Yarn Collection – Persuasion

“As soon as I could use my hands she taught me to knit, which has been a great amusement;”

I own three copies of Persuasion.
One was in a box set, the second I bought because the first was getting too well worn, the third because I liked the cover more than the second.

The romance between Miss Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth is one of my favourites.
So I’ve based a yarn collection around all of my favourite parts. (This will contain spoilers if you’re not at all familiar with the plot.)

Continue reading Yarn Collection – Persuasion

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Anne of Green Gables Yarn Collection

Caity-Rosey made up a fun game yesterday and I wanted to join in.

Imagine being hired by a yarn company to come up with names for all their colorways. Total carte blanche to name them any way I want, using any wild inspiration that tickles my fancy. They pay me big bucks to do this, too.

Caity-Rosey’s collections were based on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe & Island of the Blue Dolphins. I highly recommend checking them out.

I decided my first collection would be based on Anne of Green Gables. (All of these beautiful yarns are from etsy. Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to the place where you can spend your hard earned money)

Variegated

the haunted wood
scope for imagination
white way of delight
bosom friends
the lake of shining waters

Tonal

puffed sleeves
Carrots! Carrots!
raspberry cordial
depths of despair

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Catching up on some reading

I managed to well and truly destroy my target of reading 12 new books a year.

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Confessions of an air hostess.

I’ll be honest, this isn’t going to win any literary awards. However it is perfect for a sunny day, a glass of wine, and a few hours of some mindless romance.
I consider Little Black Dress books to be the same as the Mills & Boon books I used to judge my dear mother about reading. Well 15 year old Bek is now judging me for reading Little Black Dress books (15 year old me was a judgemental little shit really, but she grows up kinda).
There is a time and a place for great literature, and there is a time and a place for trashy and predictable romance novels
(Best read with – wine and The XX)

The Gin Lovers

I could have sworn I heard about this book from The Hairpin but whilst googling to find the link I couldn’t find it.
So I don’t know how I found out about this web serial turned book, but I’m very glad I did.

And I’m very glad I read it all at once. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger, and I became totally immersed in the story I didn’t want it to end.

(Best read with – a gin cocktail and the duke spirit

The White Queen

I have been a Phillipa Gregory fan for ages now, but I think I’ve reread The Constant Princess twice in the time it took me to sit down and finish The White Queen.
I bought this book on our road trip to Adelaide (May 2011) and only just finished it. But it was good because I found the Bradman museum postcard that I bought and had used as a book mark.
It’s not that it’s a difficult read, it’s just I had trouble navigating the different time zone. After spending so long with The Tudors (through the TV show, her previous books, and I actually read some non-fiction on the subject), I didn’t immediately recognise most of the names. That and I found the whole Melusina subplot pretty tedious.
I am looking forward to watching the TV adaptation. Unfortunately I only started recording it at episode 5, so hopefully it comes out on DVD or Netflix soon.

(Best read with – blood orange screwdrivers and The Decemberists)

The Valley of the Dolls
Midnite Moose leant me this one, and I must admit I hadn’t heard of it before.
It took me a while to get into it, but as soon as I had finished I had to watch the movie (thanks Netflix!)
And I enjoyed both equally.
I don’t know how I hadn’t heard of this before. I even followed a blogger called sparkle kneeley sparkle for a while.

I feel a bit like I’m the last person on the planet to read this, but I finally have. A bit like watching Dirty Dancing (yes I’m talking to you Miss Hedgehog) it’s an important part of growing up and being a lady.

(Best read with – malt liquor on the rocks and Neko Case

I finally signed up for a Good Reads account so if you’re on Good Reads look me up – I’m bekswhoknits.

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13 in 2013 update

At the beginning of the year I set myself a list of 13 things that I wanted to do this year. Now that August is finished and there’s only 4 months left in the year I thought that I would do a quick recap and reassess where I’m at.

