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Spinning Friday - 2016 Recap

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As I'm trying to get back into the groove of blogging more frequently, I thought I'd revisit my Spinning Fridays with this post on the final Friday of 2016.

Some of you might know that I participated in the 2016 Spin the Bin Challenge over on Ravelry.  I had earmarked a total of 125 oz of fiber to spin and while I did spin a few other braids this year, that 125 oz was what I mainly focused on.

If you are interested in all the various and sundry rovings and fibers that I picked for the challenge, you can visit my Ravelry project page for that here.

Most of what I spun were 4-oz increments, but there were a few 8-oz'ers and a few 4-ozs that I paired together for a larger combospin.  I had a couple of smaller batches too, but not many of those.

Here's all the skeins spun up and ready to have grown-up lives as yarn!



There are individual project pages on Ravelry under my Handspun tab if you want to find out any details about them.  The total yards spun from the bin were 955…

New Podcast Episode (#41 - 12/22/2016) - Happy Holidays!

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Episode 41 is now live (recorded 12/22/2016);



In this episode, I talk about: Trunk Show at Yarn and Coffee in Santa Fe, NM on January 7, 2017. FOs:
Snowdrops Mittens (January kit in the Herbarium Club for color/texture). WIPs:
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine.
Cabled vest project for spring 2017 release. Ongoing KALs:
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017. Spinning/Handspun Yarn:
Superfine merino/alpaca in “Charcoal” from Pigeon Roof Studios.
Oceanwind Knits Stitching:
January Word Play from Thy Needle and Thread. The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium Club (Texture/Color) can be found at the Clubs tab on the…

2017 Reading Challenge - Early Bird Report

I tackled the first week of the 2017 Reading Challenge this weekend - selecting week #43 - a book with a chilling atmosphere, with Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.

I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting with this book - but it wasn't whatever that was.  The Goodreads preview and other summaries of it made it sound like a ghost story or something long hidden in the creepy rooms of Black Rabbit Hall, but it actually was a pretty tame book with a wicked stepmother and her lies, and a family in conflict at the center.  Meh.  Not exactly Flowers in the Attic, but it was definitely on that sort of vibe.  I read it, but don't recommend it; I wanted something more to the story and was left feeling wanting when it was finished.

Next up, I'm reading A Cornish Maid by Rosemary Aitken for week 4: A title that doesn't contain the letter "E".

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. …

2017 Reading Challenge TOPICS

Here are the 2017 Goodreads Around The Year in 52 Books topics I'm planning on tackling for 2017.

I've already got a few picked out, and I already know I'll be using the WildCard option in this year's reading challenge for a couple of the weeks that just don't appeal much to me.

And since it's not like I'm not going to read between now and the end of the year, I'm getting started on the list already!

First up, I've grabbed a book for week #43: A book with a chilling atmosphere, and for this one, I'm reading Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E"
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
8. A book written by a person of color
9. A book in the middle of your To Be …

Podcast Episode 40 and What I'm Working On

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Episode 40 is now live!


In this episode, I talk about: FOs:
Self-striping holiday gift socks. 
Balloon Fiesta Shawl: Pattern is here.Yarn is available here.More information on the KAL is here. WIPs
Sekret mitts and cowl for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. 
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. Ongoing KALs:
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
TBK Sock Club 2016: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017. Handspun Yarn:
SW merino from Two If By Hand in the “Boardwalk” colorway. 
Superfine merino/alpaca in “Charcoal” from Pigeon Roof Studios. Stitching:
The Winter Garden from The Drawn Thread The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater C…

2016 Reading Challenge - DONE!

I'm happy to report I have finished the 2016 reading challenge!  I finished up The Handmaid's Tale last week and that was my final category book for the year.  If you haven't read this one, while I won't say it's a book I "liked", it's definitely one that will stick with me.  Lots of food for thought, and well-written (I like Barbara Atwood in general), but it's creepy and unsettling.  (Note to self, the holiday season is not necessarily the best time to tackle a book on a dystopia.  Plan ahead for that next time.)

