Knitting: The past couple of weeks have been full of knitting up swatches and samples for a couple secret-for-now projects that I am submitting to a couple knitting publications. It’s been pretty hard not to share any photos of what I’m working on, but I’ve finished those up and now just have to wait to hear back. So this week, I started working on a new cowl design – something that fun to knit and soft and cozy to wear. I’ve really been loving the tall, almost shawl-like cowls that squish up when you wear them, trapping warm air around you to keep you warm while also looking quite stylish. I took my cue from them and went off to have fun playing with color and stitches – whatever struck my fancy at the time.
Reading: I’m still stuck on Shadow Scale, the sequel to Seraphina. I haven’t had a lot of reading time, lately, but I try to get a few pages in before bed. I’m just not loving this book as much as I enjoyed Seraphina. Even though the world is expanding in this story, it doesn’t have the same charm as the first installment. My lack of enthusiasm is making it very easy for me to doze off instead of turn the next page…
Watching: I’ve been enjoying the summer movie season, watching a lot of movies at the theater. Last weekend, we saw Trainwreck with Amy Schumer, which was, as expected, pretty hilarious, but I also thought it was a sweet movie that had it’s dramatic moments, too. This past weekend, I also powered through the BBC series Poldark. A British period piece set in the English countryside – hello! I’m there. I’m looking forward to the second season.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.
I’ve had a bit of a set back. I’d been working on designing a pullover for weeks and I was pretty darn excited about the whole thing. It looked great… in my head. After spending lots of time working out grading the pattern for multiple sizes (and pulling out lots of hair getting the math to work) and making the charts, I started knitting up the pattern in my size. I finished the body of the sweater on Saturday and blocked it.
But I went to bed that night with this little dark spot in my mind. This spot was telling me that the patterning on the front of the sweater just wasn’t obvious enough. It was too short in length along the torso and wasn’t standing out in the yarn I had chosen. I decided I would sleep on it and decide in the morning how to proceed. But when that doubt creeps in, it’s hard to get rid of, and really, I had already decided before my head even hit the pillow that this design just wasn’t working out. The item before me wasn’t matching the picture in my mind.
I think I know what needs to be done to fix it. But I need different yarn and to redo the math, so this design is on hold for now. On the bright side, the body fit quite well, so it wasn’t the sizing that was off. And that gives me enough confidence to try again with something else.
So, this week…
Knitting: I having been meaning to make a everyday, grey v-neck cardigan to add to my wardrobe for a while now. I’m taking this chance to design my own. And if I’m successful, it may become my first real garment design. So far, I’ve finished the ribbing and the pocket linings. Did I mention it has pockets worked seamlessly with the body of the sweater. It’s a great design feature I first found in Andi Satterlund’s Armande, and I love it.
Reading: I need to renew my library card for the year, so I’m currently shut out of the library website and can’t renew my checkout on Crown of Midnight. So for now, I’m back to reading Shadowscale. But honestly, my reading time has just plummeted since I’ve begun designing knitting patterns. There’s just not enough time in the day and I hate that my reading time is what got co-opted into pattern writing. I’m trying to work on it.
Linking up with yarn along and KCCO.
Knitting: For the past few weeks, I have been on such a knitting kick – really inspired to get some more knitting designs released. But I have so much actual work I need to do to collect the data I need to finish my Ph.D. in the next year. All this silly work stuff is much less fun than knitting and is really starting to eat into my crafty time. It doesn’t help that my knitting motivations are so high and my work motivations are much, much lower. But I’ve gotten things done (it helps when you have an hour commute to work each way). I finished adapting my Mont Royal sock motif into a pair of fingerless mittens, which are blocking today. (I love love love leafy lace motifs, and I may be especially biased towards this one, so I’m totally milking it for all it’s worth with the beautiful yarn I got from Riverside Studios.) They will have a matching hat soon I hope, if I can find some time to swatch for gauge on a slightly larger needle.
I also, restarted my poor sweater. I got all the way up to the armholes, but didn’t like how it was fitting (what did I think would happen with 2″ positive ease?!). So now we’re back at the bottom with a bit more fit calculated into the pattern. This thing is going to happen…someday.
Reading: I’m about half way through Crown of Midnight, the second book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I am enjoying this series, but I’m also kind of glad they are just library books because they aren’t turning out to be a series I would keep long term. But the characters are interesting, the magic and mythology are intriguing, and the action keeps my attention. So they are getting the job done.
Watching: Bob’s Burgers is entertaining me right now. And I can do a pretty decent Linda voice, which amuses me. I’m really looking forward to the new season of Orange is the New Black this weekend – good tv for marathon knitting sessions.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.
