Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wednesday

I did not realize how horribly blurry this photo was until I looked at it properly on my laptop. I'll get a nicer one up tomorrow. 
In progress- a shawl design. 
I'm trying something, attempting a narrower crocheted triangle, without the pointy bit. We'll see what it looks like in a few days. It's been a bit slow going, but with fingering weight yarn it always seems to be slow. It's mainly double crochet, which works up a bit faster, but again, we shall see. 

Love this book

On my shelf- a book I actually finished! I read this book from start to finish yesterday, and found it really enjoyable, especially compared to my most recent books that got returned before I was halfway through. It is enough of a true story to appeal to my historical side, and the characters, though fictional, felt real and realistic. 

Having been disappointed with the last three books I checked out from the library, I started my week out reading Harry Potter. Harry's always consistent. I love reading the language, especially with the British terminology thrown in. Yesterday though, this book came in for me. It was among the ones I had ordered based on Amazon's historical fiction bestsellers. Due to my previous disappointment, I was reluctant, and didn't even open the book until I came home from errands after work. I sat out in the sunshine and opened it. Absorbed would be the best word for it. The world in this book absorbed me. I couldn't put it down. Part of me just wanted to have a book that was new and different, and I wanted to savor it, but the other part of me wanted to know what happened next. It was definitely a quick read, but definitely an adult book. And the history's good too. 

Linking up with Tami & Ginny today!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Home WIP

While I have been working on some crocheting and knitting, this weekend I've been working on a piece of furniture for my/our new apartment!!!

There are no before pictures, just halfway to step one pictures. 
On the first day, I got to play with paint stripper, a power sander, and ended with really sore hands, arms, and back. Being liberal with paint stripper (not that I have experience) was difficult, and I ended up probably doing more work than necessary. 

All the white paint is gone, but still needs work!

Day two was work on the drawers, as well as paint that I missed on day one. I also put stain on the top (the only bit that is completely sanded and stripped of paint), which is helpful in motivating me to work harder on the other bits. 

The reason for this dresser makeover? FiancĂ© really dislikes painted furniture. It was in a little girls room, and it needed either a new coat of paint or a complete overhaul. I counted at least 4 layers of paint, plus the most recent color. If I slapped another coat of paint, it would've needed to be touched up the next time we moved. So I'm striping all the paint, sanding, staining, and then topping it with a coat of poly. It's a lot of work, but I enjoy it. 

Even though I've been busy with home projects, I do have some yarn to share!!!
Decorating my books: a scarf and a shawl

My stack of books increased yesterday, as I decided to pursue the historical fiction section on Amazon. I didn't expect to get them all at the same time. Titles, in case you can't read them: The Age of Ice, The Light between Oceans, The Kitchen House, and Red Templar. It Starts with Food is obviously not fiction, and I'm still working through it, a bit at a time. 

And here's a close up of my crocheting, Hitchin' a Ride. 
Lovely self-striping Felici!
Linking up with Tami & Ginny!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Project Monogamy

I'm trying this new thing, project monogamy. Working on a single project, until it is finished. This is odd for me, because I have a tendency to work on multiple things at the same time.

The reason for this monogamy was first a problem in a knitting project, which caused it to be put in timeout, combined with the realization that I have a lot of WIPs. If I work on one, until it's completely done, I am more likely to be motivated to finish it. 

For example: I am currently working on True Blue Love, using Palette fingering yarn. The color is a great shade of blue, the pattern is interesting. It's also turning out a lot bigger than I had expected. I want to finish it, but I also would love to start something smaller. If I don't finish this now, I'll likely end up not finishing it. It's not really me forcing myself to finish it, just that I am resisting all the new yarn and other projects to make sure that I actually finish.

I'm hoping to apply this project monogamy to some other WIPs, as I have a few, and I think that as long as I start and finish a smaller project in between the bigger ones, I won't get as antsy about all my WIPs. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

True Blue

This is the third shawl I've posted about in at least as many weeks: MAD Cap Designs, True Love. I like that it is shallower and longer than the previous MAD Cap I made. It helps that I really like the color blue, too. I seriously recommend any patterns by this designer- she makes an effort to make purchasing a pattern worthwhile. There are stitch counts and clear charts and se has a fun Ravelry group too!


I've also advanced since my last post, and am reading it starts with food. Very interesting so far. Behind the scenes at the museum wasn't really working for me, so that's been returned already. I'm hoping to find some new historical fiction...

Linking with WIP Wednesday & Yarn Along!!

Reading Update

Amid the hubbub of wedding preparations and moving, I've been blessed to find personal quiet time to read. Good suggestions always seem to come from pursuing the blogs that share on Ginny's weekly Yarn-Along. Two of the books I am currently looking at have come from other bloggers' recommendations.

The first, The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill, is a fiction novel that takes place in 19th century Nantucket.

As it has a historical aspect to it, I immediately sought a copy from my library system, which arrived several days later. What also intrigued me about this book is its astronomical and nautical angle. Both subjects hold some interest to me, though mostly in their relation to history. It reminds me a lot of some of the things I've learned through studying lighthouses.

I am fascinated by the Quaker community that the main character, Hannah, lives in. Many books I've read before, particularly those by Beverly Lewis, discuss similiar (to me) concepts of communities like that, especially the Amish communities.

I'm not as far as I would like to be into the book, but so far it is enjoyable.

In my possession and next on the list are 2 more books, another fiction and a non-fiction.

At the recommendation of a good friend, I am also looking into Paleo.


I'm not sure I can totally go to all whole foods, but I'd like to make an attempt. I've never really had weight issues, so it's not really about that. It would be more about getting healthy and feeling better all the time.

