• Knitting & Crafting

    FO: Two by Two Hat

    Two by Two Hat

    Awhile back, I made my friend Mark a cowl and for his May birthday, I would knit him a hat in time for the Australian winter. I had three skeins of this Briggs & Little yarn creating two mens’ hats and one cowl from it. I love a nice blue. The knitting of this project did not take three months, but I did put it aside for some socks in between. I modified it to be smaller cast on and I hope it’s warm and snug.

    Two by Two Hat

    Two by Two, started January 24th 2018, finished April 10th 2018. Ravelry Project Page
    Pattern: Two by Two by Anne Gagnon Ravelry Pattern Page
    Made for: Mark, 55cm head circumference.
    Yarn: Regal by Briggs & Little – Worsted – 100% Wool (249 meters / 113 grams) – 1 skein
    Needles: US6/4.0mm 40″/100cm circulars

    Two by Two Hat

    Modifications & Notes:

    • German Twisted CO 96 sts
    • Knit to 8.5” before decreases
    • Had 24sts between markers for dec

    Cost of Project: The skein cost about $3.99
    Would I knit it again? Maybe.

  • Books

    Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

    This was actually my first Jane Austen biography. I have read all her fiction and I have read other sources about her life but not in a proper biography. I thought it was time to pick one up especially since I like Worlsey as BBC history presenter.

    The book took me longer than usual to read but perhaps typical of a longer nonfiction book. I found the beginning hard to get into. There was something about Worlsey’s writing style that I needed to get accustomed to. It was conversational and I did get use to it.

    I really appreciated the broader, historical context of the era including details about health, gender, home life, economics, Georgian society, and and the Napoleonic wars. It is a shame that she died young. As usual with historical books about women, I appreciated the rights and privileges we have now.

    A good read for those who like Austen and the era.

    Read April 9-20, 2018.

  • Books

    You & A Bike & A Road by Eleanor Davis

    This is a graphic travelogue that the author drew while on a bike trip from Arizona to Georgia.

    I really enjoyed the simplicity of the drawings. There is no colour and there is a lot of white space. In an odd way, I was able to appreciate the beauty of the landscape in my own imagination as rendered by the author. This is a type of raw and sincere storytelling. I also loved the many stories of her encounters with strangers including how many were so beautifully kind to her.

    It’s a very simply drawn but a very enjoyable little book.

    Read April 9, 2018.

  • Books

    Had We never Loved by Patricia Veryan

    I had recommended to read Veryan’s novels after I asked for authors similar to Georgette Heyer. I was starting to miss reading her fluffy romances and did not like her mysteries.

    This novel is the second in a series so I was a bit confused with the first chapter, but caught on. I also understand that there are other Very books which may be better.

    There were a few times when reading that I wanted to dump this book, but I’ve already dumped a couple of other books this year. This is the year for me to dump books.

    All in all, I was bored. I didn’t really enjoy the main romance. The leads were fine, but I did not feel connected to either of them. It also read like a bad romantic comedy at times with them being from such vast differences.

    I was also at times more interested in side characters like Katrina Falcon. I found that this novel had too many male characters and male perspectives and not enough female ones. I do not think any two females a sustained conversation in this whole book. Something I enjoyed about Heyer was the relationships she had between characters of all genders especially the platonic ones.

    I did not find main conflict compelling because the whole revenge plot was on the silly side. A bunch of men devise to entrap a family using a jewelled pin as the cause.

    I will try Very one more time or even another, but this was a pass for me.

    Read March 29-30, 2018.

  • Books

    The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

    Recently, I was able to watch some of Tiffany Haddish’s talk show interviews. She was funny, engaging, and has some of the most charisma I’ve seen in an entertainer.

    She promoted this book so I was able to retell some of the stories. Originally, I had intended to read the ebook and listen to the audiobook afterwards or at least least listen to some of the audiobook. However, the book is small and engaging enough that I listened to the whole audiobook while doing chores and sowing seeds on Good Friday.

    Haddish had a rough upbringing. She spent time in the foster care system, her mother was abusive, and she struggled to become a comedian. As an adult, she had a series of bad relationships including an abusive ex-husband. A lot of the stories in the book are very sad and heart breaking as a result, but since Haddish usually spins it into a funny or honest way, it’s not always depressing.

    I really empathized with at various points in the book. She described when she realized that her boyfriend had been cheating on her. I had suffered a deep betrayal once and her feelings then resonated with how I had felt too.

    There are a couple of stories in this book that have received criticism on the language Haddish uses. There is a story which many will find rife with ableism, but I don’t ever feel Haddish is malicious. I feel the book weakens towards the last quarter as it becomes snippets of Hollywood encounters. It’s not really describing in detail her experiences more little anecdotes here and there with famous people. It becomes more disjointed towards the end.

    While the audiobook was really narrated by Haddish, it does not have the same amount of energy as her TV appearances. I do wonder how it would have been to read it as well.

    I am glad to have listened to this book because Haddish has been able to become empowered and overcome a lot of her past and upbringing.

    Listened to audiobook March 29-30, 2018.