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Traveling Sock Knitter by Sockknitteradmin - 6M ago

I thought it would be fun since seeing lots of lists and youtube videos to list some of my top 10 things of 2017. I am going to start with books, but I might do games and other things as well.

10. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This has been on my list for awhile, and I even already owned the audiobook but hadn’t gotten around to reading it. When Ng’s second book came out this year and got accolades, I decided to read the first. This book starts with the death of one of the main characters, Lydia, and then flashes back and forward to follow the experiences of the other characters in her family as they interact with and mourn the loss of Lydia.

9. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

I first heard of Lindy West on This American Life, and I remembered she wrote this book when my friend Amanda read it this year. West is sharp, funny, and insightful. Her experiences dealing with trolls, gender and comedy, and fatness are inspirational and empowering for me. West narrated her own book, and she did an excellent job.

8. The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey

The prequel to the Girl with all the Gifts, which I am teaching this year in Beyond Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a post-apocalyptic world with child zombies, but it doesn’t read like a typical zombie novel. I enjoyed this second book, and I’m looking forward to reading a third.

7. Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by G Willow Wilson

I finally got around to reading this novel that’s been on my shelf since Christmas 2015. I really enjoyed it, and it inspired me to ask for the rest of the volumes for Christmas this year. I now have 7 more volumes to read! This is a reboot of the comic with a Muslim-American girl as the main character.

6. The Nix by Nathan Hill

This book was my tome for the summer. I listened to it primarily while moving and unpacking over the summer. The story follows quite a few characters whose lives intersect in interesting ways. The main character is an English professor. One thing I loved about the writing in this book is the way the author writes in third person but really captures the internal motivations of so many different characters.

5. Beartown by Fredrick Backman

Recommended from my friend Beth, I decided to read this one. I was particularly interested because the story is about hockey and the rape of a teenager in a small town. I enjoyed how complexly represented these events were.

4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Lots of hype and accolades for this one, and it’s about Black Lives Matter issues, so I decided to read this book. It’s a young adult novel that follows an African American teenager who witnesses the police shooting of her friend. This book is pretty hardwrenching, and I cried quite a bit.

3. & 2. The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin

I started and ended the year with book 1 and 2 of this trilogy. I love these books. I read both on my kindle. Both of these books had me gasping out loud on airplanes and in public when I read some of the twists and turns. The basic premise is a post-apocalyptic world where medical experiments have turned convicted criminals into vampires, but there’s much more depth to this series than that. I’m sure I’ll read the third book in 2018.

1. Hunger: A Memoir of My Body by Roxane Gay

It was difficult to decide, but this was truly my favorite book this year. Here’s my review from Goodreads: This is the first book of Roxane Gay’s that I’ve read, and I am absolutely hooked on her writing. Her memoir focuses on her experiences being raped at 12 years old and her weight gain and hunger that developed as a result of this trauma. Her writing style is matter-of-fact, raw, and bold. She writes about being black in small towns in the Midwest, about being fat in spaces designed for smaller bodies, and about living after being a victim of trauma (she says she prefers “victim” to “survivor”). Her writing about her experiences, both familiar and unfamiliar to me, brought me on an emotional tidalwave and gave me a new perspective on life, body, and hunger.

So I did a lot of great reading in 2017! For 2018, I am participating in the Reading Women challenge from the Reading Women podcast, which I am really excited about. So far, I am reading some really great books!

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Politically, 2017 was quite a traumatizing year. What I learned is that I’ve been pretty blind to a lot of the pain in others’ lives as I’ve comfortably been living mine. Openness to seeing my privilege and standing up for justice and taking time to rest and recuperate became much more important.

Personally, 2017 was a pretty great year. I got tenure. We moved to the State College area which has been awesome. After we moved, lots of friends and family visited us. We bought me a new car. I traveled a fair bit, including a trip to Israel with my family.

Here are my 2017 Updates

1. Cross-stitch: finish one project.

NO. I did some solid cross-stitch for the first four months of the year, and then it fell off.

