Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | January 2022

Hello and welcome to the first Monthly Digest of 2022! This month was VERY chaotic personally with work, getting sick, and just a lot of stuff that needed my attention. Somehow I managed to find time to read, make, and do some other fun things.

Reading

My reading mojo is back! I was able to finish 9 books, which is a shock because I only read 1 last month. I really was afraid that trend was going to continue. I found some winners this month and unfortunately not so great ones, but I am glad I read them.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt in red.

The first project I finished this year was the Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt. This was my first time needing a cable needle and I was very intimidated at first. As I worked through it, it became easier. Funny how that happens! lol. I really loved how this came out because I have been using it every day since. It is cute, warm, and soft as can be.

Musselburgh by Ysolda Teague in a gray.

The second item I finished was also a winter accessory, a Musselburgh by Ysolda Teague. This was an impulse make through and through. I had to put working on socks aside because I was unable to see the person I was making them for so I needed something else to work on. I ended up using fingering scraps from an old project. I love how this hat ended up coming out. I have not used it yet because I still need to block the hat, but I am waiting to have to block a few more things.

Life

This month was a really weird one to say the least. But, with that being said, I managed to make some pretty great memories. I went to a paint class with my friend and had a blast! I have not painted in a very long time so it was great to do something different and have some great conversation. I also somehow was able to order a new graphics card for my computer so once that arrives I can install it and hopefully finally finish my play through of Resident Evil Village and actually see what is going on. So, while January was really chaotic, some great things came out of it.

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Lists & Recommendations

My Favorite Books of 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a throwback to 2021! I wanted to take a moment and share some of my favorite reads of the past year and give them a bit of a shoutout. Last year I did not do great with my reading numbers, I read about half as much as a usually do, but I am happy to say there were a few I really enjoyed. Here is a list of the ones that stuck out to me the most in no particular order.

The Books

Dune by Frank Herbert

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yū

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann

White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad

Later by Stephen King

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald J. Robertson

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Hauls & Unboxings

Katrinkles Haul

Hello and welcome to a bit of a maker post this time around. I did a little shopping on the Katrinkles website, which makes a lot of stitch markers and tools and such for knitters, crocheters, and fiber artists overall. The last half of the year as my reading really took a nose dive I really took solstice in crocheting and learning how to knit. This is a brand I saw all over and as I explored making more complex items, at least for me, I realized I needed some knew tools to help me along the way.

Hauled items discussed below on crochet blanket.

Wrong Side/Right Side

As I have explored crocheting and knitting I have started to explore making more wearable items and sometimes the patterns require me to pay attention to which side is the right and which is the wrong. I am TERRIBLE at this and never keep track of it, so when I saw these stitch markers, I knew I needed to add them to my cart. Also, they come together to make a cute acrylic unicorn.

Kitchener Stitch Mini Tool

The next thing I picked up was a little reference tool that has the directions to the kitchener stitch. The first thing I learned to knit when I started to learn halfway though 2021 was a sock, I learned to do it top down. Due to this, I need this stitch every time I finish a sock to close up the toe. When knitting I try to get away from technology so I don’t want to whip out my phone to look up the directions. Having this tool on hand on the project bag will be really helpful and convenient.

Acrylic Cast On Counting Stitch Marker Set

This handy set of stitch markers, at least for me, to use while making my socks as well. I recently found my perfect row length needed for the foot section of my socks (50 rows) and I really need to keep track as I go or I end up loosing count because I just get into a relaxing rhythm.

I know this is a little different of a post, but I really have been loving making things with my hands lately and I was super excited about these tools to help me in getting even better at both of these crafts.

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Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads

Hello and welcome to a little chat where I share what I am currently reading and working on. I am actually happy to say I have been reading this month, I have actually finished 3 books already. I know, I know, where did this reading mojo come from?! I have no idea, but I am running with it.

Current Reads

Two current reads, listed below.

The first book I am currently reading is The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, I am actually buddy reading this with Jenna! We have not buddy read anything in a while so I am excited about it. You can find her on twitter as @jkimexploring. I am also reading Irish Folktales edited by Henry Glassie on my own. I have always loved folktales so when I found this collection at my local store I picked up up right away.

