Showing posts from 2017

Reading Challenge: October 17, 2017

I pushed a few books in front of Speaks the Night Bird this week to read.  I zipped through week 36's Hugo award novella The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Kowal.  A bittersweet gentle short read.  Reminded me a lot of the Ray Bradbury sci fi of the late 70s.

Next, my library had informed me that my request for them to add I Capture the Castle to the ebook collection had been granted, so I went ahead and grabbed that one and read it this week.  (Topic is week 39, an epistolary fiction).  Eccentric British family as told from the point of view of the younger daughter, Cassandra, through her journal entries. A coming of age book, sweet and quiet.  Nothing crazy or over the top, but I enjoyed this read that harkened back to a (perhaps) simpler time before the war.

I'll pick Speaks the Night Birdby Robert McCammon back up this week and go on from my current stopping point with this one. 

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016: The Moon in the Palace by Weina D…

Knitting Friday - October 13, 2017

I finished up my Gravel Socks last night and aren't they fun?

I knit these using Wooly Wonka Fibers Beryl Sock.  The colorway is Under the Cherry Tree.  While I'm not normally a fan of loud, handpaint colorways, for whatever reason (purple?) I love how these turned out.  The front has a simple knit/purl textured pattern that helps to break up the handpaint.  (Although nicely enough, this colorway doesn't particularly pool).  The back of the leg/sole is just basic stockinette.  I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel for my heels on these.

Because the Beryl Sock is a bit plumper than many sock yarns, I went down to the 56-stitch leg circumference size and they fit perfectly.

I've also cast on for a lace/stashbuster project:  Romi Hill's Sagebrush Infinity Scarf.  I'm using a skein of a merino singles from Tale and Tendril's Etsy shop in the Gringots colorway. 

Just a few repeats in and, as with a lot of lace, it doesn't look like much at this point - but I love t…

Stitching Wednesday: October 11, 2017

I've been concentrating on just a couple of projects so far this month.  I put in 5 days of work on my Desert Mandala from Chatelaine and finished up all the cross-stitching for the center medallion.

The only thing left to finish on this is the backstitching of the little pink flowers/cactus leaves, and of course the beading (which are the open/non-stitches spaces throughout), but I'll be doing that at the end.  I feel like I should be able to accomplish the backstitching in one decent stitching session in November, and then I can start section 2, which is the saguaro cacti around this center piece.

I then moved on to work on my Lakeside Needlecraft Under the Sea SAL, October block.  This is block 10 of 12, so we're in the home stretch!  I'm obviously not finished it quite yet, but here's my progress so far this month on the little scuba diver:

I need to finish up the cross-stitching and then backstitch this block (and whew! there's a LOT of backstitching in th…

Reading Challenge - October 9, 2017

I finished A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott for week #3 - a book you meant to read in 2016.  I would agree with many of the Goodreads reviews that it could have used a bit more focused editing.  I found the multiple story lines a little distracting and honestly, I would have been glad to have less coming-of-age angst for the narrator and more info about Gable and Lombard.  That said, I enjoyed this as a lite read.  The author does do a great job developing Carole Lombard's character throughout the book, and as a Gone With the Wind fan, it was have the filming of that epic movie be the skeleton on which the rest of the narrative was hung.  Good, not great; an entertaining read.

I then picked up The Raven Boysby Maggie Stiefvater for week #30 - a book off the top 100 YA list.  This one was a surprise sleeper for me - in a totally good way.  I LOVED this book.  Well-written, good character development and a great plot.  It's the first in a series, which I will wind up reading a…

Reading Challenge: October 3, 2017

I finished A Death in Sweden for week #15.  This normally would not have been my sort of book - and I think perhaps I liked it better as an audiobook than I would have as a written read.  I really liked the narrator of this version.  The plot is somewhere between John le Carre and the Jason Bourne type spy books. There is a fair amount of violence, and I appreciated that the author didn't make this one have a happy ending.  (At times I thought we were going there, but the main character, while he has some redeeming qualities is, at the base of it all, a paid killer, and I actually was impressed the author didn't take the easy road out of the plot twists.)  If you like spy-type novels, you might give this one a try.

I also finished Lady MacBeth by Susan Fraser King for week #38 this week.  The middle section dragged a bit - it's hard to have intrigue happening in remote places over half a decade be but so interesting since the main characters mostly just talk about possible…

Knitting Friday - September 29, 2017

October is almost here!  And I thought it might be time to get back into the swing of knitting/spinning blogging.  (Better late than never, right?)

I'm hosting a Socktober craftalong over in my Ravelry group.  Any pattern, any yarn is welcome as long as it's socks!  I'm going to be casting on a pair of Gravel socks using Wooly Wonka Beryl Sock on Sunday to kick off the event.  I'm using a skein of Under the Cherry Tree which is kind of a departure for me since I usually like plainer socks, but I love the colorway and thought these would be fun.

I've also been working on the Bailey Cardigan; pattern by Amy Christoffers.  I've gotten all of the knitting done and seamed up the body.  I need to knit and attach the pockets and finish the I-cord edging on the front edges and cuffs but I'm hoping to finish that up this weekend.

This was a stashbuster project as I'm trying to get my yarn and fiber stash down to more mangeable levels.  To that end, I reorganized…

Stitching Wednesday: September 27, 2017

Trying to get back in the blogging groove after our vacation mid-month.  I'm switching up a few things and changing my rotation for the next few months until the end of the year.  (If you are interested in more than you probably want to know, feel free to check out my YouTube channel - I uploaded a new plans/works in progress video this week over there.)

Essentially I'm going to move to a smaller group of projects to rotate through for the rest of 2017 so I can finish up a holiday gift.  I'm going to work on 2 other projects - my Chatelaine Desert Mandala and the Under the Sea SAL interspersed with the focus project - my Star Weaver storykeep from HAED.

I did get the September block finished for the Under the Sea SAL from Lakeside Needlecraft. The September block gets us to the bottom left-hand corner of this piece with an uber cute sea turtle.  I think this block might be my favorite so far.

Here's the whole sheebang so far.  Three more blocks to go!  I'm stitchin…

Reading Challenge: Sept 25, 2017

I haven't progressed further on A Death in Sweden for week #15 - a book written or set in Scandinavia - but this is in my plans to pick back up this week to listen to in the evenings in the hopes I can get it finished!

I'm about halfway through Lady MacBeth by Susan Fraser King for week #38 - a book inspired by a work of classic literature.  Off to an excellent start, but kind of bogged down mid-story right now.  I'm going to push on and try to finish this one this week as well.

In the meantime, I started and finished A Beautiful Poison while on holiday earlier this month.  I loved this one (for week 40 - a book published in 2017).  Set in the early 20th century, this book features 3 strong main characters, who are childhood friends and now set on 3 very different life paths.  It ties in World War I history, early NYC history (with a nod to the hospital where my grandfather did his residency and he and my Gram met), the radium girls, early CSI-type analysis and the Spanish …