Ahh, March, the month that was more along the lines of “crochet, crochet, Castle and Bones on Disney+ Star, Animal Crossing, crochet, Duolingo Italian, knitting, get distracted by a new MP3 player, and maybe read a couple of chapters here or there…”
I half expected it. Whenever I have a month of constant reading, there is often a dip. There are also other factors beyond my control that affect it too. They certainly hit this month and why I’ve focused on crafting rather than reading. Sometimes working with wool and concentrating on new stitch patterns helps me more.
Anyway, let’s just dive into the wrap up.
Scheepjes 2020 CAL: d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History)
The last time I talked about this blanket (might have been the beginning of February), I’d abandoned it because I didn’t want to tackle the corners. I also had a mental block. However towards the end of February and the start of March, it cleared and I did it! I WORKED THE CORNERS!! A section of the blanket I thought would be full of stitch count anguish but was in fact a lot of fun. I LOVED it. Watching all the motifs join together and come together with the main body of the blanket was amazing and incredibly satisfying. Yet again, props to Christina Hadderingh for the design and the amount of work that went into creating it. Truly amazing.
I’m now working the elephant rows which are just as fun. I’ve not finished them, but that’s because I got distracted by knitting!
A Day Out KAL blanket designed by Sarah Hatton for Black Sheep Wools.
I felt I had no choice but to make this blanket. Black Sheep Wools is my village wool shop, the designs and official colourways are all named and based on areas in and around my village, and I’ve not previously tested my knitting skills in ways I have done with crochet. It’s worked in squares of varying designs and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s nice working techniques I’ve not done before such as mosaic knitting (the sage and silver square) and I’ve learnt how to read knitting charts!!
And the few books I did read and partly read:
The Shadow in the Glass by JJA Harwood
A Cinderella inspired story with dark, Faustian influences, set in what I can only assume is Regency or Victorian London. It centres around Ella (Eleanor), a girl who now has to work as a servant for the man she once called her step-father. Her only refuge is secretly reading books by candlelight in the library she is never permitted to enter. One night when she is reading, her innermost wishes are granted and a fairy godmother offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse – seven wishes. However she soon realises these wishes come with a price and it’s a price Ella has to choose whether it is one she’s ultimately willing to pay.
I’m annoyed, and it’s not really the book’s fault because what I read was really good. This is the first book I started reading in March after two weeks of not being able to stick to any book I picked up and I had to put it down. I fell into a dark few days and it ultimately became something I didn’t want to continue reading. A dark story + my dark mindset = not a happy reading experience. I’ll pick it back up and hopefully enjoy it when I’m in the right space for it.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
It’s not exactly light fantasy but Laini Taylor’s writing is a comfort blanket so I started re-reading the series again and I’m still loving it. I have finally realised though that I can’t listen to it on audiobook. I tune it out too easily, even when I’m trying to concentrate on it – I listen to a few chapters and completely forget what I’ve heard ten seconds later. I think it is Laini Taylor’s writing because I have the same issue with Strange the Dreamer on audio and normally it’s one of my favourite books. In any case, it doesn’t matter. I easily revert to my physical copy and that’s the problem solved.
I had thought about trying to read the entire trilogy before the end of March but that’s not happened. I’m currently somewhere around the 55 page mark for Days of Blood and Starlight, and I’m reading it slowly as I find it is the book I tend to lose track of the most. I’m still enjoying it though which is the main thing.
The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected In Water by Zen Cho
This novella is the first time I’ve ever read (in fact, listened to) anything by Zen Cho and from this I certainly think I’m going to like her writing and storytelling. I listened to this via Scribd, which I have recently decided to try out for the first time, and that might not have been the best format, but what I did take from it, I really enjoyed. The dialogue was witty and straight-shooting, the messages of identity and finding yourself are strong, and from what I’ve managed to gleam it was very immersed in its Malay culture.
However, I did have to keep stopping and starting my audiobook for a few reasons so I did lose track a little of what happened, where I was in the story, and I couldn’t fully connect to the characters. Because of this, I have put it very near the top of the “to re-read” pile and it might just find its way into my basket of birthday books.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I find myself re-reading Pride and Prejudice nearly every year for no apparent reason apart from the fact I love it and it has become as much a yearly habit as re-reading A Discovery of Witches or A Christmas Carol. It’s one of the books I tend to re-read on audiobook anyway so it was a good, spontaneous book to listen to whilst trialling Scribd and figuring out how much I like it. I also find it an easy book to play in the background when I’m doing other things and it’s not an issue if I tune out because I know it so well anyway. Although with the Emilia Fox narration, having the ability to tune out would be a skill. She reads with such strength and vivacity that it’s hard not to listen to and be engaged by every word.
Thankfully it is a favourite, so I have no complaints whatsoever! Also no complaints with Scribd so far which is promising.
And there we have it. I never thought I would actually read anything so the fact I managed to read two full novels and a novella right at the end of the month saved things.
How was your March?
As always, thank you for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!