Current WIPS

Current knitting projects, listed below.

I went from having no WIPs at the start of 2022 to be in the middle of three projects. The first one being a pattern inspired by Tube Socks by Mary Anne and I am using Spun Right Round Classic Sock in the color Sly Fox. The second one is another pair of socks called Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes I am using Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the color Ultramarine Violet. The last one I decided to cast on out of no where is the Musselburgh hat by Ysolda Teague. For this I decided to use up some of my scrap sock yarn, Spun Right Round Classic Sock in Pavement.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More · Let's Talk

Winter 2022 Crochet and Knitting Plans

Hello and welcome to a bit of a planning post where I am going to share the crochet and knitting projects I would love to finish this winter. I am on really good footing to start any project I want right now due to the fact I have no WIPs going into 2022, which has not happened in years. So, I feel like a kid in a candy shop and spoiled for choice. Thankfully, I was able to narrow it down to 5 projects I really would love to start working on and hopefully finish before Winter is through.

Day Date Cardigan by Jess Coppom

This first pattern I actually bought yarn for back in the Summer of 2021 when I was visiting family in Maine. I really want to finish this ASAP and hopefully I can wear it the next time I see those family members. The yarn that I picked up for this project is Berroco Providence in the color Rosecliff – 1115.

Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes

This pair of socks is actually for my significant other. I had him pick a yarn for me to use and it finally arrived! I am so excited to get to make these for him, I just need to figure out the stitches needed and I am going to have to keep bugging him to try them on as I go to ensure I am making them to properly fit. This will be the first socks I am making for someone else. The yarn that he picked for this pair of socks is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the color Ultramarine Violet, which is a really vibrant purple that I swear is going to glow in the dark.

Tube Socks by Mary Anne

This pair of socks is going to be for me. I have never worn tube socks or made them so I wanted to experiment a bit. I used this “pattern” to come up with my own formula of sorts for the ones I am going to be making. This pattern, which is actually a blog post was really helpful in doing that going through different options etc. The yarn I am using for this pattern is Spun Right Round Classic Sock in the color Sly Fox, which is almost like a burn orange.

Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt

This is another selfish creation, I was lucky enough to be gifted a new jacket so I need to make a new cowl to go with it. I saw this pattern first mentioned by Knitty Natty and her looked beautiful and she said it was pretty simple to make. It is the first time I will be knitting something with a pattern of sorts so it will be an experiment as well! I am using yarn died by the etsy shop LanternLightYarn in the color Kraken, which is a red color with variations and Drops Kid-Silk in the color 14, which is red as well, held together to create this winter accessory.

Easy Eyelet Yoke Sweater by Knitatude / Chantal Miyagishima

This last one is really a project I know is going to take me a lot of time and challenge me a lot. I am putting it at the bottom of this list because I really want to work on the other projects and continue to work on the basics before jumping into making a sweater. That being said, the stiches that are used in this I have already used a bunch, but making a sweater I feel like is a huge step. I am using the recommended yarn, Lion Brand Chainette, in the color mustard, which seems to now be discontinued even though I only bought it a month or so ago. I hope I bought enough to finish it!

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

2022 Bullet Journal Spreads

Hello and welcome to a post where I show you some of the full year and seasonal spreads in my bujo to start off 2022! This year I am not planning on having to many monthly spreads, but I will have a few. Before I share those spreads I really wanted to share how I set up by bujo for the year. In the past I had a ton of year long spreads, which I loved how they came out, but I always ended up forgetting halfway through the year. I decided that a few yearly ones and seasonal spreads were probably the best way to remedy this!

Items Used

The Notebook

discussed notebook

Before I get into my spreads, this year I tried something different with my notebook. I ended up getting a B5 size instead of the “traditional” smaller notebooks. I always found myself wanting a little bit more room and thankfully the brand of notebooks I have been using for YEARS had this size. I ended up picking up this green notebook with a gold teapot on its cover. The pages of these notebooks holds up wonderfully to all of the materials I have used now and in the past and I love the fabric feel of the hardcover.

