WIP Weds ~ in which there is finally sock progress

There has been knitting this week, yay! I’ve been working on both the 22 Leaves Shawl and the Hyrule socks. However, since the shawl is at the point where each row takes a half-hour to complete, I don’t have any progress pictures of it. Taking progress pictures that don’t really show progress depresses me, so let’s look at sock progress pictures instead.

Hyrule sock progress

I’ve started the heel increases on the second sock. And I’m really, really, REALLY glad that there’s not much left to knit after the heel turn, because I’m not convinced I’ll have enough yarn to finish.

Hyrule sock progress

This, though, is why I stopped the first sock before finishing it. If needed, I will do the top part of the sock (hopefully just the ribbing) in a contrasting or complementary color. Maybe an off-white, if I have something the right weight in the stash. (I think I do.)

I am enjoying this knit, but the way the pattern biases I think I’m going to need to officially block this pair instead of just washing it and laying the socks out to dry. I also, if I make these socks again, need to get pointier needles in the correct size. These blunt bamboo needles are driving me slightly crazy on the k3tog stitches. (My fault, though. I looked at the pattern, saw the k3tog, and told myself that I needed pointier needles than I had. And then I convinced myself that this would be fine, and to suck it up. I should have listened to myself… but now finishing the socks on the needles I started them on has become a point of pride.)

Hyrule sock progress

Regardless… look at that yarn color. Isn’t is gorgeous? I love it. I’m so happy working with it. I’m sad that I only bought one skein of it, and yet thrilled that I bought it at all. I’ve missed some of the Lattes and Llamas special colorways and haven’t gotten my hands on all the ones I wanted. This one was a win, though!

Have a great rest of the week!

Misc Monday ~ in which we discuss reading preferences

Let’s talk books today. But not book reviews; let’s go with something more general. Specifically, genre. Do you have a favorite genre? How about a hated genre?

One of the items on my 101 in 1001 Challenge is to read a book in each of six genres (hard sci-fi, western, mystery, biography (non-memior), memoir, and science non-fiction). This is largely because, without any suggestions, reminders, or prompts to do otherwise, I would limit nearly all of my reading to fantasy (including its sub-genres) with the occasional foray into a cozy mystery.

Lately, though, I’ve discovered that I enjoy a well-written memoir. Notable recent memoirs which I have enjoyed include Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist and Wishful Drinking; Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography; Felicia Day’s You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost); and Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. It helps that, unlike many biographies, memoirs are written in a more human style. They’re more likely to include humor, and to be something the reader can relate to.

Realizing that I enjoy memoirs has made me wonder what other readings tastes have changed since I was young and developed my default genre preferences. I’ve tried reading “classics” with mixed success, so at least I know that my reading tastes haven’t COMPLETELY changed as I’ve aged. But in the specifics? I tend to think of my sci-fi preferences to be more science-fantasy than hard core science-fiction, but is that still true? And I’ve never read a western. Would I like it? We’ll have to see.

Have you noticed any of your reading preferences which have changed as you grew up? I know that some of my friends and I have discussed how our tolerances (for bad writing, for certain story tropes, etc) have changed, and we now have a hard time reading, much less enjoying, some of our favorite stories from childhood. But is that just that we’ve gotten more discerning as we gained experience, or have our genre preferences changed?

I don’t have any of the answers. But I do know that something is different, in the same way that I now sometimes choose to listen to news radio instead of music (on purpose!!) when I never made that choice as a younger person.

Friday Reads ~ in which I have ebook novel issues

So I’ve been reading a lot (for me) on my ereader lately. (aka Kindle app on my phone) This may speak to the content of what I’ve been reading, but I think it’s more likely related to the length of the ebook. I can read novellas or short stories quite happily on my Kindle app. For some reason full-length books are often harder for me to read digitally. And yet… not always. Sometimes they’re fine. I had been “reading” Paid in Gold and Blood by Lazette Gifford (full-length book) on my app, but never got past the first couple of pages. Various distractions would pop up, and because I knew it was a full-length book, I’d let myself be distracted. However, I know I’ve read a full-length book’s worth of short stories and novellas on my phone in the past month, so I don’t know what the mental hang-up is. I’m officially putting PIGAB in hibernation, and will come back to it when I’ve had more success with long-format ebooks.

WHAT I READ

I finished reading (aka listening to) Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking. (Narrated by the author.) Listening to Carrie narrate this book was hard. There were a few moments (notably where she was talking about times when she had discussed her eventual death with younger friends) when I lost it. On the whole, though, it was a good tribute to a great person. (Full review is here.)

I also read the ebook short story Low Elf Esteem by Elliott James. This is Pax Arcana #0.08, and so falls before Charming and all the rest of the full-length books. It was a fun addition to the series. I’ve read all of the short stories I’m aware of in the series, and have enjoyed them all. Not as much as the novels, but they’re still fun.

WHAT I’M READING

I am, unbelievably, still reading The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun. I don’t know why this book is taking me so long to read. I think I need to sit down and make a concerted effort to finish it this weekend.

After finishing my prior audio book, I started listening to The Medieval World by Professor Dorsey Armstrong. It’s one of the Great Courses lecture series. So far so good!

And I started reading Xenation: Draw the Line on my Kindle app. It’s another of Lazette Gifford’s work, but this one is a novella instead of a full-length book. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with it.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

I picked up Split the Party on audio book, so that might be what I listen to next. (That’s the sequel to NPCs, which I finished and loved recently.) I have a variety of other audio books in the queue already, though, so I might go with one I’ve wanted to read for longer.

