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January 2021

I know we’re a good way into February now but I though it would be good to keep track on what’s been occupying my time each month.


Reading

I got lots of books for my Christmas and I'm excited to share these with you over the next few months. I was in the middle of a book at the beginning of the year so I finished it and immediately started in the next in the series. I have read several of Carola Dunn's books about Daisy Dalrymple - it's a mystery series based in 1920s England. I'm not good with gory details and tend to avoid a lot of modern murder mysteries and programmes so I like these books as they generally focus more on the people. I finished Gunpowder Plot and then read The Bloody Tower which is the 16th book in the series. In general I really enjoy these books but I struggled a bit with the Bloody Tower and one of the earlier books in the series about the Museum of Natural History - I found them a bit heavy going, full of descriptions of layouts out the places and lots of characters all introduced at once. I understand the need to have somewhere so famous described correctly but I spent so long trying to figure it out in my mind that it took something away from the build up of the story itself.



Once I was finished the Bloody Tower, I was happy to pick up and read small sections on the history of different colours - it made a welcome break as each colour is only a couple of pages but really interesting. This month I focused on the different pink stories and I'm looking forward to learning more about the history of red next month while I'm busy creating the colours for the Colour Therapy Club.



The Archers - Ambrige at War. This is one of the books I got from my sister at Christmas. I only started listening to the Archers in 2017 but I love the weekly radio drama and wish I knew more about Ambridge in the past. The book is set before the radio series began and features some of the characters we've heard so much about and then some stand alone characters. It's written in monthly chapters and I've only read January's but it's interesting so far as it's like diving into a new drama that's set in a well known place.


The Viper’s Daughter - despite lots of lovely presents for Christmas, I've been desperate for this book! I love the original six books in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness so I decided to treat myself to this. I've only started reading it (Michelle Paver's books are the kind that you don't want to put down so I'm trying to just read a small amount at a time to make it last as long as possible - the next book won't be released on paperback until nearer the end of this year. I love the world that Michelle creates and how the narrative cycles between Torak, Renn and Wolf. I'll be writing a post about the Chronicles colourways I released last year very soon, they are some of my favourites and more will be following soon!

Making

I have had several pairs of scrappy and stripey socks sitting for almost a year, waiting on heels to be added - isn't that ridiculous!?! So as my lovely friend Helen of the Giddy Knits podcast is running a make along called Wrapping Up Your WIPs, I decided to tackle the pile and add heels. So far I've done two pairs, I've knit a second sock for another pair (second sock syndrome does occasionally hit here) and I've finished off a sample pair for HPM too. I've still got four more pairs that need heels but at least I'm making progress!






As there is a rainbow sock make along happening this year (hosted by Kelly of Lay Family Yarn and Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet), I decided to join in and make some fun scrappy socks using some of the minis in my shop. I chose four colours - Fuchsia, Rose Quartz, Love Potion and Aquarius - and I alsolutely love them. Bright but not too bright, cheerful, colourful, happy socks. For the time being, they are also going to be sample socks for the shop, if we ever get back to in person festivals, these will be on display on the stall.



After packing all the orders for the Colour Therapy Club, I was left with 10g of each colour on DK yarn so I decided to make some boot socks with them. I've never made DK socks before but I whizzed through the first one in two days - it was lovely to get something made so quickly! I've cast on the second so that'll be one of the tasks for February!


The last WIP is going to be a scarf or cowl using some of my Kate Selene mini skeins. I decided after Christmas to crochet up some granny squares so I've continued to make more and am going to join them soon.


Listening to

The Archers - I had to catch up with the end of the of 2020 episodes. I tend to listen to the omnibus when I'm working (especially when I’m dyeing yarn) and I was glad that finally the truth about Philip Moss came out. If you're a fan of the Archers, I'm sure you'll be glad it's known about too, and if you aren't, then you've missed an important storyline about modern day slavery and how well it could be hidden in any local community.

For music, I've been listening a lot to Take That whilst working on the Colour Therapy Club, their songs have definitely influenced some of the pink colourways! I studied Gaelic when I was younger and lately I've been been in a Gaelic mood so I've also been listening to Runrig and Kathleen MacInnes. Runrig's songs bring back a lot of childhood memories and Kathleen has a beautiful soulful voice which I love.


Watching

The Dig (available on Netflix). I love wartime stories and this film is set on the cusp of the Second World War. I really enjoyed it and even shed a few tears at the end with Edith and her son.


Wandavision - My husband and I have also started watching this - he's a Marvel fan and I've ended up watching several of the films too and now I want to know what's happening to Wanda and Vision.

Podcast wise, I've been trying to catch up with some of my favourites (Giddy knits, Amy florence, HG designs crochet, Little drops of wonderful) and I also watched a new one, Keep calm and carry yarn. I like that it's hosted by both Alyson and her mum Vivian - it was nice to sit in on a podcast with more than one person and felt more like a proper catch up with friends!


I'm hoping to do one of these posts each month to keep track of what I've been doing - it's hard to look back normally and remember everything I've made or read, what I've been in the mood for and generally how the year has gone. I'd love you to share what you've been up to too.

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