So, that's what I'm reading! WOOO!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

More Finishes

Last week I posted my finished Michele's Lace, and I have post blocking photos now too! 

The lace opened a lot with blocking. I took some photos with my mom modeling, and I'll get those up next week hopefully. 

I also finished my First Love shawl, and am currently debating about a button for it. The reason for the button is the smallish size of the shawl, which I was expecting. It might get a bit of blocking to help it. 


I left off the picot border, and was left with a small ball of yarn. My project page on ravelry will be updated with the measurements, etc, in a few days. 

Thinking about new yarn is dangerous. But I'm still thinking. I've been doing really good, keeping up with and finishing projects, and I think I need a wedding de-stress-er. 

Linking with FO Friday!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thieftaker

Thieftaker
by D. B. Jackson

A trip through pre- Revolution Boston, infused with magic, a hint of romance, and a mystery.

This is the world that D. B. Jackson skillfully weaves, creating an intriguing historical fiction novel that I couldn't put down. It's been a while since I've been so absorbed in a book, and I loved the experience. 

The characters, a mix of fiction and non fiction, were decently rounded out, a variety of types and social classes. Each contributed to the story in their own way, some not revealing their part until the very end.

The main character, Ethan Kaille, is a conjurer (aka witch) and a "thieftaker"(hired by wealthier people to recover their stolen goods). Both of his "professions" make it hard for him to keep his head down, especially in a place as volatile as pre- Revolution Boston. I'll be the first to admit that I don't really know much about the city of Boston. But I do know a fair bit about the Revolutionary War, and the events leading up to it. Jackson throws in enough historical information to make the story plausible, but the story isnt really about the history. The history, particularly the riots that could've (and did) take place all around the 13 colonies in regards to the Stamp Act and other "unfair" taxes, feeds into the story but does not consume it.

Jackson writes an interesting novel, and blends the history with the fantasy well.

I'd recommend this as a engaging book (Though I will add that I dislike people who write novels hoping to score big writing a whole series)
(And obviously, I dont really write book reviews, I just like sharing about good books I've read)

Books & Hooks

Wedding preparations are getting really busy-- just over a month left now!!

But amid all the hub-bub of bridal showers, moving, fittings, bachelorette parties, and general preparation, I've found time for my hooks.




First Love
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette fingering in Mulberry
Hook: H

Little Star Dishcloths
Yarn: Sugar'n Cream scraps & the like
Hook: I keep switching between G and H, though I like H best.
True Love
Starting this one as soon as First Love is finished!

I've also found time for new books. One was suggested by a follow Yarn-Along-er, the other by a co-worker.

Thieftaker, D.B. Jackson-- pre-Revolutionary War era

Movement of the Stars, Amy Brill-- mid 1800s

I'm enjoying the historical angle of both books, though they are from two different eras and have completely different story lines.

Linking up with WIPWednesday & Yarn-Along!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Still Here!

Over the past month or so, I've found myself on my laptop less and less. A new phone for my birthday and my borrowing of Fiance's tablet, both of which are way more portable, means I don't often sit in front of a screen with a proper keyboard. All of these things means less blogging.

But I'm still around. I'm checking out Yarn-Along, WIPW,  and FOF. I'm seeking a happy meduim, and hopefully I'll find it.

So for now, even if I'm not posting, I'm still around. Weddign preparations are getting even more busy than I had guessed, and with that comes moving and job searching. I just have to remember:

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, July 5, 2013

One Shawl Down

Finished my Michele's Lace Wednesday afternoon. I had a teeny ball of yarn left that lasted 3 rows longer than I thought it would.


It still needs a good blocking, but I consider it done. 

Celebrated my country's independence with my cousin & her little ones. Definitely lots of fun. 


Linking up with Tami for FOFriday!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

More Shawls than I can count

Shawls have been the order of the day with me, as I have been trying several new patterns. I'm nearly finished with my Michele's Lace, and am planning on starting on another of Julie's designs, either Kendall's Lace or Leah's Lace.  I'm also working on a First Love, and just cast on a Summer Flies. And there's a lace shawlette that might be in progress.... So both my hooks and needles are flying!

Being bicraftual definitely has an advantage, as the yarn I'm using for Summer Flies is Candy Skein's June colorway Bubblegum Ice Cream and it is VERY variegated. Now, variegated yarns dont always play well in crochet patterns, so I switched to the knit pattern, where it does not overwhelm the pattern too much.

Summer Flies
using US size 5 circular needle
Candy Skein Yummy fingering Bubblegum Ice Cream


First Love
using US hook size H
Knit Picks Palette in Mulberry

Michele's Lace
using US hook size H
Serenity Sock dyed by me (shades of blue & purple)

Linking with Tami & Ginny for WIPW & Yarn-Along

Monday, July 1, 2013

Goal Setting

July Goals:
  • Finish the knit poncho that I didn’t finish last month
  • Make at least 5 craft show items (to beat last month’s total of 3)
  • Start on commissioned hat
  • Beat my dishcloth total from last month
  • Use at least 2000 yards from stash (down from last month because I know I’ll be really busy this coming month and I dont want to be too optimistic)
I'm a planner. I've made these July goals to guide my crafting for the month, and they are a bit lighter than my normal monthly craft goals because I know the next 2 month will be busy. However, I find it is still worth it. I just need to hold myself more accountable to checking back every once in a while to make sure I am staying on track.

June In: + 2618
June Out: -3448
June Total: -830 (not as good overall as previous months)

I love my stash of yarn, but I don't want to move it all. So the idea is to use up as much as I can, and start fresh in my new apartment. Hopefully it will work.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"