Saturday, December 28, 2013

New toy

Treated myself to a new DSLR camera. Been playing with it.

I think I like it.
Don't think Fergus is impressed much.

And Conkers doesn't give a hoot.



Monday, December 23, 2013

More!

The voices were whispering, quiet at first, then distinct and clear. "You need more!" They said, over and over again. More? More? How could she possibly need more? Sighing deeply, she visibly drooped. Her head hung forward closer to her chest, and she shut her eyes, if only she could shut her ears and her mind, she thought.

She tried to distract herself. She had a hundred and one things to do, being busy would quiet the voices. "More" they whispered, "Still more and more, you haven't enough," they persisted, "it will be a disaster unless you have more." And finally, "You WILL fail!" She couldn't stand it any longer, she put down her duster, turned off the radio and went to get her coat and bag.

The streets were teeming with humanity, with every kind of life. She was buffeted and jostled at every turn. It appeared that the whole world and his dog needed to be out of doors today. The winter sun did nothing to lift the temperature and the wind had a bite to it that made her wish she had remembered to grab a hat. Her ears stung with cold. She dodged another pensioner and her shopping trolley, put her head down and marched through the crowds, trying not to hear them, smell them, or make eye contact. She did not want to speak to anyone.

The voices were still there, muted by the sounds around her, traffic had its uses, but she was still aware of their mutterings. "More!"

She was hungry. She was tired and she was worn down by the persistent fear of tomorrow and of failing. Desmond would never forgive her if it went wrong in any way. He was such a perfectionist. She spent her days trying to reach and maintain his exacting standards, and she didn't often succeed. Tomorrow was different, she knew what she was capable of and she had no reason to believe that she would fail, well, until the voices started. "More and more and more!" They chanted on.

She pushed her way through the throng of people by the door of the shop, there were people milling about, people shaking charity buckets, people looking lost and others looking annoyed. The change in temperature made her blink and her nose began to run. She sniffed whilst forlornly looking for a tissue in her pocket, something else she had forgotten to pick up. She looked around, there were people everywhere, packed in like sardines and the aisles heaved with bodies. She started to turn toward the exit, "MORE!" Screamed the voices, "not enough," followed by a harsh roaring of the word "FAILURE!" She sighed again, squared her shoulders, picked up a basket and joined the throng of Christmas Eve shoppers.

Fish Fingers

Spillyjane Swedish Fish pattern - with some mods. Knit in The Uncommon Thread's merino fingering in Cobble and some hand spun singles from a batt I got a Woolfest a few years back - from The Felt Studio.

Last pair of Xmas sockies all finished - all ready to be wrapped and placed in a stocking. Oh the irony.

This might be the last knitting post of 2013, unless I finally finish my Conic over the holidays!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

There has been knitting.

A hat for me. Pattern is Ahull by Alicia Plummer knitted in The Uncommon Thread's Merino Fingering yarn in the colourway Cobble. This is the perfect hat for me - light but cosy, with a lovely slouch to it. I wear it most days (it is cold a work).

Socks for M - this is one pair of three - two pairs made, one pair still on the needles. He wears hand knit socks everyday and some are looking a little tired so perfect time of year to replenish his sock drawer and fill his Xmas stocking. (Pattern is my own plain vanilla sock over 64 sts with after thought heel.)

Steptoe Miser Mitts (own pattern) J had been asking for a pair of these for ages, as I hate knitting fingers, I put him off, but he then asked for a pair for his Xmas stocking....couldn't really say no. Knitted in Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift (which I bought whilst on Shetland in Lerwick years ago), he wanted a mismatched pair. I have a hat to make for him too in similar colours in Bessie May Nettle - see photo below for Mike's version.

Not the best picture - kind of a weird selfie. But you get the idea. Again another pattern that I just made up as I went along - pretty basic beanie over 90 sts.

I do a have a project on the needles for me - but it has been put aside for Xmas knitting and I have a crochet project too. I have been asked to make a small throw for a charity raffle next Spring to raise funds for Border Terrier Welfare...again couldn't say no.

All caught up with knitting projects. Phew!