Knitting: My May socks for Liesl’s challenge are chugging right along. And they make me happy. I’ll be sitting on the subway, lost in my own little world, just chugging out some gray stockinette, and then POW! Rainbow power!
I don’t know why self-striping yarn has such a power over me, but it really is something a bit magical. The stripes, they just appear. I oddly derive such satisfaction at just watching the stripes appear. And from my own personal experience, I have to say that rainbow stripes are some of the best stripes you can have magically manifest from your needles. This pair will be a birthday present for my sister, who, I’m sure, will be so impressed at my superhuman ability to make stripes spontaneously appear in my knitting.
Reading: I’ve fallen so behind on reading. Lately my mind has just been taken over with knitting design. I’ve been reading up a lot on design principles and tips on self-publishing, as well as just sketching, diagraming, and collecting inspirations. And I haven’t budgeted very well for my personal reading time, which has left me about 50 pages into Shadow Scale, the sequel to the great Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. This stalling is in no way a reflection of the book, but just priorities at the moment. I will get back on schedule, soon, I hope, if I want to make my Good Reads goal for this year.
Linking up with yarn along & KCCO.
Knitting: My Spring Romance cardigan is making progress. I finished both lace panels fo the sleeves, blocked them, and have started working on the sleeves and the body of the sweater. I’ve got one sleeve all finished up and the second in progress. I’m enjoying the fresh, original construction of the this sweater – short rows and grafting are used to shape the shoulders and sleeves. It keeps me on my toes and pushed me to make sure my wrap and turns are nice and neat. Also grafting 90+ stitches taught me that my kitchener isn’t the neatest, but I don’t think anyone but me will notice.
Reading: I finished Station Eleven earlier this week. I loved it. One of the better books I have read in awhile. I loved it’s clean, beautiful writing along with the creative weaving together of each of the characters’ lives through flashbacks and glimpses of their individual experiences struggling through the terrifying events once humanity is wiped out by disease. It is a dystopian novel, but not the kind you’ve come to expect lately. For a book about the end of humanity, it held a lot of beautiful insights into how we define our lives and persevere.
Now I’m reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.
Watching: I finished Daredevil on Netflix this weekend. I was really getting into it, and then it’s over. Binge watching has that effect, I suppose. Now I’m trying to find something new to pick up, but I’m not feeling very inspired to hunt out something. In the mean time, I may just rewatch Game of Thrones to pass the time.
Linking up with Love your Library, KCCO, and yarn along.
Spring has arrived in Toronto. At last. It’s splendid. Every year I’m always amazed at the effect the weather has on my mood. Warmer days, lovely afternoon showers, bright blue skies, chirping birds, and a smile on my face.
Knitting: I think knitting lace just fits in so perfectly with spring. I can watch something delicate, soft, and floral grow off of my needles. Perfect for knitting away breezy spring afternoon storms or enjoying sunlight out on the patio while I sip iced tea (if I had a patio, of course. For now I just borrow someone else’s.)
I’m currently working on the lace inserts for my Spring Romance cardigan, which has a splendidly unique construction, starting from the lacy sleeves insets and then working out from the sleeves. Right now it seems a little magical to me, but my curiosity is completely peaked. I don’t tend to knit a lot of lace, but I’ve been enjoying the knitting these panels. They are just enough to be fun and challenging without not overwhelming me, like larger lace projects tend to.
Reading: I’ve totally been sucked into Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s set in a dystopian future where mankind has been decimated by a disease and tells the story of a band of travelling performers. The story is told in a compelling fashion through different character’s view points and flashbacks. I am always amazed at how quickly a good book pulls you in – I was immediately enthralled with the story and connected to the characters so quickly. Needless to say, the writing is effortlessly wonderful.
Watching: So much Netflix binging. House of Cards, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Daredevil have been taking up my weekend viewing. All so different, but great viewing.
Linking up with KCCO, yarn along, and love your library.
Knitting: I finally finished the back of my Crew sweater, which seems like its been on the needles for for-ev-er. This is not a difficult knit, but my inspiration to work rows and rows of plain stockinette comes in bursts and spurts. One such spurt came this last week, when I finished up the top half of the back. So now it can join the front of the sweater in my knitting basket while I work up the inspiration to churn out two sleeves. But the end is in sight, so by the end of the month, I’m hoping this project will be off the needles and in my closet.
Reading: I finished Eleanor & Park early last week. I was in the mood for a more traditional fantasy, so I went through my library Wish List and chose to go with Queen of the Tearling. I feel it is a little slow currently, as the world and characters are established, but hopefully things will pick up a bit more as we get more action in the mix.
