Knitting Video (Podcast) 7: Gift Knitting

It’s time to delve back into my knitting basket! So bring out your own crafting project, take a seat, and listen to a bit about my finished projects, current projects, and my thoughts on gift knitting.

In lieu of detailed episode notes, I’ll direct you to my Ravelry project page, from which you can find any yarn and pattern specifics that might have caught your eye (or friend me for that matter). Here is my queue and stash, in case you want more information about my new acquisitions or the patterns I plan to make with them. There’s now a Ravelry group; I’d love to ‘meet’ my viewers! If you’d like to follow along with my projects, I post frequently knitting photos on Instagram; my account is thecharmofit.

I explained how I find yarn to buy from other Ravelry members, which I’d also explained in this comment last month, in case seeing it written out is more helpful. 😉 When I was talking about gift knitting, I mentioned that I add tags for personal and gift knitting for my own curiosity (and that I’m quite happy to spend far more time and yardage on objects for me!). If you’d like to see how my projects divide on those lines, here’s the personal tab and the gift one. I highly recommended Elizabeth Wayland Barber’s Women’s Work: the First 20,000 Years as my book review (and forgot to mention it has a lot about spinning as well as weaving of course).

Finished Objects

Procyon Lotor Softie

Sloth

Bradypus Variegatus Softie

Current Projects

Pointelle Socks

Marzipan Socks

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A Pinch of Nutmeg Shawl

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Cardinal Song Hat

Soaring Beret.jpg

Soaring to the Heavens Beret

Knitting Video (Podcast) 6: For the Aspiring Knitter

It’s time to delve back into my knitting basket! So bring out your own crafting project, take a seat, and listen to a bit about my finished projects, current projects, and unpacking my notions bag.

In lieu of detailed episode notes, I’ll direct you to my Ravelry project page, from which you can find any yarn and pattern specifics that might have caught your eye (or friend me for that matter). Here is my queue and stash, in case you want more information about my new acquisitions or the patterns I plan to make for Christmas. There’s now a Ravelry group; I’d love to ‘meet’ my viewers! I’d also love it if you shared any advice or encouragement for aspiring knitters on the thread for this episode. If you’d like to follow along with my projects, I post frequently knitting photos on Instagram; my account is thecharmofit.

I mentioned Stranded Knits by Ann Kingstone, the Knitting Pretty audio podcast and the artalong Em is currently running, and the JKnit Lite app. I plan to do a detailed post in a few days including lots of tips and links and resources for aspiring knitters, but in the meantime I suggested Malabrigo Worsted yarn, bamboo needles (size 7, 16″ circular), and Elizabeth Zimmerman. I was wearing my Au Printemps jacket, which fits quite well when I’m not slouching in an easy chair. 😉

Current Projects

Nutmeg ShawlA Pinch of Nutmeg Shawl

SlothBradypus Variegatus

Marzipan SocksMarzipan SocksSoaring BeretSoaring to the Heavens Beret

 

Finished Objects

Remembrance SwallowtailA Swallowtail for Remembrance

Wintry Woods Tam

Antiquarian Scarf

Strong Currents Socks

Reading Snapshot: November 20th

Oh my goodness, I spent most of today thinking it was Wednesday! In an attempt to get back into regular book discussions, but without a lot of pressure, I’ll be aiming to do at least one reading snapshot a week. We’ll see how that goes. 😉 Usually I imagine this as a midweek type of post, but clearly this one is going up on Friday.

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I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump again, and I realised part of the problem is that the new medication I’m on has brought back all of my vivid dreams and, more often, vivid nightmares. To try to avoid these, I’ve been afraid to read anything but comfort books in the evening, and sadly almost all of my comfort authors are white women from the US & UK, even after years of reading a fairly balanced ratio of POC/white writers. The cause of that is a topic for another time, as it’s too big to squish into this post, but today I realised there was a blindingly obvious solution: instead of reading just one novel at a time, read one during the day and one during the evening.

Accordingly, I’m in the middle of two novels! My bedtime book is The Bones of Bard Plain by Patricia McKillip, who has been a favourite author since I discovered her back in 2012. I’ve loved every single book of hers that I’ve read, and this one is proving no exception. I’m especially intrigued by its split-time story; while it’s set in a ‘typical’ fantasy world of royalty and magic and vaguely European trappings, one of the storylines involves a princess who drives a steam-powered car and works as an archaelogist. I’m really pleased by this, because when I read her short story collection Wonders of the Invisible World and then a bit later the novel Solstice Wood, I discovered how wonderful McKillip is at bringing a fantasy element to a more contemporary, everyday-type world. Most of her novels tend towards high fantasy or fairy tale retellings, which I love for their own sakes, but I’ve been itching to read more of her blended fantasy books. I can’t wait to continue this one, and I had to force myself to close it at my usual bedtime last night.