Friday, November 22, 2013

My precious

I have been coveting a ring from Alison Moore Designs for quite a while and have been dropping rather large hints in a M-wardly direction for a while. Yay, finally, he took heed and I ordered the Velvet Stacking ring set. I love this as it has my birthstone and my favourite gem which is Moonstone. So beautifully hand made with excellent friendly service too.

Time to start hinting for some earring to match in time for my birthday now.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A few more books

Got some catching up to do. Last book post was July!

Firstly I have listened to the complete works of Jane Austen on audio book in the last couple of months. Loved it, back to back. Never boring, always entertaining.

Also been reading a lot of poetry - have finished 'Keats - Poems published in 1829', 'Marmion' by Walter Scott, 'The Complete Henry Wadsworth Longfellow' and 'Poems Chiefly from Manuscript' by John Clare. All of these are free to download on Kindle.

Longbourne by Jo Baker
Format - Kindle

Recommended by my SIL, I loved this. It was this that set me off on my audio book marathon. It tells the story of the Bennet family servants in parallel to Pride and Prejudice. It is one of the few P&P spins offs that I have really enjoyed. Great characters clever story plots and a really delicious read.

Sovereign by C J Samson
Format - Kindle

Slow to start compared to the first two but once it picked up pace - I couldn't put it down. I think it is my favourite so far - did work out who the bad guy was within first 3rd of the book but finding out the whys and wherefores kept me entertained. Want to read more of these.

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
Format - Kindle

Saw the title in an article about Brad Pitt was intrigued, read a synopsis, bought the download. Not the easiest read due to emotion and content but brilliant. Shame about the typos though. Well worth reading.

Kimi's Secret by John Hudspith
Format - Kindle

Quirky. Different. Maybe this is more suited to a younger audience than me but I stilled enjoyed it. Quite clever ideas and has a nice pace.

Semester Abroad and Snowbound by Elizabeth Kirke
Format - Kindle

Teen fiction. Vampires meet Percy Jackson. Loved the first one, the second one not so much. Quick and easy reads.

Killing Floor by Lee Child
Format - Kindle

The first Jack Reacher. Saw the film and so many book buddies said that Tom Cruise was so miscast that he was nothing like the character in the book that I had to  see for myself - they were right. This is not my kind of book, that said, I really enjoyed it and would read more. It did bog me down a bit in the middle, but once it picked up pace again I was enthralled.

The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
Format - Kindle

Vampires, brooding hero and mystery - what's not to love? Well a few mistakes in the text but that is nit picking - loved it! Want more.

Chronicles of Fairacre by Miss Read
Format - real book

Revisit of this much loved favourite. First 3 books in one. I love these and have read them at least 6 times. Like chicken soup, they feed my soul, well as long as the soup isn't made by Dotty Harmer!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Letting my tinsel shine through

Still a few specks of blonde. Not sure how long I'll live with it. But it is pretty grey now! Scary!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yarn bowl-tastic

The talented M has made me a spanking new yarn bowl of deliciousness. It is perfect and already in use.

It is smooth and shiny. With a choice of slot or yarn holes. Best of all it has the pretty. Love it.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Poetry

A bit late maybe, but it's been a really busy week.

Women by Frances Hororvitz (1938 - 1983)

women
lie open
as green meadows
to the urgent flood

compassion
for the erect member
and hand trembling

over shoulders
gazing
at different wallpapers
compassionate
and lonely
as the travelling moon

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Paddling like mad underneath

Life interrupts my blogging and crafting but I am still being productive just more slowly.

First pair of socks I have made this year - Polly Jean by M J Kim - knitted in Opal Uni solid red on 2.75mm circs. Last pair I made of this pattern I gifted to my SIL, so these are for me. I have lost my sock mojo at the moment, every pair I have started I have ripped out. I was so pleased that I enjoyed making these. Just need to wash and block them.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Meet Flora

Flora is a Highland Coo made by Kath at Moka Pottery. I have wanted one of these for ages, as not only do I think they are clever (Flora's head comes of and she is a container) but they make me smile.

