It’s been a wonderful week full of amigurumi designing, Selbu sock knitting and mystery book shopping. Come along as I visit some of my favorite local spots and share my current WIPs.
I have had the most creative and inspiring week full of amigurumi designing, Selbu sock knitting and mystery book shopping. These are the things that definitely give me a spring in my step.
Instead of sharing something specific like a pattern review or technique tutorial, I thought I would share a little bit about my week and what’s currently on my mind.
I hope you will enjoy my little rambling and find something that inspires your creativity.
Amigurumi Designing, Selbu Sock Knitting & Mystery Book Shopping
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Selbu Sock Knitting
In the beginning I thought knitting socks would be a fun and quick distraction from making amigurumi.
What I didn’t plan for was that knitting traditional Selbu socks would take hours, and by hours I mean ten plus hours to knit one pair of socks. (I’m probably a slow and distracted knitter, which is why it takes me so long.)
Even though they have taken much longer than I anticipated, Selbu sock knitting has become a very enjoyable pastime. I pick them up at the end of each day eager to make more progress.
I’ve written about the classes I’ve taken by Patricia from Knitogrpahy Farm before.
She teaches traditional Norwegian knitting online. Her classes are so well done and her experience as a teacher shines through her instructions.
The classes themselves are quite affordable and the production quality is simple but very good.
I absolutely love the look of Traditional Norwegian knitting and these Selbu designs are just perfect.
Looking at the socks you will see so much detail in every section.
Learning the Old Norwegian Cast On
Learning a new cast on is so much fun. The Old Norwegian Cast On is a little complicated, but once I learned a new step I enjoyed each turn of the needle.
The Old Norwegian Cast On is a type of long tail cast on, but very stretchy. It also leaves a very neat edge, perfect for socks.
Norwegian Stranded Knitting
I took Patricia’s Stranded Knitting class and learned a new way to do stranded knitting.
With traditional Norwegian knitting you hold the dominant color in you left hand and the background color in your right hand. You throw the right color and pick the left. It’s a very efficient technique and my strands look amazing, if I do say so myself.
What I love about taking classes, is that I always learn something new that I can take into other projects.
I think they would both look rather striking in traditional Norwegian knits.
Designing New Toys
Spring always brings out my creative side. Do you feel the same way?
Maybe it’s the change of seasons and the abundance of colorful trees and flowers. North Carolina is bursting with the most beautiful shades of greens, pinks and blues. It just makes me happy to be alive.
I’m working on a new character to add to my collection of toy patterns.
At this point I don’t know what animal he/she is going to be.
It could end up being a bunny or a cat, that’s what my mind is thinking at the moment.
But what’s funny about designing toys is that sometimes a character emerges that you didn’t see coming.
I’m open to whoever pops out of my crochet hook. And as soon as I’m finished I will share him or her with you.
Selling Finished Toys on Etsy Again?
Here’s the thing…I’m a woman who changes her mind a lot.
Just ask my husband.
My brain is a flip-floppy sort of place and one minute I know the direction I’m going in and the next I’ve totally jumped ship and find myself totally obsessed with something new.
I’ve long admired Katy Livings. If you haven’t come across her beautiful handmade bunnies and dolls before let me be the first to introduce you to them.
Katy sews the most gorgeous toys with Liberty Fabrics. They are all so detailed and lovingly made.
She doesn’t sell any patterns, but she does sell her finished toys. They sell out like lightning and you can see why.
Katy makes her little toys in the most adorable little cottage workshop. Oh how inspired I feel every time I look at her Instagram feed.
I’ve been toying with the idea of making toys again to sell. I rather love the idea of making toys and adding all the little fun details, without the worry of creating a pattern.
Pattern writing is extremely stressful for me.
Although I love being able to create toys from my own imagination, I find writing out the pattern very taxing. I worry so much that they are wrong or not written well. I stress about each step of the way and question every single decision I make.
But making toys to sell brings me joy. It’s not the most efficient way to earn a living, but Katy’s little shop makes me long for something simple and beautiful.
I’ll be sure to keep you all updated if I do decide to begin selling finished toys again.
Socia Media Hiatus
Lately I’ve noticed that social media has been taking a toll on my mental health.
I do want to stay informed about everything that is happening around the world. It’s important to support those who are suffering and bring awareness when we can.
But these past two years has been a very difficult time for me and my family.
If you’ve ever been here before the beginning of 2021 started off with a very serious health situation for our older son. Thankfully he is much better, but it all happened smack dab in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
On top of that my mother got very ill and for a while there we were all very scared what would happen to her. I’ve always known that people die, but the thought that my own mother would leave me shook my world.
