Friday, January 12, 2018

Currently.


Reading: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte. I got this book for Christmas last year (2016 I mean), but I'd been putting off reading it. First of all, it's almost 600 pages long, which is a little intimidating! Also, I wasn't sure how I would feel about it...Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books, and Wuthering Heights is one of my least favorites. But so far I'm really enjoying it! It's a lot more readable than I expected.

Knitting: Besides a couple of hats for other people, I'm still working on my Find Your Fade shawl. I was planning on it being quite a bit smaller than the original pattern, but I didn't change things exactly as I should have. So even though I'm only using four colors (just joined the third) and mine isn't as deep, it's still probably going to be as long as the original.

Watching: I got the first part of Marple for Christmas, and I've been enjoying it so much! {Bella likes it too, as you can see. I don't think I've ever introduced her here, have I? Kenny's had her since she was a puppy so of course he's still the favorite, but I think she has adjusted well to having me around. :) She wouldn't stay still long enough outside for me to get a better picture!} Cozy British mysteries are like comfort food to me.

We've also been watching some new things. Kenny got me hooked on Longmire, a show that I never expected to like, so we just watched the first five seasons of that. (We won't see season 6 until it comes out on DVD, so no spoilers please!) We also watched both seasons of Stranger Things and really liked it too. And I just finished the first season of The Crown and loved it.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

My 2018 resolutions.


I'm one of those people who loves making resolutions and setting goals, no matter how bad I am at following through. :) So here are some things I'm hoping to accomplish in 2018.

Bookish:

Read at least 50 books. This is less than I usually read but more than I read in 2017, so hopefully a manageable goal.

Get my own-but-unread books below 100 and stay there. (I'm starting off the year on a book buying ban.) I would love to get way below 100. I don't want to just dip below that number to then have books that I may get as Christmas gifts bump me up at the end of the year. So for as long as possible, I'm planning on not buying any more books and just reading from what I own. (With one exception...Natalie Lloyd's new book, of course!)

Read 5 new-to-me classics. This is also carried over from last year. I own quite a few classics I haven't read yet. And I define the term loosely...they can be children's books, modern classics, etc.

Reread at least 5 books. I love rereading, but last year I only reread 3 books!

Read a big book. Again, carried over from last year.

Knitting:

Focus on making sweaters, especially when it comes to yarn purchases. I've come to realize that I want to wear my few knitted sweaters all the time, so I could definitely use more of them. Especially pullovers. And I rarely buy sweater quantities of yarn...I buy sock yarn and other random bits. So when I do buy yarn, it should be a thoughtful purchase of yarn for a sweater.

Knit lots of socks, and not just for myself. I have so much sock yarn! I'm selfish and want to keep most of it for myself, but I want to use it up and honestly I only need so many socks. So I'd like to make more socks for other people this year.

Spin yarn from my own sheep's fiber and knit something with it. I'm actually hoping to start spinning some of it within the next few days!

Sewing:

Make curtains for our house. So far we only have a valance in the bathroom and two big panels I bought in Target to cover our sliding glass door. I need to make curtains for five other windows.

Make at least three pillow covers. Again, I'm being practical here! I want to recover the pillows on our couch and one in another chair.

Miscellaneous:

Save money. I want to save some myself, like I do every year, but also as couple now that Kenny and I are married.

Improve my cooking skills. They have gotten better, but still need work!

Catch up on my Taproot magazines. Maybe this should have gone under my bookish goals. I subscribe to Taproot and really love the magazine, but I always seem to be behind, reading an issue months after it arrives! I also have back issues to read. So I'd like to get caught up with the current issues.

I didn't add this to my list, but I'd also like to spend more time outside this year. I used to walk on our farm and property very often, but I've gotten out of that habit over the past few years. I'd like to get back into it.

What are your resolutions for 2018?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

In 2017.

2017 was definitely an eventful year in my life! :) It brought the biggest, happiest changes that I've ever experienced.

