare look into the private lives of felines everywhere 
  • Filled with articles of a caliber of humor that are clever and a little bit edgy, while still not above a well-placed cat pun
  • A collector's edition featuring some of the series' most popular articles, like "Top 20 Most Satisfying Things to Push Off a Table," "Playtime is Over: The Out of Control Hand that Touched My Furry Place," and "Somewhat Effective Workouts for Extremely Busy Cats," as well as tons of all - new material from cats who have a lot of dirty laundry to air

Every cat owner has wondered ... What the heck is my cat thinking?' ... and "Pussweek" will hold all the myriad answers in one big volume full of outrageously cute (and simply outrageous) cats.

From scandalous pawparazzi pics to revealing litter quizzes, hairy exposès to tell & tail interviews, you will finally find the feline empowerment that lies within you - and don't take a doggone no for an answer.

Pussweek: A Cat's Guide to Feline Empowerment is a book written for cats by cats ... it's a parody of fashion and celebrity gossip magazines.  There are lots of stories, columns, quizzes and advertisements directed toward cats who are obviously more intelligent and superior than we humans including:

  • Gossip & Style - Who Wore it Better, Bitch Stole My Look and who's been spotting doing things.
  • My Day as a Dog - What it's like to need constant love and attention.
  • Top 20 Pee-Worthy Hotspots - We've been toiling and soiling to find you the best spots to do a nice widdle.
  • The Poop Quiz - What does your litter box say about you?  It's talking sh*t probably.
  • Going Postal - What should you do when your scratching post is just not enough.
  • Exposing the Nip - The catnip debate continues.
  • Boxing Day - It's a cardboard life.  Or is it?  Yes, yes it is.
  • Creeper Alert - 5 signs your human might be a cat-obsessed nut job
  • Top 20 Things to Push Off a Table - Let's take things down a notch.  To the floor, specifically.

Pussweek is a fun and amusing book and cat lovers will enjoy it.  As a head's up, the language is colourful at times.  It's full-colour and loaded with fabulous pictures of kitties.  Here are some examples:

Monday, 6 April 2020

Book ~ "Postscript" (2019) Cecelia Ahern

From Goodreads ~ It's been eight years since Holly Kennedy's husband died - seven since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.

She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry's letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind. 

Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey - one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever.

Holly's husband, Gerry, had passed away eight years ago at age 30 from cancer.  For a year after his death, she received a letter from him every month (in P.S., I Love You).  Holly has grown and moved on ... she has a new career and a boyfriend she is soon going to be moving in with.

Then she is approached to be part of the newly formed P.S., I Love You Club.  Five people with terminal illnesses want her to help them with their last letters to loved ones.  At first she resists because she has moved on.  Then she realizes that they do need her help and it's a way of giving back.  But it does jeopardize her relationship with her boyfriend because it's time consuming and he feels he has to compete with the ghost of Gerry.

I had read P.S., I Love You and have seen the movie which was based on the book a couple times so I thought it would be interesting to see what has happened to Holly in the years after Gerry's death.  While I liked P.S., I Love You, I found this book for the most part depressing and dreary and draggy and I had a hard time finishing it.

Though this is the second in the P.S., I Love You series, you don't need to read P.S., I Love You first to read this book.  There are many flashbacks to Holly's life with Gerry.  It was sometimes confusing when it happened because the flashbacks ran into the present timeline ... I read an ebook version and maybe the spacing/division was better in a "real" book?  As a head's up, the F-bomb is dropped a lot.

Women's knitted dorm boots

I finished knitting a pair of ladies medium dorm boots this evening.  I found the pattern here and adapted them so I had less seams to sew up ... I put them on circular needles/double pointed needles when I started the "foot".

I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Black Plum and Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Teal and a 6.5mm needles.


Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat
Women's sizes:
Sm (6-7.5), M/L (8-9), XL (9.5-10.5)

