Thursday, June 30, 2016

WIP Wednesday: June 29, 2016

This week's podcast is now live:


Lots of details in the podcast, including a new pattern release (the shawl you see behind me).

For the quick version, here you go!

FOs: 
Talisman Shawl: Pattern by Helen Stewart. Yarn is Wooly Wonka Fibers Gaia Sock in the “Bluebells” colorway. 
Beitha Shawl pattern release. Yarn is Wooly Wonka Fibers Nimue Sock in “White Birch” and “Black Forest”. 
Handspun Cabin Socks. Original fiber from FatCatKnits in the “Denim” colorway.
WIPs: 
White Sands self-striping socks. 
Design for Austin Yarn Crawl/The Happy Ewe

Monday, June 27, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 27

I've been on a reading kick this week.   I finished Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind.  A good read - sort of epic fantasy themed - but here's my beef with it.  I hate books that can't stand alone.  This book doesn't feel finished to me.  About 2/3rds of the way thru, it's like the author (or his editor) decided this should be a series.  I like series (see below), but I don't want to be forced into reading a second book to have a complete story line finished.  Grrr - a pet peeve of mine, and this one hit that button.  That said... an entertaining, engaging story with a likeable hero and lots of magic going on.

Next, I moved onto week #23: The next book in a series.  I really enjoyed Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling's) first book in this series featuring detective Coromoran Strike, so I grabbed the next one in the series: The Silkworm.  A good writer is a good writer.  Definitely not children or YA-oriented, these are gritty, engaging detective novels.  Loved this one so much I.....

Read Career of Evil next, which is book #3 in the series, but also happily was on the Boston Globe's Summer 2016 Reading List, and fulfilled the topic for week 18.  Not for the weak of stomach, this one has more violence in it than the first two, with creepy serial killer and lots of red herrings.  Rowling/Galbraith writes with a firm, sure hand for character development and plot twists - very fun reads.  I was sorry to see these come to an end.

Right now, I've just started a book for week 30's topic: A fairytale from a culture other than your own.  The Firebird, by Susanna Kearsley, isn't exactly just a fairytale; it's more a retelling of the fairytale with a contemporary twist and some magic and psychic powers tossed in for good measure.  So far it's entertaining - kind of a lite read after the last 2 thrillers.

33/52

The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - DONE.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book:  West with the Night - Beryl Markham - DONE
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page
22. The first book in a new to you series
23. The next book in a series you are reading: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley.
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list
40. A novella from your favorite genre:
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel:  The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author
52. A book published in 2016


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIP Wednesday: June 22, 2016

All the details about my WIPs can be found in this week's podcast episode:


For the short version:
FOs: 
Caramel Latte Socks: Pattern by CC Almon. Yarn is MCN Fingering from 2IBH in the “Fauve” colorway.
Shetland Shoreline:  Pattern by me.  Part of the Knitpicks Joyful Lace collection.
WIPs: 
Heathered cardigan 
Talisman Shawl 
Handspun Cabin Socks 
Design for Austin Yarn Crawl/The Happy Ewe

Sunday, June 19, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 26

I finished Circling the Sun by Paula McLain .  I enjoyed the book - it was fun to see the character of "Felicity", who in real life was Beryl Markham, from her point of view with Karen Blixen and Denys Finch-Hatton (a la Out of Africa), as supporting characters.   It's not a particularly heavy fictionalized biography - an easy read.  But...

I was interested enough in Beryl Markham that when the notes mentioned she had written an autobiographical work, West with the Night, I decided to grab a copy of that to cover week #9: A book mentioned in another book, and I'm really glad a did.  She was a fascinating woman - far ahead of her time (early 20th century for most of it).  She was the first woman to achieve her trainer's license (for horse training), and she was the first woman to achieve her pilot's license in Africa.  An amazingly tough and courageous person with lots of setbacks in her life, but she embraced every new thing with the same kind of energy and sense of fun we probably all should have.  Lots of flights, including working as a bush pilot and scout for "Blix", the Baron Blixen - Karen Blixen's ex-husband - who by all accounts trusted and respected her.   She was the first woman to complete and East to West nonstop crossing of the Atlantic solo.  Her autobiography is split about 50/50 into her horse training years and her plane flying years.  It is lovely writing and I appreciated the fact that it is all about HER (not about her failed marriages or somewhat difficult time with society both in Africa and in the UK - I suppose she felt those were all secondary parts of who she was).  At any rate, a very good read and one I greatly enjoyed.

