Check-In: February 5

Is it already February? Yeesh…

What I’m working on: Man, I’ve gotten way off track with designs for the shop. But, I still feel accomplished this week! I finally finished the scarf I’ve been knitting for my husband. It’s been entirely too long. I’ve got a bad habit of starting a project and then putting it aside and forgetting about it. I started this scarf when we first planned a vacation to Chicago. That got postponed by a year, but we’ve got plane tickets and a hotel paid for for this March. So the scarf had to be finished.

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The Scarf ™ as modeled by my handsome husband. (You can see just a trace of handsome beard.)

It’s a very big, very thick scarf… which will be worn very rarely. The average high here this January was probably 70 degrees, so we don’t get much use for big, fluffy woolies. Oh well.

Where I’ve been: We went to the zoo yesterday! We checked out the Hattiesburg Zoo with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew. We had a good time. Mostly from watching my 2 year-old nephew have a good time. The kid loves to feed him some goats.

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Clockwise from top left: 1) Servals have big kitty beds. 2) This tortoise’s name is CRAIG. 3) This pigs have cute short snoots. 4) It takes a while to figure out what an anteater is when it’s all curled up like this.

What I’m reading: I always start the year off strong when it comes to reading. This year is no different. Currently on my nightstand is March: Book 3, Dietland (our current book club book), and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. I’m about halfway through that last one. It was loaned to me a year or more ago, but I haven’t dug into it until now. As with the last two Neopolitan Novels it took a little while to get into it, but once I got hooked, it really dragged me in. I think I really get invested when the narrator (Elena) checks in with Lila’s story. Because I think even the narrator finds Lila’s story more compelling. Elena’s life is definitely interesting, but Lila naturally attracts (creates? both?) more drama. Lila almost seems supernatural compared to Elena. But.. Elena’s the one telling us the story. so maybe she just seems supernatural to her.

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A New Year’s Check-In

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WordPress was kind enough to let me know that I’ve had my blog for a year. It was supposed to be part of my New Year’s resolutions. I kind of dropped the ball these past few months, though. Work, life and the holidays got the better of me. But my Christmas vacation is winding down and I’ll be back to the real world soon. That also means getting back to work on the blog.

What I’m (going to be) working on: My first priority is going to be getting some Valentine’s Day stuff up in the shop. I should already have some up there, but I’m going to try and get started on that this first week of the month. Then I’m going to focus on some more blog stuff. I got so lazy that there’s things I have photos for that I never wrote about. I think I’m finally going to get to my cooking feature and maybe some more day-to-day stuff. You’ll notice my KonMari posts kind of petered out, but I did mostly finish up that project. I think I just wasn’t interested enough to blog about it. (But hey, decluttering is nice and I recommend it. Even if it doesn’t make for riveting reading.)

End of the year reading recommendations: I got a lot of nothing done this past month, but I did do more reading than I have in a while. I finished up Shadow and Bone for book club, and really enjoyed it. I’ll probably read the rest of the series early this year. I also read Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman and also loved it. I really wish I’d had this book about 15 years ago. I love Lindy West and I absolutely recommend this book for women of all ages and shapes. And finally, I got Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 1 as a present and I love it so much. It’s the sweetest little manga about a kitten and her adoptive family. They’re short and adorable and excellent feel-good stuff. Heartily recommended for when you’re feeling stressed out by the world. Next up for me will be finishing the last two Neopolitan Novels, finally.

Games of the year: I don’t know that I’ve played that many games this year, so I’m not really going to be able to give a good overview of everything that came out. But, go play Stardew Valley. For real. It’s topped almost every list and it really is great. I’m probably going to play some when I get this entry posted. I’m still working on Pokemon Sun, but I’m enjoying it. I’m just a super slow Pokemon player. The husband person got Final Fantasy XV for Christmas, and I’ve been watching him play a lot of that all week. (Quality couch time.) I’m going to start it myself when he’s back to teaching evening classes and I have the PS4 to myself. But from just watching it, I kind of love it. It’s kind of like one of those Japanese dating sims, but with more swords and you don’t actually get to date one of the boys. (Although I have to admit that Gladiolus is kind of my video game boyfriend. For right now.)

