Thursday, June 22, 2017

On Instagram.

I recently got my first "real" cell phone. I'm not a phone person at all, and I've always just shared an old Tracfone with my mom for emergencies. But Kenny added a line to his phone plan for me this past month, and with that came a new phone. The main advantage of this is that I can now text Kenny easily and more often, of course. :) But I have to admit that it's also nice to have the ability to take pictures without dragging along my camera.

And I have Instagram now. I've been browsing through the amazing yarny and knitting community on there for at least a year now, and I even made an account several months ago on my computer so I could more easily keep up with my favorite accounts. But until I got the new phone, I wasn't able to actually post pictures.

I'm not good at photography, so don't expect amazing pictures and a gorgeous, cohesive look. But if you'd like to see what I'm up to (knitting, reading, and possibly wedding/house stuff?) on a somewhat daily basis, feel free to check it out. I much prefer blogging and have no intention of giving it up, but Instagram is a nice filler in between posts. :)

{I might try to participate in the #WishfulWonder challenge that Rissi is cohosting in July.}

Monday, June 5, 2017

Summer reading list.

For several years, I made a summer reading list. (I skipped last year.) My reading has been a little off lately, so I thought trying a list again this summer might motivate me to read more. With everything that's going on, I'm sure this list is much too optimistic, but I'm not expecting to actually finish all of these! So here's what I'm hoping to read between now and August or the beginning of September...


Raising Demons, by Shirley Jackson. Because I want to read everything by her, and I enjoyed her first memoir-ish book: Life Among the Savages.
How the Heather Looks, by Joan Bodger. This has been on my to-read list forever. It's travel memoir meets English children's literature...could anything be more perfect for me?
In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson. It's been a while since I read anything by Bill Bryson, and his Australian book seems appropriate for summer.
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley. Hoping this one will encourage me to learn how to cook. :)

Children's Literature:

Going Solo, by Roald Dahl. Again, I've been meaning to read this forever. (It's also a memoir.)
The Titan's Curse, by Rick Riordan. Still working my way through this series, rather sporadically!
Raymie Nightingale, by Kate DiCamillo. I always love her books, and this one seems especially summer-ish. Also, the cover is adorable.
The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White. I love Charlotte's Web. I might have read this in elementary school, but I remember nothing about it. It's one I pulled off my shelf randomly to add to the list.


4:50 from Paddington, by Agatha Christie. Because a Miss Marple mystery is always a good idea! I've seen the TV version of this, but I don't remember too much about the plot or the mystery.
East of Eden, by John Steinbeck. This book is huge and intimidating. I want to read it sometime this year, though I'm not sure I'll get to it this summer.
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, by Julie Klassen. It's been too long since I read some historical fiction.
Reflections on the Psalms, by C.S. Lewis. It's also been too long since I read some new-to-me C.S. Lewis! I found this brand-new at a library sale last year and would like to read it soon.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy, by Jenny Han. Now that the third and final book has been released, I'd really like to finish this trilogy. I read the first book several year ago, so I want to reread it before picking up the other two. (I don't have the third one yet...I don't want to buy it unless I really enjoy the second book so that's why it's not pictured.)

What are you planning on reading this summer?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Works in progress {knitting and future home}.

It's been a while since I've had enough knitting happening to justify a post about my works in progress. For most of this year I've been in a knitting slump, but right now I'm having the opposite problem...wanting to cast on all the things when I already have enough to keep me busy!

I started some plain socks out of this beautiful sparkly yarn, which unfortunately doesn't look nearly as pretty in pictures as it really is. I'm currently working on the heel flap of the first sock. It would probably have been finished by now if I hadn't gotten distracted by some new sock yarn I ordered from Makers Haven. It arrived last Saturday, and I cast on that day. These are going to be shorter socks, because I purchased smaller skeins, but that means they go by so quickly...I'm already on the foot of the first sock.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally cast on a practical sweater project that I've been needing to make for a while. I have two constantly worn, lightweight cotton cardigans (black and brown) that I bought at Target years ago that I want to replace with handknitted sweaters. So this is the start of my black one: the Dexter cardigan in Bartlett Yarn sportweight. It's not soft but it's sturdy, rustic American wool and will hopefully last forever. I love watching top down raglan sweaters grow in their funny shape.