1. Open my little etsy shop. – Tick!
Sometimes you think you know what you want but then actually when you do it you realise it’s not what you want at all.
I thought I wanted an etsy shop, but almost as soon as I opened it I realised that I didn’t.
I prefer to make things with a specific recipient in mind, rather than for a mass market. So I’ve closed my shop and chalked it up to experience.
Instead I will continue to make things and send them to friends. Even if they’re friends I have never met.

2. Host a giveaway on my blog – Tick!
This was so much fun! And this is where I figured out the I like giving things away more than selling them.
The lesson to be learned is that postage is a killer. In the future small and light will be the way to go.

3. Finish Start the knitting crafting for my Pay It Forward post. – Tick!
Again this was rediculously fun! And it was the beginning of embroidering fabric to go on a frame.
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4. Knit 12 pairs of socks. – 6/12
I’m halfway through this one. I have two pairs of socks on the needles at the moment. One which I like and one which I don’t.
After seeing Jesse’s finished socks from this week I have the sock knitting bug again.

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5. Sew 6 cushions.- 6/6 – Tick!
Woo all 6 cushions are completed! And I have one side of another one. This cushion making lark is fun. (Jazzical if you’re reading this I haven’t forgotten you, this whole buying a house lark is time consuming.)

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6. Write a knitting pattern and post it on Ravelry.
I have started this one yet. I don’t know if I still want to.
Maybe if inspiration strikes I may be able to check this off my list.

7. Post a tutorial or a how-to guide. – Tick!
Seriously making a video was not what I had planned for this. But it turned out to be a really good experience. And now I have youtube subscribers. That’s a weird feeling for someone who only has two knitting videos.

8. Try a new craft, or 2, or 3.
So I tried arm knitting which was interesting.
The jewellery making was something that I had wanted to do for ages. I can definitely see more of that in my future.
Spinning definitely counts as my third new craft. I’m still not too good at it, but I can only improve right?
I recently bought a weaving kit so that’s going to be my fourth new craft so I’ll be interested to see how that goes.

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9. Create an artwork for my apartment – Coming Soon!
This has been done but I haven’t blogged about it yet. I’m now waiting until we get in our new house. Or maybe I’ll show you it and then show you it again in our new house. I haven’t decided yet.

10. Embroider a whole song (lyrics) onto something.
I’m changing the parameters on this one. The intent was to stretch my embroidery skills and do a long project. Well instead of a song I chose a story from Black Books. Embroidery skill level ‘ 3 stitches learnt’ achieved!

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11. Sew a garment from a pattern, and wear it.
I’m going to wait until we’re in a house before I attempt this. If I’ve learnt anything from making 6 cushions this year it’s that I don’t have enough room to cut out cushions let alone a pattern. Since the fish came along this year I have lost my kitchen table.

12. Read a new book every month. (something I haven’t read before) 11/12
This has been fun. I’ve learnt to knit and read at the same time which has helped.
I’m currently half way through a new book so I should well and truly achieve this.

13. Crochet a granny square. – Tick!
I thought that a granny square would be a great way to ease into crochet and it was. I’ve now completed two rugs, many granny squares and a cushion. I’m about to attempt a chevron rug. Wish me luck!

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Whatever Wednesday – TV!

Every Wednesday/Thursday I’ll be blogging about the topic that comes through my email courtesy of Shay & Alissa. If you want to join in the fun, email Whateverwednesdays@yahoo.com to get a heads up on the topic for the week.

top 5 favourite tv shows

There were strict instructions for this one. Which sucks because usually I take a left turn when approaching these topics. Specifically we were told “… that doesn’t mean your top 3, or your top 7, or I don’t watch TV because I’m too cool and do things like art projects, I MEAN YOUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE SHOWS”

Yup message received agonisingly loud and clear.

