Friday, September 7, 2012

Finished Undead Friday.

No time to participate in the blogging world the way I'd like to, still, but it feels wrong on FO Friday to not at least briefly introduce you all to the Season's First Owl---Buttons the Deranged, a hopefully-autumn-weather-summoning zombie owl.  Let's pretend that his button eyes were not at all influenced by the fact that I'd left my safety eyes at residence no. 2 while I was crafting him at residence no. 1, but instead by a completely purposeful aesthetic decision to make him look even nuttier.

I even made him a little brain gnaw on in case he gets hungry before he reaches his new home, whenever and wherever that is.  (Mr. Buttons is available for sale or swap, if his wonky eyes are looking at you with a particularly non-resistible beseechingness...)

Next up, a Hedwig-inspired owl, I think...worked in some nice Lion Brand Homespun so the body shouldn't take two shakes of a lamb's tail.  (My mom used to use that expression all the time when I was a kid, I hadn't thought of it in ages.  Huh.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hello, August.

Apparently the way I'm saying  hello to August is with terrible photography.  (Sorry about that.  Sub-par camera, bad light, in a hurry...)

Just a quick WIP Wednesday and Yarnalong check-in with my latest crocheted silliness---a shawl for the Ravellenics.  I'd promised myself I was going to stick to little stuff---toys and hats for charity, say.  And I'm still hoping to do a couple of those!  But I also got all caught up in the spirit of Challenging Yourself and Using Awesome Yarn, etc. etc., and bought a pattern I'd been eying forever for this particular skein of gorgeous yarn.

So I'm makin' myself up a Dinosaur Tail.  I'm so jealous of all of those amazing, spiky-beautiful Hitchhiker shawls you knitter-types make, and I need some spikes of my own.  I'm a bit sad at how much these are curling (such is crochet), and am hoping that a stern blocking when I'm done (which, spoiler alert, will probably not be in time for a "medal" in Shawl Sailing) will fix 'em.  It's a really nice pattern, though---just two super-simple rows, so it's easy to keep track of where I am, which is a most excellent quality.  And I'm loving working with the yarn and watching the colours pop up.

In the way of reading, I've been remembering my love for graphic novels recently (pictures! and so quick to read!), and am currently remembering that love with Sarah Oleksyk's Ivy, which is...harsh.  Its central character is a high school girl, and the blurb on the back praises the novel for being about high school as it actually is, which is true---and a little bit difficult, because it reminds me in a tidal wave of regret about just how awfully people behave and treat each other at that age, how much everything hurts and seems huge and unfair and makes lashing out seem like the only solution.  Eek.  Obviously the fact that it makes me flinch and feel retroactively mortified at my teenage self is a sign that it's well-written (and it's also wonderfully illustrated), but picking it up to read can be a mixed-bag experience.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tentacles, Soot, Beach Glass, and Peas. And an owl.

Just a quick post-and-run today with some recent FOs for FO Friday.  (Despite my temptation to try to show you everything I finished since I last blogged regularly in May.)  First of all, I'd like you to meet Ms. Petula the Purple Octopus.  Made from my favourite ever tentacle construction pattern, I hadn't done one of these guys to-pattern-size since making my first one ever about two years ago.  I forgot how plush the tentacles feel in two strands of worsted weight worked with a big hook.  This is also the first time I'd ever attempted crocheted eyes and eyelids on a cephalopod, and I'm pretty pleased.  I've already got some skeins selected for the next one.  I think some of these guys will have to be craft fair fodder this year.  People like things with tentacles and personality-imbuing eyelids, right?

And here's the soot sprite, all sewn up and perched in a dustpan for authenticity.  I love it when I start a simple project and manage to keep it simple.  Even with the eye-creation and blogging breaks, this little guy took no time at all.  Most of the crocheted soot sprites I've seen around on the interwebs are done in eyelash yarn, but I used a fuzzy alpaca-acrylic blend for this and just...fluffed it up at the end.  Way less irritating.  (Also, I don't have any black eyelash yarn.)

