Thursday, January 01, 2015

Movies/TV Watched in 2014

So I had this crazy idea to record everything I watched in 2014 - partly because I like lists, partly because I like shiny charts... but mostly because I'm a big nerd. It turned out to be a massive (no, seriously, MASSIVE) list and I am a little bit ashamed of myself. 2015 will be the year of waaaay less TV and way more books.

In any case... here! Have some charts.

Total episodes watched: 2243 (Yes. Seriously. Ouch.)
Total movies watched: 176 (155 individual titles, watched 176 times)

Books read in 2014

Total Books: 53
Total Pages: 13, 863

January (2106 pages)

  • Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades - Rick Riordan
  • Divergent - Veronica Roth

February (1823 pages)
  • Adventure Time, Vol. 1 - Ryan North, Branden Lamb, and Shelli Paroline
  • Superman: Earth One - J. Michael Stracyznski and Shane Davis
  • Insurgent - Veronica Roth
  • Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil
  • Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper - Kazu Kibuishi
  • Allegiant - Veronica Roth
March (0 pages)

April (1245 pages)
  • One Pot One Bowl: Rediscover the Wonders of Simple Home Cooked Meals - Kim McCosker
  • Tomorrow Girls #1: Beyond the Gates - Eva Gray
  • Cupcakes: For Every Occasion - Denise Gere
  • The Great Australian Bake Off - Dan Lepard and Kerry Vincent
May (1233 pages)
  • Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
  • The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult
  • Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
June (504 pages)
  • Dash & Lily's Book of Dares - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan
July (1114 pages)
  • Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • Things I Learned From Knitting (Whether I Wanted to or Not) - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion - William Stillman and Jay Scarfone
  • Free-range Knitters: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again - Stephanie Peal-McPhee
August (874 pages)
  • All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared - Alice Ozma
  • Luna - Julie Anne Peters
  • Whose Life is it Anyway? - Brian Clark
September (1871 pages)
  • The Red Tree - Shaun Tan
  • The Lost Thing - Shaun Tan
  • Rules of Summer - Shaun Tan
  • Lindbergh: The Tales of a Flying Mouse - Torben Kuhlmann
  • Girls With Slingshots, Vol. 1 - Danielle Corsetto
  • Girls With Slingshots, Vol. 2 - Danielle Corsetto
  • Girls With Slingshots, Vol. 3 - Danielle Corsetto
  • Girls With Slingshots, Vol. 4 - Danielle Corsetto
  • Girls With Slingshots, Vol. 5 - Danielle Corsetto
  • Girls With Slingshots, Vol. 6 - Danielle Corsetto
  • Girls With Slingshots, Vol. 7 - Danielle Corsetto
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post - Emily M. Danforth
October (660 pages)
  • Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
  • Go Get a Roomie, Vol. 1 - Chloe C
November (1485 pages)
  • Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
  • Attachments - Rainbow Rowell
  • Wicked - Gregory Maguire
  • To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful - Shane Koyczan
  • Landline - Rainbow Rowell
December (542 pages)
  • Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris
  • WTF Knits - Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet
  • Miracle on 34th Street - Valentine Davies

This year I read 53 books written by 38 individual authors.

This year I read 53 books, but 52 individual titles (one reread in the calendar year).

Mood Blanket 2014

Way back at the start of 2014, Wendy and Renae tried to talk me into joining in on the #moodblanketchallenge2014. I was pretty adamantly against it, thinking that the last thing I needed was a visual representation of what was still, at that point, a pretty tight-holding depression. Having that right there in front of me seemed like a TERRIBLE idea. I caved, because that's what you do when good friends ask you to do something (and, come on, it was a pretty cool craft project), but I was pretty sure I would hate it.

Oh how I hate to be proven wrong.

Not only did I not hate it, I actually found it helpful in the exact way they wanted it to be. On my worst days it was hard to crochet those squares, but at the same time I had, securely in my hands, direct proof that those bad days WEREN'T all my days. I could point to all the good days and run my fingers over them, remembering how I had felt then. While I started the year in a terrible streak of greys and blues, it soon got to the point where I was counting good streaks, and that was wonderful.

It was lovely to crochet my squares alongside Wendy and Renae, but even better than that was all the people around me who, even though they weren't actively participating, became involved all the same. We had a streak of weddings in a short period of time so they brides picked out their squares (the two tone ones). Luke and Nicole would ask me what my colour would be for the day. Ash instituted a whole new mood category ('epic' was required as something higher than merely 'happy'). And best of all was Kira wishing me "yellow days" or messaging me after a particularly good day with all of us together and just matter-of-factly stating that it had been a yellow day for all. It was beautiful to have my friends support me in such a meaningful way without them probably realising how great it was. 

I managed to finish the blanket on time (okay so I just scraped through) and thought I'd share a little bit of it's journey...