M and Kath did a pottery swap for one of orbs of desire and this was what M asked for in return. I am very happy to give Flora a home. She is sitting on my work table and is there to inspire me.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gallimaufry

A Gallimaufry is a hodge podge or a medley of things and this beautiful free pattern from designer Jan Eaton is a wonderful flowing medley of lace. The pattern can be downloaded from Ravelry and is an interesting knit. Not too difficult but not dull either, plus the charts are clear and the instructions are well written.

I used a yarn from The Uncommon Thread who specialise in luxury yarns which they hand dye to a wonderful spectrum of deep and luscious colours. This one is their BFL Sock which is soft but with a wonderful lustre and the colour is one of my favourites called Bassenthwaite. I used about 128g in total so needed two 100g skeins but the leftovers will not be wasted.


I did knit mine on a smaller needle because I wanted more of a long wide scarf effect than a wrap. I am so happy with the result.
 
 
 





Thursday, August 08, 2013

Less reading than usual

My reading pace has slowed down as I am finding it hard, at the moment, to find stuff I can get in to. Every book I pick up, I start, get a little way into and then think 'Nah' and move onto another book,

Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Format - Kindle

As with 'Wolf Hall' this took me a while to get into. I don't know why I find her writing style needs me to adjust my reading style but it does. Allowing for that, this follow up didn't disappoint on any level. It deals with a period of history and the characters therein that endlessly fascinate me. I love the levels of the story telling and the insight to Cromwell away from court life. I enjoy that a lot of the characters are more minor ones and that Henry and Anne are not holding centre stage throughout the book. I particularly liked the interview with Mark Smeaton and his 'torture'. Clever and compelling.
Await her next with interest and anticipation.

Curricle and Chase by Lizzie Church
Format - Kindle

This was recommended to me by a friend and I have to say it is not my kind of book at all, it is a very romantic book in every sense. A bit of Heyer meets Austen with a smattering of Cartland, but I did enjoy it. It had a nice pace, good characters and was a quick, kind of fun read. It entertained and amused me in a gentle way that didn't tax my brain. I would read this author again to see if it was a fluke or the result of brain fatigue.

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer
Format - Audio book (Librivox)

After reading the above, I realised I had never read any Heyer - the only one in the public domain is the above so I decided to listen to it. It was all that I expected and yes I did smirk a few times but that isn't to say I wasn't entertained by it. It had a ridiculous but also endearing quality and although I had worked out the plot by the second chapter, I still wanted to listen to it to the end. I did enjoy it. Not sure I would revisit it though.

Dr Thorne by Anthony Trollope
Format - Audiobook (Librivox)

I am slowly revisiting all the Barchester books this year. Dr Thorne is one of my favourites I love the meeting in a small town world of Scratcherd and the Gresham/DeCourcy factions. It is clever and for me compelling. The narrator is really good and as he sounds like an older gentleman I imagine it is Trollope himself reading his tale to me. I know a lot of people find Trollope dull and long winded but he is an author you need to give a little time to. He starts most tales with a few (duller) chapters of scene/character setting but once you get past them the rewards are worth it. With his sharp eye for details and mild derision his stories are a delight.


That's it for now. Not that many. I hope to rediscover my reading mojo soon.


Saturday, August 03, 2013

Miss Florence Bunnington-Smythe

I don't know why, but I knit a bunny. Am pleased with her, she is rather cute.

Pattern is Bunty Bunny by Debi Birkin Designs - available via Ravelry.

Complete with tail.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

What a week.

One of those that if any thing could fuckup, it did. From household disasters and stress to personal stuff. This week has felt like lurching from one disaster to another and all in 48 hours. But this isn't a whine-a-lot post this is a post about affirmation. Because through all that has occurred one thing remains constant, and that is the love and I get from a little a red dog.

She doesn't mind if I get upset or grumpy or go all silent because I am too drained to talk. She is a constant source of joy, happiness and living her life to the full. She can make me smile at my lowest ebb.

She also shows me, that I have to smile through it, move on and get over it. Clever wee beastie she is.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Roll on winter

I don't do 'hot'. I dislike summer. I hate hot and humid nights. And I really dsilike the sensation of damp underwear after a long hot day. Sticky tits are the pits!