1) Doctor Who
Surprise surprise.
I first started watching the 4th Doctor and Romana II. And then came the reboot and Eccleston and fantastic. And then David Tennant (swoon) and then tumblr and fangirling and squeeeee!!!!
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2) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Considering I had never watched this until 2 years ago, I am completely hooked and could probably get more of the lyrics from Once More With Feeling correct if I was forced to sing for my supper.
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3) Black Books
I will get messages from my brother at 2 am quoting black books.
I have also spent a night, with my bestfriend on the recliner, me and my boyfriend on the couch and him getting black books quotes not just from the tv, but from both of us, with bonus cackling.
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4) Parks and Recreation
I have a bracelet which says awesomesauce, so that probably qualifies Parks and Rec to be on this list.
Both April & Andy, and Ben & Leslie tie for cutest couple on television.
Actually this show is just bad ass. All the relationships in the show have
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5) Pride & Prejudice the 1994 tv series
This was the first tv show that I ever fangirled over. Wet white shirt Colin Firth.
Mum & I would stock pile the ironing to watch this together. Oddly enough Dad and my two brothers would find something else to do.
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And unfortunately this was the biggest gif of wet shirt darcy I could find.
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Honourable mentions:
Firefly, Coupling, Downton Abbey, How I Met Your Mother (although just finish already!), Fawlty Towers, Black Adder, Mad Men, 30 Rock…. and i’m going to stop now before I agonise over this post any more.

Here have a video of the doctor who credits in the style of the Buffy credits.

WW

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Whatever Wednesday – something for granted

Every Wednesday/Thursday I’ll be blogging about the topic that comes through my email courtesy of Shay & Alissa.

something or someone i take for granted

I’ve always had an overactive imagination. Most books, movies, tv I consume I imagine what life would be like in that world.
I just started watching Breaking Bad and so my thoughts have been about how I would handle cancer, or losing a loved one, or having a drug addiction, losing a house, living on the streets, and struggling to eat.

At any given moment the absolute worst case scenario is flicking through my head. Almost like the flashbacks in Scrubs except in a flash I’ve fallen over, broken my wrist, unable to work, and selling my body for crack.

So I don’t think I take anything for granted.
I know how quickly things can change.
It doesn’t take much for me to imagine this life I have, this life filled with love and comfort to all come crashing down.

And so I am grateful. I am grateful every single morning that I can get out of bed.

I’m young, in love, buying a house, have some amazing friends, a career which not only do I enjoy most days but also pays for bills and yarn.
Even though my family and I don’t always agree on everything they still support me and my choices.
I can vote, own property, have a degree and access to good medical facilities.
I have the internet at my fingertips to teach me how to knit, let me watch doctor who that hasn’t aired in australia yet, and communicate with people from all around the world that I would never have known otherwise.
I have clean air, running water, access to public transport, food in the fridge, and electricity to run the multitude of appliances we probably don’t actually need.

The feeling of gratitude is almost overwhelming.

I’m grateful everytime I go to point out how nice something smells and realise my boyfriend can’t.
I’m grateful every single time my little brother comes off his motorbike and gets back up.
I’m grateful everytime I hang out with the two most important people I have in my life, that they still choose to hang around me and haven’t given up like so many other people.

I don’t think I take anything for granted because I always imagine that the second that I do, it will be gone.

WW

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A weekend with Austen

Apart from hanging out with football players or singing loudly to Cold War Kids the highlight of the weekend was book shopping.

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I’ve already read Mr Darcy’s guide to Courtship and giggled so loudly HeWhoFishes retreated into his ‘shed’.

“If a female appears to show interest in you, examine her carefully. Beneath the angelic exterior may lurk a charlatan, a prostitute or – worst of all – an advocate of liberal politics”

I pretty much snorted my tea at that line.

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I also found my copy of the Jane Austen handbook.
It details the proper life skills of regency England and gives a lot of background which would have been assumed at the time.

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I then re-read Persuasion. Because I love it so much my first copy is looking a little worn. So I bought another copy.

