Garden Notes

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It’s cool and gray (though at least it’s above freezing temporarily).    I couldn’t help myself.


The Faery Reel – ed. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

221ce144b11955559344b735a67434f414f4141This short story collection is meant to draw from fairy traditions around the world, and is therefore surprisingly grounded in real life, with interesting twists. And it is global, with stories from Australian, Native American and Asian traditions, as well as the European traditions you’d expect when the word “fairy” is used.

I think my favorite story was “The Annals of Eelin-Ok”, the story of a particular kind of fae that inhibits abandoned sand castles on the beach. It’s a surprisingly moving tale for something that should seem so ephemeral.

The Bands of Mourning – Brandon Sanderson

b0baab27d088a55597576316c67434f414f4141Here’s the third book of the second Mistborn trilogy, and I will first say that I was very interested to read the forward, because the author noted he’s only about halfway through was he has planned for this world, which is pretty cool. And also a good thing to read up front, because if you were thinking this book was going to be a firm ending to anything, you would be disappointed. (That’s not a slam, just a definite statement of fact.)

Wax, Wayne and Marasi end up heading south, in pursuit of the Bands of Mourning – the legendary source of the Lord Ruler’s power. Marasi’s sister Steris (also Wax’s fiancée) ends up coming along as well, and surprises everyone by having a grand time, and being incredibly helpful.

They meet some incredibly interesting people along the way (who will definitely be figuring greatly into future episodes of these stories), and some people that everyone thought they knew end up being nothing at all like anyone thought. This is definitely some interesting set up for whatever’s coming next, and I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure what that will be.

Knitting Notes


This is the beginnings of Celestarium, by Audry Nicklin.   I’m using Tess’ Designer Superwash Merino Lace yarn, in the Maine Woods and Waters colorway.

I’ve been sitting on the ingredients for this for about a year – I was a little scared off by the beading.   Turns out that’s super easy.     This should be a nice project that I can have going while easily doing some side projects.

Gateway to Fourline – Pam Brondos

b00wl6qgig-01-_sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_Natalie’s in college, struggling to make ends meet, and make her tuition payments, while also sending money home to help her family. When she’s offered a job by one of the theater professors, it seems like a dream come true – a steady job that can pay her tuition.

It turns out that the professor is one of a band of protectors of the king in another dimension that somehow found their way into our world. The king is in danger, and had to flee. They can all be tracked, so they’ve been looking for someone that can take care of themselves to make contact with their supporters in their homeworld, and let them know the king is still alive.

This is pretty much your standard young person gets thrust into a pretty tough situation and grows into it admirably kind of story. It’s not bad, but I’ve definitely read better. And it ends on a really annoying cliffhanger.

Knitting Notes

As soon as I finished my New Year’s Day hat, I went into “clear out some ends” mode – here’s a Swirl hat (by Mandie Harrington) and some New-born Spiral Rib Socks (by Jessi Crum), and well as hexipuffs, to use up the Done Roving Frolicking Feet and Premium Yarns Serenity sock I used in December.

The Trees in My Forest – Bernd Heinrich

a7cfde7a4e1b0b4593049785851434f414f4141I have to admit, half the reason I probably liked this book so much is that it’s talking about the forests of Maine, admittedly a little further from the coast from my usual haunts, but close to where my mother grew up, so I’m very familiar.

This book is basically a love story to a patch of land in the mountains near Rumford, Maine, that the author owns, and has watched change over the years. He’s wandered around the property extensively, and the book has detailed observations of the plants and animals he’s seen. If you want a good flavor for the Maine forest – this book will give you that, with a real sense of love throughout the pages.

Sweep in Peace- Ilona Andrews

0ab0c6eb66b87c1597559316c67434f414f4141In the second book of the Innkeeper Chronicles series, Dina’s had an offer to host a peace summit between three warring factions at her inn. It’s immediately clear that everyone else has turned them down, because this is the most unlikely peace summit in some time. But the Gertrude Hunt is still fairly new, and Dina very badly needs the good reviews and money the summit will take in, so she agrees. Naturally, things head south pretty quickly.

I’m really enjoying this series. Space aliens hiding in plain sight on Earth makes for some good reading. The inn manages to acquire a cook for the duration of the summit, who is a hoot (and will thankfully be sticking around). And Dina’s one permanent guest, a former megalomaniacal dictator, still wanted throughout the galaxy, is also a lot of fun. I also really like how they’re treating what I assume will be the love story – the love interest is off living his life in this book, and Dina has to deal with it.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

Knitting Notes


Pattern: Oh Brother by Fran Carle
Yarn: Berry Meadow Heritage Alpaca in the Arsenal, Tashi and Fiona colorways (I’m wearing three alpacas!)
Needles: Size 6 circs and size 7 circs and DPNs

I really like this pattern – the fold over brim makes the ear portion nice and thick.    It came in pretty tight – if I ever wanted to make this for someone else, I’d have to really pay attention to gauge.

Love this yarn.   It’s so silky!   It was just a pleasure to work with.

Happy New Year!


This is what greeted me this morning.    I find it hilarious that Accuweather hasn’t found a picture to switch out for sunny days when it heads south of 32 F.    The lovely field vs -16 is a little incongruous.


It is pretty, I’ll give it that.