Cress – The Lunar Chronicles [#3] – Marissa Meyer

The third in The Lunar Chronicle series is Cress, a reimagined version of the Rapunzel story. This time instead of being trapped in a tower with no doors, we have Cress, trapped in a satellite orbiting the Earth, working for the Lunars but wanting to help the rebel Linh Cinder.

Being as though this is the third book in the series, I’ll warn for spoilers because I’m sure that I’ll end up speaking about the events of the book.

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Cress – The Lunar Chronicles [#3] – Marissa Meyer

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

I have read  a couple of other books since reading Scarlett, but it was nice jumping back into this universe and reconnecting with the characters. It doesn’t take long. Sadly, actually reading the book took a lot longer than I had wanted as life in general got in the way – so did the knitting…

I also found it harder to maintain my focus on reading this one. It felt as though something dramatic was happening a little too often, like every chapter which is great for plot development, but I did get to a point where it felt like a little too much was going on, especially to Cress who gained her freedom in a rather dramatic way – and gets understandably intimidated about how big and vast everything could be on Earth, when all she’s known was the tiny satellite.

It was great when things started to come together, when the gang were more or less reunited and were able to start to put their plans into action. I liked the little threads that connected all the characters together, things that perhaps weren’t so obvious in the beginning – Dr Erland, for example – and their endings as well.

It wasn’t until I started writing this blog entry that I realised that one of the central plots involving Thorne and Cress relates to the fairytale of Rapunzel so well that it just wasn’t something I had thought about. And, I love it more for that as well!

Things weren’t smooth going for the guys and girls of this instalment, even though at the end the ultimate objective of delaying the wedding was achieved. Of course, this means that all out war is going to happen in the next book – which has skipped the queue and will be read next instead of something else.

I love that this series is full of strong female characters – something that I think is needed. However, in the same sense I feel that Kai wasn’t portrayed as a particularly strong character, folding to Levanna for the wedding. Strong females can be portrayed alongside strong males, but he certainly doesn’t seem that way in this one. Perhaps that will change in Winter… Wolf was also a bit less… driven in this one as well. I would have thought he would have behaved a lot different, with a lot more determination and resolution to get Scarlett back, but instead he was resigned, and almost indifferent to the situation. Jacin is going to be interesting. Is he going to be super strong, or is he just a blank slate as already portrayed?

I look forward to the next book, and am probably going to start reading that as soon as I press “Publish” because this series is just too darn good to sit on a shelf and forget about.

What are you reading at the moment? One of the books on my reading challenge list is to read a book recommended by a friend – so I was thinking… why not ask you, my dear readers, instead?

Regards,

Kialtho

50 Bookish Questions

I saw this the other day and had to have a little go at it…

1. What was the last book you read?

A Dance With Dragons: After the Feast – George R. R. Martin

2. Was it a good one?

It wasn’t too bad, I found the ending a little disappointing. And want to at least have the option of reading the next book…

3. What made it good?

As with all Martins’ work it’s detailed, immersive and all consuming. It makes it easy to get into, and hard to put down.

4. Would you recommend it to other people?

As a series yes, but only if that person is in for a challenge.

5. How often do you read?

Three or four times a week. I have other hobbies as well, so try to split my time evenly between them, but I am ashamed to say that sometimes my reading takes the backseat – for instance I’m still on “Cress” but really should have finished it by now – I’ve been reading it since January 2nd! I may make that my task for the next few days…

6. Do you like to read?

Yes, I love reading. I think it’s something special, being able to be transported away to other worlds and lives.

7.What was the last bad book you read?

Going though my Goodreads list it would seem that it was “The 100” by Kass Morgan.

8. What made you dislike it?

I didn’t connect to any of the characters, and found it to be clunky and just poorly written. I didn’t enjoy the style, and being a YA book, queue the love triangle, predictable ending and unnecessary cliffhanger.

9. Do you wish to be a writer?

I find this really hard to answer. I did, once upon a time. I’ve done NaNo for most years since 2007, and it would be great to get published, but I also haven’t bothered to edit any of my old stories, or to really write outside of that November period.

10. Has any book every influenced you greatly?

I know this is horribly predictable, but the Harry Potter series. The vast majority of my friends in my life have been made through Harry Potter, whether it was the friends I made through FanFiction or through relatable HP experiences in real life. One of my best friends was in the first Harry Potter film. We’re going to be friends for life because of Harry Potter.

11. Do you read fan fiction?

I used to, not as much any more.

