#FridayReads & WIPs

It’s time for the weekly round up! I got a little flustered in my goals. But you know, what’s new? I do it to myself. I checked over two dozen books out at the library a few weeks ago. Go figure, I’m still in the midst of them. I’ve been doing my darndest to knock them out, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. I found out that three books couldn’t be renewed because others had placed holds on them. It set me up for utter failure. I have one I could finish tonight [i.e., The Book Thief], because it’s YA and I can just listen to the baseball game while Dr. M is out devouring yummy seafood. We’ll see – my bed also looks lonely and I might have to doze off in it.

The other two novels are not “cramming in” novels. They were both solid looking, and I didn’t want to short change the experience. So, I’ll return them and request them at another time.

Still, I finished a good deal. I’ve been working on The Warmth of Other Suns. Friends – there are no words. It’s amazing. Pick this up! A macro and micro look at The Great Migration, and an inspection on how the United States is still [STILL] wrestling with the aftermath of slavery. I’ll freely admit, I have to read it in small chunks because some of the brutality of Jim Crow is overwhelming. Still, a must read.

Sophia and I finished Little Farm in the Ozarks, the second of the historical fiction series of Rose Wilder. I read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, a mystery novel based in England but traverses all sorts of time and location. It was wonderful, and I read it in a day, it was that captivating. I also finished One Plus One by JoJo Meyes. This I picked up because I had read You Before Me; please know, you will bawl your eyes out on that one. One Plus One was good, too, just in a different way.

The other novel I stumbled upon this week was The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I grabbed it because it was the NYT Bestseller’s List, and thought, “Why not?”

Why not, indeed? It turns out that the heart of this novel is set in Charleston, SC. Ahh, caught your attention, didn’t I? It’s about the abolitionist & feminist Sarah Grimke, and a historical fiction read on her evolution of coming from the upper caste of Charleston society to a fuller understanding of how vile and obscene slavery was. She eventually turns Quaker, and is a speaker and writer against the institution of slavery. Of course, my interest is peaked – it’s set in a city I’m slowly beginning to call my own, wrestling with a topic that I don’t think even the city itself has come to terms with, and is highlighting an obscure figure in history, Denmark Vesey, who as a free man attempted a slave revolt and paid with his life. Handful “Hetty” Grimke’s parallel story as Sarah Grimke’s slave is riveting, surrounded by her mother, Vesey, and her sister, Sky. It can be a hard read at some points. Hmm, but that’s the point right there, isn’t it?

*Just a side note: A few of these following novels came from The Modern Mrs. Darcy, and her wonderful Summer Reading List; see here: http://modernmrsdarcy.com/2014-summer-reading-guide/ . The amount of work this blogger has done to give her readers a wonderfully compact yet diverse list of reading material is incredible. Based on her recommendation alone, I added all of these to my own To-Read list and am slowly working through them. Trust me, there is something for everyone here!

Friends, all of this, thanks to the local library. Oh man, do I love our branch?!

All of this, thanks to the local library. Oh man, do I love CCPL!

As far as knitting goes, I’m honing in. I have a tendency to write and DO ALL THE THINGS! Sometimes, it pays off. Other times, it leaves me incredibly overwhelmed and feeling like I’m falling behind. This last week, I just focused on one major thing that seems to just take forever. It has an official end date, and has to be ready to be shipped out at a certain time, and I just need to focus. So, I’m doing that. I finished Dr. M’s other tie, and then said “No more!”

You know, until next week.

I’ve also been checking out the dish cloths on Knit Picks; they’ve been posting free knit patterns, and in the effort to learn new patterns, I’d been practicing on those. I finished the “Pip Stitch” one this week. I’ll have to say, this is my favorite one by far. It has grooves to actually clean, super cute, incredibly practical. I might just stop and make all my dish rags like this from now on.

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What did you all read out there this week? Given my wait lists at the library and the ever changing NYT Bestseller’s List, I know there’s been some serious reading going on – let me know what it is!

Looks like we made it [a new iPad cover, that is]

You know those weeks where you have wonderful, great intentions and silly life gets in the way of you accomplishing a million, gazillion things?

That was this week.

In the win column, Sophia started school, had a wonderful week with her new teacher, and I got her to school on time. Yea!

In the “meh” column, Gabe is [still] working on two big, fat molars, we think he’s sick with something else a big more dramatic, and due to both of the previously mentioned issues, decided to pull a handful of midnight wake up calls.

I am a horrible, rotten person without a full nights sleep. Add that sound reason to the ever growing, why we are not having anymore children list. *Full nights of wonderful, glorious sleep* Done.

So, the house has gone to rot. Thankfully, Dr. M loves a clean house so he steps up and does dishes and picks up and all the wonderful things that pile up quick with four humans. I decided to knit anyway my frustration and tiredness, and make a couple of things for myself.

They don’t mention when you start a new hobby that people will really, really want them to knit you things. So you make blankets and hats and scarfs and everything else for everyone else, and months go by and other people have things that you made, and you have none.

It’s all good. I just wanted something for me.

I decided I wanted a new iPad sleeve. The one currently in use is fine. It’s black, it holds the iPad up when needed, it’s utilitarian. Did I mention, it’s … fine?

Mine might be a bit less ‘useful’, but it looks nice. I also learned how to Seed Stitch appropriately; I had learned the basics of the stitch a while ago, but not the little things that make it looks seamless and nice and cozy. Also, glass cover – protected. That’s all that really matters.

I started with this basic pattern, literally called Simple iPad Cover [http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-ipad-cover]. It’s stockinette, it has no flap, and is easy to knit up.

Unless you try to do it late at night, mess up a row, not realize it, and then keep moving on. So, then you’re frogging and you’re frustrated and you give up.

The next morning brings wonderful things, though, like the idea of making it with the Seed Stitch. So bumpy, so stretchy. So adorable.

You’re going to work the front of it first, but not know how to change colors, so you’ll have bumps in color change rows. And that’s … okay. But as you go further along, you’re not satisfied. Not frogging unsatisfied, but unsatisfied. So then you’ll google around, and find a way to do it better. [See this lovely video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyrS6drPZtE%5D

So you’ll go along, and realize you also don’t know how to appropriately bind off when knitting in Seed Stitch. So, you’ll google things again, and find the best way [See also, this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z41dK7TSvWk%5D

You already know how to knock out buttonholes, but you’ll watch the video over and over to make sure you really know how to cable cast on. And you do. Yea! [See this, if you’d like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY4vBzLo-Xs%5D

And after a couple of days, you’ll get this …

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See what I mean, about the bumps? I’m not super worried about it, but I knew there could be better. And I was right!

I’m mostly impressed with myself. Considering I’d severely adjusted a pattern, kind of winged it, and you know … novice knitter and all.

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And there it is … knitting one row before beginning the seed stitch pattern worked. Perfect!

And so, there it is. A new iPad cover, a happy first grader, and an almost better toddler who is in love with modern medicine & ibuprofen. Anything creative going on out there? Anything you’d suggest on knitting? Throw it at me, and feel free to comment below!