FO Friday: Mittens for me

Word Lily knits

Of course I finally got back to blogging at a time of year when most of my knits aren’t bloggable. Of course.

But this project isn’t secret, hooray!


I finished these mittens, for me, in February.

Pattern: Midlothian Mittens by Laura Chau
My project page
Yarn: the pink is handspun BFL/silk; the cream is Fisherman’s Wool, and the lining is reclaimed cashmere.


They sat, unblocked, for many months. Mainly because I didn’t want to go to the hassle of making forms to block them on. But I recently saw them again, right next to the sock blockers I acquired this year, and a lightbulb turned on. The tops of the sock blockers are just the right shape for these. The thumbs went without a form, but I think it’s OK. I’ll be able to wear them, instead of them sitting and waiting for who knows how much longer!




I maybe should have made them just a tad shorter. I charted and added my initials and the year on the inside of the right wrist, for posterity. I love the idea of signing my knitting.

I don’t even know if I’ll like wearing mittens (I’m a glove person I think), but this will give me the option. And they’re very warm. And soft.

Do you wear mittens? What have you made lately?

Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon

Word Lily review

come rain or come shineCome Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon, Mitford book 13 (GP Putnam’s Sons, September 2015), 304 pages

This installment in the beloved series is set at Meadowgate. Father Tim and Cynthia are settled in and working hard alongside so many others, preparing for Dooley and Lace’s wedding.

I love these books. They’re a breath of fresh air; coming home; comfort and relaxation.

The wedding ceremony itself is beautiful, of course. It kind of made me wish we’d had an Episcopal service for our wedding.

I don’t know what else to say. Another lovely installment in a gorgeous, comforting, honest series.

Have you read the Mitford books? What books are hugs to you?

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Picture books in our hands

I experienced something new last week: The online library system said I couldn’t reserve any more books because I’d reached my (25-book) limit.


(That reminds me … I wasn’t quite able to reserve all I’d wanted to when I hit that limit, but since we just picked up holds, there’s room. Lemme go rectify that … Done.)

We’ve been working our way through the SLJ’s Top 100 Picture Books, and I reserved the next chunk of them that are available at our library. We’re more than half way through that list, and I’ve added a few other lists to what I’m keeping track of, in terms of picture books. Let’s see, I’m tracking Caldecotts and 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.

My son was SO. EXCITED. to pick up this huge stack of books (there were a few for me there, too)! Whenever we get new library books, they’re the most interesting thing in the world to him. I anticipate I’ll be reading aloud most of the day today, as long as my voice can hold out. (I’ve got a cold of some kind.)

Have you read any of these picture books? What are yours, or your children’s, favorite picture books? Have you worked through book lists like this? How do you decide what books to bring home?


I offhandedly asked on Twitter a week or so ago, “Is NaBloPoMo still a thing?”

Today, being November 1, I went in search of the answer to the question. And while the official Twitter account for the event is dormant, fallow since 2011 [November 8, they didn’t make it very far into NaBloPoMo, did they?], the answer is yes, the event lives on.


And here I am, posting.

Maybe I should take a step back. You know that November is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), yes? The event has daughtered spin-off events galore: National Knit a Sweater Month, which I participated in last year, and National Blog Posting Month, which I took completed in 2012.

I miss blogging, and there’s lots I could talk about. I still sometimes find myself composing blog posts in my head.

I’m not officially committing, but I want to take a swing at it, NaBloPoMo 2015. Can I do it? Will you join me?

Books that have had the most impact on me

Back in December, when the current meme of Top Ten Most Influential books was going around Facebook for the first time, I made a list but never got around to sharing it. I was just tagged (this time it says Top Ten Favorite books, but since I struggle so with choosing favorites, even in multiples, I’m going forward with the initial idea), so I’m sharing now.

This is the list I jotted down in December 2013, so it naturally doesn’t include any book I’ve read since then. And if I wrote it today, it might be different, but.

  1. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
  2. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  3. Traveling Mercies / Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  4. Dakota by Kathleen Norris
  5. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
  6. 1984 by George Orwell
  7. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  8. The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry
  9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  10. The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue
  11. A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz
  12. CS Lewis’ space trilogy / The Screwtape Letters

I’m not tagging anyone because I’m not that kind of person but also because I think nearly everyone has already done this. I’d love to see your lists, though!

The Catch by Taylor Stevens

the catchI LOVED The Informationist.

I read and loved The Innocent. And The Doll.

So it’s no surprise, really, that Taylor Stevens’s latest, The Catch, was another winner for me.

