Yarn Along :: Modern Lovers

 

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My knitting has been a little sparse lately. An irritated thumb and sore wrist have kept me from spending much time at the needles.  And I’ve noticed the less I’ve been knitting, the less I feel like knitting…kind of a bummer given the season we’re heading into!

I did cast on a pair of Prairie Glass Mitts for the Stash Yarn Story Collection knit-along, though.  A row or two a day is about all I can manage. At this rate maybe they’ll be ready for Christmas!

I have been reading a ton, however. And the opposite has been true here: the more I read, the more I want to read. So much so that I’ve already read 4 books this month! #humblebrag

I just finished up Modern Lovers by Emma Straub.  This is a book whose premise sounds like so many indie dramedies, one of my favorite genres:

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth.  Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. ~From Goodreads

Essentially it’s a character-driven story, with a few plot spikes here and there. I found it compelling and charming and relatable (hello lesbian protagonist!) and a pleasure to read.  I enjoy Straub’s dry, insightful voice and was happy to play along  through the ups and downs of the characters over one eventful summer.

What have you been reading and knitting lately?

It feels good to be joining Ginny and the Yarn Along community again!  

Yarn Along :: Love & Linen


I raced through Eleanor & Park and loved it! Needing to stay in the vein of keeping my reading simple and not too dark, I checked the library for a book I keep hearing great things about. Imagine my delight when I found a copy of The Rosie Project straight away! Bonus: it came up as a 14-day checkout, but wasn’t marked as such. So the librarian gave it to me as a regular check out. It’s these simple, nerdy things that can really make my day!

My knitting has been cruising right along. I’ve mainly been working on True Friend, and and about to start the ribbing at the hem.  If you follow me on Instagram, you can check out how it looked a couple days ago!  My socks have also seen some love and aren’t far from being finished.

So with two project close to the end, it’s time to start something new, right?  A fresh project is on the needles for the Stash Spring KAL.   I cast on Togue Pond (twice, actually. Pro tip: read the pattern before you cast on!).  The linen is lovely to work with.  It’s smooth and a bit silky while still being crisp.  I’m looking forward to wearing this top!

Knitting: Togue Pond by Pam Allen in Quince & Co. Kestrel {Ravelry notes here}

Reading: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

So what’s on your nightstand and needles this week?

Yarn Along :: Easy is Good

Leisure time is pretty unpredictable with a newborn around the house. Some days he sleeps the day away and not only do I enjoy luxuries like a shower and taking my time to eat, I get to knit.

You know me: I need to knit like I need to sleep in order to feel somewhat balanced. Right now the time and my mental energy are such that simple, easy projects are perfection.

Stockinette and garter stitch are the daily specials. Projects thatI can pick up and work on for a stitch, a row, or an inch at a time and toss in the knitting basket in a hurry. To that end I have some simple socks and a top that needs 12 inches of stockinette stitch on the needles. Easy, simple, knitting perfection for this season in my life.

Same goes for reading! What’s the equivalent of a stockinette sock? How about a space adventure? This is the story of Mark Watney and what happens when he’s mistaken for dead and left behind on Mars by his crew. He’s a funny & persistent protagonist, and there are some interesting moral issues to contemplate. But mostly it’s an easy, adventurous read. Again, perfect for right now.

How about you? What are you knitting & reading this week?

Knitting: A Nice Ribbed Sock in Victory Sock by Knitted Wit and True Friend by Veera Valimaki in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Sock.  You can view my project details on Ravelry where I can be found as PeacefulKnitter. 

Reading: The Martian by Andy Weir

 

Yarn Along :: Just Keep Knitting

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Tomorrow is my due date.  While in some ways it seems unbelievable that it’s already here, it also feels like it’s been such a long journey.  I am so looking forward to meeting this little guy, I’m practically buzzing with excitement!

In the meantime, I’m trying to knit, read, and cook all the things!  And catch up on tv shows, naps, and long walks. As a family we also have this sense of impending change as we go from a long-term trio into a quartet.  So we’re trying to soak up The Geeg and do all of the things we like to do together before things pause for baby. It’s a bittersweet time, this in-between an old life and the new one.