She’s always been my rock, the one who is always there, always encouraging. It shook me to my core to think that the day we would have to say goodbye was so soon.
I’m so thankful that she has made a full recovery, but the realization of how very fragile life really is hasn’t left me.
All those things have been swirling around in my head and I’ve noticed that social media just makes me feel worse.
Although I love seeing all the beautiful photos and videos, I feel a tightness in my chest when I’m on them.
So instead I’m going to do more reading. I’ve always been a reader, but that habit has fallen away as my phone took more and more of my time.
I’ve decided to do something about it.
Local Bookstore Shopping
We have the cutest little local bookstore here in my town.
It’s called Goldberry Books and I knew it would be the perfect place to find some bookish inspiration!
Located in quaint downtown Concord, NC, Goldberry Books is owned by the sweetest young couple who are parents of a brood of adorable brunette children.
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Recently I saw a book recommendation that I was pretty sure I would really like. It’s called Shady Hollow. It’s a genre I’m calling, “Woodland Creature Cozy Mystery”.
While I know that we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, I couldn’t help myself. I had to have it.
The first book in the Shady Hollow series, in which we are introduced to the village of Shady Hollow, a place where woodland creatures live together in harmonyâ€”until a curmudgeonly toad turns up dead and the local reporter has to solve the case.
Reporter Vera Vixen is a relative newcomer to Shady Hollow. The fox has a nose for news, so when she catches wind that the death might be a murder, she resolves to get to the bottom of the case, no matter where it leads. As she stirs up still waters, the fox exposes more than one mystery, and discovers that additional lives are in jeopardy.
Vera finds more to this town than she ever suspected. It seems someone in the Hollow will do anything to keep her from solving the murder, and soon it will take all of Vera’s cunning and quickness to crack the case.Amazon Description of Shady Hollow
But I didn’t just get one book, I walked out of Goldberry Books with a stack of wonderful fiction that you might love as well.
The Maisie Dobbs series is a wildly popular mystery collection which I had never heard of before.
I started with this book and I have been excited to settle down every night and start reading.
Maisie Dobbs got her start as a maid in an aristocratic London household when she was thirteen. Her employer, suffragette Lady Rowan Compton, soon became her patron, taking the remarkably bright youngster under her wing. Lady Rowan’s friend, Maurice Blanche, often retained as an investigator by the European elite, recognized Maisie’s intuitive gifts and helped her earn admission to the prestigious Girton College in Cambridge, where Maisie planned to complete her education.
The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she foundâ€”and lostâ€”an important part of herself. Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets out on her own as a private investigator, one who has learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different.
In the aftermath of the Great War, a former officer has founded a working farm known as The Retreat, that acts as a convalescent refuge for ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal life. When Fate brings Maisie a second case involving The Retreat, she must finally confront the ghost that has haunted her for over a decade.Amazon Description of Maisie Dobbs
Another book that the owner of Goldberry Books recommended was The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Lauire R. King.
I love a book with a beautiful cover, I can’t help myself. I’m eager to read this one as it has received quite a few awards and accolades.
In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern, twentieth-century woman proves a deft protÃ©gÃ©e and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past. Full of brilliant deduction, disguises, and danger, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first book of the Mary Russellâ€“Sherlock Holmes mysteries, is “remarkably beguiling” (The Boston Globe).The Boston Globe Review of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
I am so intrigued with the last book I bought during my visit to Goldberry Books.
To be honest, I had never heard of the episode in which the real life mystery writer, Agatha Christie, went missing for ten days. My son said he knew about it from a Dr. Who episode. Lol.
The Christie Affair is a very recent book and was published in February of 2022. But don’t let the newness turn you off.
It has already received so much praise and was chosen as a Reese’s Book Club Pick.
In 1925, Miss Nan O’Dea infiltrated the wealthy, rarefied world of author Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. In every way, she became a part of their lifeâ€“â€“first, both Christies. Then, just Archie. Soon, Nan became Archie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted wife, desperate to marry him. Nan’s plot didn’t begin the day she met Archie and Agatha.
It began decades before, in Ireland, when Nan was a young girl. She and the man she loved were a star-crossed couple who were destined to be togetherâ€“â€“until the Great War, a pandemic, and shameful secrets tore them apart. Then acts of unspeakable cruelty kept them separated.
What drives someone to murder? What will someone do in the name of love? What kind of crime can someone never forgive? Nina de Gramont’s brilliant, unforgettable novel explores these questions and more.
Amigurumi Designing, Sock Knitting & Mystery Book Shopping
I hope you enjoyed this rambling post about things that are brining a smile to my face. My sincerest wish is that you found something that helps you feel inspired in your own life.