Grrl Knitting[yes I meant to spell it that way;) ]

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Why Hello! This post has been in the making for quite a while now. I took the photos way back in end of July for the OAL2017 hosted by Andi and Lauren.
I’m going to cut this into two posts and this one is dedicated to the knitting portion of the OAL! This was the summer I really learned how to knit. I could say relearned but let’s be honest the first time I learned years ago I never got beyond knitting and purling scarves and couldn’t look at the stitch and tell them apart if I messed up! Not much of a real knitter then.

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Now I can at least tell the difference haha. This was my first garment I knitted and it definitely had its ups and downs but a lot of fun was had along the way. I decided I was going to do the Thunder Road by Amy Appel or Poison Grrl Knits-it’s an adorable bolero that’s inspired by the movie Grease(so honestly how could I NOT pick it…?). You’re supposed to knit it in cotton but of course I had to do it in a wool because I live to create problems for myself haha. The yarn I did go with was Quince & Co Chickadee which was absolutely lovely to work with. I used almost all of the two skeins I purchased.

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I don’t want to talk too much about the pattern because it is a paid for pattern and I wouldn’t want to give anything away but I will say Amy writes a great pattern. As a newbie knitter I did have to google some stitches and things like that but the instructions are all clearly written with some great pictures to go along with it.

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I did swatch as I am told any good knitter should 😉 and my gauge seemed to be correct(though I did have a hard time measuring the lace portion). I think when I knit it again(which I definitely plan to) I am going to go up a size because it is definitely tight in the shoulders and lower back section. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t gauge correctly or if it is because I used wool instead of the recommended cotton and I’m too much of a newbie to know to make sizing changes because of stretch etc. Either way the bolero is adorable and I can’t wait to wear it-this is especially important because at the moment I work in a conservative work environment and need to have my shoulders covered.
This pattern gets 5/5 stars in my book! I can’t say I can’t wait to try another of her patterns because I already am! You’ll just have to lurk around this space for my next review of Amy’s patterns!

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When You Give A Girl A Sword…

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When You Give a Girl a Sword…Secondborn Review

I as many other people on Goodreads it seems couldn’t resist Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol…I especially couldn’t resist it when it was offered as a Kindle First book and I could get it for only $1.99(I mean who can honestly not be tempted by that kind of deal?).
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It took me a while to get into this book. I found the different Fates slightly confusing to keep track of especially because they aren’t explained what each one represents until later in the book. When I finally got over my confusion and gave up trying to figure out the social structure of the world I could finally enjoy the story.  Because let’s be honest-we don’t read YA for much other than the fast paced structure and the yearning over eager life or death  romance right? 😉

The concept is good. A world where you are only allowed two children and only the first born can inherit anything. The second born is sent away as a child soldier to fight the wars and do the dirty work of the first borns while the family still gets to reap the financial benefits of a child they no longer have to support. This system of course creates a lot of abuse and neglect(which duh). A second child can inherit if a first born dies-talk about creating sibling rivalry.
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The story revolves around second born Roselle St Sismodes and her mother is the be all of be alls of the Fates. Roselle’s privileged upbringing causes her troubles right from the start. Beginning with the fact that her life has always been televised-an easily recognized face is the exact opposite of what you want when the goal is to blend in.

There is romance in this book(YA duh), action, rebellion and adventure. Roselle creates friendships that will last a life time-if only they can survive long enough to live that life. The book is filled with a lot of girls kicking ass(something I always appreciate), clever boys and wicked mothers. The concept is interesting, the world slightly complicated though rather stereotypical (I feel) to most YA romance adventure novels these days. That isn’t to say it isn’t worth a read because I do recommend it. I’m just saying that a lot of these books tend to have the same sort of feeling to it and this is no exception. It’s the first in a trilogy so we’ll see what’s to come of the second.

All in all, I’d say 4/5 stars

-Happy Reading!
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Another CoCo, Another Color…

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Is that a groan I hear? Another CoCo you might say? Though really there shouldn’t be all that much grumbling since I haven’t even blogged about all 4 or 5 I’ve sewn now. The one I haven’t blogged about (yet) and sewed months and months ago now is still my favorite but this one gives it a good run for its money.

I finally did my first (completed) dress version of the CoCo. The purple version [here] was originally supposed to be a dress before I did some very tired/stupid sewing a chopped it MUCH too short and turned it into a cute top. I really did measure before cutting and everything but I didn’t count on the weight of the knit pulling down on the form and making the dress seem longer than it actually was. Regardless here is my new CoCo in an actual dress!!!

