Knitting Notes

Pattern: Coffee and Tea DK Potholders by Elizabeth Evans
Yarn: Briggs and Little Heritage, Natural White and Blue Heather
Needles: Size 8 circs

Found this pattern and thought it would be a great way to use up some yarn – it made a lovely sized trivet, perfect for resting a tea pot on.     There’s a coffee cup pattern as well, I should have enough of this year left to make the set at some point, but I have some other things I want to work on for the near future.


Garden Notes


One of my clivia is finally blooming – for the first time in about five years, I think.   I’d really missed them – it’s such a nice sign of things to come this time of year.

In other news, my seedlings are doing really well – I need to get a bunch of them into bigger pots this weekend.    The new grow light seems to be doing well.   It’s one of those smancy LEDs with only the blue and red lights, so it photographs horrifically, but the seedlings under it seem to be happy.

Knitting Notes


I’m so very behind in blogging in general – I’m doing a bit of a dump today.

I actually finished my Celestarium shawl back on the 4th.   I’m still waiting for some time (and a clear bed) to block it.


After the shawl was done, I cast on two different things (there will be a separate finished post for one).    This is the Garden Dreams mittens by Tiina Kuu, in Valley Yarns Huntington and Jojoland Melody Superwash in the Apple Tree colorway.    Very early days – I just managed to pick out the provisional cast on yesterday so I could do the seamed hem.

Devil’s Cub – Georgette Heyer

d32d119efcdb32959746b396c67434f414f4141In this sequel to These Old Shades, Leonie and the Duke of Avon are long married, with a son – the Marquis of Vidal – who’s all grown up, and stepping into his father’s former rakish ways.

When a duel goes wrong, Vidal’s strongly advised to leave the country until it’s clear if his opponent will live or die. He’s been paying court to a very silly girl named Sophia, and convinces her to run away with him. But it’s Sophia’s older sister, Mary, that receives his message of where to meet, and determined to save her sister, she takes her place.

Vidal’s initially furious, and thinking her as loose as her sister, brings her along to France, but he quickly discovers that she’s actually a lady of some quality, and he’s now ruined her reputation, and needs to do something about it.

Honestly, this story reads pretty badly if you stop and think about it all. You really need to suspend disbelief and go into this as a sort of fantasy, because the characters are sparkling, and are enjoying themselves. If you can keep that in your mind, it’s a fun story. If you can’t take things written a while ago with a grain of salt, avoid this book.

Frost Burned – Patricia Briggs

9f603fa0add2765596f4e456641434f414f4141Bonding with her step-daughter Jesse has brought Mercy out on Black Friday – not something she’d like to be doing, especially when they manage to get in an accident with her beloved Rabbit. But, it turns out to be a good thing, because while they’re gone, the rest of the pack is kidnapped, even luring in the pack members that weren’t hanging around Adam’s house for the holidays. So now it’s up to Mercy to keep Jesse, and some of the other non-werewolf pack members, safe while she figures out how to save the pack.

What I liked about this story was that even though a good chunk of the werewolves out there look down on Mercy because she’s “just” a coyote, she’s more than capable of holding her own – and this particular book proves that in spades. The mate bond she has with Adam is explored, and is definitely an interesting take on how that works. (Pack magic definitely has different treatments by different authors.)

I also really like how this overall story went – the person that was ultimately behind the kidnapping was an interesting twist I didn’t see coming. Definitely enjoyed this book – so glad I’ve got two more waiting for me.

Changes – Mercedes Lackey

0c97adf7015bd00596b37516951434f414f4141Mags is still a Herald Trainee, but the King’s Own Herald has asked him to assist in a dangerous task. The group that’s attacked the palace twice now is still in play, and it’s becoming clear that someone in the palace itself is working with them. Mags and Nikolas pose as pawnbrokers in the poorer part of the city to try and get information to flush them out.