As for another kind of work in progress....we've been working on the little house where Kenny and I will live after we're married in October. (Honestly, I still can't believe it, you guys. I write something like that and then think, what?? I'm actually getting married?) The house is on my parents' farm property, basically next door. It's not very old (built in the late 70s, we think), but some leaks and shoddy work over the years have caused problems. I wanted to post some "before" pictures, because right now the house probably looks worse than it ever has, ha. (And hopefully by October I can share some lovely "after" pictures!) We've torn up all the floors, except in the one room where it was salvageable, and we have to get some of the damaged subflooring replaced before we can have new floors put down. We've done some cosmetic projects (painting, little repairs, new hardware and stain on the cabinets- which was an amazing improvement in itself!), and we have a few more to go (new countertop, bathroom sink, etc.). But the floors are the biggest hurdle right now. I am so excited for the little house to be our cozy home, but it's currently a bit of a disaster.

So that's basically what's going on with me. (Wedding planning is happening, too. Mom and I are going with the dressmaker tomorrow to pick out wedding dress fabric, which I'm very excited and nervous about!) I'll be back soon with my hilariously optimistic summer reading list. :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What I Read: May

I didn't read a ton in May, but there are twice as many books in this month's post as in last month's, so that's a good thing. :) Overall it was a good reading month and I enjoyed everything I read.

One Year in Coal Harbor, by Polly Horvath. This is the sequel to Everything on a Waffle, which I reread last month. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to that book. It was longer and had more characters and subplots, but something was lacking. I still liked it, though. (And the cover is gorgeous!)

Talking as Fast as I Can, by Lauren Graham. I've been a Gilmore Girls fan for years now, so of course I had to read this book. (I've only seen the first two episodes of the revival series though, so no spoilers please!) It was very enjoyable and funny, and I definitely feel like Lauren Graham must be a little like Lorelai in real life because a lot of her personality shines through. (Like Lorelai but much more likable.)

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. Ever since I got hooked on Shirley Jackson's writing, I've wanted to read this: it's one of her most well known books. I'm a wimp and don't do scary things in general whether it's books, horror films, etc. But I do love a good creepy story with an unsettling tone, and that's definitely what Shirley Jackson does best. This book was so weird, but it sucked me in and got under my skin. Until the second half, that is...things began feeling off and disjointed then. So, not my favorite of hers (that would be "We Have Always Lived in the Castle"), but still good. (Sadly, the 1963 film version was not good though. Kenny and I watched it together and Eleanor's endless inner monologues are awful. This book just needs to be left alone because it doesn't translate well to screen.)

The Yorkshire Shepherdess, by Amanda Owen. A friend from knitting group let me borrow this memoir, and I really enjoyed it! It's similar to James Rebanks' "The Shepherd's Life," which I read earlier this year. I liked it even better than that book, honestly, because his attitude grated on my nerves sometimes. The writing in this one isn't amazing, but the author is really likable and keeps things interesting as she writes about raising sheep and her seven kids on an English farm.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Knitting: navy Marion cardigan (plus a dress).

I've only had this cardigan finished since the beginning of February. February! I have no idea why it has taken me three and a half months to finally get pictures of it. It was 90 degrees over the past few days (yuck! I'm not ready for Virginia summer), but thankfully today was cool and damp so I could squeeze in another wearing of this sweater before packing it away until fall.

The pattern is Marion, by Andi Satterlund. This was one of the first sweater patterns I ever wanted to knit...I added it to my queue years ago. I bought the pattern three years ago, and I always pictured knitting it in some shade of blue because the cables reminded me of nautical ropes. When I needed a navy sweater to wear over some sleeveless dresses I'd sewn, this seemed like the perfect time to finally knit Marion!

