Knitting Notes

I love this yarn! It’s just the prettiest variable blue.

These are the Sun and Moon Socks, by Andrea Rangel. Moon theme, of course (if you know me). I actually bought this pattern before I had firm plans to make it, which I almost never do. And then, like two weeks later, Sundara did a daily dream called Gilded Midnight that’s a full size of the blue yarn, and a mini of the yellow. I have never ordered yarn so fast in my life.

I’m cheating a bit making the moon yellow, but I like the contrast way better. But, since it’s night, I’m carrying through with the yellow toe. I’m going to be close using up this yarn, but it’ll be worth it.


The Bright Ages – Matthew Gabriele & David M. Perry

This is an interesting overview of the history of Medieval Europe, with the idea that we need to stop referring to it as the Dark Ages. The authors’ main point is that popular history tends to treat the medieval period as a fall from the glory that was the Roman Empire, but it’s better to think of it as an evolution – nothing really ended.

It’s funny – I didn’t notice this until I was reading a few other reviews of the book, but there are no foot notes included. So this is a book aimed for the general reader. I do think it’s a good overview – they cover much of European history, as well as the Islamic influences that you really can’t ignore when talking about this period. My one lone quibble – they really beat you over the head with the phrase “The Bright Ages”. I mean, yes, you’re trying to make a point, but I think you covered it pretty well when you set up the Introduction.

Powers – Ursula K. Le Guin

Leave it to Le Guin to write a young adult book that’s a really moving story of slavery and freedom.

This book is the story of Gavir, a slave in one of the households in the city of Etra, part of a confederation of cities that constantly seem to be at war with each other, always shifting alliances. In many ways, Gavir is very lucky – his sister is with him, and he’s being educated by the current teacher (also a slave) to educate both the children of the house, and the other slaves. It seems like a happy life, where slavery is almost an afterthought.

Of course, it’s not an afterthought. Life goes on, and childhood idylls end. After an unspeakable tragedy, Gavir ends up going on a journey, and finds himself, and a new view of the world, along the way.

I actually find it hard to say more about this book – half of the experience is being in the story, and seeing Gavir grow as he encounters new places, ideas, or people. It’s an amazing book, which considering the author, should come as no surprise.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Agathis by Agata Smektala
Yarn: I Knit or Dye Killing Me Softly Aran in Natural White
Needles: Size 4 and 7 circs and Size 7 DPNs

I’m really annoyed with myself.    I picked the wrong yarn and/or needle size, and this is too big for me.   But it’s really nice hat, so it’s not worth doing over again.    So it’ll go to someone else to enjoy, and I’ll have to come up with something else if I want a new hat this winter.

I enjoyed the pattern – it’s just the right level of interest without being too difficult.

Unsouled – Will Wight

Interesting book. It’s set in a vaguely Eastern cultured world, where people use magic called madra. Lindon is born without any specific ability to shape madra, meaning he’s unsouled – more or less useless to his family. But he’s determined to make something of himself, and through sheer force of will sets out on what looks like it’s going to be a very interesting journey.

It’s a bit of slow start, but all of sudden, it’s very clear that there are Things Going On far beyond the scope of what Lindon has ever been prepared to deal with. With as much set up as was done, the end of the book opens up whole new worlds of possibilities. I can definitely see why I see this book mentioned so often online. I got the first three books in the series for free, so I have more to explore!

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Zostera marina by Hunter Hammersen
Yarn: Blue Moon Yarn Silky Sock
Needles: Size 1.5 DPNs

First project of the year!    It was mostly completed last year, but then I got a bug about eating up some yarn scraps before 2022 ended, so this went to the side for a bit.    It’s an enjoyable pattern – lost of sizing options, and you can either mirror the socks (which I did), or do them exactly the same.

It’s really hard to capture the color of this yarn on camera – I left the one sock picture on Ravelry because it looks different.    It’s definitely a bluer green in person.    I love the blue that it shifts to when it’s going between the green and purple colors.

Paladin of Souls – Lois McMaster Bujold

This is a reread, which I don’t normally write up, but these two books (this is the follow up to The Curse of Chalion), are just so incredibly good, I want to make sure I mention them again.

Ista is a minor character in The Curse of Chalion, the dowager royina, mother to the two children that Cazaril mentors through that book. In Curse, we find out about the terrible burden that Ista has been carrying, a burden that made everyone else think she was mad.

After the events of Curse, Ista is theoretically free, but what does that mean? She’s been defined as a widow for so long that she’s not sure who she really is anymore. When her mother passes away, she seizes the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage, not really knowing what she will find as she travels. What she finds is that the god given abilities she thought had been taken from her because of her mistakes are not gone, and they are needed more than ever.

I love that Ista is middle aged, and is the hero of this story. I love that she is fairly broken. I love that she finds her way, and finds new happiness, past the age where you’d normally expect her to be the hero of her own story. And, as always with the books set in this world, I love the gods of this world, and how they interact with people. I truly can’t say enough good things about the books Bujold has set in this world.

Embroidery Notes

This year’s crazy pants cross stitch project: a full coverage extravanganza of my favorite Waterhouse painting, Boreas. (The study of which is a frequent avatar of mine.)

I had to stock up on an insane amount of floss. And I may break down and get myself a way better frame – the piece of fabric I’m working with is enormous. It’s 42 pages of charts. I’m very interested to see how long this takes me to finish.

Knitting Notes

This was all the worsted (ish) weight scraps I had kicking around. I managed to get them all used up last night, so all of them are getting knocked out of my yarn tally ahead of of 2023. (I do like a good yarn purge.)

I have a few other ideas for using up scraps, or getting me to scrap amounts I can use up, so I’m going to concentrate on those for the first few projects of 2023.