WIP Weds ~ in which it is all Babette, all the time*

* not actually true… there has been other knitting; it’s just not being shown here today.

Babette progress

Remember last week, when I told you I was almost done with the Babette squares? Well, this week I have finished them!

Babette progress

Or, I have finished them if I counted correctly. If I discover while joining the squares that I mis-counted, I will make whatever squares I determine I’m missing as I get to the stage of joining it. I’m hoping that I won’t have to do that, though, because I counted multiple times and came up with the same number each time.

Babette progress

Now I need to determine a basic layout for these squares and then start joining them. I don’t want it to be too planned out, because that wasn’t the point of this blanket. However, I also don’t want it to be too random, or with my luck I’ll end up with two essentially matching squares right next to each other. The blanket does have you join the larger section in sections, if I remember correctly, and then you join the big sections together. So at the least I will clump the squares by section and then join them randomly from there. We’ll see. I may lay out the entire thing. I haven’t decided yet.

Babette progress

The cat, of course, thought I was providing her with toys.

Babette progress

It didn’t help that I haven’t woven in all the ends yet. (I won’t be weaving in all of the ends – one of the joys of crochet is that I can hide the bind-off tail when I join the squares. But I will need to weave in the starting ends, and I haven’t done all of those yet.) Still, it’s very exciting to have hit this point in the project!

Hoe you’re having a great week, too!

Misc Monday ~ in which there are not enough spoons

Many of you are probably already aware of the Spoon Theory. (Those of you who are not should read up on it. It’s a great way to describe energy rationing for those with chronic illness or disabilities. Even if this doesn’t impact you at all, it probably impacts one or more of your close friends or family members, whether or not you know it.)

Now, usually I have plenty of spoons. However, I do have occasional depressive tendencies. (I think many of us do, whether or not we acknowledge them.) I do not mean “ooh, you get sad a lot” when I refer to depression. I am referring to the more physical version, which comes with fatigue and a complete lack of energy or motivation to do anything. And I don’t mean that I don’t want to do my chores. When I get depressed, I don’t want to do anything. And I don’t have the energy for much, either. There are days when the only reason I get out of bed is because I have to go to work. (I don’t have bad enough episodes to prevent me from going to work on my worst days. I have it comparatively good, and I recognize that. But I have also learned not to belittle my issues just because “someone else has it worse”.)

Anyway, like I said, usually I have plenty of spoons. But last week, I had barely enough spoons for the entire early part of the week. I managed to do what I had to, and only what I had to. Once that was done, I collapsed on the couch, staring at the TV and not even really doing any crafting because even knitting or crocheting took too much energy.

This is something I am both used to and not. I am used to it enough that I know there are days when I am not going to get anything done and have come to accept that there’s no use beating myself up over it; that will only make things worse because guilt feeds my depression and makes it last longer. Sleep is one of the things that helps, but it seems I have to force myself to get sleep because getting ready for bed takes too much effort.

So… all of this is to explain why this blog post is delayed, and being posted in the afternoon instead of the morning. Once my spoons were replenished toward the end of last week, I didn’t have time to catch up on everything and scheduling blog posts was one of the easy things to set aside.

But, I am also writing this post as a reminder. Sometimes people who seem perfectly fine aren’t. And sometimes they need extra understanding or extra help even when there’s no visible reason why they should. If you have enough spoons, and you see someone who is running low, please consider doing something to help them out. Even a small thing for you could be huge for them.

Friday Reads ~ in which I remember the Cat Who

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Do you have any fun things planned for this holiday? I do, and they are all food-related. For dinner tonight I am making Mr. Wyrm and my favorite stew, the Drunken Irish Stew, though I am making it on the stove-top instead of in a slow-cooker. (It works just as well, you just have to adjust cook times.) I am also making Irish Soda Bread. This will be a first time for this particular soda bread recipe for me – I have one that’s been passed down by a friend which I love, but I want to compare it to other recipes and see if I can pick up any extra tweaks. And then on Sunday, family is coming to visit, and I am going to make corned beef and cabbage for dinner that night. I’ll be trying a new (to me) slow-cooker recipe for that, too, again to see if I can pick up any tweaks to my standard version.

Anyway, enough about food before I make myself hungry. Now on to the books!

WHAT I READ:

I finished listening to The Silver Chair, the 4th of the Chronicles of Narnia. Still love that book. I think it’s my favorite of the series.

