Yarn Along

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Somehow we are back round to the first Wednesday in the month again.  Although I’m a bit shocked by how fast time seems to be passing I am pleased to be in September, it is definitely one of my favourite months of the year and I am really relishing the chill that’s now in the morning air here in Yorkshire.  I am also excited to see boots, tights and lovely knitwear in my very near future.

On my needles at the moment is a Magpie Tendency jumper in Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply.  I saw this jumper on Instagram knitted by the lovely HazySummers and as well as loving the look of the garment I was intrigued by the idea of getting a jumper to fit a larger body from just two skeins of yarn.  So I’m having a go!

I’m loving the construction which is like nothing I’ve seen before and am also thrilled with the texture and drape that’s coming from knitting this 4 ply yarn on much bigger needles than usual.

I’m enjoying the physical feel of this book, The Wicked Cometh, which I borrowed from the library.  The cover has a tactile, fabric cover which is so unusual in modern books nowadays, they all tend to be shiny and smooth, I can’t stop stroking it!  The story inside is less compelling to me at the moment. It is well written and atmospheric but I’m yet to invest in the characters.  Hopefully that will change as I progress.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarn Along

On my needles this first Wednesday of the month is my first attempt at knitting a garment using linen yarn.

The pattern is Lena by Carrie Bostick Hoge and is a loose fitting sleeveless tee. It is primarily stocking stitch with some panels of garter stitch for interest so lots of easy tv knitting which is working well for me.

It feels like I’ve been working on this forever but it’s actually only been a month and I’m hopeful I’ll have it ready to wear before the weather becomes too chilly for bare arms.

I’m using DMC Natura Linen yarn in shade 8 which is a pretty green colour which reminds me of sea glass. When researching yarn I read a lot about linen not being much fun to handle but I’m finding this quite gentle on my hands. However it is quite splitty which is frustrating and it sheds fluff everywhere when I’m knitting which I’m not enjoying at all. Especially when I’m knitting in public and wearing black! I doubt I’d choose this yarn again but it was very affordable.

The book is fantastic. It is character driven and following 3 women with intersecting lives and very different circumstances. And it has such a beautiful cover which shouldn’t matter but is always lovely.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarn Along

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At about 9pm yesterday I finished knitting a pair of socks (Twist and Turn by Clare Devine from the 2018 The Knitting Goddess Sock Club), I’ll blog them soon.  Shortly after midnight I finished reading my book.  And so I find myself sitting here, on Yarn Along day, with empty needles and no book on the go!

The book choice is easy to make, I’m going to read The Other Americans by Laila Lalami because its top of my library pile.  I can’t remember why I added it to my library reserve list anymore, I prefer to go into books entirely blind without knowing anything at all about them, but I suspect I saw that it was garnering positive press somewhere.

The knitting on the other hand is a whole different struggle!  The sensible part of me feels that I should definitely cast on the final pair of socks from last year’s Sock Club and see if I can get them done before we are halfway through this year.  I’ve even balled the yarn, it’s the lovely sea green on the far right of the photograph and is a blend of Blue Faced Leicester and Nylon.  I’ve also printed the pattern, Short and Sweet by Clare Devine, but I’ve knit a lot of socks recently and quite fancy a change.

The balled blue at the bottom of the image has been in my stash since I first started knitting and visited Yarndale for my first time way back in 2015.  I started something with it years ago but it was above my skill level and ended up unwound.  I really should make something with this yarn but its not speaking to me.

The other yarn in the photo, the blue with rainbow flash dyed by Arwen Makes; the navy and pink toned variegated a souvenir from my trip to Cambridge in 2016 and dyed by Sparkleduck; and the purple and contrast which is from Malabrigo and I think is desperate to be a Toph hat by Woolly Wormhead; all these yarns jumped off the shelf and in to my arms when I asked myself what should I knit next.

The answer, I still don’t know! I also want to learn brioche but I suspect none of these yarns are what I’d use to try out a new skill.  What a fabulous, first world problem to have, to be so spoiled for choice.  Please wish me luck as I try to figure it out!

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarn Along

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Not a very photogenic book for this month’s yarn along, in fact if I’m perfectly honest, the art on this book cover makes me feel uncomfortable and creeped out!  Luckily the socks are pretty enough to draw the eye away from the book.

