I have a confession to make: I was offered to be a part of this blog tour and I saw Lorelei James’ name and “new series” and jumped at it. Then I found out two things which made me worry: 1-No cowboys, but even more troubling was 2-It was a cliffhanger. EEP! I’m one of those people who LOATHES cliffhangers. I read romance because I’m guaranteed a HEA and with cliffhangers I have to WAIT. LOL I’ll be honest. I was dreading this book.

I should have had a little more faith in Ms. James. I’m STILL not crazy about cliffhangers, but I really enjoyed this book, and, honestly, it’s such a departure from what I’m used to getting from her, I’m not sure I would have picked it up right away. Bound is as far from Ms. James’ usual cowboys as you can get (city, martial arts, Japanese culture vs. country, rodeos, and cowboys) but still brought the same hot sex and entertaining romance I’ve come to expect.

Amery Hardwick is a graphic designer in Denver and begins taking classes at Sensei Black’s dojo. Ronin Black is a mysterious, well-connected, well-respected martial arts trainer/teacher/practioner. Not quite sure what the term is there.

It was interesting going into this book and looking at is as only half of a story. Ms. James was able to have several different minor plots going on without sacrificing any of the time spent on the focus between Amery and Ronin. There are her friends, his co-workers, her family, his ex-girlfriend, his family, and there are all the ups and downs of a good romance. Ronin is one of those mysterious guys your friends always warn you about, but even though her friends (and his) keep warning Amery about Ronin, she just can’t seem to stay away from him. Unfortunately Ronin takes being the strong silent type to the extreme, and isn’t sharing any of himself with Amery. As you can imagine, Amery doesn’t take this well AT ALL.

Hijinks ensue.

As much as I enjoyed this book, and as much as I’m looking forward to Unwound, Book 2, because while I really like Ronin, I’m not sure he’s learned to really trust Amery. She keeps confronting him, because he demands (and receives) her absolute trust, and she lets him do things she never in a million years would have considered with anyone else, and yet, when it counts, he holds her at a distance. He needs to get over it…fast…or he’s going to lose her, and unless he figures it out in a hurry, she’d be better off without him.

I can’t wait to see how book 2 goes. I hope Ronin gets it together, because when he lets his walls down, I think he and Amery could be really good for each other.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Not A Ninja Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

Rating: 3.5

One of these days Vivian Arend needs to write a book I won’t FanGirl over.

I mean, the law of averages has to come into play at SOME point, doesn’t it? The woman’s too prolific for me to love EVERYTHING…isn’t she? This is Ms. Arend’s 38th book, and I’ve read probably close to 30 of them and loved them all. Really. She’s going to need to stop this or I’m going to run out of nice things to say. (Don’t stop, Viv. Please don’t stop).

Out of all of her books, High Seduction ranks up there in the top 3 as one of my all-time favorite Vivian Arend books. I’ll tell you right now, if it wasn’t for my absolute and unending love of Travis from Rocky Mountain Freedom, Tim would be my favorite hero. He’s amazing. He is absolutely in love with Erin and not afraid to show her how he feels. He knows they had problems years ago, but he’s willing to do the work it’s going to take to get through them and get her back. For good.

As for Erin, she’s in denial for a little bit, but Tim and his constancy quickly win her over. She recognizes she still has lingering issues from their previous relationship, but she’s able to face those issues and learn from them without pushing Tim away in the process.

Tim, for his part, is willing to take a huge risk to help her work through whatever she needs to. As much of a dominant as Tim is, he never tries to force Erin through her mental blocks. He knows if she’s not in this relationship all the way, there’s nothing he can do to make her get there, but he’s willing to fight for them. He helps her where he can, and shows her the way, so to speak, and then stands back until she decides what she wants. Tim is, above all, a caregiver in every sense of the word. He loves Erin and would die before hurting her in ANY way. I love how he snuggles with her. To me snuggling/cuddling is one of the most romantic things a guy can do. Totally makes me melt every time.

Being an Adrenaline Search & Rescue title, of course there’s some suspense, but Ms. Arend kept the focus on Erin and Tim and….others…and didn’t spend too much time focusing on the suspense subplot. Which was just fine. Anything with more Tim was good for me.

I loved how, even with Erin’s initial reluctance to deal with Tim again, she was always professional. Neither she nor the team did any of the “we hate the new guy” posturing. Tim is new to the team, yes, but he’s an experienced SAR and the team recognizes and respects that. There’s hazing, but more in a good natured “welcome to the team” kind of way and not “let’s terrorize the new guy until he quits.”