Again, the construction is pretty straight forward because Tilly is an absolute CHAMPION at making clear written instructions with coinciding pictures(seriously I would buy literally any pattern that woman puts out). I always have to be aware of the length as a pretty short gal but that’s standard for me.
I went with right above elbow length sleeves and added ties to the sides so I could pull it in a bit and give myself a little shaping. I love a good t-shirt dress(what I was going for) but I’m a tad too curvy for it to be flattering unless it’s either really tight or loose with ties on the sides or well… I guess belted but sometimes even that causes things to bunch awkwardly around my hips.

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I used about two or so yards of a light weight knit fabric from Joanns and some extra polyester green thread I had in my stash. Two funny stories about the thread:

1) I used till the end of my bobbin with only about 4 cm of thread left after finishing one of the whole sides of the dress(it felt like quite a sewing BAMF moment even if it was completely accidental).

2) I totally overestimated how much thread I still had left in that color and ended up having to use a lighter thread for the left half of the dresses side and the bottom hem but oh well-live and learn.

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Either way, I couldn’t be happier with the dress and can’t till fall so that I can layer it with boots, tights and scarves to add fun to a plain dress. Any dress that feels like pajama’s but I can wear out in public is a win in my book 😉

*side note:the hem isn’t crooked but the way I stand must be lol*

I’ll leave you with a photo of me and my fella watching the Eclipse and one of Echo being her usual cute self..

-Happy Sewing

It’s Curtains For Me…

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This was a very fun sewing project and another I did without a pattern which I’m rather proud of if I do say so myself.

The skirt is a simple pleated skirt. I drafted it using 3 rectangles one very large and two half its size. I then just continuously pleated the rectangles until they fitted the waist band which I replicated from my polk a dot shorts pattern. I even relocated the longer band(which if you recall I didn’t like because it was hard to hook the hook and eye closures). I used some vintage plastic buttons for the band which are a lot easier to button then the tiny hooks.

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I used interfacing to stiffen the waistband and horse hair braid to give the skirt volume without any petticoats underneath. The horse hair braid is from Amazon because it was much cheaper there than my local Joanns-I picked the the one that was about a half inch in width.

Everything about this was simple and easy but there is a funny story with the fabric(which was also used as the lining in my shorts heart pockets). My coworker insisted I take this fabric home with me because she loves to up cycle everything! But the fabric is her shower curtains!!!! You would never guess right? 😉

Not much else to say here!

-Happy Sewing!

The Antispoiler Hero

A Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

**Spoilers Ahead**

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Alright people! In the last book Vin accidentally released Ruin. In the plot twist her attempt to follow the rules set for her turned out to be a trick all along. The villain who is an almighty God (possibly?) Ruin has been planning this for hundreds of years just waiting for the right moment to strike. Now Vin with Elend(who is emperor of all) are racing against the falling ash trying to find all the food cashes that the previous ruler had hid for this very time in history.

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What do you do if you can’t trust your words and you can’t trust the written word? What if all your thoughts are the only things safe from Ruin?

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I don’t want to have any spoilers so what I will say is thought this book gave a very real and honest depiction of depression and grief. Anderson’s depictions of the character Sazed emotions throughout the book were so spot on to how it really is in peoples lives. I feel that in a lot of fantasy novels the characters emotions get put aside quickly to move the book forward(which is completely understandable) but it dishonors the bonds created between the characters in the story.

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All your favorite characters are adventuring and working towards the ultimate goal of the book: saving the world(duh). You get to learn more about the side characters like the Kandra, Hammond, Breeze and especially Spook which I really enjoyed. Good guys become bad in this book and the creatures you thought bad you realize might have just been misunderstood.

I’m realizing this post is rather convoluted but I am trying so hard to do absolutely no spoilers because I really, really thought the book was so fabulous and the perfect way to wrap up the series. GO, GO, GO to the book store and pick up this series today!!!

-Happy Reading!!

Whats Love Got To Do With It?

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I’m calling these my What’s Love Got To Do With It Shorts because of the heart pockets…duh. It’s not the most creative of naming but I like it so who cares? haha. I made these when it was much too cold to actually wear them anytime soon because when you get a sewing craving you go for it right?

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Anyways, I got this shorts pattern from Joanns on one of their fabulous pattern sales(the only way I try to buy non indie patterns these days because patterns are expensive). It is McCall’s M6930. I had to wait for nice weather to photograph them because I came across the same problem with my Tilly Arielle skirt where the denim was too dark to photograph well in the house and still show the gold polk-a-dots well which honestly is the very best part!

Okay on to the shorts! the pattern is pretty damn simple. I broke my rule of tracing and not cutting the pattern because I had read lots of reviews on the pattern and read it ran large so I did my measurements and went from there. I cut out the pattern(still a few sizes larger than I wanted and folded down the seam lines to get my size.

