Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads | May 2022

Hello and welcome to a midmonth check-in! I just wanted to take a moment to share what I am currently reading and what I am currently working on craft wise as well. This month has already flown by, I have already finished a few books and projects that you will see in my Monthly Digest post for the month, but I am still reading and working away on other projects and books currently.

My Current Reads

Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 1 by Kentaro Miura, Jason DeAngelis (Translator), I just started reading this so I am not too far into it , but the illustration style is great! It can be graphic though, so be warned! There is a lot going on so you just keep wanting to turn the pages and get sucked in for sure.

Other than this, I am planning on picking up The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite, who wrote My Sister, the Serial Killer, which I LOVED! So I am really looking forward to reading this because her thriller style is unique. Even if you know what you are picking up, she still manages to surprise you. For me, this is a HUGE plus. Even thrillers that don’t give away huge plot points I feel like I can easily predict since I read so many of them. Braithwaite on the other hand can tell you a ton about what is going to happen, but still takes me on a ride!

My Current WIPs

Body Language Cardigan by Knits N Knots, I am finally working on anther crochet project! I have not done crochet for a while, but I have missed it. I decided on this pattern because it looks nice and cozy, but also lets me practice some seaming since it is made in pieces. I am hoping to finish it before it gets too hot and I wont want to touch it and it will be ready for next fall. I am currently working on the back panel and the largest for this sweater. I feel like once I finish this panel the rest will fly!

Crochet project, showing the start of the back panel

My on the go project has been my Rainbow Vanilla Socks, no pattern followed for this. I am just knitting based off memory of knitting other socks. I am at the heel on both of the socks currently, I like to work both socks and keep them at the same sections so I finish them close together instead of getting with burn out when I have one totally complete sock an one not even started.

Rainbow knitted socks, in progress.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Let's Talk · Reading Challenges

First Goal Check in for 2022!

Hello and welcome to my first check in with my 2022 goals! I was planning on doing this check in a bit earlier, but time got away from me. I must also admit I have not looked at any of these goals since writing this post back in December, so this should be interesting!

Reading Goals

Read 6 non-fiction books, I have read a total of 4 non-fiction books! I am well on my way to achieve this goal

Read the International Booker Prize Shortlist, I have read 2 of the 6, so I feel like I am doing well with this goal as well.

Get owned TBR under 15 books, I am currently at about 20 books, so I am getting close!

Life Goals

See a new place, I ended up visiting about 4 new yarn shops this year. Not quite what I had in mind for this goal, but technically I did do it.

Teach myself something new, this year I have learned how to do color work, cables, and bobbles! I also took a class relating to researching genealogy and learned a lot in regards to that as well!

Maker Goals

Knit a sweater, achieved! I ended up knitting a Ranunculus which you can see a picture of in my post entitled, Monthly Digest | April 2022. I am really happy with how it came out!

Knit 6 pairs of socks, so far I have created 2 pairs of socks. I am in the middle of my third so I feel like I am making good time with this goal.

Crochet a sweater, I have yet to do this one, but I have plans to crochet one in May 2022. I am crossing my fingers that I actually get the time to do this.

Create 10 things with my hands, as of writing this I have created 6 items. These include; shawls, socks, cowls, and a sweater.

Goal Count

Completed: 3

Not Completed: 6

I have successfully achieved 3 of my 9 goals for this year. This is actually great in my eyes due to the fact we are 1/3 of the way through the year and I completed 1/3 of my goals. As for the goals I have not achieved I seemed to be making good progress to where I don’t feel like I am behind on any of them just yet.

I really hope your 2022 is going well and you are working towards all of your goals!

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | May 2022

Hello and welcome to a bit of a planning post for the month of May! This month I am planning on doing quite a few things, but also trying to make it a priority not to do too much and get overwhelmed. It is really easy with the beautiful weather to say yes to too many things.

