Wednesday WIP, Books, and a Playlist

I really miss those Yarn Alongs that included what we were all reading so I’m going to just try to keep it going here.  I’m always looking for a good books to add to my Goodreads queue so if you’ve read something you loved, leave comments or add me to your Friends on Goodreads.

I finished On the Rocks last week and LOVED it. It had a definite Elin Hildebrand vibe to it, transported to Newport instead of Nantucket. I love both spots so it worked for me either way.  I kept asking my husband if the guy’s character was accurate (read the book to find out) and he agreed it was.  I was sorry I finished it, truth be told.

I just finished reading Thirteen Reasons Why. It had been on my To Read list for a while after Leslie Ann had posted about it a while ago. My daughter watched the show on Netflix and loved it, too. Being the English major I am, I had to read the book before I watched the show. Actually, we all got an email from the Superintendent of Schools about the show and how some parents were concerned it romanticized suicide. I’m guessing they never read the book.  Not seeing much romanticizing going on.

So today’s fresh start read is Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown. I’m on page 4 of this Early American story set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony but I have a good feeling about it thus far. It centers on a Native American abduction of a colonist, real life Mary Rowlandson, and her adaptation to her life in captivity. My own ancestors were killed and/or abducted in the attack  on Fort Seybert in West Virginia (James Dyer is my 5th Great Grandfather) so it has an added bit of interest for me.  Hopefully it will be a good book.

Now onto my Wednesday WIP…I’m wrapping up the third color in my Find Your Fade Shawl (Ravelry page here).  I’m not sure how I feel about that first golden color, but I love the white pops further in.  It’s taking a very, very long time to do this even though it’s mostly garter stitch and a small amount of (easy) lacework.  I’m thinking of what I’m going to wear this with because the colors are a huge departure from my normal colors but I can’t wait to wrap up in it in the middle of a cold New England winter.

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As promised, as I was walking the neighborhood with the dog this morning, I was listening to music and decided to make a playlist of summery/Fourth of July tunes. Warning: This is meant to satisfy the varied tastes of my family and our visiting exchange student. Hope you enjoy!

Yarn Along :: February 22, 2017

Click on the image to see more at SmallThings
Click on the image to see more at SmallThings

Well, this was meant to go up yesterday but I’ve been battling a migraine since going back to school.  I keep meaning to check if it’s a full moon!  Truly, though, the kids aren’t the cause of the migraine but their exuberance makes it difficult to cope at times.

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We had a long weekend for President’s Day and headed up the coast to Marblehead for a few days.  I have a lot of pictures I will get to eventually, but it was a lovely weekend exploring, knitting, and reading. A notice of Philippa Gregory’s new-ish novel popped up in my Facebook feed and when I went to download it to my Kindle, I found a book just before it in the Cousins’ series. The King’s Curse tells the story of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, and I knew I’d just have to read this before moving on to Three Sisters, Three Queens. I wasn’t disappointed and found myself reaching for the Kindle more than my knitting ~ gasp!

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When we got home, my pre-order of A Piece of the World downloaded to my Kindle. I heard an interview with Christina Baker Kline on NPR last Thursday as I was driving home from school and got hooked. The novel is a fictionalized account of Anna Christina Olsen, the woman portrayed (although it is technically Wyeth’s wife) in the painting Christina’s World. There is such a mixture of old New England grit, a connection to my beloved Nathaniel Hawthorne, the history of Salem…it had everything going for it.  I’m now about 30% into it and I am not disappointed.

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth

The knitting this week is focused on a Sugar Swirls baby blanket in Cascade 220 Fingering. It’s a nice break from knitting lots and lots of socks for the past year. I do have a rather large stash of sock yarn, though, so expect to see more socks here soon.  The photo above is reading very, very red but the yarn colors are a nice fawny tan, bubblegum pink, and deep magenta. Clearly it’s for a baby girl. 🙂

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Yarn Along :: February 9, 2017

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Joining Ginny this week for Yarn Along. I’ve been posting more on Instagram lately. If I were to post only knitting here there would be few and far between going up because I seems to have lost most of my knitting speed.  I think the fact that I have books to go along with these posts is the only thing that save it because it really feels, to me, that I have same sock to show each week.

So true to form, it’s another red and blue sock. I had stopped to work on a baby blanket only to frog that after goofing up the first color change. So I decided to go back to the sock (no. 2!) and get that done. Yesterday was a sick day for me but I was too sick to even knit much. I’d hoped to knit 400 stitches because that seemed like such a massive number on a sock. In truth, it was six and a quarter rows. And I only made it through about 200 before I needed to lay down again.  Today is a snow day ~ our first here in Connecticut ~ and I’m determined to get down to the heel flap.