Feeling: I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed as the semester ramps into gear. I feel a bit like there is too much on my plate. I’m a person who prefers to have things under control, put into its specific place and time. I like schedules and predictability. I’m still trying to get my feet under me as I juggle my research load (which seems to increase more and more as my Ph.D. goes on), teaching two courses (one that is brand new to me), taking my last course (in a field I have relatively little experience in). I know I can’t let work/school overload me otherwise I will be pulled too thin and spent. Then I’m good to no one. So I’m working to fit in some down time, me-time, dedicated knitting/reading/relaxing time. And the cold, dark winter is not helping me much, either. The countdown to spring starts now!
Cooking: I got a new, programable crock pot to help remove one thing from my to-do list. I’m exploring all the great, yummy recipes out there and trying to stockpile a reliable list of go-to dishes. What are your favorite crock pot recipes?
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.
It’s been a busy week as I settle into the new routine of the semester. I’ve managed to sneak in knitting here and there for an hour or two when I get home from work. Slow progress is being made, but at least it is being made. I hope that once I get more into the flow of things, I can fit in a bit more ‘me’ time, but that may be wishful thinking.
Knitting: I finished up the body of my Northern Neuk sweater and have started on the first sleeve. It’s easy knitting – stockinette in the round – so it’s great for couch knitting when I’m tired from the day. I’m almost done with the first of my January socks, too, almost exactly on schedule for where I need to be if they are going to be finished this month. They only get knit on during my commute, so I may pay a little more attention to them if I fall behind.
Reading: I have about 20 pages left of Eleanor & Park. It has been such a pleasurable read that I have just breezed through it. The writing is honest and beautiful in its simplicity, that you are just sucked into these characters as their lives become so entwined. I often found myself smiling while reading, eagerly eavesdropping as the characters discovered each other, and by doing so, discovered themselves. I’m not sure what I will pick up next – maybe something more fantastical.
Watching: I’m on a total crime kick lately. I’m really enjoying the current season of The Good Wife, and I’m excited that the second season of Broadchurch has returned (and is already so stressful!). I’m also making my way through the very creepy The Fall on Netflix – it has a bit of a slow build, but it gets under your skin.
As always, linking up with KCCO and yarn along.
If you haven’t done so already, this is just a quick reminder to update your blog subscriptions and Bloglovin feed to the new URL to stay up-to-date with new posts. Thanks.
Knitting: I’ve been working on my January socks for Liesl’s monthly sock challenge, knitting up lots of teeny, tiny cables and twisted stitches. It’s taking a bit of time, but I’m almost to the heel of the right sock, and with less cables, the foot should (hopefully) go faster. As long as I don’t get stuck in second sock syndrome, these should be finished before the end of the month. I’ve also been making really good progress (and having good fun) on my Northern Neuk sweater, my first project that is part of Emily’s Love your Library challenge, and have reached the armhole bind-off. I’m still in that groove you have after the start of the new year where you can still believe that you will tackle all the challenges/resolutions/goals you’ve set for yourself. When February hits, we’ll see how optimistic I still am at keeping up with all these knitting challenges.
Reading: I’ve also set reading goals for myself this year because I was disappointed in how I let my reading slip last year. I mostly read before bed, but last year I let my knitting take over and would stay up far too late working on projects, leaving no time for bedtime reading. I’m trying to set boundaries for myself, like not bringing the iPad to bed to surf knitting patterns and reading instead. I finished Going Bovine on Sunday and have started up Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (I really hope that is her real name because I love the idea of someone going through life with the name Rainbow). I’m loving Eleanor & Park so far – the writing is simple, but effective, immediately swallowing you up in the pure, true emotions of falling in love for the first time.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that although my Perianth cardigan “fits,” it doesn’t really fit me. And by that I mean that I can get it without any problems, but it will never ever button comfortably. And that’s fine, too, just wearing it as an open-front cardigan. But there’s part of my brain that is hung up on the fact that it is wrong. That, on top of the fact that I kind of hate making sleeves, has stalled Perianth for now. I plan on making another one for myself and gifting this one to my sister who (if you can believe it) is even tinier than I am.
In the mean time, I’m using the left over MadTosh from Perianth to work on a different project and get some of my mojo back. I cast on Crew
last weekend and have been working up the stripey front. Because I’m using fingering weight yarn, I went up one size on the pattern to compensate. The purple and white stripes will be complimented by a charcoal grey back with some more MadTosh I bought on sale for Black Friday.
As far as reading goes, very little has been done recently because of travel and holiday business. I’m still making my way through Going Bovine by Libba Bray and I’m liking it. Hopefully once things get less busy and I’m on holiday break, I’ll have more time to dedicate to some fun-time reading.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.