Something Else Sunday #10

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Well, this is about the extent of my fall decorating. Hehe. Next year…next year!

This week…well. It’s sucked, mostly, to be honest. I didn’t get much reading done. Work was just blah. Issues is…issues. I have them. 😛 My writing mojo has officially up and left me, despite receiving some lovely snail mail. I only sent one letter…apologies to all my lovely penpals. 😦 I’ve just had no inspiration and my overall mood has been rather on the blue side and I hate writing letters that sound that way.

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I did finish this little guy. He’s not perfect but I think he’s cute – especially for my first finished crochet project in about 7 years! Edited to add credit where credit is due: the pattern is Foxy Fox Lovey, by Briana Olsen. 🙂 The granny squares from a couple of weeks ago never got finished into anything, sadly. Maybe one day I’ll find the motivation to weave in all those ends. Or not. 😛

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Also went to see this re-enactment of the Battle of Nakdong River, which was pretty cool and included paratroopers and the South Korean Air Force’s “Black Eagles.” I was actually really impressed by the fighters…I’ve seen quite a few air shows, but never a performance of 8 fighters flying in formation.

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Books! I received TWO book boxes in the mail this week, both of which made me squeal and dance up and down. I already reviewed the September Lit-Cube, and this week a review of the September OwlCrate will be coming. 😀 I’m also in the middle of The Dream Thieves. I’ve kind of been dragging my feet on it, purely because I’m enjoying it and I really like the vibe all the characters have right now and I’m kind of scared to see what happens.

September is almost over, can you believe it? I’m going to take a step back from my current TBR list in October, and read mostly atmospheric, creepy stuff that’s been somewhere in my list but put off for the right time. Like Dracula. I’ve never read the original Dracula, can you believe it? I’ve been dredging up recommendations for various sources and am putting together a list. They won’t all necessarily be HALLOWEEN themed, but atmospheric enough to invoke the spirit, if that makes sense.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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Something Else Sunday #8

I seem to have a trend of these being late now. Oops. Also, I only got ONE review posted last week! But you know, life happens. This weekend though, I did get TWO books finished!

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Here’s Sir Tristan being cute as can be while I start on my new BIG project. The claws are not actually hooked into my leg, just lightly into my jeans. Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did a lot of making on little stuff this week. Blanket squares, test skeins. However, I also managed to finish the first re-knit sleeve for my Vivian.

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Also finished the first skein – a mini one, to test out the ply, etc. – on my BIG project.

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This is eventually going to become a Thoth shawl.

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Which has this awesome phases of the moon design.

I also decided on a whim to try to pick up my crochet hook for the first time in about 6 or 7 years. And I’m feeling the beginnings of a relapse. I can’t stop looking at crocheted blankets on Revelry.

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Then there was a tiny little bookmark for a friend, in a lovely autumnal orange. I’ve been wanting to use that word all week. Autumnal. It looks so lovely written down but it’s such a bitch to say, my tongue always trips over it.

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Hmm. So maybe all that explains why I didn’t get but one review written! Haha. However, I went on a slight – just a slight – Terry Pratchett binge and finished two books in as many days. One of my goals for this year was to read through the ones sitting on my shelf that I’ve never got to, so this was actual progress (covers link to GoodReads).

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Next up is a re-read of Sourcery, and then on to the next one I haven’t read, Wyrd Sisters. In the meantime, I’m reading the 4th in Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series, Royal Blood. Which is amusing so far…I’m hoping it doesn’t delve into the supernatural, but stays in the scientific and rational side of things like they’ve done so far. This one is set in Transylvania, so we’ll see.

I can’t wait to see what everyone is reading this week! Off to poke through my Bloglovin’ feed. 😀 Have a great week!

 

Something Else Sunday #4

It’s Sunday again! Every week I am so excited that it’s the weekend but…how is it Sunday, AGAIN? Haha.