I just started Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind and I'm about halfway through it with hopes to finish it this week.  Many thanks to my dear friend, Laura, who suspected I'd love this book (she's right!) and sent me her copy.

30/52

The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - DONE.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book:  West with the Night - Beryl Markham - DONE
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page
22. The first book in a new to you series
23. The next book in a series you are reading
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list
40. A novella from your favorite genre:
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel:  The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author
52. A book published in 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WIP Wednesday: June 15, 2016

The newest episode of the podcast is live with all kinds of details about what I'm working on:


Otherwise, here's what I'm working on:

Os: 
Fall 2016 Sweater Design 
Whirlwind Romance Shawl: Pattern by Nim Teasdale. Yarn is Sock! Merino (now discontinued) from Lisa Souza Yarns in the “Deepest Purple” colorway. 
Valentine self-striping socks (no pattern).
WIPs: 
Caramel Latte Socks 
Heathered cardigan 
Talisman Shawl 
Design for Austin Yarn Crawl/The Happy Ewe

Sunday, June 12, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 25

This week, I finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah , which I "read" as an audiobook for week 3: A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015.  This is a brilliant book - very well-written, riveting story, well-developed characters.  Set in occupied France during WWII, it's the story of a Resistance fighter - but it's also a story about families and siblings and love. This one is going up into the "so glad I read it" lists along with last year's All the Light We Cannot See (and reminded me of that book in some ways - not just because it was set in Europe during the War.)  I don't think I would give it a blanket recommendation to everyone - if you are someone easily upset or who doesn't handle graphic descriptions of war atrocities, then I would not put this on your to-read list.  None of it, I felt, was gratuitous, but it certainly isn't a book that shies away from the brutality that occurred during the War, and there are moments in it that will make you cry, so if that's not your thing.... reader forewarned.  For everyone else, get yourself a copy, read it, and then hug your loved ones.

I'm in the midst of reading Circling the Sun by Paula McLain right now.  For those of you who have seen the movie Out of Africa, the main character in the book is "Felicity" who is the tomboyish young woman that the Baroness befriends.   A good, albeit not great read, so far - an interesting character and someone I'd want to invite to dinner to talk horses with, I think.

I'm about halfway through this one.  I'm not entirely sure what's up next - I need to go through my current holds and request list with the library and see what slots into the remaining books I've got on the list.

28/52

The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page
22. The first book in a new to you series
23. The next book in a series you are reading
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list
40. A novella from your favorite genre:
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author
52. A book published in 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

WIP Wednesday: June 8, 2016

The newest episode (#17) of the podcast is now live:


Here's the Cliff Notes version as well of what I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting

  • The Fall 2016 design collection shawl is done!
  • I have 1 sleeve left to knit on the Fall 2016 design collection sweater - that's my priority knit this week. 
Personal Knitting

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Weeks 23 and 24


I did a fair amount of reading this week.  I finished up a short story, The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin,  which was wonderfully written.  Not very long, but a wonderful magical story inside the brief text. Well recommended.

I also finished week 16's topic: A book from the top 100 mystery novels, The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman.  A good read, not great, but entertaining, and very fun that it was set here in the Southwest.  It was fun to read about things local to ABQ and know what the author was talking about.

I also picked up The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje for week 37 - a book you've seen the movie of but haven't read.  Now... I loved the movie.  I thought Ralph Fiennes is brilliant in everything I've seen him in.  The book was... even better?  Even more?  Totally knocked my socks off.  It is beautifully written - the language so perfectly chosen to forward the story.  And there's a lot more story here than "just" The English Patient.  Hana, the nurse, really drives the story and Kip, the Sikh bomb-defusion expert, plays a MUCH bigger role.  I loved, loved, loved the book - despite being not exactly as the movie portrayed it - and I'm highly recommending it if you haven't read it.

I'm in the midst currently of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah as an audiobook for week 3: A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (and easy to see why it made the list - it's wonderful so far.)  And I just got notice that Circling the Sun is available to borrow on my reader, so I'll start that this week too!

27/52

The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio)
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page
22. The first book in a new to you series
23. The next book in a series you are reading
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list
40. A novella from your favorite genre:
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author
52. A book published in 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

WIP Wednesday: June 1, 2016

Episode 16 of the podcast is live!  



You can pop over to the Ravelry group's show notes to see what I've finished up!  Today's podcast was kind of shortened - I'll have more info on WIPs when I record again on Monday the 6th!

April 2018 WIPocalypse Update

April was full of a lot of travel and work stuff - but happily, I think those are going to slow down for at least a couple of months.  Here&...