WHAT I’M READING:

I’m still listening to The Last Battle, the final Narnia book. It’s taking a while because I DO NOT LIKE the beginning of this story. I understand why it’s there, but the part with the ape and the lion skin drives me nuts. This time around I’m having one heck of a time getting to the part of the story I like. I might skip ahead, since I know well what happens in the story.

I’m almost-but-not-quite done with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. This is a lot of fun. I enjoyed reading about Qwill and Koko when they were established friends; reading about how they got to that point is a lot of fun too. I’ve been remembering the feel I liked about this series when I read some of the books (in random order) the first time, and it’s nice to know I still like it.

And I’m still reading Kat Among the Pigeons on my eReader. Still enjoyable, just taking this at my standard slow eBook pace.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

Um. Oops. When I swung by the library to drop off books, I accidentally ended up in the Science Fiction / Fantasy section and two more books came home with me. So next up with be either The Ripper Affair (Bannon & Clare #3) or Trailer Park Fae, both by Lilith Saintcrow.

Next eBook will almost certainly be one of Lizette Gifford’s books that I have on my phone. No idea which one, though. I’ll pick among the two or three I have when I finish this one.

For my next audio book, I want to pick something fun. Something I will be able to just plain enjoy, no work required. I’m not sure what that will be. I might see about adding to my Harry Potter audio book collection, and picking up whatever the next in that series is which I don’t have. We’ll see.

WIP Wednesday ~ in which I am *that close*

I am so close. So close I can practically feel it. Close to what, you ask? Close to being done with crocheting squares for the Babette blanket! I still have a small handful to make, and yes – then I have to sew in starting ends and assemble the blanket – but I AM SO CLOSE!

For proof of progress, here are the squares I’ve made since my last photo update:


I’m not going to take a photo of all of the squares until I have finished making them. But still, this is definite progress. I really can’t wait until I’m done with this project, and this is a really good start to being done.


(another glamour shot of the squares)

I have also been knitting the second Circle of Love Cowl. There has been less progress on it, though, because the weather got warmer and it’s hard to think about knitting a mohair cowl on my lunch break when it’s in the 70’s. Also, I really have too large a crochet hook in the project bag, so while it works for getting the beads on the yarn, it’s not always easy. I need to remember to swap out hooks to speed the knitting along again.


There is the progress on the cowl, at any rate. I love the way it looks laid out, and am looking forward to trying it on once it’s done to see how the beads fall on the finished fabric. Well… I’ll try it on once it’s finished and the temperature gets back to something resembling cool weather. I might need to stand in front of the open freezer.

Have a great rest of the week!

Friday Reads ~ in which I change my mind

Today is a bit of a weird day. I have to admit that I’m letting a book hibernate for a while, and it’s a book that I anticipated loving. It feels strange. But, I have stopped reading Endless Blue by Wen Spencer. It just wasn’t catching my attention. So instead of slogging through it and resenting it, I have decided to stop for now and will come back to it later.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not reading anything now! Here’s a look at my week in books.

WHAT I READ

I finished both The Magician’s Nephew and The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. These are the hardest two to fit into the Narnia series, in my opinion, since the others happen in a sequential order and come one after the other. These two that I just finished don’t fit as neatly in the timeline. (I refuse to read Nephew first before The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. It doesn’t belong there for all that it takes place earlier.) And so, I usually end up reading them smushed in among the others with no rhyme or reason. There was a reason this time that I listened to them when I did: there was a problem with my imported copy of The Silver Chair but not with either of these, so I could listen to these two while I dealt with re-importing the other. My review of Horse is here. (I haven’t reviewed the others in the series yet, but I might.)

I haven’t finished any paper books, since I don’t count putting Endless Blue in hibernation as having finished it.

Ebook-wise, I have decided I am done with Nozy Cat #1. I just couldn’t get into it, even with the book shop and cat involved. Having the main character compliment herself on her sensible choice of outfit killed the story for me.

WHAT I’M READING

I started a new eBook: Kat Among the Pigeons by Lazette Gifford. This is one that I’ve had for a long time but never got to because none of my friends were talking it up. I know Lazette from the Forward Motion community for writers, and though we never interacted much it resulted in me buying several of her books. I don’t remember which e-store I bought them from, but they are now on my Kindle app on my phone, and I’m enjoying this one so far.

I’m also still listening to the Narnia audio books. Currently The Silver Chair, which has now been re-imported successfully into my phone.

