Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | July 2022

Hello and welcome to a post highlighting my reading, crafting, and life over the past month. This month I finally felt like I had free time and I could relax a bit. I for sure kicked up my feet and read some thing month, which I am thrilled about. I also was on a making kick and was able to go on some adventures as well.

Reading

Gwendy’s Final Task by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, I went into a bit more detail of my thoughts of this book in my post, The Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag, but I will say I ended up DNF’ing this book about halfway through. The reason I DNF’ed the book was because all of the real world references within the book kept taking me out of the story and into the real world and I kept drifting into my thoughts. I will try this book again down the road because the writing was great.

The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris, this was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I read Fitzharris’ first book and adored it as well, The Butchering Art. This book took a deep dive into the the beginnings of reconstruction surgery during and after World War I. While this is a nonfiction read, the author is very talented and made this read as if a friend was telling you about something interesting them learned. There is a lot of information in this book, but you never feel bogged down etc. You also got to know the life of the doctors, the patients, and nurses so you they don’t come across as just people who worked there or just subjects.

The next two books I ended up reading during a impromptu 24 hour readathon. If you wanna see some more details on how that went, you can see that in my post, Impromptu Personal 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (Translator), I really enjoyed this wild ride of a science fiction. It is very hard to put into words why I liked this book so much. But, trying my best I think it comes from they way the story is told through very brief interviews. Even from these small interviews you get a clear picture of the ship, those on the ship, and the challenges they face. The atmosphere that is created is so detailed you find yourself reacting to the interviews subconsciously, you just get feelings deep down in your gut. Not only this, but it explores the idea what it means to be human.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (Translator), this book is really a wild ride. You go into it thinking you are going to read a general fiction about a man who was left by his wife for whatever reason and going to explore him navigating this. Well, as always Murakami always seems to add another layer to his books. This novel takes a supernatural/magical realism turn that makes this novel addicting to read. When I picked this book up I didn’t think I was going to finish it during the 24 hour readathon, I was wrong. I ended up reading this 600 page book in a single day.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, Adrian Nathan West (translator), this fiction book takes real life players and events and takes the reader on a wild ride. It does talk about both mathematicians and physics, not knowing too much about both, just general knowledge, I was not lost in the slightest. The author did a great job of blending fact and fiction and really makes the reader think about the question if humanity is going forwards or backwards through discoveries. It plays on the quote from Jurassic park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” It for sure is a book that sits with you and makes you think.

Willie the Weirdo by Stephen King, this was a mere 18 pages so I don’t really want to say too much, but I will say this this short story really had the creepy vibes I have been missing from his more recent works.

Slow Boat by Hideo Furukawa, David Boyd (Translator), this book was meh. It was not bad by any stretch, the writing was very well done, but this story was kind of boring. I read 45 pages the first sitting, which was a huge dent since this book is so short, but it was a struggle to pick it up again. If this book was any longer I probably would have DNF’ed it because it just didn’t pull me in personally. Like I said, the writing is really good, for a short book, the author did a lot in those pages, which is impressive.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune, this story made my heart hurt, It was imaginative in all the right ways. I read this in a 24 hour period from cover to cover. I don’t get too emotional while reading, but this book certainly pulled at my heart strings between friendships, found family and just the growth of the main character . Plus, GHOSTS, I am 100% on board.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Anker’s Summer Shirt

Anker’s Summer Shirt by PetiteKnit, this was my first time working a pattern by PetiteKnit and I can see why other knitters lover her patterns so much. They are simple, but have enough going on to keep you engaged. The styles are classic and timeless and are great for layering. I want to work another one of her patterns already. I made this project out of Sandnes Garn Line, which is a blend of cotton, rayon, and linen so it was perfect to make this summer shirt for sure. I really loved the textured yoke of this top down sweater.

Duotone Cowl

Next project I completed was a Duotone Cowl (Non-ralvery Option) by Orange Flower Yarn. I did this project as a stash busting project with the intent of donating it come colder months. I happened to have two skein of
Ritual Dyes Marona in a pink color and a dark green so I whipped up this project. I really loved how this pattern didn’t work with equal sized stripes all around, but made one color dominate in one half and then reversed on the second half. It makes this scarf look more intricate than it is and I love that in a project, plus it is a free pattern and very well written!

Vanilla Socks

The next and final project I finished was a plain vanilla sock with a contrasting heel and toe for sock week 2022, I did an entire post dedicated to this project and you can find that here, Sock Week 2022 Journal. It was a fun quick project before jumping back into some larger ones.