Then this morning I began A Passing Season by Azucena Grajo Uranza, which I found while randomly browsing my library shelves. Uranza is Filipina, and this is a historical novel set in fin de siecle Manila, when the Philippines were a Spanish colony on the cusp of two wars. This is a more old-school type of historical novel, in which Uranza does plenty of telling as well as showing, but since I’m a fan of authors like Victor Hugo, this doesn’t really phase me. She’s doing a wonderful job so far of bringing her setting to life, and she’s created a broad cast of characters that I’m sure will have wildly varying fates. I’m very pleased to have found this, as it has just the type of tone I so enjoy in nineteenth century narrators but carries postcolonial sensibilities.

Finally, I almost always have an audiobook going these days (and would certainly appreciate more recommendations, since I’ve run through most of my favourite authors and thus flail around whenever I finish one and want to begin another). Right now I’m in the middle of The Maid and The Queen, a biography of Joan of Arc and Yolande of Aragon, the queen of the title, as well as a general history of France during that time. It’s by Nancy Goldstone, and this is the third of her medieval (royal) women-centric biographies I’ve read and enjoyed, so I had high expectations that are certainly met so far (I’m about halfway in). I’m quite interested in medieval history in general, but not the type that focuses on how nasty, brutish, and short lives were then; Goldstone does a good job of evoking the times without a post-Enlightenment prejudice. And of course, I’m always especially interested in women throughout history, so Goldstone’s frank feminism (for instance, observing that Yolande’s current obscurity is likely due to her gender) and focus on ‘the ladies’ makes for a relaxing, informative read. I’d say this is actually my favourite of the three I’ve read so far, and I was delighted to encounter the “Melusine” story in the narrative! Bookish coincidences are the best kind.

Well, I promised myself I could write a post in half an hour, and it is now four o clock, so I’m off to the woods. Early sunsets require timely walks, and although I miss the ease of summer’s long days, I wouldn’t trade them for the crispiness of autumn or the long, cosy November evenings. As I’ve been in a bit of a reading drought, I thought I’d close this with a request for some general recommendations: what are your very favourite, kindred spirit, life-enhancing books? Any genre, any author, I’m just in need of a bit of fresh inspiration these days!

Knitting Video (Podcast) 5: Notions and More

It’s time to delve back into my knitting basket! So bring out your own crafting project, take a seat, and listen to a bit about my finished projects, current projects, and unpacking my notions bag.

In lieu of detailed episode notes, I’ll direct you to my Ravelry project page, from which you can find any yarn and pattern specifics that might have caught your eye (or friend me for that matter). If you’d like to follow along with my projects, I post frequently knitting photos on Instagram; my account is thecharmofit.

I reviewed Twisted Stitch Knitting by Maria Erlbacher and recommended the Knit.FM podcast. I mentioned my book blogging friends Erin and Care. My notions bag included a Lantern Moon repair hook, these embroidery scissors, removable stitch markers, this ruler (which I learned about on Hunter Hammersen’s blog), an utterly lame tape measure that needs replacing, and some vintage bits from my great grandmother. The bag itself is this pouch from The Strand Bookstore. The smaller bag is a Tom Bihn mini pouch.

Current Projects

Wintry Woods Tam-1

Wintry Woods Tam

Strong Currents Socks-1Strong Currents Socks

Antiquarian Scarf-1Antiquarian Scarf

Finished Projects

 

Melusine Cardigan

Cloudy With a Chance of Kittens Gloves

Knitting Video (Podcast): Episode the Fourth

It’s time to delve back into my knitting basket! So bring out your own crafting project, take a seat, and listen to a bit about my finished projects, current projects, and why I’m not sure what sweater I’ll be knitting next.

In lieu of detailed episode notes, I’ll direct you to my Ravelry project page, from which you can find any yarn and pattern specifics that might have caught your eye (or friend me for that matter). I was wearing this hat. My queue might be helpful this time too, since I mentioned a couple future projects (I use my queue for yarn I already own when I definitely know what pattern I want to knit with it; the order is fairly arbitrary to be honest, since I cast on a new project when I’ve finished a similar one). Speaking of which, I have one correction: the Ultra Alpaca yarn I swatched with is in the Azure colourway, not Blueberry. The two Rav groups I mentioned are Sock Knitters Anonymous and SolidSocks. If you’d like to see more frequent updates of my knitting, I am quite active on Instagram; you can follow me at TheCharmofIt.

I mentioned the newest edition of Alice Starmore’s Tudor Knitting book (full of the most stunning sweater patterns!) and discussed Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns in my new book review segment. I also recommended the Kill to Craft video podcast and the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin audio podcast (as well as Prairie Girl Dani’s One Twisted Tree yarn shop), both knitting-centric. Finally, I talked about my favourite knitting needle company: DyakCraft. I love both their DarnPretty wooden line, which is sadly unavailable for the indefinite future, and their Heavy Metal small gauge circular interchangeable set, which is available. It includes six tips, all of the sizes I mention in the video. Unless the project is on size 000s, I knit it with DyakCraft needles.

Current Projects

Antiquarian Scarf

Antiquarian Scarf

Cloudy With a Chance of Kittens Socks

Cloudy With a Chance of Kittens Gloves

Strong Currents Socks

Strong Currents Socks

And the Melusine cardigan, which you’ve all seen by now!

Finished Objects

Bestie Bunny

BFF Bunny

Little Orphan Mousie

Ent Wife Socks