Let's Talk · Reading Challenges

My 2022 Reading

Hello and welcome to a post where I am going to share some books stats from my reading this year! I did not track too much, but I still think it is fun to take a look at. If you want to see the list of books I read this year, you can find that on my Good Reads Challenge Page. Now I will also say I am taking advantage of the data collected by Goodreads to create this post. In the past I tracked my reading a bit more with a google sheet, but this year I just didn’t for one reasons or another.

I read a total of 9,267 pages

I read 32 books

Shortest book read was 18 pages and it was Willie the Weirdo by Stephen King

Longest book read was 607 pages and it was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami

Average book length was 289 pages

Most popular book read was One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Least popular book read was Willie the Weirdo by Stephen King

Average rating for a book in 2022 was 3.8 stars

Even though I did not track a lot of other things this year like genre, I am glad to have this data to look at. I am really happy that while I did not read nearly as much as I usually do, I rated books, on average pretty well. On top of that it was kind of fun to see the most and least popular book, based upon how many people have also read the book, not its rating. I am not sure if I am going to track on a goole sheet next year or not yet, but I know for sure I can count on Goodreads at least to give me some fun stats to look at during the end of the year.

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Let's Talk

Some Ornaments and Their Stories

Hello and welcome to a festive post where I am going to be sharing some of the ornaments that are hanging on my tree. I thought it would be fun to pick a few at random while I was decorating and share the story attached to or the memory associated to them.

Snoopy

Snoopy Ornament on Tree

Every holiday in my house growing up had a snoopy decoration somewhere. My Mom absolutely loves snoopy and has for as long as I can remember. So of course there is a snoopy on my tree to represent my mom. Every time I see snoopy, she is the first person who pops into my head and I remember all the lovely memories we share.

Knitting Needles Stuck in a Ball of Green and White Yarn

Ball of Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament on Tree

This ornament was a gift and I absolutely love it. Not only does it represent one of my favorite hobbies, but it has my favorite color green! In 2021 I decided to give knitting a shot and it really has become a large part of my life. It has helped me carve out some relaxing and meditative time each day and I am able to get something at the end of it to wear or gift to someone, I love this because my friend saw how much this hobby meant to me and I really appreciated it.

Knitted Red Mushroom

Red and White Mushroom Ornament

Before I even knitted, one of my friends gave me this cute little mushroom as a gift to place on my tree. Since then it has been placed in a prominent place on the tree. First, because this is just so dang adorable and it was this friend that gave me the courage to try knitting. Also, she is just so super talented because I could never make something this small and detailed!

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Knitting, Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Everything I Made in 2022

Hello and welcome to a little post where I share all the things I made over the previous year. I am still working on a few projects that I expect to finish so I am going to add them as well. This year was my first full year of knitting and I have to say, I learned a ton of things. I did cables for the first time and learned how to knit myself a sweater. Which has quickly become one of my favorite things to make. Throughout 2022 I managed to complete a total of 21 projects, plus another 2 I am going to be finishing before the end of the year. Anyway, on to the things I made! Oh, before I forget I am just going to add a picture of my favorite project from each month I completed one, otherwise this post will be way to long, I will also include links to all patterns as well if you want to take a closer look.

Stats

Socks: 9 pairs

Sweaters: 6; 2 short sleeve, 4 long sleeve

Cowls/Scarf: 2, maybe 3 depending on how the next few weeks go.

Hats: 2

Shawls: 2

Stuffed Animals: 1

Bags: 1

Projects Completed by Month

January 2022: 2 Projects

Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt

Red cowl with honey comb patterning.


Musselburgh
 by Ysolda Teague

February 2022: 1 Project

Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes

Bright purple pair of textured socks.


March 2022: 1 Project

So, this one I don’t have a picture of or a pattern for. I ended up making a pair of socks that was ribbing from top to bottom and gifted them to a friend of mine.

