Knitting Notes

The Baby Yoda sweater is done. I hadn’t planned on finishing it this weekend, but I have good reason to believe that the recipient will be/has already arrived early, so I figured a push to finish it up this weekend was in order.

I’m happy with the yarn (Knit Pick’s Shine Worsted, in Reef) I used. It’s nice and soft, and I really like the color.

As I mentioned before, this was definitely the most basic pattern I’ve used so far, and it was definitely interesting finding my way through the instructions. The sleeves came out a little smaller then I would have liked. I may make those wider if I use this pattern again.

This was also my first time doing any seaming. I think it went alright, but I can tell I have room for improvement.


The Mallorean – David Eddings

My cracktasic whirlwind tour of David Eddings’ longest story continues.

The Mallorean picks up where the Belgariad left off, after Garion has defeated the dark god Torak, and all should be right with the world. Naturally, it’s not. Turns out, killing Torak was something that had to happen before the ultimate showdown between the Dark and Light prophesies.

And that’s about that. This series, a bit more then the Belgariad, reminded me why I haven’t read these books in quite a while. Don’t get me wrong, I will forever love these books, but the second series is a bit more demonstrative about why these books, while extremely enjoyable, aren’t on par with Tolkein, et al. I’m not going to record why my childhood favorites contained a few disappointments this read around, and I will end this by simply stating that these books are definitely enjoyed best for the first time in the preteen or teen years. You’ll have more fun with them then.

Beast – Donna Jo Napoli

Read for the Young Adult and Once Upon a Time II Reading Challenges.

This tale of the beast from “Beauty and the Beast” is an interesting twist on the fairy tale.

In the author’s notes, she lists a popular poetry version of this tale by Charles Lamb in 1811 as the inspiration for the setting of the story. In the poem, Lamb notes that the beast was originally a prince from Persia, and names him as Orasmyn.

Napoli’s book is the story of how Prince Orasmyn makes a foolish decision and earns the curse of a pari-a Perisan fairy. Now in the form of a lion, in order to avoid dying at his father’s hand, as foretold by the pari, Orasmyn makes the long journey to France. The rest of the story, anyone with a DVD player knows.

The book probably takes place a bit more in Persia than it does in France, and the author has set the atmosphere well, using enough native terms to set the flavor without making everything completely unfamiliar.

Anyone that’s a big fan of the story of the beauty may be disappointed in this book. Belle (and she is called Belle) makes an appearance fairly late in the story, and while she does come with a back story, and good motivation to fall in love with the beast, she is a lesser character then he is.

Food 2.0 Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google – Charlie Ayers

I got my first earlier reviewer book from LibraryThing. I feel so special!

I don’t normally count cookbooks as real reading material, because they’re generally more flip through and skim the recipe title type books, but at least the first half of Food 2.0 dealt more with the philosophy of why the author cooks the foods that he does, and was interesting reading material. If you didn’t already know, Google provides its employees with free lunches and dinners, and if this book represents the type of fare they’re served, I’m definitely jealous.

The author’s three major points for cooking good food are to keep it local and organic, and keep it raw, and keep it fermented. He offers a number of tips for figuring out how to buy your food this way, as well as ways to make sure you’re eating more fruits and vegetables. He also speaks to the beauty of a well-stocked pantry and fridge.

The concepts in this book aren’t necessarily that new to me (my mother has been cooking this way as much as possible for years), but I think it’s well packaged and should be a great guide to anyone trying to eat more consciously.

There are a number of recipes I’m interested to try, including the Dragon Breath Noodles, many of the salads, and the Butternut Chilijack. This is definitely a cookbook I can use.

The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

Read for the TBR Reading Challenge

I do enjoy a good book where I’m completely surprised when the mystery is resolved at the end of the story.

The build up of this story was great. Margaret Lea, a book store employee who has published a couple of biographical essays, but is certainly not known for her work, is inexplicably summoned by Vida Winters, one of the most popular living authors, to write her biography.

And what a biography it is. Miss Winters’ story is the story of the eccentric family that once owned the Angelfield estate. It’s the story of the twins Adeline and Emmeline, and their rather unconventional upbringing.

You can tell from almost the beginning that there is a twist in this story, and there are definitely clues to this twist, but I wasn’t able to catch them. The end and resolution of this story were just so satisfying. I’ll say it again, I do enjoy being surprised.

Once Upon a Time II Reading Challenge

I can’t resist a fantasy/fairy tale/folklore reading challenge. Those subjects are such a large percentage of my TBR pile I’m happy any time I find a way to structure in reading more of them.

I’m going to do the first quest, and read at least five books in the challenge subjects. I’ve come up with the following list of six to choose from. I may substitute this, depending on the borrowability of a couple of them that are library books, but I think I’ll be able to stick to this list.

Anansi Boys – Neil Gaimen
The Nibelungenlied
Howl’s Moving Castle – Dianne Wynne Jones
Beast – Donna Jo Napoli
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld – Patricia McKillip
Tam Lin – Patricia Dean

Knitting Notes

The baby Yoda sweater is coming along. I’ve got the back and sides done, and sleeve #1 is cast on. It’s been an interesting experience. This is definitely the barest bones pattern I’ve worked with so far, so it’s been nice to have to figure out what decrease I need to do to achieve the correct look for the side I’m working on at that moment.

The only slight weirdness I’ve had is the initial finishing for the two side pieces seems to be written backwards (or I’m just completely turned around). I ended up ripping out a few rows of my first side after I completed the second side and saw that they just weren’t going to work to join them the way the pattern had for finishing. The ripping went surprisingly well, so I’m actually glad I had to do that. It was nice to prove I could and not end up frogging the entire finished piece.

Mexican Macaroni and Cheese – What’s Not to Love?

Sure, it’s a bastardization of a Rachael Ray recipe (my love of her oeuvre shames me, for no particularly good reason), but it’s Mexican macaroni and cheese! There’s chicken, and cilantro-y goodness! A combination of two of my comfort food standbys. I’ve been on a nearly two week long stretch of cooking apathy (mostly induced by the fact that it’s winter and it feels like I’ll never have good fresh local produce ever again!), and it was good to get back on the cooking wagon. I’m actually looking forward to my lunch leftovers again.