This week I actually have something to share that I am SUPER excited about! Back in February I came to a standstill on this massive quilt for my husband. It’s in honor of his military service (obviously, I think? haha). I made a lot of mistakes and the design is much more traditional than I usually go for. It suits my husband well, though. Lots of new skills on this one. It was my first time with applique’ (the stars), and my first time trying to quilt anything this large. My biggest mistake was trying to free-motion stitch in the ditch. OMG. Rage. So much rage. I will never, ever do that again. In the end I just had to go with the squiggly lines and call it part of the design. Makes it look more “rustic,” I guess. *eyeroll* But, DH seems to love it even with all the mistakes, and that’s the most important part.

Also received some lovely snail mail this week! I have some very talented friendship check out the brush script and lovely handwriting!

I sent out quite a bit too! Well, ok. This is what I wrote over the weekend and is going out Monday, but still.


Something Sunday wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from Sir Tristan! He was shoving his head into my chin while I tried to take this picture because I was neglecting my dutiful scratching of HIS chin. Spoiled baby.

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Upcoming reviews this week:

I’m trying for 3 reviews this week! I’d been going with 2, but…I just feel like 3 this week. Hopefully I’ll actually get to it!

  1. The Vanishing Throne, by Elizabeth May
  2. The Hatching, by Ezekiel Boone
  3. Alice, by Christina Henry

 

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Facts About Me


This TTT pick from over at The Broke and the Bookish this week! Link to be added once that side of the world wakes up to Tuesday (it’s almost noon here).

  1. I’ve been reading pretty much non-stop since I was 4. My mom taught me how to read. Little did she know what she was creating…
  2. I have a B.A. in English, but since I graduated in 2010 have worked as a phlebotomist and EMT. I love words and books, but I can’t make it my JOB. At least not currently. I get too twitchy if I do nothing but stare at a computer screen ALL the time.
  3. I think animals are better than people. About 90% of the time. I’m really a dog person, even though I’ve only had cats for the past 4 years.
  4. I like eating canned black olives straight out of the can.
  5. I love trees. I am convinced that somehow, there are spirits in trees that I could talk to if I could just figure it out. 
  6. I would like to get rid of television. Permanently.
  7. The first movie I saw in theater was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I was 20.
  8. Besides reading, my next favorite things to do are anything outside (unless it involves LARGE quantities of mud, but a little is ok), knitting/spinning, and writing letters. Some of my best friends I’ve only ever “met” in writing. 
  9. I don’t plan to have children. I love my friends’ kids and have a lovely, adorable goddaughter (that I sadly haven’t met in person yet), but feel no need to procreate. And don’t tell me getting older will change my mind. I’m 28. I’m child-free by choice and my husband is 100% okay (maybe we should say thrilled – he already has a child from a previous marriage, and said kid is awesome but also almost an adult so…much awkwardness would ensue) with that.
  10. I’ve wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail AND be a medical doctor since I was 11 years old.

Well, that was fun and oh-so-very random! Can’t wait to read all the others that come from the link-up. 😊😄📚😜

Something-Else Sunday

Not really related to books, just my life. Not sure if this will be a continuous thing, or just for today – because I have about FIVE books I need to write reviews for, but right now I am taking a deep breath before the oncoming week hits. Yes. Oncoming. Because right now my next week feels like a train about to hit me. I did something to my hip about a month ago, and despite being on light activity for that time, it hasn’t healed. At all. Went back to the doctor on Friday and was put on doctor’s orders for NO activity, which is just about killing this outdoors-loving bookworm. But considering even a few minutes of activity makes me feel as achy and decrepit as I imagine a 90-year-old woman would feel…yep. Parking my butt in a chair and tearing through as many books as humanly possible seems to be the only way to deal.

Anyway, let’s start with the cuteness that is Sir Tristan. Because he makes us smile! And want to kiss his fuzzy little head! And, erm, buy bookmarks in his honor. Because – orange cat butt. How could I resist? Get your own from the My Bookmark shop. They’re so cute. A little pricey, yes, but they are handmade and the bookmark itself is metal and very sturdy. No affiliation, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE them. This won’t be my last. Wait, that was book related. Oh well. Books infiltrate my entire life! And I like it. Mmmhm.

