Hello and welcome to a midmonth check-in! This month has truly flown by, I feel like the year always speeds up the further along we are. While I have finished a few projects and finished a few more books, I am just going to take a moment to share what I am currently reading and working on. But, don’t worry, in my monthly digest post I will share all my reads and projects! Anyway, here is what I am currently focusing on.
My Current Reads
Maledictions: A Horror Anthology by Cassandra Khaw (Contributor), this is an anthology in a very expansive universe called Warhammer 40k. I have never read anything from this universe before, honestly I was very overwhelmed because this science fiction is honestly a phenomenon in my eyes. There is just SO MUCH. But, I finally decided to see if there was some horror within and lo and behold there is some horror, a lot actually. So, I picked it up. I am about 30% in this collection of short stories and honestly I think it is a great introduction to this very large universe that is so rich with lore and history. It gives small peaks into that, so I feel like I am only dipping my toe in before really jumping in. The writing is honestly just wonderful. All of the stories I have read so far have been done so well, I have been utterly freaked out, which is perfect since it is horror. While this is me just dipping in my toes for now, not knowing everything or much about Warhammer 40k I feel like these stories explain what is needed and I think is a good foundation/starting point, even though it is not a traditional starting point. I am really excited to continue to read this.
My Current WIPs
The first project I am working on is a pair of socks, this time I am following a pattern called Picnic Blanket Socks (ravelry) by Helen Stewart. It has been a fun and easy knit so far and this yarn has been a dream to work with, nice and squishy. I am looking forward to wearing them when the weather gets a bit chillier.
The second project I am currently working on is a bit more of an undertaking and I feel like I am going to be working on for a bit. It is the Alpenglow I (ravelry\non-ravelry) sweater pattern by Andrea Mowry. It will be my first time doing color work, I am both excited and scared out of my mind. I have completed just up to the start of the color work. I decided to put it aside until I do a bit more research on color dominance and then picking it back up to continue. I feel like I will have done that by the time this goes live.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Hello and welcome to another crochet check in! The past few months I have taken on quite a few new projects and challenges when it comes to crochet and I wanted to take a moment to share the outcomes of these adventures. I know a bit ago I did a post detailing my crochet plans called, Crochet Talk | Upcoming Projects, I figured I should share an update!
The first project I finished was a Crochet Kobo Cover. I used a pattern inspired by Melanie Ham called Easy Crochet Kindle Cover. I used Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend in the color Chai Latte with a 6.0 mm hook. I added a the optional strap and button as well as a fabric lining, the first time I have done either. It was a bit of a challenge doing the lining, but I think the next time I try it will be better.
The next few projects I made were Drawstring Pom Pom Bags designed by Knit Crochet Addict called Crochet Drawstring Pom Pom Bag, I left the pom poms off, not really my style, but it is cute! I used Wool Ease by Lion Brand in quite a few different colors because I made two for me a few for friends of mine. When making this I used the recommended hook size on the yarn to complete the project.
This next project was a basket called the Jessie Stash Basket by Toni Lipsey. To complete the project I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick Color Fisherman doubled up and used a 9.0 mm hook. I really loved how this book came out so much in this cream color! I even placed it on my nightstand to hold my current read and current crochet projects. It is very durable too because the yarn was doubled up. I really love Toni’s patterns and videos.
Next, I created a Highlander Twisted Shawl which was designed by Lilian for a friend of mine. I decided to use Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in the color Galaxy, which is a bit hard to see in the picture, but is a deep purple with sparkles here and there. I ended up using a 9.0 mm hook. On a great note, my friend loved it!
Following the shawl, I made another gift, but this one was a Snoopy Amigurumi plush by Amigurinos softies. I ended up using Big Twist Value Worsted Yarn in black and white and used the size down from recommended hook size for the yarn. What I loved about Amigurumi is you can change up the yarn size and hook size to make a larger or smaller plush. I am happy with how this one comes out and I really hope the person it is meant for will love it.
This month I made a lot of gifts for others, this time around I made an Outlander Cowlby Jamey from Dabbles & Babbles. I used Big Twist Sincerely Solids in the color Oatmeal Heather. I doubled up on the yarn and ended up using a size 10.0 mm hook. I really loved the texture of this scarf and really love how this came out. The person I made it for ended up wearing it all day when I gifted it to them.
This next project is for me, I ended up making myself the Crochet The Claire Shawl From Outlander by Selina Veronique using Stylecraft Special Aran in Khaki (1) and Camel (4). I ended up using a size 6.0 mm (J) hook. I decided to use yellow and a green color instead of the green and black used in the show because I wanted to make it more spring-y.
The last project I finished in March was Beginner Felici Crochet Socks by Briana K Designs. I ended up using Patons North America Kroy Socks yarn doubled up, I actually mixed the colors brown rose marl and gray brown marl together and used a 4.5 mm hook. This was a project I was very much intimidated by, but so happy that I tried. Plus, I am really happy with how they came out.
What hobbies have you been filling your time with?