12. Do you write fan fiction?

Again, I used to. I very occasionally update my old works of fanfic, but not very often.

13. What’s your favourite book?

The Book Thief, Marcus Zuzak.

14. What’s your least favourite book?

Is least favourite the bottom of the most loved? Or worst ever? If it’s the first, then the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, maybe. I loved the series, and managed to get a signed copy of the third book. If it’s worst…. again probably The 100.

15. Do you prefer physical books or ready on a device (like a kindle)?

This is a tough question. I love reading full stop, and there’s nothing like the smell of books, but I also love the convenience of my Kindle.

16. When did you learn to read?

… as a child?

17. What is your favourite book you had to read in school?

Probably Of Mice and Men. It’s a great book, and has a lot of meaning behind it.

18. What is your favourite book series?

Harry Potter…

19. Who is your favourite author?

H. G. Wells!

20. What is your favourite genre?

Science fiction/ fantasy/ Young Adult/ horror….

21. Who is your favourite character in a book series?

Luna Lovegood.

22. Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?

Of course… Hogwarts, the future, the past… every read is a journey away.

23.Which book do you wish had a sequel?

The Princess Bride? It’s one of my favourites that’s completely standalone.

24. Which book do you wish DIDN’T have a sequel?

I’m not sure I can answer this. Nothing is immediately springing to mind!

25. How long does it take you to read a book?

Usually a couple of weeks.

26. Do you like when books become movies?

Mostly. Sometimes they are ruined, but it’s always great to see how other people viewed the same world that you did. I used to hate when things were changed, but in reality if it were exactly the same it would be boring.

27. Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?

The Maze Runner was vastly different to it’s book, but I’m not sure I would say it was ruined. I’m not a huge cinema person, so don’t tend to watch a lot of films.

28. Which movie has done a book justice?

The Hunger Games. I thought that it fleshed out the world immensely.

29. Do you read newspapers?

Sometimes. I try to avoid them.

30: Do you read magazines?

Yes – knitting magazine “Knit Now”, and things like National Geographic.

31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?

Magazines.

32. Do you read while in bed?

Yes.

33. Do you read while on the toilet?

No.

34. Do you read while in the car?

Sometimes. Sometimes it can make me feel car sick, so can’t do it for very long.

35. Do you read while in the bath?

Yes – I probably get most of my reading done here…

36. Are you a fast reader?

I consider myself to be a fairly fast reader, but probably in comparison to others maybe not. It’s all relative.

37. Are you a slow reader?

No…?

38. Where is your favourite place to read?

Just somewhere comfortable. It doesn’t have to be a special place or anything like that.

39. Is it hard for you to concentrate while you read?

No, but I don’t like being talked to whilst reading. That really annoys me.

40.Do you need a room to be silent while you read?

No, I like to have music playing.

41. Who gave you your love for reading?

I did – I was always quite bookish when I was kid.

42. What book is next on your list to read?

Possibly a zombie or horror flick. I’ve not quite decided yet, it could even be Winter, the sequel to Cress.

43. When did you start to read chapter books?

I don’t remember – possibly in fourth or fifth year of school, mainly because one of my teachers told me I couldn’t read Treasure Island. I think they doubted my ability to read or something.

44. Who is your favourite children’s book author?

Phillip Pullman affected me a lot as kid. I loved His Dark Materials.

45. Which author would you most want to interview?

None? I don’t know. I’m not a celeb follower or anything like that – the people don’t interest me so much as the work, as awful as that sounds.

46. Which author do you think you’d be friends with?

H.G. Wells I think. We could talk about the future of humanity and socialism.

47.What book have you reread the most?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. So many re-reads!

48. Which books do you consider “classics”?

Probably things like older books and science fiction, like H. G. Wells etc.

49. Which books do you think should be taught in every school?

Books about diversity and inclusion, books that teach children to treat each other with respect, books that teach kids to aim higher and strive for the best.

50. Which books should be banned from all schools?

I don’t believe in banning books to be honest. Fair and balanced discussions should ensure books if they’re considered controversial.

30 Disney Questions

I saw the “30 Disney Questions” tag on JennyinNeverland’s blog last night and thought I would take a stab at it, more so to see how good my knowledge of Disney was. [Turns out I had to get a list from Wikipedia to tell me the names of some of the films… how embarrassing!]

When I was a kid I hated Disney on principle. The house was covered in Disney, and it was shoved down my throat like no mans business – once I had moved out at 13 I didn’t watch a Disney film for a long time. It wasn’t actually until I went to university did I start enjoying it again. But I don’t watch them all that often. Except Frozen, because it’s just awesome.