There’s a new character introduced in this book. Matt, who plays a big role in High Seduction. I loved him and am hoping we get to see more of him.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Vivian Arend’s FanGirl
aka The Fish With Sticks

Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Silver Creek series are the first books I’ve read by Maisey Yates. I’ll be coming back for more.

Untouched is the 2nd book in the Silver Creek series, (although there was a short story first). In this book Lark, little sister to Cole and Cade, goes to work for the man everyone believes caused the “accident” which took Cade’s rodeo career and nearly his life. Of course Lark doesn’t realize this until she shows up, and in the best tradition of romance, Quinn Parker schemes and plots to get back at Cade for falsely accusing him and getting Quinn banned from rodeo competition for life.

This was a good read. I felt really invested in Lark and watching her grow up and stretch her wings a bit. In a book where she’s constantly complaining everyone treats her like a kid (and they do), I liked seeing her as the only one really acting mature, about both her profession and her relationship with Quinn. She sees past Quinn’s persona to see the real, sad little boy inside who is afraid to get hurt again, and does what she can to show him how much she cares, but she does it without giving ultimatums or throwing tantrums.

For Quinn’s part, he sees Lark as young, sure, but never as a child. He treats her as an adult who can make up her own mind. At one point she comes to him obviously upset and asks him for something. While his internal dialogue tells us he’s aware of how upset she is, Quinn doesn’t assume Lark doesn’t know what she’s asking. Which is more than can be said for Cole and Cade. Quinn and Lark are honest with each other about what is going on with Quinn’s rodeo career (and Cade’s involvement) and also their expectations of their relationship.

There’s a subplot with Sam and Jill from Quinn’s ranch which was unexpected, but I liked it. I thought Sam was pretty sexy and it was interesting to see these two relationships play out side by side. I though the resolution with the boy Jake seemed a little too simple.

One of my favorite bits about this series: Ms. Yates does Grovel VERY well. Both Sam and Quinn have to grovel and while I don’t believe you can ever have TOO MUCH grovel, the amount of grovel in this book was satisfactory. Quinn even does it in front of–well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

Of all the characters in this series, Cade is the one who is the most intriguing to me, and I can’t wait for his book. A damaged hero? A friends-to-lovers story? A heroine with her own problems and a mysterious man out to hurt Cade? Where do I sign up?

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish Who Loves Grovel
aka The Fish With Sticks

RATING: 3. 5 Stars

On Friday I talked about all the fun I had on the Yarn Crawl this year. Now I’m turning the attention to The Bad. I had a lot of issues this year with the Crawl and the organizers, and I’m going to put them all out here.

The TL:DR verison: Social media campaign was nonexistent, Stephanie from Unwind called all the crawlers “Crazy” and said organizing the stores was like “herding cats,” and as a result I won’t shop there anymore. Ever.

The unabridged version:

I noticed in all my travels that attendance was WAY down from last year. It was obvious to everyone. Part of that is probably the economy, but I think a lot of it is how the organizers of the event promoted the event. Or should I say didn’t promote the event.

Maybe it’s because my business is working in social media, but their social media campaign this year was horrible. The Twitter presence leading up to the Crawl was practically nonexistent. The last Tweet from the account was March 7. An entire MONTH before the Crawl started. Before that, February 28. They had a total of 21 tweets between the last tweet of last year and the end of this year’s crawl. By comparison over the previous two crawls, there were 843 total tweets.

And the Ravelry forum? Even worse! People were posting questions and not getting any answers. The Crawlers themselves had to contact various people, pool their information, and take their best guess at what they thought the answers were. On the Facebook page they were (slowly) putting up “Shop Spotlights” and promised the Ravelry users they’d post them there, too. In one day they posted 7 Shop Spotlights. Out of 29 (28?) stores. And then that was it. Nothing else. And not just that they didn’t post any other Shop Spotlights, they DIDN’T POST ANYTHING ELSE on Ravelry. Those 7 Spotlights were posted on March 25, and nothing else was heard from the official LA Yarn Crawl account on Ravelry after that.

At 1:00 p.m. on the last day of the Crawl, when all the stores were going to be open for at least 5 more hours, the official YCLA Facebook page posted this:

See you next year crawlers, it was a blast! Please answer the following – Yarn Crawl LA 2014 was… (link to actual post)

Needless to say, a few responses were along the lines of “Still going on!” What the heck? If I was a crawler considering going out and hitting one or two stores at the last minute, I wouldn’t have gone after seeing that post. I would have assumed it was over.