Spreads

Goals Spread

This year I decided to do something very similar to something I have done in the past inspired by @Silva.and.Bold, now @mystic.hand on Instagram. I loved the idea of breaking goals into four distinct areas of my life that way all my goals are not just focusing on a single area of my life. So I have goals in script across both pages in the middle to break the pages up horizontally and use the natural divide of the notebook for the vertical divide. I decided to break my goals into reading, life, maker, and finance. I did not write my goals down at the time of taking this picture because I was and still am at the time of writing this working them all out. If you want to see some of my goals for 2022 that I did settle on you can find them on my post; My 2022 Goals and Challenges.

Top Books to Read page and plant doodle!

The next spread I added to my Bujo was my top books to read in 2022 page. Each year I always write down the books I am looking forward to the most to read and add them to some type of spread. This year I was inspired by @littleolivebujo on instagram to doodle a pile of books for this spread. I added a circle frame on the top to add the label, I thought it would be fun to then add a hanging plant on the accompanying page. I have not drawn in a while so I am actually kind of stunned how it actually looks like a plant.

Owned TBR Spread for the start of the year,

This next spread is one I started to do last year. Write down my owned tbr for the start of the year to help make sure I am not just reading the newer books on my shelf. It is a simple checklist that I can go back to and check them off or put a line through them if I end up DNFing or Unhauling. It is a nice easy way to keep track. I added a simple line boarder on this page, as well as with my top books to read spread, to dress it up a bit.

Winter overview and Seasonal Knitting and Crochet Plans (Pending)

So, these last two pages are a bit different than the rest. I decided to have seasonal sections to my Bujo this year so I made a Winter dashboard that has the three months it will cover and a mini calendar for each one. I kept it simple because I will be adding events and birthdays in the future and when there is a lot of writing going into a spread I have found, for me personally, the simpler the better. Now, for other page it is a complete work in progress. I want a page dedicated to the crochet and knitting projects I want to complete that season, but I am debating if I want it to be a single page spread or a double page spread. Since I have not made up my mind yet I added some bright red post-it notes until I decide so I at least have the information handy. A win for indecisiveness!

As you can see, I am really trying to keep my Bujo simple and to the minimum I find for me, at least as of late, this really works for me. I am really looking forward to giving seasonal spreads and these time frames more focus than I have in the past. I feel like breaking the year up like this will ensure I don’t leave some spreads in the past and never use them past a few months.

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Lists & Recommendations

My Entire Owned TBR January 2022

Hello and welcome to another post here on my blog. I decided that I really wanted to take a look at the books that are sitting on my shelves waiting to be read in 2022. Then at the end of the year it might be fun to take a look back and see which books I read, unhauled, or are still sitting on my shelves. So, here are all the books that are currently sitting on my owned TBR shelves!

  • The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs
  • Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky
  • The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
  • The Vorrh by Brian Catling
  • The Erstwhile by Brian Catling
  • The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hestor Fox
  • Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami
  • Record of a Night Too Brief by Mieko Kawakami
  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  • Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin
  • Dinner by César Aira
  • The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Field House by Robin Clifford Wood
  • The House of Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich
  • Writing On Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn
  • Fresh by Margot Wood
  • Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Irish Folktales by Henry Glassie
  • Afterland by Lauren Beukes
  • Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
  • Dead Relatives by Lucie McKnight Hardy
  • How to Be a Stoic by Penguin
  • Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert
  • The Stone Face by William Gardner Smith
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • Slow Boat by Iain Maloney
  • At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop
  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
  • Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Billy Summers by Stephen King
  • The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

If you are curious what my current owned TBR is if you are reading this much later, you can always find that on my shelf labeled Owned TBR on my goodreads account. I usually update it about once a month, usually towards the end when I am organizing for my Monthly Digest posts.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | January 2022

Hello and welcome to my little planning post for the Month of January! I am so excited to start off this year by sharing some of the things I wish to do in its first month, happy New Year by the way! This month I don’t have too many specific things I want to do, just some ideas that I think would be good and fun.