My thinking is; it is easier to get warm from being cold. Layers of clothes, hot drinks, a warming fire, hot water bottle, and extra blankets....or even a cuddle. You go from cold to cosy. Hot to cool is harder. I don't want to be touched, let alone cuddled when I'm hot. Heat does NOT equate to amorous, in my book, it equates with, 'touch me and I will rip your hands from your wrists and beat you to death with soggy ends'. A cooling drink soon wears off, a fan moves the hot air about and a shower makes the air more humid. Lucky for me, I invested, a couple of years back, in a bloody good air con unit, this week it has been a life saver at night.

My temper remains unpredictable with a bent towards volatile with extreme grump thrown in. This has been proved against Ma, M and J this week. This situation will remain all the while this awful weather continues. I therefore suggest that those who cross my path, stop and think, before telling me it is glorious and they hope it lasts for weeks.....I may not be responsible for my response or actions.

Monday, July 08, 2013

And the reading goes on

Catch up time  - with these added I will have read 59 books so far this year - and although I am not actually doing a '52 in 52' challenge this year and I am now working part time, I am quite happy with that count. So here are the recent additions to my list.

L H Cosway - 'Tegan's Magic' and 'Tegan's Return'
Format - Kindle

Read these back to back (straight after the first one). They are not literary giants but they are very readable for their genre. I've always been a fantasy/sci- fi girl and just get immense pleasure from these kinds of stories. They don't tax the brain, they aren't erudite in any way but they amuse, entertain and keep me turning the pages.


Neil Gaiman - 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane'
Format - Kindle

Had this on pre-order. Saved it for my holiday. Read it in a couple of days. Loved every page. This is the kind of story that you could say was more of a young adult work, it is not as complex or as long say as 'American Gods' but I think anyone of any age could happily read this and be transported. It is weird, quirky and very clever. The ideas and concepts work with an ease and delight that make the book flow beautifully. The characters are well drawn and thought out. The peril is written so that you can understand the way the main character (a  young boy) would feel and empathise with him and the supernatural side is very grounded in some ways, which I think actually makes it have more impact.
Write us more stories Mr Gaiman - you are so very good at it.

Christine Stovell -'Move over Darling'
Format- Kindle

A chick-lit that just didn't work for me. Perhaps it was just me but I got impatient with the story and the characters and found it a slog. There is nothing wrong with it - but it was like a bowl of cold and stodgy porridge for me.

Cassandra Clare - The Mortal Instruments Trilogy
'City of Bones', 'City of Ashes' and 'City of Glass'
Format - Kindle

One of those series that by the time I was a 3rd of the way through book 1, I knew I would be reading the others straight off. Again like the first books in this post, these are not works of great fiction etc, but they are entirely readable.
I am sure picky peeps would review and mention mistakes, and some of them are a little glaring at times, but I lost myself in the story and the characters and just stopped being bothered by them. I want to read for pleasure not nit picking.
Not sure if I will read the 2nd series yet - if I do - it will be later on as I do want to read other things now.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Went away, back now.

M and I went off for a few days, down to Dartmoor and the above is the view from our window. We stayed in a fab pub on the edge of moor called The Tradesman's Arms. Good ales, great rooms, warm welcome and good food too. They are dog friendly too.

We met up with lots of friends and M climbed the old lighthouse in Plymouth. I am sitting on one of the benches below waiting for him.
We went on the moor and found a lamb at Hound Tor. We explored and laughed and came home feeling much better for a break.

And when we got home we celebrated J's 16th birthday. Had a fabulous day. Am so proud of him. He has grown into a loving, funny, clever and articulate young man. Must have being doing something right. We all went to see Despicable Me 2 - on Friday (in 3D) - so funny - worth going to see.


Last bit  - cameo by Lottie Bo-Bo - she got a pressie from a friend we met up with on holiday. A Kong squeaky tennis ball - apt for Wimbledon - she loves it and has yet to let it out of her sight. The Boggart gave his a hair cut, desqueaked it and now ignores it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sunday, June 09, 2013

A local Sunday - part two

Rottingdean Windmill across from the church yard. We quite often walk the dogs up there.

Gorgeous local church. Sadly the door was locked.

The local pond and one of the local pubs - most of which are really good.

Interesting street names.

Rock guitar legend resting.

