Knitting Notes

Despite the lack of progress posts, I have actually been alternating between my two Project Spectrum themed projects most nights. I went on a bit of a clean-up binge today, and managed to finish the first Embossed Leaves sock. Totally love these socks. I’m just a little sad, because I’m pretty much out of the season where I actually wear wool socks, so I suspect I won’t be wearing these until sometime next fall.

I’ve also been working on the Sitcom Chic sweater. I got the body up to the point were I could stop and make sleeves. I finished sleeve number 1 today. I’ll probably try to at least get the second sleeve done before I start on the next Embossed Leaves sock.

In other news, since I was on a roll, I picked up my Jaywalker socks today as well, but ended up frogging them. That yarn did not want to be that pattern. I still really like that pattern, but I’m going to have to come up with another yarn to use for it, and this yarn is now in search of a new project. Oh well. At least I gave up before cutting anything.


Mackworth Island, Falmouth, ME

I headed out fairly early this morning to make sure I could get to Mackworth Island while there was still room in the lot. It was a bit windy on the seaward side of the island, but it was still a beautiful morning out there.

It was a good day to notice structure. The leaves are only starting to bud, so there are plenty of interesting root and trunk formations to be seen. It’s also weird standing there and knowing that a year ago, they were cleaning up the mess from the Patriot’s Day nor’easter. You can see in the picture of Governor Baxter’s pet cemetary, that the woods were thinned out pretty significantly, and a year hasn’t made much of a difference in how that looks.

I was hoping for some wild flowers, and did manage to find some trout lilies, though not many. I suspect they’ll be much easier to find in a week or so, as I saw plenty of their spotted leaves, and wouldn’t be surprised if that means that flowering has just begun.

I also saw a woodpecker, near the pet cemetery. Actually, I heard her first, working on an old birch tree. I will say, that was one thing reason to enjoy the lack of trees in that area. I actually had a pretty good view of her working.

Pride and Prescience – Carrie Bebris

The full title of this book is Pride and Prescience (Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged) – A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery. Yep, it’s a Jane Austen knock off. And it’s fun!

I’d actually read the second book in this series first (long story), and had then promptly forgotten about it, until I went looking for Peter Beagle in the stacks at the library, and came across the entire series, all in a row.

Pride and Prescience picks up just after Elizabeth and Jane’s double wedding to Misters Darcy and Bingley. Soon after, they’re off to London, where Bingley’s sister Caroline is quickly engaged and married off to a rich American, Mr. Parrish. I won’t go into much more detail, because I don’t want to give the fun of the mystery away, but I will say it’s a cute little story with just a touch of the supernatural involved. The author’s managed to catch the playful manner of Darcy and Lizzie’s relationship, and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.

As I said before, I’ve read the second book, which brings in some of the characters from Sense and Sensibility. The third book appears to involve Northanger Abbey. tells me that a fourth book, with a Mansfield Park tie in, is due out in September. I’m definitely grabbing the Northanger Abbey book on my next trip to the library.

The Line Between – Peter S. Beagle

Read for the Mythopeoic Award and Once Upon a Time II Challenges.

I need to read more Peter Beagle. I’ve read The Last Unicorn, but it was long enough ago that I only remember the bare bones outline of the story. I picked up this book of short stories out of the Mythopoeic award list because I know I liked that book, and was sure I’d enjoy more of his work. It turned out to be a great teaser.

There is Last Unicorn story, which Beagle promises will likely become a full length novel of its own. There’s also a story that is back story for a character in The Innkeeper’s Song. I’d not heard of that book until I saw it beside The Line Between on the library shelf. In the story notes, Beagle names it his favorite of his novels. I’ll definitely now need to read it.

The tie in stories out of the way, I confess that my favorite stories were those that were set in the almost completely real world. “El Regalo” is a great story of a girl and her kid brother, who turns out to be a witch. Their extremely typical adventure, well except for magic, is just a great story of sibling bonding. Another great story is “A Dance for Emilia”. This story could be set in the house across the street, until almost the very end. It’s a wonderfully inventive way to deal with feelings of loss.

