101 in 1001 ~ update the eleventh

It’s time for the 11th update on my 101 in 1001 Challenge! If you haven’t been following along on this journey so far or have any questions about what the challenge is, you can check out this link for details.

Happy birthday month to me! No details, except that I got to spend some time celebrating with family and friends. That’s the best gift I could ask for.

Here’s this month’s challenge progress:

May 2017
1 item completed this month
30 items currently in progress

~*~     ~*~     ~*~

Personal #67: Visit 3 museums ~ 5/16/2017

I do enjoy museums, but when I’m the one making the excursion plans I often forget that we have so many interesting ones so close to home. It’s one thing to plan to visit the Smithsonian during a trip to Washington DC; it’s another to remember the museums in my hometown. So I’m glad this was one of my challenge items, because it made me remember museums as an activity! There are still many in the area I haven’t visited yet, though. Here’s hoping I continue to remember to plan time to visit them.

Not tons of completion this month, but there has still been progress at least!

I hope you had a great month!

WIP Weds ~ in which there are sadly no pictures

There are no pictures today, mostly because I forgot what day it was and so didn’t take any. Ah, the hazards of a three-day weekend.

Anyway, I have been knitting on the Vanilla is the New Black socks, and have been making progress. I tried them on various family members over the long weekend, and found out that they fit my sister the best. (Which was NOT what any of us expected since I was originally making them for me and her feet are significantly smaller than mine.) So they will be a Christmas present for her this year.

I have also been working on the Cats Will Play shawl which is slated to be a Christmas gift for my MIL, and just a couple days ago I cast off the shawl! Yay! So that’s all over but the blocking. I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends up after it’s blocked out.

And I have been working on the Hyrule socks, which I think are going to be a Christmas (or maybe birthday) gift for my mom. Her feet are only slightly smaller than mine, and I think these socks would fit her better than they currently fit me. Also, she likes ankle socks better than I do — this pattern is definitely ankle socks. It’s kinda a mystery why I thought I was knitting them for me when that’s not my favorite kind of sock.

So, there has been knitting. And hopefully next week I will be less scattered and can show you pictures of some of it.

Have a great rest of this short work week!

Friday Reads ~ in which it is all InCryptid, all the time

Yup. Still on the InCryptid series.

In fact, that’s ALL I have read this week. I have read all of the early short stories I can get my hands on (I haven’t yet gotten a copy of the anthologies holding a couple of the stories) and have moved on toward the “present day”, though I’m not quite there yet. And I’m still working on the third novel at the same time (which makes things occasionally slightly confusing, but not too bad). But. I haven’t listened to my audio book all week, nor have I read anything else.

I still blame the mice.

WHAT I READ

I have read a lot of InCryptid short stories. Pretty much all of the ones featuring Jonathan and Fran, and Alice and Thomas, except the couple which were published in anthologies instead of online. The official list (and download links!) can be found here: InCryptid Short Stories

WHAT I’M READING

I still have The Seventh Bride and Paid In Gold And Blood technically in my “currently reading” list, though they have been set aside in favor of the InCryptid series.

What I’m actively reading at the moment is Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid novel #3) and “Blocked,” a short story featuring Antimony Price (the youngest of the siblings). “Blocked” happens before “Bad Dream Girl,” which is in the Glitter and Mayhem anthology and I’ve already read.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

Well, while I’m not done with the InCryptid series yet, I do want a little break from it or I’ll devour the whole thing and then be sad because it’s over. So my next paper book will be the next “Cat Who” book. That’s The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern.

As to the rest, I’m still leaning toward Astrophysics for People in a Hurry for my next audio book. However, I might start that one before I finish with The Seventh Bride, depending on how much I need a non-fiction break.

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.