scheepjeswol CAL

I signed up for the scheepjeswol CAL led by Marinke (wink) of a creative being.

Really I was attracted by the lovely colours & low price of the yarn pack + the idea of learning some new techniques AND of being held to a timeline.

The yarn colours are nice – I’ve been freaked out by the instructions to use my creativity with the colour combinations (!) but I’ve had a go. I’ve now completely run out of some colours that it turns out I still need for the last couple of squares so I’m winging it big time now – get me & my free-stylin’! The yarn is nice too, it’s cotton and when it’s worked up the fabric is soft & floppy!

I’m behind with the weeks. 4 weeks behind. I started about 1 week late, then the new-job-commuting-moving-house period of my life kicked in, then there was an incident with Week 4 which set me back a ways. Now I’ve got 5 squares of Week 9 to do, 6 squares of Week 10, joining (Week 11) & the border and bosch.


Even after finishing the last 11 squares, I’ve gotta block all of them. Might take a while, eh?

I have no way of blocking projects, no board to pin them to, etc. etc. I’ve dealt with this so far by either ironing or just not bothering. But I’m determined to do this properly. I read fairly often about how important/useful blocking is – the wonderful Yarn Harlot has some inspiring posts about it – so I really wanna get the blocking habit. So I’m going to actually buy an actual blocking board (is that what they’re called?) and do this thing. Which is going to have to wait til I get paid next month.

Here are some pictures of my work so far. They are NOT good pictures, just quick snaps to record bits & bobs as I went along.

this is what the yarn pack looked like when I opened it – yum!

damn you, Week 4, you will not beat me!!!!

Week 5

All the colours I’ve got left!

That flower weighs 4g, ladies & gentlemen!



The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar

The Violent Century

I came across Lavie Tidhar ages ago, can’t remember how but I imagine I was on the prowl for new & innovative scifi. His ‘Osama’ has been on my wishlist for a long time but kept getting passed over. Again, on a more recent prowl for new, innovative scifi I decided to try one of his other books instead. The Violent Century has fairly enthusiastic reviews & the blurb mentions superheroes. Well, OK then.

I’ve recently discovered, to my immense delight, the wonder that is Amazon Whispersync. One of the slightly creepy but cool things about it is I was wishing for it about a year ago. And now it’s here. Whispersync allows you to sync your Kindle book with your Audible audiobook. So you can read, put it down, pick up the crochet and start listening where you left off reading. Neat, huh?
Seriously. This is great because otherwise I end up with two books on the go, 1 on t’Kindle & 1 audio book and I am not really a two-books kinda girl. That’s probably pathetic but there it is, I can only have 1 book going on at a time. So whispersync (tm?) is B R I L L I A N T. Not cheap, you have to pay for the Kindle book & the audio book, although you get discounts. And sadly but entirely understandably, not available on all books. I don’t know how long it takes to record an audio book but I’m going to guess at least twice as long as it takes a person to just read the book + goodness knows what technical wizardry has to be performed to get the syncing to work.

Anyhoo, I’ve found that being able to listen to books as well as read them has made it easier to get into books I might otherwise have given up on. I’m such a fickle reader these days. ‘Twasn’t always thus. I definitely would have abandoned The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth if the narrator hadn’t brought the characters to life for me. But that’s another post …


[spoiler alert – go no further if you want to read the book yourself]

The Violent Century is about a bunch of people with, ahem, superpowers. The main characters are Henry Fogg, codename Fog because he can control fog. Yeah. Oblivion, who can make stuff disappear, as in not exist any more disappear. There are a bunch of other cool characters but the reader only ever really gets inside Fogg & Oblivion’s heads.

The story? Well, it jumps about frenetically  from the present to before & during  & just after the Second World War, with bits in the Vietnam war. & when I say frenetically, I mean it. But it’s helpfully signposted all the time and I like a bit of jumping about in a timeline! Think Time Traveller’s Wife. Without the time travel, obvs. It should be pointed out here that Lavie Tidhar is Israeli so the WW2 stuff about the Nazis, etc, was particularly poignant. There’s a love story, between Fogg & a character called Somertag, who is rather 2 dimensional. That bit didn’t ring very true for me. I also picked up some stuff between Oblivion & Fogg, then wondered if I’d imagined it, then was sure, then wondered if I’d imagined it again. That was very real. The action is action-y though not edge-of-your-seat. The plot, well, meanders a bit. There’s obviously some point to the Somertag character/story, something to do with how the characters got their superpowers in the first place. There’s some sort of climactic denouement at the end which either doesn’t clear up any of the latter or it does & I missed it. This is mildly disappointing although not very as I’m happy for the book to stand for itself. Also, the narrative has these bits of self-referential stuff “we watch him”, “we’ve seen this before”. I was looking forward to finding out what that was all about and, again, either didn’t or missed it.

Overall, I loved The Violent Century. It has lots of elements I enjoy in a story – superheroes, jumpy timelines, a potentially unreliable narrator. I could have been more invested in the characters and in the love story.


What happens if you decrease the toe of a sock while watching international rugby at ridiculous o’clock on a Saturday morning…


… is you do all the toe decreases before noticing you dropped a stitch, oh, 20 rounds ago. Of course.

