Knitting and Reading Update

Yarn Along 5.14.14

I’m going to link up with Ginny this week at Small Things for this week’s Yarn Along!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

Knitting Update: On My Needles

1) Kingdom Gloves by Becky Herrick.  I’ve only made it through 2 fingers at the time I’m writing this.  Perhaps I’ll work a little on the next finger tonight. Or not.  My brain is tired.

knit gloves

2) Larger version of my Mystery Mitts  (new design I’m developing) Due to the nature of my wanting to reveal it when the pattern is ready, I’m not posting any pics!

And that’s ALL.

Which is rather weird for me.

I think I need to cast on a pair of socks just so I have another project in progress!

And since the Kingdom gloves have so much detailing–fancy cuffs, cables, fingers, cabled fingers!–a simple or easy sock pattern would be a nice go-to project for when my brain is too tired to concentrate. After a quick peek at my extensive queue, I’ve decided Cookie A.’s Monkey socks look like a great pattern. I’ve seen lots of other knitters have made pairs of Monkey socks over past few years, but for some unknown reason I haven’t.  Perhaps it’s time.

Reading Update:  The Many Books I’m Reading

As usual, I’m working on a BUNCH of different books.  {I’m only including the ones I’m reading on my own. If I added all the homeschool books I’m reading with/to my kids, you’d probably think I’m insane.}

Fiction:

Force Heretic Remnant cover  A Princess of Mars cover  Heiress cover  Death Comes to Pemberley cover

1) Star Wars The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant (A book I’ve been reading off and on for…ahem…2 or 3 years. Have finally put it where I can read it on a regular basis: the bathroom! Ha! Seriously though, I’ve gotten interested in the Star Wars series again.  I think I just needed a break from it for a while. I’m looking forward to the new movie, but knowing they’re basically scrapping the whole Star Wars Extended Universe makes me a little sad too.)

2) A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (I’m reading this via my Goodreads app on my iPhone.  It’s nice to have a book to read as long as I’ve got my phone with me!)

3) Heiress by Susan May Warren (I had paused in my reading of this one for a while, but have picked it up my old Kindle and continued the story where I left off.)

4) Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James (I’m reading this one on my Kindle Fire. Right now it’s my go-to book if I want to read before bed.)

Non-Fiction:

Uncovering the Logic of English cover  Say Goodbye to Survival Mode cover  Praying for Boys cover  How am I smart cover

1) Uncovering the Logic of English by Denise Eide (An amazing look at the English language explaining the various phonograms and the LOGIC…yes, that’s right…of how and when to use them for reading and spelling. Having a child who is a struggling reader, I’ve pursued finding the “right” method to teach him so he best understands. Not only did I get Denise’s book at a homeschool conference we recently attended, but we bought the Foundations series to teach him with.  And although he still complains about how he “hates reading,” once we start a lesson he *almost* enjoys it! So far, I’m really happy with it and am recommending the program!

2) Say Good-bye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine (I’ve just started this one, but am hoping to glean some tips for time management from her.)

3) Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin (I’m also reading this one on my iPhone, but using the Kindle app.)

4) How Am I Smart:  A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences by Dr. Kathy Koch (I don’t actually have this book right now.  I started reading it a few weeks ago, but had to return it to the library before I finished it.  Have requested it again in hopes of being able to finish it! Hoping it comes in soon!)

Phew!  That’s quite a list!  It’s no wonder it sometimes takes me a long time to finish a book.  But I do find myself focusing on a single book when the story has drawn me in to the point that I don’t want to put it down!

Tell me:  what are you knitting and/or reading these days?

Let me know by leaving a comment below. Hearing from my readers puts a smile on my face! It really makes my day!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  Hope you enjoyed today’s post!

And as always, happy knitting (and reading)!

~Steph

On My Needles: Bigger on the Inside week 2

Bigger on the Inside Shawl

Is it REALLY Wednesday ALREADY?!?!? This week has just flown by.

I’ve forced myself to focus only on knitting this Bigger on the Inside shawl/scarf because I really want to finish it ASAP. I’ve been itching to start another pair of socks, but so far have not let myself.  As you can see in my photo, I’ve finished the lace section and have begun the TARDIS motif section. The hardest part so far was picking up and knitting 311 stitches evenly across the bottom edge of it.  At times, the TARDIS chart gets a tad confusing, but I just take my time and really think it through at the beginning of each row. Once I get it figured out, I’m good to go and can remember the pattern of the stitches for the rest of the row. Thank goodness!