As far as ebooks, I’m going to wait and see how well I do with the short book I’ve got going now. If I can manage to use the Kindle app for reading a lot this week, I might move on to a longer book when I’m done with my current one. If not, though, I might be looking for more short stories.

And for paper books, I’m going to dive through my TBR pile (the physical one on my bookshelf) and choose whatever interests me most at the time. So I don’t know exactly what it will be, but I know where it will come from.

WIP Weds ~ in which I don’t knit

I didn’t knit this week.

I know, that sounds unrealistic. But really, I didn’t.

Last week (after my WIP Weds post of last week) I read on my lunch breaks instead of knitting. (And for once I didn’t do both at the same time.) Then I went to a baseball game with my dad on Saturday for an early Father’s Day, and I didn’t bring my knitting with me. (Not sure why. Maybe because we were sitting about 13 rows back from the field and I didn’t want to split my focus between the knitting and the game? Or maybe because it was REALLY HOT and I couldn’t even think about wool.)

Instead of knitting at the game, I got sunburned.

And then, being sunburned on my thighs and arms, I didn’t want to think about wool for even longer.

The sunburn is pretty well faded by now, though, so there should be knitting again next week. In the meantime, here’s an article that I found (through the Space Cadet newsletter) which talks about knitting spies. Really neat article. I’ve read about knitting being used for secret messages in fiction, but wasn’t really aware that it’s based in fact.

Have a great rest of the week!

Misc Monday ~ in which Seanan McGuire is awesome

I wasn’t going to post anything today, since yesterday was Father’s Day and so I didn’t make the time in yesterday’s schedule to write a Misc Monday post the day before like I usually do. (Holidays and such will throw wrenches in blog posting schedules. You know.)

And then I visited some of my blogroll this morning, and saw that Chris posted this link to an AMAZING Twitter thread by Seanan McGuire. And I HAD to repost it.

(If you would rather see it directly on Twitter, you can do that here.)

Anyway. Any Tweet thread that include mention of a Moana protest sing-along and German (and Japanese) translations is well worth reading in my book.

Happy Monday!

Friday Reads ~ in which lots was read but no reviews were written

I have finished a lot of reading this week, but I haven’t yet written up the reviews for any of those books. I plan to do that this weekend, so I’ll have the links to the review (hopefully) with next Friday’s post.

As far as a quick 2017 Reading Challenge update goes, you may remember that I’d decided to:

  1. read at least 75% new books; and
  2. read 10 cat mysteries

So far, I have read 4 cat mysteries (and am in the middle of my 5th) and have read 77.14% new books. I’d say I’m on track so far.

WHAT I READ:

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire was released this week, and it put all my other reading on pause. It’s the second of the Wayward Children stories, and it provides back-story for Jack and Jill, two of the characters in the first story. I really enjoyed it, even though it’s more novella-length than novel-length. Definitely worth reading. The storytelling style is really neat, too.

And then because I hadn’t had enough of that world yet, I re-read Every Heart a Doorway, the first of McGuire’s Wayward Children stories. (That one I reviewed back when I read it the first time, and my original review is here.) Still love that story, too.

I also finished reading all of the InCryptid short stories that I can read without spoiling the rest of the series novels. So that’s done for a bit.

And I finished listening to NPCs by Drew Hayes, the first of the Spells, Swords, & Stealth series. That was A LOT OF FUN. If you are a D&D gamer, you should really read this one. If you are a DM, this is practically required reading. Granted, a lot of the story is pure fantasy novel and not game-related, but there are so many little jabs at the game (AND ITS PLAYERS) that make it a lot of fun. I’ll be continuing with this series. And the narration (by Roger Wayne) was a lot of fun, too.

WHAT I’M READING:

I’m currently listening to Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. It’s enjoyable. It’s eye-opening. It’s still darned hard to listen to her narrate her own life.

I’m also still reading The Cat Who Saw Red by Lilian Jackson Braun. Still fun, but the Cat Who books can be a little formulaic if you read too many of them in too quick a succession. I’ll be taking a short break from this series after this book.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

My next audio book will probably be a Great Courses lecture series. I’m not sure which one yet, though. Audible had a 2-for-1 sale on the Great Courses series, so I have a few of them to choose from.

My next paper book will be… hopefully fun. I’m not sure what it will be, to be honest. I think I’ll be taking a break from cat mysteries for a book or two, but that’s about as far as I can guess right now.

Have a great weekend!

WIP Weds ~ in which our regularly scheduled post fell victim to a stomach bug

Well, today’s post isn’t technically late. It’s still Wednesday. Still Wednesday morning, even. However, usually I schedule these posts the day before (at a minimum) and so it’s late as far as I’m concerned.

Yesterday, though, when I would normally have been writing this post, I was taken out by a stomach bug and so was essentially sleeping the day off. I was certainly not writing blog posts or taking photos for blog posts.

I was also not knitting. However, there has been knitting since last Wednesday, most of it on the 22 Leaves Shawl. Here’s a picture I took last weekend when I was testing out my new light box:

22 Leaves Progress

I love it! (Both the shawl and the light box. (The light box, for any interested parties, is the SHOTBOX, which I backed on Kickstarter.)) I will definitely be making a second one of these shawls. Maybe even a third. It’s a REALLY enjoyable knit, and I love working it in the Noro sock yarn I picked for this one.

In any case, I am feeling much better today. I think what took me out was a 24-hour stomach bug, and so it seems to have passed.

Have a great rest of the week!