Life

This past month I did a bunch of fun things. I went to the beach a few times, getting that fresh salt water air really helped me get over a cold I had for over two weeks. While at the beach I was able to get some reading and knitting done as well. It was just truly a relaxing experience and I needed it greatly. I always forget how much I need to be around nature and how calming it is personally to me.

Showing off Slow Boat by Hideo Furukawa on the beach

I also went on a lovely nature walk with my boyfriend this month. We walked around for about 2 hours easily looking at statues and enjoying all the different plants, flowers, and trees. We even found one that looked like it was growing tiny bananas. I think my favorite part of this walk was any time we came across the water. We found a water fall, a stream with a ton of koi fish, and even found a frog among the water lilies.

waterfall through a stone window

As you can see I spent a lot of time doing the things I love and enjoy this month and I really hope to keep this going. I want to go to the beach a few more times before it gets chilly again. I do have some fun plans coming up in August that I am really looking forward to sharing with you! But, that was my month of July! I hope your July was just as wonderful if not more so.

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Knitting, Crochet, Crafting, Art & More · Wrap Up

Sock Week 2022 Journal

Hello and welcome! Glad to see you here on my little part of the internet. Today I wrote up my experience for my first sock week! Sock week is an 8 day knitting challenge to crochet or knit an adult sock using fingering weight yarn. I have decided to knit a sock, but I plan on trying to finish the entire pair instead of just one.

My Supplies and Prep

Sock Week Knitting Kit with Supplies

I am using a sock set from Zeezee Textiles in the weight fingering / sock called Patina where the main color is a mixture of pastel colors and the mini is a beautiful rust color. I am also working out of my summer sock camp project bag that is covered in s’mores, hot cocoa, and camp fires. I make my socks on 9 inch circulars so I made sure to place them as well as all my stitch markers, darning needles and snips in the bag as well. Prior to the start I wanted everything wound and ready to go so I could enjoy the midnight cast on party without needing to run around and get any supplies.

Day 1: July 10th, 2022

Day One Progress Picture

I stayed up super late so I could cast on as soon as the clock struck midnight. It was a ton of fun casting on so late and working on the ribbing, my least favorite part. I did end up going to bed and waking up and completing the twisted ribbing on two socks and the entire leg section on one of the socks. I did 15 rows of ribbing and 50 rows for the leg. I was very happy to be able to place on my sock week stitch markers on my socks so I can track my progress tomorrow. The one is the sock week logo and the other is a cute shark. I am thrilled with my first days progress and I hope to keep up the momentum!

Day 2: July 11th, 2022

Day 2 Progress Picture

This day I got a lot done! I ended up completing both of the legs for both sock one and two. I even tried to start the heel, but I messed up and ended up having to unravel it and I plan on starting it again tomorrow when my brain is a bit more fresh.

Day 3: July 12th, 2022

Day 3 Progress Picture

On this day, I ended up fixing my heel and ended up doing the heel turn and gusset decrease for one sock. The second sock I ended up doing the heel. I will say the gusset decreases is my least favorite part of making socks, mainly because it is the section of the sock with so many stiches on the needles. It also isn’t as mindless, since you need to keep track of decreases. Anyway, I am pretty much at the halfway point for my pair and I am thrilled!

Day 4: July 13th, 2022

Day 4 Progress Picture

My least favorite part of the socks is officially done! I finished the gusset decreases for the second sock and ended up moving onto the foot! At this point I feel like the rest of the socks are going to fly since it is mostly going to be mindless knitting and the toe.

Day 5: July 14th, 2022

Day 5 Progress Picture

I blew myself away today with my progress. I was thinking maybe I would finish the foot of one sock and that was about it. I surprised myself and ended up finishing a sock already! Technically I met the goal of sock week today due to this. Now, I knit my socks in tandem, always have, to keep away the idea of never finishing the second sock. Due to this I was already done with my second sock so I am confident I will be able to finish the pair before sock week is completed.

Day 6: July 15th, 2022

Day 5 Progress Picture

I did it! I completed both of my socks within sock week! I really wasn’t sure how this was going to play out at the start of the week, but this was truly the best case scenario. I now have a wonderful new pair of socks, even with the ends all woven in, ready to wear. While there is another 2 days of sock week, I am going to end the challenge here. I am not going to be dedicating my time to completing another WIP I have left lingering.

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Monthly Digest · Reviews · Wrap Up

My Most Recent Read

Hello and welcome to a little recap of books I have recently read and my quick thoughts on them. I have been inconsistent on my little slice of the internet and I wanted to get to a point I could do my monthly digest posts once again. The last one I wrote was Monthly Digest April 2022, so I have a few months to cover before getting in to July’s later this month.