1. Favourite Character

There’s just too many to choose from! Elsa, Jack Sparrow, Aladdin, Genie, Ralph…? It’s too hard to pick, so I’ll just leave a selection up there!

2. Favourite Princess

Enchanted’s Giselle. Her transformation from Princess to a “real” person, her ability to deal with the situation she was in with hope and grace all the way through, plus her songs were really neat.

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3. Favourite Heroine

Anna. I know she’s a princess as well, but she took complete responsibility for the actions of Elsa, even though it wasn’t really her fault, and tried to right the wrongs of her sister. Throughout Frozen she accepts the burdens of her sister all the way through to the end when she faces off against Hans.

4. Favourite Prince

I guess Prince Ali counts – he eventually gets made a prince, right?

5. Favourite Hero

Jack Sparrow – I guess he’s more of an anti-hero, but he’s awesome all the same. His drunken, reluctant hero-ing, and determination to get his ship back, and general humour makes him a re-watchable character again and again. The downside to this film was Keira Knightly. [Did I say that?].

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6. Favourite Animal

Dumbo – it was always my Mum’s favourite Disney film, and that definitely rubbed off on me.

7. Favourite Sidekick

Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-it Ralph. She was a spunky character, and despite being glitchy she was positive about the outcome of both her race, and Ralph’s fate.

8. Favourite Villain

Jaffa. Ties in with the fact that my favourite film is Aladdin.

9. Favourite Original Character

Aladdin – it’s my favourite animated Disney, so it’s only fair that the tattered prince takes this place.

10. Favourite Love Song

“How Does She Know?” I know this isn’t quite like “A Whole New World”, but I liked the fact that this song was completely about love, between two characters that weren’t in love at the time. Plus, if you don’t show someone that you love them, how do they know?

11. Favourite Song

“Let It Go”. I know that Frozen is the biggest grossing Disney film to date, and I know that people are also probably fed up with it, but this song, more than many of the others holds a lot of meaning for me. I used to sing it a lot at work because I couldn’t express myself in the way that I wanted. Definitely could related to the “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it show” lyric. Work for me was tough, and channelling this song helped alleviate it a bit. Since I’ve been in my new job I’ve not sung it once. I know this is a silly association for a song – being as though we used to sing a whole variety of Disney songs in the cafe, I think the message is important – be yourself,don’t hide it, and definitely, definitely, just let it go.

12. Favourite Villain Song

How can we have a villain’s song and not mention Hocus Pocus? Hocus Pocus was, and still is, my favourite Halloween film, closely followed by Nightmare Before Christmas. The witches rendition of “I Put A Spell on You” always amuses me, especially as the kids mother was dressed a Madonna at the time.

13. Least Favourite Song

I don’t really recall any songs that I didn’t really like.

14. Favourite Kiss

Beauty and the Beast, I think. I loved that Belle was able to save Beast from himself.

15. The First Movie You Saw

This is a hard one to answer. I know as a kid I saw Bambi in the cinema, and cried my eyes out at the death of Bambi’s mum, but I must have seen others before this. Plus, whilst I know this event happened, I don’t remember actually seeing the film. I would probably have to declare Fantasia as the first, and to this day it’s still a favourite. Those dancing mushrooms always cheered me up!

16. Favourite Classic

I think I’ll say Fantasia here as well!

17. Song That Always Gets Stuck in Your Head

Hakuna Matata, or Prince Ali. We sung these so many times at work that they would get stuck for days at a time.

18. Favourite Pixar Film

A Bugs Life – Princess Atta was awesome, and I had toys of her and Flik

19. Least Favourite Pixar Film

This is a hard question to answer because I don’t really think there are ones that I don’t really like?

20. Favourite Sequel

I don’t think I have one. I’ve been looking through the lists of Disney films, but I can’t say that a favourite one is really jumping out at me. Possibly, at a push, something from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but I love that more for the music than the films?

21. Overrated Movie

National Treasure, perhaps? I enjoyed them, but they were a bit silly… give me Indiana Jones any day!

22. Underrated Movie

Big Hero 6. I think this was released around the same time as Frozen, or least, it was completely swamped by Frozen.

23. Movie That Makes You Laugh

Wreck-it Ralph comes straight to mind, and Up. Definitely a toss up between the two. Up had Kevin, and the dogs…. you know what? Up wins this round!

24. Movie That Makes You Cry

The Rescuers used to make me cry every time, especially at the point of the song “Don’t cry little one.” I wanted to be rescued as a kid, and would definitely wish upon a star to get there!

