Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Yarn Along

Reading: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. I read this book as a kid, but I remember absolutely nothing about it except that it involved time travel. I bought this copy at least 10 years ago and have since collected the other books in the series, so I'm finally reading this one again. So far it's living up to my expectations and I'm loving it!

Knitting: Remember this sweater? It's been on the needles for nearly four months now, and that drives me crazy. For the last month (at least), all I've had left was about 6 inches of one sleeve and the neckband. I finally got motivated to work on it again, and it might actually be finished by the time this post goes up. {It's finished! I still have to weave in the ends and block it, but I should have finished photos sometime next week.}

{Yarn Along is a weekly link up hosted by Ginny where you can share what you've been knitting and reading.}

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Yarn Along

Reading: The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion. This is the sequel to the book I was reading in my last Yarn Along post (The Rosie Project). I can't say too much about this one without spoiling aspects of the first book, so I'll just say that I'm really enjoying it so far. :)

Knitting: I'm almost finished with my mom's socks for Mothers' Day. A few days late, I know! But I only have a couple of inches left on the second sock. These are just plain vanilla socks, but knitting with self-striping yarn is so addicting!

{Yarn Along is a weekly link up hosted by Ginny where you can share what you've been knitting and reading.}

Monday, May 2, 2016

What I Read: April

What a sad little pile of books! Yeah...I definitely didn't get a lot of reading done in April. As usual, click on the titles to read my Goodreads reviews.

Meant To Be, by Lauren Morrill. I bought this book a couple of years ago, mostly because of the pretty cover and the fact that it's set in London. Unfortunately, it was disappointing. With her type-A planner and rule-following personality, I could relate to Julia, the main character, at times. But she was also annoying and wishy-washy. And Jason just got on my nerves.

The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball. I really enjoyed this memoir! With the way that the author fell into farming (she fell in love with a farmer), I thought she might romanticize it. But she was very honest and blunt about the difficult parts of that lifestyle. It was a very interesting and engaging read.

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion. This book was like a romantic comedy starring Adrian Monk (of the TV show Monk). It read so much like a movie, which made sense when I found out that it was originally written as a screenplay (and apparently it's been optioned as a film?). It was a fluffy rom-com, but with a few unique aspects: the most enjoyable of those being Don Tillman, the main character. I really liked it, but a few things kept me from loving it (particularly some profanity and a character named Gene).

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Knitting: Jaws socks.

Another finished pair of socks! Apparently I'm incapable of completing larger projects in 2016, but at least I can still knit socks. (Even if it did take me nearly a month.)

There's not a lot to say about these. They're vanilla socks, knitted on size 1 DPNs with 68 stitches, which is my new basic sock recipe (previously it was 64 stitches on size 2's). I bought this yarn at the fiber festival last year. It's from Fairy Tale Knits, in an 80/20 Merino and nylon blend (Starfish colorway). This yarn was tightly spun, which I like in sock yarn, but it was also a bit coarse and non-elastic. I'm not sure why. I love how the red and turquoise knitted up, with no thick pooling...the colors are bright but still subtle somehow. But because of the lack of elasticity in the yarn, it was hard on my hands and I didn't particularly enjoy knitting with it.

I once saw some turquoise and red spinning fiber that looked a lot like this yarn, and the colorway was called Jaws. It's a bit morbid but I've always remembered that, so I can't help but think of these as my Jaws socks. :)

Ravelry project page.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Olde Liberty Fibre Faire {2016}

It seems that going to the Olde Liberty Fibre Faire has become a yearly tradition. {See 2014 and 2015.} It happens to usually fall very close to my birthday, so the fiber festival has become an extension of my birthday. (I'm twenty-five now...what? This year I managed to stretch my birthday celebration to four days. I think that's a new record.)
This year it was at a different location: A Goode View Alpaca Farm in Goode, Virginia. I don't think it was any further away from us than before, and we drove through some pretty country to get there. I think the new location was an improvement because most of the vendors were outside and there was plenty of room. At the Lion's Club, most of the vendors were inside a building and things were cramped.
As always, I had such a nice time at the festival. (And, as always, I was so excited that I forgot to take many pictures.) Since I go to a knitting group every week now, I'm not quite as starved for interactions with fiber people as I used to be. :) But it's still a good feeling to be in a place full of knitters, spinners, farmers, dyers, and weavers. People who are just as obsessed with fiber as I am, or more so. I ran into several ladies who were very helpful when I first started knitting and spinning, and it's always good to see them again.
It was a beautiful day and I came home feeling very inspired. (And more determined than ever to have my own wool sheep. Those two adorable lambs above were for sale, and they're Rambouillet/Merino. How perfect would that be?) Of course I also came home with some new yarn and fiber. :)
I've become one of those knitters who loves sock yarn. (Thankfully I also love knitting socks.) I'm slowly but steadily knitting down my stash, but somehow my pile of sock yarn never seems to shrink. On the left is a skein from Unplanned Peacock Studio. I've knitted with her Peacock Sock yarn three times, and it's one of my favorite yarns. So far I've made a pair of socks for my mom, a Hitchhiker, and a Stripe Study Shawl, but this time I'm finally going to get my own pair of socks from her yarn. :) This is her exclusive colorway for this year's festival...every year I end up buying her festival colorway because it's always so gorgeous.
The middle yarn is a lovely blueish-gray from Gershubie Fiber Arts. I mostly knit plain socks from variegated yarns. But I'd like to have a few pairs of fancier socks made from more solid or tonal yarns, so that's what this will be. The yarn on the right is actually a Christmas gift that I picked out for my parents to give me, but I thought I'd include it anyway since it came from the festival. It's sparkly sock yarn, again from Unplanned Peacock Studio.
I really enjoy spinning Finn fiber, so I bought 4 ounces of it in an orange and gray colorway, which I think will become a nice yarn for a fall knitting project. Then I bought 4 ounces of really soft fiber that's 60% alpaca, 20% merino, and 20% BFL. It's mostly brown but has some gray and a bit of dyed blue mixed in. And finally, I got some more Rambouillet. After spinning it only once, Rambouillet became one of my favorite fibers. This is from a local farm, and I got 2 ounces of blue/teal and 2 ounces of teal and rusty brown. I'm going to spin them together for a project.