In the way of non-anthropomorphic stuff, I made myself this necklace a couple weeks ago using a piece of my beach glass collection.  I think this is the first time I've ever done anything with said beach glass besides put it in a jar and admire it.  This was also my first attempt at this kind of wire-wrapping, and at incorporating beads into crochet---both were pretty much a success, which is all part of the payoff for my slowly, slowly learning to start small with new techniques.  More beads may be in my future.

I also (okay, fine, this is going back to June---last one for now, I promise) indulged my love of Happy Rainbows! by making a useless-but-fun peapod garland (with an adorable pattern by the always awesome Trish of genuine mudpie).  There was something really lovely about selecting skeins and working with the ROYGBIV spectrum like this, so my next useless rainbow project is already on the horizon.  I'm planning to start hookin' it for the Ravellenics mass cast-on later today, in fact.

I've never done the Ravel-thingie games before, and I'm not planning anything big, I don't think.  (Except the insane part of me that wants to start a ripple afghan, but I think I can avoid listening to that particular inner voice pretty easily, all I have to do is remember that I'd be working into a base chain of well over 100 stitches...)  I'm eager to get into the Olympics themselves, too.  Gymnastics! Diving! Watching people who are awesome at stuff do said stuff, while occasionally learning fun facts about various countries!

What Olympic (or Ravelympiclennic) events/projects are you guys excited about?

Ooh, and a late addition---since Paula has received him (and made the sweetest. ever. post about him over at her blog, Knit and Seek), I can also reveal my seeeecret progress object, Wendell!

Wendell is a wedding planner owl, made in Paula's wedding colours and armed with a helpful clipboard!  I haven't made an owl for ages, and I'd sort of forgotten how much I adore them.  (Well.  The parts that don't involve sewing the wings and beak in, anyway.)  Wendell was actually a team effort---my mom ended up sewing on his heart applique in exchange for my sorting through some of her receipts so she could check them off on her credit card bill.  Skills exchanges for the win!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Secrets and Sprites.

Have I made any progress on my WIPs from last week?  No, not really.  (Except for seeeecret progress that will be revealed when the results of said progress reach their new home!)

Did that stop me from starting a couple new projects?  Not at all!

The one up there is actually kind of a secret, too, although I couldn't resist some strategic button placement to reveal its silly anthropomorphic nature.

And my current reading is obviously present, too---this book (Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races) is an odd one.  I'm halfway through it and still not quite sure about it, in some way.  I think in part just because it wasn't what I was expecting. I knew it was about horses, but I wasn't counting on some of the horses being like...scary, carnivorous, vaguely magical horses who have to be tempered with iron and want to eat you.  I'm not sure how I feel about that!  I kind of overdosed on fantasy novels as a kid, so magical animals tend to make me back away slowly.  (The horses don't talk, though, so there's that at least.)  There's something compelling about this one, though, so I'm keeping on.  Malevolent magical horses aside, the characters and setting are interesting, the tension and scariness of the plot are effective, and it got inside my head enough that I think there were horses in my dream last night.

Back in the yarny WIP side of things, there's also this little guy, who will be an FO before the sun sets today!  He's going to be a Miyazaki soot sprite.

Imagine my glee when---as someone who cannot make symmetrical stuff. Ever.---google image search revealed to me that soot sprites' eyes are supposed to be a little wonky.  I made mine from Crayola Model Magic, which isn't the most durable material, but it doesn't require baking like polymer clay, which can be a very good quality.

Linking up, as usual, with  WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sneaking Back Into Blogland, Day Two.

Hi, lovely people of the crafty blogosphere. <3  I've been in kind of a weird, living-in-two-different-places situation lately, and as someone who's very much a hobbit---happy about creature comforts and clutter and Home and second breakfast---all the shuttling back and forth stresses me out and leaves me with no time and energy for blogging. (I'm around more on Ravelry, though, so please do add me to your friends over there if you like!  Same bat time, same bat channel username.) But I miss seeing and talking to you guys about your amazing projects so much, and I'm in one place for today, so I'm going to breathe in, breathe out, share some love. 