25. The Saddest Scene from Your Favourite Movie

Mufasa’s death – when Simba realises what’s happened, and that it was his fault – heartbreaking! There used to be this awesome music video on YouTube that took Nightwish’s “Nemo”, removed all the elements except the vocals and piano, and it was the most haunting, heart wrenching version of that scene that I’ve ever seen. I’m certain that I’ll remember that one forever.

26. Saddest Death

Has to be Mufasa’s, right?

27. Favourite Quote

“When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming!” – Dory, Finding Nemo. “Just Keep Swimming” is definitely a life motto!

28. Favourite Theme Park

I know I went to Orlando as a kid but to be perfectly honest I’ve blocked a lot of my childhood out of my memory [sorry for the brief downer! It got a million times better when I turned 13!] I couldn’t tell you whereI went, or what I did. I’d like to go to the Paris one, to see what it’s like.

29. Favourite Theme Attraction

N/A – I’ve never been to a Disney show. I think.

30. Favourite Theme Park Show

N/A – I’ve never been to a Disney show. I think.

2016 Reading Challenge

This year I’m aiming once more to hit the magical 40 book figure in my GoodReads reading challenge, something that I’ve tried and failed to do for the last few years. I feel like 40 should be an achievable target, and certainly would be if reading was the only, and main, hobby that I had. I write, usually in November, do some photography, and knit. A lot. Knitting takes up a phenomenal amount of time, especially when I get so into a pattern that I forget about time itself. Mind you, that also happens when I read as well, so…

Whilst I am aiming to read the above mentioned 40 books, I also want to “read harder” this year.  There are several challenges I’ve seen on the internet, like those from BookRiot, but the challenge list didn’t interest me so much – I’m not picky about the authors I chose, and don’t simply want to limit what I will or will not read – so that wasn’t going to work for me. Then a friend tagged me in this challenge:

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And I thought that it would be the perfect challenge. There are books on my shelf that could tick off more than a couple of those boxes, so thought that this would be a great way to read harder this year. There are also some that I’m not too sure on what I’ll be reading, so it will be a good way to think about what I could potentially be reading.

Is there a reading challenge that you’re doing this year? Would you consider doing one? This is my first!

Kialtho

Khaleesi: Mother of Dragons, AKA, Kialtho Makes “The Doodler”

In my last knitting blog I had mentioned that I had started a Stephen West design – this year’s MKAL – which is called “The Doodler”. I am not usually a fan of Stephen West’s designs… they aren’t for me, but this one… this one had my name all over it! Once I saw the pictures coming out in Instagram I just knew that I had to make this. And once I had checked the project requirements I also knew I had the perfect yarn combination in my stash all ready and waiting to go.

Yarn:

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This took about 5 hours to wind, if not more!

I’ve had the yarn in my stash for over a year, and was bought from a market night from Cuddlebums, a UK based Indie dyer, present on both Facebook and Instagram. Her yarn is just beautiful. I bought the yarn as a gradient set, but didn’t really have any plans for it. Then this pattern came along, and it definitely felt like the yarn had been sitting in wait for it! Perfect amount of yarn – almost down to the T – perfect pattern, I really couldn’t have asked for more.

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In progress!

So, here’s a picture of the finished object:

Pre blocking:

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Pre blocking, isn’t it beautiful!

Blocking in Progress:
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I had to block on a duvet as my blocking boards just wouldn’t have been big enough! It’s still drying even though I washed it this morning, so am reluctant to move it! It’s mostly dry though.

It did feel like it took a long time to make this, but in reality it was only something like 3 or 4 weeks, and considering how many stitches there were that’s insane! On the final rows of wedge 4 it was taking a little over half an hour to complete just one row. This wasn’t so bad as it meant that I could quantify the amount of time left in the project, including that time consuming iCord cast off, which just looks beautiful!

This is the second project that I’ve used the iCord edging and cast off in, and it’s a winner. It may take up more time, but I’m definitely going to use it in the future for edging scarves and possibly shawls too. I’ll have to seek out some patterns that use it in the design for tops as well. It’s such a clean cut, crisp edging with a bit of elasticity as well! I highly recommend it!

I am so happy with how this project turned out, and as I was making it I decided that it was going to be called “Khaleesi: Mother of Dragons” as the colours reminded me of the young dragon queen so much! I think she would be honoured to have a shawl like this.