I will admit my reading was very inconsistent as well, most likely the main reason I was not posting a ton. I wasn’t in a reading mood because I had so much going on, which left me with very little relaxation time. So, without much more rambling, here is the single book I managed to read between May and June.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

I actually buddy read this in a way with Reg and Jenna. We each took a turn reading the book, annotating it, and then sending it to the next reader. This very cute love story was just the perfect amount of cute and twists I needed and didn’t know it yet. It was really great to read on its own, I loved the story. It was imaginative, much more so than I thought going into it. The writing was inviting, I ended up actually reading this in a day or two. If that alone isn’t saying how much I enjoyed it, I don’t know what else will. I told you my reading was pretty much nonexistent, but since reading this book I have read a few more, I give this book credit for kick starting me reading. I really enjoyed the characters as well, in fact I enjoyed them so much I mentioned them and this book in my recent post. The Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag. I know I am not saying too much about the plot, but I really think I liked it so much because I knew so little about the books itself. I really only knew it was about a girl who takes the train, other than that I really knew nothing. But, like I said this book was enjoyable on its own, it was really great fun reading my friends reactions and their thoughts on everything.

I am happy to report my next wrap of reading will have much more to share. I have been bitten by the reading bug and I am really thrilled. I hope it continues in the coming months so I can share more great books with you.

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Knitting, Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

What’s In My Project Bag, Vacation Edition

Hello all! I am writing this quick little post to share what I am packing in my project bag while I am off on vacation visiting my family. I don’t plan a doing a ton of things while on vacation other than hanging out so I feel like that will leave a ton of time for me hopefully work on my projects.

Sock Week 2022

It just so happens that Sock Week, hosted by Knitty Natty is taking place while I will be on vacation so of course I am bringing along a sock project. I am using a mini skein set by Zeezee Textiles, the main skein is a gray toned rainbow and the mini is a rusted red color. I can’t wait to use it! I tend to knit my socks at the same time, I’ll knit both cuff before moving onto the next section as an example. Due to this I am taking 2 Chiaogoo 9-inch circulars in the size US2 to work on. I have my start of round parkers and lightbulb safety pins to help keep track of my rows so I don’t need to recount constantly, I just put a clip every 20 or 10 rows depending on the type of sock I am making. O am also bringing a darning needle to weave in my ends and a pair of scissors. Lastly, my project bad is a Summer Sock Camp bag that is by the lovely MntStateStitches. Summer Sock Camp is hosted by
Crazy Sock Lady.

Sock Project Bag and Goodies

My Larger Project

While I plan on working on a pair of socks, I feel like I am mainy going to be working on those during th traveling parts of this trip. I also want to give my handsw a bit of a break from working with such a small size needle so I am also going to be bringing my Miss May SHAWL MKAL hosted by Helen Stewart. I am only about half way into clue 1 so I am very much behind, but I had a few other projects that took precedence. So I am packing up my yarn.

My MKAL yarn choices, 4 wound skeins

I am using a skein of Madelinetosh Euro Sock in Urbane Gray and three skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in one of a kind colors that are a blue with brown speckles, a pink color, and a white with brown/orange speckles. I am knitting these on a 40 inch Knitting needles in the size US 6, specifically Knitter’s Pride Karbonz. This is my first time working this this brand of needles and so far I am amazed at how light they are, but I have not really worked enough to write a review of them. Since I am taking a ton of notions such as scissors and a darning needle with my socks I am not really bringing much else. I may bring some spare yarn to add in a life line here and there though since I think some lace is going to be coming my way.

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Let's Talk · Tags

The Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag

Hello and welcome to my Mid-Year Freakout! It is hard to believe that we are already half way, or a little more than half way through 2022 already. I feel like time is flying all of a sudden, not sure about you? Anyway, let’s get into the questions and books!

Best Book You Have Read So Far

The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris: This fascinating nonfiction read jumps into the early medical field surrounding reconstructive surgery, with a main focus of world war 1. It was written in a way where it was highly informative, but reading this felt like you were listening to a friend talk about their favorite topic and it makes you really excited about it as well.

The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris

Best Sequel You Have Read This Year

I have not read a single sequel this year, I am so bad with series these days. I just tend to avoid them anymore.

A New Release That You Wanna Read, But Have Not Yet

The It Girl by Ruth Ware: Ruth Ware is one of my auto buy authors so I have this already on my digital shelf, I just have not been up to reading. As soon as the reading bug bites me I am diving into this book. Ware has a way of writing thrillers that always leaves you surprised and with each release her writing gets better and better.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half of the Year

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Taylor Jenkins Reid is another auto buy author for me. I have read nearly all of their backlog and have really enjoyed them. To be honesty, I always hate the description of their books. They never sound interesting to me, but somehow this author takes something I normally would be meh about and makes me love it.