For one thing, I love the specific-countries-of-Africa that we get to know a little and Stevens’s treatment of them (in this book and The Informationist). We don’t get a generic setting, or a generic Africa. We get specifics and distinguishing characteristics, while still acknowledging that some overriding truths do apply across the board.

For another, I love the role language (and languages) play.

Mostly, I just love Michael Munroe.

The Catch wasn’t as jaw-dropping as The Informationist or The Doll, though. I think the factors that make me respect The Catch the most are the same things that make it not as much of a thrill ride as the earlier installments of Vanessa Michael Munroe books.

Michael is healing, you see. As the series has progressed, she’s becoming more in control of herself. She’ll never be normal (“normal” is a fallacy anyway), but she’s getting much closer to that than she was when we met her in book one. This is a very good thing; Stevens has allowed her protagonist to grow in a logical and believable way. But I’m afraid it’s also a bad thing. Will this be the end of the series? Will we as readers never again get to watch Michael work simply because she’s more capable of dealing with her past than she used to be?

This installment, because of the character’s growth, is much more character-driven than previous books were. But again, this is something I like in a book, yes, even in a thriller.

The world still has a place for someone with Michael’s skills; I certainly hope the book world still has a place for her, too. I may be better at delayed gratification than I used to be, but I’m not perfect. There’s still plenty for me to learn and do. Perhaps that’s an appropriate corollary? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Do you like character driven books? Have you ever read a book where character growth made said book unpalatable?

Other views:
Books and Movies
S. Krishna’s Books
Stacy’s Books
A Bookworm’s World

Disclaimers: This book was provided to me by the publisher. This post has affiliate links. If you click through and buy something, I might get a few pennies, without it costing you any more.

Tour de Fleece 2014

Word Lily spins

I got a late start on Tour de Fleece this year because I was working nonstop on a demanding knitting project with a severe deadline. So my Tour was actually six days shorter than it should have been. But I still got in on some of the fun.

I started with this gorgeous bit of Spunky Eclectic BFL, in the Friends Forever colorway.



Want a closer look? OK.


My first time chain plying since 2010, and it might be that long again before the next time. I dont find it enjoyable. But I’m happy with this yarn, all 320 sport weight yards of it.


This yarn is made from domestic wool mill ends that I dyed and carded on my drum carder. Aran weight, 108 yards, pre-wash; 51 grams.


Here’s the project page for the above yarn.


This yarn was also spun from domestic wool mill ends that I dyed and then carded. I added just a touch of sparkle on the drum carder on this one, too.


DK weight, 51 grams yielded 139 yards of 2-ply. The color is more accurate in the in-progress, pre-plying, photograph.


I’m really happy with this yarn. It’s Falkland, dyed by Cosy.


Fingering weight 2-ply, 560 yards from 112 grams.


This one is also Falkland from Cosy.


Aran weight, 112 grams and 232 yards.

I got the singles of another 4 ounces of this same fiber done during the Tour, but I couldn’t fit the plying in before it ended.

So, totals: Five finished skeins (all 2-ply except the one chain-ply), totaling 1,359 yards and about 1 pound. Plus the 4 ounces of singles spun but not plied. I’ve certainly made more in previous Tours, but given my late start (and my intentional tapering toward the end), I’m content with my production.

Do you make any of your own crafting supplies? How far back to the “source” do you go? To see what other people are up to in the fiber arts world this week, check out Fiber Arts Friday at Wisdom Begins in Wonder.

Handspun socks

Word Lily knitsI thought about posting my spinning from Tour de Fleece, but since there are just a couple days left and I haven’t posted any of it yet, it felt a bit odd. That’ll wait until next week.

Instead, today, for your fiber arts enjoyment, I present a pair of socks.


These socks I knit from my own handspun yarn, a true 3-ply, spun from Spunky Eclectic club fiber, Wensleydale, Kentucky Derby colorway. I spun the yarn in … 2010, I believe.


The Socks on a Plane pattern is simple and sweet, and it was a good fit for this yarn.


More notes: I modified it thus: CO 20, increased to 60 around. (This yarn is a tad thicker than normal fingering.) If I was making them again I’d probably move the cable panel a stitch or two (maybe just 1, in this yarn), farther in from the side of the sock.

I had 11 grams of yarn left over when I finished (so, not much). More details on my Ravelry project page.


I like how the cable panel runs all the way to the top of the sock, through but not disrupting the ribbing.

My only complaint isn’t really about the yarn or the pattern: I’ve got to figure out the best way to accommodate my high arches in toe-up socks. :-/

So, what have you been making lately? See what others are up to in the fiber arts world at Fiber Arts Friday.