Kenny proposed to me at the end of March, so we spent the following months fixing up our little house (finished house pictures are coming!) and planning our wedding. Then we got married at the end of October, just in time to spend the holiday season as a married couple. Married life has been so wonderful and natural so far. (2017 had its sadness too though...my grandfather passed away at the end of February.)


My knitting slowed some in 2017, with everything else going on. I finished 22 projects: 11 of those were items to sell at craft shows, and three were gifts. The remaining eight were for myself: five pairs of socks, two sweaters, and a shawl.

Favorite knits: My Germinate shawl and my black Dexter cardigan. (Which I finished before the wedding but haven't got pictures of yet!)

Here's how I did with my yarny resolutions. Knit myself two sweaters? Yep! I actually forgot this was even a goal but still managed to do it. Do more natural dyeing? Nope! Life was so busy that it was never convenient to dye yarn when the plants were in. Learn the basics of weaving? Yes, I did a small little wall hanging on my little lap loom. I enjoyed it, but I don't think weaving is one of my things! Be prepared? Not really. I didn't do much gift knitting this year, though I did knit some hats to sell. Spin yarn from my own sheep and knit with it? No, but I'm hoping to do that very soon!

My sewing resolutions didn't happen. I didn't sew a new quilt or start sewing a pair of jeans. As for my other two more general resolutions, I did manage to save a decent amount of money. And my cooking skills have improved, I think! More out of necessity than anything...I have to make food for my husband now, after all. :) But I enjoy cooking more than I used to!

How did you do with your resolutions in 2017?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

What I Read: December


I only read three books in December. I really enjoyed two of them, and the other was just okay (but about what I expected!). As always, click on the titles to read my Goodreads reviews.

Snow and Rose, by Emily Winfield Martin. I've always loved Emily Martin's artwork, but I was a little disappointed with the writing in one of her previous books. Thankfully her writing has greatly improved! This was such a sweet, charming book, and of course it was gorgeous.

The Hollywood Book of Death. This book was morbid, which is obviously what you expect from the title. :) It's been on my shelves for years so I finally picked it up and just skimmed through it, reading the ones that I was interested in. It was pretty depressing.

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, by Alan Bradley. I love the Flavia de Luce series! This book wasn't my favorite, because Flavia is at boarding school in Canada, and I do love her in her native setting. But it was still very enjoyable.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Best of 2017: Books


2017 was, once again, just an okay reading year. I unfortunately didn't find any new favorites, and life was so busy that I didn't read nearly as much as I usually do. But still, there were plenty of books that I enjoyed this year!

Best book: I wouldn't consider it a favorite book or anything, but in terms of simple enjoyment, it was probably Something New. I really like Lucy Knisley's graphic novel memoirs...they're fun and quick reads. I thought it was funny that this was the first book I read in 2017, and in my review I mentioned that the thought of planning a wedding seemed overwhelming and stressful. I didn't know that a couple months later I'd be planning my own wedding. :)

Worst book: Make 'Em Laugh, by Debbie Reynolds. I really liked her previous two memoirs, but this one just seemed completely unnecessary. It was dull and repetitive, and it was a sad experience to read it not long after her death.

Biggest surprise: The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Finally, a Neil Gaiman book that I actually loved! :)

Biggest disappointment: The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night. I was really looking forward to this collection of short stories. I thought they would be quirky and wonderful, and the cover is gorgeous. But they were just a little too weird for me, in a way that I don't find appealing.

As I've said repeatedly, I didn't get much reading done this year, so understandably I didn't do so great with my goals. Here's a recap...

-Read 60 books. I only read 46.

-Get my own-but-unread books down to 100. I was so close to this goal at one point! So close. And if I'd read a little more then I definitely would have met this goal. But then after the books I got for Christmas, I'm back hovering around 120 again. Getting better every year though!

-Read 5 new-to-me classics. Not quite, but if you define classics very loosely, then I read three this year. Two "modern classics": Cold Comfort Farm and The Haunting of Hill House. I also read a children's classic, The Trumpet of the Swan.

-Read a really big book. Nope. None at all.

What were your favorite and least favorite reads of 2017?