He is still attracting those who loved him.

And finally a very different type of entertainer - you can find out about him on Wikipedia.






Monday, June 03, 2013

A local Sunday (part one)

We have a neighbour who cuts all their grass with a petrol driven strimmer. It takes them all day and their favourite day for this activity is a Sunday. Normally on the kind of Sunday where you want to be out in your garden, feet up, bit of knitting and listening to local kids and the birds singing. Yesterday looked exactly like the above. In fact it was so bad, it drove us out of the house. Even J, who needed a revision break, couldn't stand it anymore. We upped sticks and headed 5 minutes down the road to Rottingdean.

We had a stroll along the under cliff. It wasn't too busy really and the warmth was just right.

We showed J where our wedding reception was held (this used to be an hotel).

We wandered around the pond and war memorial and ended up .......

here, for a wander among the graves. So peaceful, full of bird song and much bigger than we had realised.




Friday, May 31, 2013

Bad Dobby-blogger.

No excuses. No nothing really. Just that life is puttering quietly away and I just don't have the time or inclination to write my blog as much - meh.

I will play a little bit of catch up now;

Crafts and knitting - well I am knitting but my mojo is a bit lacking. I am distracted by other things all the time and have no sticking power at the moment. On the needles are plain sock for M, a cardi for me (which is close to being finished) and that is it. Though I am planning a lace project start up later today (if I get around to it). I have one crochet project which is half way done and no sewing or weaving. I have been doing a little spinning over the last week - finally - it has taken so long for my toe to stop hurting when I spin, after breaking it last autumn.

I have been painting and drawing again and also writing, but only bits of flash fiction really.

Family - we are good. J is in the middle of exams, M is working and potting. Pets are adorable. I am my normal grumpy slightly acerbic self. Got real sinus issues and a painful hip but nothing you die of.

The only other thing is reading etc. So catch on books too.

Audio Books;
Anthony Trollope - He Knew He was Right, Rachel Ray, Miss Mackenzie and the The Warden.

All free librivox ones. All enjoyable. The only one I hadn't read was Miss Mackenzie and I really enjoyed finding a new favourite Trollope after all the these years.

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice - Librivox

I had to. It is this books bicentennial, so it had to be done.

Stephanie Meyer - Twilight - audible.

I had never tried on these as an audio book. I wanted a break from Trollope but nothing to tax my brain and that is what it was. Good reading.

Books;

Charlane Harris - Dead Ever After - Sookie Stackhouse
Format - Kindle

Last ever book in this series I had to read it to find out if I was right about who Sookie would end up with. No spoilers but I was. I enjoyed the final book it wrapped it up nicely.

Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Format - Kindle

Loved this. Clever, different and entertaining (am reading the second one now). It is one of those fantasy/real world crossover books that works but is hard to explain It was different and didn't have me rolling my eyes like so many of this style of books does normally. Well worth a read.

L H Cosway - Tegan's Blood
Format - Kindle

Didn't think I was going to like this (more vampire fiction - I am a well known addict of this type of fiction) I was wrong. Fast paced and clever. Quirky main character and for me an easy read but a page turner. I read this in an evening. Am reading the second one - started yesterday and am already 50% through it. It is keeping me guessing and entertaining me too. Nice work.

Poetry Books - Format Kindle.

I don't really take a lunch break at work - just the time to eat a packed lunch - so I can't really get into my book. I downloaded a load of free poetry books to have something good to engage my mind during these little breaks. So far I finished 'Lyrical Ballads with other poems, 1800, Vol 1' by William Wordsworth and 'Complete Tales and Poems' Edgar Allan Poe (which strangely did not include The Raven). I have really enjoyed reading both of these. I have downloaded a few others to entertain my sandwich munching minutes - all freebies. I love reading poetry but often neglect it so this is a perfect solution for me.

All caught up now. Good Dobby.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Knitted Monsters for a nursery

A non-knitting friend asked me could I please make the above for her baby son's monster themed nursery. I had previously knit them a monster hat and booties and these were so cute, that I was more than happy to help out.

