RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I am reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: Again, I have no picture of my book. You want to know why? Because I finished War and Peace! In a month! Wahoo! I’m so happy to have finished it. 🙂 I’m not really reading anything else right now. Off to find a new book!

Knitting: I must be out of my ever-loving mind. I am knitting gray and black and white in January, almost February. When the world is white and black and gray. This simply will not do. More color must be cast on. Do I have a problem with that? No I don’t.
I finished Yoda today, just before writing this post. Isn’t he cute? I don’t know how this happened, but he turned out looking more like a bowling pin than Yoda. It may have had something to do with my minor modifications to the pattern…. {Pattern: Yodagurumi}
Also on the needles: my Hermione’s and Shelves Upon Shelves. I really like the Shelves pattern. It’s a nice change from vanilla socks. Simple enough to be able to watch a movie while knitting, but interesting enough you don’t fall asleep.
Also, my table is a mess.

Listening: The soundtrack from Miss Potter, title theme from North and South, and the soundtrack from Pride and Prejudice (1995).

Watching: Revenge of the Sith. A warning: Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER watch Star Wars with a capital N Nerd. Not only will the Nerd talk the movie to death, you will have to listen to nerdiness from the moment you pop the DVD in the player. So what I’m saying is never watch Star Wars with me. You may regret it. 😉

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, or watching?

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The River Cottage Family Cookbook~ review

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The River Cottage Family Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fizz Carr

If I could only use one cookbook for the rest of my life, I would pick this one. Not only is it a cookbook, but it is also a comprehensive book about food. And there’s just so much of it! I’ve used the River Cottage cookbook for years now. Crunchable food, pretty pictures, and not just how, but why. Food is good and I love it. 😀

If I’m being honest, I would buy this book for the Macaroni and Cheese recipe. It is THAT GOOD. Okay, the white bread recipe, too. Those two would make it worth it! I made the M&C several years ago, burned it, and vowed never to make it again. Fast forward five years, (literally!!), and I finally worked up the courage to make it again. And now I can’t go a month without making it. 🙂 Again, food is good.

Look up this book! It comes highly recommended by me. I’m in no way a fancy cook but the River Cottage Family cookbook isn’t fancy. It’s for families. And me. 😉

I’m a bad blogger.

No really, I am.

Here’s the thing: I read a lot. Like, A LOT. And because I think y’all are awesome, I’m always on the lookout for books to review for you. I find great books, devour them, and send them back to the library with the intent of writing a splendiforus review that night. A month goes by. Hey, I was going to write a review about such and such book, but now I can’t remember a single thing about it. *take hand, put face into*

I’m trying to figure out a way to put a little more of my personality into my writing. Most of the time, I feel like I’m not doing the amazing (or not so amazing) books I read justice. I don’t want to sound like a broken record. Oh, the book was great, check it out, the end. In reality, I get super worked up about books. Ridiculously so. Like, I’m honest to goodness jumping up and down like an agitated squirrel because I’m excited or furious. I need to translate that enthusiasm into my online reviews.

I’ll be working on that for awhile. Let’s go write enthusiastic book reviews! 😉

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: Okay, I somehow missed the fact that I had not put my books into this picture. What?? I’ll just say that I thought y’all were getting tired of seeing War and Peace. I’m getting closer to being done! Wahoo!!!! I’m also reading more Star Wars. Of course. I’m a Star Wars Nerd with a capital N. It’s bad…

Knitting: …which brings me to my knitting projects! I decided I needed a travel gnome. Okay, let’s knit one. Looking through the doll patterns, I found Yodagurumi. Cutest. Pattern. Ever. He’s moving kinda slowly, but moving. You know what they say: as soon as you finish a knitting project, time to cast on a new one! (Do people actually say that?) I’m trying to get a jump on Christmas/birthday knitting. And I have to say, YarnAlong has been good encouragement to finish projects. 🙂 I finished my Honey Cowl last week. Do you see that orange yarn? That’s my first handspun! Oh my goodness!!! It’s really over twisted and bumpy, but I made yarn!!!!!! Yes, it deserves a billion exclamation marks. 🙂

Listening: Everything.

Watching: Persuasion starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds (1995). 2 dollars at the thrift store. Yes!

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, or watching? Leave a comment!

