Thursday, May 31, 2018

Typewriters On My Brain 24/7

As you all know, I love typewriters and using them. Back in high school, I used to borrow my mom's 1968 Royal Signet Portable Typewriter not only for school papers but also for writing poetry and fiction.


1968 Royal Signet Portable Typewriter


I had an opportunity to bring home the Royal Signet Typewriter the last time I visited Manila back in December 2016 but I didn't and in hindsight, I really should have taken it with me. I'm sure my mom will gladly give it to me. I didn't take it with me because it needs a lot of repair and restoration work done on it because the metal frame/body has a lot of rust spots and sticky and discolored keys and I don't know how to restore it without further damaging the machine and I don't know anyone in Colorado Springs who can restore it. Over the last 9 years that I've been living in Colorado Springs, I have been debating on buying my very own Royal Signet Typewriter that has already been restored but I kept talking myself out of it mainly because I technically already have one it's just located halfway across the world from me and I wanted to see if there is a machine that is not too boxy like this one and a bit more lightweight wouldn't hurt either. Well, I found one that I really like and therefore am lusting and obsessing over: The 1963 Royal Royalite '64. Weighing in at around 8 lbs, has rounded edges, available in this lovely butter yellow color, the tab stops are located at the top behind the paper table so it's easy to adjust just like with the Signet, it has a retractable paper support arm and it has a ribbon color selector located on the right hand side towards the back of the frame just before the right side of the carriage unlike the Signet. I am hoping that Tony's Typewriters on Etsy finds one for me.


1963 Royal Royalite '64 Portable Typewriter





Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post



Currently Reading 



Finished Writing

Helena and the Dragon — it's currently undergoing the editing and proof reading process. 


Finished Objects

All Shawl by Doris Chan - yarn used was Bernat Softee Baby Cotton, Feather Gray colorway, 60% Cotton, 40% Acrylic, DK weight, total amount used was 749 yards/354 grams; used a Clover Soft Touch hook US size J/6.0mm




Stacked Diamonds Tank Top by MG Camacho - yarn used was Loops & Threads Woolike Super Fine, Charcoal colorway, 85% Acrylic, 15% Nylon, Superfine weight, total amount used was yards/grams; used a Clover Soft Touch hook US size E/3.5mm




Currently Knitting/Crocheting

Market Bag - yarn I'm using is Bernat Softee Baby Cotton, Feather Gray and Aqua Mist colorways, 60% Cotton, 40% Acrylic, DK weight; using a Clover Soft Touch hook US size




Product Reviews











Announcements

Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!


Saturday, May 19, 2018

[Review] Teamoy Interchangeable Knitting Needle Case Organizer






My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Category: Arts, Crafts & Sewing, Organization & Storage



Part 1: Product Description

  • LIGHTWEIGHT & COMPACT ORGANIZATION- Patent pending. Extremely lightweight crochet hooks case keeps your set of hooks all in one place. Waterproof material-easy to clean up.
  • HIGHLY PROTECTION- padded interior layer provides better protection for your needles no matter where you go. A flat on bottom to help keep the needles from falling out when you open the case. You are not always worried about losing equipment or breaking your knitting needles/crochet hooks.
  • HOLDS for VARIOUS BRANDS CROCHET HOOKS -the first room for different sizes crochet hooks(interchangeable knitting needles, Aluminum Crochet Hooks, Ergonomic Crochet hooks, stainless steel crochet needles, rubber handles Crochet hooks and more).
  • INCLUDED PROJECT ACCESSORIES ROOM-2 elastic bands on the second room specially designed for the hollow cables and has 2 mesh pockets of knitting suppliers.
  • LARGE CAPACITY-the cases are large enough to store 2-3 set of knitting needles. Professional strongly recommend this case for either a gift or personal use.


Part 2: Recommendation

I bought the large Teamoy Organizer Case for Interchangeable Knitting Needles because I wanted to have all of my crochet hooks in one case instead of the several cases that I have and I also wanted a crochet hook case that can also hold different notions like tape measures, scissors, row counters, cords and stitch markers. The case is very well made, feels durable and has that easy to clean nylon/canvas type fabric. The zippers are smooth to pull open and close and there was no weird smell like other reviewers reported. I got the Pink Flowers case and it is as described and I love it.


Front/Top Section of the Case



The front/top part of the case holds my complete set of the regular Clover Soft Touch Hooks sizes 1.75mm - 6.0mm (15 hooks) on the left. On the right side holds, a complete set of the steel Clover Soft Touch Hooks sizes 0.50mm - 1.50mm, a pair of vintage scissors, a set of Boye Aluminum Hooks in sizes 2.25mm - 6.5mm and 1 Susan Bates 5.0mm hook (17 Hooks & a pair of scissors).


