RKLW

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{A post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching right now.}

Reading: I’m rereading the Fruits Basket manga that I own (volumes 3-8, thank you used bookstore~!) in preparation for rewatching the anime over Valentine’s Day. This is one of my favorite mangas/animes and it makes me really happy. Plus, it’s hilarious.

Knitting: Finally getting around to knitting my other red, white, and blue socks! Does anyone remember this post? Probably not, that was almost a year ago! These socks got knocked way down on the priority list, were ripped out twice, and have been waiting patiently to be knit up. Well, I’m doing it. I’m getting the silly things knit so I have another pair of socks in rotation. I’m also casting on a pair of boot socks. The green ones I knit have been felted on the bottom due to how much I wear them. Plus, it’s the dead of winter. It’s cold. I need more socks.

Listening: Guys Don’t Like Me-It Boys, New Horizon-EXILE.

Watching: Nothing right now, but I am waiting for tomorrow’s episode of Downton Abbey!

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along!

2 on, 2 off

Le sigh.

What can I say. I cannot stop the casting on. I’m just going to accept that in my life, I will always have several projects on the needles. As long as projects are coming off the needles, I suppose that’s fine.

So, here’s what came off the needles yesterday, the last projects of 2015.

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A Totally Biased! cowl, knit with Cascade Casablanca (a wool, silk, mohair blend). I’ve knit one of these before and love, love, LOVE the pattern. It’s simple without being boring. My first one I knit on size 7s with 36 stitches. This one I knit on size 10s with 40 stitches. It made it much wider, which was what I was going for. The colors are great and there’s green on both ends that you can’t see in the picture. I’ll try to take a better one once this is done blocking and I’ve stitched the seam.

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A belated Christmas present that didn’t get finished in time due to my aversion to picking up stitches. Yes. I hate picking up stitches and will put it off and off and off until I go, what am I doing? I could be done with this by now! The pattern is Toddler Snappy Shoulder Vest knit in Cascade 220 superwash. It really was easy and would’ve been faster had I not toodled around because I don’t enjoy picking up stitches.

And now for what jumped on my needles, one last night, one today.

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This is a Hurricane Hat in Noro Kureyon. I like green. I really like green. And I also like self-striping yarns that look and feel a little like handspun. Also, can you tell I got a ball winder for Christmas?? And that I love it so, so much??

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And lastly, a pair of Berkshires socks in Felici, the Rainbow colorway. The yarn is so bright and happy and stripy! I’m excited to knit these. Also, there’s my book, Colleen Houck’s newest Reawakened. I’m only a few pages into it and already I can tell it’s very different than her first series, the Tiger’s Curse books. Maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe it’s not? Who knows. I finished Airman by Eoin Colfer last night. Oh, I’d forgotten how good that story was. Mm, so good.

Also, I’ve been listening to this song for days on repeat. It’s also very good: I’ll Be Good by Jaymes Young.

Joining Ginny for YarnAlong!

2015 in fib-review

So, 2015! How is it already almost over? I feel as if the year just started. How can it be over? Oh well, there’s always next year.

Yarn/Fiber/Crafting of any sort

2015 was a big fibery year for me. In January, I purchased my first spinning wheel and started learning how to use it. In August, I purchased another one. After some fits and starts and a spinning lesson gifted to me by my wonderful parents, I’m finally feeling more comfortable using it and my yarn is turning out more consistent.

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{What is probably the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve ever touched}

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of wanting to knit 15 pairs of socks. I only completed 12, four pairs of which were for other people. But hey, that’s eight pairs I didn’t have when I started the year!

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{Only the first and second were for me}

Also in 2015, I completed 49 projects. 14 I gifted for various birthdays and for Christmas. I knit 10 shawls (10?!), 12 pairs of socks, 4 hats, and a few other random projects. My sweater is not done and at the moment, I have, gulp15 projects still in progress. Wow. That’s a lot… To be fair, 7 of them are socks either almost done, still needing the match knit, or I just haven’t picked up in a while. I also have two or three long term projects that aren’t going to be done for a few years…

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{Belated Christmas toddler vest I’m almost done with}

So yeah, 2015 was a productive knitting year.

Oh, and then there’s this.

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I’m…gonna go that way… (And yes, every single skein is fingering weight yarn.)

Books/Media

Blogging: Oh the blogging. I’ll be honest, I’m not a very consistent blogger. You know, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m sporadic at best. Which brings my blog post count this year to a grand total of 63 (after I publish this.) I’ll try to be better at documenting things in 2016, but I really can’t make any promises.

