Embroidery Notes

So I started this back in – checks notes – 2015. I had picked it up once in the meantime. Definitely pre-Covid. Maybe 2018? But having recently completed a few cross stitch projects, I felt like I needed to just get it done. And once I got back on the horse again, I knocked it out in about a week.

So, lessons learned. I still really hate French knots. I think I’ll always hate French knots. When they don’t look very good, it drives me crazy, and they often need to look good to make the overall pattern look good.

I think I like working with cotton floss better than wool thread. (This is pretty much the opposite of how I feel about my preferred knitting fiber.)

I am really glad I finished it. I’m not sure I’ll be in a hurry to do more. I like how much better cross stitch looks, with less effort. But I’m sure I’ll be tempted back eventually – doing complicated stitches is really fun when it works. I just need to convince someone to do French knot-less designs.


The Theft of Sunlight – Intisar Khanani

In this second book of this series, the focus shifts a bit from Princess Alyrra, to her attendant, Rae. Rae ended up in the capital city to see her cousin through her pregnancy, but her cousin and cousin’s husband quickly realize that Rae would make an excellent attendant to the new Princess.

The princess ends up bringing Rae into her confidence about the problem of the children disappearing from Menaiya. Rae’s eager to help – her best friend’s sister was recently snatched. She ends up being Alyrra’s eyes in the city, which brings her into contact with the thieves’ groups, and helps her realize that this kidnapping ring is bigger than anyone could have possibly imaged.

It ends on quite the cliffhanger – good thing the next book is coming out soon. I’ve really enjoyed the story so far.

Garden Notes

I swore no more dahlias after I realized I no longer had a way to store them. (With the heat pump install last year, we now have to keep our back room’s door open to get heat in there. It used to just be the end of the line of our furnace circuit, which kept it in the 50s if we shut the door.) But I’d gotten a packet of mystery seeds with my preorder of Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias, so I decided to go for it. Three of those six seedlings made it outside, but only this one bloomed. (I feel in good company – Monty Don’s dahlia on Gardener’s World have also suffered with this year’s heat and drought.)

I may try to save this anyway. I’m thinking of packing the tubers in vermiculite and putting that in our large cooler out in the garage. If it gets really cold (like below the 20’s), I can bring them in for the night. I do like this dahlia, but it won’t break my heart if I lose it, so I figure, why not?

Garden Notes

So, remember that pile of mulch we got delivered the beginning of the week in April I ended up coming down with Covid? Yep, just finally spread the rest of it out. It’s a little lumpy, because the roots of the arborvitae next to it had started to grow into it. Oops! So I’ll have to tackle it a few more times with the rake. But at least the tarp is no longer hanging out in that corner.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Heidi by Katya Frankel
Yarn: Quince and Co Whimbrel in the Bowsprit colorway
Needles: Size 4 Circs and DPNs and Size 3 DPNs

So I really screwed up the needle sizes.     With my normal gauge, I probably should have used 6’s and 7’s.   I think I may have been thrown off by the mm sizes on my needle gauge.     Even so, it’s just barely less than the measurements for the size I was aiming for, and my niece is a peanut, so hopefully this’ll work for at least a bit.    Oops!

My errors withstanding, it’s a great pattern – has a couple interesting techniques, but is overall dead simple.

This yarn is nice, as cotton goes.    I got it in a grab bag.     I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that cotton isn’t my favorite to knit with, but I need to use it, I’ll go with Quince and Co cottons.

Tea and Sympathetic Magic – Tansy Rayner Roberts

This was a fun story – novella sized. Miss Mnemosyne Seabourne is on the older end of the marriage market in the Tea Cup Isles (in a Regency-ish alternate version of England with more islands and magic), but she’s rich enough that she can afford to wait for the right husband.

She’s been invited to a house party given by her cousin, the Duke of Storm, when he is kidnapped. Things happen as you’d expect in such a tale, and a happy ending is had by all. This isn’t anything earth-shakeringly new, but it was fun.