Reading Plans

This month I would love to read just one book. My reading has really just slowed down a lot in the past year, but especially this past month. To me this is fine because at this point when I do pick up a book when the mood hits I am enjoying it. Due to this, I am going to let myself be a total mood reader and just read what I feel like when I feel like it and I just want to finish one book.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I would like to knit a pair of socks for my significant other. I have not knit him anything yet and I thought this would be something fun since I can only knit myself so many socks. He picked out the yarn,
Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Ultramarine Violet, and the pattern he settled on is Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes. On top of that pair of socks I would like to start another pair for myself I am using Tube Socks by Mary Anne as inspiration, but I am playing with the numbers quite a bit. For my pair of socks I am going to be using Spun Right Round Classic Sock in Sly Fox. The final project, but most likely the first one I am going to be casting on in the new year would be the Apiarist Cowl by Claire Borchardt. I am planning on using some Drops Kid Silk in Red and holding it with Kraken by Lantern Light Hand-Dyed Yarn & Fiber.

Random Goals

With random goals this month I honestly cannot think of one I would like to do specifically. I would like to try or see something new though and just enjoy the experience. I know it is annoying vague and they say that goals shouldn’t be, but to be honest I think with how things are currently, it is just perfect.

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | December 2021

Hello and welcome to a fairly short recap of what what reading, crafting, and life was like over the past month. This final month of 2021 was faster than I care to admit, but it was still filled with some great things. I am really overall happy with how this month went, but also this past year. Even with everything going on I feel like it was an improvement from the year before and I hope that next year is even better than this one for myself and all of you. I am wishing you all a wonderful 2022! Now, on to how my month was.

Reading

This month was a bit weird when it came to reading. I ended up only reading one book, The Bear and the Paving Stone by Toshiyuki Horie and translated by Geraint Howells, I ended up giving it 4 stars. As for a book haul I picked up 5 books only because of the 50% off hardcover sale at BN. If you want to see the books I picked up from that haul you can see that in my post; Barnes and Noble 50% Hardcover Haul.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

As for crafting, knitting, and crocheting I ended up finishing all of my WIPs so I can start off 2022 with a clean slate. I already know the first project I am going to be casting on. I completed the 2021 12 Days of Tosh Advent Crochet Cowl designed by Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts, who is just an amazing designer. The colors were just so beautiful and it was a blast to work on for the first 12 days of December. Next I finished the Kari Shawl by Sari Nordlund. I absolutely love how it came out and I can’t wait to block it and use it! The last project I finished this month is Modern Double Crochet V-Stitch Blanket by Daisy Farm Crafts. I have been working on this blanket on and off since 2019 so I am happy to finally be able to use it!

Life

This month was a bit of a roller coaster of good news and some bummer news, but overall the month was really awesome. I got to catch up with some friends I had lost touch with due to our busy lives. I got to go to a traditional tea, which was very lovely! I didn’t do much outside this month, it was a bit too cold for me personally, but I got to spend a lot of time with my loved ones and catching up with friends and honestly, that was the beat part of this month.

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Hauls & Unboxings

Barnes and Noble 50% Hardcover Haul

Hello and welcome to a very surprising post. I had not expected this sale, but I was really happy that it came up because I was able to pick up some books I was putting off buying due to their price. If you did not already know, Barnes and Noble had a 50% off Hardcover sale starting on boxing day and the day after, as far as I am aware that is the length. I ended up going to BN for another reason and saw all the signs all over the store so I ended up picking up 5 books.

Photo of hauled books

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon, this is the newest book in the Outlander series, book 9. This one is also a huge book and I have wanted to pick it up, but was waiting for it to come out in softcover.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw, this horror novella caught my eye and I have seen the cover around and I thought I would give it a shot. My understanding is this horror tale is a combination of lore from Japan and takes place in an abandoned building.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, I have read about 3 of Jones’ work and have generally enjoyed his stuff. I had this on my list to pick up when the softcover released, but I didn’t need to wait anymore because of this sale. He tends to write horror fiction that reflects his Native American roots.

Billy Summers by Stephen King, I enjoy Kings novels, but there are only a few I will reread and because of that I never pay full price for them. I have been waiting for this book to have its softcover release or go on sale, which yay, it did! This work of his is more thrilled than horror based, but still has his horror roots. It follows a killer for hire that will only take jobs that target bad people.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, talk about timing with this book. I was just recommended this book by a friend and I walked into BN and it was right in front so I scoped it up! When I first read the description it sounded like a fun fiction, but the more I read it turned into a mystery thriller, which really intrigued me.

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