As for what's currently on my hooks---one project that's actually (I can't believe it) appropriate for the weather: a crazy-rainbow-crochet-thread bikini top.  This is the first time I've done pineapples, and oh my gosh, they're magic.  They just...decrease themselves.  I'm still not great at keeping my tension in thread, but this is turning out pretty well anyway, I think.  I'm not sure yet how I'm going to make the two separate pineapple-boob-cozies you see in the photo into a single entity yet, but I've promised myself a bike ride around the block (at dusk, mind you) wearing this when it's done.

I've also (much less appropriately for the too-hot-to-live weather we're having here) started a second pair of socks!  And I'm going to cheat just a little, and show off the first pair, since I'm still happy and proud about them even if right now I don't want them anywhere near my feet.

 I totally understand why people like making socks so much now.  Not only is it awesome to wear socks you've actually made (and with nice yarn! that feels all sweet and cushy on your foot!), but they're an amazingly portable project---one hook, small ball of yarn, and in my case, a nice easy pattern that you can memorize and just keep hookin' on without very much concentration needed. 

And the red skein in the photo? Represents seeeecret ideas, for someone who very well may be reading this entry! 

Re: books, I've been drawn to the portability of paperbacks recently.  This morning, I finished Naomi Shihab Nye's Habibi, which I've seen on library shelves for aeons but never checked out.  It was an interesting read, really lyrical in a way that made much more sense when I looked at the author's little biography blurb and saw that she's a poet.  I'm also slowly making my way through Hound of the Baskervilles, my first Sherlock Holmes book, and finding it completely delightful. 

Now for the good part, in which I go see what everyone at WIP Wednesday and Yarnalong is up to. :D

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cute Rocks.

"I had to admit, for a rock, it was pretty darn cute.  And frankly, I could use all the inspiration I could get."

-from Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Trying to maybe sneak back into blogging in the smallest and easiest way possible, with a random-page-quote from my current read for Teaser Tuesdays.

I've been steadily reading Frances O'Roark Dowell's books this spring/summer, and she's a wonderful writer.  This book is her first YA (rather than middle grade) novel, and it was a great read---funny and quirky and truthful, made me grin ear to ear a lot as I flipped the pages.

When I flipped to a random page and selected this quote, I was happy to remember that I happened to have a pretty darn cute rock sitting around on my bedside table.  I try not to load up my pockets too much with rocks and shells and stuff when I walk on the beach, but I couldn't resist this one.  It's like an illustration from an Earth Science textbook about...uh.  Whatever type of rock it is.  (I swear that I did pass Earth Science.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baby Steps, in Hand-Dyed Yarn.

I'm short on time, so this post will be short on words.  But I have to share---look, guys, my first sock!  Really impressive so far, I know. ;)  I never thought I'd want to crochet socks, but the powerful persuasive skills of the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup have prevailed again, and here I am, doing a little tiny sock CAL with a new friend who has made crocheted socks before, so I know I have help if I need it. (...and I think I'm going to need it when I get to the heel bit.)

But so far, so good.  I'm keeping my expectations reasonable---these are going to be too bulky to go under shoes, and they're going to have some weird holey bits where the decreases are or where my tension sucks because I'm not great with fingering weight yarn yet.  I know these things, and I think I'm prepared to love the socks anyway.

Isn't the yarn tasty?  It's from Sunset Stitches on etsy, in the colourway "Potions Master."  So these are Very Harry Potter socks, which may be the best kind.

Accompanying me on my sock journey will be this too-cute-to-be-believed cupcake/muffin that Erin of the Knitting Squid sent me, because she's just that awesome.