The sock yarn may look familiar if you are a regular here as its the same self striping dyed by the amazing Fab Funky Fibres and contrasting grey that I used on my Rainbow Zig Zig Socks.

The scales tell me that I have enough left over for a pair of non-matching socks with contrast cuffs, heels and toes but I have to say I’m a bit concerned about the size of my yarn balls regardless of the reassuring maths, I suppose only time will tell.  I’m using my absolute favourite, go to, basic sock pattern from the fabulous Christine at Winwick Mum although this is my first time with the contrasting colours.

I am reading Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan for challenge number 2 – an alternate history novel from Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.  That and because its a new book by Ian McEwan and I’ve enjoyed everything I read of his in the past.

The book is set in 1980s Britain but not the 80s Britain I grew up in.  This one is far more technologically advanced and the protagonist has just purchased a lifelike humanoid robot.  So far I’m interested in how this novel is going to play out,  I’m loving the writing but also I don’t find myself reaching for it that often and so it has yet to fully hold my attention.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on this month.

Yarn Along

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Not much colour in my contribution to this month’s Yarn Along!  On my needles are what feels like acres and acres of stockinette in grey which will hopefully, should the stars align correctly, may, one day, become my first knitted jumper.

Although it is not especially exciting to look at I really enjoy just knitting round and round without much thought.  I love to knit in the evenings to keep my hands busy while I watch television and while I do like more of a challenge occasionally, the repetition of just knitting every stitch without any counting or thought is relaxing to the point of meditative.  The yarn is Cascade Ecological in Antique, a bulky 100% wool.

I am finding the book very difficult to put down.  I don’t read a lot of non-fiction as I prefer my journey in to books to be one of escapism from the real world but Hallie Rubenhold manages to spin meticulously researched facts into a spellbinding narrative and I’m hooked.  It is also an important tale to be told.  The man who committed a horrific crime spree over 100 years ago gained infamy and notoriety while these women were consigned to being “just prostitutes” in the annals of history.  Of course they were nothing of the sort.  They were human beings, complex people with real and detailed lives and their stories should not be forgotten nor simplified.  I would definitely recommend the book as well worth a read.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on

Yarn Along

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I know February is short but I’m still really surprised to find that a whole month has passed and we are back to Yarn Along again.

I will tell the full tale of these socks when they are finished but it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with sock number one, the one featured in last month’s Yarn Along, not fitting on my foot.  So the socks pictured today are numbers two and three and are hopefully heading towards me having a wearable pair very soon.

The pattern is Rainbow Zig Zag by Winwick Mum from the book More Super Socks and the self striping yarn is a 28 coloured rainbow called The Big One dyed by Fab Funky Fibres.

I mentioned last month that I was reading my way through the Tournament of Books contenders (it starts today by the way which I am very excited about!) and one of those was So Lucky by Nicola Griffith.  I found myself deeply moved by the passion with which she wrote that book and keen to try something else of hers.  Hild is very different.  Where So Lucky is contemporary fiction Hild is set in the seventh century but both feature strong female protagonists and I really enjoy Griffith’s story telling.

I am also more pleased than I probably should be with the serendipitous way that my yarn ball is matching the front cover!

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarn Along

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It has been a long time since I joined the Yarn Along but I intend to blog a lot more this year than I did last and having a monthly prompt and link up  to join seems like a great way to make that happen!

On my needles today is my first sock of 2019 which is also my first colourwork sock ever.  It’s a pattern called Rainbow Zig Zag by Winwick Mum and is from her lovely book More Super Socks which I bought and had signed by Christine Perry at Yarndale last year.  I am very excited to watch the ball of self striping yarn reveal itself as the sock progresses.  It was dyed by Fab Funky Fibres and is called The Big One, a massive rainbow containing 28 colours, I can’t wait to see them all.

The book is a part of my efforts to read every book featuring in Tournament of Books 2019.  It is well worth clicking the link to check out the tournament but to simply describe it is an event, run in March each year, giving an opportunity for book fans to have big discussion about books, sounds ideal!  It has been on the periphery of my vision for a few years now but this is the first year I have committed to wanting to join in.  There are 18 books on the shortlist and I have already finished 8 with another one on my audible current listen, one on my kindle and this one, The Overstory, my current physical book.  I’m really hopeful I’m on track to follow and contribute to the discussion when the tournament begins.