It has been a labour of love, because since J has got bigger, knitted toys have not been on my list of things to knit, and TBH I have never really enjoyed the process. Toys are fiddly, time consuming and often quite dull (IMHO) to knit. But I have loved the look of Rebecca Danger's Knitted Monsters since I first saw them and had no excuse to make them - now I had one so I manned up and knit the lovely acrylic  - it still squeaks and sets my teeth on edge - and today the last one left the needles.

The two dumpy ones are book ends. The centre one is a cuddly. The red one is Snooter, the centre one is Vinny the V-man and the one left is Tegs.

I love the colours and I love the idea of a monster themed nursery. I hope they will do their job and be well loved as her son grows up.






Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Bookington of books

Poor little neglected bloglet. Not much reading gone on either but still I will update what I have read.
There has also been a lot of starting books and abandoning them as I don't know what I fancy reading.Mmanaged to find a good one I am reading right now, which is so nice. In fact I didn't want to get up Monday as I read with my early morning coffee, and I so wanted to read another chapter, but I was good and went in the shower instead.

The Long Bridge: Out of the Gulags by Urszula Muskus
Format - Kindle

Not my normal reading choice though I have read other books on this subject years ago, but there was something about the reviews of this book that made me want to read it. It is shocking but not written to shock, the language in almost poetical in places and sparse in others and it is that which gives this book its impact. It is like a journal story that tells the facts but with such a human face and tongue that makes it so emotive without the need for gore. The horror of this story doesn't need added shock factors at all. I highly recommend this book. It is easy to read on level and one of the hardest reads I've ever had on another. Compelling though.


Sleeping Roses by Rachelle Workman (spoilers)
Format - Kindle

Did I like this book? Kind of. Is it well written? Kind of. There are levels of cleverness about this story and then there is the sense that she ran out of time and the twisty climax feels rushed. There was also a sense of that old stuck for an ending...."then I woke up and it was all dream" (Spoiler-ish). I did read it quite quickly but a lot of the time I was mentally yelling at the heroine to "man up" and stop being so bloody dappy and wet. There was more interest in  a couple of background characters, which the author should have exploited more. Just my opinion, but it is cheap and easy reading, so it is value for money but not an author I will likely revisit.

Confucius Cat Says by P R Mason
Format - Kindle

Love this. Quick, funny and light. Wonderful. This author knows cats and I think was channelling my old cat Buster when they wrote most of this book.

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend by Jenny Colgan
Format - Kindle

Of all this authors books that I've read (see previous booky post) I liked this one the least. I read it whilst reading the first book in this post because, after two chapters of this book I needed something to nourish my literally soul. Didn't like the story, bit obvious, didn't like any of the characters....not a single one and by the end of it (which again seemed clich├ęd and rushed) I was bored. Jenny Colgan - done. Might read any news ones but won't be reading her back catalogue if this is an example of them.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Decisions, decisions the sequel....

Two photos here - same yarn. Top example knit today on 3mm, bottom were knit a few weeks back on 4mm and there are a couple of stitch patterns in there I abandoned - the scallop and the seaweed are in there. The yarn is by The Uncommon Thread it is their silky merino fingering in the colourway Leaden. It is the finest of the yarns I've swatched - the drape is to die for but I am not a sure about the definition for this project.

So now I need to choose? Not easy, all lovely.

Decisions, decisions...?

I have an idea for a lovely project (been fiddling about with it for about a month now). I want to make something using colours found in nature that also uses stitch textures that reflect the 'nature theme'. These are the swatches drying.

First up - Eden Cottage SW Merino 4ply in Pendle (very strong teal IRL) - knit on 3mm needle. The stitches up for ponder are seaweed (definite), scallop, moss and clove. This yarn has reasonable drape and stitch definition - it is clearer in photo than in real life.

BFL/Silk blend in sock weight (I have lost the label for this - got it at Woolfest 2012) knit on 3mm - same stitches. Reasonable definition and wonderful drape. It is a semi solid and the colour is a real summer sky blue.

Dream in Colour Smooshy Sock in SW Merino - Happy Forest (the two strands next to it are other colour possibilities) knit on 3mm. Totally wonderful definition, not so good on drape but it is soft and squishy instead.

There is one more option - which blogger won't let me post here so second post follows.....bear with me.




