Do you ever crave certain types of knitting? Do some seasons
make you turn towards socks, or big bright colors? This past fall I was
desperately craving something worsted. Without realizing it, I’ve tended
towards fingering weight (I mean, more yardage for the money…). But sometimes
you just need something cozy. That was how I felt when I knit the Golden Hour
Even though it was the middle of August, I was ready for Fall.
I was tired of the heat; tired of the bugs. Everyone was gearing up to go back
to school, and here I was with the same old schedule. I was tired and feeling
uninspired with all my current projects. Somehow, I felt drawn to the Golden
Hour Shawl. The chunky weight, bobbles, and colorwork seemed comfortable.
Rustic, even. Autumnal. Turns out, it
was just what I needed.
The Golden Hour Shawl is an Andrea Mowry pattern that features baubles, lace, and color play. It calls for 3 colors of a worsted weight yarn. The pattern, quite simply, is a joy to knit. I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a pattern so much. Even the colorwork sections were way easier than they looked. They utilize a slip stitch pattern so you’re only ever working with one strand of yarn. I love that this shawl is worsted weight too. It gives it such a homey feel, and I don’t find the finished product heavy at all.
The most challenging aspect of the Golden Hour Shawl was
making sure that I kept my floats loose during the two-color sections. I tend
to pull too tight, which can cause the fabric to pucker, or pop one color too far
forward. I had to remind myself to slow down, relax, and carry the yarn gently to
keep the floats night and loose.
I used Berroco Vintage in Slate, Gingham, and Pumpkin for my version of the Golden Hour Shawl. Since I was a bit more adventurous with color than usual (Orange? Me?), I was a little wary of throwing down a huge chunk of change. What if I didn’t like the finished colors all together. I shouldn’t have worried. The colors look great together in the finished shawl.
I love how the shawl feels too. Vintage might not get a lot of respect as a “budget” yarn, but I think it’s a solid yarn! I was happy with the colors, happy with the finished fabric, and happy with the quality. The price was just icing on the cake!
I would love to make this shawl again in other colors. Maybe
some earthy greens? Throw in a nice mustard yellow? It would look great done
all in neutrals! If you’re looking for an engaging comfort knit, the Golden
Hour Shawl is the way to go!
What do you like to knit when you’re feeling uninspired? What
speaks to you?
As I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now, I am a sucker for reading lists. I enjoy putting together my seasonal reading lists and now, thanks to Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy, I am working on a year long reading list. Anne has curated a wonderful set of prompts for a twelve book 2018 Reading Challenge. Twelve books means I could read one for each month, but it’s already February and I haven’t touched any of the books of my list! Don’t worry, I read fast!
I have chosen my books for all but two of my categories of my 2018 Reading Challenge. The two categories still to be determined are:
-A book nominated for an award in 2018
-A book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller
The first category is obvious, because not a lot of award nominations have gone on yet, so I can’t possible choose. The second category means I might actually have to talk to a librarian or indie bookseller, so I’m going to bench that for a while. I’m contemplating going down to The Wild Detectives in the Bishop Arts District for my recommendation, but I haven’t decided.
For the rest of the categories, I have made my decisions and I am excited to share them. Of course, If you have other ideas for the categories, I’d love to hear them. Good recommendations are always appreciated.
The options for this category are fairly daunting, to say the least. I thought about reading Frankenstein, because I’ve never actually read it all the way through. I still might. However, I was was more excited by the idea of reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Somehow I missed reading this book as a child. I think perhaps it was labelled as some form of Not for Christian Children reading, but I’m really not sure. I just know that I’m late to the game. Even The Hubs has read this book before me(This is shocking.). It’s being made into a movie that will come out later this year, so I want to read it before I get to many preconceived ideas about it. I just got the email that my hold is in at the library for it, so maybe I’ll even start this one today!