Reading Plans

Unfortunately, last month I did not get to read Berserk Deluxe Vol. 1 in its entirety. Due to this I really would like to get that completed. Other than that I don’t have any specific books I want to read in May. I have been doing well with not really saying I need to read X,Y,Z the past few months. Since it is working so well, I don’t want to mess with it.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I really want to finish working on my Out-Stranding by Christie Archer, which is a color work and textured shawl. I am planning on finish it within the first half of the month so I can move on to a bigger project. The project I want to get started after that is the Body Language Cardigan by Knits N Knots, I have not worked on a crochet project in a while and I have had the yarn for this sitting around since late last year. I want to get it done so I can wear it in the fall and maybe a bit before the Summer fully hits. Other than that I am just working on some vanilla socks.

Random Goals

This month I really want to have a picnic. I know it is a really silly goal, but I really enjoy having a good meal with good people outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather before it gets way to hot to function. I also would love to get my tomato garden all set up and reading to go as well. Every year I grow tomatoes and I am planning to continue this year. I just need to get new planters and soil, mine ended up breaking last year because they grew too large.

I hope you all have a really amazing May ahead of you! Do you have any fun plans coming up this month?

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | April 2022

Hey all and welcome to a bit of a review of the previous month! Spring has officially sprung bringing with it a ton of rain and pollen. While I did really enjoy falling asleep to the steady rain this past month, I am not too thrilled with the pollen that is making me sneeze left and right. But, I will say overall this month has kept me busy in a really good way!

Reading

The first book I read this month was The War of the Poor by Èric Vuillard. I originally picked this book up because I read a book by the author in the past. While I really enjoyed the writing style of this book, I was not too keen on there not being footnotes or endnotes to support their nonfiction book. I will be honest though, I am not sure if the intention of this book was meant to be nonfiction as well so I decided to do a little digging. The reason I had the expectations of this book being nonfiction is due to it’s tags on goodreads; History, Nonfiction, French History, but on the publishers site is quoted as saying, “A dazzling piece of historical re-imaginingPan Macmillan. So, I feel like individuals are mislabeling this historical fiction novella as nonfiction, which is unfortunate. Obviously, this is no fault of the author by any means, but it does change how I see this novella. The writing was engaging to say the least. This was a topic I studied a lot during my time in University, but it was really interesting seeing it portrayed in this manner. Even though I read about this time in history I was not bored or felt like I was experiencing Déjà vu. I read it in two sittings and I only put it down the first time because I needed to get to sleep. Overall, I ended up giving the book 3 stars!

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

I completed two large projects this month, the first being a Ranunculus, my first wearable and I am actually quite proud of it. I ended up wearing it the day after I finished it! I can see why so many people love this pattern, it was a project I never hesitated to pick up and it worked up quite quickly. It had some new things I needed to learn, but I am always open to learn something new.

Ranunculus Sweater – Short Sleeves

The second big project I finished was my Saraya Shawl, which I plan on wearing to a friends wedding later this Spring. This pattern was written by Saysha Greene and was published in Worsted. It was a really fun knit that challenged me, but didn’t leave me burnt out.

Saraya Shawl

Life

This month I did a lot of fun things, especially since the weather started to warm up. I had a really lovely date with my boyfriend to celebrate our anniversary where we got to have a really delicious meal while enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors. Then we adventured to our favorite ice cream shop and enjoyed them while hanging out on a bench talking and people watching.

I also went on a few adventures with my friends. I went to the movies for the first time in YEARS, which was nice because no one else was there really. So the two of us were not holding back our reactions to the movie in the slight, it was funny because the few other people watching the movie did the same thing. Then, with another friend of mine we went yarn shop hopping, I ended up picking up yarn for a few projects I want to make this year. We ended up going to about 8 shops, the discounts were so good I could not resist. I would have bought this yarn anyway, just for later down the line. We also ended up getting takeout after all that shopping and the food was just AMAZING!

This month was really great, mainly because I was able to hangout and create some great memories with others. I really hope to have a few picnics with some of my other friends I need to catch up with in the upcoming months.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | April 2022

Hello and welcome to a new month! Last month I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging and take some times to get some other things done, but I am excited to be back and jump right in with a monthly intent post!

