Wednesday Yarn Along

What I’m knitting: Knee highs

I’ve finished the mystery knit and am back to the knee highs. I’m now in a dilemma, as I’m out of yarn and have about 6-8 inches to go. A couple of weeks ago, John Arbon didn’t have it on their website, but now they’ve dyed some more. So the question  is do I unravel a bit of the other sock, or do I spend the eyewatering £16 to buy more and hope the dye lots are close enough? I wouldn’t normally spend £16 on yarn- the skein I have, I bought for about £6 at a yarn festival. What would you do in my place?

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What I’m reading: Finch, by Jeff Vandermeer

This is another sci fi book. I really enjoyed the Annihilation series by Vandermeer, so I thought I’d try this one out. It’s about a pair of detectives investigating a double murder in a world ruled by fungus. Yup, really. I’m not very far into it, but it’s quite interesting. I’m not entirely sold on it yet. Hopefully it’ll improve, though.

As always, check out the Yarn Along page on Ginny’s website to see what others are up to this week. And feel free to share what you’re working on in the comments!

Yarn along & teapot hat: better late than never

I know I’m meant to share my Yarn Along post on Wednesday, but it has been quite a busy week. At least I’ve remembered to do it now. 🙂

I also thought I’d take the opportunity to share a picture of the aforementioned teapot hat  made by my friend which, as I pointed out in the comments, is not shaped liked a teapot, but rather has a teapot motif. Sorry, I know you were all hoping to see a teapot on my head. I did once actually put a tea cozy on my head by accident, though fortunately there is no photographic reminder of that moment. Whew.

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The teapot hat pattern is the Tea Jenny hat by Kate Davies, if you’re interested in making it yourself. My friend has made at least 3 and says it’s really easy.

I’ve finally finished the first of my knee highs and have now started the second one. These are actually a very quick knit, but as I’ve been reading instead of knitting, they are taking longer than they normally would.

I’m a pretty indiscriminate reader, so please don’t judge me for reading M.C. Beaton! I just wanted to read something quick and mindless. I read another Hamish Macbeth story ages ago & remember liking it, but this one was really disappointing. The story was fine, but I think maybe it wasn’t edited very well. Toward the end it started flitting back and forth between different characters perspectives within the same chapter, without any sort of visual distinction. It was really offputting. No more Hamish Macbeth stories for me, I think.

What have you been reading or making this week?

Find out what others are doing at the main Yarn Along page.

Yarn Along: the one with yet more sci fi

Wow, is it Wednesday already? The weeks are just flying by these days. I know it’s not technically October yet, but October is so jam-packed for me that I’m already looking forward to it being over. Is it just me?

Knitting and reading are definitely helping me relax, which is extra important right now.

What I’m reading: In Other Worlds by Margaret Atwood

The subtitle of this is SF and the Human Imagination, and it’s another non-fiction book about the genre of science fiction. I say another because you may recall I read a book called The Stuff Our Dreams Are Made Of earlier this year. I’m about halfway through In Other Worlds now, and I much prefer it. It’s a collection of essays, divided into three parts. The first is her reflections on the genre of sci fi and why we are drawn to it, the second is individual pieces about sci fi works that are of personal significance to her, and the final she describes as tributes. In the words of the blurb, she “explores and critiques the form, and elucidates the differences – as she sees them – between ‘science fiction’ proper and ‘speculative fiction’, not to mention sword and sorcery, fantasy and slipstream fiction. Atwood’s a great writer, and this is interesting and thought-provoking and critical without being didactic or overly negative (which was one of my key problems with Disch).

What I’m knitting: Zitronenmelisse knee highs

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I’m really enjoying knitting these, though I’m starting to worry I might not actually have enough yarn. I can’t decide what to do about that. If anyone has ideas, I’ll happily take them!

Linking up with the Yarn Along. Let me know what you’re making or reading this week!

 

Wednesday yarn-along: the one with The Moth and a sock

There’s a very simple reason that I haven’t been posting about what I’ve been making recently, and it’s that I haven’t actually been making anything. I have been really tired for what feels like forever, so I’ve been using my energy to read instead. I finally cast onto a project again last week. It is a great feeling.