This might be cheating, since the recommendation didn’t come personally. However, Shauna Niequist posted on Facebook about how much she appreciated Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and I thought to myself…she has good taste. I’ve seen this book recommended by others as well. In fact, Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy listed it as an honorable mention in her favorite books of 2017 blog post. She has pretty good taste too, so I think that I can use her and Shauna combined for this category. I have no reference point going into this book, but I’m excited to try it.
I was confused by this category at first so I had to ask. Apparently, A Book in Translation means a book that has been translated from it’s original language. Thankfully, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman fell into this category. But honestly, I’m really reading this because Bobbi at Knit Night can’t stop singing it’s praises. She also falls into the Someone with Great Taste category, and she has recommended A Man Called Ove so warmly that I knew I’d have to read it at some point this year.
Am I late to the party here? All the sudden it seems like everyone knows who Rupi Kaur is and I don’t. I see her little books everywhere. They must be popular, because I feel like I’ve been on my library’s hold list for MONTHS waiting for this book. I could read it for free through their digital loans, but I don’t want to. Poetry books rely so much on structure and line spacing and sometimes Kindle books mess that up. Nope, I need to read this one in print, so maybe in July when it’s finally on hold for me I’ll let you know how it goes.
Not to boast, but this is a very broad category for me. I’ve always been an extremely fast reader, even growing up. My father didn’t believe me. He thought I was skimming. He would make me read a page I’d never read before, time me, and quiz me about it’s contents. I won. So I just picked a shorter seeming book and put it in this slot. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart was recommended to my by two people on facebook, one of which was my old elementary school librarian/babysitter. Girlfriend doesn’t mess around, so I knew I could count on this book to be not only quick, but entertaining.
This is also a bit of a classic. I’m getting real literary here. I’ve read Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck like just about every American high schooler, but I’ve never looked at his other works. I am, of course, aware of the Grapes of Wrath (I’ve seen Veggies Tales, I mean, come on). But I never would have chosen to read East of Eden without a recommendation. One of my very closest friends growing up recommended this to me. She was my literary buddy in high school, the person who could talk about Pride and Prejudice with me and also John Green books. So when she recommends a book, I listen. I’m suspecting Steinway will be depressing, but not like Hemingway depressing. I may save it for a summer read.
I mentioned him earlier, but I absolutely love John Green’s writing. His characters talk like real teens. His books are witty and funny and painful and deep. When The Hubs was trying to woo me, he read John Green books just to talk about them with me. I have had a copy of Turtles All the Way Down since Christmas, but I’m afraid to start it because I want to be in the right head space for it. I don’t want to be distracted and frazzled and read it in snippets. I want to go through it slowly and savor it. So I’m holding onto it for a little bit longer, and when the time is right, I’ll read it.
I actually got this book through a paperback book exchange at a party. I was a little bit leery of it, because books about Native Americans have a tendency to go so terribly wrong. When I was in college, I spent a lot of time studying pre-American Revolution Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and talking to several Mohawk artists. One of the things I studied was how their history gets twisted for American storytelling purposes(the Indian Princess trope and things like that), so I try to be really sensitive about how they’re portrayed in film and literature. So until I found out that Sherman Alexie was Native American himself, I wasn’t sure I was going to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Now that I’ve done a little research on it, I’m more excited to give it a try.
A Memoir, Biography or Book of Creative Non-Fiction
This is probably my biggest departure from my regular reading style on my 2018 reading challenge. I could have done the easy thing and put Hamilton’s biography into this section. Instead, we are going to tackle the Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee. I’ve seen Justin Lee through a couple post-evangelical bloggers I read. He is well spoken and able to navigate the complexities of both Christianity and Homosexuality. I have never ready anything of his, though. I suspect it will be difficult, but worth slogging through.
A Book By an Author of a Different Race, Ethnicity, or Religion than Your Own
I love this category. This is what makes the reading challenge more of a challenge. It forces you to pick outside your comfort zone. For this category, I chose Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. This was another Modern Mrs. Darcy recommendation. I thought it would be good to read a book by an Indian author as well (even though she was born in London and raised in the US). I have worked for the past 2 years with Indians and for Indian clients. I know some of their quirks but very little of their culture (though, much like American Indians, they are too geographically diverse to really sum up as one culture). I thought this book might help on that point, and besides, I’ve heard it’s excellent.
