Q1 Makes and Creations

I don’t normally measure my life or crafting life in quarters…but why not for the sake of keeping count?!

What have I made or done so far in January, February and March 2022? Let’s take a look and see!

Knitting

I have cast on a LOT of things, but don’t have many finished objects yet. Here is what I actually managed to finish:-

  • I made a baby hat using up neon yarn I had spare from previous projects and donated it to charity (no pic)
  • Not finished, but I’ve done a few more rows on my sock yarn shawl. It’s taking ages coz it’s 4-ply!
  • Again, not finished, but I’ve done some more of my lone sock!

What have I cast on this year so far?

  • Grey fisherman’s rib tunic
  • Chunky grey cabled sweater
  • Green tunic top
  • Pink cowl

Crochet

I’ve been loving getting back into crochet, which sort of got put on the back burner for the last few years apart from the odd granny square or two.

Finished objects include:-

  • Pink and purple granny square blanket
  • Baby blanket in yellows and greens
  • Orange baby blanket
  • Pumpkin colours granny square blanket
  • Blue and green blanket for a friend (C2C)
  • Cowl for me using up neon yarn

And I’ve also cast on a few projects here too…

  • Crochet top
  • Pink and blue granny square blanket to use up scraps
  • C2C cowl with brown James C. Brett yarn


The thing with both knitting and crochet this year, is that instead of just looking at patterns, I’ve also been buying them!

A v-neck sweater by Petite Knits.

A few patterns by Jennifer Steingass on Ravelry. I decided that her Dreyma sweater was going to be my ‘Fair Isle’ top down sweater that I wanted to use my natural aran weight undyed wool for. So, once I have a top or two out of the way, this will get cast on pretty quick!

And I’ve noticed on every single knitting podcast that I come across on Youtube they mention the Ranunculus sweater. I looked at it and I looked some more and eventually I left it at just looking. But if the pattern comes in different weight options…well, Aran weight is my favourite and I might have to try it as a thicker version (instead of the thinner lacier version).

Not that I have to follow other people’s trends…but I can totally see why people do more than one option.


Sewing

Nope!

LOL…so many plans and so little motivation to set up all the million pieces I seem to need to just sew a bag or two! I just haven’t been bothered is the short answer here.

But I’m sure, like Austin Powers, I’ll get my mojo back somehow!


Books

I’ve not been as prolific this year with reading as with other years, but I’ve managed a book or two.

What have I read so far?

  • The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
  • Happy by Fearne Cotton
  • Make It Happen by Jordanna Levin

I’m in the middle of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.

On my to read list are:

  • On Writing Well by William Zinsnerr
  • The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

As you can see, not an exhaustive list. And I’ve been saving On Writing Well for when I feel like I have more mental headspace to process it. I’ve been so tired in the last few months that I’ve just left things to one side if I can’t find the will to tackle it head on. It seems like one of those books you have to process and make notes on! Or at the very least highlight some passages!

As for Walden…the idea of someone just leaving modern life behind and upping sticks to live in a cabin you built in the woods for a year or two is incredibly modern and almost ‘hippyish’. Is that the word? It’s alternative and whilst most people nowadays wouldn’t bat an eyelid at someone trying something like that, I’m pretty sure they would have in the 1800’s which is when it was written.

I just find it fascinating that people would choose the ‘oddball life’ in the 1800’s as they would now!!


Miscellaneous

I haven’t really done much else to be honest. I haven’t done much baking and the other odd bits on ly lists still to do are, well, still to do!

Like my leather handbag which needs finishing or the ice dying fabric kit that a friend got me for Christmas…I just haven’t had the time!

I also haven’t written much on Medium, which is a shame because I love it over there.

As for print on demand?

I made a couple of alphabets and a few other tiny designs, I’m around 250 designs on RedBubble now. That’s going well. People in Australia seem to like a particular cushion design of mine, I sold a couple whilst I was off work last week.

Here’s my shop if you’re nosy!

And I’m wanting to get back to that quite soon. It’s spurred me on to get to 300 designs!!

This is what people have been loving lately! It’s such a simple design too…

I want to do more crafty designs for knitting and crochet. Just simple ones. I am not a graphic designer after all and it probably shows!

I’d like to do more along these lines:

There’s a few other things regarding online creations and ideas but for now I’ll leave it there otherwise this post will be hours long to read!


Q1 could be summed up with the fact that I’ve suddenly started casting on like crazy and wanting to get back into things that have been put aside for a while over winter.

Spring is here along with the brighter days and I want to get stuck into things.

My goals for the next quarter is to finish one of 4 tops I have on the go with my knitting and crochet before I cast on another (yeah, we’ll see how that goes!) and to try to finish that damned knitted sock! 🙂

We’ll see. No rush or pressure for anything though…

2021 Reading Goals

I can’t believe the year is almost over! Just under 2 months left to finish my reading goals for the year.

I’ve got out of the habit of reading. In fact, I haven’t read any books for a good few months.

So, it’s a good thing I only have 2 left to read then!

I’ve read all of the books on my shelf apart from these 2.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Forward The Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Both are my 2 of my favourite authors of all time. Yes, I like science fiction…

I like the style of Margaret Atwood’s writing and add that to the fact that it’s dystopian future fiction and it’s a match made in heaven. I love end of the world type stuff…don’t ask me why, I just do!

The Testaments is the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, which I read years ago. I need to refresh my memory for that book as I haven’t been watching the series on TV.