I'd previously knitted one of this designer's sweaters, Miette, which is a pretty basic pattern. But because of some fit adjustments, I had to do a lot of tweaking and reworking with that one. Thankfully things went much smoother with Marion. The only thing I changed was to make the body and sleeves slightly shorter. This sweater was made specifically to wear over dresses, and there's a particular length I want for that.

I used Quince and Co.'s Lark yarn in the Pea Coat colorway. I love that their yarn is made with American wool and it's pretty soft. The only thing is that sometimes it has a strange stiffness to it, almost like cotton. Also, as you can tell in some of the pictures, it is already starting to pill in spots. I do think this yarn shows off cables really well though...and even though they're subtle, I especially love the little cables knit into the ribbing on the sleeves.

You might remember that I got obsessed with the thought of using a certain type of vintage buttons on this sweater. I only had two, but I found some more on Ebay and ordered them. They seemed to be a perfect match...until you got in sunlight, when it was obvious that my two were navy and the others were a brighter blue that clashed with the sweater. So sadly I just had to settle for plain new plastic navy ones.

One more thing...this is a dress that I sewed at the end of last summer and never blogged about! It's the same pattern as the others I made last year, nothing special. The fabric is just basic cotton from Joann's. I think it's supposed to be a floral, but up close the print reminds me of fireworks and I liked that. But see that crease across the neckline? Obviously I still haven't got the fit perfect.

Ravelry project page.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Knitting: Mother's Day socks.

Here's proof that at least some knitting has been happening lately...I just couldn't share it until now. :) Knitted socks are a standard gift for my mom, because she loves them and wears them all the time. So I made her these for Mother's Day. They're just plain vanilla socks, though I did use the heel from Hermione's Everyday Socks. (Just because I love how it looks and the garter ridge edge looks so nice and neat when you pick up the stitches.)

The yarn is from Twist Fiber Studio, some that I picked up at the Carolina Fiber Fair back in March. It's her Fairview base in the "Girl at the Rock Show" colorway. My mom loves pink, so when I saw this yarn it made me think of her. I absolutely love how it knitted up. I don't like pink at all, but I still think these socks are pretty. :)

Ravelry project page.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spinning: jewel tone BFL.

My most recent handspun, finished about a month ago now. The fiber was BFL swirl roving, from Gale's Art in "The Big O" colorway (kindly sent to me by Monica!). The colors are so vibrant and the fiber was so soft that I spun it thin, so it would last longer. :) I split the fiber in half and then spun it into one long continuous single, and then chain-plied it. There's something very satisfying about the end result of chain-plying, with the colors staying so clean. I ended up with about 336 yards of fingering weight yarn.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What I Read: April

This is likely my most pitiful "What I Read" post ever. But what can I say? After getting engaged on the last day of March, in April I spent a lot more time with Kenny than I did reading. :)

Make 'Em Laugh: Short-Term Memories of Longtime Friends, by Debbie Reynolds. Sadly, I didn't feel like this book was necessary at all. I really enjoyed Debbie's first memoir, and her second one was pretty good. But by this point, there weren't many untold stories left. So I found this book a little dull and very disorganized and random.

Everything on a Waffle, by Polly Horvath. I first read this book three years ago and thought it was quirky and very endearing. I wanted to reread it so I could finally read the sequel (which I've almost finished now). It was thankfully just as good as I'd remembered!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Knitting: more Hermione socks.

These socks took so much longer than they should have! They're basically all I've been knitting for the past couple of months...obviously I haven't been knitting much. I also got second sock syndrome with these. I'm so excited about knitting the new sock yarn that I bought at the fiber festival that I had to push through the second one.

They are Hermione's Everyday Socks, which is one of my favorite sock patterns. I think this is my fourth pair? The pattern is so simple, just a bit of texture, but my favorite part is the heel. I love how the garter edge makes the picked up stitches look so neat. I was finished with the first sock before I realized how the colors in this yarn are very similar to these socks, except much more muted and subtle.

This yarn is from the Unwind Yarn Company, in the Abalone colorway. It was a nice, twisty sock yarn that I'm sure will hold up well. (Monica was kind enough to send it to me!)

Project page.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Otherwise engaged.

