Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Roundup

The last book of 2016 (for real this time): Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
  • You know exactly where this is going, but you finish it regardless. Some of the back and forth between times, between the people Anna was with, seemed a bit forced, as though it was for the sake of keeping form, but the constant switching between parts of Anna's world, and her evident inability to change, worked together very well to illustrate her downward spiral. Although she finally does take action, throwing away any chance at contact with her world - instead of simply pushing them out of her life - there is still a passiveness inherent in her accepting the inevitable conclusion, as though it were foregone and she were powerless to fight it even as she finally came to terms with herself. Forced to come to the realization of what she had been doing to herself, to others (though she cares considerably less about others, reflecting on them only insofar as they affect her and what she has done to them, less for their own sake), she finally does what her psychoanalyst tells her to do: she actively takes a step forward and interacts fully with the world around her for the first time.

A quick roundup in numbers:
  • 84 books (includes picture books)
    • Some of these I look back and get the feeling it's been at least a year or two since I've read them, surely! which can't bode well: I must have forgotten so much of them already that I cannot think of them as having been read in 2016.
    • Unfortunately, there are a plethora of books I have been bringing home with me and not cracking open at all, which will hopefully change next year. (I doubt it, but one can dream.)
  • 12 projects finished (1 weaving)
  • Lots of projects I started & didn't finish:
    • Scarlet Billows
      • To be fair, I actually *knit, frogged* a number of times before doing a final ripping out and putting it away for now.
    • Burgundy Cardigan
      • Actually got past the armholes before frogging completely, and before getting to the body, I had probably knit the raglans 4 or 5 times, unsatisfactorily.
    • Llama Llama
      • I'm probably going to rip this out. It's tried to be a shawl and it's now trying to be a top, but I really have no clue what it wants to be.
    • Vintage Lace Top
      • I got as far as swatching and doing the ribbing for the back. I'm ready to throw in the towel: it's not a style I'd really actually wear, and now that I have the lace picture, I don't know if I even want to knit the entire thing...
    • Existentialist Turtleneck
      • I spun up all the Norwegian wool and it's all ready for knitting! That's the good part. I even swatched and everything. The only thing I haven't done is actually get to knitting it up.
    • Burnt Brioche Dress
      • This one's in the best shape out of all of them! I've had to rip it out (bottom-up) and re-start (a couple times because the cast-on looked too loose, then I didn't have enough stitches, then it was too tight - you get the idea), before having to knit the raglan "sleeves" twice because it just wasn't right the first time around (my calculations were off, so it was my own fault). Now all the shaping is done, I think, and I just have to decide where exactly I want the slit to start! Hurrah!
  • As I mentioned above, lots of books I started (or purchased, or borrowed) but didn't finish. I don't even know exactly when I brought which books back, but for sure a couple of math books, along with some books about God (I'm assuming history of Christianity), and Boris Vian's L'Écume des Jours in French that I tried to read but gave up on because my vocabulary is simply not at that level.
In sum, I think I did alright with my reading, which could expand a bit in terms of reading material, could have done better with my knitting (there was a duration of time where I was simply not knitting much at all), definitely need to be doing better with my weaving, and it looks as though I have a lot of issues with finishing things in general. Something to work on this year.

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