The making this week has had some highs and some not so highs.
First, remember this sock? Once I got the heel flap done and started down the foot and that little voice in my head kept saying, “holy cow this sock is BIG” after I got through the decreases I finally listened to that voice. End result – I frogged the sock and began again with the smallest size and hopes that this will actually fit. Oh boy.
I completed Chart One of my Pheasant Pullover and I think I need a longer length circular needle before I begin Chart Two. So, it’s in a bit of a holding pattern until I can get that longer length.
It looks spot on from this angle, but trust me when I tell you that the match up is just a bit off from front to back.
But that’s okay because I have spent my time wisely with an Esme Tunic. Matching plaids is not for the faint of heart and while this attempt was better than my first try, there is still room for improvement. The darts are hanging me up and I am not certain how to correct it. I have done something different with the pockets in this tunic with this inseam template from 100 Acts of Sewing! I hoped to have this done, but that was not happening, but at least I have a start on a new tunic! Today my challenge will be setting in the sleeves and hoping my plaids are spot on! Wish me luck! Haha
The reading also had some highs and less than high books this week as well:
I finished Fates and Furries, but it was an effort.
A mystery within a mystery. While I wondered from the beginning if they were connected – MacLeod keeps dangling hints before me. Anita’s growth in this novel is wonderful! I highly recommend this series.
I also finished Salt to the Sea and I really loved it!
Four people, four very different stories, all running concurrently. This book will stay with me for a very long time. There are horrific moments that almost crush you. There are tender moments that make you believe there is goodness. And those tender moments are so moving. I cried and the ending was so unexpected. I highly recommend this book!
One of the things that I want to do more this year is spinning – but I was keeping my wheel in a place where I was unlikely to ever do any spinning. The proof of that is how little spinning I did most of last year but, all that has changed! On Monday I spent a good portion of the day rearranging things so that I have a more convenient spot to spin, AND when I want to spin it does not make normal living inconvenient! I think I have achieved success because I did some spinning on Monday, and again on Tuesday, and my plan is to do a bit more spinning today!
So far, so very good and it seems my idea is working well! My wheel has had a bit of a tune up and I am discovering that spinning is much like bike riding – you don’t forget how, even if you haven’t done it in some time!
AND! I am hovering around the 7″ mark on the body of my Evening Dew Cardigan! It feels like I have been knitting on it forever – and suddenly I have something to show for it! I still have a long way to go on this project, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
The reading this week included just one finish and a bittersweet finish at that! I finished Wild Fire, the final book in Ann Cleeve’s Shetland series. I loved this series more with each book. Jimmy Perez has grown on me and I am sad that he has solved his last murder. The writing in this series is brilliant and I highly recommend it!
Did you all hear this article on NPR? That is a very impressive top ten list – and I love how many children’s books are there!
That is all I have for today – what’s on your reading list this week?
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My January is off to a roaring start! I have finished my Felix Cardigan – well, it is finished with the exception of weaving the ends in and sewing on buttons! I hope to get to JoAnn’s this weekend to see what they might have that could work with it! I really love how a sewn tubular bind off looks and I will be using that technique again!
I knit to the body an inch longer than the designer suggested.
The bind off is just so incredible!
I also cast on and finished Leni, which I knit for my daughter for her birthday! It needs a bit of a soak and then can be wrapped to send off to her! I love the fit and will be making another of these!
I love how this turned out with speckled yarn and a strand of mohair!
Now I am back patiently working on my Evening Dew Cardigan – slowly but surely!
I also started my “month of sewing” and I am 2 sleeves, pockets, and a hem short of a finish on my flannel Esme Tunic. Sadly, I failed greatly on trying to figure out how to match the plaids… sigh. I have a bit more sewing to get to this month, and a bit more practice matching plaids, so stay tuned!
My reading also started of gang busters with some winners and one that did not quite win for me.
I really wanted to love The Starless Sea– sadly, loving it was just not in the cards for me. I felt much as Mary did about the second half of the book. 2-stars and read at your own risk!
The other common theme my reading had this year was how many authors I discovered and then proceeded to try and read as many of their books as I could! John Boyne won the year with 6 novels (many 5-star and one very indelible read: The Heart’s Invisible Furies) Louise Erdrich came in second with 4 of her books on my list, including one indelible: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Nineteen authors all had multiple titles in my year of reading – I have learned that a good writer is sometimes a prolific writer!
2019 was the year of social justice or at least my efforts to learn more about how to be a good ally, an educated citizen, and not just a “watcher from the sidelines!” Nineteen of the books I read this year helped to educate me about many things from the Mueller Report, to White Privilege, to the Whistle-Blower Complaint and even a book about Global Warming. Being an informed ally is important to me but all this reading has shown me how much I still must learn, so you can expect to see more of this kind of reading in 2020.
My standby of a good mystery was reinforced with seventeen novels read in 2019 and most of these were parts of ongoing series with characters that I have come to know and love deeply. These books are the best therapy on earth for me! A few pages in and I am off on a journey to figure out who did it and how will it all come together!
And, finally I listened to 88 books this year – a significant number and I am so grateful to my library for having so many audio book choices!
And, in case you think I have done no knitting… I got a Sweater Quantity of yarn for Christmas from Steve and almost immediately cast on a Felix Cardigan – the body is almost done and sleeves are up next – this will be my first finish of 2020! I love the yarn color (Galaxy) it is black, but not quite with a purple-ish, teal-ish hue. I spent an hour after dinner last night learning the sewn tubular bind off – I think Steve has it memorized too from me saying it out loud over and over and over and over. Hahaha!
That is all I have for today! If you wrote a post to share today, please leave your link below and thank you!
Today, you get an update on some top-secret Christmas knitting and my Year in Knitting review!
First up, I knit Steve a pair of Simply Skyp Socks. The yarn I used was a bit heavier than sport weight, but I love how they turned out!
I also made Steve a pair of those Woodland Loafer’s slippers – even with figuring out gauge to knit a men’s size 14 slipper, they went much quicker than that first pair did! If you are interested in the gauge for a much bigger slipper, you can read my notes here.
2019 was a very productive year for knitting! I set a goal to make 18 projects on Ravelry this year, and I blew past that goal with 27 28 completed projects! (somehow one pair of socks for Steve never got entered!)
It was a year for “repeat knitting” though! You know I made 2 pairs of those Woodland Loafers but there were many more multiples of things made! There were two Beneath the Rocks Headbands, two Velvet-y Cowls (and one mini Velvet-y Cowl so Vivi can match her momma!) There were two Screen Doors as well! And there was a pair of Bunnies for Genevieve!
A good pattern is one that you want to knit over and over and over again!
There were six sweaters knit in 2019 – a number I am most happy with! I have some plans for at least one sweater repeat in 2020 – I absolutely love my Regan Sweater and I wear it almost every day! I think a second one would be perfect (especially this mod!) and I have some yarn that I think might work for it. I have not swatched yet – but I will be as soon as I have finished my Evening Dew Cardigan which I think this can be finished easily in January and that leaves lots of winter left to knit another sweater! As you can see, I have roughly 2 inches of the body knit – just 12-ish more inches to go!
No book updates this week – next week I will share my Year of Reading!
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I am so thankful for all your participation over the year and I hope that your day is full of the joy of Christmas, the love of friends and family, and LOTS of knitting time! XO