If the blog is quieter than normal over the next few months, know that it's because I have a really good excuse...Kenny and I are engaged! :) As of two weeks ago, when he asked me to marry him on a completely normal night. (We were just hanging out, watching Sherlock, so it obviously took me by surprise and I suspected nothing.)

To say that I'm happy, excited, and thrilled seems like the biggest understatement ever. We're getting married at the end of October, so the next six months are going to be very busy with planning our wedding and fixing up the little house where we're going to live.

I can't even wrap my mind around the fact that I get to spend the rest of my life with Kenny. I'm not sure how I got so blessed, but I won't question it, I'll just be incredibly thankful that God sent him to me!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Yarny goodness.

My knitting has slowed to a snail's pace, so I haven't had much of that to post lately. (Though I still have a finished cardigan to get pictures of!) I'm working on a pair of socks that are stuck in some kind of time warp, as I can't seem to get past the heel on the second sock. But I do have some pretty yarny things to share!

Two weekends ago, I went with a couple of my knitting group friends to a fiber festival. Every April, I usually go to the Olde Liberty Fibre Faire {see 2014, 2015, and 2016}. But this year I decided to try out Carolina Fiber Fest. I was curious about seeing a different fiber festival, and I also realized that it would be better to go with other knitters rather than drag my family along with me (more fun for me and them!). Overall I really enjoyed it. I do prefer outdoors festivals, just because it's less crowded and stuffy, but there were more vendors at CFF.

Basically I just wanted to buy all of the sock yarn ever, but I made myself buy some spinning fiber too, so I can have more handspun yarn to sell this fall. The first two yarns above were from Twist Fiber Studio, which was my favorite booth at the festival. It's not often that I love all of the yarns from a dyer, but honestly every single yarn in her booth was beautiful. The one on the left is basic sock yarn in the Gypsy Heart colorway. On the right is sparkly fingering weight in the Harvest Season colorway. I also bought another skein from her that I can't share because it's for a Mother's Day gift. :)

I bought two other sock yarns in colorways that I had stalked on Etsy and planned to purchase. On the left is a tweedy yarn from Iria Yarn Company in the Sweater Weather colorway. And the last yarn is Bright Copper Kettles (love that name!) from Haute Knit Yarn. Then I bought four fibers to spin...the first three will be to sell, the fourth is all mine. :) There's BFL, Polwarth, Finnsheep, and Columbia/Rambouillet.

Speaking of spinning, I've probably been doing more of that than knitting lately! That lovely yarn on the bobbin is some BFL that Monica was kind enough to send me. Since taking that photo, I've finished spinning and plying it, so expect photos of that soon. The white handspun above is from local Gulf Coast Native fleece that I cleaned, carded, and spun. It seems very nice and surprisingly soft, which I'm glad about because that's the same breed as my sheep! (Which are in need of shearing right now, as soon as I can find a shearer...)

A few more yarnish acquisitions: several vendors were selling fair trade African woven baskets at the fiber festival. I'd thought about ordering one before, and I came so close to buying one there but instead decided to stick with fiber. But after I got home, I ended up ordering one. It's so pretty and it's already full of yarn, patterns, and knitting needles! And then there are more GnomeAcres mini skeins for my scrap blanket. Because apparently mini skeins are irresistible.

On a completely random note, I finally saw Moana the other day. It didn't blow me away, but it was cute and very pretty, and I've had the chorus of You're Welcome stuck in my head ever since. (You're welcome, now you do, too.)

{I know this post was all over the place, I'm sorry! More cohesive updates and projects coming soon, I promise.}

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What I Read: March

Look at that sad little stack of books! I'm afraid that March was rather a slumpy reading month for me. (Mostly because of that first book, which I struggled through for almost the first half of the month.) As always, click on the titles for my Goodreads reviews.

Dangerous, by Shannon Hale. I love Shannon Hale. She's written some of my favorite books and I'd consider her one of my favorite authors, but wow. I don't really know what this was, and I don't know what to even say about it. It was like a crazy, bizarre, action-y, sci-fi teen romance that was originally going to be a trilogy but instead got crammed into one book. Hmph. I should have put it aside, but I wanted to see how much weirder it could get.

