WIP Weds ~ in which I am delayed

Oops, it seems this post is a bit delayed. Sorry about that. I put off writing it until I had taken the picture, and I procrastinated taking the picture too because I wanted good, natural light. I finally gave up and just took the picture, but by then I had delayed the writing of the post long enough that it’s now late. Oh well. It’s still Wednesday, at least.

There has been knitting. Rather a lot of it. All on the Vanilla is the New Black socks, though. Here’s where the socks currently stand:

Vanilla is the New Black sock progress

Yup. Done with sock #1, and on to the second. And of course I had to wind off enough yarn before starting sock #2 to make the socks matchy-matchy.

I’m changed my plans with these, since I started the toe slightly too soon for me. I’m going to see if they fit my mom, and if they do they’ll be a Christmas gift for her. (I don’t think she reads the blog, but even if she does I’m not worried. Hand knit socks are a lovely gift even when they’re not a surprise.) If they don’t fit her, then I’ll probably lengthen the socks to fit me. I’m hoping they fit her, though, because I don’t want to have to tink back the toe of sock #1.

Friday Reads ~ in which the mice derail everything

Mice, you say? Well, I don’t mean mice invading my house (although that would derail things if that happened, too). I mean Seanan McGuire’s Aeslin Mice, which sound like amazingly cute and enjoyable characters. Even if a bit annoying.

Anyway, back when I read Discount Armageddon (InCryptid #1) I really enjoyed it. But after I was done, I was able to put the series down and move on to something else. I did buy Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid #2) so that I could read it when I was ready, but it took me a while to get ready. And when I did, the mice took over. Yes, if they were living in my house I would probably find them a bit annoying as well as cute. But since they’re not, I WANT SOME. I mean, sure, I like Verity and Dominic and Sarah and the other human/oid characters. BUT THOSE MICE, Y’ALL.

Yeah. I blame the mice that my reading this week has not gone at all as I planned last week.

WHAT I READ

I finished Midnight Blue-Light Special. I loved it. Devoured the book in a handful of sittings, and wanted more. (See below on that.) I’m not going into a full review here because of potential spoilers, but suffice to say it’s good.

WHAT I’M READING

I am reading Seanan McGuire’s Half-Off Ragnarok, InCryptid #3. This is a really fun series, and I’m glad there are several books already published and waiting for me so that I don’t have to wait for them. Ms. McGuire writes fast, but still. I read faster.  😉

I am also reading a bunch of InCryptid short stories. (And it’s all the mice’s fault.) Remember how hard it can be for me to remember that I have books and short stories on my e-reader? Well, it seems that all goes out the window when there are cute mice involved. Because I am remembering to read these! I’m going to lump them all in as one, though, since I can consider them a short story anthology that way. The only difficulty with that is I want to read them without spoiling the main series, so since some of the shorts come after the later books I can’t read them all yet.

Which means that while Paid in Gold and Blood (by Lazette Gifford) is still in progress, it’s not getting much love at the moment. Nothing against the story or its author. They just can’t compete with the prospect of Aeslin Mice.

And I’m still listening to The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher. I can’t help but feel that the narration isn’t helping on this one. I mean, the narrator is doing a good job of portraying a 15-year-old miller’s daughter. But that makes it difficult to believe her portrayal of the much older lord who the girl is supposed to marry. Bridging that big an age gap is hard for narrators, and very few do it really well. Still, the story is interesting, and there is a (probably magical) hedgehog. So it’s got that going for it.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Probably more of the InCryptid series. I don’t own any other books in the series yet, but that can be easily remedied.

On the other hand, I do own several other books which have been interesting me, so you never know. Something else might derail these plans, and I’ll end up on a completely new tangent next week.

Audio-wise, I’m still pretty sure Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will be next. I kinda want something a bit opposite of what I’ve been listening to lately.

WIP Weds ~ in which we talk queues

I have been knitting, honest. But much of that knitting has been on a pair of vanilla socks which are now on another section of knitting that doesn’t show progress very well. (Just so that you aren’t totally without pictures, here’s one I took last weekend when I tried the sock on to see how the heel fit.)

Vanilla is the New Black sock progress

(Now with bonus kitty content!)

Instead of talking about what is essentially fun-knitting-but-boring-blog-material, let’s talk about queues! Specifically, what I’m excited to knit next but am trying to make myself wait to start until I finish something currently on the needles.

The very first item in my queue is the Dumpling Kitty. OMG, so cute. The main reason I haven’t knit these yet is I’m afraid they will turn into a Pinterest Fail (yes, I did see them first on Pinterest).

Second in my Ravelry queue is the Longfellow shawl. But since I already have two shawls OTN (one for me and one for a gift) I’m not going to let myself cast this one on yet. As a bonus, though, I do have yarn and beads already picked out for this one.

After that are a few snail patterns – two snail toys and one snail hand puppet. A certain member of my family loves snails for some reason that I can’t fathom, and so I want to make one (or more) of these snails for Christmas gifts. And that means I need to cast it/them on soon, but haven’t done so yet because I’m undecided about the yarn.