April 2022: 2 Projects

Saraya by Saysha Greene

Bright red shawl with various textures including bobbles, eyelets, and cables.


Ranunculus
 by Midori Hirose

May 2022: 2 Projects

No pattern vanilla sock made from rainbow yarn!

Pair of socks with no patterning or anything, heel flap and gusset.


Out-Stranding
 by Christie Archer

July 2022: 4 Projects Completed


Color Palette Socks
 by Laura Moorats


Anker’s Summer Shirt
 by PetiteKnit

Tan short sleeve shirt with a textured yoke.


Duotone Cowl
 by Orange Flower Yarn

Another pair of no pattern vanilla socks, that I made with pink toned yarn.

August 2022: 2 Projects


Georges Top
 by Johanna Gehrisch


Picnic Blanket Socks
 by Helen Stewart

Bright colored socks with a textured leg and contrasting heels and toes.

September 2022: 1 Project


Float Tote
 by Knitty Natty

Crocheted cotton bag with 5 pouches inside.

October 2022: 2 Projects


Alpenglow I
 by Andrea Mowry

Color work sweater in three different colors. Pattens include zigzags, rectangles, and points


Heel Toe Do Si Do
 by Crazy Sock Lady Designs

November 2022: 3 Projects

Christopher Bunny by Susan B. Anderson


Sarkle
 by Kate Davies Designs

Tan long sleeve pattern with a yoke pattern that looks like a giant snowflake and your heads the center


Oslo Hat – Mohair Edition
 by PetiteKnit

December 2022: 1 Projects, 2 Others that will likely be finished.


Bear Paw Socks
 by Andrea Mowry


Spinifex Socks
 by Helen Stewart

After the Storm by The Little Wolf Knits (Not Yet Released)

So there are all the things I made over the entirety of 2022, it is kind of amazing to look back at this list and see all the different things I have made and the new things I have tried. I am really excited to see what kind of projects 2023 brings and what else I am going to challenge myself with and grow my skill with these hobbies.

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Lists & Recommendations

Favorite Books of 2022

Hello and welcome to my top 5 books of 2022! While this year I read a lot less than I usually have, I still was able to find quite a few gems. I am happy to say that within my top 5 books I have a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. I also felt like it was a lot harder to just pick five books as well. I feel like this year I was a lot more picky about what I picked up and I really focused on getting my TBR down and being happy with what I had, with the exception of a few new releases I was looking forward to. This year and going forward I really am trying to find a place to be happy and grateful with that I have and I think that, in a way, bled into my reading habit. I didn’t read just to get the number up, read books because they were popular, or read them because I picked them up because they seemed like I MIGHT like them.

While I feel like this journey is just going to continue and will be an up and down process, but I am happy with how it has transpired so far. With this being said, here are the five I ended up picking as my top 5 books.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, this was one I bought as soon as it released this year. I also enjoyed McCurdy as an actress and when I learned that she was releasing a memoir I knew I wanted to read it. As it got closer to being published, I learned that she had lived a very rough life and dealt with a lot in her childhood. When I read it, I was engrossed at the first page, she has a very interesting way of telling a story. As I read it, I could read it in her voice and it really added to the wide array of emotions I felt reading about the abuse she had dealt with by the hands of her mother and beyond. I feel like, even if you were not a fan of her work, this is a very good memoir to read. It was well written, honest, and felt very real. By real, I mean how open and honest she was while writing this.

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, this came out in 2021, but I read it pretty quickly after picking it up. I have read quite a few of Graham Jones’ work, mainly his short stories and stand alone books. As soon as I heard that he was going to write a horror trilogy revolving around horror movies. I was totally in. I really enjoyed this book tremendously because of what it was on its own. It was haunting, uncomfortable, and threw you right into the story. The writing was wonderful, as usual. He has a way of making you feel what the main character is feeling, which in a horror is sometimes difficult. On top of that it was great fun to see all the nods to “classic” horror movies throughout. As soon as I finished this, I preordered the next book in the series and I can’t wait to get my hands on it in 2023.