“Mr. Sigerson” is a great little story, especially since it’s the second Sherlock Holmes story I’ve read in a short story anthology where it’s clearly Mr. Holmes, but he’s never mentioned by name. There’s also a fairy tale: “Salt Wine”, as well as four fables.

This is a great set of stories. The range of stories and settings makes for great reading.

Roll me home please

I love birthdays, and the inherit opportunity for good food they entail.

Last night, we went to my mother’s house, where we were treated to wild salmon with a balsamic glaze, a very interesting spinach salad featuring beets (!), oranges, shallots, walnuts and chives (fresh from the garden), and quinoa. Dessert was a strawberry merlot pie. For some reason, the graham cracker crust had disintegrated into the pie, but that actually served to give it an interesting texture. We were sent home with the rest of it, but I won’t be sampling anymore until at least tomorrow, because…

Tonight, the BF and I went to the Frog and Turtle for dinner. We started with the cheese platter, which featured two cheeses from NH, and a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese, with a platter of interesting additions. The two cheeses from NH were especially good. For entrees, BF tried their burger (previously recommended), which featured Ninja sauce (our waiter described it as a buffalo sauce with taste). I had braised chicken crepes, which were were excellent. We also had dessert. BF had some of their homemade ice cream, some sort of bourbon amaretto caramel flavor, with flambeed bananas. I had a lovely apple turnover in phyllo, with an eggnog creme anglaise sauce. They’d found out it was my birthday, and I got a lovely dark chocolate Happy Birthday around the edge of my plate, as well as a candle. And, to top it off, I actually got a birthday card with our check, signed by everyone working that night in the restaurant. It was a fabulous dinner. I’d definitely go there again, and recommend it to anyone.

I’m not sure I’ll need to eat again before Friday.


So just yesterday I was telling my mother that I’d been avoiding the garden centers because I really wanted some pansies, but didn’t quite know what to do with them, so wasn’t going to buy any. This morning, at her church, one of the parishioners brought in a ton of pansies she didn’t want any more (apparently, she overbought), and gave them to my mom. My mother immediately remembered our conversation yesterday, and brought most of them over to me. So I now have three pots of blue, purple and white pansies in the side garden. Yay!

My lilies have started to sprout. Last year, they barely did anything, after getting a pretty bad lily beetle infestation. I had a particular type of organic bug spray recommended to me last year, and managed to track some down. I’m going to have to douse them at least once a week (more if it rains), but if it’ll keep away those damn bugs, I’ll do it.

In other flower news, I found another type of glory of the snow in the next door neighbor’s garden. We had a more blue variety under a tree in our yard when I was growing up (we’d liberated them from our old church rectory grounds before they turned it into parking lot). They’re usually the earliest thing to bloom each year, and I had no idea there were actually different varieties available. I swear, when I buy a house, I’m going to need several acres of land to go with to house all of the plants I’ve seen and now want to grow.

Happy Birthday to Me!

So I finally figured out where Seaport Yarns is done in the Old Port, and decided to go check them out today. I came out with two skeins of sock yarn, one of Jitterbug, and one from a local hand dyer:

I’m actually really excited about the local yarn. I’ll freely admit to loving my alpaca and the really nice South American wools, but as the price of oil and everything else is getting out of control, I’m trying to be a bit more mindful of buying things locally.

After that, since they didn’t have the size needles I actually needed to get (hey, I’ll leap on any opportunity to justify a yarn trip ;), I headed up to Knit Wit. I ended up buying the Knitter’s Book of Yarn. I bought it because I’d heard great things about it, but it turns out she’s a Maine author, so I was doubly glad to be buying it for that reason, and out of a Maine shop. Anna and I had a lovely discussion about Ravelry (aka knitting crack) while I was there. I love Knit Wit. They consistently have what I’m looking for, and it’s a really friendly place to visit.