The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings: When an authors writing is compared to one of my favorite authors I always need to take a closer look at the book. When I read the description on Megan Giddings book I knew I needed to read it. It said the word witches and I was in, on top of that the main characters story and the utopian world the author has placed them in is very scary, but also intriguing.

Biggest Disappointment So Far

Gwendy’s Final Task by by Stephen King  and Richard Chizmar: Now you might be saying this is a sequel you said you didn’t read any this year. I didn’t, I couldn’t finish this book. Now, I LOVED the first two books in this series and I will say I really loved the writing on this third one as well. Even with this talent of both authors I had to DNF one of my most anticipated reads of 2022. The reason being, I kept getting pulled out of the story so often it felt like every 5 pages or so. This book is so much in our time and our world that I could not suspend belief enough to get back into the story of our main character. I kept getting side tracked and going off on mental tangents about the state of the world. These writers are really talented, but I feel like this is a book I need to read a few years from now to really get what I want out of it if that makes sense.

Biggest Surprise So Far

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enríquez: The reason this is such a surprise for me is because I only picked this up because it was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize last year. Every year I make it a goal to read all of the books on the shortlist to find new authors around the world. There are misses for sure, but every once in a while I find a new author I just love. This is the case with Mariana Enríquez, even before finishing this book I ordered another one by them. Their writing is magical and their stories are so unique, dark at times and captivating.

Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)

Well, to be honest with you, Mariana Enríquez. The author of the book mentioned above, I really hope more of their works are translated into English because I just want to read more of their works than the two I already had my hands on.

Newest Fictional Crush

Honestly, I have not found a new fictional crush of 2022, but I shall keep searching!

Newest Favorite Character

August from One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston: August is a really interesting character, really pulled away from the world looking for their place. It was really fun to see their journey and how caring they truly are once they start making connection with others.

A Book That Made You Cry

No book has managed to make me cry yet, but to be fair books in general don’t make me cry very often.

Book That Made You Happy

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston: I really loved this book so much, mainly for the fact of the found family and the growth of the main character. I smiled so much while reading this book and even did a few happy squeaks.

Most Beautiful Book You Have Bough or Received This Year

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami: Can we just take a moment to look at how colorful and magical this books looks. It is so simple, but for me it really invokes a feeling of this book is going to magical. Bonus points, I just read this two days ago and I loved it so much. I love when a beautiful cover holds a really great story.

What Books Do You Have to Read Before the Year Ends

My owned TBR is currently only 16 books so to be honest I really want to read those 16 books. If you want to see which ones are on this list please feel free to visit by goodreads shelf: Owned TBR.

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Reading Challenges · Wrap Up

Impromptu Personal 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

Hello and here is a bit of a Journal of sorts for the 24 hour readathon I decided to do this week! I am actually thrilled with how this went, I read a ton more than I thought I would. In the past few months I have not really been reading, not quite sure why, but that is how my reading has been going. But, this week I feel like something is actually changing and I am hoping my reading mood has actually returned.

Holding knitting project and an open book.

10:00 PM: Started reading The Employees by Olga Ravn

11:12 PM: Competed The Employees by Olga Ravn, 136 pages ,4 stars!

11:14 PM: Started reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

11:57 PM: Read a total of 68 pages of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Time for some sleep!

9:16 AM: Continued reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

12:32 PM: Stopped on page 262 of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, 194 pages read.

Lunch Break and Responsibilities

4:38 PM: Continued reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

5:21 PM: Stopped on page 326, of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, 64 pages read.

Dinner Break

6:13 PM: Continued reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

9:46 PM: Finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, 281 pages, 4 stars!

Stats

Total Number of Books Started: 2

Total Number of Books Completed: 2

Total Number of Pages Read: 743 pages

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Reading Challenges · To Be Read

Impromptu Personal 24 hour Readathon TBR

Hello and welcome to a very spontaneous post from me. I finally have some free time this week and I decided that I want to tackle some reading with my free time to get back on track with my reading goals for this year. Hence, a 24 hour readathon where I dedicate my spare time to reading!

My plan is to start at 10:00 PM tonight and go until 10:00 PM tomorrow. Let’s see what happens!

Stack of TBR books

I don’t plan on reading all of the books here on my TBR, but I really wanted to give myself some options.

  • You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann
  • The Employees by Olga Ravn
  • All the Lovers in the Night by Mieko Kawakami
  • The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

I am planning to write a little journal post to share at the end of this little readathon, I can’t wait to see how I end up doing and seeing how much I actually read.

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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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