2. Knitting: finish 12 projects plus a bunch of hats for the kiddos for the holiday.

NO. I did finish about 6 pairs of socks and 4 hats, but nowhere near 12 projects.

3. Spinning: start spinning again. I want to say 15 minutes a day is the ultimate goal, or at least 15 minutes several days a week.

NO. I barely did any spinning this year.

4. Books: 2 a month worked well for me last year, so let’s say 24 books again. Also, I’d like to read all of the graphic novels that I own.

NO. I started reading audiobooks more often though as I am listening on my commute. However, I only finished 20 books this year.

5. Research: I need to find the next right thing for me research-wise. I haven’t really had time for research as I focused on my teaching the last five years to get tenure at Juniata, but research is important to me. I will use this year to think and consider what my research agenda will be going forward.

SORT OF. I definitely thought about it a lot. I did a research project on the Pussyhat and other activist patterns. I wrote a sabbatical proposal to focus on undergraduate research. I don’t feel comfortable specializing in anything, however, and I need to think more about my identity as a scholar.

6. Blogging: I’d like to blog again. Maybe once a week?

NO. I barely blogged at all.

7. Journal: Bullet journal all year long

YES! I really love bullet journaling. I’ve enjoyed the doodles and handwriting and planning and emergent aspects of bullet journaling.

8. Board games: Now I play board games like I read books! I’d love to finish 2 legacy games. Also, it’d be great to play more of the games in shrink wrap that we have in our house.

YES. Gaming is back in our lives. We bought a new board game table. Finished 2 legacy games. We went to three board game conventions. We are starting a regular game night at our house.

9. Travel: This year, I have many travel plans that I’m excited about. The big one is a trip to Israel in August. I am also planning to visit Philly, Portland Oregon, MD Sheep and Wool, Columbus, Orlando, Dallas, and Chicago.

YES. The only thing I missed was MD cause I got sick. I also added a trip to Ohio for a conference in October.

10. Meditation: Maybe combine with spinning and journaling, but I’d like to start some kind of daily meditation routine. I seem to have this goal every year, and I never meet it. Daily routines are tough. But I’ll keep this one on here for now.

YES. Meditation is amazing. It’s been helping me a lot.

This year, I decided to have only 6 goals with some subgoals within each category. I want to focus on broader goals with some subgoals within those.

2018 Goals

1. Reading: My goodreads goal is to read 24 books this year. I’m also planning to try reading according to some reading challenges. I’m planning to try the #readingwomen challenge and the book riot read harder challenge. My general reading goal for 2018 is to read what I want to read.

2. Crafting: I’m not going to try any specific crafting challenges for 2018, but my overall goals are to work on some lingering WIPs and to craft what I want to craft.

3. Journaling: Going along with crafting, I plan to write a lot more often. I want to try to write in my journal every day. I plan to bullet journal all year. I’m also planning to track some things like I did last year, including books and travel.

4. Meditation: Last year I finally got some kind of meditation practice going, and although I didn’t meditate every day, I did find meditation incredibly helpful. I would like to keep trying to meditate daily, and also learn more about meditation and what works for me this year.

5. Health: I actually don’t do well making too many specific health goals. Mainly, I’d like to be more active in 2018 and find some ways to incorporate daily activity since I’m no longer walking to work.

6. Research: So since I will be on Sabbatical for 2018-2019, research goals are really important. My friends are doing one article or book chapter a week challenge, so I’d like to keep up with that, and one goal is to read more scholarship this year. I also would like to work on a publication. More broadly, I want to keep thinking about my place in the field and an ongoing, sustainable research agenda.

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Traveling Sock Knitter by Sockknitteradmin - 6M ago

The theme of this week seems to be bridging worlds. I am rewatching Babylon 5, and I just started season 2 where one of my favorite female characters in sci-fi ever, Delenn, has undergone a transformation that has caused her to be part Minbari and part human. She claims this transformation will allow her to bridge two worlds so that there will never be war again. Bridging two worlds seems important in the country we live in, though I am not certain I have what Delenn has, the ability to sacrifice to make it happen.

