Monthly Archives

February 2016

Crochet

Blankets this week

23rd February 2016

As I failed to write my weekly round up on Sunday and therefore missed a ‘making’ spot, here’s a little update of what’s on the hook for me this week. I’m making this Rainbow blanket which I LOVE for a new little person currently being made by a lovely girl I follow on instagram! :

Rainbow blanket

 

And I started this one too, which I also love, destined to be listed at the end of this week :

 

Bright blanket

 

It means I now have 5 baby blankets on the go, none entirely finished. It gets like that here.

 

Books

A little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

17th February 2016

A Little Life

 

Today feels like the right day to write about this book because I received a text message from my mother in law earlier who was in the car park of John Lewis and I quote, “crying her eyes out” (I’ve removed the expletive… no problem Elaine!) after listening to one of the chapters of the book on audible. Now, from what I gather, she’s only about a third of the way through and all I can tell you is if you’re crying then, at that point in the story, it’s not going to be the last time.

I think I saw this book in the window display in Waterstones last autumn and stuck it on my goodreads list because I saw it had been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. That was recommendation enough for me. Around Christmas time I got it out at the library, tentatively to be honest as a few reviews said it was really depressing. Now, December was a bit of a weird month for me for all number of reasons, it had high highs and low lows. Resting up in bed toward the end after feeling like a total write off (read:shit), I picked this up and was all of a sudden landed in New York to meet Jude & Willem & JB & Malcolm. I wasn’t up for depressing, but though it was a heavy read it wasn’t depressing. It was a book about love, really, ultimately what it is to love. I didn’t look back, I just got so caught up in it. Isn’t it the most wonderful and rare feeling to read something that does that to you, that sets off a kind of heartfire? So few times in my life I read a book whose entirely fictitious characters I have felt so connected to, so worried about. I was with these guys from the start, noting their idiosyncrasies and insecurities, the way they behaved, the ways they shared, what they were interested in, how their dynamic worked. I felt for all of them, but in particular Willem and Jude. Jude for his brilliance and fragility and Willem for being so incredibly kind, his lightness of being jumped off the page.

It is so beautifully written it made me ache, for example, on describing the light in JB’s studio: “At five thirty, the light was perfect: buttery and dense and fat somehow, swelling the room as it had the train into something expensive and hopeful.”

And my favourite quote entirely that sums up everything in life, said during a particularly heartbreaking scene: “Things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases you realise that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.”

This story does have some upsetting and disturbing content within it’s pages. Sometimes I had to set it aside before I was able to return to it because it was so intense (a friend has since read it and done the very same thing) . But there are moments of expansiveness, of incredible love and kindness that balance the sadness.

I won’t give any spoilers here. I want you to read it and get swept up too. One of the funnest things was being able to read along with people on instagram, from Sydney to Kentucky messages were exchanged: ‘did you get to?’ ‘Oh my God, I couldn’t believe…’ and all of us in agreement that we would love to really know and hang out Willem & Jude & Malcolm & JB.

You can ‘follow’ the book on instagram @alittlelifebook where there’s a link to the art work of the boys names which you can get printed onto totes, mugs… whatever you like. I am, for sure, going to make myself up a t-shirt.

I finished the book in mid January. I don’t buy a lot of books any more, but this one made the shelf, it hasn’t left me, I will return to it again and again like an old friend. A real must-read.

 

A Little Life on the shelf

 

 

Crochet

The Baboushka Rose Blanket

15th February 2016

Babushka Rose Blanket

I finished this blanket quite a few weeks ago and now that it’s been safely received I wanted to get it posted on here.

The pattern for this beaut can be found here. It’s reasonably simple to make and once I picked up the pattern and committed to it, it came together relatively quickly.

This blanket got pinned on my cool crochet pinterest board years ago so it was great to finally have an excuse to make it. I just have to work on seeing it in situ now with Little Freya Rose (I know – her name is so fitting for this blanket… kismet) in France soon.

Congratulations Lianne and Stu!!!  Bisous x

 

Baboushka Rose Blanket

 

I’d never made a blanket with 3D shapes in the blocks before and I enjoyed the switch up, I also really enjoyed deciding on the colour placements for each of the squares.

To make this blanket I used drops paris red, light ice blue, pistachio, light turquoise, strong yellow and shocking pink.

 

Baboushka Rose Blanket

 

It’s probably going to be my favourite finished item of 2016 to be honest. I feel like I’ve peaked early for sure.

Crochet

:: This Week ::

7th February 2016

:: What I’m making

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First I started with this, but that’s still not done because then I started this:

IMG_0966

Which is growing into this:

 

:: Listening to

Moderat’s debut from their long awaited new album: Reminder so so good – looking forward to seeing them in April! Woo!

Lewis Howes podcast with Esther Perel ‘on sexual desire and successful relationships in the modern world’, bit of a switch up from my usual podcasts (!) but really interesting. She talks a lot about how so much has changed in the last 60 years. I’d never heard of her before but her TED talk has had 7.5 MILLION views!

 

:: Reading

 

Robert M. Drake’s ‘A Brilliant Madness’ – do you follow him on instagram? (@rmdrake) I love it, happy mail. I’ve got a teenage crush love for his writing.

:: Watching

Last week I watched the whole of season 1 Friends. I’m about halfway through Season 2. What is the point in watching anything else? I just watched the one about lobsters where Ross got changed to go to Rachel’s prom, reliving all the storylines is joyful.

:: Making me happy this week

  • My nana moved to a care home this week. After reading ‘Being Mortal‘ I was a bit nervous about what it would be like. I took Ruby  there today and she said it reminded her of the hotel we stayed at in Disneyland. There are dogs there too. I think that basically sums it up. All the great things Gawande picked up on how elderly care can be good are in place there. A big relief and comfort for everybody including nana.
  • I have run 100km so far this year in my 1000km in 2016 challenge!