Finished Project: Turtle Set

Finally! I can post this!

The reason things have been so quiet around here is that all my knitting time has been devoted to finishing a cardigan and matching hat. One of my coworkers and his wife are expecting their first baby this fall. He’s taking a new job to be home with the kiddo so I had to quickly finish the set to get it to him today. I didn’t want to post anything about the project until I had given it so it could still be a surprise.

So now… the big reveal!

image(1) image image(2)

Sorry for the poor picture quality. I was trying to snap the shots last night while dealing with an injured and very drugged out dog.

Look! The buttons are turtles. I was determined to have teal buttons to match the yarn.

The sweater pattern is Buttons Cardigan #606. 

The hat is the Myshka Tuque except I did the edge in garter stitch so it would match the sweater.

The yarn is Debbie Macomber’s Wild Meadow in color Juneau.

The pattern was very easy to work. It’s knit top down in one piece with a garter stitch edge.

Overall, I was incredibly pleased with this set (although I’m worried the hat is too big) and I hope the parents-to-be get good use out of it.

Disappointing

Several weeks ago I went to Jennings Street to purchase gender neutral yarn for a baby sweater. After leaving, I decided to get a second skein of each color to give me more options of what to make. Jennings Street was out of one color and said it was on backorder so I decided to search around online for the skeins. I found all three colors from the same website and decided to order them. I also threw in yarn for another sweater I’m interested in making. Gladly hit “Pay” and started picking out patterns. That was March 31.

Flash to April 17 and it hits me… what happened to that yarn? Besides an automated confirmation email and the money getting taking from my account, I hadn’t heard a word about about. So I email the seller, assuming there’s been a mix up.

April 20. Still no reply email. I paid with PayPal so I decided that I had no choice but to file a complaint.

And today, April 24. The seller never replied to my email and they never replied to the PayPal dispute, so I had to escalate it to a claim.

I’m not naming the seller because I’d still like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they could still get it together and have a legitimate excuse. However, this whole thing really has killed my enthusiasm for the two sweaters I had planned. Especially since, this isn’t my first time dealing with PayPal disputes and I’ve yet to have it work out well. Usually, after the seller hasn’t responded for 10 days, PayPal refunds you the money. So I’m thinking I still won’t end up with the yarn I want and I’ll have to find somewhere else to get it.

That said, I finished the cardigan I’ve been knitting (which is why you haven’t heard from me in awhile). I’ll post pictures as soon as I sew the buttons on and give it to the recipient. Other reasons you haven’t heard from me include it being the end of the semester and I’m incredibly busy and that I’ve been working on my writing.

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now

1. The Mindy Project. 

I am all about this show right now. Danny and Mindy are my favorite TV non-couple since the days before Jim and Pam got together on The Office. My coworker and I loved the last episode so much we relived it about five times at work today.

2. Erin McCarthy Novels

McCarthy is one of my favorite romance novelists. I have read a lot of her work but recently I’ve been going back to see what of her old books I haven’t read yet. She writes funny, sweet, sexy romance. Fantastic!

3. Chocolate! 

There are no words for how much I have been craving chocolate lately. Thank goodness for Skinny Cow.

4. My Squishy-Soft Brooks Farm Yarn

I started a bias knit shawl from some of the yarn I got at DFW Fiber Fest. I haven’t posted a picture of the yarn yet but it is this soft, variegated pink that makes me think of Mentos Fruit Chews. I’ll post a picture of the shawl-in-progress soon.

5. Game of Thrones Memes

Not the show or books themselves, specifically memes. I’ve watched every episode of Game of Thrones but I can’t seem to get into it. I’m not big on high fantasy, so I think that’s the issue. I really want to like it though, so I keep forcing myself to watch. What I do love, are the silly memes that come out.

Houston, We Have a Problem by Erin McCarthy

Houston, We Have A ProblemHouston, We Have A Problem by Erin McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been watching The Mindy Project lately and I’m totally crushing on the character of Danny Castellano. So reading a book about a stoic, sexy doctor made me think of him. I couldn’t help picturing Danny as Dr. Houston Hayes from this novel. With that said, I really loved this story. It was short, sweet, and sexy; exactly what you expect from Erin McCarthy. The storyline was really cute and I liked both main characters. McCarthy has a skill for writing romance that is both sexy and funny – like this one.