My top 3 books for the year:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.Career of Evil/The Silkworm/The Cuckoo's Calling series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling).River of Doubt by Candice Millard. All of which were surprises, and I think that's why I like this yearly challenge.  Books that I wouldn't have necessarily picked up wind up being ones I really enjoyed.  (And I like that the challenge gets me out of my mind-candy rut whi…

New Podcast Episode (and WIP): Episode 39 - November 30, 2016.

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Episode 39 of the Wooly Wonka Fibers podcast is now live:



In this episode, I talk about:

FOs:
Holly Cowl - pattern and yarn pack. Also available from The Yarn Guys. WIPs:
Sekret mitts and cowl for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. 
Self-striping holiday gift socks. 
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. Ongoing KALs:
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
TBK Sock Club 2016: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. Upcoming:Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017. Handspun Yarn:
SW merino from Two If By Hand in the “Boardwalk” colorway. Stitching:
January Word Play by With Thy Needle and Thread. The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium …

Reading Challenge 2016 - Week 48

I'm almost there!

I finished up The Drawing of the Dark a week or so ago for week 21.  A fun read - if you like historical-based fiction/fantasy, you'd likely enjoy this one.  There are a few little hidden tidbits that get revealed as the story goes on (and which I won't spoil here), but the story ties in a legend, powerful magic, mystical creatures, and a battle, all of which revolve around a mysterious old man, a tavern built at the site of a monastery and some well-brewed beer.

I then zipped through Paris Red, a historical fiction read, for week 49 - a book with a great opening line. This story follows a young Victorine Meuret from her days working in a silver-smithing factory to becoming the model and muse of Edouard Manet.  The writing in this one is engaging and lyrical, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  (And it does have a great opening line FWIW.)

And finally, I'm currently reading The Handmaid's Tale for week 48, a dystopia.  I did start this eons ago, …

Reading Challenge - 2016

I finished reading the Novella from a Favorite Genre (week 40's topic): The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens by George R.R. Martin.  I didn't love this - books which require you to read something else to understand what's going on annoy me.  But if you are rabid fan of Game of Thrones, you'll probably love this one.  (Like GOT, I thought even this short novella could have used some editing!).

I also read A Queen in Exile by Sharon Kay Penman for week #51 - Short Story by a Famous Author.  This quick read focused on 12th century Sicily and Queen Constance (who was queen of Sicily and eventually mother to Frederick, the Holy Roman Emperor of the 13th century).  A great read - well-written, interesting, and the kind of historical tidbit I love.

I'm currently reading week 21's Book from The Goodreads Recommendation Page: The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers - and really enjoying it.  A fun story with a bit of adventure and magical things tossed …

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 42

I finished up Secrecy by Rupert Thomas this week.  I'll give this one the Marlon Brando award - it coulda been a contender.  Great plot concept, but it kind of fizzled out at the end.  There was a great suspenseful buildup and then the last 2 chapters were just kind of meh. I wanted to really like this book, but I ... well... just didn't.

This week, I'm reading a Novella from a Favorite Genre (week 40's topic): The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens.  This is in an anthology of short stories (where I will also likely get my Short Story by a Famous Author) about Dangerous Women and titled the same.  This novella is sort of a pre-history of the dragon-riders and the already existing world we know as Game of Thrones (and the remainder of that series).  I'm about halfway through it.  A light read - although I think it helps to have some clue about the world he's already created before reading this one. It makes a lot more sense that way.

I'll …

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 42

Uh... why yes.... there have been a multitude of weeks that have passed between now and the last Reading Challenge update.  Mostly because I haven't been reading much at all.

I went through a mind candy episode right after my surgery where I only read British mysteries, but nothing that really qualified for The Challenge List.

I did finally give up waiting on The Rosie Project from my library.  Instead, for week #20, a book with a first name in the title, I read the next in the Jane Austen mystery series, Jane and the Still-Room Maid.  One of my favorite series, I'm not sure why I stopped reading these, but anyway, that week is accomplished!

I'm kind of going "off-book" (ha - a pun, get it?) here for week 39, a previous suggestion that did not make it onto the list - since, to be honest, I'm not sure what topics were previously suggested and rejected, but I'm going with a "previous suggestion" for a book from another reader.  Currently, I'm …