A place where I’ve seen people accept differences and come together is in my knitting communities. When I first came to central Pennsylvania, I was embraced by several local knitting groups, and I felt a part of those groups even though my background and life was quite different from some of the other members of the groups. I’m grateful for the way knitting brings people together.

Knitting communities also bring activism. In preparation for the Women’s March on Washington the day after the inauguration, lots of people are knitting pink hats for the Pussy Hat Project. I started mine yesterday, and I am planning to knit a few of these hats in case someone else needs one. I’ll be marching with a contingent of Juniata students, faculty, and staff. I am pleased to be among their ranks.

Also this week, I’ve made some progress on my sock project:

I finished The Passage by Justin Cronin. I gave it 5 stars! Here’s my review from Goodreads: I loved this book. At several of the twists and turns, I gasped out loud, and said Justin Cronin is a genius! The story follows characters set in a world of a military experiment gone wrong. The characters are weird, and the plot is mysterious. A very engaging read.

I immediately started Legend by Marie Lu. It’s YA and a really easy read, but I’m enjoying it so far. I’m still listening to Oryx and Crake on audible.

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I thought I would dedicate this blog post to progress on knitting and reading. Also, since my reading has been challenging traditional notions of what it means to be human, I want to talk a little about my thoughts on this theme.

I am currently knitting my birthday socks, a pair of socks for myself for my birthday month of January out of a favorite yarn. This year I’m using a sock blank custom dyed for me by Fibernymph in the colorways “Mirror, Mirror On My Yarn.” I’m using a size 1 Hiya Hiya sharp needle and knitting a fish lips kiss heel. The yarn is gorgeous, and knitting from a sock blank is really fun.

I am currently actively reading two books. I am just about finished reading The Passage by Justin Cronin on my kindle. I love this book, and I will be giving it 5 stars and reviewing it for Goodreads when I finish. I am also listening to Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood on my audible app. I am reading this book for my book club for January. I’m enjoying it as well.

A theme of a lot of media I’ve been consuming recently is what it means to be human. In our current world, I am comforted by science fiction narratives that engage this theme by bringing in altered humans in different forms, or by introducing “aliens” from other planets into the mix. In both Sense 8 which I am rewatching on Netflix and The Passage, these altered humans and aliens have been said to be more human than humans. I really enjoy the paradox of thinking about it this way.

As I go about my days, I try to treat eveyone equally and consider everyone, including myself, as only human. Because of how easy it is to “other” people in this world, it is challenging to put aside my preconceptions and talk to each person I encounter as human. And it’s exhausting. However, it is so important. Dehumanizing anyone because of this or that characteristic is a dangerous business.

What do you think it means to be human? What narratives have you encountered recently that bring up this theme? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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Well, I made it to the end of 2016. This year will really stand out in my mind for many reasons, but most of them political. Through the political madness and sadness, I have also found myself becoming closer to my students, and being able to mentor them in new ways, which is pretty exciting.

I haven’t been blogging or podcasting for most of this year. I also haven’t really been posting to social media, except here and there. I would like to get back to blogging. I want to be writing regularly, sharing my knitting projects, and also my reflections on things. My goals are really just goals and reflections on the year rather than resolutions, so I’m not sure I’ll do anything that I plan. But I still think it’s worth planning. So here goes:

2016 Updates

1. Cross-stitch: 2 finished projects NO
I finished zero cross-stitch projects. I did cross-stitch a lot this year though, and made it half way through the Pumpkin Passport stitch along. I really enjoyed cross-stitching this year.

2. Spinning: 12 finished skeins NO
I haven’t spun on my wheel since March and I haven’t spun on a spindle since the summer.