At the same time, Mags and his friends are taking steps towards who they’ll be when they’re done with training. Bear undertakes the task of fixing Amily’s badly twisted leg (which will allow her to be more independent), Lena is learning to deal with her narcissistic father, and Mags himself is starting to understand that he will be Nikolas’s replacement eventually as the Herald’s chief spy.

I’m enjoying these books. I think I’ve always enjoyed the Herald books set in the palace the most, and having Mags working in Haven brings some fun new detail into things. Two books to go in this series- can’t wait to see where things go next.

The Folk of the Air – Peter Beagle

cf077664c0e07f85937672f6141434f414f4141This is a difficult book to describe. It’s set in the fictional Bay area town of Avicenna, to which Joe Farrell is returning after years away. (Bearing in mind, this was published in 1987, after apparently having been in the works for 18 years, so it’s got a hippy vibe to it that surely does not exist in today’s techy Bay area). He’s to stay with friends – his old friend Ben, and Ben’s girlfriend, Sia. It’s quickly clear that Sia is more than she appears – interesting people keep turning up at the house, and Farrell could swear he sees rooms that later aren’t there.

Combine this with a local SCA-like guild that Farrell finds himself attending – there’s a wide range of characters there, some of whom (his friend Ben included) seem to be very seriously into their roles. There’s also a teenage girl named Rosanna who has an alter-ego named Aiffe, who’s a witch, and clearly has some power. Farrell also reconnects with Julie, a flame from his past, and she has evidence of Aiffe’s power.

This ends up coming together with Sia’s presence in an interesting way – very Beagle. He has a gift for working supernatural into the mundane, and when it’s over, you really need to step back and think about what happened. He’s a really interesting writer that way.    The SCA bit is somewhat jarring – again, a little out of place with what you’d expect today, but if you can take that with a grain of salt, you should enjoy this book.


Maps and Legends – Michael Chabon

102ddfdbba1a81059734e646567434f414f4141This book is part memoir, part musing on books that straddle the divide between “regular” fiction, and genre fiction (sci fi, fantasy, comics, etc). Chabon’s considered a “regular” fiction author (I guess getting a Pulitzer does that), though he’s written books that would definitely be considered genre if other people had written them. He’s also not one of those “regular” authors that gets all huffy if you dare suggest they might be slumming it by even touching that tainted pool of books not included in “real” fiction bucket. (Are my biases showing?)

Several chapters are meditations on other works – Sherlock Holmes, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Material series, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I found those all interesting – especially the chapter on The Road. That’s the only McCarthy I’ve read, so it was nice to see Chabon’s views on how that fits in with McCarthy’s other work. (That book guaranteed I’d probably not read anything else of his.    It was lovely, but I do not need to be that depressed by a whole book.)

There are also some interesting chapters about how being Jewish has impacted the author’s work – I don’t share that faith (and frankly, culture – being Jewish is so much more than the faith), so that was interesting.

All in all, I’m not sure I’d recommond this book to anyone that hasn’t read any other works by this author – there’s enough personal material that that’s primary, but if you have read some of his books, you can see his motivations, and get some other musing on genre fiction.

Garden Notes

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Having to move the table I used to put the grow light out has worked out in spades.    It ended up near the warmest radiator in the house, which is also the sunniest spot in the house, so I had a place to start the seed starting trays that was warmer than it’s ever been before.     And I got sprouts more quickly than I ever have before.   The only thing I planted that hasn’t sprouted yet is the eggplant, and those are known to take a little while.

I even have a few plants with  100% success rate, within two days (the cornflowers, calendula, and shallots).

Crescent Beach State Park – Cape Elizabeth, ME

I had a walk at Crescent Beach in September when tropical storm Jose was offshore that was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had there.     Today was better.

The dune edges were completely obliterated by the storm.    The stream coming out of the marsh behind the dunes, which is normally carved a good six feet into the dunes, was completely filled with sand.    The picnic tables were covered in sea foam.     (And we were there a good hour after high tide.)

The waves were crazy, and not just onshore – they were breaking over ledges as far out as you could see on the horizon.    It was all white spray.    Such an amazing sight.