Zita the Spacegirl Trilogy~ review

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Zita the Spacegirl, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, and Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

 I love graphic novels. There’s something really different about reading what is practically a picture book for older people. And I really love Zita the Spacegirl. I’m not sure how I was introduced to this series, but I think it might have been through Regina Doman, who is a good friend of Ben Hatke’s. She used him as her fight expert in a few of her novels. 🙂 Anyway, the story is this: Zita, the heroine, finds a strange device that, when activated, sends her and a friend to a different universe. She and her friend, Joseph, are separated when Joseph is kidnapped by alien robots. Zita teams up with a man named Piper and a giant Mouse to rescue him. I won’t tell you how it ends, but the stories keep getting better. Sadly, there are only three Zita books. More! Give me more!

Ben Hatke’s art is amazing. There’s so much detail in just a few pencil strokes. As for the characters, I love Zita, Piper, Mouse, Madrigal, Strong Strong, and One. They are all unique and laugh-out-loud characters. When I read, I rarely laugh out loud. I’m more of a silent laugher. So if they make me howl with laughter, that’s saying something. I highly recommend these books to all ages. Oh, and Ben quotes G. K. Chesterton in the front! LOVE!

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{The week in which I knit everything and read one book. And drink lots of coffee.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: Still reading War and Peace. I am honestly shocked at how much I am enjoying this book! I don’t want to put it down. That is, until I get to the war parts. Snore fest.

Knitting: Can I put in a request to have the superpower to knit all the things??? I really need it! At last count, I have 8 projects going. Wow, that’s really not that many for me… Two are long-term projects that may never be done, two are socks that should be done soon, a pair of mittens that I’m have Second Sock Syndrome with, two cowls, and my first sweater. I frogged one project, finished two more, pulled two out of hibernation, and have been knitting like a crazy person.

So, the projects! My Armande got a lot of attention finally. That’s the purple blob in the corner. It was taking a bit of a nap because I did. not. want. to. knit. the. blasted. pockets!!! I had such a hard time figuring out the instructions. Like, I literally sat there for 30 stinkin’ minutes trying to make sense of what I was supposed to be doing. So I finally buckled down and finished the silly things. Now it’s just straight knitting for a while. Whew! I want to get it finished by February. I can finish knitting a sweater in two weeks, right? Right??

The blue thing falling out of the project bag is my Honey Cowl, AKA my travel project. It’s one of those projects on Ravelry that has, I kid you not, over 18,000 projects! Never leave home without some knitting. Like, NEVER EVER. I made my project bag earlier this week and I love it. It came out exactly as I wanted it to, which is a wonderful feeling.

Also out of hibernation are my cross-over Hermione’s Everyday socks/How I Make My Socks. I’m using the stitch pattern from the Hermione’s and the numbers and construction from the basic socks. I sent the gray socks into hibernation back in November because one does not simply knit with gray yarn in the wintertime. Severe insanity may ensue. They are my sunny day project now. I had major SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) with these socks, seeing as they were started in July. Of last year. Then I did something silly and wore the one I had already knit. It kind of shrunk and felted. Sort of. I’ve taken it out of rotation in my sock basket until the second one is done.

Gracious! That’s a lot of knitting!!

Listening: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and my favorite CD in the world, The Invitation by Klaus Kuehn. And taking a trip back in time hearing College Kids by Relient K. Oh, my goodness! Such a long time since I heard that song!

Watching: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the extended version with all the bonus features. I can see why they took some of the scenes out of the theatrical version for continuity and flow. Still, I’m loving all the bonus features and behind the scenes stuff.

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, or watching right now? Leave a comment and go check out the other posts on Ginny’s blog! 

Handmade Home~ review

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Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule

This book + me = LOVE.

Seriously. I love reading the SouleMama blog on a daily basis. I think her blog was one of the first I started following. And this book is like her blog in print form. I love the style and thought that went into all the projects. And I’ve made quite a few of them over the years.

The premise of the book is similar to ImprovSewing that I reviewed on Monday: reusing old materials to make something new and useful. One thing I appreciate in craft books or cook books is having a little blurb about the project/recipe above the pattern/recipe. Amanda Blake Soule has a way with words that is so powerful and profound but still approachable. That’s a good word for Handmade Home: approachable. Everything is handmade, repurposed, and beautiful. Of the six essays Amanda wrote for the book, I think the one that speaks to me the most is Comfortably Worn. I feel like that is my philosophy with materiel goods, well worn and well loved.

So far, I’ve made the paper-mâché bowls, a towel rug out of the wildest fabric in the world and a purple towel, the pillowcase dress into a shirt for myself, a fiber garland, and the Broadturn bag, which make wonderful library/knitting bags. I want to make almost everything in here! Have I gotten around to it yet? Uh, no. Do I want to? Uh, yes!