Friday, December 30, 2016

Spinning Friday - 2016 Recap

As I'm trying to get back into the groove of blogging more frequently, I thought I'd revisit my Spinning Fridays with this post on the final Friday of 2016.

Some of you might know that I participated in the 2016 Spin the Bin Challenge over on Ravelry.  I had earmarked a total of 125 oz of fiber to spin and while I did spin a few other braids this year, that 125 oz was what I mainly focused on.

If you are interested in all the various and sundry rovings and fibers that I picked for the challenge, you can visit my Ravelry project page for that here.

Most of what I spun were 4-oz increments, but there were a few 8-oz'ers and a few 4-ozs that I paired together for a larger combospin.  I had a couple of smaller batches too, but not many of those.

Here's all the skeins spun up and ready to have grown-up lives as yarn!



There are individual project pages on Ravelry under my Handspun tab if you want to find out any details about them.  The total yards spun from the bin were 9553 yards, which I'm pretty daggone proud of.  More than half were fingering-weight yarns, with just a few sport to DK thrown in there, and only 2 worsted I think.  (I didn't include the odd other braids I spun in that yardage total, but I know it was over 10K yards with those included for the year.)

I've already used 2 of the yarns to knit up items (1 pair of socks, 1 hat), but I can see a lot of other fun projects waiting to be started here.

I'm not going to participate in the 2017 challenge.  I decided I wanted a little less pressure on my spinning time, but I do plan to continue working on my stash next year.  There are still a lot of pretty things to be spun up!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Podcast Episode (#41 - 12/22/2016) - Happy Holidays!

Episode 41 is now live (recorded 12/22/2016);



In this episode, I talk about:
FOs:
Snowdrops Mittens (January kit in the Herbarium Club for color/texture).
WIPs:
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine.
Cabled vest project for spring 2017 release.
Ongoing KALs:
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017.
Spinning/Handspun Yarn:
Superfine merino/alpaca in “Charcoal” from Pigeon Roof Studios.
Oceanwind Knits
Stitching:
January Word Play from Thy Needle and Thread.
The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium Club (Texture/Color) can be found at the Clubs tab on the website here. For more details please also see the thread in the group here!

Monday, December 19, 2016

2017 Reading Challenge - Early Bird Report

I tackled the first week of the 2017 Reading Challenge this weekend - selecting week #43 - a book with a chilling atmosphere, with Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.

I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting with this book - but it wasn't whatever that was.  The Goodreads preview and other summaries of it made it sound like a ghost story or something long hidden in the creepy rooms of Black Rabbit Hall, but it actually was a pretty tame book with a wicked stepmother and her lies, and a family in conflict at the center.  Meh.  Not exactly Flowers in the Attic, but it was definitely on that sort of vibe.  I read it, but don't recommend it; I wanted something more to the story and was left feeling wanting when it was finished.

Next up, I'm reading A Cornish Maid by Rosemary Aitken for week 4: A title that doesn't contain the letter "E".

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E":  A Cornish Maid by Rosemary Aitken
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
8. A book written by a person of color
9. A book in the middle of your To Be Read list
10. A dual-timeline novel
11. A category from another challenge
12. A book based on a myth
13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
14. A book with a strong female character
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)
16. A mystery
17. A book with illustrations
18. A really long book (600+ pages)
19. A New York Times best-seller
20. A book that you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading
21. A book that is a continuation of a book you've already read
22. A book by an author you haven't read before
23. A book from the BBC "The Big Read" list (
link)
24. A book written by at least two authors
25. A book about a famous historical figure
26. An adventure book
27. A book by one of your favorite authors
28. A non-fiction
29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses (Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; Penguin Random House; Hachette Livre) - check all the editions
30. A book from Goodreads Top 100 YA Books (
link)
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
32. A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle)
33. A magical realism novel
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty
36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee (
link)
37. A book you choose randomly
38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
39. An epistolary fiction
40. A book published in 2017
41. A book with an unreliable narrator
42. A best book of the 21st century (so far)
43. A book with a chilling atmosphere (scary, unsettling, cold):  Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.
44. A recommendation from "What Should I Read Next" (
link)
45. A book with a one-word title
46. A time travel novel
47. A past suggestion that didn't win (
link)
48. A banned book
49. A book from someone else's bookshelf
50. A Penguin Modern Classic - any edition
51. A collection (e.g. essays, short stories, poetry, plays) 
52. A book set in a fictional location

Friday, December 16, 2016

2017 Reading Challenge TOPICS

Here are the 2017 Goodreads Around The Year in 52 Books topics I'm planning on tackling for 2017.

I've already got a few picked out, and I already know I'll be using the WildCard option in this year's reading challenge for a couple of the weeks that just don't appeal much to me.

And since it's not like I'm not going to read between now and the end of the year, I'm getting started on the list already!