The books in the photo are Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan, which I chose because of the cover (look at those pretty flowers!) and then actually took out because it's about India at the time Gandhi was instigating for change, but from a British-living-in-India girl's point of view, and I just read another book (Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth) from the point of view of an Indian girl.  I'm not sure about this one.  I'm more than halfway through, and it's one of those weird books that created certain plot expectations (for me) and then...went somewhere else entirely.  And it's a little simplistic, being that it's for middle-grade readers and not young adult readers, I guess.

Also on the queue: Gregor the Overlander, because it's been recced to me by a few different interesting people (e.g. Paula of Knit and Seek), and while I had Reservations about the Hunger Games books, I can't deny that they were hard to put down!  I'm only a chapter or so into this, but I liked it a lot right from the first pages.

Go see what everyone else is reading and making at WIP Wednesday and Yarnalong. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Magical Multiplication of Bookworms!!

So I have a couple goofy little amigurumi FO's this week---this little citrus-fruit/octopus hybrid, made from a super-cute, addictively tiny and quick pattern by the awesome Lucy Ravenscar.  I got inspired to make one (or more. there will be more.) after seeing these sweeties by Odd Socks.

And I made up a silly little beaver finger puppet...

 ...and added cupcakes and stars to my bookmark yarnbomb repertoire.  But all of that pales in comparison to the discovery I made yesterday in one of the three local libraries I've dropped off bookmarks in so far.

 I have inspired another bookworm yarnbomber.  As I was walking through the kids' fiction section, looking for a copy of Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse to add a bookworm to, and also picking up some more of Frances O'Roark Dowell's novels (I finished Falling In and it stayed wonderful to the end, so next up is Dovey Coe...), I noticed a little tag hanging out of one of the books.  Attached to a crocheted worm with seed bead eyes.

A crocheted worm with seed bead eyes that I didn't make.  Which means that someone---a mysterious fellow book-loving crocheter!!---saw the worms I've been dropping off the past couple weeks and decided to join in, which is the the most. amazing. thing. ever.

 This one was recommending Carl Hiaasen's Hoot.  (A recommendation with which I concur, I read it a few years ago and loved it, it's actually what got me into Carl Hiaasen's books for grown ups.)  So I trolled through the kids' fiction aisles on pins and needles, iPod (...sorry about the crappy photos) in hand, looking for more!  And there were more!

One recommending The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (which I dutifully checked out, as one should trust a bookworm!).

 And a third, recommending The Mysterious Benedict Society, a book which I hadn't heard of and plan to check out in the future.

I'm still grinning ear to ear just uploading these photos, I'm so excited that other people (and this includes all of you amazing blogland friends!) like this idea and want to play along.  Hooray for crafting and reading and combining those two things into a hybrid creature of happy awesomeness!  I'm sort of thinking of starting a bookmark-recommendation yarnbombing group on Ravelry...

(Fridays, as always, are for FO Fridays and Fiber Arts Friday.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lots more booky things than yarny things going on this week, which is interesting---just not photographically interesting!  I'm sort of at a so many ideas, so little time place with the crocheting, so while I have a whole Mental Queue (...which reminds me that I should learn to actually use my Ravelry queue one of these days.) of Things to Make, the only things actually on the hooks/waiting for finishing are some more yarnbomb bookmarks and a baby bootie that I'm pattern testing (and which is destined to be frogged, so it only sort of counts).

Working with doubled yarn isn't something I've done much of, it's a little challenging!  This pattern is cute and uses some other techniques (like decrease stitches using two stitch types/heights---instead of just "sc 2 together," there's "sc-hdc together" or "hdc-dc together") that I hadn't tried before, which is always cool.