As for the Overstory, I am loving the writing and the way that there are multiple stories all held together by a love of trees.  I try not read reviews before I read a book but I did see something about the structure of this novel being unconventional and I’m  looking forward to see how that works as I get further through.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarn Along?

“Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here.”

These are the words the lovely Ginny at Small Things used to open her blog post each Wednesday for over 6 years before inviting people to also share their current makes and reads, an invitation I readily accepted when I first started blogging and was keen to find other people with similar interests to me.  I have loved joining in with the Yarn Along and was sad to hear that Ginny had decided to stop hosting.

So what now?  I’m not sure!  Where Ginny is hoping to find more spontaneity in her blogging I love having the structure of knowing that certain days are for certain subjects and worry that without them the frequency of posts may dwindle and content be limited only to finished objects.  So maybe I’ll move to Work in Progress Wednesdays, or perhaps a weekly roundup on a Friday?  I will be continuing with the Weekly Photo Challenge on a Tuesday so am drawn to something later in the week.  Or I might just continue Yarning Along but without the link up.  I definitely intend to continue Yarn Along on my Instagram so it perhaps doesn’t warrant duplication.  Decisions decisions!

But for now, while I consider next steps, here is this week’s Yarn Along.

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On my kindle The Power by Naomi Alderman.  On my needles almost a full pair of Rhian socks.

I am absolutely gripped by this book.  I only started it yesterday bedtime but am struggling to put it down, only stopping last night when the kindle hit my nose when I just couldn’t hold it up any longer and sneaking every minute I can squeeze out of today.

The sock pattern is Rhian from The Sock Drawer book by Verity Castledine (available to buy here) made with West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply yarn in butterscotch and I love them so much.  Not much more work to do here until I have the pair finished and ready to gift.  Before I started this book I thought I may get them finished today but that is now looking unlikely! I am hopeful they’ll be done by the end of the week though.

Yarn Along

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On my kindle Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.  On my needles my first sock of the year.

I am knitting my first sock of the year, the delightful Rhian from The Sock Drawer book by Verity Castledine (available to buy here).  I am crazy in love with this pattern, a nice simple repeat giving deceptively complex results.  I suspect this may not be my last pair.  I am using West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply yarn in butterscotch and am aiming to gift the finished socks to my lovely motherinlaw who mercifully only has small feet thereby speeding up the process!

My reading feels like a bit of a confession to admit that I have reached my mid thirties without having read any Agatha Christie.  To further pile on the unbelievable truths, much to my husband’s incredulity I also have managed to live my life thus far without knowing whodunnit!  So no spoilers please!  I am looking forward to the mystery finally unravelling as I read.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarn Along

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On my kindle Maurice by E. M. Forster.  On my needles a big old tangly mess!

In sharp contrast to my Yarn Along image last week with beautiful, colourful flowers cascading around the screen this week there is not a lot to see but I am very proud of what there is.  This muddle will shortly be Yarny from the video game Unravel, a favourite with my children.  I am using this pattern by Alexis Layton.  Double pointed needles are my nemesis. I make my socks using teeny tiny circular needles and have slightly larger circulars for hats and of course when it comes to little figures I usually turn to crochet!

But a Yarny was requested and a Ravelry search turned up the pattern and it seemed more sensible to follow it than make my own!  The pride in the progress stems from the fact that my first attempt ended in an awful mess from my attempts to wrestle these blasted needles with their points in all directions.  Although I did throw the whole lot to the floor amongst a tirade of swearing I did then pick it back up and rather than abandon the endeavour and pick up my trusty hook I frogged it back and calmly knit a few more rows straight before reattempting to join in the round, this time with a lot more success!  At risk of jeopardising the enterprise with misplaced confidence I think I am now on the right track, I’ll be sure blog if I do pull it off!

Reading wise I do seem to have exhausted all of the categories I want to read on the Read Harder Challenge and am now choosing books that I would not usually reach for.  I am reading Maurice for challenge number 20 – read a LGBTQ+ romance novel.  While I enjoy a love story I tend to find that books shelved as romance are usually sickeningly saccharine and this was the obstacle I kept hitting while trying to choose for this challenge.  It would appear that heading 100 years into the past has helped with the sappiness and I am enjoying this book written in 1913.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.