I already know what my next project is going to be – a hood from KnitNow Issue 43 – made in DK yarn so will feel weird using bigger needles for the first time in ages! I have some acrylic King Cole yarn that I wound from the ball into a cake today [well, why not? I do have a yarn winder now after all! I am going to have a brief break to rest my hands a bit, so will probably start tomorrow! [Me and knitting breaks don’t tend to last long at all].

What’s on your needles?

Kialtho

A Dance With Dragons: After the Feast – G. R. R. Martin

It wasn’t until I started writing this blog that I realised I’ve been calling this particular part of the book by the wrong name! I’ve been saying/talking about Blood and Gold – which is mentioned a fair few times in the book, it should be added, but obviously that’s not the case… And the name of one part of the Storm of Swords book.

Obviously, considering that this is the final book in the series so far, there’s likely to be spoilers for the previous few books. I’m sure that’s fairly certain that’s a given, but the warning is there just in case.

I actually wanted to finish this book before the end of 2015 in preparation for the release of the newest book. Then I read today that the 6th book has been delayed. Again. So now I’m not too sad or sore that I didn’t finish before the year was out.  I guess that whole notion is a discussion for another day though.

So, synopsis for the last part of a Dance with Dragons:

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In King’s Landing the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister, awaits trial, abandoned by all those she trusted; while in the eastern city of Yunkai her brother Tyrion has been sold as a slave. From the Wall, having left his wife and the Red Priestess Melisandre under the protection of Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon marches south to confront the Boltons at Winterfell. But beyond the Wall the wildling armies are massing for an assault…

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all.

Things happened in this volume that did surprise me. Some of it wasn’t clear, or revealed until the last minute of their storylines, some only inferred – Stannis and Bolton for instance, or those final moments we spend with Dany.

I enjoyed the book for the most part, but I did find the ending a little disappointing. I’m not sure what I was expecting I guess. Perhaps I was hoping for a beginning of the end, a start of the winding down of the story but no, we were thrown a whole new level of what the hell with certain characters behaving in a way that they definitely hadn’t been behaving before. It’s set up for an interesting next book, but still… I don’t know.

My favourite character is still Dany. I look forward to seeing her in the next book, and seeing how she gets out of this situation. I’m glad that Cersei got what was coming to her even if her story hasn’t fully played out yet. Arya is another favourite, but I feel as though her storyline is starting to lag a bit, so again hopefully that will resolve itself in the next book. Sansa was oddly absent during this one, and I can’t really remember what happened to her in the previous book.

I’m glad that I can say that I’ve made it to the end of the series so far. It means that I can browse certain places of the internet [Tumblr, I’m looking at you!] again without fear of the story being spoilt, which happened a couple of times before. I feel like it’s an achievement to be proud of, and definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series, and hope that it delivers in some of the areas that I felt were a little let down in this one.

So, have you made it to the end? I know that I’m a little late to this fandom, but what did you think? What are you favourite parts?

My Year in Review

It’s been a busy year. I think it’s safe to say that for certain, from my personal life – getting the mortgage, moving out of home into somewhere so completely new with Alex, getting engaged, being made redundant and then starting a new job – luckily without a break between them so the redundancy wasn’t exactly prolonged. I made my own Sailor Scout uniform with FalseHope, and we cosplayed Sailor Venus and  Sailor Jupiter for the May MCM Comicon in London. We went to Ireland in July, have spent a fair amount on our new flat [washing machine, oven, painting, sofa…. you get the picture]. I came to realise that I was experiencing a sort of depression that I didn’t really want to face, so did things around it to avoid going to the doctors [rejoined the gym, got a bike, got that new job]. In between everything else that’s been going on I’ve managed to get a fair bit of knitting done, and a fair bit of reading as well. Every year I say to myself that I’m not going to set myself a target for reading a particular number of books, and every year I’ve set said target to 40 since about 2012, I think. And every year I have failed. I got close to it this year, thanks to reading the Sailor Moon manga series, but didn’t quite manage to get there.

So this blog today is a quick review of the best/worst bits of reading/knitting that I’ve done. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be a huge list!

The Book List:

I think it’s safe to say that my favourite stand alone book of last year was “The Martian” by Andy Weir. I connected with it in a way that I haven’t connected with a book for a while, and loved every minute of reading it that I didn’t want it to end. When the film was released I genuinely thought that it was such an excellent adaptation of the book, again loving it.

