Karin invited me back for a second guest post, and I am honored to accept. I have to confess that I have been relatively quiet on the crafting front since the last time I was here, mostly because I started graduate school and, more recently, a new job as a high school librarian. I will graduate in May with my Master of Library Science, and I hope that my writing and crafting will return full force. Until then, I thought I’d share a bit of what I have been up to – at least, as much as I can since some of it is a surprise for Karin as well.
Knitting is still my primary crafty hobby. Funny enough, I recently finished the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl I talked about in my first post nearly two years ago (yikes). The pictures aren’t as good this time, mostly due to lack of light and the use of my cell phone camera. That said, I’m really happy with the results, and my daughter is in love with it.
The colors on the left are closer, but the right shows off the pattern a bit. I still love stranded colorwork, but I’m taking a break from it to work on a scarf for a wonderful friend who is going through a rough time. You know it’s love because it’s the Traveling Scarf, which requires me to do not one but two provisional cast-ons, one for each end. Then I’ll be knitting the long stockinette middle bit. Provisional cast-on is true love, people. Because it’s a work-in-progress, the picture is also a bit of a WIP, but I love the colorway and the lace pattern:
Earlier this year, I went on a pillow cover-making kick, though I sent all the results to other friends because my dogs are not kind to furniture or blankets or pillows. They are somewhat therapeutic to make, though, and I like the idea of making something that is actually used on a daily basis (even if it’s for decoration). This is one of them:
Beyond knitting, I did some cross stitch over the last year, some sweet and some profane, which is kind of a perfect description of me in general.
(That last one is a bit of a spoiler and was the first time I ever cross stitched on linen. Hide your eyes, Karin! Oh, wait….)
I’ve been writing a lot this year, but I’ve been focused primarily on fanfiction. There are three stories I want to finish, and all three are getting very close. My original novel characters are also coming along and poking at me, insisting I make some changes. It’s going to mean a significant rewrite of my first draft, but I’m actually very excited to get started with it.
Karin dragged me kicking and screaming (I never exaggerate) into a couple other fandoms, namely Drarry fanfiction (she’s too good at writing them) and Stargate SG-1, which I had somehow never watched. We’ve been binging together when we can, which isn’t as often as it once was, and I even wrote her an SG-1 Daniel/Jack story for her birthday this year. Like all the characters I write, they refused to stop talking, so there is more of it forthcoming (and I may even be convinced to publish it online at some point … if I get brave enough).
Other than what crafting and writing I’ve managed to do, I’ve spent the year reading series, mostly young adult fantasy. My most recent favorites are the Parasol Protectorate, Finishing School, and the Custard Protocol by Gail Carriger (as well as the novellas, like Romancing the Werewolf – looooove Biffy and Lyall); Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab; and the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I love world-building and character development, and all three of these authors deliver without fail.
I just started the last book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, and I am dragging my feet with finishing it – not because I’m not enjoying it, but because I don’t want it to end! It’s set in modern day Virginia, and the characters are compelling and easy to both love and hate. It’s a mix of prep school boys and psychic women, all mixed up with ley lines, dreamers, magicians, and ancient Welsh kings. If urban fantasy is at all your thing, pick this series up (hell, even if it isn’t your thing, but you like dynamic characters).
In between fantasy series, I’ve read some stand-alone books (well, some have sequels coming). Ones that I’d definitely recommend are: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, Solo by Kwame Alexander, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, and Strange the Dreamer by Lainie Taylor. Next up, I’m finishing The Raven King, then reading Dear Martin by Nic Stone and Autoboyography by Christina Lauren … or, at least, that’s the plan. Really, grad school starts back up on January 8, so I’m about to be buried under work again, but that’s a worry for another day….
Thanks for reading!