Starting with Sole:
  • Cast on 47(50,52) sts using a long-tail method and with 2 strands held together.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1(2,2), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k1. [51(54,56) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop.
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3(4,4), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k2. [55(58,60)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5(6,6), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k3. [59(62,64)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k7(8,8), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k4. [63(66,68) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, k22(23,24), yo, k9(10,10), yo, k22(23,24), yo, k5. [67(70,72)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: k6, yo, k22, yo, k11, yo, k22, yo, k6. [71sts]
  • Row 12: Sizes M/L & XL ONLY: K6, yo, k(23,24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k23,24), yo, k6. [75,77 sts]
  • Row 13: Sizes Sm & M/L proceed to #1 of foot.
  • Row 13: Size XL: Knit (knit the yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot - put on a circular needle or four double pointed needles and work in the round
  • Row 1: Size Sm ONLY: (RS) k34, k2tog, k35. (knit the yo's through the back of the loop) [70 sts]
  • Row 1: Size M/L ONLY: (RS) Knit (knit the yo’s through the back of the loop)
  • Row 1: Size XL ONLY: (RS) Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) K31(33,34), PM, k8(9,9), PM, k31(33,34).
  • Row 3: K24(26,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k24(26,27). [62(67,69)sts)
  • Row 4: Knit
  • Row 5: K20(22,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k8(9,9), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k20(22,23). 54(59,61)sts]
  • Row 6: Knit
  • Row 7: K31(34,35), ssk, turn. [53(58,60) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, k8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [52(57,59) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, turn. [51(56,58) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p8(9,9), p2tog, turn. [50(55,57) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [34(39,41)sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k8(9,9), ssk, DON’T TURN, k11(13,14). [33(38,40)sts]
  • Row 28: K10(13,14), k2tog, k21(23,24). [32(37,39) sts]
  • Row 29: Removing markers as you come to them, knit one row.
  • Row 30: Size Sm ONLY: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. [30 sts].
  • Row 30: Sizes M/L and XL ONLY:  K1, k2tog, k2tog, k across to last 5 sts, k2tog, p2tog, p1 [33, 35sts]
  • Rows 31 and 32: Knit

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 33: Size Sm ONLY: k1, p1 to end. Now go to row 36-42.
  • Row 33: Size M/L ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. Now go to row 36-42. (32,34 sts)
  • Row 33&34: Size XL ONLY: Repeat rows 31 & 32 once more.
  • Row 35: Size XL ONLY: [k1, p1] 8x, k2tog, p1, [k1, p1] to end. (32,34 sts)
  • Rows 36-42: 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slipper inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Basic chunky knitted slippers

I knitted another pair of slippers with Bernat Blanket Ombré yarn last night and this morning.  I used this pattern and adapted it a bit so I'd have less seams to sew up afterwards.  I used 6.5mm needles and made a small size slipper.   They are quick and easy.


Sizes:
To fit lady’s shoe size 5/6 (7/8 - 9/10).

Finished Foot length
Small 5/6 - 9" (23 cm)
Medium 7/8 - 9½" (24 cm)
Large 9/10 - 10½" (26.5 cm)

Abbreviations:
Beg = Beginning
Inc = Increase 1 stitch by knitting into front and back of next stitch
K = Knit
K2tog = Knit next 2 stitches together
Rep = Repeat
Rem = Remaining
RS = Right side
St(s) = Stitch(es)
WS = Wrong side

Instructions:
Note: The instructions are written for smallest size. If changes are necessary for larger sizes the instructions will be written thus ( ).
  • Beg at back, cast on 2 sts.
  • 1st row: (RS). Knit.
  • 2nd row: Inc 1 st in first st. K1.
  • 3rd and 4th rows: Knit.
  • 5th row: Inc 1 st in first st. Knit to end of row.
  • Rep 3rd to 5th rows 4 times more. 8 sts.
  • Next 2 rows: Cast on 10 sts. Knit to end of row. 28 sts after 2nd row. 

Work in garter st (knit every row) until work from marked row, measures 4½" [11.5 cm].

Change colours and put on double pointed needles.  Continue in garter stitch (knit one row, purl the next, etc.) for a further 3 (3½ - 4)" [7.5 (9 -10) cm] ending with a WS row.

Shape toe:
  • 1st row: K3. *K2tog. K3. Rep from * to end of row. 23 sts.
  • 2nd and 4th rows: Purl.
  • 3rd row: K3. *K2tog. K2. Rep from * to end of row. 18 sts.
  • 5th row: *K2tog. K1. Rep from * to end of row. 12 sts.
  • 6th row: (P2tog) 6 times. 6 sts.
  • Break yarn, leaving a long end. Thread end through rem sts and draw up firmly. Fasten securely. 
  • Sew edges of back triangle to cast on sts of sides to form heel.
  • Sew a pompom to each slipper if desired.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Basic chunky knitted slippers

I knitted a pair of slippers with Bernat Blanket Ombré yarn this afternoon.  I used this pattern and adapted it a bit so I'd have less seams to sew up afterwards.  I used 6.5mm needles and made a small size slipper.   They are quick and easy.