I’m sure I’ll pick up where the original book left off though.

And for the Isaac Asimov book? Once I read this, I’ll have read the whole Foundation series, as well as the Robot series. Just got the Empire trilogy to go (which I might ask my brother or parents to get a book or two for Christmas!) and then that’s the lot.

Hands down one of the best series I’ve ever read. And the last book in the series ends with one of the biggest cliffhangers in literature. When one character is wondering who the true enemy is and you see another character staring at him *gasps*. I want to know what happens next! Want? No! I HAVE to know what happens next. But I never will as the author died in the 90’s.

Once I read these 2 books, then that’s one goal of the year complete. Unless I buy another book for myself of course, but that’s unlikely between now and Christmas!


[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you! The links for the books above will take you to the Waterstones website who I’m an affiliate for.]


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Prelude to Foundation – Book Review

Prelude to Foundation

I am on a roll! I started this book the night before last and now it’s finished. 

This year I have read 4 books in total (all from either birthday or Christmas presents) and they were all by Isaac Asimov. They were: The Complete Robot, The Naked Sun, Robots and Empire and Prelude to Foundation

I only have one more book – Forward the Foundation, to read and then I have finished both the Robot and Foundation series and have now only got the 3 books in the Empire series to read. 

Prelude to Foundation is a prequel to the Foundation series, but was written a few decades after the original stories in Foundation were written. In later years the author, Isaac Asimov, joined all 3 series together, linking them with planets and events and characters. 

This book details how Hari Seldon, (one of the characters in the later Foundation series who appears briefly once, and then only as recordings) and how he met some important people who would shape his later life’s work of discovering ‘psychohistory’. He travels around the Galactic Capital planet, Trantor, and you start to see a faded, old, Empire that is crumbling from within. 

It is set in a future where the people of Earth left the planet and settled on 50 worlds, then spread out again, after a war with these 50 worlds, and in the end created a Galactic Empire spanning 25 million worlds (in other books we see these are simpler worlds with fewer people and less wildlife than Earth – also Earth is the only one of all these planets with a natural satellite). There are no aliens in any of the books, except for the last books of the series, Foundation and Earth, where it is hinted that one day humans will have to face off against an outside threat, although it is never explained, just hinted at.

I just love dystopian fiction – bring on the end of the world! After all I’ve read about it ending, I know I can survive it!!!

I liked how you got to see flashes of Earth and other planets, just briefly, as myths and old tales. Planets you saw in other books were mentioned as though they didn’t even exist. 

I loved this book as I have loved all of the other books so far, but it’s only a beginning, an origin story really. Some parts are anti-climactic, such as meeting the Emperor, and other parts you see a mile off, such as who Hummin really is (well, the first part of who Hummin is anyway!). 

I look forward to reading the next book Forward the Foundation

And then I’ll be sad it’s all over…

…until I read the Empire series and I think there are more sequels written by other people after the author died. So, there’s still a bit more to come! 🙂

book

On my To Read list

I have always loved reading ever since I was a little girl. It will be my favourite hobby for the rest of my life.

Books are friends and full of adventure. As a result of reading so much my spelling and grammar has always been pretty good too (watch as I now make tons of mistakes!).

I like science fiction and fantasy, in particular the cyber punk type science fiction from the 1920’s to the 1960’s…ish. You know, the ones where it’s either psychedelic drugs or atomic power at the heart of the story.

In the past 3 or 4 years or so I have been working my way through the classic sci-fi of the last century, focusing on authors such as Ray Bradbury (although I still have to read The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man) and Philip K.Dick.

This past year I have been working my way through Isaac Asimov, in particular his Foundation series. I just have the 2 prequels to read for that and then finish my way through the Robot series and then start the mini Empire series. They all interlink somehow, first the Robot series on Earth, how we created robots then started to spread out into nearby solar systems. After that, there was a huge expansion into a great Galactic Empire millions of worlds strong (the Empire series) which then fell, and was reborn into the Foundation.

The books fascinated me from the get-go and I couldn’t put them down. It took me reading a review of Foundation to realise one key point about the series…there isn’t an individual hero of the series, instead it is society itself which is the hero here.

And the ending. OMG the ending of the last Foundation book, the last paragraph when we realise who the real villain is and that actually, there are so many stories yet to come. That the story isn’t even finished yet, not by a long shot.

I also have the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – The Testaments. It’s been quite a while since I read The Handmaid’s Tale, but I love dystopian fiction of any kind and Margaret Atwood is one of those writers I just get. So I’m sure I will like the follow up…

The only other book that doesn’t fall into the sci-fi category that is on my to read list is War and Peace…funnily enough when I had another blog this was on there too years ago. I just haven’t felt like I had the head space to concentrate on it so far…but the thing is a TOME. I’m not kidding I could kill someone with it, it is so thick and heavy. To be perfectly honest I want to read it for 2 reasons: 1) because I can say I have read it and 2) so that I can make some space on my bookshelf!!

So here are the unread books on my shelf I want to read this year:

  1. War and Peace
  2. Robots and Empire
  3. Prelude to Foundation
  4. The Testaments

Only 4, but I want to re-read some non- fiction too. I have a whole shelf of reference books such as small business, blogging, writing, productivity etc and I want to have another look at some of them.

So, that’s it. A short and sweet list but some good stuff on there nevertheless.

What’s on your reading list?