Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wee Winter Knits

My new niece or nephew (it's a surprise!) is due this week. We all know babies come on their own timeframes, but here are some things I've been knitting for the wee one. Wool Leaves is a nice, lofty blanket by Jared Flood. It's a great size for the stroller or carrier. My project notes are on Ravelry.
The Iceling Cardigan looks nice and flexible for when baby grows. I knitted it in a 3-6 month size. I'm totally into the grandpa sweater look now, so it fits that, but it should be appropriate for a boy or girl.

Finally, everybody needs a lovie. This yarn is designed to make a hat with a topper, but Buddy Blankies has some cute patterns to transform them into blankies. I love this feather and fan stitch!
That's it from me. This weekend has been incredibly cold, so we are heading over to go see a movie tonight. Stay warm, everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Knitted Toys by Jody Long

Knitted Toys: 20 Cute and Colorful ProjectsKnitted Toys: 20 Cute and Colorful Projects by Jody Long
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As an avid knitter, knitted toys are some of my least favorite patterns to knit. They are often difficult to follow, and produce awkward toys that don’t look much like what they are supposed to be. Often they aren’t meant to be toys at all, and require buttons and fasteners that can be choking hazards for children under 3. Flipping through Knitted Toys by Jody Long may have me changing my mind, however. Inside this book are 20 adorable knitted projects. There is even a duck with his own inner tube, ready to enjoy a swim! The toys in this book are all made out of one weight (DK or 8-ply) which makes is easy for knitters to substitute yarn. Some toys are more vignettes, such as Henry the Hedgehog, who is adorable by himself, but can also be knitted with a toadstool, ladybug, flowers, and a grass scene to accompany him. Other toys come dressed in their own clothes, such as Marvin the Mouse who is sharply dressed in a striped sweater and overalls. Percy the Pig not only come fully dressed, but includes a bib and spoon for eating his tiny knitted cake with cherries on top. There are several patterns that involve animals and objects that I have never seen translated into knitting before. Ollie the Octopus and Sebastian the Starfish were two toys that I have never seen knitted before. The best and most unique pattern presented in the book has to be Ruby the Russian Doll, who is lovely and huggable with knitted flowers attached to her body. Overall, I think this is a great book for any experienced knitter who wants a wide variety of toy patterns. If you are on Ravelry, here is a link to the book so you can check out each pattern for yourself, before deciding to purchase:

I received this book from NetGalley for this review, but all opinions are my own.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lazy Crafternoon

Lazy CrafternoonLazy Crafternoon by Stella Fields
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lazy Crafternoon is a crafting book for the tween range. I love the idea of a lazy crafternoon, which Fields describes as “a day you spend with your friends, each of you making something incredible.” This book contains more than 50 easy crafts that kids can mostly make on their own, with a few simple supplies. The book is divided into five sections; accessories, decorations, school supplies, party and gift crafts, and foods. There are several decoupage crafts throughout the book, and well as crafts that involve sewing. Some of the best ideas come in the decorate section, like the No-Sew Pillows and the Ribbon Wreath. I also like the paper crafts shown. Kids can learn to make their own cards, envelopes, and gift tags. At the end is a food section, with cute edibles that can be served during the crafternoon.

I originally picked this book to see if it would be appropriate for my 14-year-old daughter and her friends. I think it would be a little basic for this age, I would recommend it for the craft-loving tween range. Overall, Lazy Crafternoon has many basic projects that would appeal to tweens. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Negroland: A Memoir

Negroland: A MemoirNegroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm always looking for a good book on race, so I was excited to dive into this one. Jefferson is obviously a talented writer, and the high points of the book are her memories of her childhood, growing up as an upper-middle class black child in Chicago. The book is not pure memoir, however, and Jefferson jumps around to cover a variety of topics, like gender and history. These jumps are startling, and often left me confused as to what the author was talking about.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Werewolf of Bamberg

The Werewolf of Bamberg (The Hangman's Daughter, # 5)The Werewolf of Bamberg by Oliver Pötzsch
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This series started off enjoyable, but it's really been a struggle to get through the last few books. The plot follows the same basic storyline in all the books. In The Werewolf of Bamberg, the Kusil family travels to Bamburg, only to find a werewolf, or murder, or both, have been killing people. There are enough plot twists to keep you guessing, but the one thing that kills about these books are the parachronisms. Since the book was originally written in German and translated to English, I'm not sure who to blame, the author or the translator. The book is filled with words that would not have been used in the 1600s. A golem is a 19th century word, not appropriate for a 17th century novel.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Here's my #projectsummer traveling totals:

Home à Destin, FL
978 miles
978 miles

HomeàAvon, NC
348 miles
348 miles

HomeàVictoria, BC
2,890 miles
2,890 miles

224 miles
224 miles


8,880 miles


Things weren’t very specific
when I was in labor,

yet everything was
there, suddenly: all that

my body had known,
even things I’d only been

reminded of occasionally,
as when a stranger’s scent

had reminded me
of someone I’d known

in the distant past. The few
men I’d loved but didn’t

marry. The time, living
alone in Albuquerque,

when I fainted in the kitchen
one morning before work

and woke up on the floor,
covered in coffee. Finally.

it was coming. It was all moving
forward. Finally, it was all going

to pass through me. It was
beginning to happen

and it was all going to happen
in one single night.

No more lingering
in the adolescent pools

of memory, no more giving it
a little more time to see

if things would get better
or worse. No more moving

from one place to the next.
Finally, my body was all

that had ever been given
to me, it was all I had,

and I sweated through it
in layers, so that when,

in the end, I was finally
standing outside myself

and watching, I could see
that what brought me

into the world was pulling
you into the world,

and I could see that my body
was giving you up

and giving you to me,
and where in my body

there were talents, there
were talents, and where

there were no talents,
there would be scars.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


by Maggie Dietz

Don't feel small. We all have
been demoted. Go on being

moon or rock or orb, buoyant
and distant, smallest craft ball

at Vanevenhoven's Hardware
spray-painted purple or day-glow

orange for a child's elliptical vision
of fish line, cardboard and foam.

No spacecraft has touched you,
no flesh met the luster of your

heavenly body. Little cold one, blow
your horn. No matter what you are

planet, and something other than
planet, ancient but not "classical,"

the controversy over what to call you
light-hours from your ears. On Earth
we tend to nurture the diminutive,
root for the diminished. None

of your neighbors knows your name.
Nothing has changed. If Charon's

not your moon, who cares? She
remains unmoved, your companion.