Episode 28: And the Winner Is

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Sock Yarn Blankie, By Shelly Kang

Captain America Knit Hoodie, By Beth Kluckhohn

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KnitPicks Brava, Worsted

Starry Night Batt (Textured), By AlmaPark

I have smooth batts but they’re unavailable right now.

Aaronmakesstuff

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JunkYarn Podcast, Hosted by Kemper Wray (AKA WrayBot)

Lina Knits, Hosted by Lina (Aka LinaFin)

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You can find me on:

My Blog: Knitty, Nerdy, & Natural

Ravelry: Kninernat

Instagram: Kninernat

The Ravelry Group: Knitty, Nerdy, & Natural

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Book Review: Pantomime

It’s been four months since I decided to start doing book reviews, and this is only my second one. I guess I dropped the ball on that one. Never fear, I’m going to pick it back up again and try to pretend I am not horrible at 99% of things involving… I’m not finishing that sentence.


For this review I will be reviewing ‘Pantomime’. It is by a young woman named Laura Lam, who seems lovely, based on her instagram.15797050

Title: Pantomime

Author: Laura Lam

Year Published: 2013

Category: Young Adult Fantasy

*No spoilers*

 

 

After discovering the sequel to this book, Shadowplay, through Tumblr I was very excited to read it. Until, of course, I realized it was a sequel. I ordered a copy of Pantomime straight away.  I manages to hold off from reading more than the introduction until we were on vacation. It was going to be my vacation book. It ended up being so good that I read it entirely between the second and third day we were there. (I actually read it again the last day.)

Pantomime is about a young person names Iphigenia. She was born with both sets of genitals, but is being raised by her merchant parents as a young lady. This story is their story of discovery of themselves and the power and strength that they have.

Set in a Victorian-era in the land of Ellada, where only the last gasps of an ancient magic remain, trapped in the Vestige left behind. Gene (you don’t really think that any teen would willingly be called Inphigenia) breaks free of her ill-fitting life as a young lady and becomes Micah Grey, the newest member of R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic, and the aerialist apprentice to  Arik and Aenea.

Laura Lam writes of the two types of magic that live in this city, the magic in the Vestige and that of deception, both benign and malevolent.

Lam’s words are like a magician’s spell. She artfully casts the story into sharp relief. The characters are round and full of emotion and realness. Each one is important, if only for a second.

This story is one of acceptance; of one’s self and of others. Every person has, at some point, felt afraid to be who they were for fear of being rejected. Nearly every person has been rejected and even if our stories are different from Micah’s we can all relate to them. That is exactly why, I think this story is so powerful. It will resonate with every person differently.

I rate it: 5/5

Goodreads says: 3.93/5 (that’s specific)

Amazon says: 4.5/5

Warnings:

Abuse; emotional and physical, foul language,  death, blood,

 

 

Episode 27: Back in School

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Sock Yarn Blankie, By Shelly Kang

Ridgley Mittens, By Kris Basta

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Starry Night Batt (Textured), By AlmaPark

I have smooth batts but they’re unavailable right now.

MadelineTosh, Unicorn Tail

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Aaronmakesstuff

Shattered Sun Shawl, By Felicia Lo

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Mad Max; Fury Road

Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789, By Joseph J. Ellis

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You can find me on:

Ravelry: Kninernat

Instagram: Kninernat

The Ravelry Group: Knitty, Nerdy, & Natural

Cotton Tale

When I was in between eleventh and twelfth grade I took a summer school civics class. At the beginning of the class our teacher had us take a short true or false quiz to see how much of American history we remembered.

One question was ‘Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin’ True or False?

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The cotton gin.

I circled false, and after our teacher had gone over the answers (saying that one was actually ‘True’) he asked if there were any questions.

I said something to the effect of “In AP US history, you taught us that one of Whitney’s slaves invented the cotton gin. He just took credit.” (Looking back, I was incredibly lucky that this teacher was a nice guy and one that I had worked for while on Student Council.) He said “That’s true but most history says it’s not true.”