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Something else…spinning! One of my many textile/fiber related creative pursuits. The Tour de France is in full swing right now, and as such so is the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry. I’m spinning for a couple of different teams, the Fat Cat Knits dyer team, and the HPKCHC (Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup) team. So far I’ve managed to spin a little bit (one day it was only about 3 yards of a single) every day, but only have one completed yarn to show for it.

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This lovely is from some of Fat Cat Knits’ fiber.

Progress on my second yarn. 2 plies completed now...one to go.

Progress on my second yarn. 2 plies completed now…one to go.

Tristan takes his supervising duties very seriously.

Tristan takes his supervising duties very seriously.

I’ve been rather remiss in my snail mail the past couple of weeks. But, at least, my rate of incoming/outgoing has been about the same, so my reply pile has stayed at about the same number! Hopefully my letter-writing mojo will return this week.

This week's outgoing.

This week’s outgoing.

And one more kitty pic, just for smiles. Because he is my little ray of sunshine, every day.

My little snuggler.

My little snuggler.

Bug Warmer Handspun Project

I’ve been holding onto this project to share for awhile now, as I wanted the recipient to have it in hand before posting here. So without further ado…

I started with this fiber, 80/20  superwash merino sparkly nylon blend from Ginny at Fat Cat Knits in the gradient colorway Mon Ami.

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It spun up beautifully, the smoothest merino I’ve ever spun. Usually merino doesn’t behave well for me, it clumps and sticks together horribly. But this was an absolute dream and I spun the entire braid in 3 days. I can’t say enough good things about Ginny’s fiber prep and her color sense.

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I’m still not quite back in my grove with spinning. I was aiming for a worsted/aran weight yarn and ended up with DK. Oops. If the fiber hadn’t fluffed up a TON it would’ve been sport weight. I got 330 yards of 2-ply. I tried to keep the colors together as much as possible but of course there was some areas where, as I was plying, I could see there was just way too much mismatching of the sections, so I broke the ply. It killed me to throw away what probably ended up as about 30 yards, but I was a lot happier with the finished yarn. I could have split the top in half exactly in the middle and had a one-way gradient, but I split it lengthwise and so had a purple-blue-yellow/orange-pink-yellow/orange-blue-purple yarn.

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While I was overall very happy with the yarn, I still see a lot of inconsistencies in my singles and my plying is too loose. In my opinion.

Regardless, I picked the Bug Warmer baby sweater pattern (free on Ravelry) and away we went! It was a quick, easy knit and made my happy with every single stitch. I finished it in a couple more days and then after blocking it to even it all out – something I’ve found almost entirely necessary with handspun…it helps even with the more evenly spun yarn, but especially with my slightly uneven handspun – got it off in the mail to my lovely, adorable little goddaughter who looks like she will absolutely ROCK it.

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None of the pictures show the sparkle very well…it just looks like little bits sticking out but it’s really quite sparkly.

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I love how the colors blended right here.

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Ta-da! Oh, I did add a little leftover commercial yarn on the edges. AND, since I ended up with so much yardage I only used about half of the skein (hence the one-way gradient in the sweater). So now I’m trying to find something to make with the other half for either myself or Baby Girl’s mama.

Creative Madness

Sometimes I think being creative is a curse. I mean, normal people don’t seem to wake up with a million projects and ideas running through their head. They don’t seem to prefer making things to socializing, or eating (though I do get HANGRY when I’m in a the midst of a project and have to stop). When I get in the grip of an idea or project it literally almost eats me alive. I don’t want to do or think about anything else. I really do try to balance it out with other things. Work, of course, but time with my husband too doing other things (movies, dinner). It’s just SO HARD to not be able to do it all at once!

I’m mainly talking about my quilting bug. Knitting, to me, is an inherently slower process and so the grip doesn’t take hold in quite the same way, though sometimes it does turn me into a very monogamous knitter.

Don’t worry, the machine wasn’t running. He was just spot-checking.