Back/Bottom Section of the Case



The back/bottom part of the case has 2 mesh pockets to hold notions. The top mesh pocket holds 2 Lion Brand row counters, 2 retractable tape measures and a Clover Yarn Cutter Pendant. The bottom mesh pocket holds a bag of 24-count Lion Brand Split Ring Stitch Markers, 2 blue Knook Cords, 2 pink Knook Cords and 2 purple Knook cords. The left side of the bottom part of the case has 7 elastic bands which holds my complete Knook hooks size 3.5mm - 9.0mm and 2 of my Yarnology Acrylic hooks sized 9.0mm & 10.0mm. The top and bottom elastic bands that’s supposed to hold interchangeable knitting cables are holding my 2 Susan Bates Crochet Hook Foam Grips that I use with my Boye Aluminum hooks. And floating around in this section is my Lacis Slide-On Hook/Needle Gauge.

This case is freakin’ amazing and I love it!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Sockful April

This month, I have finally made a couple pairs of crocheted socks and have conquered my fear of the traditional sock (gusset, heel flap, & heel turn) — thanks to the Sock It To Me! Ravelry thread hosted by Claudia of the Crochet Luna podcast. That thread is so inspiring and everyone there is so helpful and encouraging. 

I've used the socks because it started snowing again here in Colorado. It usually doesn't stop snowing until after Mother's Day so if you're new to Colorado, don't plant anything outdoors until after Mother's Day. The socks made from the Patons Big Baby 4 ply 60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon (teal and pink) that I bought in New Zealand was very comfortable to wear and very smooth and soft to work with. It frogged well as I had to frog the teal socks several times to get the right toe shape that I want as well as the right fit (this is why I usually don't follow sock patterns). The black pair of socks made from Loops & Thread Woolike Superfine, 85% Acrylic, 15% Nylon is also very comfortable to wear and feels very smooth and soft and buttery to work with. This yarn is very stretchy. All the socks kept my feet warm while walking out and about in the cold and when indoors, it did not make my feet feel hot or sweaty. Really nice. So now, I'm going to be working on socks as I wear through my store bought socks.

Also managed to paint 2 watercolors this month: one in my visual journal and one in my 9"x12" watercolor pad. 



Tea, Books & Crochet


At The Beach



Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post



Currently Reading 




Finished Objects

Gorman Street Toe Up Socks by Rohn Strong - yarn used was Patons Big Baby 4 ply, Candy Pink, 60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon, Superfine/Sock weight, total amount used was 296 yards/64grams; used a US size C/2.75mm Clover Soft Touch Crochet hook; modified the toe and cuff




Aqua Moon Socks - yarn used was Patons Big Baby 4 ply, Aqua Moon, 60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon, Superfine/Sock weight, total amount used was 326 yards/71 grams; used a US size C/2.75mm Clover Soft Touch Crochet hook




Gorman Street Toe Up Socks by Rohn Strong - yarn being used is Loops & Threads Woolike, Black, 85% Acrylic, 15% Nylon, Superfine/Sock weight; using a US size C/2.75mm Clover Soft Touch Crochet hook





Currently Knitting/Crocheting


All Shawl by Doris Chan - yarn used was Bernat Softee Baby Cotton, Feather Gray, 60% Cotton, 40% Acrylic, sport weight; using a US size J/6.0mm Clover Soft Touch Hook





Announcements

Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!


Saturday, March 31, 2018

No Jet Lag This Time Around

Early this month, I have been in a packing frenzy for a trip out to New Zealand. I couldn't decide if I should bring a crochet project with me or not and which hook to bring: my favorite Clover Soft Touch hook or the cheap Boye Aluminum hook? Well, after finalizing what goes into my hand carry suitcase and my backpack for in-flight essentials, none of my crochet projects made it to either bags. Because all the online forums are somewhat vague as to whether or not crochet hooks are allowed. Some had their hooks confiscated and some didn't despite it being obviously used for a project. So to keep all my hooks safe, I decided to not bring any which was a good and sad thing. Sad because the lady sitting to my right was able to bring her knitting with her and she was working on a pair of mittens. And good thing because I didn't really had that much time for crocheting as I was reading or sleeping most of the time during the flight. And while in New Zealand, I didn't have time either. Too busy taking tons of photos during the drive (to everywhere) and too tired by the end of the day. 