But now, books.  I want to talk about books.  I'm branching out a little this week from my mainly-steady reading diet of kids'/YA novels---although of course, I've got one of those in there---Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell, which begins with the sentence On the morning this story begins, Isabelle Bean was convinced she was teetering on the edge of the universe. and only gets lovelier from there.  Definitely one of those stories where like, ten pages in, I was already wondering how quickly and from what library I could acquire the author's other novels.  It's seriously charming, with a funny, current voice that's very sharply self-aware of the kidlit/fairy tale tropes it's playing with, and (so far, I guess I'm about halfway through) a very satisfying balance between humor and poignancy.  ...Also, it's one of those books that makes me want to make things.  In this case, I sort of want to crochet a fairy (even though the book has yet to feature, and probably will not ever feature, an actual fairy).  Any pattern recommendations?

But I also grabbed a small volume of poetry to celebrate the tail end of National Poetry Month (I wanted to read some Edna St. Vincent Millay, but I'd walked to the library and the only poems of hers they had were in a collection too big to carry home!), Partly Cloudy by Gary Soto.  It's been a long time since I've read any poetry, really, and this collection read fast and really authentically High School (it's all love poems from the POV of teenagers), it reminded me of the stuff I used to write when I was that age, but somehow without making me feel mortified about it, which was nice.

And I decided to try and encourage my inner geek with The Pluto Files, because while I love the night sky, I don't actually know anything about astronomy, and that's sad.  I'm liking the book so far, Neil deGrasse Tyson's writing is funny and easy to follow (well. most of it.  the explanation of what a parsec is sort of went over my head...).  Poor Pluto.  I was legitimately sad when it became an un-planet.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Yarnalong.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paying it Forward! a much more interesting way than, say, that movie of a similar name with Haley Joel Osment.   Which I recall seeing (in a movie theatre, even...why.) and being bored by.   

Anyway!  I can't resist the thought of getting to make stuff to send to people, so I'm happily jumping on this bandwagon via Natalie at Marigolds' Loft.

Here's how it works:

1.  I will send a gift to the first three commenters on this post. The gift will be handmade by me.  It will be sent sometime in the next 365 days. It will be a surprise.  (If you're outside the US, it may be a flat surprise as my shipping funds are limited, but international applicants are entirely welcome!)
2. To sign up and receive a gift, you have to play along, too. Pay it Forward on your blog by promising to make a surprise for the first three people who comment on the post.
3. You must have a blog, as I will blog stalk you, cackling with glee all the while, to find the right gift for you.
4. After commenting here, please repost this or something similar to your blog in 48 hours.  If not, I'll chose the next person who comments.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ends, Tied Up and Woven In.

Hooray for FO Friday and Fibers on Friday! I didn't think I'd be finishing this headband in time, but all of your nice comments about the yarn (which is from the sadly defunct Sheep Shop Yarn company, it's Sheep One in the "Sprite" colourway), and the fact that it's too warm for a hat but not warm enough to leave my head uncovered, spurred me on and I sewed on the button and wove in the ends this afternoon.  And then wore it as I finished reading Harold and Maude, which wasn't at all as emotionally affecting as the movie, but was worth the read.

 Here's the headband in action.  I love the way this yarn held the stitch texture---this is a crocheted Calorimentry copycat, and it's just plain old half-double crochets alllll the way through, but it looks so much more interesting than that because of the yarn.

But now on to this week's Big Finish, the shawl(ette)!

Seen here unblocked (and flanked by dandelions and my rain boots)...

...and blocked!  This is my first experience with blocking anything bigger than an ornament, and I'm thrilled.  I can't wait to finish something in a lighter-weight yarn and try the process again!  This yarn (well, not the bordery bits, which are Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in plum) was a completely amazing bulky-weight surprise of bliss sent to me by someone on Ravelry with whom I made a swap a while back.  I bought her some patterns in exchange for a different skein of yarn (which will someday make its glorious appearance on this blog...), and she sent this along, too.  It's a merino/alpaca blend, and working with it was a dream---so soft, and watching the colours glide through my fingers as I made the rows of chunky double crochets that make up this shawl was mesmerizing. 

And naturally, I'm insisting on trying to wear it bandit-style, like the cool kids do, despite its hilarious bulkiness.  I'm not sure whether I'm going to add tassels or not.  I was all gung-ho about the tassels as I was working on it, but now that it's done and un-tassled, I sort of like it as is.