Reading Plans

This month I am really going to be mood reading, I want to read Overlord Vol. 3. I am reading the light novels slowly and they are wild and all over the place and I am enjoying them a lot. I also would love to start and finish
Berserk Deluxe Vol. 1 as well. Other than that I really am just embracing my mood reading and picking things up as I feel like it.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I would really love to get two projects off of my needles. The first would be the Saraya Shawl by Saysha Greene I only have one repeat of the cables and the edging to do, so I should be able to knock this out by the middle of the month. I am really loving this project so far and the designer, Saysha, is just amazing! The second project I would love to finish this month would be a short sleeve Ranunculus by Midori Hirose. This is my first sweater so I am doing a lot of new things so I will be thrilled if I finish it by the end of the month.

Outside of those two huge projects, I really want to finish my rainbow socks. I got some beautiful rainbow striped yarn in late February and I have been waiting to finish a pair of socks for a friend before casting these on for myself. I just finished those socks so I really want to get my socks made!

Random Goals

This month I just want to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather that is starting to finally start up! I would love to eat outdoors this month and enjoy some good food with friends or loved ones while we all enjoy the beautiful Spring weather before Summer shows up and melts us all.

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

My First Time Properly Blocking

So, if you have been following me for any length in time you know my first love is reading and my second love is crochet and knitting. Well, I have a confession to make. I have never actually blocked anything…ever. The reason being I never thought there was a need for it with what I was making. That was until I made the Kari Shawl by Sari Nordlund. This pattern has a lot of simple details around the edges of the shawl, but I went to wear it and none of it was really visible so I made the decision to try and finally block something. If you want to read up on what blocking is etc. you can read a really great article by CocoKnits here: How to Block Your Knitting. I will say, I did not follow their tutorial, but they do a great job explaining the why. I did follow a tutorial though, I followed TL Yarn Crafts video.

Items Used

  • Dollar store basin
  • Soak in the scent Yuzu
  • T-pins
  • Blocking squares

How it Went

Shawl soaking in basin.

The first step was actually soaking the shawl in a basin with some water (not hot) with some of the soap. This was the nice and easy part, all I had to do was put it in and make sure it was fully under water and then walk away for 20 min. In Toni‘s video she was very adamant about not ringing out the material when taking it out of the water. She directs her viewers to gently squeeze the water out and then roll the piece in a towel and then squeeze it that way as well. This process was more involved, but still nothing over the top. At this point I was feeling very confident.

Shawl pinned on blocking squares.

Then came the pinning of the shawl. This was where I started to get aggregated. The reason I got aggravated is trying to make this shawl lay flat symmetrically because I have heard if it dries in the way it will look that way. So, I felt the pressure and I was going through this entire process so I wanted to make sure it was actually worth it. I feel like I did alright with this, but looking at this picture I can see I could have done better. I realized it is a lot harder to gauge when you are up close and doing it, it is kind of hard to see. Especially the down curves of the shawl since they are angled and my blocks don’t have lines in that manner. Now, the hardest part is waiting.

Shawl on hanger
Blocked gray cotton shawl

At the end of the process I have to say, I should really block things more often. It really helped the eyelet details open up as well as help even out all the stiches throughout. Since I am still pretty new to knitting, I still need to work on consistent tension, but wow, this really ended up helping! I know I am going to continue to do this process even though it sometimes takes a day or two for the item to completely dry because the end result is just wonderful!

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More · Hauls & Unboxings

La Mercerie Knitting Haul

Hello and welcome to a little haul from an online shop called La Mercerie. This is the second time I have purchased from them and both times I have been thrilled with the quality of the products and the quick shipping. So, I wanted to take a moment and share what I picked up this time around because I am so thrilled and I would not have been able to get these items in my local store.

