Embroidery Notes

Coffee Admirers is done. I definitely still hate French knots. (And I totally cheated and used Colonial knots.) Back stitching wasn’t too bad, though I did take a break in the middle of it to power through some knitting, because it is definitely more boring than the cross stitch sections.

I guess this spells the end of my Russian pattern obsession, for at least a bit. I definitely have no feelings of ill will towards the designers themselves, but that’s something I won’t be comfortable looking at for a while.


Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

The Great Libraries store the grimoires of Austermeer’s sorcerers. It’s an interesting dynamic – the librarians fear the power of the sorcerers, but everyone knows that it’s the sorcerers’ magic that keeps their country safe from enemies.

Only orphans are recruited to be librarians, but even they usually only enter the service of the Libraries as teenagers. Elisabeth Scrivener is different – she was left at the Summershall Library as a baby, and has grown up around the living books of the library. One day, a young sorcerer comes to the library, and Elisabeth is shocked to find that he’s not the monster his kind has been portrayed to be. Which is fortunate for her, because she makes an impression on Nathaniel Thorn, and when she is falsely accused of murder, he remembers her, and helps her in the quest to clear her name. They end up finding themselves in a plot larger than they could have imagined, where only a sorcerer and librarian working together will be able to save their country.

I really liked the world building in this – the system of magic is really interesting. (There’s a third important character I haven’t mentioned for spoilery reasons.) I also really liked that it’s a standalone story. I have so much respect for the author being able to wrap this up in one book – I feel like that never happens anymore, and I’ve missed being able to set something down and enjoy that complete feeling.

Garden Notes

Guess who’s back in the yard?

I had wanted to plant peas last week, but it was way too wet. BF had seen our little buddy around earlier, but I finally saw him yesterday, so plans had to be made to keep the peas safe.

I already had the support up from my prep-work last week, so some front screening was added once I put the peas in. I also got some large rodent repellent, but it’s going to rain tomorrow (much of next week, possibly), so I’ll put that out once it’s dry. I shouldn’t really need it until there are sprouts, anyway. So this might get interesting.

In more pleasant news, the violets are out in the lawn. Along with the ground ivy. Which I probably shouldn’t be pleased about, but it’s so pretty this time of year, I can’t hate it.

Masquerade in Lodi – Lois McMaster Bujold

This was a nice interlude – we go back in time to when Pen had recently been forced to leave Martinsbridge. He’s at his first assignment after his disastrous try at the healing arts, and is currently serving as a court sorcerer. It’s in this capacity that he’s called to the local healing center, for an odd case.

What he finds is a young man taken over by a demon, but a very strange demon, one whose prior two rides were in dolphins, and was maddened by that. Pen needs to seek out the local saint of his god, because they are the only ones that can rid people of corrupted demons. The local saint turns out to be a young woman, fairly new to her role, which is interesting for Pen, who has now been a sorcerer for a while.

So this turns into a bit of a detective tale, when the demon ridden young man escapes into a city that sounds a lot like Venice, on the Eve of the Bastard’s festival. It’s good fun, and I also really enjoy when the author touches on the theology of this world – it’s different, and interesting.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Northlights by Clare Hutchison

Yarn: Sundara Sock in the Water Studies #35 colorway

Needles: Size 4 circs and DPNs

I managed to get a 21″ and 19″ hat out of this skein of sock yarn, and I should have enough left for a baby hat for the stash.    Good pattern – easy, but interesting enough to keep things from getting boring.

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain – Nghi Vo

I’m really enjoying this series, which is about the monk Chih, who travels through a land much like China, recording tales to bring back to their monastery. Chih hires one of the mammoth scouts to take them through a mountain pass – while on their journey, they encounter three hungry tigers. Who can also talk.

Chih is able to buy their lives by agreeing to tell the human version of the tale of the tiger Ho Thi Thao and her human wife, Dieu. What follows is classic example of the differences two different cultures can make of the exact same story. It’s a wonderfully drawn tale – it absolutely doesn’t matter that it’s set in an alternate fantasy world to our own, and that one of the two peoples involved are tigers. It’s just a great fable. I can’t wait for the next novella in this series.

Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire

I’m really enjoying these books. And part of what I love is that they’re all different. We travel through several different worlds in this book, culminating in one of the Nonsense worlds – in this case, it’s all made of candy and baked goods. And I distinctly remember having a moment where I thought something along the lines of “This is fine, but I’m really not enjoying this as much as the prior two books”, until the author suddenly hits you with some crazy character growth and connection. And I was right back at these are some of the best books I’ve recently read. I can’t wait to see where she goes next – I know I’ll enjoy it.

The Source – Martin Doyle

This was an interesting book about how rivers have shaped government and policy in America, from colonial times to the present. I’ve aware of more modern effects of rivers on policy (the pollution on the rivers in my state, as well as dam removal, are both things I’ve grown up aware of). What I found interesting was how much river policy shaped our earlier government. Some very interesting things to think about if you’re interested in American history.