Thursday, 23 December 2010

Books- 2010

I keep a book journal, where I list all of the books that I read in a year; it got to the point where I was buying books I'd already read and needed to keep track (oh, if only I'd done that with my yarn stash; I still haven't found the two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock merino in Java...) Anyway, I thought I would share some of my favourite books of this year, just in case you are interested. They may not be books released this year, but just ones I've enjoyed.


Knitted Socks East and West

I'm slightly obsessed with Japan and Japanese culture and I am obsessed with knitting socks. This is gorgeous and I had to buy it; for less than £9 there are 29 patterns! All sorts of patterns are in here- lacy, thick, traditional Japanese. What I love about this is that Judy Sumner has named each pattern after some element of Japanese culture. I'm going to finish my 'vanilla' socks and then start the Tsunami socks. Almost like a Christmas present to me.


The Secret Scripture- Sebastian Barry- This book is amazing. I can't tell you exactly why, only that Barry has captured the atmosphere of Ireland in the 40s and beyond perfectly. The story covers the time in which I have been researching and the ending, although not totally unexpected, was surprising enough to make me cry. And I don't cry when reading novels.

The Owl Killers- Karen Maitland- I read this on my second journey to Ireland of the year and found it completely un-put-down-able. The story of a group of religious women settling into a strange and scary 14th century England wouldn't have been my cup of tea had I seen it in a bookshop, but a good friend sent it to me and I just thought it was amazing.


The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister- Helena Whitbread- I'm going to 'fess up- this is my grandma's book. She found a diary that had huge parts in code. She decoded it and found an account of lesbianism in Regency England that is fascinating (and maybe not as racy as many people expect!) It also gives an insight into how women were expected to behave at this point in time.

Desperate Romantics- Franny Moyle- I loved the TV series, but I loved the book even more. It's interesting how the artists seem on screen compared to how they do in the book; for example, I thought Holman Hunt was much more sympathetic in this book and you find out much more about one of my artistic heroes, William Morris and actually, what a nice chap he was, even to Rossetti who stole his wife. I also liked the infomation the reader is given about the women involved in the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, which, with the exception of Lizzie Siddall and Annie Miller, is kind of glossed over in the adaptation. Also? Aidan Turner is on the cover and that's never a bad thing.

So, this year, I read 40 books. Not bad going, I reckon!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Wedding shawl help...

So, I want to knit a wedding shawl. The fabric of my dress (hopefully) will be this:

I want to knit a wrap/shawl to go with it. My options so far are these:

Cloisters Wrap
Tudor Wrap
Tolovana Shawl

What do you think? What yarn should I use? Hopefully it'll be a May wedding and I'd like to splash out a little on the yarn. What colour would you choose?

Thanks, Knitters! x

Sunday, 12 December 2010


I am a terrible blogger (on this blog, anyway) I got distracted by my tea blog and by life in general. I make no apologies for this though- sometimes life gets in the way and that is a good thing!

So, what have I been up to? Well, I got engaged last week! We'll be getting married next May. So I'm planning a wedding.

I've travelled to Ireland twice and discovered a lot about my roots. I saw the house where my great-grandfather was born and I've visited his parents' and grandparents' grave. I've made new friends and discovered the joys of hot whiskey! I met a Yorkshireman and South African in a tiny pub in rural West Cork. I went to my first Mass, which was in Irish.

I got better this year. I'm no longer (for the time being, anyway) on any medication. I'm a happy and content person. I think that this may be due to the fact that I no longer work Fridays. I read interesting books and I'm having a go at writing my own, although that comes in fits and starts.

Knitting wise, I've made a plethora of socks and a couple of shawls. I've added bootees to my repertoire! I'm planning on knitting something for my wedding, I have a couple of ideas. I've been dyeing up a storm and am knitting some pretty cool socks at the moment.

I'm now looking to Christmas and the New Year. I hope to blog more frequently on this blog!