Before getting started on new things I've been trying to get some of my WIP pile cleared. Several projects had got put on one side because I didn't want to sew them together whilst moving, or I didn't have anywhere to block them whilst moving. But I've been steaming ahead with some finishing.
I started this tea cosy way back in March, intended for a friend's birthday in April. Fortunately I haven't seen her yet and we'd only just exchanged our previous year's birthday and Christmas presents as I ran a little late with this one. But now it's finished. I realised once I was going that this is Fair Isle! The pattern is Terrific Tea Cosy from Rowan Classic Home and used almost exactly 3 balls of space dyed DK from Wentworth Yarns (as acquired on Skip North back in 2006!).
I finished off the Rib Fantastic socks, in Regia Designline Kaffe Fassett 4ply. I like the way the colours have worked out in these.
And I finally finished off Dylan's tank top and got it posted off to him. What a failure of an Auntie. Although I shouldn't think he's too bothered as he seemed much more interested in the wooden car transporter I sent him for his birthday than anything knitted. This is the basic vest pattern by Ann Budd, made in Peaches & Creme cotton.
Want to see some more of the house? This is my study/the spare room, which Monkey shares with Claudius my laptop, and quite a lot of yarn. Sometimes they let me in there too.
I've also finished a couple of books. Last month's reading group book was "The vanishing act of Esme Lennox" by Maggie O'Farrell. This is the first book in ages that I haven't been able to put down - it's totally compelling. Bizarrely at reading group all the women loved it, and the one man hated it! I loved the way it jumped backwards and forwards, allowing you to piece the story together from various recollections and accounts. Some parts felt strange - what was the significance of Iris' relationship with Alex, for instance? But on the whole it worked extremely well. It was also chilling to think about how easily a woman could be locked up in an asylum in those days, basically for doing very little other than not wanting to conform to society's expectations.
I was not as impressed by "A walk with Jane Austen" by Lori Smith. I found this very odd. It wasn't so much about walking with Jane Austen as about the author's own problems - I spent half the time wanting to shriek "get a grip" at her. Especially when she spends half the book mooning over "Jack", a relationship that never even comes to very much at all. Whilst it was interesting getting an American's view of a trip round England (and very amusing in places) some things didn't really add up for me - such as why was she being so energetic if she was really feeling that bad? The faith and Christianity parts also didn't fit at all well - there was nothing on the outside of the book that mentioned anything to do with religion and I found that these parts mostly really grated (and I'm a Christian!) - and might be a shock for many readers?
From the front cover: "A modern woman's search for happiness, fulfilment and her very own Mr Darcy" make it sound quite light-hearted, maybe verging on the chick lit, when it isn't actually at all! It's got mixed reviews, including someone who thinks it would be perfect for a "young woman's" reading group. Hmm. Yeah.
Ah well, August's reading group book is "The reluctant fundamentalist", which I'm currently reading... and it's already proving better than walking with Jane Austen.