Yarn out, books in

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Lots to get my hooks into

I love our local library, but it doesn’t serve all my needs when it comes to books – first, they don’t have all the books I want, especially specialist books and, second, I have to take the books back! Now the latter is fine most of the time – I read a book and then I’m done with it – but it’s not always the case. So, recently, I have been building up a collection of reference and source books for my knitting and crochet. I want to develop my skills, I want to expand my horizons. I know that there’s the internet, with a host of web sites and videos, but it’s not the same as browsing through a book. And when I’ve found something I want to focus on, in general I’d rather not have to have a screen in front of me (after all, that’s how I spend my working life, so I don’t want it to fill my leisure time too).

I’m hoping that all these books will aid me in working my way through my yarn stash – providing new ideas and inspiration – as well as with my pattern design aspirations. For the moment, though, I’m focusing on getting some WIPs and UFOs out of the way. In this respect this week has been very positive: two projects completed. The first I showed you nearly finished the other day in my ScrapHappy post – a woolly hug for a friend – but now all the ends are stitched in and it just needs to be packed up and sent on its way:

The second is also a scrappy project, this one for charity. A few months ago, a friend gave me some very old crochet squares. These had been made by her aunt (I think – correct me if I’m wrong, Ann) in Belgium. She asked if I could make use of them for a charity blanket. Time had not treated them well, and there were three of four squares that had been nibbled by mice. However, I was able to repair the holes and replace the edges where necessary. I crocheted them together using wool left over from a previous project and then edged the blanket with some scraps that my mum passed on to me a couple of years ago. So, this too is ready to be packed up and sent off to Knit for Peace:

At this rate, all my projects that are languishing in bags will be done and my stash will be greatly reduced by the time I go to Yarndale in September.

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53 Comments

  1. Suzi Atkinson

     /  February 18, 2018

    Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Joyce F in Kansas USA

     /  February 18, 2018

    Love,love, love the colors and the design of the first pictures! The other scrappy one is wonderful too. I need to dig into my bins….but Spring is coming and I will want to be outside. What to do?

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  3. Love all of them! Nice accomplishment getting your WIP’s and UFO’s done! I so agree with you on the books and library thing! Have a wonderful day!

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  4. Laurie Graves

     /  February 18, 2018

    What colors!

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  5. Like you I really like to have real books to browse through for ideas, inspiration and specific instructions. I too am trying to get through my yarn COLLECTION (πŸ˜‰) and then hope to,start on the boxes and boxes of fabric. Unfortunately since people know I am happy to use up odds and ends and old clothes they tend to replenish the stores as fast as I empty them!

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    • Yes, actually I’m the same with yarn – that blanket that’s going to knit for peace only used a tiny bit of my left-over yarn, all the rest come from other people… and actually the middle of the woolly hug blanket was given to me to ‘use up’.

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  6. Lovely purple blanket. As for books, I’m one of those peeps that can read fiction books several times, so I don’t mind buying them and adding them to my library. I too have a reference section, mainly gardening/permaculture. (Don’t we all??)

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  7. Wonderful job, Jan! Love the colours of the first blanket and sooo happy that those squares are finally serving a useful purpose, you got that blanket to look nice too, very retro! My auntie crocheted so much for others, she would have been well happy to know that those last squares did not got to waste, thanks! As for crochet books, I’ve got quite a few if you’d want to borrow some…

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  8. [hashtag]senseof achievement ? πŸ™‚

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  9. Adore the purple blanket!

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  10. Rebecca B

     /  February 18, 2018

    Gosh they are beautiful. I must get back in to crochet. You have inspired me. I know what you mean about having a real book rather than a screen. There’s something about flicking through a real book. I too live in Wales and was overjoyed to find out about my Welsh library membership including free online magazines but somehow it just isn’t the same. Although I must say I wouldn’t buy physical magazines so I get to see content I wouldn’t ordinarily. I tried viewing via the App on a tablet, which is better than a computer. I think I just need to stick with it and get over it and embrace the technology! You can still keep all the issues you “check out” for further reference so it is good from that perspective. I also like that it is so much greener than having physical almost throw-away copies. I still like to have a book though but then depending on the subject matter book content can become out of date quite quickly. I read somewhere that you can request the addition of magazines too. So it really could help some save a few pennies and also the waste associated with physical magazines. Do you make use of the Welsh libraries online magazine resource? Apologies for going on about magazines when your post is about books!

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    • I have looked at a few magazines on-line, but it’s not something I remember to do very often. I have to confess that my favourite on-line service is access to the Oxford English Dictionary – I use it several times a week!

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  11. Murtagh's Meadow

     /  February 18, 2018

    Love the blanket!