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, this book was something I was not sure I was going to enjoy if I am being honest. I am not a huge “slice of life reader”. I ended up picking this up because someone brought it up to me and thought I would like it a lot more than the description would lead me to believe. I am glad I took the chance and read it. Kawakami has since become one of my auto read authors because of her ability to make a connection between the reader and the characters. You don’t just understand how they feel, you begin to care how they feel and you just want to help them, celebrate with them, and just support them. I won’t lie, this book can be dark at times dealing with really rough topics. Even with this, I felt like the writing was almost lyrical and flowed very nicely.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enríquez, Megan McDowell (Translator), even though this is a collection of horror stories, I am surprised to say that it made it to the top of the list. Usually, I am not a huge fan of collections because there are some stories I love and some I just loath within the same collection. That didn’t really happen with it came to this one. I really think it came down to Enríquez’s writing style. While there were stories I didn’t enjoy, I still feel like I enjoyed it to some extent because they way she tells a story. She explores the dark side of human nature in a way that is just a little too close to real that leaves you uncomfortable. She leaves you unsettled, uneasy, and makes you think about the story long after putting the collection down. I feel like for any book, if you think about some of it after putting it down, it is an impressive feat for an author. While there is just totally unappealing stuff in this book, I think that was the authors goal. Make us take a look at the horrible things humans are capable of.

Immune: a Journey into the Mysterious System that Keeps You Alive by Philipp Dettmer, this is another non-fiction read that I found very interesting. This book takes a look at the human immune system and what it does when it works well, too well, or just doesn’t function quite right. The author does a really good job at explaining complex ideas in simple terms that are easy to digest and take in. While this is almost like a textbook, it didn’t feel like I was reading one. I kept picking it up and enjoying the learning process every time.

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

2023 Bujo Setup

Hello and welcome to a bujo set up post! One thing I really enjoy about the new year is being able to start a new notebook and setting it up for my current needs. I have been using a bujo for many years and I still feel like my set up changes constantly and is in flux, which is great because my planner/noteboook of sorts is changing right along side me. Anyway, here are the 2023 spreads I have added for the new year!

My Notebook

Bujo Cover

This year I am using a notebook from Olive and Archer, I use the dotted B5 size. This past year I saw they had a sale and ended up picking up this bright orange notebook with an antique camera on it. They seem to still have it in stock and you can find that here if you are interested in taking a closer look at this notebook.

2023 Goals

2023 Goals Pages

The first thing I decided to set up are my 2023 goals. I like to break up my goals into categories, I decided I wanted to focus on my reading, life, and maker goals this year. In regards to reading I would like to read 6 non-fiction books and get my owned TBR under 10 books. As for general life I would like to try or do something new and track my spending better. My maker goals are pretty simple as well, Knit 6 pairs of socks and create more from my yarn stash.

Reading Plans

Books to Read Spread

Since my Owned TBR is so small I decided to dedicate a page to listing the books I own and need to read. So, on the left page I just listed the titles. I ended up with 27 books. I ended up with 27 books because I actually went through all of my audio and ebooks. On the other page I ended up doodling a bookshelf filled with books and a little plant. If you want to see my owned tbr book shelf in detail, here is the link to my goodreads shelf Owned TBR.

Knitting Plans

Yearly Overview and Make 9

Since one of my goals is to make more from my stash of yarn I decided to assign all of my yarn to a project. I am not saying I can’t change what I end up making with it, but this gives me something to visualize. For these spreads on the left I decided to add a knitting overview page where each month has a square and then I added pictures of some of the projects I wanted to complete that month. I also left some free for some wiggle room too. On the right hand side I decided to add a picture of my make 9 for 2023. These are top 9 projects I really want to complete this year. I did a detailed post about each of these projects, you can find that here: My 2023 Make 9!