But here’s the coup de grace. The part that if I was a store I’d be furious. As an attendee of all three years of the crawl, it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve read the article and I’m STILL frothing at the mouth angry. There was an LA Weekly article which the YCLA Facebook page happily promoted. “Huge! LA Weekly article on Yarn Crawl L.A. County!”

This article could not have possibly been more condescending and dismissive of the Crawlers. As much as I hate driving people to their site, here’s the full article.

First off, the two people “interviewed” in this article are Stephanie from Unwind and Libby who I believe is in charge of the PR for the Crawl.

Steinhaus says. “It’s a lot of work. We have to recruit the sponsors, the wholesale vendors who provide the gift baskets, the shops. Coordinating 30 entrepreneurs who are used to running their shop their own way? It’s like herding cats, trying to corral them into a joint effort.”

I may be wrong, but it’s possible telling the world trying to get the stores to do something is like “herding cats” is maybe not the best way to get them to do something.

What is crazy? Crazy is the 30 people last year who drove to all 30 stores. “That is not enjoyable,” Butler-Gluck insists. “Because I know I was racing to get 15 stores done. You’d see a car pull up, five women would run in, buy one ball of yarn, then fly out.”

Crazy is crawlers traveling in packs. They assemble in teams of five or eight or 10, with matching T-shirts. Perhaps they met at previous crawls, or on Ravelry.com (“like Facebook for knitters,” Butler-Gluck says). They skip work, or call in sick.

Crazy is renting minivans, carpooling routes that have been planned via Excel spreadsheet, and taking turns behind the driver’s seat so that no one loses a full day of knitting time.

I’m one of those 30 people. The first two years of the Crawl I went to all the stores. I EASILY went to all the stores. The first year was a combination of my knitter friends and my mom. In fact, my mom and I went out one day when it was just the two of us. The Crawl was in April and she passed away that July, and I treasure those two days she crawled with me, but especially the one day we went solo. We had a lot of fun and created memories which I think about all the time. It didn’t feel “crazy.”

But regardless of my mother’s condition, that first year, and the year after, was amazing fun! Trying to plan the best routes, who is going in which cars, what did everyone buy? What stores did everyone see? Any great events? There’s a huge social aspect to events like this, and to belittle it all and call us (your CUSTOMERS) “crazy” is insulting at the very least. I know it was a lot of driving to hit all the stores, but I planned well and each day I was done by 4-5. The first day last year I hit something like 8-9 stores and was done by 2:00 p.m. So to say it’s “crazy” and “not enjoyable” is just a crock. It may not have been enjoyable FOR HER, but don’t put that generalization on the rest of us. I know I had fun, and I’m betting the other 28 people did, too.

As a direct result of this article, I didn’t go to all the stores again. I could have. I work from home and could have arranged my schedule without any difficulty to hit all the stores for the third year in a row. Except I didn’t. If the organizer of the event thinks it’s “crazy” for me to shop at all the stores, then why should I bother? Apparently Stephanie and Libby I’m clearly not right in the head to want to do this, so I just kept myself and my money mostly at home and in my wallet this year. I went to 10 stores this year out of 29 (28?). I bought yarn at four of them.

Of course, even if I DID go to all the other stores for the Crawl, I still would have been one short, because I’ll never set foot in Unwind again.

Retailer motivations are less of a mystery. “Last year, sales-wise,” Steinhaus starts to say, then grabs a calculator from the register. “I just wanted to check my numbers,” she explains. “The four days of the crawl last year? We did 95 percent more business than any other regular four days. That’s not an exaggeration. Everyone I can get to be friendly and smile, I put to work.”

 

All in all, Steinhaus sold 291 balls of yarn associated with the special scarf.

“Which is,” she adds, “kind of crazy.”

If she thinks her customers are “crazy” and going to all the stores is “not enjoyable,” according to her good friend Libby, why should I waste my time and energy on participating? If this what she thinks of her customers, customers who brought in 95% MORE business, and who bought 219 skeins of yarn to make this scarf by Stephen West, then I see no reason to continue to support her or her store.

I’m sure other stores will happily accept my “crazy” money.

Lynda the Guppy
aka An Infuriated and Insulted Fish With Sticks
aka The Fish With Sticks

This past weekend was YCLA, aka Yarn Crawl Los Angeles. For the third year in a row, for 4 days in April nearly 30 yarn stores come together and throw a party for all those who love yarn. There are special events and collectible pins from each store, and visiting all these yarn stores you’ve never been to before with all your knitter friends. It’s an amazing, if expensive, 4 days, and usually worth all of it.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting YCLA: The Bad, but today I choose to tell you all about the fun which was had. I won’t be listing ALL the stores we went to, just the highlights.