And for paper books, I have picked up The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lilian Jackson Braun’s first “Cat Who” mystery. I found a bunch of the older “Cat Who” books at my local used book store, so I decided to start at the beginning for Qwill and Koko and see how that goes. (And see when Yum-Yum shows up.)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

My next eBook is TBD. I have no plans for that, since I have no idea when I will finish the current one. However, since I’m enjoying my current read and I have a few more books by Lazette Gifford on my phone, I’ll probably pick one of them.

My next audio book is more obvious: I’ll finish out the Narnia series with The Last Battle when I’m done with The Silver Chair. After Narnia, though, I have no idea where my audio books will take me.

And my next paper book is also up in the air. I found used copies of the books I had on loan from the library and (in a moment of “I read too slowly for library book deadlines” brought on by being unable to get into Endless Blue) bought them. So the library versions have been returned and I now need to decide if those books are still at the top of the TBR pile now that I don’t have a deadline for getting them finished. I’m leaning toward either starting the next “Cat Who” book after I read book 1, or perhaps reading the NPH memoir (Choose Your Own Autobiography) which I’ve been wanting to read for some time now. (Random thought – is it a memoir or an autobiography? It calls itself an autobiography, but I get the impression that it has more of a memoir feel. Hmm.)

On the other hand, ever since reading “Bad Dream Girl” from Glitter & Mayhem, I’ve been wanting to pick up Seanan McGuire’s next InCryptid book and read that. The good (or bad?) thing is that all three of these book potentials are on my bookshelf upstairs, waiting for me to read them. We’ll have to see which one wins out when the actual time to choose comes.

WIP Weds ~ in which there are no pictures

Yup, you read the title right. No pictures. I don’t blame you if you want to stop right there and leave since there will be nothing to look at but words.

I have been knitting, though not a ton. Mostly on the second lace cowl (the one with the beads). I still love that pattern and the way it turns out. The beads make it that much better.

But there hasn’t been a lot of knitting because I have been doing other things. Reading some. Visiting with family. Playing video games (a bit of Morrowind now in addition to Stardew Valley – which I’m nearly done with for now). Cleaning up. Chores. You know. All the other little things which need doing and prevent obvious progress from being made on the fun craft things.

Beyond that, I’ve been staring out the window a lot. It’s been gray and rainy here in “sunny” California for quite some time. We have a few periods of sunshine, but there has been more rain than normal this year. You may have heard about the flooding and spillover from the reservoirs. It’s been strange, going from way below capacity to so full that the spillways have become rivers and there’s concerns about dam safety.

I am ready for a change. I love the rain, but I also love sunny days. Besides, I joke about it a lot, but sometimes I think that my favorite season is whichever season is next. I’m ready for spring.

Misc Monday ~ in which I become one of the 3%

I did something this weekend which I have been wanting to do for a while: I donated blood.

No big deal, right? Yay me. But, it got me thinking. (Part of the reason for the thinking was some of the paperwork & promotional material they had on hand at the donation site.) Why had I not donated before? I’ve been eligible (off & on) since I was old enough, and this is the first time I donated.

Well, I guess it’s the same reasons a lot of eligible people don’t donate. Too busy, too much of a hassle to go somewhere to do it, and – the big one for most people – NEEDLES. Ick. Giving blood for lab work is bad enough; you want me to voluntarily get a needle stuck in me?

And yet, I don’t really feel that way about needles. Shots are no big deal. Blood work (now) isn’t much worse. Just don’t make me watch the needle going in, and I’m fine. (When I was a kid the story was different and involved a tech trying and failing to find my vein multiple times, but that was then and this is now.)

Anyway, I finally got there, thanks in no small part to my dad booking the appointment for me. I’d been wanting to go donate, but he made the extra push that got me off my butt to actually do it.

And while I was there, I found out that only 37% of the American public is eligible to donate. Between permanent disqualifications (diseases, lifestyle, medications), temporary ones (shorter term illnesses, international travel, vaccines), and age restrictions, that leaves only 37% of the population who can donate. And of that percentage, only 5% do donate. In my specific area? Make it 3%. Yes. You read that right. Only 3% of people in my area donate blood.

And I hadn’t been… why again? Because it was too much of a bother.

Yeah. That’s gonna change.

With the current political climate, I’ve been trying to come up with things I can do to make a change for the better. This is one of them.