Mood Blanket

Mood Blanket

20150101 Mood Blanket (1)

I wouldn't be me doing a project like this if I didn't offer up some stats, so here you go, have a little pie chart.

There was a bit of hesitation on all our parts as to whether or not we'd be doing another blanket in 2015 - funnily enough, I was the first to sign up! I think having the opportunity to shop for more (and this year prettier) wool was definitely a large part of the decision making process.

I splurged (but not really, thank you massive sale!) and bought nice wool this year as I was discouraged using the acrylic last year. I selected the Morris & Sons Estate yarn in a huge array of beautiful colours, double the amount of last year. But the best part is the wonderful colour names,..

Mood         Colour
Happy        Nasturtium
Busy          Jacaranda
Tired          Swimming
Stressed     Crocus
Thankful    Venetian
Content      Tuscan
Angry        Marine Green
Brave         Posy
Anxious     Mild Mint
Grey           Clay
Creative     Limelight
Loved        Tomato Sauce
Epic           Party Pink
Excited       Petunia
Sad             Clear Sky

Snapshot: December

Quite belated to be sure, but never mind!

On Repeat:
Rise of the Guardians
Christmas knitting
Mood Blanket squares

Media Consumption:
  • The Newsroom (season 1-2)
  • Resurrection (season 1-2)


  • Blue Jasmine (2013)
  • She's All That (1999)
  • Tammy (2014)
  • 12 Years a Slave (2013)
  • Gravity (2013)
  • Love Actually (2003)
  • Rise of the Guardians (2012)
  • Never Let Me Go (2010)
  • Beastly (2011)
  • J. Edgar (2011)
  • My Week With Marilyn (2011)
  • Mrs. Santa Clause (1996)
  • Polar Express (2004)
  • Catfish (2010)
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
  • The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (1947)
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
  • Big Hero 6 (2014)
  • The Zookeeper (2011)
  • Sex Tape (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

  • Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris (2014)
  • WTF Knits - Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet (2014)
  • Miracle on 34th Street - Valentine Davies (1947)

On the Needles:
Song of the Sea (finished)
Isadora Scarf (finished)
Vivace Socks (finished)
Hermione Hearts Ron (finished)
Chevzam (finished)
Mood Blanket 2014 (finished)
Dulce (needs blocking)

Vanilla Latte Socks
Manic Panic Cowl
Garter Stitch Cowl
The Beekeeper's Quilt
February Lady Sweater
Mysterious Reversible Lace Scarf
Sidar Lace Baby Shawl

101/1001 Status Report:

Important Events:
  • Last day at GPHS [19/12/2014]
  • Friendsmas [20/12/2014]

Visualise It:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Knitting

PHEW! Christmas is done! And that means the end (for now) of all the Christmas knitting. I must say, overall I was pretty successful with the Christmas knitting. The only thing I feel down on was a pair of socks (poor Ash had one gifted to him along with an IOU), but everything else was finished, had ends sewn in, and was even blocked! I know. I surprised even myself.

The Christmas line up

20140724 Noro Scarf (5)

20140724 Noro Scarf (6)

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood
Materials: Noro Silk Garden; 45% mohair, 45% silk, 10% wool
Amount: 2 skeins in 87; 2 skeins in 376; Approx. 206m/100g
Needles: US 7/4.50 mm
Start Date: 3 July 2014
Finish Date: 21 July 2014
For: Luke

20141113 Isadora (1)

20141218 Isadora (1)

Pattern: Isadora by Morris & Sons
Materials: Quartet; 70% wool, 30% soy
Amount: 4 skeins in 104 Wharf; Approx. 114m/50g
Needles: US 10.5/6.5 mm
Start Date: 13 September 2014
Finish Date: 13 November 2014
For: Jill

20141218 Chevzam (1)

Pattern: Chevzam by Alex Tinsley
Materials: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted; 100% merino
Amount: 1 skein in 22 Sauterne; 1 skein in 35 Frank Ochre; 1 skein in 36 Pearl; 1 skein in 63 Natural; Approx. 192m/100g
Needles: US 9/5.50 mm
Start Date: 8 December 2014
Finish Date: 19 December 2014
For: Nicole

20141218 Hermione Hearts Ron

Pattern: Hermione Hearts Ron by Christy Aylesworth
Materials: Patons Big Baby 4ply; 60% acrylic, 40% nylon (small)
Heirloom Merino Magic 5ply; 100% Merino (big)
Amount: 1 skein in 2565 (small); 1 skein in 206 (big)
Needles: US 2/2.75mm  |  US 2.5/3.0mm (small)
US 2.5/3.0mm  |  3.50mm (big)
Dates: 2-4 November 2014 (small)
17-19 December 2014 (big)
For: Katie

20141218 Song of the Sea (1)

20141218 Song of the Sea (2)

Pattern: Song of the Sea by Louise Zass-Bangham
Materials: Heirloom Merino Magic 5ply; 100% merino
Amount: 4 skeins in 206; Approx. 119m/100g
Needles: US 6/4.0 mm
Start Date: 21 July 2014
Finish Date: 21 August 2014
For: Kira

Vivace Socks

Pattern: Vivace by Elizabeth Sullivan
Materials: Moda Vera Noir; 75% wool, 25% nylon
Amount: 1 skeins in Purple Mix; Approx. 400m/100g
Needles: US 2/2.75 mm
Start Date: 27 March 2014
Finish Date: 1 December 2014
For: Katie

Monday, December 08, 2014

Best. Christmas. Present. Ever.

