Knitting Notes

This is the Rose Plank shawl, by Monika Sirna. I’m using Bare Naked Wools Targhee Tango Sport in the Apilado colorway, which I got in my foray with the Bare Naked Yarns Barnbox club earlier this year. (It was one of my spread the stimulus love to American small business purchases.) So far so good, other than completely misinterpreting the increase stitch, and therefore adding an extra stitch per increase the first couple time I did them, it’s going well so far.


Garden Notes

The last couple of weekends have been about putting the garden to bed for the season. The rain barrels are down, and the trellis has been stowed behind the shed. The shed itself is looking neater inside than it has in months.

On Thanksgiving morning, after a walk at Two Lights, my mother and I stopped at Kettle Cove to fill up on seaweed. Before dinner that day, I joined up the two beds in the backyard from last year, and covered those with straw. We also leaf mulched the front bed, and tacked that down.

We also started blocking out the area behind the back yard beds against the house with cardboard. The idea there is to not have to mow back there – it was a real pain over this summer. We finished that today after getting some more straw to lay over everything.

If you squint, you can see the first snowfall of the season in the grass. It was nothing major – it’s only sticking in the backyard because the sun no longer clears the treeline.

Knitting Notes

So I’ve frogged the In Dreams shawl for the moment. I restarted it five times, and something just isn’t clicking. I’ll be going along just fine, and then managed to totally screw something up so badly that tinking back (which is so damn hard with lace) just isn’t possible.

I will say, I don’t love the charts for the pattern, so I’ve been using the written instructions instead, and I don’t think that’s helping. Using the charts helps me read the knitting better. So, in the interests of getting into a better headspace, I’m setting it aside for a bit.

I have finished the first sock of the random use up multiple yarns socks I’m doing, so that’s at least going well.

And because I needed a knitting win, I went ahead and did hexipuffs out of the last of the Seven Sisters Arts Apex in the Aurora Borealis colorway.

In the Forest of Forgetting – Theodora Goss

This is a book of short stories, with at least a little overlap from the other collection of the author’s that I have.

I definitely like the fairy tales the best of these – there are a couple more literary tales that aren’t bad, but are a bit too literary for my tastes.

There are a few recurring characters in several stories that I really enjoyed – it’s definitely an enjoyable collection to read.

Garden Notes

We got our first real frost on Tuesday night, and all the leaves on the front maple dropped the following morning. The above is the before picture. (You can see the slight furrow where the BF tried out the mulching function on our mower and decided that was a big, fat nope.)

So while we were out last night, we invested in the leaf blower that goes with out lawnmower battery (the Ego system). The leaf blower was in a set with the trimmer, which we’d been wanting to get anyway, so that was a good deal.

We dog sat for the BF’s younger brother this weekend. He decided to take a nap before leaving to fortify himself for Boston traffic. So his GF was awake on a lovely day after not much physical activity for the weekend, and practically begged us to let her help with the yard work. So between the blower, and seven shockingly easy tarp loads, we arrived at this:

Best year’s raking I’ve participated in in a very long time. I’m sure there’ll be a certain amount of clean up later, but that was 45 minutes well spent to get the majority of what we should see for the year. And I probably won’t feel like I got run over by a truck in the morning.

Here’s the new pile. It just took two tarp loads to top the actual pile. We’ll see how long it takes to compact things down enough that I can get it all in the chicken wire again. I mean, it’ll totally happen, even if it takes all winter.

Heartstone – Elle Katharine White

This story is Pride and Prejudice with dragons. So take the basic social story of P&P and insert it into a world where there are a variety of supernatural creatures, some that work with humans, and some against. Merybourne Manor is far enough out in the country that affording to hire dragon riders is a rather big deal. But when the youngest Bentaine sister is killed by a gryphon in broad daylight, Lord Merybourne is honor bound to put together the money for some dragon riders. They’re all shocked when the head of the party that arrives is a member of the Daired family, the foremost dragon bonded family in the kingdom. And you can pretty much tell where things go from here.

I did enjoy how the author played with the various characters – the Brysneys (Bingleys) are twins, and the sister is an equal to her brother. Daired’s family is also given some complexity, and the whole Rosings subplot is more interesting for it. The Wickham standin might actually be a little over the top on the bad side, but it works well within how the story turns at the end.

This is actually the first book of a series, but it is the complete story of P&P, so you could end here and not have to read the other books. I’m actually a little torn about going further – I’ve gotten to the end of the story I’m expecting, so I’m oddly leery of reading more.