Knitting: Follow Your Arrow 2 ~ a mystery shawl knit along by Ysolda Teague. Ravelry notes here.  This has been the perfect distraction as I wait to go into labor! Knitting a mystery project is so much like waiting for baby. All I can do is take it one clue (or day) at a time and enjoy the process.

Reading: Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister.  I don’t know why I picked this up, other than I had a craving for a story about female friendship.  I’m happy to say it’s better (and way less sappy) than I expected.  It’s reading like a collection of short stories that weave the women together with a common friend who has challenged each of them to engage in a difficult area in their personal lives.

What’s on your needles and on on your nightstand this week? 

Yarn Along :: keeping things simple

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With the turn of the new year, and as I ready and wait for baby, I’m craving simplicity.  I want (and need) for things to be slow, simple, and easy.  My body is working very hard these days (38 weeks, whoa!), and my mind gets tired fast.  I need simple forms of entertainment and activity so I don’t get completely overwhelmed with all the changes that are coming!  This can be seen in my current knitting a reading : small projects, easy reads.

Knitting: Zuzu’s Petals in Freia Ombre Sport for the Stash Winter knit-along (join in on Ravelry here). Such a fun pattern, this is my second!

Reading: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

My opinion isn’t fully formed on either of these books quite yet.  I will say I’m finding the tidying book inspiring if not a bit severe. But I do love her bottom line: keep only what sparks joy.  It definitely pairs well with the mindset of a nesting pregnant lady! I have already used her method to reduce and organize my clothes with success.  The novel is a fun candy bar read, perfect for where my mind is at right now.  It’s going fast, and I’m enjoying the characters and setting for what they are.

What’s on your needles and on on your nightstand this week? 

Yarn Along

book + chocolate + a bubble bath = my idea of a good time!

book + chocolate + a bubble bath = my idea of a good time!

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I was craving a page turner and an addictive knit, and I sure got what I asked for!

Last week I could not put down these rainbow leg warmers.  Each stripe knit up so quickly, that it was easy to say “oh, I’ll just keep knitting till I finish the next stripe.”  And on and on until I’d knit a pair of leg warmers in a week.  I may have been motivated to finish them while G was also captivated by them; she kept wanting to try them on and asking me when they would be done.  Such a rare, sweet response to my knitting!  My hands have been feeling a little sore since these came off the needles, so I probably overdid it with my enthusiasm.  Looks like I’ll need to cast on a new project in some thicker wool. You know, to rest my hands.

I heard about this book on a podcast, and was lucky enough to find it right away at our used book store.  Such a deal!  Part mystery, part ghost story, this suspenseful novel spans decades and characters, and had me instantly captivated. I can’t wait to see how all their tales weave together and what the ending brings.  I’ve been taking it into the bath with me, and going to bed even earlier to read it.  Last night I definitely stayed up past my bedtime, I was so hooked!

Warning: a child dies and the mother grieves intensely, which isn’t for everyone.  I’m not sure if it’s the writing or my pregnancy hormones (likely both), but it can be a bit of a tear-jerker.

Reading: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Knitting: Rainbow Legwarmies, my own pattern. Ravelry notes here.

Yarn Along :: Kid Reads

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I’m still working away faithfully on my blue Cassis cardigan.  I’m pleased to say that I am now on the second sleeve so, with a couple more good knitting sessions, it should be off the needles this week!

That sweater is big and heavy now, so I cast on a little pixie cap for a friend having a baby this winter.  It’s much more portable and I’ve been able to knit it up quickly rows at a time. All that’s left is knitting the strap and choosing a charming button. Nothing like an instant gratification project when you’re slogging away on a bigger project!

Much like the big blue sweater, I am still working my way through Tell the Wolves I’m Home.  It’s such a great story told from the perspective of a young teen girl, although it’s definitely not YA material.  I’m enjoying the challenging questions and complicated relationships within the story as well.

G and I have been reading chapter books for about a year now.  Reading out loud together while snuggled up in bed has become a favorite part of my day.  We’ve worked our way through some childhood favorites, and have now found our way to Little House in the Big Woods.  She thinks it’s hilarious, what with the inflated pig bladder as a ball and the corncob wrapped in cloth for a doll.  I think it’s a good opportunity to talk about gratitude and being thankful for all that we have (including indoor plumbing and refrigerators).  I skip over the many parts where there’s an animal being butchered or hunted. We’re just not there yet.