This quilt has been in the works for over 2 years. I bought the fabric in the winter of 2013, because I wanted to make a kind of tribute quilt for my then-boyfriend-now-husband, for his military service. Then all kinds of crap happened and it got put in a box. I hadn’t even finished cutting it. When my sewing machine arrived here this was the first project I thought of, but it still took me months to feel ready to pull it out and go to work.

I’m using the Quilted in Honor line of batiks from Island Batik. The red poppies especially just seemed perfect to me. My husband has given up a lot to serve his country, and several of his friends gave their lives. Art is a memorial, to me…and I hope that this quilt when finished will be that for him too.

“Done, Mama. Done for tonight. Pet me. Mama. Mama. Mama, STOP!”

Tristan was not impressed by how many hours I sat at the kitchen table, late into the night. He finally resorted to trying to grab all my tools with his paws. After about half an hour of this, I surrendered for the day.

Inspector General of Projects

IMG_1972    This is where my progress sits at present. All the blocks and sashing strips for a queen size quilt are finished (and pressed, though the sashing hadn’t been in this photo). Next up is appliqueing 99 stars to 3 1/2 inch squares…I’m kind of scared. This will be my first attempt at applique, and it will not be over quickly. Husband promises to help cut them all out though, and I’ve been reading tons of online tutorials so hopefully it won’t be too painful.

This is the quilt that is next up for quilting. I finished the top about two and a half years ago but never got to the quilting. I’m trying to decide what designs I want to use. Much doodling. Hehe.

Finishing the Things

Pretty proud of all the stuff I managed to accomplish during the last 3 months as a result of participating in the HPKCHC! Ravelry is such an awesome place. 😀 So, pictures.

yarma_medium2Socks!

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Boy hat!

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Baby sleepsack!

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Dishcloth!

Halloween Sampler 2015

Massive Halloween sampler!

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Yarn!

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More yarn!

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And more!

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Last yarn!

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Sweater vest!

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Baby hat!

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And last but not at all least (see the beads?), Mr. Penguin ornament!!

It feels so good to be making things again. Hope everyone else had a great November, I’ll be back with holiday stuffs postings soon!

The Wheel Turns

I love this time of year. This time and spring makes me feel the most connected with history, both my own personal history and the history of the world. I like the old traditions of Halloween, or Samhain as my Irish and Scottish ancestors probably would have called it. All the modern day gore and zombies aren’t what I love about the season. It’s the idea of the thinning of the veil, of our loved ones perhaps being able to see us or maaaaaybe even communicate with us that pulls me. My dear grandfather passed near this time, on October 6, 12 years ago, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Every October, I miss him and wish I could talk to him, even once more.

Samhain also seems to be my time to finish things. Around this time I feel a huge push to get things done, largely because I want to start new ones. But I really think there’s a desire for closure that pushes me too. Anyway, here is my large finish for this year’s Halloween season.

Halloween Sampler 2015

I’ll get some better pictures once it’s framed, but I’m so damn proud of it. It won’t hang on the wall this year, but definitely next. My husband even likes it and kept asking me if it was going to be done on time. I’d pick up another project and he would ask if it was finished. All kinds of motivation there!

Hope you all have a very happy, blessed Samhain.

Where I Am

I’ve been sleeping a lot lately, truth be told. But tonight I’ve been awake since 2 a.m. courtesy of a migraine prompted by any number of things. I sat in the shower for an hour and a half, and now I’m sitting with a much-dimmed laptop screen (the distraction is worth the slight pain increase from the light) on the couch with a candle burning.

Misery loves company so I’m sharing mine with you. 😛

On the bright side, my first month back at playing the HPKCHC went well. I finished a hat, a baby sleepsack, and a pair of socks. I started another pair of socks but didn’t get them finished. Also I started a “Mission,” a larger project that will take longer than a month. So there’s been lots of knitting, and a few other things.

 

 

The finished socks

The finished socks

Finished hat and husband being goofy. :D <3

Finished hat and husband being goofy. 😀 ❤

Unfinished socks.

Unfinished socks.

Start of the Mission project.

Start of the Mission project.