We didn't suffer from jet lag this time around thanks to Melatonin pills which we took right after the first meal is served. When we landed in New Zealand, we were awake and energized when we should be awake and we went to bed right when we should be sleeping. And we did the same thing going back to Colorado. Actually, we didn't want to leave New Zealand. It was that wonderful over there. People were driving at the speed limit and if they're going a bit slower, they keep to the left lane (slower lane) and they actually use their turn signals all the time! Totally the opposite of drivers here in Colorado for sure. Public restrooms are clean (everywhere) and there's a lot of drinking water fountain/water bottle filling stations. They really encourage people to bring their own reusable water bottles to minimize the impact of plastic on the environment. Thank God I brought my 16oz Bubba ceramic lined vacuum insulated bottle! 

On the last full day, we stopped by a yarn store called Tauranga Knitting Centre and the owner was so delightful to talk to. Of course, I had to buy some yarn and I did. Looking back, I now wish I had bought more of the Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo yarns. I'll wait to see what Colorado has in terms of alternatives to use with the Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo yarn that I have before I order it online.




Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post



Currently Reading 





Finished Objects

Puppy - yarn used was Caron Simply Soft Solids, Sage & Persimmon, 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight, total amount used was 12 yards/6 grams for the Sage & 70.4 yards/38 grams for the Persimmon; used a 4.0mm/US Size G Clover Soft Touch crochet hook, 5.5" tall x 5" wide






Marilyn Sleeveless Top by Kim Guzman - yarn used was Butterfly Mercerized Cotton, color 3225 (taupe), 100% Mercerized Cotton, DK weight, total amount used was 747 yards/375 grams; used a 4.0mm US Size G and a 5.0mm US Size H Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks, finished measurements are for the small size




Currently Knitting/Crocheting

3rd Attempt Crocheted Socks - yarn used is Patons Big Baby, Aqua Moon, 60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon, 4-ply; using a 2.75mm US Size C Clover Soft Touch crochet hook





Product Reviews









Announcements

Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!


Sunday, March 18, 2018

[Book Review] Furyborn by Claire Legrand






Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy, #1) by Claire Legrand 

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (should be New Adult due to mature content)

Disclaimer: As a member of NetGalley, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.


Part 1: From The Book Cover

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other. 


Part 2: Recommendation

The first two chapters of this book was quite confusing but after that, it becomes quite entertaining. A bit slow at first then it picks up the pace on both Rielle's and Eliana's chapters halfway through the book. Though each chapter alternates POVs between Rielle and Eliana, the story easily picks up where the last POV chapter leaves off so basically, you can read this book three ways: read all of Rielle's chapters first then Eliana's chapters or Eliana's chapters first then Rielle's chapters or read it from cover to cover with the alternating POV chapters like I did. Either way, you'll be able to easily follow the storyline. 

Classified as a YA Fantasy book, I think this book should be reclassified as New Adult (NA) Fantasy because there was one romantic scene that was quite graphic and I don't think it is appropriate for young adults even though Rielle & Eliana are somewhat aged at around 18 years old, they both act and read a lot older like maybe 21 years old and the readers who might be picking up this book may not be mature enough for the mentioned romantic scene. I will have to reserve judgment on its merits as a fantasy book because so far, being the first book in a trilogy, it has only two fantasy elements in it: magic and violence. It did touch on Rielle's challenge or seven magical trials and on Eliana's quest but only a little bit. So I'm hoping that the other fantasy elements will come out and grow as the books progress. 


Love all the characters in this book especially Rielle, Eliana and Remy and the plot is quite interesting and I can't wait to get my hands on book two.

[Book Review] Paris By The Book by Liam Callanan






Paris By The Book by Liam Callanan

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Fiction

Disclaimer: As a member of NetGalley, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.


Part 1: From The Book Cover

A missing person, a grieving family, a curious clue: a half-finished manuscript set in Paris. Heading off in search of its author, a mother and her daughters find themselves in France, rescuing a failing bookstore and drawing closer to unexpected truths.

Once a week, I chase men who are not my husband….

When eccentric novelist Robert Eady abruptly vanishes, he leaves behind his wife, Leah, their daughters, and, hidden in an unexpected spot, plane tickets to Paris.

Hoping to uncover clues—and her husband—Leah sets off for France with her girls. Upon their arrival, she discovers an unfinished manuscript, one Robert had been writing without her knowledge…and that he had set in Paris. The Eady women follow the path of the manuscript to a small, floundering English-language bookstore whose weary proprietor is eager to sell. The whole store? Today? Yes, but Leah’s biggest surprise comes when she hears herself accepting the offer on the spot.

