2013 Finished Knitting Projects

With my last project squeaking in just under the wire today, here’s what I’ve managed to do this year.

The Evenstar shawl was definitely my favorite project.    I also made some pretty good headway in using up old yarn – hopefully I can continue in that vein next year.


Knitting Notes

Pattern: Hunter Cowl by Diana Burk
Yarn: Lion Brand Woolease Thick and Quick in the Oatmeal colorway
Needles: Size 13 and 35 circs and 11 DPNs

I think I need more commissions.    This pattern was nothing I would have ever made for myself, but it was a lot of fun to do.    The needles were ridonkulously big, on the opposite side of the spectrum from what I usually do.   Here’s hoping it fits E!

2013 Books Read

Had a bit of a lull this year – definitely didn’t read any books as I normally do.     There were definitely some bigger books in this list that took me longer to get through than normal, so I think that was part of that.    Other than that, not sure why things slowed down.    I’ll be interested to see what next year brings.

67. The Prophet of Yonwood – Jeanne DuPrau
66. Netherworld – Lisa Morton
65. Miss Buncle’s Book – D. E. Stevenson
64. French Women for All Seasons – Mireille Guiliano
63. The Warrior Queens – Antonia Fraser
62. House of Many Ways – Diana Wynne Jones
61. Sprig Muslin – Georgette Heyer
60. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
59. The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie
58. Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater
57. Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris
56. One Corpse Too Many – Ellis Peters
55. Blood Bound – Patricia Briggs
54. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
53. The Uninvited Guest – Sarah Woodbury
52. The Mislaid Magician – Patricia A. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
51. The Woodcutter – Kate Danley
50. Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall – Winston Graham
49. The Good Knight – Sarah Woodbury
48. Invitation to Die – Helen Smith
47. Deja Dead – Kathy Reichs
46. A Tangled Web – Mercedes Lackey
45. Home from the Sea – Mercedes Lackey
44. Zealot – Reza Aslan
43. Queen of this Realm – Jean Plaidy
42. Burning Brightly – Mercedes Lackey
41. Songbook– Nick Hornby
40. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple – Karen Cushman
39. Fool’s Run – Patricia A. McKillip
38. A Countess Below Stairs – Eva Ibbotson
37. Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education – Michael Pollan
36. The Dark Reaches – Kristin Landon
35. Sir Thursday – Garth Nix
34. Princesses Behaving Badly – Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
33. Charon’s Ark – Rick Gauger
32. The Quiet Gentleman – Georgette Heyer
31. The Hero of Ages – Brandon Sanderson
30. The Summer Tree – Guy Gavriel Kay
29. Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar– ed. Mercedes Lackey
28. The King of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner
27. Paladin of Souls – Lois McMaster Bujold
26. Dealing with Dragons – Patricia C. Wrede
25. The Queen of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner
24. The Broken Kingdoms – N. K. Jemisin
23. Hidden Gardens of Paris – Susan Cahilli
22. The Iron Tree – Cecilia Dart-Thornton
21. Lonely Planet Discover Paris
20. Rick Steves’ London 2013
19. Rick Steves’ Paris 2013
18. Book of Enchantments – Patricia C. Wrede
17. The Crown of Dalemark – Diana Wynne Jones
16. The Spellcoats – Diana Wynne Jones
15. Drowned Ammet – Diana Wynne Jones
14. Cart and Cwidder – Diana Wynne Jones
13. Ombria in Shadow – Patricia A. McKillip
12. Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit – Mercedes Lackey
11. How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff
10. Desert Queen – Janet Wallach
09. Charity Girl – Georgette Heyer
08. Frozen Heat – Richard Castle
07. Barrayar – Lois McMaster Bujold
06. Shards of Honor – Lois McMaster Bujold
05. Tempest’s Legacy – Nicole Peeler
04. The Truth about Style – Stacy London
03. The Diet Dropout’s Guide to Natural Weight Loss – Stan Spencer
02. The Universe Below – William J. Broad
01. Sword of Ice – ed. Mercedes Lackey

2013 Completed Reading Challenges

Once Upon a Time VII 3/21/13 – 6/21/13 – finished 6/7/13

RIP VIII Reading Challange 9/1/13 – 10/31/13 – finished 10/22/13

The Prophet of Yonwood – Jeanne Duprau

In this prequel to the City of Ember, a girl named Nickie has come to the small North Carolina town of Yonwood with her aunt so that they can get her great-grandfather’s house ready to sell.    At the same time, the United States is teetering at the end of war with an unnamed enemy (it’s a made up name, so I guess that makes this book set in the future, though there’s no noticeable future-ness to the setting).