Cut and traced the pattern and went from there. I chose to do version A but with version B’s heart pockets because they were just too darn cute to resist. I used the same gold polk a dot denim as previously mentioned and then used some white fabric from my stash that had matching large gold polk a dots to line the heart pockets. Though the lining isn’t visible I love those secret touches of some what matching lining fabric-I think thats what really makes home sewing so special.

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Things I had trouble with: Getting the heart pockets that perfect heart shape but I was very picky and didn’t want the hearts to seem too pointy. Also the inseam on the crotch. I had to adjust that a few times and I’m still not happy with how much fabric is there but the shorts also have full useable pockets in the front(amazing for women’s shorts I know) so I think I’m just not used to having to make space for useable pockets in the front of my garments without a front zipper. I used Singer The Perfect Fit Sewing Reference Library for help/advice on fitting the shorts. I bought 3 different versions of the Singer Reference Library at my local Goodwill and couldn’t be more pleased with the purchase! So helpful!
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Things I Changed: As a petite woman who also loves short shorts I cut quite a lot of length off the shorts but I should have widened the leg holes because once I cuffed up and seamed it also added to the poofing in the front that I mentioned I had trouble with earlier. I think it doesn’t look bad though and gives it a more retro feel to the already high waisted shorts.

Things I hate: OMG I absolutely HATE the way the shorts close in the back. I will definitely be changing the way it closes when I make this pattern next. the zipper is great no problems there but the piece of waist band that covers the zipper and goes farther to the left and then is closed by the tiniest hook and eye closures(which this is my problem for picking those out). But my goodness they are really difficult to catch and close especially when you are in a tiny bar bathroom and don’t have a lot of turning/reaching room. I consider myself a pretty flexible person and I have a lot of trouble reaching around and catching them so it is without a doubt a huge problem.

Overall, the pattern was fabulous and easy and a great addition to a summer me made wardrobe!!

-Happy Sewing Everyone!

Wonder Woman: A Caricature of Empowerment?

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Wonder Woman and the quest for women’s empowerment. Now I have mixed feelings about Wonder Woman as a whole. I like what she represents but hate how she has been turned into a caricature of a powerful woman. I won’t claim to be an expert on Wonder Woman by any means…I’ve only read one of her comics and watched her in animated shows as a kid until seeing the new Wonder Woman movie(which is absolutely fantastic-go see it now, now, now!!!).

Her creation story is fabulous because her creator was inspired partially by birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger and was meant to be a feminist icon. Diana has had a lot of different powers and looks over the years. Her skills are her Amazonian training like tactics, hunting(which I found interesting considering I remember her being a vegetarian) and combat. She also has the lasso of truth, indestructible bracelets and a tiara that serves as a projectile. Now she is seen as regularly using her sword and shield.

 

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Wonder Woman has also had in my opinion a lot of foolish and ridiculous abilities/accessories that led towards my feelings of her frequently being a caricature. At one point Diana owned a pair of glowing, red, magnetic earrings that allowed her to receive messages(before cell phones were common I’m guessing). There is of course the stupid invisible plane and the telepathic abilities she possessed through her tiara allowing her to summon the plane on command. There was also the purple ray capable of healing fatal gunshot wounds even through a person’s brain and a Violet Power Ring of Love(yes that really is the title) that enabled her to alter her costume at will and not only that but the ring reveals a person’s absolute true love to them. On top of ALL THIS RIDICULOUSNESS Diana has mental radio waves that could let her receive messages from those in need of her.

No wonder Wonder Woman isn’t taken seriously…if all those powers aren’t an example of how society is supposed to view Diana throughout the years to top it all off when she was finally allowed to join the Justice Society of America it was as their damn SECRETARY!!!!

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I really hope that this movie inspires a powerful reboot of Wonder Woman bringing her back to the feminist icon she once represented with a modern twist. As of now I feel she is on par with Super Man who is considered the laughing stock of the comic book world characters. He has been unable to keep up with the modern age and times and hopefully Wonder Woman won’t fall to the same fate.

-Happy Reading and Go See Wonder Woman!!!

Sewing In A Cinch…

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I Made A Thing!!

I made a project bag because what is the best thing about picking up a new hobby?? All the new fun accessories and books you get to add to your project collection!

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Once I realized that yes I am liking picking up and relearning this whole knitting thing again and after having to run to Joanns/Michaels to pick up different sized knitting needles for projects I promptly decided their had to be another/less expensive way(in the long run) to go around all the needle needing. I did some research and decided that I just HAD to have interchangeable knitting needles. I asked around, did some research, examined my budget and then also used a birthday Amazon gift card and bought myself some interchangeable ChiaoGoo bamboo knitting needles. I have to say so far I LOVE them. The set is beautiful and came with three different cable sets in two different sizes(small and large) the lengths are 14”, 22” and 30”. It also came with a whole bundle of stitch markers and other fabulous things.