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But first, what I’m reading: The Moth, edited by Catherine Burns

The Moth is a compilation of 50 true stories. What I love about it is that they are stories, not essays. I like essays, too, but it’s nice to read something different. The Moth is a real-life storytelling event and podcast based originally on the Southern tradition of storytelling, where people would gather together on someone’s porch at night & just share stories as long as they liked. These stories are all excellent – surprising, pithy, and emotionally engrossing. I found myself laughing often, as well as welling up. The storytellers run a wide spectrum, from an astronaut to a war reporter to global wanderers, but while there is a name at the front, the biography is at the end. It’s great to see so many different lives being shared. It also really inspired me to think about my life, whether there are moments I can crystallize into a story myself.

What I’m knitting: Zitronenmelisse sock.

Sorry for the lack of pictures this week! It is getting darker already, sob. These are knee highs and I’m knitting them using some 4-ply alpaca/wool blend from Jon Arbon Yarns. I bought the yarn years ago at a wool festival, so I’m glad to finally be using it. It’s lovely and squishy and soft!

Linking up with the Yarn Along; do go check out what others are making & reading.

 

FO: Kokkeluri mittens

The mittens are finally finished, just in time to share them for a Wednesday Yarn Along. I am really happy with them. For once, I will have something to look forward to in the winter!

P1040367.JPGI should say that the reason these took so long was nothing to do with the pattern itself. Kate Davies clearly spent a lot of time designing them & writing clear instructions. But when you only knit on the train, it’s bound to take a little while to finish a project, regardless of size. These mitten instructions were easy to follow, and the chart was absolutely brilliant. I also love that there’s a list of links to videos for the particular techniques used throughout the book (Buachaille). I did struggle a little bit with the yarn I used, though, as it wasn’t very well spun & kept getting caught.

 

 

As for the reading part of the Yarn Along, I just finished reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter for a book club I participate in at work. The novel starts in 1964, with a doctor giving away his daughter (a twin) who was born with Down’s Syndrome. That sounds like a huge spoiler, but actually that is about as much as is given away in the Goodreads synopsis, so I don’t feel too guilty! The rest of the book follows the lives of the two children, the doctor, his wife, and the woman who raises the little girl for the next 25 years. To be honest, I was dreading reading this as I thought it was going to be saccharine & overly sentimental, but was pleasantly surprised. Instead it was genuinely moving, and was about secrets, connections, forgiveness, and human nature. The portrayal of Down’s Syndrome was exceptionally good, and the characters were well-rounded in general.

 

Back in the yarn-along

Confession: I haven’t made anything this year. At all. That’s why I haven’t been blogging about my makes. When I stop and think about it, it’s no wonder I’ve been so anxious for the past few months. I just haven’t felt like I’ve had time, although I’ve been reading loads instead.P1040186.JPG

Anyway, I’ve finally gotten back into knitting. I ordered Kate Davies’ latest book, Buachaille, and am making the Kokkeluri mittens. By the time they’re finished it’ll probably be too late for this year, but I’m still excited. I bought the yarn in America not long after I learned to knit & it’s been in my stash ever since. It’s 65% and 35% nettle! It’s really soft, though, and perfect for this pattern.

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I’m currently reading In the Beginning by Chaim Potok. Potok’s an overlooked author, but I do love his books. I felt obliged to buy this one when I found it for 25p in a charity shop. I hadn’t heard of it, but like most of his books it centers around a young Jewish boy, the son of immigrants, growing up in New York. Potok is very good at making you care about characters and really pulling you into a book. In the Beginning happens over a span of 10 years or so, and includes the duration of World War II (not just America’s entrance into it, either). It is about faith and love and family and pain and hope. It’s incredibly moving, especially when you start to think about what is still happening in regard to religious persecution.

Have you been making time to craft this year? Or have you read anything exceptional so far this year?

Linking up with the Yarn Along.

Wednesday yarn-along

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The shawl is still dragging on, but I think I’m nearly done now. I’ve been sidelined by sewing so I’m going to blame this delay on my blouse! Isn’t the shawl pretty, though? I’m quite pleased with it so far.

What I’m reading: The Orchard of Lost Souls, by Nadifa Mohamed

This book was on display at my library last week, recommended by a member of staff. I admit I am a sucker for book recommendations. I don’t think I keep up-to-date enough to find new books on my own, so it’s often a case of randomly pulling things off shelves or following recommendations (or a combination of the two). The Orchard of Lost Souls is set in a war-torn Somalia and is not an easy read. It is the story of 3 Somalian women, and sadly full of brutal scenes, even though there are many beautiful descriptions as well. I am a huge fan of reading about new places, though, so this book is great from that perspective. Even though I haven’t finished it, I would say it’s definitely worth reading.

Linking up with the Yarn Along.