Kennebunk Plains Preserve – Kennebunk, ME

Today’s walk was the Kennebunk Plains Preserve, whose major claim to fame is that it’s in the sand plain that’s home to the largest single population of Northern Blazing Star (Liatris novae-angliae) in the world.   There’s also pine barrens, and wild blueberries to pick (in August at least) – a good walk all around.

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Voices – Ursula K. Le Guin

e8213b69db62b6d593141795567434f414f4141This is the second book in the Annals of the Western Shore. The first was Gifts – featuring Orrec and Gry. They figure heavily into this story as well, but it’s more Memer’s story.

Memer is a siege brat in the city of Ansul – daughter of a woman of the city and one of the Ald soldiers that conquered them seventeen years ago. But even more than that, her mother was a member of the house of Galva, and they hold a secret. Ald invaded the city because their god hates the written word, and Ansul was the most learned city on the Western Shore. They destroyed all the books, or so they thought. Deep in the house of Galva is a hidden room full of books, and Memer is one of only two people alive who can access it.

Orrec and Gry come into this city seeking those books, not knowing that they’re in a city ready to shake off their oppressors, and they just need a spark to procede. This is some heavy stuff for a young adult book, but so beautifully done. I need to stop being surprised how much I love Le Guin’s work when I read it – I love it everytime. It should be no surprise at this point.

Knitting Notes

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Pattern: Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in the Stonechat colorway
Needles: Size 9 circs

Here’s the Honey Cowl I made for my friend L.     Love this yarn – it’s so pleasant to work with, and it looks really cool in this pattern.

Knitting Notes

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Pattern: Adama by Hillary Smith Callis
Yarn: madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the Cardinal colorway
Needles: Size 10 circs

So I never do my finishing posts until I’ve blocked things that need blocking.   This was actually finished back in May, so this may be my all time longest stretch between finishing and blocking something.    Granted, with the way this summer is going, it’s not like I’m in any danger of wanting (let alone needing) to wear this any time soon.

Really enjoyed this pattern.   It’s a sibling to Starshower, but in a larger gauge, so pretty fast to knit up.     I also liked the yarn.    Really pretty color, but probably not quite as soft and nice to work with as some other yarns.  But the color goes a long way to make up for that.

 

Embroidery Notes

Back in June, I’d gotten an embroidery kit at the Royal School of Needlework’s shop at Hampton Court.    (It’s by Hawthorne Handmade, happily also available on Etsy.)   I’d actually started it not long after the trip, but put it aside for what was probably a little bit too much time because the French knots were kicking my butt.   Once I got those figured out (shout out to online embroidery tutorials!), I finished it about three days later.

This was a much easier kit than the last one I tried, which has now been sitting for far too long.    But this did give me the confidence to take that other one back out and try some more.   It’s still a little more advanced than I’m probably ready for at the moment, so I may have to track down another kit on Etsy to bulk up my skills in the meantime.  But I’m really liking this as an alternative to knitting.    But again, it’s a little hard to find a place to put the end product.    I really need needlework of all kinds to become a little cooler so I have more of an outlet for my hobbies.

Friday’s Child – Georgette Heyer

5bae9e4a0fb8bdc59672f756c41434f414f4141This books falls straight into the wild noble guy marries naive young woman, she’s totally unprepared for society life and hi-jinks ensue trope of Heyer’s. It’s not one of my favorites. When done well (when the heroine is not too naive), it can be amusing, but in this case, the heroine is a little too naive, and it gets to be a bit much.

Granted, I did like the circle of friends that the Sherringhams are surrounded by – they’re mostly male, and this case, they’re having the worst of the emotional struggles. That was a bit different, and amusing. Probably the reason I was able to finish the book.

Bastion – Mercedes Lackey

25688a1e35336b3596764386977434f414f4141I don’t know what it is about the books that are set around when Heralds are being trained, but I seem to like them best. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of this series, and I’m really glad there are two more series that feature these same characters, because Lackey’s set up a good bunch here.

After Mags has been kidnapped, knowing that he and his friends are still targets, the Heralds come up with the idea of sending Mags, Lena, Bear, and even Amily away on a sort of circuit. The added bonus is that they’ll be staying in the reclaimed bandit camp where Mags’ parents were killed, so he just might be able to find some more about his heritage there.

I also love some good circuit action – don’t ask me why, but this book does not disappoint there. And we do get a rather satisfying conclusion to Mags’ heritage, and since I know there are more books, I expect it to come up again, which should be interesting.

The only bad thing about this? My library only has spotty coverage on the next two series (granted, series #3 is still in progress), so I’m going to have to do some tracking down to get them read.