Winter Plans

52 Weeks of Socks and Knitting Plans for January and February

Last year I picked up a copy of 52 Weeks of Socks and this year I really want to utilize this book. So, I decided I would pick a number from a jar and knit that pattern. I picked my first number and it was #48, which I am pretty sure is Tributary by Diana Clinch. I added a page in my bujo for this project since it would likey be a year long one knitting various pairs of socks from these pages. I added the heading “Make Some Socks” printed a picture of the cover of the book and doodled so it looked like a polaroid. I then added the number of my first pick from the jar. On the righthand side I made a collage of all the things I would like to make in January and February of this year. These include, The Sophie Shawl, Hazel Neck, Velvet Mirror Cowl, Woodlark Shawl, and the Kuutar Beret.

Knitting Queue

Knitting Queue List

I also added a spread for my knitting queue, since I did all the work tracking all my yarn and connecting it to projects I decided to record what I decided. For each project I added the pattern name, yarn to use, and I made a section for month to record what month I completed the project and a place for a check mark.

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Lists & Recommendations

My Favorite Blogmas Posts by Others

Hello and welcome to a post where I take a moment to share some of the Blogmas posts I have really enjoyed so far this year. I know blogmas is not over yet, but I wanted to share these posts so you have these bloggers on your radar for the remaining days!

BOOKISH NAUGHTY LIST 2022 by Ashley from Falling Down the Book Hole

End Of The Year Book Tag #Blogmas by Misty from Misty’s Book Space

New Christmas Books Released In 2022 by Jess from Comfort Reads Book Blog

Best and Worst Series of 2022 Book Tag by Sahi from My World of Books

A Recap of My Fourth Year of Blogging in 2022 by Laura from Laura’s Books and Blogs

Christmas Books To Buy For Everyone 2022 by from And On She Reads

Tag Time: End of the Year, 2022 Edition by Destiny from Howling Libraries

Gifts for the Bookworm in Your Life by Whit from Whit Reads Lit

Please share some of your favorites below as well! I love finding new blogs to read and sharing the joy of blogmas!

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Let's Talk

How I Planned for Blogmas This Year

Hello and welcome to a post where I share how I prepared for Blogmasthis year! This year has been hard blogging wise because I have not done a ton of reading because I have invested my time in other hobbies, which I am not mad about. What I did read I loved, but I found it hard to share things on here when I was not reading. I then decided to start sharing my other interests and hobbies, which I have enjoyed. That being said, I knew last year I wanted to do the full 24 days of Blogmas, so I started preparing early!

Making a List

Very early in 2022 I decided to make a list of posts I could write to help with blogmas. Writing 24 posts in a month is a lot, I figured if I could do some of the brain storming ahead of time I was really going to be helping future me out a lot! So, I ended up writing up a list of about 30 post ideas to use for Blogmas.

Writing Ahead of Time

I know Summer is not the most festive time of the year, but that is when I started writing a majority of my blogmas posts. I like to be prepared and not being stressed out by deadlines and having to write a post a day is not something I would personally have fun doing. I most likely would have just said forget it for my well being. That being said, I wrote posts here and there over the Summer so I had a lot of the posts already written up and ready to go. Once done writing and I was happy with them I scheduled them ahead of time.

Using a Kanban Board

I have been a huge fan of these types of organizing boards for a really long time. How I set mine up is pretty straight forward. I write the steps down I use when writing a blog post; brain storming, write, picture, tags, schedule. Each post has their own sticky note or tab and they move through the board until the task is complete. I can easily see what I need to do and what stage everything is in. You can do these digitally or with something physical like a notebook or white board. I tend to use a notebook because it doesn’t rely on something working properly. I used this for each post I wrote for Blogmas to keep track of how many posts where done and how many more I needed to write and how close they are to being done.