View all my reviews

True by Erin McCarthy

TrueTrue by Erin McCarthy

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Rory Macintosh and Tyler Mann are opposites; she’s the awkward, premed student who wants to be a coroner and he’s the tattooed, bad boy. When they meet through Rory’s roommate, opposites attract.
Tyler takes in interest in Rory after he rescues her from the groping hands of their druggie friend, and learns that Rory is a virgin. From there, he seems to deem himself her protector, even showing up at her place the next day to help nurse her through her hangover. His interest in her continues when they decide to help tutor each other and, eventually, their romance starts to blossom.
This story started strong. I liked tough-guy Tyler coming to Rory’s rescue and her learning that he has a heart of gold. Tyler comes from a terrible home life that is the total opposite of Rory’s. His mother is a drug addict that is cruel to her children and Rory steps in to help out with Tyler’s younger brothers. Seeing Tyler practically raising his siblings, one of which has Down’s Syndrome, was probably the best part of the book.
Sadly, that is where things fell off. I found the secondary characters, Rory’s roommates Kylie and Jessica, annoying. I think they were drunk or high in every single scene. In fact, Rory meets Tyler because he is sleeping with Jessica. Both girls came off as ditzy and promiscuous and I couldn’t understand why Rory hung around with them when she had been described so differently. Additionally, the girls mention at one point that they paid Tyler to take Rory’s virginity. This plot point was a non-starter. Rory is briefly sad and avoids Tyler for a few days, then she goes on like normal and all is completely forgiven after Tyler quickly says sorry.
The book is written in very short scenes and frequently changes location and time. It was surprisingly bothersome because you never got much substance in a given scene before the book moved on. The middle of the book drags on with repetitive scenes of Tyler and Rory hanging out, people partying, and most males in the book acting brutish.
The conflict of the book revolved around Rory’s father disapproving of the relationship and legal trouble with Tyler’s mom. Neither point was very fleshed out and they were resolved very quickly. The ending of the book was very abrupt and seemed to attempt to quickly tie off the loose ends. It ended up feeling very unsatisfactory.
Possibly the most refreshing thing about this story was the age of the characters. Rory and Tyler are college students and are 20 and 22, respectively. After the first chapter, I almost expected the story to jump ahead ten years because it is so rare to have such young leads in a contemporary romance.
I think that True had a lot of potential, but fell short. There wasn’t enough believable conflict to carry the middle of the story and a lot of the references to Tyler’s prior promiscuity, with Rory’s best friend even, made him a lot less likeable. This was a disappointing read from Erin McCarthy who, otherwise, is a fantastic addition to the romance genre.
Advanced copy provided by Penguin Group through NetGalley.

View all my reviews

New Look!

I changed the theme of the blog and got a fantastic custom header from WinterwoodsBoutique on Etsy. I am absolutely loving it. I chose the old design back in October when I originally registered the blog. I liked how witchy it was but I didn’t like how pink. Purple is my favorite color so I was happy to find the new look.

Liebster Award!

I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award. I would like to thank Jenna Makes Things for nominating me. Personally, I’m still shocked that anyone at all has taken the time from their to read this blog and leave comments. It’s been really fantastic to find this hidden community of knitters and fiber enthusiasts on the web.

 I was not familiar with the Liebster Award before my nomination, so I would like to share the description that I snatched from my nominator.

“The Liebster Award is an award given to rising bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

The rules are:

  • You thank the person who nominated you! (Check)
  • You answer the 11 questions posted by your nominator
  • You pass on the award to 11 new recipients
  • You post 11 new questions to your recipient bloggers

My Answers:

  • Describe your blog in three words.

Knitting, books, and venting

  • Why did you start blogging?

I noticed that I was constantly wanting to share my knitting woes and accomplishments via Facebook and Twitter but most of my friends don’t knit and (I assume) had zero interest in my updates. So, I thought that I could start a blog to get those thoughts out of my had, and people could choose to read them or not.  I also wanted documentation of my growth as a knitter, since I am still fairly new and have a lot to learn.

  • What is your favorite blog post?

I’m still building my blog, really, so it is hard to select a favorite so far. Possibly my post about local knitting groups because of the feedback I got on it. I learned that a lot of people were in the same boat as I was.

  • What is one thing you would change about your blog?

I really need to improve my photography. I snap my pictures haphazardly on my phone, mostly at night, so they’re dark and nothing to write home about. I’d like to start devoting more time to getting quality images for the blog. I was a photographer in my past life (or so it feels now) so I’m pretty ashamed of what I’ve produced so far.

  • What is the best crafty present you ever received or gifted?

My mom is a quilter and after I read Water for Elephants, I was really into vintage circus or carnival stuff. (Reading The Night Circus only furthered that) My mom made me a vintage circus themed quilt that I love. I have also gotten a number of Halloween decorations that were handmade by the ladies at her quilt shop that I loved. One of them, a embroidered wall hanging, is permanently on display in my home, even if it is Halloween themed.

  • What is your favorite color?

Purple Purple Purple.

  • What book are you reading at the moment?

I got an advanced copy of True by Erin McCarthy.

  • If you could pick one superpower for a single day, what would it be and why?

Hmmm…. mind reading might be fun – or horrible. Maybe the power to transform into any animal instead.

  • What is your favorite food to eat or to cook?

I hate to cook pretty much everything but I love to eat. I love anything potato based – particularly mashed potatoes and gravy.

  • Do you have any pets and if so what are their names?

I have two cats, O’Malley and Cullen, and a dog named Nola. I also have two gerbils, although they’re more like scenery that I have to feed and clean up after. 

  • What is your favorite cocktail?

If I’m out at a bar I normally order a Vodka Redbull (because its hard to screw up), but when I can I enjoy ordering sweet, fancy drinks. There’s a local bar called The Usual that serves a cocktail called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Which is Vodka, Akavit, Lime, Lavendar, Ginger Beer and is absolutely delicious.

My Liebster Awards go to…

My questions are…

  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  2. What drew you to knitting/fiber arts?
  3. What is your all time favorite book?
  4. Where would you go on a trip if time and money were no object?
  5. What do you do to relax?
  6. What is your day job?
  7. Do you have any pet peeves?
  8. White, milk, or dark chocolate?
  9. Who or what inspires you?
  10. What is the best thing you’ve ever made?
  11. If you could be any animal, which would you choose?