Picture of Sock Set and Worsted Book

Worsted – A Knitwear Collection Curated by Aimée Gille of La Bien Aimée

I have been eyeing this book since I have heard about it. I have really been wanting to move away from making bags and winter accessories for the most part, I still want to be warm this year, but I wanted to make more wearable pieces and work with worsted weight yarn. As of late I have worked with a lot of fingering, which I love don’t get me wrong, but I want to explore more types of yarns. The curator of this book is an owner of a well known brand and I have seen a few people already starting to make projects from these pages and have heard great things. As a newer knitter, this is a must, I am still learning to read patterns in regards to knitting, crochet I am a pro at this point, so I need something that is clear, but challenging and this seems to be just the thing.

January – Sock Sets – 2022 Year of Socks

So, I ended up getting their January sock set for their year of socks. I missed out on their buy the entire year upfront and subscription options, but I really wanted to get my hands on this beautiful sock set called Snowdrift by Grenouille Co.. I really loved the deep winter feel of both the main color and mini. I can’t wait to make these into a cozy pair of socks!

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Hauls & Unboxings

February Book Haul

Hello and welcome to the first book haul of 2022. Each year I have a list of books I really want to take the time to read throughout the year, most of which are from the International Booker Prize shortlist. Since my reading was so reduced in December I held off on picking any of them up. But, with my reading taking off in January with 9 books, I thought it was a good time to add these books to my tbr pile since I am activity reading a ton.

Stack of hauled physical books.

Physical Books

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, I read another book by Kelmann last year called Tyll and I loved how out there it was. Knowing this one of my friends off line picked this book for me to pick this year for my 12 in 12 challenge. This short story is a horror novel that follows a family that spends 7 days in a rented house. From the description I am getting Jack vibes from The Shining by Stephen King for the main character. Which, for me works because I love The Shining. I am curious how this short story is going to turn out because his other works were wild and out there, but also mesmerizing and I couldn’t put it down.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, this is a science fiction novel. This too was on the shortlist for the International Booker Prize, but I am intrigued due to the fact that in the description it mentions it follows those who were born and other who were created. That really piqued my interest.

Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, I have read about 2 other works by this author and this one has been on my list for a bit. I finally decided to pick up a physical copy. This book takes a look at being a modern day woman in Japan. The story itself is fiction, but it touches on the experience of the author and others. At least that is my current understanding.

When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins, this one I added to my TBR because it was picked by Little Miss Booklover 87 for my 12 in 12 challenge I placed on twitter where I asked people to pick a book for me to read this year. All I know about this book at this point is that it is a thriller that takes place many years after a double murder. Where someone finally decides to break their silence. I have not read a ton of thrillers over the past few months so I though this would be a good time to read it.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, this is a nonfiction novel, but seems to have some fiction as well, that takes a look at science, discovery and those who make these breakthroughs. It appears that this book touches on Albert Einstein, Alexander Grothendieck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, this is a collection of short horror stories that was also placed on the International Booker Prize shortlist. I love horror and it is refreshing to have some short stories on my shelf to grab when I don’t feel like reading an entire novel.

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, is a horror novel that was placed in the shortlist for the International Booker Prize. It deals with inequality and takes place during 16th century in Europe. With the combination of horror and history I feel like this book will be a win for me personally.

Digital Books

Immune by Philipp Dettmer, I picked this up because I heard it mentioned on a twitch stream with Bob, Wade and Mark. I thought it would be a really interesting read and I do love myself a good nonfiction here and there.

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

February 2022 Bullet Journal Spread

Hello and welcome to my bullet journal! In 2022 I really wanted to jump back into bullet journaling because I realized one thing when not really utilizing it. I FORGET EVERYTHING! I do have a regular planner I run around with, but it is hard to add checklists for long tern goals and similar things. So, I have thankfully been using it in January pretty consistently and if you couldn’t tell, I have actually been blogging! Anyway, I am here to show you what I have going for February.

