Just Life

My Year of Books and Knitting.

Yes, this is the fourth post in four days from me 🙂 with one last look back at 2020 … today, for books and knitting.

First, the books.

you can find me on Goodreads here

My 2020 reading totals were about the same as last year. I had a few more books and a few less average pages because I counted three short ones that I read with Charlie (The Dragons of Blueland trilogy) and Sally Rooney’s Mr. Salary (a brief 33 pages). The quality of what I read, based on my star ratings, was way up, though.

I was a lot better about choosing books I’d love and quickly abandoning those that weren’t quite right for me. My average rating was 4.2, and less than 10% of the books scored less than 4 stars. Of course that kind of reading year makes choosing favorites especially difficult #goodproblemstohave

I started with a whomping 25 titles and finally decided on these 13 (shelved here on Goodreads). I’m especially pleased that five of those are from bookclubs. Lovely War and This Tender Land from Modern Mrs Darcy; On Beauty and Inheritors from Fiction Matters’ Patreon; and Me from my neighborhood group. In the past couple of years, bookclub selections have been really hit or miss for me. Maybe I’ve finally found the right clubs … for me!

Also, Olive, Again was my first finish of 2020 (New Year’s Day) and I can only hope today’s current reads (Hamnet, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and Evvie Drake Starts Over) will give me the same strong beginning for 2021. As for the rest of 2021, I’m going to spend some time with Modern Mrs Darcy’s 2021 Reading Life Challenge to sketch out a plan.

And now, the knitting. I had a banner year for making things with yarn and sticks (and even a few with hooks).

projects completed in 2020 (details on Ravelry here)

31 projects, including seven pairs of socks (all gifts), five baby gifts, four crocheted afghans, one shawl and 17 sweaters (all for me!) Apparently I didn’t read a lot more during quarantine because I was busy with my hands. Here are some highlights:

I reworked my warm weather wardrobe to include (nine!) short sleeve knit tops, shorts, and skirts (I sewed three Cleo skirts).

I test-knit two patterns – Purl Strings for Heidi Kirrmaier (Ravelry link) and Sunset Rock for Lori Versaci (Ravelry link).

I tried and loved several different KnitPicks yarns including Comfy Worsted (two afghans and a baby dress) and Fingering (a baby bib), Cotlin (Ankers Shirt), Lindy Chain (Navy Notice and Topolino), and Gloss Fingering (Stonecrop Pullover). I’m a fan! I also used Holst Coast again (Pink Notice and Notice Again). All of these yarns are great for our climate and the price point can’t be beat.

On the more luxurious end of things, I used La Bien Aimee (yarn bought last August in Bath) for Love Note and Plucky Knitter Solo for Joy.

For 2021, I do still have some lovely yarn in stash and hope to use it. Also, I really want to get back to knitting socks … the fingering weight ones that I can wear with shoes. My sock drawer is virtually empty! and I have an afghan quantity of navy yarn that would look great in our family room. maybe another Umaro (Ravelry link – gosh, I can’t believe I knit that first one nine years ago!!)

And that’s a wrap for looking back at 2020 (well, except for my monthly review which will come next week). I am looking forward to turning over a new calendar page tomorrow!

Here’s to a new year, full of good books and lots of pretty yarn!

15 Comments

  • Patty

    Evvie Drake! A great way to end 2020 if you get it done. I think Sara would like that book too! Looks like a great year to me Mary and here’s to 2021…and YES lots of pretty yarn!

  • Charlie Frost

    Your commitment to reading is very inspiring. I am reading more this year. But, don’t come close to you. Keep it up. 🙂

  • Bonny

    I can vouch for Hamnet giving you a wonderful start on reading in 2021, and wow! with your knitting (and four crocheted afghans)! I hope 2021 is another great year for you in reading and knitting!

  • Margene

    Mary, you’re a knitting, and reading, wonder! Seventeen sweaters! And, they’re all really great sweaters! We both read over 100 books! Isn’t that stunning? I’m looking forward to talking to you about them soon. Happy New Year!! Here’s to a much better year in 2021!

  • Debbie

    You have had a great year of knitting and reading! I think it is amazing that you finished four afghans along with all your other projects! I wish you all good reading , knitting, and everything else in 2021!

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    Oh my goodness – what a year, right?! You’re inspiring! I can’t wait to see what you do for the MMD Reading Challenge. I’m not sure if I’m going to do, but I might change my mind at any time!

    I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that you’re headed into a wonderful 2021!

  • Sarah

    17 sweaters?! I knew you were prolific with the sweater knitting last year, but I didn’t realize you’d completed that many! (I guess you are helped by being a tiny person and also living in a warmer climate where you have a need for short-sleeved sweaters!)

    You did have an excellent year of reading, and I know for a fact that many of the books I read and enjoyed in the past year came from your recommendations. I know you will love Hamnet and it’s a great book to start off another good year of reading!

  • Vera

    WOW! That’s a lot of yarn with sticks Mary! Well done. And nice reading list too. I’m betting 2021 is a very productive year for you. Enjoy and Happy New year!!

  • Carolyn

    What a rich year, Mary! I LOVE that you knitted 17 sweaters for YOU. Yay and Yes. (And that dusty rose baby dress makes me go Awww! each time I’ve seen it! (The last dress I knitted was for Elsa’s 7th birthday, and she’s still wearing it–with jeans, as a tunic! I think I love it even more that way!)
    Here’s to another fulfilling year ahead. Cheers!

  • Jane

    Congratulations on a great year of reading and knitting. I’m a little behind on blog reading and comments. The news this week blew me off course but I’ll catch up. Happy New Year.