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HANDMADE IS BEAUTIFUL

Thursday, February 4, 2016

WHAT I READ // JANUARY 2016



Ghost World - Daniel Clowes
I want to read more graphic novels this year and so I decided to start with one I always picked up at my LYS but somehow never bought. Pretty sure I saw a movie adaptation of this 10 or so years ago (with Scarlett Johanson) but can't remember a thing about it. I really liked this story. It's about that weird moment in life when you're not quite a kid anymore but not an adult either. It's about friendship and love and somewhere in between. There was quite a few references I didn't get, either because they were too american or too old for me but still really enjoyed it!

We should all be feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Small but big. This book doesn't solve anything or share any deep insight on the problem of gender inequality and everyday sexism but still feels so important. One of those "need to gift to everyone" book. Her writing style is a good mix of funny and clever so I would be curious to check more of her work!

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
This was a reread for me. Mostly because I got Carry On over Christmas and I thought I'd read both at once! Loved it even more than the first one, if that is possible. (you can see my original review of here!)

Why not me? - Mindy Kaling
I wasn't sure I could get as much from this book as I did from Is everyone hanging out without me (her first book). BUT then came the "love" chapter and it might be my new favorite everything. Considering having it printed on my walls Might have said a bit too loudly a bit too often "YES! Exactly!!" And "oh so I'm not the only one doing/thinking that"! Which is pretty much what I expect/want from this kind of memoir. Well done Ms Kaling. Funny and inspiring as hell!

The Wide Window (ASOUE #3) - Lemony Snickett
Probably my favorite in the series so far. There is just something about gloomy dark kid stories I can't resist! Also, there is a TV adaptation from Netflix coming soon so pretty excited about that too!



Favorite quote: "We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. 
We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much."
Monday, February 1, 2016

TAKE HEART: a review and a challenge

The talented ladies behind the awesome Pom Pom magazine (a quarterly publication of rad knitting patterns) launched a new project recently called the Pom Pom Press. The goal? To publish even more rad patterns with cool knitting designers. And the first one they picked just happened to be one of my personal favorite: Fiona Alice. It's called TAKE HEART and it is beautiful <3 So obviously had to order it right away! And guess what? I want to knit ALL THE THINGS IN IT! Which some others are also into and there you go, a year long knitting challenge began! I thought I could share a little review of the book here, and my yarn ideas for the patterns. Fair warning: get ready to want to knit them all too!


THE BOOK
If you bought a PomPom magazine issue before, the format is the same. The paper is beautiful and sturdy. In the first section, for each pattern, Fiona shared the inspiration behind them, a super cute sketch of the pattern and her reasons for the yarn she designed the piece with. The second section has the actual patterns, either written or charted, or both! The photography is absolutely beautiful and will make you want to go to the beach and knit/wear all your knits! There is a total of 11 patterns that ranged from graphic to elegant to modern to romantic. Some would I think make perfect gifts but most you will want to keep all to yourself!

(c) Juju Vail
THE PATTERNS
Take heart: this one was originally published in a 2013 issue of PomPom and marked the start of me falling in love with Fiona's designs. I actually tried to knit it last year but picked the wrong yarn, so now looking for a very soft and lofty (?) one that will be a perfect fit for the romantic feel of the pattern

Three Cliffs: a super lovely and big wrap that I am planning to start so very soon. Fiona chose the Viola yarn by John Arbon and I am planning to do the same, probably in a deep blue color!

Martinique Beach: color work people! This pattern is awesome! Calls for worsted weight which I don't have much of stashed so one I need to think about. Maybe Quince and Co?

Caswell Bay: a hat + mitts pattern, very graphic and modern. She picked a silk + merino yarn which looks just perfect to show the design so might do the same. Yarn idea: Dye for yarn

Queensland beach: a gorgeous cabled headband I need to start like yesterday. Calls for worsted weight. Yarn idea: Gilliatt by De Rerum Natura

(c) Juju Vail
Lunenburg Harbour: a pair of socks super simple yet elegant. Yarn idea: Exmoor sock yarn by John Arbon

Chester Basin: a hat + mittens pattern with the coolest slip stitch technique. Would make a great winter gift! Yarn idea: Garnstudio Drops Nepal

Ketch Harbour: a cool DK weight shawl that fans of Moby Dick should love ;)

Pennard Castle: leg warmers designed in two size. + a really cool stitch pattern! perfect to wear under your boots while walking through the forest in Winter <3 Calls for fingering so finding that in my stash should not be hard, at all!

(c) Juju Vail
Monday, January 25, 2016

Top 16 books I want to read in 2016

Currently, there are 100 books or so on my TBR (to be read) shelf on Goodreads (which you can see here). I add to it pretty much everyday, so it can get a bit overwhelming at time (just like the soon to fall over pile of books by my bed!). To help me a little and serve as a rough guide for my reading challenge this year, I decided to pick my favorite 16 in this list and make it a priority to read those first. Some I already own and some I got for Christmas so that's a nice start! Tiny precision: this list only include already published books! I am SO BAD at reading books the year they are published it's almost funny. But I might try and make a little list or top 10 of the books I am most excited to discover this year, we'll see. Ok enough chit chat, here's the list!



The Signature of all things - Elizabeth Gilbert
Uprooted -Naomi Novice
The Witches - Stacy Schiff
The Book of speculation - Erika Swyler
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Name of the wind - Patrick Rothfuss
Challenger Deep - Neal Shusterman
Carry On - Rainbow Rowell
The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood
A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
The Raven Boys  - Maggie Stiefvater
Illuminae - Amie Kaufman
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A KNITTING WISHLIST

So, I didn't really make any goals or resolutions of any kind for 2016. But that doesn't stop a girl from dreaming. or making to do lists. So here's a little selection of knitting patterns I would very much like to knit this year. As you will see, trying to focus on more "useful" pieces, that I could get a lot of wear of in my everyday life.

(c) Fiona Alice


Ashland  (Julie Hoover)  - Sibella  (Carrie Bostick Hoge) - Skew (Kyoko Nakayoshi)



Lumpy Space (Stephen West) - Three Cliffs (Fiona Alice) - Kimmswick (Julie Hoover)

(c) Stephen West
Sunday, January 3, 2016

love. love. love.

(There is only one way to correctly read this post's title and it's this one!) 


One teeny tiny little word. that can mean the whole world.
Two years ago I decided to spend 364 days focusing on happiness. And I must say 2013 was indeed a pretty happy one! A year ago, I figured it was all about trying to be brave. It's now January 2nd, a year has passed and I feel like if I have learnt only one thing in this time, it is that we all are brave enough, despite what society, people or the little voice in our head tells us. So here I find myself, a new year has started and I look for a new word. A word to guide me, to inspire me and to challenge me. It might sound silly, but nothing quite scares me as much as love. I very rarely let myself fall in love, and even more rarely let someone in to my heart and life. Yet was it this life about if not love. And I'm not just talking about the big one, but also friends, and family, and the most challenging of all sometimes: loving oneself. So let's give this a try, and see where it takes me. Some place lovely hopefully ;)

Happy new year everyone <3



We were together. I forgot the rest. 
Walt Whitman