End of Semester; Start of Craftiness

Knitting Projects

Ah! It is that wonderful time of the year when I have finished all my assignments and study for the semester, and studying for the year is over! I have time for more craft projects and studying of the arty and crafty kind, the librarian learning now takes a back seat for a short while. Knitting has been my craft of choice the last few days, above you can see the projects that are active on my needles at the moment. There has been progress on Miss Winkle (four more loops) and the socks, just not a huge amount! Links to the patterns/designer:

The middle project, Levnadslust, which means ‘joy of living’ in Swedish is absolutely stunning! I admire Madeleine’s (the designer behind Yarn-Madness) eye for style and detail. If you haven’t seen her work, visit her Ravelry page or her own website to view her designs. I’ve added so many to my Ravelry favourites list! I’m knitting Levnadslust with Cleckheaton Bamboo, which is sadly discontinued. I wish I had bought more of it while it was still in production. Yes, this yarn comes from my deep stash. I’ve knitted the first of two shoulders for the pattern and have just started the second. This will be my first hand-knit garment (aside from socks, shawls and scarves) so I am quite excited! A picture of Levnadslust is below, used with permission from the designer.

Levnadslust

 

Other than busily knitting, I’ve been doing a bit of reading. Lately I have felt like I have been ignoring the spiritual side of myself so I set about looking for ways to fulfil that side of me. Browsing the local library’s ebooks, I came across some books by Deepak Chopra and remembered how much I had enjoyed his writing in the past. I’m currently listening to ‘What Are You Hungry For‘ which is about weight loss but also personal fulfilment. It has really resonated with me so far, especially the sections about how eating can sometimes be an attempt to fill the empty places inside. I definitely do that – I’m all about comfort eating! When I feel sad or lonely, I often reach for a peanut butter sandwich or some chocolate (or even peanut butter chocolate!) instead of acknowledging what I am feeling and doing something about it. Other than eating! I need to lose a bit of weight, so I’m hoping Deepak’s book will help me shift the pounds for good and fill those empty spaces with something other than food.

Earlier in the year I set myself a challenge to read 100 books this year. So far I have read 43, quite a bit shorter than the goal, mainly due to being busy with university work. Now that I have more free time, I’m going to try my best to reach my goal of 100 books! I have allowed myself to count fiction and non-fiction books plus audio-books, but would like to include more fiction. One of my most favourite authors is Connie Willis; I have devoured all of her books that I can find. I also enjoy ‘cozy-mysteries’ of the cat kind; mystery novels that have feline sleuths or some other kind of cat help! Favourite authors of that genre include Rita Mae BrownShirley Rousseau Murphy and Lilian Jackson Braun. I’m also a fan of the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton, who is also known for being the creator of the delightful Hamish Macbeth character.

I’m currently looking for a new fiction read and am open to recommendations!

What's On Your Table – Tuesday.

I’m a little late for What’s On Your Table – Tuesday, this week. Better late than never, hey? Today I went to the library and borrowed a fun stack of books.

1. Villette by Charlotte Bronte.

2. 300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects by Linda Schapper.

3. Retro Knits by Kari Cornell & Jean Lampe, editors.

4. Knitty Gritty Knits by Vicki Howell.

I was going to borrow a couple of copies of Simply Knitting magazine, but the other local knitters had beaten me to it! Maybe next time. For something a little different, I’ll share the first two paragraphs of Villette, you may want to read it, too! You can download the whole book from Project Gutenburg, if you’re really keen.

My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town
of Bretton. Her husband's family had been residents there for
generations, and bore, indeed, the name of their birthplace--Bretton
of Bretton: whether by coincidence, or because some remote ancestor
had been a personage of sufficient importance to leave his name to his
neighbourhood, I know not.

When I was a girl I went to Bretton about twice a year, and well I
liked the visit. The house and its inmates specially suited me. The
large peaceful rooms, the well-arranged furniture, the clear wide
windows, the balcony outside, looking down on a fine antique street,
where Sundays and holidays seemed always to abide--so quiet was its
atmosphere, so clean its pavement--these things pleased me well.

~ Villete by Charlotte Bronte.

I’m really looking forward to reading this book. I love the Bronte sister’s work. Treats for the imagination with such extraordinary imagery conveyed by their talented use of words.

You have Mail – Crafty Mail

Yay, a brand new mem to join in! Visit the lovely and talented Julia at Daisy Girl Adventures to join in on You have Mail – Crafty Mail!

I haven’t received anything crafty in the mail lately,  so as we can also use crafty things that we have bought, I thought I would use my collection of Golden Hands books (18 in the series) that cover knitting, dressmaking and needlecraft. I love the  range of projects and the graphics used throughout the books.

The series was published in the late 60s and early 70s. I was very excited when I saw the complete set at a secondhand book sale! I plan on using the books to learn new knitting & crochet stitches as well as to guide me as I learn to use my sewing machine. There are some good step-by-step guides and pattern tips which I hope will make things a little clearer.

Have you received some crafty mail or purchased crafty goods? Join in!

Miniature and Mini-Books. Part 1.

I love books. Books on all kinds of things; cooking, crafts, fiction, picture books and so many more. I collect a few different types, one I have already mentioned is Retro Craft and Cooking books. Another, is mini-books or miniature books. Most of these books, according to those in know, are less than 3 inches tall. I have a couple in that size range and some that are about 3.8 inches tall. I’m going to feature those books, plus share some interesting links in a series of posts.

The first is titled Gardens. It is 3.8 inches tall and was published in 1995. The reason why it is one of my favourite mini-books is due to the gorgeous pop-ups and the tiny envelope with gift card which allows you to sign the book if you give it as a gift. I found my copy at a second-hand book sale and it is one of my favourites. You can see images of this mini-book below.


I found some lovely links about miniature and mini-books, and will share them throughout this series. The first batch are below. Enjoy!

Books Are Good

Books are good. Very, very good.

I collect retro craft and cooking books and especially love to find books that have an inscription, notes, pieces of paper marking pages etc. One such book is below. It is ‘Modern Gelatine Cookery’ and has an inscription to Elizabeth from her Mama and was given as a present at Christmas in 1973. I like to find books like this and keep them cherished.

My Place & Yours: Bedside

The theme this week for ‘My Place & Yours‘ is bedside. What fun!

Bedside
I use vintage aprons to hide the storage shelves next to my bed as they hold things like sheets and towels; not too interesting visually, at times. Vintage aprons are much better to look at.

Bedside 2
Currently I am reading “The Grand Complication” by Allen Kurzweil. Quite exciting, it is. I have a list of things I want to research after reading this book. Things like secret enclosures and palanquins.
The retro-style clock is from my parents, I love the style of it. You can also see some of my retro-ish jewelry collection (inc. pink squirrel brooch), my ring collection (minus one or two), a dear little french knitting doll and my current favourite scent: ‘Sugar Cookie’ by Demeter.