Books: I haven’t done a lot of reading this year. Knowing me, that’s a little scary. I have a hard time finding good books that will keep my interest. The books I did read were all pretty good. I started the Selection series and enjoyed the first one immensely. Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles are also on my list of ‘this was really, really good’. I discovered Philippa Gregory’s Tudor/English royal novels and, being the history lover I am, pounced on them.

I also started reading manga for the first time! I’ve read a handful of Fairy Tail, the first three volumes of Fruits Basket, and I think that’s about it. The two libraries in my area don’t have the best selection but I was able to find some titles I recognized.

I feel as if I’m turning a bit into this…

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I know a lot of people think anime and manga are stupid, but I personally enjoy them very much. Yes, it’s different but not really if you think about it. It has its own genres just like other books and shows: horror, crime, romcom, drama, fantasy, action/adventure, everything really. It was just in a different language originally. And it’s GREAT! 🙂

Random

Remember this bookshelf? Yes, it is now this:

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I’m not sure if you can tell, but it is a lovely, light purple color. It holds all my handknits with plenty of room for more. Ahem.

(Time to get knitting, darling.)

And the Alice dress! I never showed you a picture!!

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Okay, crummy picture, yes, but oh this dress. I love this dress. After I quit being a baby about it and started sewing, it came together easily, I set my first zipper and it’s the best fitting dress I’ve ever made. Well, I’ve only made one dress before this. But this one I’m in love with.

I’ve also started attending the Knit Night at my LYS on Tuesdays. I’m so glad I do, because it’s nice to go spend time with fibery people. And all the ladies are really nice.

Now for 2016.

I’m not going to go overboard and plan out my entire year. I’ve found if I make smaller goals, I’m more likely of meeting them. But there is one BIG one I’m going to try my very, very hardest to keep.

Knit only from the stash and do not purchase any new yarn.

Oh yes, I’m going cold sheep this year. My yarn stash has gotten a little out of control and it really needs to be pared down. It will be a serious exercise in self control, since as I said, the Knit Night I attend is at my LYS.

Aside from that, in 2016 I’d like to:

  • Read more manga
  • Finish my sweater and possibly start another one
  • Read through all of the new-to-me books I’ve purchased and knock that number down pretty far
  • Knit along with Andi’s Sock Yarn-a-Long, possibly do the mystery bit
  • Finish the three pairs of socks that are missing their match (oops)
  • Sew new project bags with the pretty fabric I purchased
  • Organize my stash and crafting storage so I can actually find things and I’m not scratching my head wondering where my tools have gone…
  • Work on Christmas/birthday presents throughout the year
  • Actually finish projects instead of just casting more on (HA! as if)
  • Knit myself more hats

I think those are all pretty decent goals. Let’s see how I do this coming year!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and you have a wonderful, joy and peace filled New Year. See you in 2016!!

some favorite music

I’m sure I’ve said before, but my love affair with music is mutual and never ending. My music taste is also all over the board, with an interesting mixture of alternative, anime openings, endings, and soundtracks, folk, country, a smattering of pop, some rock, and classical music.

I have some music I gravitate toward that relaxes me immediately and puts me in a happy place. The Invitation by Klaus Kuhen tops that list as ‘my favorite cd of all time and I can never ever get tired of hearing it’. Anything by the Paper Kites is gloriously pretty but the prize goes to Bloom as the best of their songs. Seriously, just hearing the opening bars to the song immediately relaxes my body and makes me sigh with happiness. I don’t know what it is about the song. The banjo? The soft quality of the music? The vocals? The lyrics? All of the above? I don’t know. All I do know is that I love the song to the moon and back.

When it comes to country music, after digging hard to find the real gems, songs like Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band, Mary’s Song, Love Story, Enchanted, Haunted (acoustic), Eyes Open, Safe and Sound, and White Horse by Taylor Swift, If I Die Young, Independence, and Walk Me Down the Middle by The Band Perry, a bit of Rascal Flatts, and almost anything by Keith Urban (Put You In a Song is my favorite) are what I like to listen to the most.

I cannot mention music without mentioning Owl City and his various other musicalness under the names Sky Sailing (which is like a softer, acoustic Owl City), Port Blue, and Windsor Airlift. I adore Owl City and Sky Sailing. His lyrics are so quirky and off the wall it’s glorious.

And now we come to my newest musical favorite: anime openings and endings. I have an extensive list of which ones are my favorites. I’m obsessed in love. There are some covers of the original Japanese I love as well. Anything by Amanda Lee, (she has an amazing voice), Papermoon, Reluctant Heroes, Glassy Sky, and Wings of Freedom being my favorites. Natewantstobattle also has great covers. Resonance, Black Paper Moon, Again, and Snow Fairy are the best in my opinion. The English cover of Hikaru Nara is amazing as well.