IMG_4216Pattern: Susan B Anderson’s How I Make My Socks (link here)
Yarns: Malabrigo Sock in Ravelry Red and Azule
Needles: Size 2 DPN

I just started this book, which I think is Young Adult fiction that I had purchased for Maia. So far it’s good although I’m only a few pages in. I needed a break from War & Peace which is definitely not going as quickly, easily, or as enjoyably as Anna Karenina did. I am gathering up every book I own that I never got around to reading and slowly making my way through all of them, then dedicating myself to only reading books from the library. I love books, the gathering and handling of them, but they quickly overrun our home.

Last Yarn Along of 2016

Click on the image to see more at SmallThings
Click on the image to see more at Ginny’s blog

I started my 2017 Resolutions early.  I am your classic introvert who would probably never leave the house if she could get away with that. Last week I joined two (yes, I said two) groups through meetup.com. One is a book club that I won’t be able to attend until the end of January because of our yearly trek to Madison Square Garden, but the other I managed to go to last night. I found a knitting group that meets at a local Starbucks every week. Apparently they were the other half of the gromp I used to be in that kind of fizzled and regroups…but I never quite made it to those meetings again.

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If you have been following the saga of my New York Giants/Hanukkah socks on Instagram, you probably know that these have been working for a really long time. In fact I started them just before my house then went to Nigeria at the end of November. Being an elementary school teacher at Christmas time is not for the faint of heart and it took up most of  most of my mental energy.  Clearly these are not going to be given before Hanukkah is over, but I am trying my hardest to get them finished. When I went to the knitting group last night I was about a third of the way through the heel flap, and when I left I was working on the gusset. Go me!

These are tried-and-true socks from Susan B Anderson’s How I Make My Socks on her blog. The yarn is Malabrigo, which I love with all of my heart. Just kidding, but not quite.

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My other goal, although not quite a resolution, is to read War and Peace over Christmas break. I’m on page 4 and we go back on January 2 so I probably am not going to make that goal. But I’m going to plug away at it because Anna Karenina turned out to be an amazing novel.  Let’s just hope that the group chooses an easy read for the January meeting.

Yarn Along :: October 13, 2016

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I’m joining Ginny over at Small Things this week.  Head over if you’d like to see some more knitting projects and reading.

I’ve made it to Wednesday after a day off and two grueling days of school.  My little second graders are in the midst of cognitive testing which is a new thing for them.  It’s an annual test for this grade level in our Archdiocese and they’re doing really well but our schedule is a little off kilter.  These guys crave routine.  Well, their teacher does, too.

I cast on these socks a little over two weeks ago, I think, but they’d taken a back seat to sickness.  I picked them back up a few days ago and have been making good progress.  I love the yarn; it is so squishy that I can tell I’m going to love these socks.

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Pattern: Monkey Socks (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Lambstrings Ewetopia Sock
Needles: Size 2 DPNs

I also finished A Desperate Fortune (yay!) although I admist to skimming two chapters of modern day that were a total snooze.  I liked it, I suppose.  I went back and forth over what to read next until I walked into Barnes & Noble last weekend during Educator Week.  Yep, 25% off EVERYTHING so I splurged on a hardcover book.  The Couple Next Door is very good so far, a bit cringy and it’s sucked me in totally.  I’m budgeting knitting time so I have enough time to read before bed.  I suppose that’s the mark of a good book for me.

Yarn Along :: September 29, 2016

Woohoo! September is almost behind us.  This has been the longest first month of school since I was teaching literature at an urban adult ed facility.  That was a serious learning curve.  My new class of second graders is really young so I’m needing to refocus my efforts.  I’ve also been sick for nearly a week now which isn’t helping my mood.  And we lost our Spanish/Music teacher so I have a 20 minute break (lunch) for three straight days. Did I mention I didn’t feel well?

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Joining Ginny this week

My niece’s Azul Pullover is done and waiting for me to sew on the buttons. (I should really do that.  It would only take ten minutes at the most.) I cast on for two different sock patterns about twice each.  I’m on CO three for Monkey socks and am determined to keep my brain focused on it.  That yo2 bit confused me.  Cold medicine is not a knitter’s friend it seems.

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Yep, same picture as last time but if I showed you what it looks like now, after cast on no. 2, it would look the same. Keepin’ it real.

I’ve been reading A Desperate Fortune about the Jacobites in France, kind of interwoven with a modern day woman with Aspergers.  I like the storyline with Mary Dundas set in the 1730’s but I’m having a hard time with the budding romance of the modern translator.  I’m still plugging along with it although I’ve been sorely tempted to abandon it.  It’s just not that interesting.  I just don’t like abandoning books. *sigh*

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I downloaded Katrina Kenison’s Gift of an Ordinary Day and I think I may abandon this in favor of that.  I’m in a strange place with two older kids, not really missing having little kids, but adjusting to this sense that my own children are journeying towards their own lives.  Which is the point, of course, and I realize that. But it’s also a bit melancholy.  Although I do love having teenagers ~ it’s no where near as terrifying as I’d thought it would be.  I’m hoping Katrina’s book is just as powerful for me as Mitten Strings for God was when they were little.

