Well, here we are at the end of January and I’ve already stuffed one of my New Year’s resolutions: not to have more than three knitting projects on the go at any one time.
I was doing really well at first: I had an overdue baby blanket, a rectangular shawl that I cast on in December 2010 and I joined the Through The Loops Mystery Sock KAL. That’s three. Then during a post-Christmas knitterly meet-up, Ling of Socktopus threw me a skein of yarn that I’d been admiring but not dared to bring home with me and said that I could knit them a sample.
So I started that.
And then I felt the sudden urge to change my mind about my colour choices for a pair of colourwork mittens, which resulted in me having yarn that no longer had a purpose, so I decided that I needed a new hat.
A hat with what feels like a giant tassel.
So even though I finished the hat, I still have four things on the go rather than three. And I’m about to cast on something else. It’s all gone a bit wrong, but I figured that maybe it’s okay, and it’s me being genuinely excited about knitting again. I fully aim to finish the overdue baby blanket before the end of February, though, so that should help clear my conscience… if I ever had one to begin with.
I did, however, finish spinning a bump of fibre. This braid here:
became this skein of yarn here:
Fibre: Spindlefrog Oatmeal BFL in Woodland
Specs: 4 oz, 130 yards, 11 wpi (DK weight)
Wheel setting: Spun at 1:13.7, plied at 1:9.5
Technique: worsted-spun, short forward draw
I pretty much threw this fibre into the wheel and waited to see what would happen. I’m currently in an odd love-indifferent relationship with spinning, where sometimes I’m happy doing it, and other times I sit there, staring at the singles on the bobbin, the fibre in my hand and genuinely think: “What is the point? It’s still crap.”
I know I can’t get better at spinning without actually, you know, spinning. But I constantly feel like I’m having to relearn a lot of things, and making the same mistakes despite all my trying. I’m probably overthinking it all, and I did find that the spinning was easier going when I had an audiobook to listen to, so I’m sure it will be better.
I thought just for fun I would do a post at the end of every month also rounding up the books I’ve read and the films I’ve watched. So for January:
Read: Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (from the library). I’ve always preferred his novellas and short stories, and this was a nice collection. I liked Fair Extension best, because it was simple, cheeky but horrific in its normality. 1922 I thought was the hardest to get through, but it was one of those stories where I kept checking how many more pages I had to go, not because I couldn’t wait for the story to end, but because I didn’t know how much more of the claustrophobic horror I could take before its conclusion. It’s that sort of good.
Still reading: Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio (Kindle). It’s my second read-through of Stories, though I never read the last story by Joe Hill, so while I can’t say anything about that one, I can safely say that my favourite stories in this collection are Gaiman’s The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains – there is a moment in this story where I had to exhale in satisfaction, because something that was at the beginning caught with something near the end – and A Life in Fictions by Kat Howard.
Songs of Love & Death, edited by George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois (hardback). I’ve only got through six of the sixteen stories so far, but it kicked off with Love Hurts, by Jim Butcher, set in the Dresden Files, so that was a great start. I really need to keep more short story collections around. These have been fun.
Watched: Thor, dir. Kenneth Branagh, 2010 (LoveFilm). We rang in the New Year with this, and it’s just ridiculous fun. It helps that Chris Hemsworth is rather nice to look at, and while that’s all well and good, I really want to see more of Tom Hiddleston. It tickles me that Kenneth Branagh directed this. Who knew he could come up with an Asgard that was so beautiful to look at that all Nick and I could say was, “Damn. We need a bigger screen for this.”
The Rock, dir. Michael Bay, 1996 (BBC1). I have a soft spot for this film. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it harks back to a time when daft action movies still had Don Simpson, and Michael Bay hadn’t got the idea that he might be the best thing since sliced bread. But I can quote this movie in too many places, and I own the soundtrack. I am not ashamed.
Four Lions, dir. Chris Morris, 2010 (LoveFilm Instant). A film is a great comedy about radical Islam when each and every time I laughed, I thought whatever God was in charge of this world would strike me dead. Within the first ten minutes Nick and I were quoting bits to each other and laughing like idiots. It’s bittersweet near the end, but as any good satire, it made me wonder about all the people out there who do think like Barry (Nigel Lindsay), or who are perfectly innocent like Waj (Kayvan Novak).
And there goes January.