3. Sock Knitting: 24 finished pairs NO
I’m not sure how many pairs I knit, but it wasn’t 24.

4. WIPs: How many can I finish from before 2016? NO
I didn’t even look at my WIPs.

5. Books: 24 finished books YES
Notable books this year were Underground Railroad, The Girl with All the Gifts, Fates and Furies, Dragonfly in Amber, A Little Life, Between the World and Me (reread), Station Eleven (reread). I had a pretty good reading year!

6. Teaching portfolio: That sucker is due in June YES
That was a HUGE accomplishment.

7. Podcasts: At least one a month. I would like to get on an every other week recording schedule. NO
I just don’t have time for podcasting anymore, so I threw in the towel.

8. Board games: This seems likely. YES
Thanks to my friend Kim starting weekly board game nights at her house, and thanks to having more friends with less responsibilties who enjoy board games, we have started playing regularly again.

9. Travel: This also seems likely. Right now I’ve plans to go to Memphis, Houston, MD Sheep & Wool, Columbus, Orlando, Door County, Dallas, Chicago. YES
Most of this travel did happen, except for Door County. I also added a few trips including a trip to Montreal, Canada.

10. Serenity: Some kind of regular spiritual practice, perhaps yoga or journaling. SORT OF
I started bullet journaling this year, and I did some writing in this journal. I wouldn’t call it regular though.

Goals for the year of 2017

1. Cross-stitch: finish one project

2. Knitting: finish 12 projects plus a bunch of hats for the kiddos for the holidays

3. Spinning: start spinning again. I want to say 15 minutes a day is the ultimate goal, or at least 15 minutes several days a week.

4. Books: 2 a month worked well for me last year, so let’s say 24 books again. Also, I’d like to read all of the graphic novels that I own.

5. Research: I need to find the next right thing for me research-wise. I haven’t really had time for research as I focused on my teaching the last five years to get tenure at Juniata, but research is important to me. I will use this year to think and consider what my research agenda will be going forward.

6. Blogging: I’d like to blog again. Maybe once a week?

7. Journal: Bullet journal all year long

8. Board games: Now I play board games like I read books! I’d love to finish 2 legacy games. Also, it’d be great to play more of the games in shrink wrap that we have in our house.

9. Travel: This year, I have many travel plans that I’m excited about. The big one is a trip to Israel in August. I am also planning to visit Philly, Portland Oregon, MD Sheep and Wool, Columbus, Orlando, Dallas, and Chicago.

10. Meditation: Maybe combine with spinning and journaling, but I’d like to start some kind of daily meditation routine. I seem to have this goal every year, and I never meet it. Daily routines are tough. But I’ll keep this one on here for now.

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Traveling Sock Knitter by Sockknitteradmin - 6M ago

I’m currently knitting Fish Lips Kiss Heel socks in Fibernymph Dyeworks Bedazzled colorway Advance to Go.

I’m currently reading The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, et. al. I finished volume 22 in December 2014, and so I’m now catching up with the series. Volume 22 was a great reboot, so I’m excited to see where these volumes will take the characters. By the way, the TV show and the comics are similar, but there are a lot of differences too. I enjoy both, but prefer the character development in the comics.

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Traveling Sock Knitter by Sockknitteradmin - 6M ago

So, you may have noticed that mid-May has come and gone, and I am still not recording the podcast. I keep debating about the podcast. I know that even if I do podcast regularly in the summer, when the semester starts again, I won’t be able to podcast regularly.

So I decided to blog for awhile. This way I’m at least updating regularly, plus, I like blogging! I may podcast occasionally too.

Today I found , and I wanted to yarn along!

I’m currently knitting Fish Lips Kiss Heel socks in Desert Vista Dyeworks Viso colorway Flintstones.

I’m currently reading The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee. I haven’t read his previous book The Emperor of Maladies, but I plan to read it eventually. This book was recommended for one of my summer reading groups (yes, I am in 4 this summer, plus my regular book club!) So far, I am enjoying the book, but I am only 2 chapters in, and it’s a long book.