First stop on Thursday was A Major Knitwork. Last year A Major Knitwork had this fantastic sign out front, and I was pleased to see they brought it back.

YCLA14_Day1_AMK

Then it was across the parking lot to the Yarnover Truck where I realized I once again matched my yarn to my clothes.

YCLA14_Day1_MatchyMatchy

You’d think this would be a one-off thing, but no. Here’s a hat I worked on this past winter and the top I was wearing that day.

HatTopMatchyMatchy

Okay. Back to the Crawl. That was it for Thursday. Friday my only stop was to meet my friend Heather at Creative U Studios. I’m taking a class there, so I’ve been up at Creative U pretty regularly lately. I wasn’t going to buy anything, but they had this Dream in Color with Cashmere that was a fantastic raspberry pink. It had to come home with me.

Then I remembered Amanda was having an Atenti Trunk Show. I love Atenti bags. They’re made out of beautiful, interesting materials in fabulous color combinations. I wasn’t going to buy one on Friday, because I knew Saturday I was going out with my friends and that was the day I’d spend the most. I was TRYING to be good, so after some internal back and forth I decided to walk away. If, at the end of Saturday, I felt I still wanted the bag, I’d call Amanda and she’d see if they still had it. If not, she’d order for me.

Yeah, that lasted until I got out to my car. LOL. Sat for a minute and realized I was going to want the bag at the end of the day tomorrow, so why risk it not being there. Back into the store I went and walked out with this….

YCLA14_Day2_AtentiI’m VERY picky about what I use on long days like I had on Saturday, and I took a chance on this bag and I don’t regret it for a moment. It held everything I needed and then some, and it did it stylishly and comfortably. Can’t ask for more than that. Also, I took a look at the construction of the bag, and it is quality all the way. I love it.

Saturday was our “big” day. Saturday was the day four of us from my regular knitting group (Heather, Kara, Amy, and myself) left early…Ohhhh so early…

YCLA14_Day3_Sunrise

Coffee was up first (a necessity that early on Saturday morning) and then off to Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. I must say, out of all the stores I’d been to over these past three Yarn Crawls, Alamitos Bay really did an amazing job with their store. It started with the parking which was coned off and marked for Yarn Crawlers Only. From there they had their back door opened and had a Candyland theme. They had squares laid out for you to follow, a Gingerbread Man for you to take a selfie with (for another entry in another contest), and then filled their store with candy (real and decorative) and embraced the entire theme. They way the flow was changed, it allowed people to go in and browse and then pay, get their passports stamped, and enter any contests as they were heading to their cars. It was really well done. I hope they continue this layout each year, because it really worked.

In the parking lot we saw these ladies! Their entire car was yarn bombed and it was incredible.

YCLA14_Day3_TwistedStitchesVan

Before lunch we stopped at a new-to-me store, The Knitting Tree in Culver City. The Knitting Tree is run by Annette who used to be one of the owners of A Mano Yarn Center. (*sigh* I still miss A Mano). Anyway, her new store is a happy, fun, well-stocked, interesting store. I’d expect nothing less from her. It was wonderful to see her again, and she was practically glowing when she told me she and her business partner Bruce were getting married!

YCLA14_Day3_AnnetteBruceThis is the store where I. Cleaned. House. I have a weakness for Madelinetosh as you know, if you’ve spent any time here, and they had a ton of it. I was looking to knit two kid sweaters (a baby and a toddler) and needed to find the right colors, and she had them in spades. I may have also purchased one or two skeins for myself. Maybe.

We had a fantastic lunch at Paco’s Tacos (Thanks for the recommendation, Leo! You were right! Best tacos ever!) and two more stops and then we all hit the wall. We were exhausted! I was home by about 6:30 and asleep by 8:00 p.m. That’s right. Little Miss Night Owl was asleep by 8:00 p.m. on a Saturday night.

The four of us had an amazing time. We all enjoyed a gorgeous day hanging out with fellow Yarnies and singing bad 80s music at the top of our lungs. If you think we all resisted belting out the chorus to “Living on a Prayer,” at the top of our lungs, well…you don’t know us very well, do you? At one point we were all laughing so hard we were crying.