There's something really special about having friends who know you really well, and while I've always had good friends in my life, this is something I've been really blessed with of late. Sometimes this means someone knowing the exact joke to make me laugh for hours on end. Sometimes it means someone knowing I'm not okay even when I say I am. Sometimes it means sitting in a cafe until getting kicked out at closing, or lounging about at home chatting away. Sometimes, the best times, it means having someone hold you while you cry even if you're not really sure why you're crying, having someone make you feel like you're not alone in the world.

Today it means having people who know how to pick the absolute best Christmas present anyone could ever pick for me ever!

I came home late tonight to find a package tucked behind my screen door. This is always a very welcome sight, but it's rarely a surprising one. I usually know when to be expecting a package, so as soon as I saw it sitting there tonight I starting wracking my brains to think what I had ordered and very quickly came up blank.

I had no idea what it was at all... and then I noticed that the return address said 'Jellywares'. That sounded familiar. But why?

And then it hit me. Renae, Wendy and I had had a brief conversation about monthly yarn clubs about a month ago, but we hadn't really done anything about it. Those sneaky little tricksters! It didn't take much to make them confess and admit that they had arranged this lovely Christmas gift for me.

I can already tell that my favourite part is going to be the unboxing each month. I mean look at this! It's all wrapped up so prettily, with washi tape and stamps and beautiful Christmas cards and crafty goodies!

There was a short, heartstopping moment when I thought they would make me wait until Christmas to open further than this, or at least wait until Saturday when we'd all be together, but thankfully they took pity on me and let me keep going.

And just look at that. Debbie Bliss cotton yarn in beautiful colours, a gorgeous Christmas card, pretty little buttons - what more could you ask for in a surprise package? I'm so very lucky to have such lovely friends who know how to spoil me so!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

When the new TMNT movie came out this year, Ash insisted that we go. He planned the night, issued the invitations and ensured that everyone displayed the appropriate amount of enthusiasm (even those amongst us who weren't as turtle excited as he was). This isn't the first time we've indulged a friend's childhood passions returning to the big screen - when the last Muppet movie came out a few years ago we all traipsed to the cinema and though Kim was less excitable than Ash, it was no less adorable.

A few weeks prior to this movie date, I had spent a Friday night over at Ash and Kira's house and this meant that I was there for Saturday morning cartoons. I do remember watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid, though I have never enjoyed them more as when I've watched them with Ash. I like that he bounds down the stairs like the big kid that he is and happily makes me a cup of tea. I like imagining that he tries to wake Kira up to watch them with him most weeks but she, smart girl that she is, whacks him with a pillow and goes back to sleep. I like seeing him enjoy Scooby Doo repeats and echoing lines about "pesky kids". It's great fun and a wonderful example of the occasional endearingly child-like antics that now fill my 'grown-up' life.

While watching cartoons this particular morning, I commented to Ash that I didn't really know a lot about TMNT. He looked at me askance. In fact, I had said, I couldn't remember ever really having watched it. He gaped. No, I was pretty sure I'd never seen it. That was it. He jumped up and pushed a pile of DVDs in my hands and I had my homework before me. I can't say that I watched the entire pile, but I did give it a go, and managed to work in a direct quotation a few days later which made him rather happy, so I suppose my homework was sufficiently attended to.

All of this is by way of explaining that when Ash's birthday came about recently, I was already pretty sure of what I was going to make him.

20141004 Ninja Turtle (3)

Pattern: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle by Nichole's Nerdy Knots
Materials: 4 Seasons Stallions; 100% Acrylic
Amount: stash amounts in green, tan, orange, and yellow
Hook: F/3.75mm
Start Date: 2 October 2014
Finish Date: 4 October 2014

It was a pretty quick project (though I was motivated by a deadline (I sewed in the ends, photographed, and wrapped the gift pretty much as I left the house) and nothing too complicated. I had a few issues with the yellow belly section for unknown reasons but I just eyeballed it and it worked out okay.

20141004 Ninja Turtle (5) 20141004 Ninja Turtle (4) 

Suitably informed that Michelangelo is the superior turtle I attached his orange bands and he was ready to go. I'm hoping he gets me off the hook for the three turtle movies I DIDN'T watch!