That was the end of it except for a kid saying ‘thanks Sarah, I passed the quiz since he gave us that one as a freebie.”

That was what was running through my mind as my mom and I scrabbled from the front of our rattly pickup truck, just outside of Gregory Town Eleuthra. We jogged across the road to what must have been the now-wild remains of a long-forgotten cotton field. At first glance it looked like a just a few plants were still growing, but on closer inspection, there were still tons.

We spent about five minutes pulling every white tuft that we could reach. Once back in the cab and on our way, I stared at the pile of fluff in my lap. “I bet there were cotton plantations around here at one point. There’s no way cotton is native.” According to my mother, there were cotton plantations on the islands during the Civil War.

When we got back to the house I went and sat on the deck to begin de-seeding the cotton.

Every bit of fluff grows from a seed and there are about four or five seeds per ball. I had my work cut out for me. There was a whole bowl full of cotton fluffs, each with its own seed to be picked.

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I spent a few hours peeling each seed from its cotton. I began to develop blisters on my hands. I  began to ponder history and my being a interloper into it. It felt almost unsettling. I’m not afraid of philosophy or finding myself in the wrong. However, sometimes, thinking about what was (not to mention what is) can be unsettling.

Hours later I had a bowl full of fluff, professionally called lint, and a bowl full of seeds and wormy cotton. (Some of it had been turned into nests and had to be thrown out with the seeds.)

Fast forward to now, I’m home with ziploc full of cotton. I haven’t weighed it yet so I’m not sure how much I’ve got. I’m also unsure what to do with it. Obviously, I want to spin it but I’m not going to get much out of if on its own. I’m thinking about blending it with another fiber and if I should dye it.

Thank  you for following me through a rather lengthy post, and if you have any insight about what I could do (I really don’t know anything about spinning or prepping cotton) feel free to drop me a line in the comments.

The colors of the Sea

When I was browsing KnitPicks.com during their big sale in November I stumbled across some KnitPicks Felici while I was getting ready to place my second order. Yes, I know, I’m weak. The colorway was ‘Nassau’.

Nassau, is the capital of the Bahamas. It resides on Grand Bahama Island. The colorway was of blues and greens, it had me wrapped around its finger (metaphorically) in seconds. We weren’t going to vacation on Grand Bahama Island, rather a smaller island called Eleuthra.

I cast on the night before we left, since I had to do the tubular cast on, which I had never done before. In the hotel I realized that I had made the classic mistake of not reading everything I needed to beforehand. I hadn’t known that it was a provisional cast on and hadn’t brought scrap yarn. I found some that I had planned to keep on hand for emergencies.IMG_7850

The next morning, on the airplane, I worked the first heel and got a chance to practice cross-multiplication to scale down the sock pattern from a cast on of 64 stitches to 60.

Once we arrived in Eleuthra, I did the best I could to make sure the socks (Super Simple Short Socks, btw) got to see a bit of everything.IMG_7858 We took it to the Haynes Library when my stepdad was leaving some books in their take-a-book leave-a-book program.

Both socks also braved the sand and surf to see all of the beaches we went to. I didn’t take pictures of them at everyone but here are two.

The first is of Cupid’s Cay just opposite of the Library. I loved how the color of the water matched the sock so well. The second is of a waterspout called the Queen’s Bath (I believe).

They also got to try the local cuisine. Cracked chicken and conch (of every variety) were their favorites. (They are mine as well.)IMG_7881

‘Cracked’ means that it’s pounded before seasoned and then cooked. The term comes from cracking the conch’s shell to get to the meat. (That’s cracked conch with peas and rice. The lime is to be squeezed on the conch)

I finished them three days before we left to come home. I made sure to get plenty of pictures of them in their natural habitat.

The socks both thought it was funny that this was the only picture they have of them actually in Nassau. It’s of the first one at the airport.

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Accountable

When the Ravelry group I am a part of (The Knitting Dead) announced that they were holding a year-long WIP (work in progress) knit-a-long I thought, slightly disappointingly, that I wouldn’t be able to join since I didn’t have any WIPS. I continued this line of thinking for a week or so, until I started to feel a little tug on that thread of thought.