Sizes:
To fit lady’s shoe size 5/6 (7/8 - 9/10).

Finished Foot length
Small 5/6 - 9" (23 cm)
Medium 7/8 - 9½" (24 cm)
Large 9/10 - 10½" (26.5 cm)

Abbreviations:
Beg = Beginning
Inc = Increase 1 stitch by knitting into front and back of next stitch
K = Knit
K2tog = Knit next 2 stitches together
Rep = Repeat
Rem = Remaining
RS = Right side
St(s) = Stitch(es)
WS = Wrong side

Instructions:
Note: The instructions are written for smallest size. If changes are necessary for larger sizes the instructions will be written thus ( ).
  • Beg at back, cast on 2 sts.
  • 1st row: (RS). Knit.
  • 2nd row: Inc 1 st in first st. K1.
  • 3rd and 4th rows: Knit.
  • 5th row: Inc 1 st in first st. Knit to end of row.
  • Rep 3rd to 5th rows 4 times more. 8 sts.
  • Next 2 rows: Cast on 10 sts. Knit to end of row. 28 sts after 2nd row. 

Work in garter st (knit every row) until work from marked row, measures 4½" [11.5 cm].

Change colours and put on double pointed needles.  Continue in garter stitch (knit one row, purl the next, etc.) for a further 3 (3½ - 4)" [7.5 (9 -10) cm] ending with a WS row.

Shape toe:
  • 1st row: K3. *K2tog. K3. Rep from * to end of row. 23 sts.
  • 2nd and 4th rows: Purl.
  • 3rd row: K3. *K2tog. K2. Rep from * to end of row. 18 sts.
  • 5th row: *K2tog. K1. Rep from * to end of row. 12 sts.
  • 6th row: (P2tog) 6 times. 6 sts.
  • Break yarn, leaving a long end. Thread end through rem sts and draw up firmly. Fasten securely. 
  • Sew edges of back triangle to cast on sts of sides to form heel.
  • Sew a pompom to each slipper if desired.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Basic chunky knitted slippers

I had a ball of Bernat Blanket Ombré yarn I didn't know what to do with so I knitted a pair of slippers with it tonight ... I figured they would be warm and cozy.  I used this pattern and adapted it a bit so I'd have less seams to sew up afterwards.  I used 6.5mm needles and made a small size slipper.   They are quick and easy.


Sizes:
To fit lady’s shoe size 5/6 (7/8 - 9/10).

Finished Foot length
Small 5/6 - 9" (23 cm)
Medium 7/8 - 9½" (24 cm)
Large 9/10 - 10½" (26.5 cm)

Abbreviations:
Beg = Beginning
Inc = Increase 1 stitch by knitting into front and back of next stitch
K = Knit
K2tog = Knit next 2 stitches together
Rep = Repeat
Rem = Remaining
RS = Right side
St(s) = Stitch(es)
WS = Wrong side

Instructions:
Note: The instructions are written for smallest size. If changes are necessary for larger sizes the instructions will be written thus ( ).
  • Beg at back, cast on 2 sts.
  • 1st row: (RS). Knit.
  • 2nd row: Inc 1 st in first st. K1.
  • 3rd and 4th rows: Knit.
  • 5th row: Inc 1 st in first st. Knit to end of row.
  • Rep 3rd to 5th rows 4 times more. 8 sts.
  • Next 2 rows: Cast on 10 sts. Knit to end of row. 28 sts after 2nd row. 

Work in garter st (knit every row) until work from marked row, measures 4½" [11.5 cm].

Change colours and put on double pointed needles.  Continue in garter stitch (knit one row, purl the next, etc.) for a further 3 (3½ - 4)" [7.5 (9 -10) cm] ending with a WS row.

Shape toe:
  • 1st row: K3. *K2tog. K3. Rep from * to end of row. 23 sts.
  • 2nd and 4th rows: Purl.
  • 3rd row: K3. *K2tog. K2. Rep from * to end of row. 18 sts.
  • 5th row: *K2tog. K1. Rep from * to end of row. 12 sts.
  • 6th row: (P2tog) 6 times. 6 sts.
  • Break yarn, leaving a long end. Thread end through rem sts and draw up firmly. Fasten securely. 
  • Sew edges of back triangle to cast on sts of sides to form heel.
  • Sew a pompom to each slipper if desired.