My Thoughts

While I know that planning ideas is not a huge deal with Blogmas, I do feel like some people may think that writing ahead may not be in the spirit of Blogmas. I would like to counter that I have writing 24 posts themed around the holidays, books, winter, reflecting on the old year and looking at the new year. I am a planner by nature so I would have had all these in a notebook anyway. Plus, if I am writing so much in December, how would I have been able to read Blogmas posts by others? I think my favorite part of Blogmas is seeing what other people are reflecting upon, excited about, and just sharing their love of the season. I feel like if I am going to enjoy this aspect, I personally am going to have to do a bit of work ahead of time. Honestly, just do what is best for you. You know you better than everyone else and I think as long as you are getting into the spirit and having fun prep for Blogmas however you feel.

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Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads | December 2022

me to a mid-month peak at what I am reading and working on. Now, this month I will be very honestly with you. I am really dissapointing myself as a reader for various reasons, but I am looking forward to reading more in the new year. So, I am just going to be focusing on this, I will have a bunch of wonderful books to read next year. Is that not something to look forward to? I think it is. Anyway, here is what is currently going on!

My Current Reads

I am keeping this section mainly to look back at more than anything, but I am currently reading nothing. Yep, I am reading nothing at all and have not read anything all month or the few months before this. I am really hoping to turn this around in the new year as I said in the opening.

My Current WIPs

Day 7 of the Self Striping Advent Socks Toe-Up

Spinifex Socks by Helen Stewart, this year I ended up getting a 24-Stripe advent skein to make a pair of socks. I picked mine up from
Freckled Whimsy and I have been enjoying the process of working on these socks a little each day. Apart from this project I have been working on a few smaller presents for people so I don’t want to share them incase they happen to read this post.

7 Mismatched Knitted Mitered Squares Connected

I also did decide to use my scraps to make a Coziest Memories Blanket, which is going to be an ongoing project for the next few years easily. It is nice to find a way to use my left over yarn in a way that makes something that is cozy, usable, and a bit of a memory capsule of the projects I make. This blanket is made up of mitered squares each square uses different yarn so it looks almost patchwork.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Life Style

My Christmas PJs

Hello and welcome to a bit of a silly post! A few years ago I decided to share my Christmas Eve outfit. You can find that old post here, Let’s Talk | My Christmas Outfit. I decided to do the same again because I thought it was lighthearted and I do love comfortable PJs!

Flannel two piece set with majority black and red colorways.

This year I ended up going on a few outlet websites and ended up coming across this set. This set is from Banana Republic Factory so they were very much discounted, can’t beat a good sale! As of right now there are still on the site you can find the top and the bottoms. Just so you know I don’t get anything from sharing these, I just figured if I am going to share them and talk about them I might as well share where you can get them.

I have never gotten any sleep ware from this company, but I have gotten a sweater in the past that quickly turned into a favorite because it was so soft so I felt pretty comfortable knowing the chances are they would be soft as well. I waited about a week and when I opened the bag I was truly delighted at how soft this set was. I am super excited to wear them, sip some hot cocoa and relax with my family.

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Life Style · Lists & Recommendations

Winter Bucket List

Hello and welcome to another blogmas post! Today I am going to talk about a few of the things I would love to accomplish this upcoming winter, which starts December 21st, at least in the northern hemisphere. While I do tend to have some monthly goals, I thought it would be fun to share some for the entirety of winter. Some of these I have complete control over, some the weather has to cooperate with me a bit. Anyway, on to my winter bucket list!

  • Drink hot cocoa while it is snowing outside
  • Go for a walk in the snow
  • Wear my wool socks
  • Play a few board games
  • Read a book set in Winter
  • Have breakfast in bed
  • Drink coffee in front of the fireplace

These are mostly fun things I really want to do this winter. I find with the days getting shorter I really like to do more cozy things, but also spend some more fun time with my family. If not, I end up falling asleep as soon as the sun goes down and then waking up in the middle of the night wide awake.

Are there any things you really want to do this Winter?

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