2015: The Unread Books Project

Just before Christmas I read a delightful book by Andy Miller called The Year of Reading Dangerously. On the surface of it, it is about reading all the books you've always promised yourself you'd read, but the book doubles as a witty semi-autobiographical look at how reading shapes who we are and how we ended up being whoever we are. I liked it a lot, in other words. After my career path changed and I ended up doing, well, knitterly things, I have found myself an increasingly out-of-shape reader. I used to tackle tomes with confidence and read 100+ books a year (granted, I was single, unemployed and just out of university). These days I am lucky if I manage 40 books. My Kindle is partly to blame: I do read more but I tend towards reading easily digestible trash where I don't need to flip back and forth between pages. Far too many of my books err towards the The Dastardly Duke's Devillish Duel side of things when I really yearn  to sink into a rich, gorgeous book with layers. And I don't know why I don't do that more often.

Inspired by a Twitter conversation I had with Andy Miller, I decided to look at my book shelves. I have so many that I already own and that I really want to read - but for some reason they just sit there. Here's a list of books I really want to read and hopefully by listing them, I will actually start to become a fit reader again (post-modern push-ups, fictional flexibility, muscular metafiction .. the bad puns write themselves).

In no particular order:

Eleven books. Six female writers. Three books I've begun but abandoned for various reasons (I forgot my Tristram Shandy Everyman edition in a Swedish forest one midsummer. Long story). A mix between current fiction and a few pre-1930 ones. Some I can read straight off the bat, others I'll need to approach after my reading fitness improves. Some authors I have read before with much pleasure (Atwood, Robertson and Mitchell in particular) and others new to me (James, Barnes, and Plascencia). It's a good mix.

I am not one for book groups or read-alongs, though a few of you have suggested such on Twitter. I'd love to see others look at their book shelves and rediscover their own unread books, though. Maybe a casual Twitter hangout ever so often to check in? (Many of you are much better at this than me.)

I'm about 120 pages short of finishing Andrew Drummond's A Hand-Book of Volapuk (it's a novel, I swear) and then I'm going to start my little reading project.

And on the Second Day of 2015 She Did A Podcast & Stuff

December 2014 054 The last FO of 2014 showcased on the second day of 2015. I knitted the Coffee Bean cardigan for my youngest nephew as an Christmas present. I've used the pattern before and it's a great little project that looks contemporary, knits up a treat, and has a lot of scope for customisation. I used two balls of (the now sadly discontinued) Rowan Pure Wool Aran and used a remnant of a third colour in PWA to knit the buttonband trim. I just wanted to add a little pop of colour to a neutral-looking cardigan. I rather like the end result. Buttons are coconut shell buttons from an old, old eBay haul - this is the third project that uses these buttons and I still have many left!

But this is 2015, so let's not talk anymore of Christmas. Happy new year, everyone!In Scotland, we celebrate Hogmanay which makes the advent of a new year seem extra special. This time my partner and I actually went to a small party where we danced the night away and tried our hand at karaoke (good grief). I even wore a new frock which helped chase away all the clouds left behind by 2014. The bells were celebrated with a wee dram and we enjoyed a healthy serving of Stovies too. Dear reader, I appear to have gone native.

However, to kick off the new year in a suitably knitterly fashion, I sat down for a chat with the lovely Louise Scollay. You can hear a full hour of Louise & I chatting about our year in knitting, what plans we have for 2015 and how much we are looking forward to the Edinburgh Yarn Fest. When we did the interview, my head was full of the cold. Apologies for that! Our chat also include what my post-Doggerland plans are .. the first pattern from the new venture will be released later this month, actually. I really, really enjoy chatting with Louise - I think the podcast clocks in at 70 minutes ..  but actually we talked for like 2.5 hours. See if you can spot when I started coughing my lungs out so Louise had to do some super-clever editing!

One of the things Louise & I spend some time discussing is the idea of choosing a word that will keep you company throughout the coming year. It is a concept I have shamelessly stolen from Joanne Scrace - we discussed our mutual loathing of New Year's resolutions one evening and Joanne mentioned the ONE WORD thing. I like words, so obviously I love this idea. Surprisingly, I found it difficult to come up with a word that worked for me but I settled on this:


What would your word be?

So. It is the second day of 2015 and I am cautiously optimistic. Not bad for this glass half-empty girl.