My favourite series, and here I’m not actually counting the Sailor Moon manga – that’s my favourite series in terms of anime/manga/life obsession – is hard to decide. I started reading “The Lunar Chronicles” which has me entranced, but I haven’t finished the series yet, with “Cress” and “Winter” still to be read. But I also started reading “Pines” which was the series that “Wayward Pines” is based upon, and that was pretty cool too! It is hard to pick just one series, especially as I am looking forward to reading more from other authors as well, such as “Paradigm” author Ceri. A. Lowe – which shows a completely different take on the dystopian future by showing us how it was built, and, potentially, how it’s going to fall. I want that second book now!

There were a couple of books that weren’t so hot last year – “The 100” – Kass Morgan, for instance. I failed to connect to the characters, to care for what was happening to them, for their lives and their survival. This first book also had a rather predictable ending. The TV series certainly gripped me a lot more, and the first series was excellent. I just need to get around to watching the second! I also finished the “Discovery of Witches” trilogy last year, and found that to be on the disappointing side. It was an okay book, but one with a lot of hype and not a lot of delivery – and considering how big it was as well made it even more disappointing!

In total, I read 33/40 books last year. Not bad going, but certainly not to target! Better luck for that for next year! I’ve nearly finished “A Dance with Dragons: Blood and Gold” so at least I’ll have a head start for this years challenge!

The Knitting List:

This year in terms of knitting has been pretty good! I haven’t been too bad on the whole stash acquisition side of things, determining to knit through some of the stash instead. I did acquire a whole bunch of yarn when I got a few coupons from a certain British newspaper for Hobbycraft yarn – in fact I still have some left! But otherwise I’ve been quite good with it all!

Alex got me a yarn winder and swift for Christmas as well, which certainly will make life easier for winding yarn! I took me about 5 hours to wind all three hanks of yarn for my Doodler, possibly even longer! On Christmas Day we had a play with it, and wound a hand dyed sock yarn in about 15 minutes, and a Fyberspates lace yarn in about 30! We did keep stopping and letting the other person have a go with it as well. As Alex said, he has given me the “gift of time” when it comes to my knitting projects! I think I want to unwind every ball of yarn I have to make cakes of yarn! [I am probably going to do this… don’t judge me!].

According to Ravelry, I made 19 items last year. This includes one project that I didn’t finish – which I started at the beginning of the year and was supposed to be a Double Knit scarf – not the weight, but the technique. I wasn’t enjoying the process and the yarn for that one, so I finished the end of one chart, cast off and moved on. I made two pairs of socks, one knee high – the Nightingale Socks, and the other a pair of socks for my mum – the Water for the Elephants socks. Both have gone down a treat, although it embarrasses me to say I haven’t exactly worn my Nightingale socks. Anywhere.

I made a vest that had a pattern error, so that’s been confined to the wardrobe, awaiting a new make. I made plushy toys for my parents for Christmas, and I made one of my best friends a scarf, something that I had been saying I would do for an extremely long time. Sending it took a lot longer than it should have done as well!

This list of projects also includes my first attempt at crochet, where I made a My Little Pony. I was extremely happy with that, and plan to make another one this year. I had simply wanted to see if I could do crochet, and understand the terms. It’s one of those things that will take a small while to get used to, but there will definitely be more crochet in my future.

My most used yarn for the last year was Hobbycraft’s “The Women’s Institute” yarn, which is just lovely. It’s one of those yarns that doesn’t come across as acrylic. It’s super soft, has excellent drape, and is just so lovely to work with. 9 of my 19 projects used this yarn. Other yarns included 2 projects using King Cole Tinsel, King Cole Dazzle, some Hayfield DK, Noro Silk Garden and my favourite shawl of all time [so far, I haven’t finished that Doodler yet!] was made with CountessAblaze yarn.

So, that’s a brief round up of my year as a whole really. It’s been a busy one! Next year I have a few things that I want to do:

– Learn to dye my own yarn using acid dyes.
– Make something using my sewing machine for every day wear rather than the cosplay/ learn to use properly!
– Try and get to the miraculous 40 books figure!
– Start saving/planning my wedding.
– Blog once a week

These aren’t resolutions, or anything like that. There are things that I know I have to do in the new year like loose weight, take going to the gym more seriously, sort out my spending habits and all that. I’m making a planner rather than buying a diary so I can keep track of pretty much everything I do in that sense, I just need to sit down and work out what is going to work for me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my year, and I hope that you have a great one too! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, through the highs and the lows, through the crafting and the books. I appreciate every follow, like, and comment I get, and hope to increase my social media presence in the coming year as well!

Happy New Year folks, I hope it brings happiness and health to you,

Kialtho
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