Anyways, this is getting off track. The whole point that I was making is that I’m getting into knitting and then had to make a thing-and that thing is a project bag to carry my new shawl I’m knitting in! I found the outside fabric from Michaels and it is by Loops & Threads. It’s a beautiful blue with fun pink and yellowy-green yarn balls. The inside is a baby blue with white polk-a-dot fabric fat quarter square from Joanns.

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It was a pretty simple project. the dimensions folded in half were what I was looking for. I decided not to cut out a separate circular bottom for the bag this time because I didn’t want to add a third color to the mix and wanted to sew and go haha. I stitched it up inside out-leaving one small part of the side open so I could pull it inside out and then folded down the top and stitched down and then pinned the sides inside out and stitched away!

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As you can see from the above pictures I originally had the tie band for the bag that was a cute pink tape measure. I had bought one in pink and blue from Joanns for a dollar each in a haul earlier planning on finding a project for them(and I really thought this was the perfect project!). Sadly though it just was not meant to be because I couldn’t really cinch in the bag while using the tape measure so it had to go.

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I decided to use some extra bias binding I had laying around from previous projects. I had a bit of pink and just enough dark blue. I just folded the ends and stitched them down to create a tab on each end and then stitched down the binding sides with matching threads and then weaved it through the top of the bag.

And there we have it! An easy-peasy cute project bag!!!

 

-Happy Crafting!

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust…Will They All Fall Down?

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Mistborn trilogy book 2!!! A book dealing in consequences of actions, relationships and the notion of whether attraction is more important than similarities in personality.
Oh Brandon Sanderson…this book didn’t get as good of reviews on Goodreads  but I really have to disagree. I found it even better than the first. I like the way the author dealt with aspects of the human condition and how their can be consequences to abuse and violence.

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The book begins where the second left off. Keisler is dead but Vin has succeeded in achieving his dream of overthrowing the thousand year reign of the Lord Ruler. What do you do if you have achieved the plans of someone no longer alive and don’t know where to go from there? This is the main issue in the second Mistborn book. Vin has made Elend King but can a philosopher really be a good king? Can a relationship work if balance of power is unequal forcing one partner to essentially use the other as a weapon? Is it possible to consider that a form of love?
Battles are won and lost as ash rains down from the sky smothering farms and mists begin to fill the daylight hours causing deaths among those brave enough to wander into them.

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Sanderson really knows how to tell and epic tale with a fantastic feminist, female main character. Where her strength doesn’t make her unloveable but enables people to love her and appreciate her more. I think this is Sanderson’s greatest strength as a fantasy writer…his ability to write a fantastically created well rounded world.

I really don’t want to accidentally give away any spoilers so I will just say this… give this fantasy series a try the second book is even stronger then the first in my opinion and well worth the 600 plus pages to read it(if I’m remembering the page length correctly).
-Happy Reading and Crafting!

What the Hell Have I Been Up To??

OhMyGoodness! Where the heck have I been??? I feel like it has been ages since I’ve posted and it kind of has…

I promise I’ve been sewing, and reading(so much reading!!!) and I relearned a new hobby…Knitting!!! Which means I’ve been a lot more active on Ravelry so if knitting interests you find me there! I’m happyechos just like on the blog 🙂

I have been sick twice with a terrible cold in the last month and been down for the count and definitely not up for writing up posts and really really not up to photographing myself in the items. Work has been chaos on so many levels which cut in greatly to my crafting time and increased my stress/exhaustion level quite a bit.

So what do you have to look forward to seeing?

*a ton of book reviews since I have read 41/110 of my book challenge books this year so far! This leaves me just a tad behind schedule at the moment 😉

*some fun sewing project success and fails! Though I am going to label the fails as works in progress because I haven’t give up on them yet!

*a new knitting/yarn section since I am on my 3rd knitting project after reteaching myself about a month ago!!!!

*And I am thinking about adding a what I’m watching/what I’m wishing for/listening to blog post maybe twice a month or so

Also since I posted I had a birthday and turned 26 and decided it was time to get my act together and head back to school to finish up my degree so I’m in the process of that!

Okay so that was a lot of rambling about future things to mostly show that I promise I’m still here and thinking about this blog! I’m going to leave you with some sneak peak shots of all the fun projects I’ll soon be blogging about so stay tuned!!

Hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend and are reading, crafting and enjoying the sun just like me!