Items Used

Spreads

monthly dash and calendar

First off I really like to have a monthly dash to clearly define where one month starts and ends. I tend to just have the name of the month and an image. This month is obviously February and I added a wintery picture that shows pine branches and two silver hearts in the snow. I really liked how wintery this picture looked and how it tied in love without being over the time for Valentines Day. On the second page I just have the monthly calendar doodled. I highlighted the days I am planning on posting on my blog so they stand out a bit and they don’t pass me by. I decided to use a gray color to go with the cold wintery theme.

Habit tracker and monthly notes

This next pair of spreads start with my habit tracker, I ended up adding it last month because I wanted to really see how often I do the tasks I want to do. Most of these are fun/hobby based such as reading, fiber arts, and cross stitch. The other two are no spend and closing the rings on my watch. I really liked the idea of just layout out the number of the day and just highlighting when I meet it. When I had these in the past and needed to color things in I never did it, but a quick highlight really works for me. On the second page I have a blank page with monthly notes. Here I write down when I finish a book or haul one, a memorable event happens, or really just anything I feel like I might want to remember that happens throughout the month. It is really helpful when I do my Monthly Digest posts.

Weekly schedule and Korean study objectives

These next two sets of spreads are new to me this month. On the one side I ended up adding a weekly schedule for myself to follow. I actually made two schedules to try and then use which one works best for me. I really like having daily goals and objectives, it is just how my brain works. If I don’t I end up being unproductive or I try to be productive and get overwhelmed because I have no idea what I should be doing or what needs to be done. On the second page here I have a Korean Study page. I looked up how to write that in Hangeul, hopefully it is right, I figured I would find out for sure the more I study. Anyway, I really want to get back into language learning, I had to put it by the wayside because life got in the way like it does from time to time. I am focusing on learning Hangeul using Becoming a Hangeul Master by Talk to Me in Korean. So, I broke down the book into lessons that are a good size for me and created a study plan. I know it will most likely take more than this month, but I really wanted to get it in the BUJO!

Secret spread and Kanban Board

The last spready for the month are a bit bland, but needed by me. Sadly, the first one I can’t share so I added a recent knitting swatch to cover the title. The second page is a spread I have used in the past called a Kanban board. It is a way to help with projects by tracking where in the “production” line they are. I really wanted to use this again when it came to blog writing so I made a board with the four categories: ideas, write, photo, schedule. I am going to use tabs to write the titles and move them as I progress through my writing process.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | February 2022

Welcome to my very ambitious post about my February plans. I don’t know why, but I always end up making a ton of plans and lofty goals for the shortest month of the year. With that aside, I do have a few things I want to try and accomplish over the next 28 days.

Reading Plans

This month I would like to finish reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, which I am buddy reading with @jkimexploring. I am about 30% into it as of right now and I am really enjoying it. Outside of that I don’t want to have any set reading because mood reading and not setting to many specific reading goals for myself last month really paid off since I ended up reading 9 books.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month is all about starting a few projects that will take me some time. The first one is the Saraya Shawl by Saysha Greene. I love how beautiful and playful this shawl looks, I first saw it in my copy of Worsted and I loved it right away. I ended up ordering the same color as the sample. Since a lot of the techniques used in this pattern are new to me I know it is going to take quite a while, but I love a challenge!

The second project I plan to start and I know I will not finish for months if not years is the Scrappy Granny Stripe Blanket by Lucy of Attic24. I have quite a few scraps left over from projects and the like so I was looking all over for fun things to make with them. I came across this pattern and knew I wanted to start it ASAP. So, every time I finish a projects with fingering weight yarn I am going to add to this. I can’t wait to see how all the colors play together as time goes on. In February I am planning on getting all the stripes for the scraps I already have crocheted up. I am going to try to keep up with this by doing scrappy Sunday, which is a thing I found through Crazy Sock Lady on youtube.

Random Goals

I really want to try learning a new craft this month, I am learning towards cross stitch. I also really want to get back into language learning. I was doing really well for a bit, then life got a bit chaotic and I had to let some things go. But, I really want to jump into it again. Outside of those two things, I just want to have some quality time with my loved ones. January was good in quite a few ways, but sadly I was not able to see my significant other the entire month so I really would like to spend as much time as possible with him.

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