I also made a mug cozy,  which I equipped with needless bobbles.

And learned to make crocheted i-cord!  I combined this excellent video tutorial from PlanetJune with a different tutorial that made the cord using a base chain of two instead of a base chain of three (which makes the whole thing less fiddly), and sat around watching an episode of Raising Hope and getting into the rhythm of the technique.  And then I sewed the cord up into a pretzel shape and embroidered on some salt.

 And the bookworms (and fish, not pictured) have been busy, recommending things like Sharon Creech's Love That Dog (a novel-in-poetry that successfully broke through my mental embargo on novels-in-poetry, see also: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse) and Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth.

Also, I wanted to issue some heartfelt thank-yous to Natalie, Susan, and Shannon for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.   I never have the kind of time and energy for blogging that I'd like, so the fact that you guys like the stuff I do manage to post is really amazing to me.  I'm thrilled beyond belief to be inspiring you with my weird little projects!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Springtime Firsts

...I'm sure there are people in the universe with good timing, but then there's me, happily working away on wooly accessories on the first 80-degree-days of the year.  They were just freak 80-degree-days, though, so it's not as silly as it sounds!  And I'm always cold, I'll probably get some springtime use out of the projects I'm working on, one of them being the yellow/green blob up there, which will someday be a headband.  Also in the above photo, the current stock of bookmark yarnbombs to be completed, tagged with recommendation notes, and tucked into library books.  (Suggestions about what they should recommend are, of course, still welcome!)

And the winner of the bookworm-bookmark giveaway, as chosen by Paula of Knit and Seek! :D

Also on the book front, I was intrigued to see this copy of Harold and Maude---apparently not just a movie!---on the shelf at my library.  I watched the movie (which actually preceded the play version, unusually enough, the guy who wrote the screenplay adapted it into a stage play later on) in college and it broke my heart with a sledgehammer.  I haven't read a play for a long time, and I'd forgotten  how different it feels than reading a novel.  Interesting.

Last but not least, here's a teasy photo of my second heat-wave-wooly-stuff project, which should be appearing in full on Friday.  Right now it's pinned out on some Sponge Bob play mats on a picnic table in my yard, drying in the sun.  It's Baby's First Blocked Shawl, you guys---although it's in bulky weight yarn [beautiful bulky weight yarn, hand-dyed by an awesome Ravely member with whom I made a yarn/patterns trade a while back], so it sort of doesn't count.  But I'm still excited about it.  And should probably be standing guard over it with a broom to make sure the local woodland animals don't try to steal it to make nests or something.

While I do that (or just, you know, go out to check on it sporadically, possibly I don't need the broom), check out the awesomeness of WIP Wednesday and Yarnalong. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

This Week's Menagerie.

...Featuring Plaguey the Passover Penguin, finished last Saturday (after being started last Friday---go, quick patterns, go!)  The story behind this guy (and his little yarmulke) goes that as a toddler, I was at a Passover seder hosted by a family friend, and during the part where you recite the ten plagues and drip wine on your plate, I looked up at a penguin mobile hanging in the room and shrieked PENGUINS!, thus inventing the Plague of Penguins.  So when my mom was headed to a seder at this same friend's house last week, and this pattern (the second most popular amigurumi pattern on Ravelry, and with good reason.  fast, fun, turns out cute, I already want to make another one...) was the April pattern at Amigurumi of the Month, I knew it was time to put one of these little waddlies on the hooks and send him along as a gift.  He even got to sit at Elijah's place at the table, apparently!

I also made up a quick bunny egg cozy for another family friend, nestled him around a plastic egg filled with M&Ms, and dropped him off at her office in secret.  Cloak and dagger crochet---my favourite kind!  More on that in a moment.

First, meet Mint Mouse (made sort of from this pattern, but I made it smaller, of course), who's going as a "sorry your commission is so late" gift to the person who ordered Lilac Cat 2.0...