Yarn Along, On My Needles

What I’m Reading Now

I finished the Doctor Who book Plague of the Cybermen just this morning. It really was a good read for a fan-girl like me.  I thought about reading another in the Doctor Who series–I’ve still got a couple more checked out from my local library–but my sister-in-law pointed me to a series by Colleen Coble that happens to be set in Hawaii on the island of Kauai. Distant Echoes is the first in the Aloha Reef Series. I just got it from the library a few days ago, and since we recently visited the Big Island I’ve decided to go ahead and start it.  I think I’ll enjoy reading this one even though we haven’t been to that particular island yet. (Kauai is next on my islands-to-visit-wish-list though!) I’ve just barely started reading the book so can’t say yet whether it’s good or not, but my sister-in-law said she enjoyed it so I probably will too.

Chelsea’s Light Foundation (or helping a fellow knitter)

If you follow my Facebook page (if not, please do!), you may have seen my post yesterday with a link to a page on Ravelry. If you were unable to get to the page right away, I apologize! Ravelry needs you to sign in to see forum post pages and then it sounds like Ravelry may have had some issues besides–perhaps due to the increase in traffic to that page.  If you sign in to Ravelry and check out the page now by clicking this link, you’ll see that they were seeking out knitters who were willing to knit one of a few specific items for Chelsea’s Light Foundation.  Although I’d never heard of this Foundation before, I was moved to offer my knitting abilities to help out a fellow knitter.  I am a newbie runner as well as a knitter so perhaps that’s why it really struck a chord in my soul. Kelly (Chelsea’s mom) usually knits these items herself but because she’s been busy organizing the next Finish Chelsea’s Run she has run out of time to make all the items that she gives to the Foundation’s scholarship winners. I feel blessed to be able to help her out in this way.  Dream in Color is sending out the yarns they want us to use, so as soon as they get here I’ll be casting on the Autumn Fern Mobius. In the meanwhile, I hope to get as far as I can on Patty’s Bigger on the Inside shawl, because I’ll want to focus on the Mobius scarf which needs to be finished before the end of November.  If you didn’t get to help with this project, but are interested in helping Chelsea’s Light Foundation, check out Chelsea’s Shawl and see if a yarn shop near you (or one you shop from online) carries them. Of course, you can just give a donation on their site if you feel led to do so.  Personally, I love seeing how the knitting community steps up to help each other out!  Please take a minute and check it out.  Thanks!

So this is my Yarn Along and WIP Wednesday post for this week. Congrats to Ginny at Small Things on the birth of her sweet baby boy!  At this time, I don’t see a link-up post on her blog Small Things, so I’ll only be linking up with Tami’s WIP Wednesday post this week, I guess. If you knit, be sure to join in the fun!

As always, happy knitting!

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Yarn Along: Almondine Socks

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny at Small Things

Knitting Update: Almondine Socks

Somehow in the past couple weeks, I’ve found a bit of time here and there–in between knitting and writing up my tutorials for my Early Morning Mitts–to work on the Almondine socks too.  I’ve now completed the leg, heel flap, heel turn and am nearly finished with the gusset. I always feel like once I get past the heel turn and gusset I am almost done. That’s usually when I don’t want to stop working on them until they’re finished and I can wear them!

Knitting and reading

Reading Recommendations

A lot of the books I’m reading now are for our homeschool. But if I have a little time to read for fun, I will read a page or two of The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.  I’m still enjoying the story. Albeit, slowly.

My hubby and I both love books.  So a few years ago when I was crocheting baby blankets like a crazy woman, we figured out a relatively easy way that we could enjoy reading some books together.  So we find a book that we think we’d both enjoy and my hubby reads it out loud to me while I knit or crochet.  Somehow this summer got so busy that we’d stopped.  But I recently found a new book for us to try and once again he has started reading to me. I just love it!  We don’t have time every evening, but when we do he will usually read a chapter or two.  The book we’re reading now is On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness to me. It’s hilarious!  Thanks to whichever blogger that was reading it a few weeks ago and recommended this book in her WIP Wednesday post. Of course, I can’t remember who (I really need to start writing stuff down more!) so I can’t even link back to her post.