Last featured item in my queue for today are the Wild Rose Mitts. They look very cool, and like the perfect amount of colorwork. (I love doing colorwork, but am not yet good enough at it to get a good, consistent gauge while knitting multiple colors at once.) (On the other hand, I haven’t tried any Fair Isle knitting since I got proficient at double knitting due to the Geek-A-Long, so maybe I’d be better at it now than I was last time.) In any case, they look like fun, and might be another good way to use up scraps of sock yarn.

That’s what’s at the top of my knitting (and crochet) queue. How about you? Anything fun waiting in the wings to be made next?

Friday Reads ~ in which we cross our fingers for spring

I think it may finally be springtime weather. I’m not going to say much about it in case I’m wrong, but I think… maybe…

WHAT I READ

I finished Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris. So much fun! I love the premise, and the execution was well done also. It was very reminiscent of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books I read as a kid, and I enjoyed that aspect.

I also finished listening to Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein. It’s interesting to see the directions that this particular vision of the future went. I’m also amused by the cultural / gender issues have aged. For instance, Tom (the narrator) was shocked that women no longer wore hats after he’d been out in space. Well, women (and men) haven’t worn hats on a regular basis in ages, so I was taken aback in the other direction. There are also other gender-based restrictions that are no longer the norm (excluding women from the landing party in today’s society wouldn’t fly) and that was interesting to read, too. Still, all told, this is an enjoyable book.

WHAT I’M READING

I am reading Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire, the second InCryptid book. It’s great fun. Though, my favorite character(s) in the series could easily be the mice…

I am also still reading Paid in Gold and Blood by Lazette Gifford on my e-reader. When I remember that I have an e-reader.  :-/

And I have started listening to The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher. I’m not entirely sure what I think of it yet, but I was interested by the blurb, so we’ll see where it goes.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Who knows? I’m starting to learn that I don’t stick to my plans well when it comes to for-fun reading. Though I did just pick up InCryptid #3 from Barnes & Noble, so I might read that next. Or I still have the October Daye series (I think I have two unread books from that series on my TBR shelf). And I also just picked up a copy of Jenna Black’s Nightstruck, so I might go with that one.

Next audio book will probably be Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Because the title amuses me, and Tyson writes science for the layman quite well. I’ve read another one (or two?) of his books before, and it was a good learning experience for me.

Misc Monday ~ in which I miss spring

I don’t know about the weather where you are, but it seems we in Northern California have kinda skipped the bulk of spring. Well, our spring, anyway. We got someone else’s spring.

A California spring usually involves sunny-but-not-too-hot days and cool nights. Perfect for evening walks. And very little rain. Some, yes. But our usual spring rain is the shower variety.

This year? This year has been wet and gloomy and not very California-like at all.

I know, I know, we need the rain. (Actually, we can be done for this year. We’ll need more next year, but it can wait until winter, right? Please?) (Oh, okay, I guess a warm summer thunderstorm could be fun. But that can still wait for another couple months.) But this has been way wetter than usual. I don’t know which ones, but I know we broke records.

And I am so ready for my normal California spring. Last week was almost summer. (I am really not ready for summer.) But it looks like hopefully this week will be something approaching a California spring. One can hope, anyway.

Friday Reads ~ in which I finally finish an eBook

Yes, I know. eBooks and I have a love-hate relationship. It’s not really either of our faults, it’s just the way it goes. And I can go weeks while making barely any progress on the eBook in question, only to finish the remaining two-thirds of it over the span of 36 hours. (Yes, that’s what happened this week.) This is the nature of my relationship with eBooks. I’ll just have to get used to it.

WHAT I READ:

As you may have guessed, I finished the eBook I had been working on: Kat Among the Pigeons by Lazette Gifford. I really enjoyed it, and the world Lazette created for the story is a lot of fun. I’m curious to see if there are more stories set in that world, but I haven’t checked yet. (Full review is here.)

WHAT I’M READING:

I started another of Lazette’s eBooks, Paid in Gold and Blood. I’m not sure how long this one will take me, but if my recent history is any indication it will be a while. We’ll see. Sometimes I will binge-read multiple eBooks in a row, so that’s also possible. I haven’t gotten too far into this new one yet, though.

I’m getting close to done with Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein, though I’m still working on that one. It’s enjoyable, yet also odd. I suspect this is partly because it’s a futuristic YA originally published in 1956. So many things have changed since then, and not just as far as science and technology go. It was written pretty progressively for its time (as an example, it’s not as overtly sexist or racist as some other books from its era that I have read) but it still has an old-fashioned-futuristic feel to it. I can’t really describe it any better than that. I hope you understand what I mean. (I also hope it’s clear that this isn’t really hindering my enjoyment of the story. It’s just making it a slightly odd book to listen to.)

I’m also nearly done (but not quite) with Choose Your Own Autobiography by NPH. I’m still very much enjoying the book. But…

I also got impatient to start my next Seanan McGuire book, so I’ve picked up Midnight Blue-Light Special, InCryptid #2, and am reading that too. (Because you know. I am crazy and read lots of books at once.)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

My next audio book will still likely be either The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher or The Great Courses’ The Medieval World, but I also might decide to go with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s newest, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Too many good choices, and I’m going to end up picking on a whim.

The next paper book is up in the air, since I’ve already started on what should be my “next” book. And my next eBook will be determined when I’m a lot closer to done with my current one.

What about any of you? Am I the only crazy one to read lots of books simultaneously? (I know Mr. Wyrm doesn’t. He sticks to one at a time.)