Is It A Mom Thing?

There's been a lot of hashtag mom life around here,

but not so much on the blog. Maybe because I think you'll be bored? In any case, today I wanted to talk about one of the accidental benefits I have found in having a baby -- I am reading SO MUCH. Seriously. I'm writing this on a Wednesday night (spoiler alert -- I don't get a lot of writing time, so I'm writing out as many posts as I can in advance) and I've already read one book start to finish since Monday and completed five books last week. It's awesome. When I had Pasha I did not read this much.

I was really confused by this until I really took the time to think about it. Before it was just me and him, so I could watch whatever tv I wanted because I didn't have to worry about young impressionable toddler ears and he was easily kept facing away from the screen. But now I have someone running around who picks up on every word and visual, so we've had to restrict our tv watching to Sesame Street and Thomas the Tank Engine (with some forays into Blackish). And after you've watched through all the Sesame Street Hulu has to offer your kidlet is probably quite content to start over, but I'm finding it a little harder to enjoy. So books it is.

Books Read February.png

I Instagrammed this picture last week and realized that I have not done any kind of blog post about my reading since Summer. What? That can't be right. Reading is usually the geeky in Faithfully Geeky, but I've been remiss in sharing. I need to catch you up. But how? I've already read over books in 2018 and I don't really think you want to read a post detailing them all. But what about a list? With the most memorable titles highlighted? Yeah, a list might work. 

Books Read in 2018 (so far)

  • The Dry, Jane Harper -- I read this one in a day and was so excited to know that the second book was already published and would be available in February
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky, Seanan McGuire
  • Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey -- My friend Jenny is helping me get back into Fantasy with some really great titles that are not as problematic as some of the ones I read in high school. This is an excellent book, the first in a trilogy, and a great look at how the sexual themes that are so often found in fantasy can be handled in a conscious and feminist manner. 
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle (reread)
  • I Know How She Does It, Laura Vanderkam
  • The Music Shop, Rachel Joyce
  • The Yarn Whisperer, Clara Parkes
  • The Emotional LIfe of the Toddler, Alicia F Lieberman -- I'm so glad I finished this before we had Vanya specifically for the section that deals with transitions/special issues. Pasha loves his brother, but it was a struggle for the first few weeks, and having an understanding of how toddlers process and deal with big changes was immensely helpful. This is the updated version that was just published and the first in my personal goal of reading one parenting book a month.
  • The Woman at the Window, A.J. Finn
  • The Spider and the Fly, Claudia Rowe
  • Siblings Without Rivalry, Adele Faber
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Erika L. Sanchez
  • My Life with Bob, Pamela Paul
  • The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin -- I wasn't sure I'd want to read something that dealt with darker themes and family dynamics right after giving birth, but I could not put this book down. Because the story is broken down into multiple parts, one per sibling, every time I reached the end of a section I had to walk away. I kept thinking I'd go find something else to read, but I always came right back.
  • Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett
  • The Patron Saint of Liars, Ann Patchett -- I'm on a bit of an Ann Patchett bender. I've read three of her novels and two of her non-fiction books since Summer and I am on the hunt for more. My biggest difficulty is deciding which one to read next. This one came up as a Kindle deal in February so I read it largely in the middle of the night. Like each of the books I've read so far, this one went places I was not expecting when I started. I love that her books read like a journey, but also are very grounded in reality. She looks at human nature in a way that I find continually fascinating.
  • Force of Nature, Jane Harper -- Book two totally lived up to the hype!
  • How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind, Dana K White
  • Instructions for a Heatwave, Maggie O'Farrell -- Another novel that deals with ordinary people and family life but goes to unexpected places. Only this time set in Scotland. I seem to have a type right now.

Ok, so that's only January and February's reading. But thanks to ebooks, audio books, and just being stuck in a chair for hours on end, I've managed to accrue quite a list. You can find links and the latest updates on my Goodreads 2018 shelf.

What have you been reading this year? Anything from your list I should consider? Please tell me! I'm always looking for more books (even when I shouldn't).


More Socks

I told you, 

it's sock city over here.


Pair #2 is the only complete pair of adult socks that I finished during the Ravellenics. And they are also not for me.

Pattern:  Obliviate  by Sarah Stevens  Yarn:  Nox Yarn Co , Faunus Sock, Beautiful Monster

Pattern: Obliviate by Sarah Stevens

Yarn: Nox Yarn Co, Faunus Sock, Beautiful Monster

This pair is for my mom (sorry to spoil the surprise, Mom). You might remember that she dropped some heavy-handed hints a few months ago that she would like more socks, so this is the second pair of "just because" socks I have knit for her. I loved knitting this pattern so much that I've started a second pair for myself, and I think I'll knit them just as tall. Usually by now I'm looking to knit shorties for the next six months or so, but it's still freezing here, meaning tall socks are a must.

Not only was this pattern a joy to knit, but the yarn is a dream. I love my super soft socks for sure, but I have really been drawn to the more hearty BFL/nylon blends. There's something about the textured feel on my needles that I really enjoy. Mom also wears her handknit socks with birkenstocks (as those who live in and around Ashville are wont to do -- never change, Mom!), so I feel like the extra toothiness of a BFL makes them a little more hardwearing than they would be otherwise.

And yes, it is not lost on me that this is the second pair of socks I have knit for her that is Hermoine-themed. No, it's not intentional, but it is highly amusing.