Sunday Alyson and I went to one of my favorite stores: Colors 91711. They’re always so friendly and it’s a charming, well-stocked, happy store. Sadly, I didn’t purchase anything this time, but that’s pretty rare for me. Colors is the only store EVER where I have checked out their sample and bought both the yarn their sample was knit with IN THE COLOR THEY USED. Seriously. That NEVER happens with me. And not only did they do it ONCE, they did it TWICE. Amazing.

Everybody scored some amazing yarn this year. Through various sale racks at several shops, Heather walked away with enough yarn to make 3 separate sweaters (one with a yarn with about 15% cashmere) and collectively spent significantly less than I spent buying Cascade 220 for my one CustomFit sweater. I bought a ton of Madelinetosh for baby sweaters, and a few random skeins of other yarns for myself. Amy found some Berocco Vintage she had been looking for and got a great deal on it, also in a sweater quantity.

All in all an amazing and fun time was had. The stores were all friendly and excited to meet the Crawlers and the Crawlers were happy to be out and meeting so many new people and stores. It was a ton of fun, but I have to say I’m pretty happy with my 2014 YCLA Stash. I didn’t go overboard like I have in the past, but I still bought a bunch of stuff and I don’t regret any of it.

I especially don’t regret my new bag.

Tomorrow: YCLA: The Bad. You’ve been warned.

Lynda the Guppy
aka A Fish With a SABLE* Problem
aka A Fish With Sticks

*SABLE = Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.

 

 

When I say I waited until the last POSSIBLE second to read this book, I’m not really kidding. It’s 1:30 am, I’ve JUST finished the book and I’m writing this review which gets posted in…carry the 2…4 1/2 hours. This one kind of snuck up on me. Whoops. LOL While I’m known for writing my reviews late, I’ve usually already read the book.

This book has some of my favorite things: Small towns, great family, fantastic animals (in this case 3 adorable dogs with some others making brief appearances) and a really great couple.

When we first meet Luke he’s kind of known for being a man whore. He’s been burned by the bitchy ex-wife and wants absolutely NO part of a relationship again. He’s got his job (small town cop). He’s got his dog (Boomer, a police dog). He’s happy as can be to be a love ’em for a night and leave ’em guy.

Emma, for her part, has some deep dark trauma in her past which makes her wary of relationships. She’s up to her eyeballs in debt starting up her vet practice in her hometown and has neither the time nor the inclination to get involved with anyone.

Now, for a lesser author, these two could have been very cardboard cutout. We’ve seen these characters in COUNTLESS books. Heroine needs emotional “healing” and Hero has got just the Magic Wang to do it for her. Hero needs to realize all women aren’t money grubbing bitches, and Heroine is the perfect, wholesome small-town girl to prove it. What I loved about this book is Ms. Burton didn’t take the easy way. She didn’t do these characters that disservice. She made them normal people. Yeah, Emma needs to get past the trauma of her past, but she’s doing it. On her own. She doesn’t need Luke or any guy’s Magic Wang to get her through it. And Luke, while he IS skittish about relationships (for that matter, so is Emma), he DOES realize what’s going on and he’s okay about it. For the most part. LOL.

There’s even a point in the book where Luke realizes he and Emma need to sit and TALK about the hard stuff. He knows they’re glossing things over, and he wants to go forward from where they are, and to do that they need to talk. Love it. So refreshing to see a couple like this.

There’s a couple subplots going on, one of which involves Emma and some trouble. My favorite part was this:

Someone was in her house.

So here was her independence. Should she take out her gun and go check it herself? Hell, no. She was independent. Not stupid. She needed to get out of the house now.

And let me just say for the record she was smarter than I was. When I came home a few years ago to find my house robbed, I not only went in, but I WENT UPSTAIRS before calling the cops. *sigh* Yup. I was THAT GIRL. If it was a horror movie, I would have been blonde and the first one dead. No, no. No need to tell me how stupid that was. My BFF did that already. Loudly. A lot.

ANYway…

Overall I liked this book a lot. There were a few areas where I think the info dump was a little heavy handed, and the dialogue seemed a little forced, but that was always with the peripheral characters. Where Ms. Burton really shined was with Emma and Luke. She’s created a couple who I not only enjoyed spending time with, but would love to just go and hang out with them and their dogs. Although I did notice a distinct lack of feline characters.