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  12. I’m with you on the books. The number of times I’ve borrowed books from the library and not wanted to return them so have ended up buying them… ahem πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

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  13. Love the purple blanket now it’s finished, and the repurposed granny squares for the charity quilt. I have a *lot* of books. I would say I’ve read 90% of them more than once, many of them multiple times, so I don’t have wasted purchases, and if I’m given a book I don’t enjoy I pass it on to a charity shop. I do try now to buy them for my Kindle, as it takes up so much less space and no trees are harmed in the process, but I can’t do that with books containing images. So my large reference library still gobbles space. Libraries simply don’t carry the reference books I want (specific cooking, gardening or handcrafts items), so I use the library to ‘sample’ new fiction authors to see if I like them enough to actually buy a book. I should probably review my handcrafts library, as my ideas, skills and tastes have moved on over the years. It may be time to do some ‘weeding’!

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    • You are right about what’s available in libraries – I always go and browse the handicrafts section, but rarely find anything that inspires me. For some reason our libraries seem to carry a lot of interesting food/cookery books and I quite often get one or two out just to have a look and try a new recipe.

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      • Not much in the way of unusual gardening subjects either: I went hunting for definitive info on gardening in the tropics but nothing, and there’s not a lot of interesting and informative stuff on permaculture either. Perhaps I need to get cracking with the book purchase requests!

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  14. As I keep saying hurrah for local libraries and don’t forget you can read magazines at home for free using your library card!
    Love the purple hug, sure to be appeciated as will the colorful squares blanket.

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  15. Absolute love for the purple blanket!! Lucky recipient – most inspiring – keep buying books!! Good work! ❀

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  16. Well, after seeing the finished purple blanket, I am almost speechless! But not quite πŸ™‚ I love the colours and also the edging of granny squares. I may ‘borrow’ that idea. And I like the other blanket, too; especially the way you seem to have set the original squares in; to me they look rather ‘offset’ and I’ve always loved that placement. Hope I’m right.

    I have a lot of books, too, and like most real readers, have read and re-read most of them many times. I still have books I want to collect that our libraries have gotten rid of; older writers whom I adore and used to re-read regularly. What I don’t like about the digital books is that I’ve lost something that was very central to my life for decades; walking down aisles of books and having one suddenly jump out at me, whispering (occasionally shouting) “read me, read ME!”. I can’t begin to think of how many of my now favourite authors whom I met in this way. Looking for something whose title or author I already know will never be the same.

    My Mum had a Tshirt (now mine) that had a quote from Jorge Luis Borges: “I have always imagined that Paradise will bi a kind of library”. I say Amen to that! I gave tried audiobooks and for some, especially non-fiction, I’m ok, but I ‘hear’ books in my mind when I’m reading and the readers never pace or pronounce as I do. So it can be distracting. This is particularly so when it’s a book I’m very familiar with.

    Anyway, congratulations on the stash-busting (and on busting other people’s stashes, too; that’s a great service to be giving to the world); I’m looking forward to the day when I can dot he same. And I’ll happily take on other people’s stashes, too! πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful weekend and I wish you sunshine and rainbows through the coming week, (but not necessarily the rain lol) ~ Linne

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  17. I know, so unreasonable of the library to want their books back πŸ˜‰

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  18. You are so right about needing to have the right books on hand! I’m a library gal for all reading except for weaving books–those I want to own. Both your finished projects are fabulous–so different and each lovely. I like that you saved those sort of wonky granny squares and gave them a purposeful new life!

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  19. I’ve tried limiting the amount of physical books by using Kindle but, if a hard copy occasionally falls into my hands, it is very easy to recycle second hand English books here in France as everybody is desperate for them and we raise lots of money at our fund raisers by selling them ‘donation only’. I only keep the books I’ve really enjoyed that I might read again.
    Love the purple blanket by the way – it will make her day or even year!

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  20. Wow! What an achievement!
    And you are going to Yarndale!!!!! How exciting! The Yarny Mecca. I’m excited to hear about what you do and see.

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  21. I love libraries! Even if you do have to return them, the one benefit is that you can “test drive” a book before you commit to buying it. I rarely buy new books and HATE it when I do buy one only to find out it doesn’t contain the info or tips it promised. That purple blanket is GORGEOUS, by the way!!

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  22. You’ll have good reason to buy loads more at Yarndale now! We’re going again this year, too, making a weekend of it Friday-Monday with the girls. Such a fab event!

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  23. I know that feeling of liking a library book so much that you just NEED to get your own ‘forever’ copy!

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  24. Hooray for crossing WIPs off the list! The purple one is even prettier than I remembered, what a fabby gift it will be

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  1. A long time coming | The Snail of Happiness

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