...and Suomi Seal, made for a Finland-themed prompt at the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup.  The pattern is aces---so tiny I didn't even have to make it smaller, and really sweetly shaped, and you can learn some Finnish crocheting terms while you go. ("Täytä häntä" means "stuff tail"!)

 Now a little bit more on the bookworm (and now bookfish,as I used this great little applique [I used the "small guppy" here] to create the above fishy bookmarks) project.  I am so excited about the wonderful response I got from all of you lovely people on Wednesday about the bookworms.   Thanks for all your comments and suggestions!

 Heather reminded me of Jeanne DuPrau's lovely The City of Ember, so I had a bookworm suggest it yesterday.

 And I had one of the fish make a recommendation for Ida B: …and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World, a truly amazing book that I credit with getting me back into childrens' literature a couple years ago.

So keep suggesting books, please, and also go check out the other finished/fiber goodies at FO Friday and Fibers on Friday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Very Bookish Wednesday.

...and one with time to link up my bookishness (and it's even National Library Week!) with WIP Wednesday and Yarnalong, hooray!  While I have a huuuge stack of library books around at all times, these are the two of my current stack that I'm actually reading.  I chose Lauren Groff's Arcadia mainly because of its pretty, colourful cover---yes, fine, I do sometimes judge choose a book based on its cover.  Which has led me to some amazing books!  I'm not that far into Arcadia yet, but it reads pretty well so far, although it's a bit more...I don't know, "literary novel" than is usually my cuppa.

But what I've been more absorbed with these past couple mornings (morning is my reading-time lately) is Lois Lowry's The Giver, which I picked up hoping to get back to the roots of the recent Dystopian-Novels-for-Younger-Readers trend (e.g. The Hunger Games, Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Delirium by Lauren Oliver...).  I'm sure I must have read The Giver back when I was actually a child, but I don't remember it at all, and I'm really impressed with the way Ms. Lowry has constructed her particular dystopia, and the very real, sharp feelings of anger and terror and aloneness (but also of love and discovery) that are being conveyed through the main character. 

I may have to have a bookworm recommend this one---which brings us to the yarny, WIP-ish part of my post.  The little coiled-up cuties you see on top of the books in the above photo are bookworm bookmarks, made from a super-simple pattern---basically you just...chain a bunch, and then make two double crochets into the first thirteen or so chains.  And then you have to weave in ends and sew on eyes (I'm using beads), which is the only less-fun part. ;)

I've been remembering how much I love yarnbombing lately, so I've been making these guys up in various scritchy acrylic variegated yarns, attaching notes, and tucking them into relevant books at local libraries.

My first worm, in a charming pink/purple variegate, recommended the Judy Moody books.  (Which are too much fun, and very much a direct and delightful descendent of Beverly Cleary's sublime Ramona Quimby novels.)

 The next two...

...recommended Sunshine by Robin McKinley, which is totally a better class of Vampires for Teenagers fiction than a certain other set of novels in that genre; and Kimchi and Calamari by Rose Kent, another book I chose by its cover and really liked.  (And I even corresponded with the author a bit, and she is lovely.  I'd never written to an author before! It was exciting!)

 My most recently released worm was made in zombie-green-fleck, and nestled appropriately into a copy of the first volume of The Walking Dead graphic novel.

And here's where I'd like some input from you, Dear Readers.  I have (as per the first photo) two bookworms ready for tagging-and-release, as well as two more who need eyes and ends-woven first, and I'd love suggestions from you about what they (and future, still-on-the-skein bookworms) should recommend!  What have you read recently that you loved?  What book do you wish more people would read?

I think I'll turn this into a giveaway, actually.  Leave a comment, and you'll be entered to win not one, but two bookworm bookmarks (which, okay, are not the most impressive project/prize ever...)---one for you (in your choice of colourway!), and one to release in your own local library or bookstore. :D