Monday, 15 January 2018

Stitch'n Time - Heads up on current project

I have been having such fun with this project.  Even though I designed the pattern and totally understand the concept of knitting and purling, it still amazes me to watch the image come to life.   The part that was giving me the most worry, was how the face would turn out.  It didn't have to  resemble the baby's father, but it did need to look human.  I am so pleased with the results.  Yes, he does rather have a grimace on his face, but remember that he is hoisting a massive amount of weight on that barbell.
It will be exciting to pass this along to my son to gift to his friend.  You will get to view overall photos once it has been delivered.

I have a few more inches to stitch and then I'll give it a gentle wash, pin it out and let it dry.

As this project draws near to close, I have been thinking of what to work on next.  I do have another unfinished knit afghan as well as a crocheted one that needs the blocks stitched together and then a border added.  Then again, there is that new ball of yarn destined to become a hat....

Today I have a rather fun experience at work.  I know it isn't mainly stitching related, but I do want to share.  One of the librarians from the school that our store adopted in the fall came in to purchase books with the donated money.  She has a lot of buying to do as our store and customers raised well over $7000.00.  That equated to approximately 700 new books for their school library.  Today she selected 88.  One of the books was a knitting instructional book.  The librarian said that when she loans it out, she is going to include a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn.  The children from that school are generally not well off and there is no sense in borrowing a knitting book if you don't have supplies.  How thoughtful of her.   I'm going to look through my supplies and select some for her.  Who knows, perhaps the kids will start a knitting club at their school.

Thanks for joining me for Stitch'n Time.  I'll be back again next Monday with my next project.

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Stitch'n Time - All New for a New Year

Welcome to my inaugural post for Stitch'n Time.  It was a hard decision to retire Needlework Tuesday, but it needed to be done.  Frequent readers realize that along with my needlework posts, I also read a lot and post reviews of those books.  What I didn't know when I started my needlework column, is that new books are traditionally released on Tuesdays.  Now that I am a book seller, I thought it was important for me to be able to post related reviews on their date of release.

Stitch'n Time will be a work in progress.  Mostly I will be sharing my needlework progress on an assortment of techniques and projects.  I would like to add a few tutorials as well as group projects/challenges.  Details on those are still very loose.  What will never change is the encouragement I get from my readers .  I love your comments as they boost me along and keep my moving forward.  Also returning will be Mister Linky so that readers can add a link to their current needlework post.

I hope that you will join me on Mondays for Stitch'n Time.

With all the extra hours I worked over the holidays, I didn't have much time for stitching.  Sure, I buried a few yarn ends and knit a row or two, but no major amounts of progress were made.  It's just in the past few days that I've had a chance to spend a notable block of time knitting.

I have been focused on this baby blanket.  The little boy is getting bigger, but this is an oversized blanket, so it won't be a problem.  He is still in the baby category so it will still count as a baby gift.

For new visitors, the dad is a body builder and my son asked me to make a blanket with that theme.  When I couldn't find a suitable pattern, I designed my own starting an online open image.  Shown in this image is the torso up to the underarm area.  I am really pleased with how this is turning out.  I'll keep you updated with my progress.

Since I haven't had a needlework post in a few weeks, feel free to add your linky to your recent stitch'n posts from the past few weeks.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Fairy Mom and Me by Sophie Kinsella

Fun early chapter book.

Her mother is a fairy and Ella can't wait to be just like her.  One of her favourite activiites is to watch while her mothers works on her online fairy classes.  Ella loves those classes and finds them useful when her mother has trouble working any of her spells (which happens far too often).

This would be a great selection for mothers and daughters to read together.  Ella and her mother are very supportive of each other.  They encourage the other to do her best and never make fun nor tease when something does't go well or as planned.

The story of Ella and her mom has the stamp of approval of author Sophie Kinsella's own children.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Everless by Sara Holland

Jules Ember is just an ordinary 17 year old girl in her tiny village.  She helps her father in any way to support the two of them.  But unknown to anyone else, Jules has a unique and scary talent, she can stop time.  She can freeze the world around her, though she doesn't know how or why.  As it turns out, there are more secrets surrounding her.  The only way to figure them out is to infiltrate the Gerling estate where she once lived with her father as a child before they were run out of town.

Everless is an old kingdom ruled by a queen said to be over 500 years old.  Not an impossible feat when you consider that blood is equivalent to time.  A person can sell years of their life by extracting their blood and using alchemy to turn it into coin.

Jude senses that she is connected with the Gerlings and their time wealth.  She hopes she can find out how before they capture and punish her.

This is a brilliantly written debut novel by author Sara Holland.  She has created a country where alchemy affects the lives of all  I was pulled into the story and Jule's life from the first pages.  I was so captivated by her plight that I actually felt as though I was creeping along the darkened servants passages with her.  I also questioned with her, how the Gerlings could have so many riches, while the common fold were so poor that they would even sell the last of their lives so that they could care for their families. The descriptions of the estate and the towns were so realistic I could almost see the snow covered streets with the smoke curling from the chimneys.