As the family settles into their new Parisian life, they can’t help but trace the literary paths of some beloved Parisian classics, including Madeline and The Red Balloon, hoping more clues arise. But a series of startling discoveries forces Leah to consider that she may not be ready for what solving this mystery might do to her family—and the Paris she thought she knew.

At once haunting and charming, Paris by the Book follows one woman’s journey as her story is being rewritten, exploring the power of family and the magic that hides within the pages of a book. 


Part 2: Recommendation

I'm not exactly sure what possessed me to request a galley of this book. I'm guessing mainly because of the description and the fact that one of the characters is a writer and another, a bookseller. I have to say though that the author Liam Callanan writes beautiful prose that has a lyrical quality to it and it shows in this book. Unfortunately, for me at least, that is the only good point to this book. 

Though the prose has that beautiful, lyrical quality to it, the pacing is extremely slow, it's not really what I would call a mystery and the meandering prose going back and forth between Milwaukee and Paris just about killed me to the point where I almost decided to not finish the book. But I did and wished I didn't waste any more of my time finishing this book because the characters, especially the wife, Leah, was quite annoying and a bit flat. The two daughters, Ellie and Daphne, also need more depth to them and I felt like Declan's character was placed there just to stir the pot a bit. Eleanor's character is okay in the sense that she's the most practical of them all though still a bit flat, and as for Robert Eady himself, well, I have to say that the little bit that I knew about him, I didn't truly like. He's selfish, self-centered and I've had enough of his drama. 


Now, if you are a big fan of The Little Paris Bookshop and are hoping to get the same experience, stay away from this book because you will be sadly disappointed. However, if you want to read about what others think of The Red Balloon or about Madeline or about snippets of Lamorrisse' life and works as well as of Bemelman's then this might be worth your time.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Snowy February

This has been a long time coming especially after reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. As I've said in that book review, I have been debating on whether to quit all social media or keep a few because I've noticed that I've been spending way too much time on Facebook in particular and feeling agitated when I surface from it. Not good, not good at all. So this Lenten season, I have decided to quit social media and to only check Facebook once a week and to only check my notifications to see if someone has tagged me especially updates from family and very close friends. In light of that decision, I have turned off all app notifications and automated a few things so I won't have to do it myself and have deleted the apps on my phone. So far, it has worked out great. I now have more time to do the things that I enjoy doing like playing the piano, painting watercolors, crochet, read, walk the dog and spend time with my husband. So the only social media I'm still active on are the quiet ones: GoodReads and Ravelry. GoodReads I primarily use to track the books I own, have read, currently reading and of course, those that I want to read and Ravelry, I primarily use to track which yarns I still have in my dwindling stash and to also keep track of the projects I currently am working on (which thankfully has been, so far, limited to 2 at any given time), and have completed. I also use Ravelry to track which hook sizes I have as well as the patterns that I have.

I don't know about you but here in Colorado Springs, we have seen a lot of snow fall lately and I cherish the days when it's sunny and warm outside and my dog and I definitely take advantage of it to walk around the neighborhood.

I don't know if I've talked about it here on the blog or not but late last year, I have been researching and reading lots of posts online about traveling with your knitting needles and/or crochet hooks and though the TSA website itself shows that you can bring them on the plane with you, there are still a handful of people who had their needles/hooks confiscated which concerns me (a lot) because I'm about to go to New Zealand and would like to bring 1 project with me with my favorite Clover Soft Touch crochet hook. I did bought a set of Bamboo crochet hooks for this purpose but when I used it, I found out, I really don't like how grippy (and therefore, slow) the bamboo hooks are even when working with slippery acrylic yarn. I still prefer using my Clover Soft Touch hooks. Apparently, I prefer metal hooks over wood or plastic hooks. And to think I even crocheted a functional case for it with a notions pocket in the front. Well, if you want to win this Bamboo Crochet hook set, head on over to Ravelry and participate in The Knitted (or Crocheted) Knockers CAL hosted by Hannah of The Cozy Cottage Crochet Podcast and good luck!





Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post



Currently Reading 



Finished Objects

C2C Baby Blanket - yarn used was Caron Simply Soft, Sage & Persimmon, 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight, total amount used was 452.1 yards/244 grams of the Sage and 553.1 yards/298 grams of the Persimmon colorways respectively; using a Clover Soft Touch US H/5.0mm hook, finished measurements are 35.5" x 27.5"





Currently Knitting/Crocheting

Gorman Street Toe-Up Socks by Rohn Strong - yarn used was Patons Kroy Socks, Amethyst Stripes, 75% Washable Wool, 25% Nylon, sock weight, using a Clover Soft Touch US C/2.75mm hook





Product Reviews






Announcements

Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!