She’s crafty: I’m hoping to get more crafting done this year. I’d like to do more paper crafting, finish up the five embroidery and cross-stitch projects I have going and teach myself to knit socks.

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But first, I have to finish putting this quilt back together. It’s my great-grandma quilt that’s made an appearance before. This time it’s getting a complete overhaul. I took it completely apart, cleaned and patched it up and then my mom showed me how to put it back together. I’m still in the process of sewing the three layers together with little bits of yarn and then I’ve got to redo the binding. Gentlemen, we can rebuild it.

That’s it! A little bit of it, anyway. Big plans for the new year, but we’ll see what happens. A little bit at a time.

In Stitches

So, I dabble in cross-stitch. And like any good cross-stitch enthusiast, I’ve got at least three unfinished projects sitting around. But, I always need more. Here’s some I’m considering.

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  1. I love this sweet little sampler from Steotch. Steotch is one of my favorites, I’ve bought from them before and will most definitely buy from them again.
  2. Stitchrovia has so many good patterns, but I especially love the typography heavy designs.
  3. Why not skip the actual stitching part and buy this tiny framed piece from Mississippi Mayhem? It’s cute and it’ll give you more time to work on all those other projects.
  4. And speaking of cute, little designs… I love this retro space motif from MidCentury Maude.
  5. And for more retro, try Tiny Modernist. These little kitchen doodads are going to be hanging in my kitchen one day.

Check-In: Feb. 4

What I’m working on – I got my first custom order on Etsy this week and I got it finished up last night. I also got this new listing up in the shop. More rainbows!

This, however, is what I’ve been trying to put a significant amount of time into:

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(Note to self, find a more attractive place to take photos.)

It’s a scarf for my husband. Using this pattern he picked out on Ravelry. And y’all. This scarf is big. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it looking at the pattern. It’s bulky weight yarn on size 10 1/2  needles. The finished measurements even say it’s eleven inches wide. I just didn’t realize the magnitude of this thing until I got the first corner done. Thank goodness I have these super long, hot pink needles I inherited from my Grandma.

Its shawl-like proportions might be just what my husband needs, though. This scarf is meant for frigid northern climes. I originally started it when we were tentatively planning a trip to Chicago this March. Unfortunately, our trip got pushed back to who-knows-when. We’re hoping this winter or early next Spring. We definitely want to go when it’s cold. (He lived in Boston for a while and misses the weather, I just want the change of environmental scenery.)

Living on the sub-tropical Gulf Coast doesn’t give us much use for winter woolies (the Deep South knitter’s lament), so I jumped at the chance to knit us warm things for our vacation. Maybe pushing the trip back a year will give me time to knit my own mega-scarf.

What I’m reading – After I finished Seconds, I jumped right in to Scott Pilgrim. And… it was fine. I didn’t like it as much as Seconds. I did like it enough to speed through the entire series in a matter of days. I think really I just missed my Scott Pilgrim window. I would have been SO into it about ten years ago. I gave it three stars on Goodreads, but maybe four might have been more fair. (I don’t know. I’m not the harshest of critics, a book has to actually offend me before I’ll consider one or two stars.)

I did like comic Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers more than movie Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers. Not that I didn’t like the actors — I think maybe there’s just more room for character growth in the comic. But that’s just a matter of difference in the media.

After I finished that series, I started The Martian. Pretty good so far. It feels a tiny, tiny bit slow right now, but I am just at the very beginning. I think when it gets into full-blown Apollo 13 mode, I’ll be totally on board.

What I’m watching – Still X-Files. Man, I am so happy with the new season.

What’re you working on/watching/wreading?