First up, I've grabbed a book for week #43: A book with a chilling atmosphere, and for this one, I'm reading Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E"
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
8. A book written by a person of color
9. A book in the middle of your To Be Read list
10. A dual-timeline novel
11. A category from another challenge
12. A book based on a myth
13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
14. A book with a strong female character
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)
16. A mystery
17. A book with illustrations
18. A really long book (600+ pages)
19. A New York Times best-seller
20. A book that you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading
21. A book that is a continuation of a book you've already read
22. A book by an author you haven't read before
23. A book from the BBC "The Big Read" list (link)
24. A book written by at least two authors
25. A book about a famous historical figure
26. An adventure book
27. A book by one of your favorite authors
28. A non-fiction
29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses (Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; Penguin Random House; Hachette Livre) - check all the editions
30. A book from Goodreads Top 100 YA Books (link)
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
32. A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle)
33. A magical realism novel
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty
36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee (link)
37. A book you choose randomly
38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
39. An epistolary fiction
40. A book published in 2017
41. A book with an unreliable narrator
42. A best book of the 21st century (so far)
43. A book with a chilling atmosphere (scary, unsettling, cold)
44. A recommendation from "What Should I Read Next" (link)
45. A book with a one-word title
46. A time travel novel
47. A past suggestion that didn't win (link)
48. A banned book
49. A book from someone else's bookshelf
50. A Penguin Modern Classic - any edition
51. A collection (e.g. essays, short stories, poetry, plays) 
52. A book set in a fictional location

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Podcast Episode 40 and What I'm Working On

Episode 40 is now live!


In this episode, I talk about:
FOs: 
Self-striping holiday gift socks. 
Balloon Fiesta Shawl: Pattern is here. Yarn is available here. More information on the KAL is here.
WIPs
Sekret mitts and cowl for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. 
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine.
Ongoing KALs: 
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
TBK Sock Club 2016: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017.
Handspun Yarn: 
SW merino from Two If By Hand in the “Boardwalk” colorway. 
Superfine merino/alpaca in “Charcoal” from Pigeon Roof Studios.
Stitching: 
The Winter Garden from The Drawn Thread
The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium Club (Texture/Color) can be found at the Clubs tab on the website here. For more details please also see the thread in the group here!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge - DONE!

I'm happy to report I have finished the 2016 reading challenge!  I finished up The Handmaid's Tale last week and that was my final category book for the year.  If you haven't read this one, while I won't say it's a book I "liked", it's definitely one that will stick with me.  Lots of food for thought, and well-written (I like Barbara Atwood in general), but it's creepy and unsettling.  (Note to self, the holiday season is not necessarily the best time to tackle a book on a dystopia.  Plan ahead for that next time.)

My top 3 books for the year:

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
  • Career of Evil/The Silkworm/The Cuckoo's Calling series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling).
  • River of Doubt by Candice Millard.
All of which were surprises, and I think that's why I like this yearly challenge.  Books that I wouldn't have necessarily picked up wind up being ones I really enjoyed.  (And I like that the challenge gets me out of my mind-candy rut which I tend to drift into when not motivated otherwise.)

I have been waffling around about continuing with the challenge for 2017.  I had thought maybe I'd take a year to just read fluff, but to be honest, I've read a couple of week's worth of fluff already over the last 2 weeks, and I think I'm ready to get back into a more expanded reading list.  So..... I think I'm in for 2017!  I'll put up a post with the next year's topics, but you can also find them on Goodreads in the Around the Year in 52 Books group, if you're interested.


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: Thud - Terry Pratchett - DONE.
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - DONE.
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: Jane and the Still-Room Maid by Stephanie Barron.  DONE.
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page - The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers.
22. The first book in a new to you series: The Lazarus Gate by Mark Latham - DONE.
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: Mind of the Raven by Bernd Henrich - DONE.
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 - DONE.
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:  The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell - DONE.
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: Secrecy by Rupert Thomas - DONE.
40. A novella from your favorite genre: The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens by George RR Martin - DONE.
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 - DONE.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night:  The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley - DONE.
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public: A Stolen Rose by Amy Corwin - DONE.
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - DONE.
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title - Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen - DONE.
48. A dystopia: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - DONE.
49. A book with a great opening line: Paris Red by Maureen Gibbon - DONE.
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: A Queen in Exile by Sharon Kay Penman - DONE.
52. A book published in 2016 - The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - DONE.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Podcast Episode (and WIP): Episode 39 - November 30, 2016.

Episode 39 of the Wooly Wonka Fibers podcast is now live:



In this episode, I talk about:

FOs: 
Holly Cowl - pattern and yarn pack. Also available from The Yarn Guys.
WIPs: 
Sekret mitts and cowl for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. 
Self-striping holiday gift socks. 
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine.
Ongoing KALs: 
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
TBK Sock Club 2016: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017.
Handspun Yarn: 
SW merino from Two If By Hand in the “Boardwalk” colorway.
Stitching: 
January Word Play by With Thy Needle and Thread.
The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium Club (Texture/Color) can be found at the Clubs tab on the website here. For more details please also see the thread in the group here!

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&...