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Ravellenics 2018

Guys, you don't know how many times I've tried to write this post.

Which, honestly, I guess is to be expected when you have a newborn and a toddler. I just lost a version of this post that included a well thought out analogy to the laws of motion that would have made my Newton professor proud (I took a deep-dive study of Newton as an elective in college. Why? For moments like this of course), and now I just don't have the energy to pull that off again. Vanya's going to be up at any moment, Pasha is refusing his nap (again), and I have socks to show you!

Because I have said newborn and toddler I was not expecting to be able to participate in Ravellenics this year (for the uninitiated, the Ravellenics is a knitting "competition" in which the knitter sets a personal goal that they will work for the duration of the Olympics. For Ravellenics 2016 I knit this sweater). But then I realized that I was stuck in a recliner during my own recovery because Vanya would not let me put him down. So I pulled out a bag of sock yarn, a few pairs of needles, and decided to see how many socks I could knit.

Ravellenics Socks.png

The answer? 4 adult socks (and 2 toddler socks).

One of the single socks is actually the second of a pair that was intended for a Christmas present. Obviously I failed majorly in getting these sent off for Christmas, but fortunately I have friends who understand. 

Back in November I received two gorgeous skeins of Stranded Dyeworks as part of #getyouryarnwishesgranted (thanks Amy!). Both are one of a kind colorways, and I instantly knew that the purple needed to be socks for a specific person. This was my first time working with Stranded and I'm already stalking her updates because I "need" more!

For the pattern I chose Vintage Fairy Lights by Helen Stewart. I don't normally knit socks this tall, but I wanted to knit to pattern because I love the look of the long ribbing paired with the fairy lights pattern. My only complaint is a personal preference -- I don't like when patterns are written line by line rather than saying "repeat the previous row x times." But I do know how to count, so it was only a minor inconvenience.

Vintage Fairy Lights Close Up.png

You would think that after knitting all of these socks I would be ready to knit something else, but nope. I'm still knitting socks. I guess I'm going to need a bigger sock drawer!


Well, it happened.

When last we spoke I was hugely pregnant, massively uncomfortable, and just starting to admit that the pain in my hands was in fact pregnancy-induced carpel tunnel. But then at the beginning of the month all of that changed.


Meet Vanya. Who was so excited to get into his knitwear he arrived a week early.

Sweater:  Newborn Vertebrae   Hat:  Barley Light   Pompom:  Fffabuknits   Socks:  Baby Mitten Socks   Yarn: Yarn vs Zombies,  Cascade Heritage Sock

Sweater: Newborn Vertebrae

Hat: Barley Light

Pompom: Fffabuknits

Socks: Baby Mitten Socks

Yarn: Yarn vs Zombies, Cascade Heritage Sock

In a twist that can only come from my life, I was actually knitting this hat when I went into labor. Well, I'd been in labor for a while, but when I kept deciding to cut my cast-on yarn, leaving me with no working yarn, I figured it was time to start paying more attention. So the full outfit was not ready until after we were already home. I had planned on finishing it up in the hospital, but things went so smoothly that they discharged us after 24 hours. For those who know Pasha's birth story you know that things were the complete opposite of smooth, with me confined to a bed for the better part of a day and Pasha stuck back in the Special Care Unit off and on for almost a week. So my baseline for knitting time was way way off, but if less knitting time means more time with my little dude then that's just fine by me.

Vanya 4.png

Fortunately I had already knit a different outfit for him to wear home.

Vanya 2.png

Remember this one? It did turn out to be a little big, but not nearly as much as I feared. Despite being born a week early, Vanya weighed the same as Pasha at birth, but was longer, so the socks especially fit quite nicely. But really, at this point who truly cares about the knitwear? We have a beautiful boy who just so happens to have some truly stylish wardrobe options.

And a big brother who's rather fond of him as well.

Vanya and Pasha.png

It's Shnew!

We had a knitter's dream yesterday

(or at least this knitter's dream) -- an honest to God snow storm.

Not a blizzard, or an ice storm, or sleet, but real snow starting at nine in the morning and continuing for almost 12 hours. Of course it meant everything was closed, I realized we didn't have quite as much food as I thought I had stocked, and we're eating mac and cheese, but still. Six inches of glorious powder.

Pasha was so excited when it started that he went running to the door yelling "SNOW!" Only he's one so it comes out sounding more like "SHNEW!"

Snow Day 4.png

It was one of the proudest moments of my life when, after a good five hours of snowfall, we all bundled up to go for a walk. Suddenly all those sweaters, socks, hats, and mittens were deemed the greatest thing ever. I'm really fortunate that my family is super knitworthy. At one, Pasha has already learned to gravitate to a hand knit cardigan over a sweatshirt. And Chris only has one hat, but he claims that's all he needs and wears it any time the weather deems it necessary.

Pasha rocking his still too big  Ridgeline set

Pasha rocking his still too big Ridgeline set

Based on the amount of winter weather we've already seen this season, I'm starting to make plans for the boys for next winter. Stormy will be in the mix, so I forsee matching sets not only for the kidlets, but also maybe a trio of hats that match Daddy. Because oh were these two adorable in the snow.

Snow Day.png

My only regret is that I am far too pregnant to partake in any of the fun and had to sit (stand) out Pasha's first sledding experience. Next year, though, Mommy is going to be all over it.