Knitting Notes


I’ve finished the Willowfall Cowl, though I’m not sure when I’ll get to block it, so no final post for that yet.


In trying to get rid of more ends, I looked at my sport and DK weight yarn to see if there were any I could add to the scrappy worsted and aran weight blanket I have going.    There was one heavier DK I added, but the rest were just too lightweight.    And then it occurred to me that there was no reason I couldn’t have two blankets going.    Other than the fact that it’s currently skewing very purple, so far, so good.


A Spirited Manor – Kate Danley

2f313b1e8127b6859702b567141434f414f4141This is more of a novella – starting with a young widow purchasing a new house to get away from the memories of her dead husband. The house has been on the market for a while, because it’s supposedly haunted by the ghost of a young girl. Naturally, Clara sees the ghost. In trying to find out what happened to her, she visits the house’s former owner, and ends up at his creepy country estate for a séance.

This story has good bones, but it’s over way too fast, and not fleshing it out more is a problem. There’s a romance, which is way too rushed, and the paranormal aspects of the story are covered way too quickly, especially when a big reveal at the end makes your realize how important those details are. I can’t say I’m in a hurry to read more in this series if this is the quality I’m in for.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter – Theodora Goss

41f941d7265ab5e596c6d346f51434f414f4141A story in which the daughters of the mad scientists of the Victorian age (Jekyll, Rappaccini, Moreau and Frankenstein) team up with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to solve the murders of young women in London.

I liked this book. It took a bit to get going, but once it was going, it was good. Each of the girls has a really interesting story and personality to bring to the table. I feel like the author really found her footing by the end, so I’m definitely looking forward to the next book, which brings in the daughter of Van Helsing, and possibly Mina Murray. Should be good fun.

The Curiosity Keeper – Sarah E. Ladd

0718011805.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_I picked this one up for free because it was labeled a regency romance, and the plot seemed promising – young man is trying to save his family’s fortune, and encounters a young woman tangled up in the mess that may be able to help him.

It’s not a bad book, but I can’t say I loved it. There is a fair amount of action, but not in a way that I associate with regency romance. And there are some interesting characters, but again, not in a way I associate with a regency romance. I think the label spoiled this book for me on a certain level – I had some expectations it simply couldn’t meet.

Weeds – Richard Mabey

f08457ac84d6b1b597a596f6141434f414f4141This is a book about weeds, but if you’ve studied plants at all, you know that weeds are far more than just those plants that invade our gardens. If they’re not natives, there’s probably a reason they’re there, and those stories can be quite interesting.

The author is English, so this is very much about the weeds of England – there’s plenty there that I’m familiar with, but it is a different landscape than my own. I did find it a bit dry at times – not sure if that was influenced by that lack of complete connection.

Harrowing the Dragon – Patricia A. McKillip

b14fb4a03842b935938596d5477434f414f4141This is a book of short stories, several of which are twists on fairy tales. I definitely liked some better than others, but this is Patricia A. McKillip, so they’re all well written.

“The Harrowing the Dragon” is an interesting tale of a young man who wants to save the place where he grew up, and the young woman who quickly realizes that’s probably not the best idea. It’s an interesting twist to that kind of tale.

“The Snow Queen” was exactly what you would expect it to be, but with a surprisingly modern twist for this author – I loved this version.

“The Witches of Junket” was another one that was surprisingly modern, but blended in all of the magic you’d expect from the author.

The Wild Ways – Tanya Huff

9c7c15452bd8984596f2b566f41434f414f4141The Gale family changes the world around them with their magic, but it usually means that they anchor themselves in one place. Charlie Gale isn’t like that – she’s always felt like she should be travelling. So while she knows that her cousin Allie would love for her to stay and help her in their new base in Calgary, instead, she’s off to help some old friends in a band on Cape Breton who suddenly find themselves a band-mate short.

In Cape Breton, she finds a family of Selkies who have run afoul of an oil company trying to drill in their territory. Someone at the company has figured out what the Selkies are, and is stealing their skins. While the Gales normally don’t get involved with the Fae, Charlie knows she needs to help. Fortunately for her, she has another cousin, Jack, who happens to be a dragon, and would also like to get the heck out of Calgary.

I enjoyed this book- it’s set in the summer in Cape Breton, where all the bands are wandering around the Celtic music festivals. And it has a very familiar air – my home state of Maine is similar in a lot of ways.

In Which I Show Where My Interests Lie

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So we met up with the BF’s brother in Boston last weekend, and had a great ramble around the city, with a couple of nice stops for food.    The above is the only picture I took that day.  (Well, there were a couple different views – five pictures total.)   I would like to point out that it’s in Beacon Hill, one of the loveliest neighborhoods in Boston.    And I was distracted by grapevine.    Apparently, I like my gardens…

Knitting Notes

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I was seized by the sudden, intense desire to try and get rid of some yarn ends.    So, the Briggs and Little Heritage yarn all went into the worsted scrap blanket I’ve been working on.   (Working on blankets is the best!   Can’t beat a built in lap warmer.)


I got almost all the way to the end of Flora, and had to quit.   I didn’t have quite enough of the Maple colorway to finish it.    I’m actually ok with this.    It was going to end up shorter than I really like in a hat, and I didn’t love how tight some of my stitches were – the single line parts of the pattern didn’t look great.     So it’s probably not a bad thing I have to frog this.    Though it is a shame I’m not knocking that Maple yarn off my end of the year yarn count.


Last but not least, I cast on the Willowfall Cowl by Erin Kurup.   This is using the Shibui Knits Staccato I bought earlier this year.

We’ll see if I come up with any more stash busters before the end of the month.