Lynda the Guppy
aka A Fish With A Cat
aka A Fish With Sticks

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reading After the Storm by Maya Banks for this review caused me no small amount of stress. LOL Not because of the content of the book, but because of my own Book OCD. You see, I HATE spoilers. Seriously. I don’t end read. I don’t want to know how the movie/book/tv show ends before it does. As an addendum, I NEVER read books out of order. I might once I’ve read all the books in a series, but for the first time? Nope. Never. Also, I never put books down in the middle to go read something else and then come back. I just don’t do it. I read fast enough it usually isn’t even an issue.

So…want to guess who STILL hasn’t read Forged in Steele (the KGI book before After the Storm) AND who had to stop reading Shelly Laurenston’s Big Bad Beast in order to read this book for my review?

All that aside, I enjoyed this book. It’s typical Maya Banks. Tough, strong guys willing to lay down their lives to protect those who need it. Tough, strong women who don’t need the men to rescue them, but appreciate the helping hand. I’ve been listening to the KGI series lately, and I find it interesting how listening to a book allows you to pick up on things you might not notice while reading. One of those things is how little dialogue Ms. Banks has in her books. There is a LOT of internal monologues and descriptions and such, but actual discussion between the characters doesn’t happen as much as you would expect.

One of the things that bothered me a little is at the end (no spoilers!) when Van and Eve are talking things out, she thinks about how wrong she was to not trust him (again with the internal monologue), and that took me out of the book for a minute. In terms of the timeline of the book, they’ve known each other for a few days. And a fair portion of that time, she’s spent unconscious and recovering from injuries. I don’t think it is at ALL unreasonable or unexpected that she would still have trust issues, especially when you consider what she’s on the run from. I get it’s a romance book, and as such there’s a certain amount of fantasy in play here, but I wish they had dealt with it more openly as a “Yeah, I didn’t trust you. Can you blame me?” and not “I’m so sorry! It’s my fault I didn’t trust you!” Paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

Also, the whole beginning of the story is very Rusty-centric, but then Rusty seems to just drop off the face of the earth. All that concern for Travis and then she…what? Where did she go? I know she trusted Van to take care of Eve and the kids, but I don’t see why Rusty wasn’t one of the ones checking in on all of them. You would think they would have wanted another friendly and familiar face around.

All in all, I thought this was a solid entry into the KGI series. It was more home-centric than some of her more recent ones have been, and it was nice to have everyone stay put for a change. LOL. And after Shades of Gray, it was nice to have the angst and emotional heartbreak dialed down a bit.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Swanny’s My Favorite Kelly
aka The Fish With Sticks

Rating: 3.5 Stars

 

Last week at knitting one of our friends had started a shawl. Just a basic shawl, but she’s using two contrasting colors. It looked like it was about 20 rows of dark blue and 20 rows of a wildly variegated yarn. It was fun and looked gorgeous, but she’s a new knitter (though she’s crocheted since she was young) and was carrying the yarn up the sides because she hates weaving ends.

Maridee showed it to the group and asked our opinions on whether to carry up the sides or rip it back and reknit, starting each section with new yarn. To be honest, I don’t think we even let her finish her question. Yes, she absolutely had to rip it back. No, she couldn’t keep carrying the yarn. She was disappointed, but she knew it was the right decision, she was just hoping we’d tell her what she wanted to hear. While we understood and empathized, no, we weren’t going to let her get away with it.

Friends don’t let friends knit badly.

That started a whole discussion on weaving in ends and blocking. I was the oddball of the group. I mentioned I loved finishing. I loved taking that finished object and weaving in all the ends. And blocking! I love blocking, too. I don’t do it too often, because furniture needs to be moved when I do, so I let it pile up, but I love it. I love the transformation knitted things go through when blocked, or even just washed and laid flat. Blocking is magic!

Heather stared at me a little confused. “It’s weird. You’re saying the same things about finishing I do, but…you sound CHEERY about it. I don’t understand.”

Me, happily: I let all the finishing pile up and then I’ll turn on the TV and sit for a few hours until it’s all done!

Her, grumpily: I let all the finishing pile up and then I’ll turn on the TV and sit for a few hours until it’s all done!

Me, happily: I weave in all the ends, and then it’s finally finished!

Her, grumpily: I weave in all the ends, and then it’s finally finished!

Tone is everything. I was mocked a little, but in a way only good friends do. And I KNOW Heather is trying to figure out a way to get me to do her finishing in the future. (Nice try!)

What about you? Do you love weaving in ends? Do you loathe it and wish you could get someone else to do it for you? Do you let them pile up and get them all done in one fell swoop, or do you do them as soon as the knitting/crocheting is done?

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Finishing is Fun Fish
aka The Fish With Sticks

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