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So there’s two more books added to the read list for this year.

I also bought a Pride and Prejudice picture book for my niece. Because you’re never too young to start reading Austen. Even if she can’t read yet. She not yet 1. But she will read Austen if mad aunt Bek gets her way.

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Whatever Wednesday – heartbreak

Every Wednesday/Thursday I’ll be blogging about the topic that comes through my email courtesy of Shay & Alissa.

biggest heartbreak

I thought about this long and hard. I have had my heart broken a few times. Ex boyfriends, ex bestfriends, people that I though had my back but when it came to it they didn’t actually.

But there was only one heartbreak that I look back on and wish was different.

And that is something I don’t want to share with the interwebs. So instead I’m going to talk about the last time my heart ached.

I had a day off on Monday. My body needed sleep and it got it. In that state of ‘really don’t want to leave the covers of the bed’ I turned on Netflix to see what I could watch.

I clicked on Orange is the new Black thinking that I’d give it until I got sick of it. That’s my usual plan when watching something I know nothing about.

Half an hour into the 13th episode I fell asleep because I just could stay up any longer.

I was absolutely gripped.
If you know nothing about the series, it’s a Netflix original based on a memoir of the same name. I have since read the memoir and it is very very loosely based. In many ways this makes it a better series because one of the things that I liked most about the TV series that wasn’t in the book, was the many and varied stories that were shown.
It’s set in a women’s prison, with the main character being a pretty white girl whose girlfriend was involved in drug smuggling and she helped out. She then moves on with her life, but 7 years later the case is brought to trial and she is sent to a minimum security prison.
But as dry as the original premise is, the ensemble cast of fully fleshed out characters is the real strength.
Episode 3 was where it really got me. I’m not going to be all spoilery, but these are bad people. They’re all in prison for a reason. But they’re also women, mothers, daughters, friends, lovers, and enemies.
And their stories made my heart ache because for every story there was pain.
I am well aware that these are fictional characters, made up for the screen loosely based on reality. But for me it wasn’t a stretch to think that these were real people and real experiences and my heart aches for every single person who is facing that life. Not the prison life, but the life that led them their in the first place.
Because every episode focuses on a different inmate so we get to see her story, the decisions that were made, what led them to prison and who they are as a character.

I enjoyed this series so much that I watch it all (bar 30 minutes) in one day.

If you have Netflix it carries the Beks Stamp of Approval.

(And because I also read the book I’m totally including it in my books read list)

The theme is by Regina Spektor and was specially written for the show.

WW
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Whatever Wednesdays – Where I imagine myself as fictional characters

Every Wednesday/Thursday I’ll be blogging about the topic that comes through my email courtesy of Shay & Alissa.

If you could live in a different decade, what would it be, and why?

What a difficult question.

I’ve always said that I am so incredibly grateful to be living in an age where women can have a credit card, own property, and vote without a husband.
So as much as I fantasise about living in a Jane Austen era, I know that I probably wouldn’t survived too happily.

So to answer this question I’m going through the historical fiction section of my bookshelf where I can imagine myself as living in my favourite books (neatly avoiding a lot of problems which would occur if current-day-beks was herself in these decades).

Pride & Prejudice – All that focus on getting a husband? No thanks, although wet white shirt Colin Firth might persuade me. Plus I think all that delicate needlepoint would get me down. I rather prefer embroidering swear words.

Anne of Green Gables – Canada sounds so beautiful, all the trees, all the reading, all the spare time, plus Gilbert Blythe is dreamy. I’d quite happily be a red haired trouble maker running around PE Island having adventures and eventually going to college and being a teacher. I think I could live that life rather happily.