Well, today’s post is short. I hope you’ve found it sweet as well!

I’ll be linking up with Ginny at Small Things today.  Be sure to stop by her blog and check out the other blogs that have linked up.

Happy knitting and reading too!

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Knitting and Reading

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny at Small Things

Knitting

Heartland Lace Shawl

I’ve continued working on my shawl. And at some point in the past couple weeks I realized that it’s not the Crow Prints shawl pattern that I’m using (although that’s a pretty shawl too), but rather the Heartland Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark. I think when I was getting ready to start the project back in 2011, I was debating between the two patterns. At one point, I was pretty sure I was going to knit the Crow Prints Shawl, but evidently I must have finally decided on the Heartland Lace instead.  My shawl’s name on Ravelry now properly reflects the pattern I’m using.

If you follow my Facebook page–you do don’t you?–then you already know I had a minor issue with the transition between charts. (It was late, I was tired, and just couldn’t figure out that I needed to move all my stitch markers at the beginning of the new chart!)  I set it aside for a couple days, then took a look at it again when I wasn’t overtired, and easily figured it out.

I’m now on Row 17 of 32. I should be finishing it soon even though helping with our church’s Vacation Bible School is taking up all my regular knitting time this week.

WIP Wednesday

Reading

Finished

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul

I finally finished reading this one.  It was a good read as all of the books I’ve read by Donita K. Paul have been. If you like dragons, made up worlds, and stories that point to the Truth, then you will enjoy any of Donita’s books.

Currently reading

Heiress by Susan May Warren

In many ways the main character of Heiress reminds me of Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey.  If you’re fan of Downton, you might enjoy this series too!

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart

I’ve just barely begun reading the second Mysterious Benedict Society book.  The characters are getting ready for their next adventure. I can’t wait to find out what happens to them this time!

Once again, I’m linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Tami’s WIP Wednesday. If you’re looking for book recommendations or pattern ideas, be sure to head over to their blogs and see what others have posted too!

Happy knitting and reading!

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Socks, a Shawl, and a Mysterious Society

 

On my needles

WIP Wednesday

After finishing one shawl, I remembered having started yet another shawl ages ago (June 2011 according to my Ravelry notes).  Poor thing has been in hibernation for so long, but I’d made good notes and knew right where I was in the pattern so picking it up again was relatively easy and painless. I’ve enjoyed knitting on this the past few days while watching TV in the evenings with my hubby.  We’re watching all of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and have just started Season 5.  Neither of us remembers watching this far into DS9 before. The show began my first year of college and I believe I lost interest/didn’t have time to keep up with the show regularly during season 3.

I’ve also been working on the Almondine socks a little.  They’re coming along, albeit slowly.

Off my needles

I finished the Summer Solstice shawl on Friday night.  Will be posting pics and share more about it on Friday. It looks pretty neat pinned to the carpet for blocking.

Books I’m reading

I’ve read Reading Reflex (see last week’s post for more info) up to the point where I need to start doing the activities with my 6 year old.  I’m definitely curious to see if this approach to teaching reading–which is very similar, but still different from the LAST method I tried–works better for him. I really want him to know how to read and to be able to do it well soon!

For fun, I’ve started a series that my older son read last summer: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.  It was on the Sonlight (that’s the main curriculum we use for our homeschool) summer reading recommendations list. He loved it so much we bought the 2nd and 3rd books for him also.  I’ve mentioned my love of a good mystery before and this one is perfect for the tween/teen age range as well as for adult readers who–like myself–just enjoy a good story and don’t mind that the main characters are kids.

I also started reading Heiress by Susan May Warren this past week–it’s on my Kindle so I was taking it with me and reading it while the boys were in swim lessons.  But then I got so involved with reading the Mysterious Benedict Society that I’ve been taking that book with me instead.  Heiress is set during the Gilded Age and her characters already remind me of Downton Abbey’s even though the story takes place in America.

I’m linking up once again with Ginny’s blog for this week’s Yarn Along, Tami’s blog for WIP Wednesday, and Nicole’s blog for Keep Calm Craft On.