Life Among the Savages, by Shirley Jackson. I really enjoyed this! So far, Shirley Jackson has not let me down. This was so different from her usual books, but it was very funny. I love her writing style and I can't wait to read more by her.

Last in a Long Line of Rebels, by Lisa Lewis Tyre. I expected more from this middle grade novel, especially with such an adorable cover. (I know, I know, but I can't help it.) It handled racism in a graceful way and I love the little realistic bits that pop up in books like these, set in the south. But it wasn't as special and amazing as I'd hoped.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Beauty and the Beast {2017}

Last week, my mom and I went to see the new Beauty and the Beast in theaters. I had no immediate plans to review it here, and as soon as we came out of the theater I remember thinking, "I have so many thoughts about this that there's no way I can express them all." And yet by the time I got home, I'd decided to write a post about the movie. :)

As I mentioned in my last post (a review of the animated film), Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie. It came out the year I was born, and I grew up loving it (and obviously I still do). So I was wondering how that would affect my feelings for the live action remake...would I love it no matter what because it's my favorite, or would I be more critical because it has so much to live up to?

I think my bias made me veer into the "more critical" category. The movie was so, so good, but not quite perfect. I felt myself getting nitpicky over a few things. But...I do feel like I'll love this movie more each time I watch it.

Let's start off with the good, okay? Beauty and the Beast was a beautiful film. Between the colors and costumes and sets, it was visually so stunning. And the cast was excellent. Honestly, I can't think of a single character that wasn't a perfect fit. Emma Watson will forever be Hermione to me, but she fit very well as bookish Belle. Dan Stevens (again, forever Matthew Crawley) was wonderful as the Beast. I'm not a fan of over-the-top CGI, especially in these live action Disney films, but I was so impressed with how realistic he looked. It amazes me how they can incorporate Dan Stevens' facial features and expressions into the Beast. Gaston and all of the supporting characters at the castle were lovely as well!

I like what Disney does with the live action adaptations. It's nice how they slightly expand on the historical setting or add some backstory to often vague fairy tales, or how they answer questions. Here they really ran with the 1700s-1800s French setting, with the wigs and clothing and everything. (Matthew Crawley in makeup and a wig: I'll never be able to look at him the same!) And in this movie, they answered the question of why the villagers had forgotten about the Beast, and I loved the little reference to the original Mrs. Potts being elderly and having a young child. (It involved Emma Thompson getting offended when someone refers to her as a grandmother, ha.)

Be Our Guest was one of my favorite scenes. It was gorgeous and hilarious and just perfect! I also really loved the classic title song scene. It made me feel so nostalgic, remembering how it felt to grow up watching that scene in the animated film, and knowing that little girls now will grow up feeling the same way about the live action version. And Belle's dress, oh my goodness. I know this is a controversial opinion, but I loved her dress so much more than Cinderella's. It was beautiful! So was the library. The end fight was appropriately dramatic and tense, though I was a bit disappointed with Gaston for taking the easy way out and just shooting the Beast. I liked how they showed all of the servants at the castle becoming completely inanimate again at the made that part even more heartbreaking than it already was.

Now that I think about it, what I didn't like about this movie comes down to aspects of the music. I didn't like the new songs at all. They might grow on me some eventually, but I think the film would have been basically perfect if they had left out the new songs. One of the best things about Beauty and the Beast is the music: the songs are catchy and funny and they intertwine perfectly. The original songs are so good that the new ones felt cheesy and mediocre, especially lyrically. Also, why did they mess with Emma Watson's voice? So what if she doesn't sing perfectly? Most everyone else's voices sounded genuine and like themselves, but the auto-tuning on her voice in "Belle" made me cringe. I didn't notice it as much in later songs, so maybe that was the main one they altered. Besides that, I also didn't like the scene where the Beast and Belle sort of magically teleported to the place where her mother died. I see what they were trying to do, but it felt random and out of place.