Persuasion – Possibly my favourite Austen (even without wet white shirt Colin Firth), and it’s probably because I relate to Anne Elliot so much. I fact I think 1814-1815 England may have suited me, if I had the life of Anne Elliot. She had a certain autonomy within a rigid class structure which would suit me quite well. I could at least survive in that life. Plus Captain Wentworth! (swoon) [it is becoming very apparent that I have the hots for a lot of fictional men. Totally normal right? Wet white shirt Colin Firth amiright?]

Seven Little Australians – I had to stop myself from re-reading this as it has been a long time since I flicked these pages, although the pages are so well worn. What would it have been like to grow up in Australia in early 1900s, when English customs were still observed even though they were impractical. I never saw myself as any one character like I have with all the other books I’ve mentioned in this post.

Rilla of Ingleside – Who would possibly choose to go back in time and experience world war 1. in spite of that, part of me wants to live this story. It was written so soon after the end of the war that history wasn’t set in stone and attitudes completely formed. It would be terrible to have lived that life, such hardship, loss, and uncertainty, but something keeps drawing me back to this story. It is a romanticised look at the horror of war from a young girls perspective.

The Other Boleyn Girl – I have such a fascination with the Tudor period. The dress, the manner, the patriarchy and the religious upheaval. With history so often we get the condensed version, it was (once again) a frightening time to be alive and be a strong woman, but if I had a time machine I would go to the Tudor period in a heartbeat.

Any of the famous five series – I would travel on all the Five’s adventures in a heartbeat. From the descriptions of caravans, to all the adventures. I really want to travel the 1940s English and. Welsh countryside drinking ginger beer and eating raspberry ices.

So really I want a tardis to visit all these fictional worlds and live the life of fictional characters. Which probably means I’m more than content to live in the decade I live now. But travelling through time and fiction would be nice.

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WW
Did I happen to mention wet white shirt Colin Firth??? If you’re confused, then the video explains it. If you know what I’m talking about, you’ll probably watch the video anyway.

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Tales on a houseboat

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Once upon a time, there was a girl called BeksWhoKnits and a boy called HeWhoFishes.

The two of them set off early on Friday morning and drove as the sun came up. And at some point around 9:00 arrived into Walpole.

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The stocked up on supplies, and made sure that they had every thing they needed. They weren’t to be coming back to the shore for a while.

Off they set on a houseboat into the inlet. Quite soon the houseboat was transformed into a home where the next 3 nights would be spent.

They reached their first destination. HeWhoFishes set to fishing, BeksWhoKnits to knitting.

The fish weren’t biting from the back of the boat, so HeWhoFishes went off in the dingy to explore further.

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Bekswhoknits explored the life of Stephen Fry and made some steady progress on her crocheted blanket.
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The talent of reading and knitting was well practiced and she was quite accomplished by the end of the trip at first reading from the iPad and then later balancing actual books.

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The days flew by and fish continued to be caught, books continued to be read, and WIPs turned into FOs.

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Each day had a new location, and each morning a new sunrise to wake up to.

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Even washing the dishes somehow felt easier.

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There was talk of rejoining civilisation for a Saturday afternoon, but the wonders of technology meant that football could be watched aboard the boat.

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More fish were caught, HeWhoFishes made friends with a pelican named Harold. Beks eyed Harold warily and preferred to remain indoors.
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All too soon it was time to return the houseboat. There was talk of sailing into the sunset, but it proved impossible so we returned to the shore and reluctantly made our way back to the city.

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The houseboat is a perfect choice when two people wish to do nothing but fish and knit (and read, and embroider, and watch football).

Fish tally
Too many herring to keep count of
20+ Black Brim
10+ Skippy
10 School Whiting
6 Snook / Garfish
1 australian salmon
1 Mullet

Finished Object list
The Fry Chronicles
Revenge Wears Prada
The Colour of Magic
Death Comes to Pemberly
“manners cost nothing” embroidery
teal, black, and grey broken rib cowl
crochet flower
Significant progress on
– vanilla latte pair of socks
– crochet blanket

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*gifs and panorama can be clicked to embiggen
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