There have also been a lot of graphic novels and comic books in our house these past months.  This is more the other mother’s territory, but I have found myself enjoying this Mouse Guard book.  It is beautifully illustrated, with quite the adventure set in a mysterious and often dangerous animal world.  There is some violence, which can be hard to skip over because of the pictures.  But it brings up good questions, and I enjoy talking through these things with the G.

Knitting: Vintage Pixie Cap from the book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies in Acadia by The Fibre Co. (Ravelry notes here)

Reading: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Mouse Guard Fall 1152 by David Petersen

What’s on your needles and on your nightstand this week?

Yarn Along: 2 books + 2 wips

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Last week was a week of finishing.  I finished two projects. I finished one book.  It felt really good.

It took me a couple of days to find the right book(s) to sink my reading teeth into next.  Good thing I have a book-buying habit; I perpetually have at least half a dozen books waiting for me to pick them up.  At first I started rereading Baby Catcher, a memoir by a modern midwife. I read it when I was pregnant with G and remember really liking its positive approach to birth.  I’m a bit tired of the technical and often fear-based pregnancy and birth books, so I felt ready for some interesting narratives about births.

Then I also had to start some fiction to go along when things got to real for me.  I picked up Tell the Wolves I’m Home on my last book-buying binge at Powell’s, and I’m proud to say I’ve read all the other books I purchased that day! (the receipt was tucked away inside this one; always a fun reminder).  I’m only about 50 pages in, but I can tell you I’m already hooked on the young female protagonist and her journey dealing with the death of her beloved uncle from AIDS.  It’s set in the 80s, so you can imagine the complexity of the situation.

And on the needles, I’m still working on my Cassis by Thea Coleman.  This is one I started back in April, then set aside in favor of morning sickness and lack of knitting mojo.  I’ve been working on it in between other small projects, so it’s seen slow progress.  Over the last few weeks, the body has grown, and I only have a few inches left before that’s done.  Then it’s on to everyone’s favorite: sleeves!

And because I finished two projects and felt like I should have something smaller and more portable than a sweater on the needles, I cast on Henrietta.  This yarn from The Fibre Co. is incredible, and I haven’t been able to stop petting it since it came into the shop.

So, what’s on your needles and on your nightstand this week?

Yarn Along: Addictive Knits & Reads

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At the end of the day, I look forward to my knitting time.  It’s a time to relax, slow down, and let the act of knitting help clear my mind of the day’s events.

This project is simple with just enough going on to keep me paying attention.  I started it on our family vacation last week, and it was the perfect travel companion.  After the first repeat or two, I didn’t need to look at the pattern all the time, which made it great to work on by the pool, in the room at night, and on the airplane.  Now I’m playing an intense game of yarn chicken as I try to use up as much of this beautiful yarn as possible.

What would you do if you found out a treasured piece of artwork had potentially been stolen during World War I?  What would you do if faced with serving German soldiers and being seen as a traitor was your only chance at being reunited with your husband?  It’s been a while since I’ve read any sort of historical fiction, and I’m finding this version to be very good.  It’s been thought provoking and entertaining all at once, the perfect kind of reading for me right now!

Knitting: Shaelyn byLeila Raabe in Madelinetosh Pashmina, Forestry

Reading: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

What’s on your needles and on your nightstand this week?

Yarn Along: Travel Insomia

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The night before a trip always finds me feeling a little bit unsettled. My brain is zooming around from what is or isn’t packed yet, did I turn on my vacation responder, remember to take out the garbage tomorrow, is the camera charged, remember to bring the prenatal vitamins, and on and on.

Last night I woke up for a bathroom break (the baby has found my bladder) and couldn’t stop thinking once I was up. After tossing around for a while, I decided to get back up and deal with the question of vacation knitting. I had been worrying about having the right amount of knitting with the appropriate ratio of interest to mindlessness. So I utilized this time between 2:30 and 4 pm to think, start a knitting project, and catch up on a couple of blogs. Thankfully, I went back to sleep eventually, and there was some coffee waiting for me when I woke up.

Knitting: Wurm in Freia

Reading: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

What’s on your needles and on on your nightstand this week?