Non-covers (aka the original Japanese songs from the actual shows), well, there’s a long list. I like a lot of different ones! It’s hard to choose. But if I have to, Sakura Kiss, Flyers, Snow Fairy, Splash Free, Hanayamata, Guren no Yumiya, Hikaru Nara, Hare Hare Yukai, I Can Hear, Be As One, and Resonance are my favorites. I know they’re in a different language and I really have no clue what they’re saying, but can you blame me? The songs are so stinking catchy! I’ve really fallen in love with anime music. It’s just so different than American music, language barrier aside. It’s catchy, upbeat, but can still have some softer, sweeter moments. I love. So much. 🙂

So yeah. Music. I love it all.

All the links! So many! Much craziness!

RKLW

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Reading: I have not picked up a book in several days. I need to remedy that. I started Persuasion by Jane Austen at the beginning of August and have been meaning to pick it back up.

Knitting: Plus some crochet! 🙂 I’m working on a pair of socks that have been hibernating for awhile. I’m doing a sort of design my own pattern on the leg and so far it’s turning out pretty good. 🙂 My sweater got picked back up and I’ve split for the underarms and front, so I’m excited about that.

I also started a crochet dishcloth in crazy bright yarn. I’m trying to work through all of my stash of yarn and fabric. It’s slow going, but one dishcloth and drawstring bag at a time, I’ll get it done. 🙂

Listening: Heroes (we could be) by Alesso, Feels Like Tonight by Daughtry, I Can Tell by Adelitas Way, and September by Daughtry. All good songs, I really like Daughtry. 🙂

Watching: A Ranger’s baseball game (they won!!!) and an episode of Live Free or Die, a neat show that I sort of binge watched the first season of on Nat Geo and now the second season has started.

Also apples. They are amazing.

Linking up with Ginny for YarnAlong! 🙂

my opinion of pop music

Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Our relationship has been going on for years now with no end in sight. I’m open to listening to almost any genre within reason of course. I’m not fond of rap music as a general rule.

Some country music I like, but you have to dig through the muck of booze, trucks, and scantily clad girls to find the real gems. I like foreign music, some K-pop or Vocaloids and a few Swedish songs by Caramel. Theme songs are always good, as are movie soundtracks. Alternative is where I find most of my music. (I’ll have to do a post about my favorite artists sometime.)

It’s pop music that gets me.

Where I work, the radio station that plays is the pop station in our area. I don’t mind some pop music. There are several songs I quite enjoy (Fight Song-Rachel Platten, See You Again-Wiz Khalifa, Coming Home-Skylar Gray for example). I do take exception to songs that degrade women, have cursing in them, or are just foul in general.

I wouldn’t have such a problem if the radio station would learn about this marvelous theory called “Variety”. Ever hear of it? Yeah, because playing the same songs over and over with no change gets really old, really fast. At the end of the work day, I’m more than ready to yank my hair out by the roots if I have to hear ‘Uma Thurman’ by Fall Out Boy one. more. time. *insert screaming*

So please, play something new. Or better yet, change the radio station, novel idea that may be.

For the sake of my sanity and peace of mind.

Thank you.

RKLW {2}

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Reading: The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer. It’s about Mary, queen of Scots, one of my favorite historical characters! I’ve read a few books by her before and so far it’s pretty good. I have a biography of Mary and it’s nice to see a slightly different perspective.

Knitting: a pair of worsted weight socks in a pretty green wool. I’m using this pattern for them. I worked ten rounds of 2×2 ribbing and a five inch cuff. I’m really hoping I don’t run out of yarn before I finish them, since I don’t have more! I really like the color. I got the yarn from the thrift store, so I’m not sure what brand it is, since there was no ball band.

And I’ve learned to use a drop spindle! I cleared out the entire spinning/dyeing section of my library and I’ve been working my way through the books. I recently bought a gently used Louet spinning wheel and it came with a huge trash bag full of fiber, a pair of hand carders, and two drop spindles, one a top whorl, one a bottom whorl. The wheel has been giving me fits, so I decided to take a break from that and try the spindles. I’m really enjoying learning something new! 🙂

Listening: {Songs that played while writing this post} Because of You-Kelly Clarkson, Fight Song-Rachel Platten (if you have never heard this song, go listen to it. I hear it all the time at work, but oh, it never gets old. It is just so good!), Aki Love-Juliet (it’s in Japanese or Korean, I’m not sure. I think it’s Japanese.),

Watching: nothing right now.

Linking up with Ginny for YarnAlong!