Are you doing any reading challenges this year? Think I should have picked something different for my categories? Let me know! I love adding new books to my want-to-read list!
Oh my goodness, it’s November already. October was such a whirlwind. I spent a lot of time putting together our fantastic Halloween costumes and trunk for my church’s annual Trunk or Treat, so October flew by. I’ve been super excited to share with you everything that we did for Halloween. With getting married last November, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about Halloween last year. I was glad to get back to it again.
This year’s Halloween theme was from the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you haven’t seen the movie, you totally should. It’s not as good as Harry Potter (because what is?) but it’s still delightful and charming and cute. The Hubs immediately took to Newt Scamander, because he is a fellow Softie Towards Animals, and also because his clothes were cool. So we just took the theme and ran with it!
Newt Scamander’s Costume
The Hub’s costume is made up of a LOT of parts, and we even skipped a few. In total, the costume included:
You have already seen the Hufflepuff Scarf, so you know that I made that. I also made the vest using the Butterick B6502 Pattern. I say that I made it, but really my mom provided a lot of help. We simplified the pattern by not making real pockets, and we only did 4 button holes rather than 6 to give The Hubs a little wiggle room. The coat and bow tie are both by elope, which you can find either on Amazon or Ebay. The tweed pants were bought off Poshmark, and hemmed. The wand was also from Amazon. The suitcase was a gift from my Grandpa and I have been using it to store yarn. It made a great candy holder on Halloween
I mentioned skipping some parts of the costume, and that mainly refers to the suit jacket that Newt wears under his coat. Some fine sleuths online had discovered that the jacket is in fact NOT the same material as the pants(though still tweed) and we were worried that it would be too bulky under the coat. I also skipped a few embellishments on the vest, due to time constraints.
Porpentina Goldstein’s Costume
My costume was much simpler to deal with. I chose to use Tina’s flapper look. To do so, I used:
The dress is an Adrianna Papell beaded dress off Ebay. I added the signature strappy bits myself using a sequenced elastic that I folded in half and hot glued (because I’m classy light that!). The shoes were on sale at Payless a few weeks ago (and they’re 3 1’2″! Yikes!). The wig is the Skyelar Classic wig from Arda Wigs in Deep Brown. I paid one of my friends who used to be a hairdresser to trim the wig for me. The wand is make from a clearance knitting needle, clay and acrylic paint
Oh gosh the trunk. This is where my crazy really comes out. The trunk actually came out looking pretty close to my vision, and meshed elements of Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter. I spent about a month collecting paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make my floating candles a la this tutorial. They were a little precarious as first, but we found that taping the invisible thread to the sides of the candles helped to stabilize it. I was glad we had our candles, because as the night got darker, they helped us to see the balls for our little quiddich game.
Most Trunk or Treats recommend that you have a game for kids to play at your trunk. This is mostly to:
entertain the children; and
slow the stream of candy.
We chose to make little quiddich hoops for the kids to throw balls into. I bought a three pack of bug nets and cut the nets off. We stuck the nets into tin flower pots filled with concrete. This worked out really well, since the bug nets could still telescope and we could vary the heights of the hoops. It would also work great for quiddich pong, which I’ve definitely never played. And yeah, we totally used ping pong balls for this game. They can be found at Dollar Tree.
Other trunk additions included in our trunk was a plush niffler on a pile of gold, and some silver occamy eggs. I also made a bowtruckle using floral wire and tape (also from the dollar tree). The tutorial can be found here. Finally, I included a Monster Book of Monsters, which is more Harry Potter than Fanstastic Beasts, but it was fun to make. There’s lots of tutorials out there, but I used this one. Most of the other embellishments to my trunk were printed from the internet.