Happy knitting,

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July 10 On My Needles

WIP Wednesday Yarn Along

Project: Summer Solstice Shawl by Wendy Johnson
Book: Reading Reflex by Carmen McGuinness and Geoffrey McGuinness

On My Needles

What’s on my needles this week? Well, I’ve continued working on the Summer Solstice Shawl. It’s coming along nicely, if I might say so myself. I really am enjoying seeing how the pattern translates into the shawl’s shaping and lace-work. I’ve also managed to knit a few more rounds for the Almondine socks, but I’ve just barely started working on the lace pattern for them so I haven’t taken any photos of them yet. {By the way, I tried them on and am happy to say that they fit much better now! The change to a larger needle did the trick.}

Time to Read

Just last night I finished the second Percy Jackson book: The Sea of Monsters. My niece asked me why I was reading the series. As I told her, because I’ve got boys and they might want to read them someday. Besides, I generally enjoy young adult fiction. And this series is no exception. Lots of action/adventure. Which I suppose is why they’re making the series into a series of movies. {I just saw a poster for the second movie when we were at the theater this weekend to see Despicable Me 2 and Monsters U. The boys were so happy to get to see both movies this past weekend.}

I ordered curriculum for the fall for our homeschool. We opened the boxes of books yesterday. I get so excited seeing all the new books we’ll get to read! One of the books I ordered this year is for me. My second son (age 6) has seemed to have a much harder time with the process of learning to read than our exceptional (i.e. weird) eldest son who was reading at age 3. But I see the frustration that my younger son has when he’s trying to remember what he’s been taught about letters, words, etc. And I want to help him in any way possible. So I’ve started reading Reading Reflex. I’m only on chapter 1, but I have hope that this book will have some good info that I can use in combination with the reading program we got and started using earlier this year.

Once again I’m linking up with Tami’s WIP Wednesday and Ginny’s Yarn Along and Keep Calm Craft On.  Lots of great projects, so check them out!

Happy knitting!

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WIP Wednesday Tami

Fourth of July Yarn Along

Happy Fourth!

Tomorrow is July 4th.  Here in Northern Minnesota that means hanging with family and friends, watching the local parade while the kids scramble to see who can collect the most candy, and maybe even staying up to watch the evening fireworks display.  (I say maybe because a lot of years we’ve just bought our own sparklers and firecrackers instead of waiting up to about 10:30 pm or so for it to get dark enough up here for the real ones.  It’s a great time for patriotism.  I’m even doing a special patriotic manicure to celebrate. If it turns out, I might even post a picture.  Just because. But I better warn you that I may be MIA from the blog for the rest of the week/weekend because we’ve got family up visiting!

Work in Progress (Yarn Along)

After finishing my pattern last week, I celebrated by pulling out a shawl I started last summer.  It was a knit along with Wendy Johnson.  This is her Summer Solstice shawl. I also found a great use for washi tape:  marking the chart so I know which row I’m on!  I have my pattern in a plastic binder sleeve thingy, so the washi tape is easily removed and doesn’t harm my pattern. Plus, it’s kind of pretty! (I need more washi tape!)

Wendy Johnson pattern

This shawl should keep me busy for a while.  And I also cast-on the Almondine socks again.  I decided to go up a needle size and it looks a bit more normal now.  (Mentally crossing my fingers in hopes that they’ll fit right now!)  Between the two, I’ve got lots of knitting to do!

Book in Progress

I finished Blueberry Muffin Murder a couple days ago.  It was good to the end (albeit, I thought the ending was a bit abrupt)!  I need a break from the mystery genre for a bit so am going to have to either finish one of the other books I’ve already been working on or just start another new one.  In the meantime, I thought I could share one of the other books I’ve been (slowly) reading. Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.

Lysa TerKeurst book

It’s an excellent look at how we (especially us women) let our emotions control our reactions.  And she gives some godly insight into how to better handle situations that make us feel like coming “unglued”. I just finished chapter 10.  Good stuff.  I do recommend.

Thanks for stopping by today!  If you’re proud to be an American, I hope you have a fun and safe holiday!

Once again I will be linking up with Tami and Ginny‘s blogs–be sure to swing by and take a look at what some of the other bloggers are sharing today!

Happy knitting!

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WIP Wednesday Tami