Thursday, April 11, 2013

And the reading goes on

Lets start with audio books;

Little Women and An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Aldcott

The first is an old favourite from childhood. It is a hot buttered crumpet of a book and I grew up wanting to be Jo so much. It has never lost its magic for me. The second I just downloaded because I had never heard of it. I loved it. It has the same magic and sense of comfort as the other and I am so pleased I found it.

Bear Creek Collection - vol 1 by Robert E Howard

Another happy accident. Bit boys own but I really enjoyed them. Very nicely narrated too. Not a lot you can empathise with but a romping good listen. Bit like a marmite and cheese sarnie - satisfying with a bit of bite.

Books now - all on Kindle this time.

A friend recommended Jenny Colgan and as I had just read a bit of a weird book (details follow) I needed a bit of froth. So back to back I read 'Rosie Hopkin's Sweetshop of Dreams', 'Meet me at the Cupcake Cafe' and 'The Loveliest Chocolate Shop In Paris'. I liked them all. They did what it said on the tin, to quote an old TV advert, they eased my mind and soothed me like a good cup of tea and Rich Tea Finger. I still prefer other chick lit authors, I needed a bit more zest and humour for my personal taste, but I shall read more. I have one more already downloaded. I suspect that that one will be enough though.

Blue Smoke and Madness by Lisa C Hinsley

Quirky, disturbing and a bit weird. I liked it but it left a nasty taste and the ending is rushed. The whole book is a guessing game of madness, delusion or fantasy reality. There are some nasty disturbing chapters that are a bit churning - including a fairly graphic rape scene. It isn't a book I'd go out of my way to recommend to anyone really but I wouldn't be adverse to giving this author another read in the future.

Good Husband Material by Tricia Ashley

Another 'tin' fulfilling its promise here. Read it for the hero! Plus the fact that most chapters end with a little paragraph or two from his prospective which made a refreshing change. I like this author a lot and her books have a nice cosy comfort feel - bit like a modern Miss Read with recipes and romance, this one was less so, but still a good read.

The Griffin Cryer by Julia Hughes

Aimed at the teen market and another rushed ending but that aside I liked it. Bonus that it although it had a partial school setting, it was set in the UK. The story is different - no vampires and star crossed lovers - clever twists and open to a follow up. A quick and enjoyable read.

Cinderella Chronicles by Lisa Renee Jones

One novel, two short stories or novellas. If you like fairly obvious romance interspersed with sex and quite a lot of sex then you will love this. Me? I got a bit bored but for a freebie it was an OK read I suppose. Not really my cuppa tea.

Madli

Not the most inspiring photo but at least it shows it is off the needles....at last....only been on there since Oct.

The pattern is from the book Knitted Lace of Estonia and includes lots and lots of nupps (bobble type things for non-lace knitters) which is why is took me so long....I suffer from nupp fatigue. I knit mine using Rowan Lace, it took 1.5 balls, and the red is much nicer and vibrant in real life. Will take some arty shots when it is dry. I used a Knit Pro Cube circular at 3mm - great needle, no clicking and a really sharp point.

I also finished this crochet bag (my 2nd one - the other was a gift for a friend - I liked it so much I made one for me). The pattern for this can be found either on Ravelry or on Attic 24, which is a lovely crochet blog, full of colour and charm and some rather nice patterns as well.

I have been trying to clear the decks of my knitting projects one by one and also completed a sock, sadly its mate is still unknitted though but at least I have two less projects on the go.

Still on the needles is a lovely 3/4 Hap Shawl, pattern by Veera Valimaki which I am knitting in yarn from The Uncommon Thread using their merino fingering in Lust and Cobble. The yarn is soft and the colours have real lustre. I think it will be so pretty once it is finished. (I am 2/3 of way through it).

I also have a long term lace weight yarn cardigan on the needles and the other sock. The only other knitting is a monster (toy) project for a mates baby boy - which I started today and it meant I had to go and relearn the 'magic loop' method because it is so long since I've used it, I couldn't quite remember how it worked.

I have loads of stuff queued up in my head that I want to make but still need to clear the decks a bit more before casting on.....hahaha almost convinced myself then!