There is a great cast of characters.  From Jules fellow servants, the towns people, to the royals, they all came to life for me and I quickly liked may of them.

This book would not let me go.  I stayed up late reading and found myself early up the next morning to continue.  My only regret in finishing is that I now have to wait for book to to read further about Jules adventures in her quest to learn about her mysterious past.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Wow, I was so totally immersed in this tale that I was beginning to forget it was fiction.  I loved the characters both human and faery.  Their emotions, love, hate and jealousy made them seem real.

Jude has spent the past ten years trying to fit in and make herself be accepted by the faery.  Her two sisters seem to have found their places and made some sort of peace with General Madoc, the faery who murdered their parents, abducted them and then continued to raise them as his own beloved children.  Jude still struggles against his boundaries and the cruelty of her classmates, particularly that of Price Cardan.  Things take a drastic turn when she finally  decides to stand up for herself.

The play off between the faery and humans kept me guessing at what would happen next.  I quickly suspected that the motivation of these actions varied from faery to faery, though why seemed very personal to each.  Madoc's second wife, Oriana was a surprisingly wonderful addition to the cast.  It was hard to determine whether she was the classic wicked step-mother or something else entirely. 

Author Holly Black wove a wonderful tale that took the reader far beyond it's dramatic beginning.  She never let up on the appeal to the emotions of her readers until the last words were read.  I couldn't help but cheer on Jude in her antics and urge her sisters to both grow more of a backbone.  I look forward to reading more about these characters in book two of The Folk of the Air.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc., in exchange for an honest review.

Cover image courtesy Hachette Book Group.


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Christmas Stockings

Generally speaking, I am not one for using the same pattern again and again.  That being said, there are a very few that find their way to my attention repeatedly.  The fittens that I knit all year long and the Christmas stocking pattern that I have used at least 6 times.  I might have mail ordered it or purchased it at a craft show about twenty-five years ago.   I haven't found a new one that I like better, so I keep using the basic pattern and adapt it as desired.  This year I added a stylised barbell.  It's for my son's house mate who is an accomplished body builder.
Christmas stocking with stylised barbell for a body builder

Shown are the versions of the stocking that are at my house as of today.  I have already talked about the red one on the left.  On the extreme right , the cream coloured one is the original version.  very feminine.  I believe it is stitched in a wool blend.  I've probably used it for over 20 years and it still looks wonderful.  The mauve one I made for my sister eight or so years ago.  It is used when she is visiting us for Christmas.  She is not allowed to take it home with her.  The gold coloured one belongs to my daughter.  I didn't have quite enough wool, so added brown to the top and toe as I did with her brother's, the lighter brown stocking.  The mauve, gold and brown wools are all from Briggs and Little, a Canadian east coast wool.

Still missing and yet to be stitched some year, is a new stocking for hubby.  He is still using the gigantic stocking that his mother made him when he was young.  There is a photo somewhere of him as a toddler sitting inside the stocking.

Do you use Christmas stockings at your house?  Have you written a post about them?  It doesn't matter if they are hand made or purchased, if you post is old or new, as a link to the post about your families Christmas stockings to Mister Linky.

Still open from 2012, is the linky for Christmas Tree Skirts

and from 2014 the linky for The Great Advent Calendar Hunt

On to other major news, Needlework Tuesday is moving.  In January it will be replaced with Stitch'N Time which will feature on Mondays.  Now that I am working in book retail, I learned that new books are released on Tuesdays.  Direct conflict with this column so I decided it was time for a change.  I hope that you will join me on Monday, January 8, 2018 for my first Stitch'N Time post.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

 Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Needlework Tuesday - Last Minute Christmas Stocking

 I have to admit that I am having a lot of fun knitting this afghan.  Each row that I stitch reveals a bit more of the design.  I constantly am telling myself, just one more row, okay, maybe two more.

Unfortunately, I have to put this project on a short hold to rush through another.
Son also asked for a stocking for his room mate.  Since they decided on a black and white decorating theme, I wanted to follow through with that.  I am using a basic pattern that I've knit several times before, though I will change the design on the leg to reflect the recipient.  This will knit up quickly in the worsted weight yarn I'm using.

Whew, this is that count down time for gift stitching.  The blanket doesn't have a set deadline since the baby is already arrived.  Of course the stocking needs to be finished ASAP.  Anything else that I have started will be finished when ever.  I learned not to sweat those projects that don't get finished according to a self imposed schedule.  I no longer  stay up till all hours stitching, the miserable feeling the next day isn't worth it.  Recipients of hand made items are willing to wait  a wee bit longer and if they aren't then I don't stitch for them again.  As long as I remember that I stitch for personal fun and enjoyment, then it remains something that brings me joy which is what I want.  I hope that you stay relaxed and let your stitching bring you joy even if you are working toward a deadline.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

 Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post