Apparently my stepmother can pop frogged stitches back on a needle, no problemo. I have yet to see this but I have no reason to doubt it. I, on the other hand, basically can’t do it. Once I’ve frogged, I’m going all the way back to the start baby. Except hell no, I was at damn TOE, no way was I starting that Sock all over. Nuh-uh.
So, with a multitude of needles, cable & dpn, and a crochet hook gripped between my teeth, I put those stitches back. Oh yes, I did.
It took me half an hour & I still don’t know why I had an odd number of stitches in the end and I’ve pretty much guessed where I am in the decrease repeat but that toe is happening. Right now. While I watch highlights of the England v New Zealand game…



The thing I was being mildly coy about in the last post was/is A NEW JOB!!!!! A real one with a salary and stuff, I’m so happy :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

It starts on Monday 27th October – eek! So I have commenced the soul-destroying task of trawling through adverts & trying to make people like me trying to find a room on Fingers crossed …


On my hook/needles: the Rainbow Granny Blanket is done, although it needs an ickle bath before I send it to the baby who was born – congratulations to the Delaneys on the arrival of James Eric!!!! So awesome I’ve got goosebumps! In other yarns, I’ve started a CAL which is in week 3 but I’m only halfway through week 2 so everything else is hibernating while I try to catch up.

On that note, there’s a Facebook page or group or something for the CAL – I’m afraid I have the Facebook blindness that strikes some over-30’s, I just cannot get it no matter how hard I try & it’s not technophobia or ludditery because I’m absolutely fine with pinterest, twitter, bloglovin, wordpress, etc. But Facebook just confuses me, WTF is a wall? is it the same as a timeline? a group?!?
So maybe I shouldn’t’ve joined a group when i don’t even know what that is but this whole CAL is a voyage of discovery for me so I thought what the heck? Then the other day I was scrolling through Facebook, something I nearly always regret, and I saw this post from the group/CAL organiser saying that she’s leaving the group because of the hate mail she’s been receiving! I was so shocked. I cannot even remotely understand why someone would join a CAL group on Facebook and then send messages of hate to the organiser. How foul.

Reading: The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth & it’s as interesting as I’d hoped + more amusing than I expected. Just read a chapter about how much wool has influenced the English language! There’s a whole post about that coming …

Listening: because I need some fiction in my life, and because I need to crack on with that CAL, I’m listening to My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You by Lousia Young. Wow. Tough stuff but fascinating (in a rather gory way – I now know more about facial reconstruction than I would really like to). It’s a very moving love story, with a few other characters who get focused on during the novel, set before and during WW1. I thought the story/plot was getting a bit obvious a few times, and it does seem to skip over the real horrors of the trenches, for example. But then, the love story and the way it deals with people’s reactions to the horror without really talking about the horror itself  + the way some characters get a lot of attention for a while, then none for ages, so you’re thinking, “when am I going to hear about her again?” is fascinating. The audio is also really well-read, imho, by Dan Stevens, yes, him off of Strictly Come Downton or whatever, and he’s great! I’ve been wanting to read more about WW1 with all the commemoration and so on that’s been going on here, I’m shamefully poor at history and really didn’t know anything about it except the dates, how it started and that it was awful. So, this is a fictional account but I hope I’m getting some sense of what it was like to live through, although of course a vast number of young men didn’t live through it.

Mood: not enjoying the ‘waiting for strangers to like me’ feeling of trying to find a room. But needs must. Very excited about the actual job I’m going to do. And, if I’m honest, about not living with the Parentals for much longer, I’ve been StepParental-sitting this weekend & I’m kinda over spending my time with over-70’s men!

Weather: s’getting blowy out there, apparently we’re due for Heap Big Winds on Tuesday.

Music: Spotify all the way!


well, this isn’t going well, is it?

I am failing miserably to keep up with my post a day for 3o days challenge – fact.

This is partly because I’ve been busy the last few days with a little something that might still come to nothing so I don’t want to mention it yet just in case.

I hope to be back in a couple of days with news, or a massive Poor Me Rant!


Days 11 & 12

Job interview tomorrow – eek & gulp!

Mood: dead worried about tomorrow & therefore can’t settle on anything.

Music: this playlist on Spotify

Watched: not much , GBBO final last night – GUTTED that Richard didn’t win, so not fair! 1 NCIS this afternoon while my nails dried & right now, episode 2 of Our Girl

Weather: all stormy & Autumnal – I’m enjoying the drama!

On my hook/needles: not much, see above re. mood & not being able to settle, bit more on the Long Sock, ooh & I finally finally fastened off the toe of the Second Long Sock (DK) – get me with the finishing stuff, eh?

Listened: Guardian Politics Weekly podcast & loads of BBC Radio 4!

Reading: still devouring Shadow Unit – onto 8 now. Think I might be slowing down though, time to move on to one of the intellectually stimulating books sitting in my ‘to read’ collection on my Kindle.


Days 7, 8, 9 & 10

There was a weekend & my routine went oops. Hence no posts.

Weather: has Turned. Ladies & Gentlemen, allow me to present Autumn.

Mood: surprisingly upbeat for someone who’s got no work.

On my hook/needles: finished Rainbow Granny Blanket yesterday – yay! There will be a post …

Watched: Our Girl, episode 1. Formula 1 on Sunday – very sad, best wishes for a speedy recovery to Jules Bianchi, and Grantchester which was a bit pedestrian but very easy on the eye.

Music: lots of terrible earworms over the last few days. Right now listening to Zane Low’s Hottest Records & BBC 6 Music recommends on Spotify.

Reading: gorging on Shadow Units 5, 6, and 7!