At the same time, one of the locals falls ill, and has a vision of a terrible future, and while the others in town try to interpret what that vision means against the wider backdrop of what’s going on in the world, bad things happen.

This is definitely a commentary on the human propensity to go way overboard with self-righteousness.     Nickie tries to do the right thing throughout the book, and that comes back to bite her several times.

The story doesn’t really have much to do with Ember, except that certain characters will eventually have something to do with that underground city about fifty years after the action of this book.

Netherworld – Lisa Morton

Lady Diana Furnaval’s husband, William, is the last in the line of gatekeepers.    It turns out the family estate has a gate into another realm on it, and William’s family has kept the worst of what can come from the gate from effecting other people.     There are of course other gates, and when William is asked to help with one in Romania, both he and Diana sense a trap, but he goes anyway.     And Diana finds herself a widow.

At that point, Diana makes it her mission to close every gate in the world, and we get to go along on a journey to India, China, and America.  It’s pretty fast paced from here, and the story actually wraps up pretty well at the end of this book, but this is Book 1 in a series, so I think it’s got the potential to be a good set up to some interesting stand alone adventures.

I think the thing I liked best about this book is that though it’s pretty much a steampunk book (it’s a Victorian setting – maybe not true steampunk because the technology isn’t tending in that direction, but the attitudes are), it’s not completely over the top anachronistic – I can see Lady Diana Furnaval actually living in Victorian times.    Sure, she’d be considered eccentric, but I can see her there, something I don’t often get from a lot of other books of this type.

Miss Buncle’s Book – D. E. Stevenson

Miss Buncle is a spinster in the little English village of Silverstream – the kind of person that everyone knows, and secretly pities, because she seems to have such a drab life.    But Miss Buncle has a secret – she’s written a book, recasting Silverstream as the village of Copperfield, and showcasing all of the foibles of the villagers.

In the book, called Disturber of the Peace, Cupid makes an appearance in the second half, throwing the village into an uproar, and making people behave as they really want.   In real life, the appearance of the book is that event.     Certain people take it very badly, because they were cast badly in the book (and not for no reason – they’re generally unpleasant people).    Others are guided into doing things they would not have thought of, but which will make them happier, better people in the end.

This was a fun book – Miss Buncle is a real innocent going into things, and watching her grow as her book is dissected by the other people of Silverstream is amusing.     It’s also funny to see what people end up doing.   In some cases, Miss Buncle is very prescient about what they’ll do if given a chance, but in other cases, they surprise her.

Part of the reason I bought this book on special (it’s on my Kindle) is that it was compared to a Jane Austen comedy of manners.   I wouldn’t quite put it in that company, but it’s definitely a contender.

French Women for All Seasons – Mireille Guiliano

I read French Women Don’t Get Fat ages ago (definitely pre-blog), and I don’t remember having any strong feeling about it either way.     It was basically a treatise on French attitudes toward food, and trying to apply that to our American eating habits.    So, when I found a used copy of this book, the follow up, I figured, what the heck.

I feel like I have a greater appreciation for French culture than I did when I read the first book (having researched the hell out of Paris for this year’s trip), and I’m not sure if that’s why I found this book preachier than I remember the other one being.    I can’t even put my finger on exactly why – there’s just a general tone that I didn’t particularly enjoy, which is a shame, because I do think the theory behind the book is sound.

Knitting Notes

The Three Irish Girls Beckon Merino Auspicious is gone.    I meant to make a pair of socks to go with the first hat, but didn’t have enough yarn, so ended up making another hat.     I was just able to eek out one hexipuff with what was left.

One of my coworkers commissioned me to make a Catching Fire Katniss Cowl for her daughter.    I ended up buying the pattern from AnaidDesigns – it seemed to be the best one out there.    I’m having a ton of fun with this – it’s in a size yarn I’ve never worked with before (I had to buy size 35 needles!).    It’s so ridiculously large, it’s fun.   And fast!