Yarn Along :: July 13, 2013

Click the image to get more knitting and reading inspiration
Click the image to get more knitting and reading inspiration

 

NO SOCKS! They are done, blocked, and in the drawer awaiting cold weather. —->happy dance<—-

I’ve had a ball of Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce sitting in my yarn stash since January. Ok, I realize that is not a long time but it was on my mind so I needed to find a project for it. And socks were not what I wanted to cast on. So I hunted on Ravelry for a free shawl. I stumbled upon Multnomah which has been in my queue on and off since I heard about it on a podcast a while back. So I figured, why not? I cast on Thursday evening and have enjoyed working on it in the car and the hotels.  Maia’s also gotten me hooked on Supernatural so I work on it while we binge watch (it’s on Netflix, too).  I figured that I have another 34 rows to get me to the 229 stitches I need before starting the lace.  At that point, I’ll need to wall myself up in my bedroom and not be disturbed.

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I finished Winter Street by Elin Hildebrand.  I’d read the second book, realized it was a trilogy, read the first book, and not rushing to read No. 3 although I did like 1 and 2.  So I’m reading Moby Dick.  I’ve started this book six times but am determined to finish it.  It’s an internal English major issue.  Also, it’s free on the Kindle.  It will probably mess up my 2016 book challenge because I’m fairly certain I’ll lose time.  Then again…

Yarn Along :: June 29, 2016

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I’m still working away on those pesky socks so I thought I’d share an FO just off the needles. If you’re an Instagram follower, you’ve already seen this.

Last week, someone I follow on Instagram posted a “What’s in my Bag” photo that had the coolest little earbuds case. She got it at Target but they haven’t had them in a long time. Since I’d just done a massive purge, I knew I had lots of yarn scraps and figured there had to be something available online to knit. A quick search on Ravelry, and I was in business.

This is a super quick knit, although I don’t have time to just sit and knit so it took me a couple of days. All totaled, it’s just an hour or two for this project.

Pattern: Earbud Pouch by Mary Keenan (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Knit Picks Hand Painted Stroll Sock Weight (discontinued color way)

Needles: DPN 2.5mm, US Size 1

So the book I’m reading is about winter but winter on Nantucket which, for me means summer. I have seasonal books and writers. Elin Hindebrand is definitely a summer writer. It’s an easy beach read and I love the descriptions of Nantucket life and how fully she develops her characters.

Summer Yarn Along

Shall I do it? Manage regular posting, that is?  I’m trying my hand at scheduling posts to see how that goes.


I am currently on sock no. 2 after breaking for a baby sweater, ordering another ball of this yarn that no longer seems to be carried in stores (thank you, Amazon Prime 💙), and various graduation ceremonies. The heel is turned and the gusset decreased so I assume this will be wrapped up by week’s end.

After reading Heather’s post on Instagram about being in the woods reading Stephen King, and listening to a bear’s breathing, I became obsessed with getting a copy of Revival. Like most of Stephen King’s books, it is starting slowly but I’m sure the story will get going soon enough. This is a manageable length, rather than my 2,000+ reading marathons.

Yarn Along :: February 10, 2015

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Yesterday was a lovely mail day for me.  A second skein of Spud & Chloe Stripey Fine to finish Maia’s Rose City Roller Socks (I think I’m at about 80% now) and two new books to add to the “to-read” pile.  Actually, Wuthering Heights is a re-read from many years ago but I’ve fallen in love with these new editions being put out and decided to start adding in some classic hardcovers to my bookshelves.  I decided to finish Longbourne after reading The Midwife’s Revolt .  A lot of the books talk about basic homekeeping in the 17th and 18th centuries which got me thinking of the way Jo Baker described the housekeeping of Longbourne and…there you go, an Amazon order is born.

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Knowing that book orders never come as soon as you wish them to, unless you’re going digital, I needed something to read as soon as The Midwife’s Revolt was done.  I needed something short and debated between Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey.  I’d read both several years ago (Before Children) but didn’t remember it as well as other Austen novels.  I’ve been enjoying it, and have been flipping through all of my old Jane Austen Knits, as well.

The socks are knitting up quickly now that I have the second skein.  I think I have about an inch left before the toe decreases and then I can pick back up with the Through the Loops Mystery Sock Knit Along.  It’s a lovely pattern but the most complicated pattern I’ve done in socks.  I’ve messed it up twice now so, while we’re technically nearing the last of the clues, I’ve yet to successfully get through the leg.  Oh well, it will be worth it in the end and then I will take a much needed break from socks to dive into one of Kate Davies’ sweater patterns for Maia.  Knitting for the boys just isn’t as much fun.