It unraveled pretty quickly, and was exposed as the insanity it was. I started pulling them out of their various hiding places living spaces this morning and assembled them for role call.


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Clockwise from the upper left; we have the Rugged Ripples Afghan by Stephanie Gage (Started November 16, 2014), a cross stitch pattern that is cafe-themed (Started October 10, 2015), Chain Stripes by Lisa Carnahan (this was a random cast on from a weekend when I came home and forgot my knitting. I know, crazy right? I’ll be frogging this one.), My 2016 weather scarf (Started January 11, 2016),  The Blanket by Shelly Kang (Started March 23, 2013), a charity hat out of my head (Started December 30, 2015), My Starry Night Batts, from AlmaPark on Etsy (Started Fall 2015), A charity blanket of granny squares (Started May 2015), and the shirt and hat for my male gnome of Pocket Pals the Gnomes by Debbi Birkin (Started June 30, 2014).

Obviously I have a bit of work to do. So, with the combination of the Knitting Dead KAL and LinaKnit’s Finish-it-February I think I’ll be able to finish almost (or dare I drop the ‘almost’) all of these WIPS by the end of the year.

Wish me luck.

Episode 25: Fiber Books and Bricks

You can find episode 25 here.

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Super Simple Short Socks, By Meghann Holcomb

For the Love of Cables, By Crystal Gammon

Clincher, By Ash Kearns

Sandoval Hat, By Robyn Devine

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Knit Picks Felici, Nassau

Ella Rae, Lace Merino, in Kelly Green

MadelineTosh, Unicorn Tail, in Glazed Pecan

Ella Rae, Lace Merino Worsted, in Grey Black

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Thor Goddess of Thunder: Vol. 2

Rey’s Speeder, Set 75099

First Order Battle Pack, Set 75132

Knighton Battle Blaster, Set 70310

The Winter Soldier Polybag

Poe Dameron’s X-Wing, Set 75102

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You can find me on:

My Etsy Shop: KnittyNerdyNatural

Ravelry: Kninernat

Instagram: Kninernat

The Ravelry Group: Knitty, Nerdy, & Natural

How to Show a Hat a Good Time

Back in October, Jake and I were going to go to Rhinebeck, but, on the big day I had a skull-splitting migraine and we had to bail. So to compensate later we ventured to a LYS in a town near our college. That’s where I got the yarn for this hat. Jake picked it out. I was going to knit him a hat right away but I didn’t have the required size US 9 dpns.

I finished the Sandoval Hat in just a few days. (Jake picked the pattern too.) The beginning was a little rough.

The suggested needle size made, for me, a fabric that could be described ‘slightly dense fishnet stockings’. I wasn’t even getting gauge. I don’t think it was helped by the fact that the needles were printed as a size US 9 but clearly don’t fit into the size 9 hole in my needle sizer. I went down to a six 6 US and cast on 114 stitches.

After that though, it was smooth sailing.
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It went with me to three futsal games (the easiest explanation since I don’t know much about it either, it that it is indoor soccer with a heavier ball. I know there’s more than that but I don’t know what it is.). It got to watch my little brother scale the side of the local Y to get the ball down during halftime of the game.

To be far, it wasn’t overly worried about him since he’s  essentially a monkey.

 

After that particular game it watched Key Largo with my mom and I. It enjoys movies with Humphrey Bogart an Lauren Bacall in them as much as we do.

The next night it attended family game night in our kitchen. My brother (the same one as above) made mini doughnuts in his doughnut making machine and we played Scatagories.  My crowing moment was when the letter was ‘W’ and I filled in every single category on the list. It only got a few stitches worked but  it had fun anyway.

IMG_7837Then, it came with me when we went out to eat Chinese. It thinks I got ripped off in the fortune inside the fortune cookie department. It says ‘It’s darkest before the dawn.’ Now the hat may only be a few day old, but it’s sure it has heard that somewhere else before.