{I know much has been said about Gaston's sidekick LeFou. Honestly, I feel like the whole thing was blown out of proportion. LeFou is obviously a bit feminine in this version, but unless you're specifically looking for this "gay subplot," you're not going to find it.}

I started writing this post the evening after we saw the film, when it was all fresh on my mind and I was feeling a little critical. Even now, just a week later, I'm already feeling more positive looking back at this adaptation. I can't say that it's better than the animated version, but it is really beautifully done, and I'm sure my little issues with it will be forgotten about after a couple more viewings! :)

Have you seen the new Beauty and the Beast? What did you think?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beauty and the Beast {1991}

{Animated Disney Film #30 of 56}

I know I've mentioned this (multiple times) before, but Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite Disney movie. So be prepared for some gushing. :) This movie came out in 1991, the year I was born, and I grew up watching it and loving it. But as I've continued watching it as an adult, I've come to appreciate it even more!

From those first few notes of music in the prologue, I just love everything about this movie. (Well, I do have a few tiny qualms, which I'll mention later.) First of all, let's talk about Belle. She is obviously the best Disney princess! Or at least she has always been my favorite. :) She's smart, and she's a bookworm. She has a tendency to wear colors like blue and yellow and green. She's a brunette. (Never underestimate the significance of a fellow brown-haired girl in a sea of blond princesses.)

And most importantly, Belle has common sense and a strong sense of morality. (One good example: when the Beast rescues her from the wolves and he's injured. Even though he just saved her life, she could have easily escaped, but she chose not to. She keeps her promises.) I can't help but compare her behavior and personality to Ariel's in The Little Mermaid. Ariel is so shallow and annoying and spoiled, and she would have fallen for Gaston in a minute. (Paige O'Hara is the voice of Belle, and she was chosen because they felt her voice had a slight Judy Garland-ish quality. And apparently Belle was made to look reminiscent of Judy Garland? I never knew that before, but now looking at her, I can kind of see that.)

All of the other characters in this movie are equally interesting. The Beast reminds me a bit of Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre...rough around the edges, with some mistakes in his past, but such a redeemable character. Gaston: wow. He has to be one the biggest jerks in Disney history. :) He's just a conceited, arrogant annoyance at the beginning, but he quickly escalates into full-blown villain after trying to get Belle's dad sent to the asylum and hunting the Beast. And then there are all of the charming enchanted servants in the castle: Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip, etc.

I love the music in Beauty and the Beast. Originally it was not going to include songs, which I can't even wrap my mind around, because this movie was meant to be a musical. The songs were written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the talented team responsible for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Not only are all of the songs catchy, but the lyrics are amazing and hilarious. I find myself cracking up when I listen closely to the words of Gaston and Be Our Guest. Be Our Guest is also stunning's just like the elaborate, over-the-top dance numbers in those old musicals I love so much.

A few other little random things: the Beast's library. That has to be a memorable part for every book lover who has ever watched this movie. I know it's the reason why it's one of my life goals to someday have a bookcase tall enough to require a ladder. :) Also, the end of the movie always makes me teary-eyed. During the battle scene when the Beast has lost the will to fight Gaston because Belle is gone, that gets me every time. And then I get teary for nicer reasons when the transformation happens. :)

There are a couple things that always bothered me as a kid about this movie. First of all, why is Mrs. Potts a white-haired, grandmotherly type when her son, Chip, is a young child? And then there's the fact that I used to be so disappointed with how the Beast looked after he turned back into his human form. I think it was the long hair that always threw me off, ha. It doesn't bother me as much now...I like that he's so tall and broad, like the Beast, and I guess the longer hair fits with his Beast look, too. And then something that I only noticed the most recent time I watched: how did the village not know about the Beast? He was a prince, so logically he should have been the ruler of this nearby village, and the curse only happened about 10 years before. But it's like nobody remembers him.

Obviously, those little qualms don't affect my love for Beauty and the Beast at all. :) It really is the perfect Disney movie, in my opinion: pretty animation, incredibly memorable songs, good characters and plot, and the right blend of humor and drama.

