Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Yarn Along

Here am I again and I'm trying to figure out how a whole week has passed since my last post.  I've still been battling this stupid virus but I think that today, I finally started to improve.  I've been back at work but it's been a real struggle to find the energy since life seems to be exceptionally busy right now!

I love the Yarn Along hosted by Ginny over at Small Things.  I love browsing to see what other people are reading and stitching and I love putting my post together.  What I love most?  Having a timeline that gives me a kind of mini-goal each week.  It motivates me to try and have a least one book finished and some visible progress on my knitting.  This week, I managed fairly well.

Knitting - still working on my baby blanket.  I'm a bit bummed.  The friend having this baby wasn't going to find out gender and so I was banking on this blue/gray I found.  My LYS didn't have enough of any one thing when I was there last and so I decided this was the best colour that had enough.  I tried to convince myself that it's grey enough that it could pass for a girl but I had a feeling this friend was having a boy.  Grr.... she posted on Facebook this week that they caved and found out gender and, you guessed it, it's a girl!  It's too late to do anything about it now and I have 22 of the 39 inches done so while it isn't the right colour, at least there's hope it will be done in time!

Reading - three books I want to mention this week.  First of all, I love reading good novels with my kids.  Pk is reading endless Scholastic series (e.g., Geronimo Stilton, Rainbow Magic, Bad Kitty, Animal Ark) and while I am thrilled she enjoys them, I can't bring myself to read them aloud.  I have been trying to find author's that would work for me to read to both kids that they would enjoy and that are light enough for LB but not boring for Pk.  We have discovered Dick King-Smith and we adore him!  I'm not sure Pk would entirely get him if she were reading him on her own but read aloud, they are WONDERFUL.  Dh and I both LOVE Sophie - she's such a tough little nut and the kids love these stories, especially since Sophie dreams of being a "lady farmer" when she grows up and so pets figure largely in her stories.  Such fun!  I also love buying second hand books and seeing where they have come from and we keep ordering VERY cheap Dick King-Smith books from England through  I can't recommend it highly enough!  Anyway, now for my reading.  First, I am reading Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne.  I know he isn't for everyone and he is a bit extreme.  I have no intention of running off to join a commune.  On the other hand, I think that he has really found the heart of the gospel message and I love seeing his interpretations of Biblical stories and the call that they have on our lives.  I'm meandering through it but it's a great read.  The other book I'm reading at the moment is Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid.  I struggle with her a bit - I love her style and I fight my way through the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novels despite the gruesomeness because I love her characters and her writing.  This book is a bit weird.  I'm 70 pages in and interested but I can't really tell you what it's about yet.  I'll let you know.  I saw it on the shelf at the library and the title jumped out at me.  I couldn't resist.

I can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to this week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Yarn Along

Thanks to the arrival of our new puppy, an online course for work I have been taking and this week, a horrible cold (which is why I am home today and can do this, so I guess it isn't all bad), I haven't had any time to be around here on the blog.  I've missed it and you and it's lovely to get a chance to come back with some knitting and reading.  I'm always so grateful to Ginny for hosting the Yarn Along at Small things.  I've followed so many blogs in the last five years or so and my interests shift and change but Ginny's blog has been one that I still keep coming back to.  It's so nice to feel connected!

In terms of knitting, my needles need to be on fire with baby blankets - I have a friend due in May, a friend in June and two in September.  I don't know whether I will manage to have blankets done for everyone but it's my goal to try.  Unfortunately (at least for me), everyone seems to be opposed to finding out the gender so I'm working away using colours that I hope are sufficiently neutral and sadly, my LYS has not had much selection at the moment.  I ended up buying two different lots of grey.  The one above, which is for the first blanket, is a lovely dk in a grey with a blue hint and I'm being a bit lazy in the name of time and just doing a simple feather and fan.  I wanted something that would look pretty and like I had done something amazing but that didn't require hours of counting.  This one is fairly easy and I can take it along with me.  My only worry is that the dk means it won't work up all that quickly.  When I finish here, I plan to spend a good chunk of my sick day in front of the t.v. with my needles going.

In terms of reading, I am reading two TERRIFIC books at the moment.  I started Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson as part of the SheLoves book club a few weeks ago. I don't know why, I fell away from it for a bit but now, I'm back and reading it with a vengence.  If you are interested in the complex issues around justice in the U.S., especially the inequalities related to race and poverty (and the fact that the death penalty is just plain wrong), this is a very powerful read.  On the fiction side, I'm still trying to catch up with Anne Perry, one of my favourite mystery writers who is incredibly prolific and I somehow fell behind.  Blood on the Water is a Monk mystery with an interesting spin that I am really enjoying.

I can't wait to see what others are reading and knitting this week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Yarn Along

I missed last week's Yarn Along post in the frenzy of Easter and a family night at school and honestly, not much knitting was done last week.  I'm trying to catch up on it this week.  As you can see, my Nimue wrap is coming nicely!  There are 25 repetitions of the pattern and I have done 18 so I am not far away now.

Unfortunately, I also realised that I have FOUR babies being born in our circle of friends in the next few months, May, June, August and September.  I know it's a tall order and I probably won't get a blanket done for everyone but I am going to try my best!  I spent some time of Ravelry searching out patterns and tried to find some that would do.  I'm going to start with the most basic - a version of a feather and fan.  I had trouble finding a good yarn but I ended up with this lovely grey-blue shade of DK.  I don't know whether this baby is a boy or a girl but given that my LYS didn't seem to have all that much of anything, I thought this combo was safer than anything else.  I started last night and it's beginning to show some progress but I wasn't paying enough attention earlier today when I tried to sneak in a few rows and I had to tear out - UGH!

In terms of reading, I finished Found by Micha Boyett (LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book and will try to write a post on it later on this week) and I also finished The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, finally (I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other books by Alexander McCall Smith.  Now, I'm reading Blind Justice by Anne Perry (which I hope to finish tonight) and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.  Blind Justice started out slowly and I wasn't sure that I was going to enjoy it but, as so often happens with the Monk series, we are now embroiled in a tense court case and I'm hooked - I MUST find out how it gets resolved.  Just Mercy is a huge shift.  It's this month's featured book for the Red Couch book club at She Loves and it's the autobiographical exploration of the career of Bryan Stevenson, who works as a lawyer supporting death row inmates in Alabama.  I started the book during Easter and ended up sneaking off to read over and over again.  I have pretty strong feelings against the death penalty and this book is grabbing me, much the same way that Dead Man Walking grabbed me many years ago.  This is a thoughtful exploration of the humanity of even killers on death row and the fact that there are many factors that go into creating a killer and that it is wrong for the state to murder its citizens, no matter what they have done.  I can't recommend this highly enough!

I can't wait to see what everyone else is working on, bookwise and on the needles!