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Today’s segments include: drafting, fully drafted, lit review, five favorite things, and noteworthy. Pull out your knitting and let’s knit together!

Drafting:

Fish lips kiss heel socks by Sox Therapist in Kirby Wirby colorway RBF google it on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular.

Into the Whirled colorway on Ashford Traveller Spinning Wheel. Trying long draw.

2016 Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch Along by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery on Aida.

Fully Drafted:

Canfield Hat by Jessica Larsonin Gnomeacres Scruffy Gnome colorway 221B Baker Street on size 7/4.5mm Signature Circular.

Fish lips kiss heel socks by Sox Therapist in Fibernymph Dyeworks Bedazzled Colorway Nyan Cat on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular.

Into the Whirled colorway Mithrandir on Ashford Traveller Spinning Wheel.

Lit Review:

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. Nonfiction, Larson’s telling of the sinking of the Lusitania by German U-boats, part of what got the U.S. to enter the first World War. Larson covers all aspects of the story from the passengers on the ship to the German U-boat captain to the politics in the U.S. I’ve read In the Garden of Beasts by Larson, and this book is another well told nonfiction story, reading much more like a novel than a nonfiction book. All of the parties involved make the story even more interesting. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. The February read for book club which I abandoned about half way through. The story reads like a fairy tale. I get the main idea of it and why Ishiguro told the story this way, but I just didn’t like it enough to keep reading. The story was incredibly slow.

Currently listening to Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon on audio and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Five Favorite Things:

  1. Signature dpns for my birthday
  2. Into the Whirled Fiber
  3. Hipstrings WPI tool
  4. Purchases at Pittsburgh Indie Knit and Spin
  5. Skyrim

Noteworthy: Next weekend I will be at the Groves retreat.

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Today’s segments include: drafting, up next, lit review, five favorite things, and noteworthy. Pull out your knitting and let’s knit together!

Drafting:

Canfield Hat by Jessica Larsonin Gnomeacres Scruffy Gnome colorway 221B Baker Street on size 7/4.5mm Signature Circular.

Fish lips kiss heel socks by Sox Therapist in Kirby Wirby colorway RBF google it on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular.

2016 Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch Along by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery on Aida.

Fully Drafted:

Fish lips kiss heel socks by Sox Therapist in Fibernymph Dyeworks Bedazzled Colorway Nyan Cat on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular.

Lit Review:

Currently reading: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson on audio which I have less than an hour left on, and Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness on kindle. As soon as I finish Dead Wake I will start listening to the Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Five Favorite Things:

  1. Signature dpns for my birthday
  2. Into the Whirled Fiber
  3. Hipstrings WPI tool
  4. Purchases at Pittsburgh Indie Knit and Spin
  5. Skyrim

Noteworthy: My recording schedule every other week meant that I didn’t announce the last minute trip to Pittsburgh. I have no other travel plans for February.

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Traveling Sock Knitter by Hannah Bellwoar, Traveling Sock Kni.. - 6M ago

Episode 88: Inching Along - YouTube

Today’s segments include: drafting, up next, lit review, five favorite things, and noteworthy. Pull out your knitting and let’s knit together!

Drafting:

Fish lips kiss heel socks by Sox Therapist in Fibernymph Dyeworks Bedazzled Colorway Nyan Cat on size 1/2.25mm 32″ Hiya Hiya sharp circular.

2016 Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch Along by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery on Aida.

Up Next:

I need to knit pair 2 of my 2016 YOSS RATS, but before I do that, I promised my husband a Christmas gift.

Lit Review:

Currently reading: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson on audio, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness on kindle.

Five Favorite Things:

  1. Shakespeare the board game
  2. Fallout 3
  3. Rewatching The Guild
  4. Timestories
  5. Skyping with the nieces

Noteworthy: Upcoming March retreat, Prizes being sent for September knit along

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