Of course I'm very excited about the live action version of this story that's coming out this weekend. I might even review it here at some point. But up next on the animated list is another childhood favorite: Aladdin.

What do you think about Beauty and the Beast? What's your favorite Disney movie?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yarn Along

Reading: Life Among the Savages, by Shirley Jackson. Ever since I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle (and absolutely loved it) and a collection of her short stories, I've been meaning to read more Shirley Jackson. This is so different from her usual style (eerie, unsettling...just plain creepy), but I'm loving it so far! It's a memoir about her raising her children in an old house in the Vermont countryside. It's amusing and I just love her writing style.

Knitting: A sock, always. :) Just a couple more inches on the foot and this one will be finished, then on to the second of the pair. It's another pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks...I really love that pattern!

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sock scrap blanket {100 squares}.

Two years ago, I started my blanket made from sock yarn scraps. Last week I completed the 100th square, so I thought it might be a good time to share my progress.

100 squares over two years isn't really that many, especially considering I had almost half of those done just months after starting the blanket. But this is a long-term project with no deadline. Sometimes I'll finish ten or twenty squares over a few weeks, and sometimes I'll go months without even touching it.

I really do love everything about knitting on this blanket. (Well, everything except weaving in the ends. I do those every 5 squares so I won't get behind.) I love picking out the next color and occasionally buying cute mini skeins to add in. I love all of the memories involved: being able to see glimpses of so many previous projects in one place, and remembering where all of the yarns came from. I love how it's easy and mindless knitting, a perfect break from more challenging projects.

To celebrate, I bought that pack of St. Patrick's Day themed mini skeins from Gnome Acres. Here's hoping the next hundred squares don't take two years! :)

You can find more about my progress here, or more information on my Ravelry project page.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

What I Read: February

February was an okay reading month. I really enjoyed two of the books I read, but the rest were just okay. I'm trying to make sure that each month I read at least a couple of books that have been on my shelves for a long time, and that's been going well. As always, click on the titles for my Goodreads reviews.

The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. This was a very good middle grade novel about two siblings evacuated from London during WWII. Not the most original premise, but there is an interesting twist: the daughter has a clubfoot and has been kept in her apartment her entire life by her abusive mother. I really enjoyed this one, but oh, that horrible mother made me so furious.

The Miserable Mill, by Lemony Snicket. I sporadically started rereading a Series of Unfortunate Events last year. I'd read the first three, and after I found out that the new Netflix series (which I haven't seen yet) covered up through the fourth book, I decided to reread it so I'll be ready to watch the series. I didn't remember much about this's not one of my favorites but it was still good.

A Little Something Different, by Sandy Hall. This was my fluffy, romantic Valentine's read. It was about what I expected: pretty cute but nothing mind-blowing and not something I'll ever reread. The whole 14 viewpoints thing was hard to get used to.

Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. I don't even know what to say about this book. It sounded like something that would be right up my alley, but I didn't enjoy it. It improved near the end, but it was strange and bizarre, and so far from the hilarious modern classic I'd been led to expect.

A Pocket Full of Rye, by Agatha Christie. After slogging through Cold Comfort Farm for ten days, a Miss Marple mystery was exactly what I needed! This one was very enjoyable and comforting. (British murder mysteries are comforting to me, apparently?)

The Yarn Whisperer, by Clara Parkes. I enjoy yarny memoirs in general (think Stephanie Pearl McPhee's books), but this one was just okay. I felt like it was trying too hard to be philosophical most of the time, but I did like some of the essays.

In February, I also decided to start quitting books. Not without good reason, of course, but there are so many books that I want to read, why would I waste my time on ones that I'm not enjoying? I struggled through about half of this book, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, before finally deciding to stop. It wasn't awful by any means, but it didn't feel worth continuing. I don't know why quitting books has always been so hard for me!

{This post is a little late because honestly it's been a rough week. Pa, my grandfather, passed away Tuesday night. He was eighty-eight, but it felt very unexpected because other than a bad stomach bug for several days previous, he seemed so healthy. My family would appreciate your prayers.}