Sunday, October 19, 2014
Pattern: Noodles by Joeli Carparco
Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll Tweed in the Down Heather colorway
Needles: Size 2.5 DPNs
This is a great little pattern, with a wide range of larger than baby sizes. The pattern is simple, but still interesting, so no boredom. I'm happily adding it to my "use up sock yarn" pattern repertoire.
So, it's the middle of October. It's been close to 70 degrees almost every day this week. I'm currently sitting here in short sleeves, and no socks, with all the windows open. Oh, and we're in the middle of a thunder storm.
Needless to say, it's been a weird Fall. I mean, I like it when it's warm out, but this is getting a little ridiculous. It's even been muggy a few mornings this week!
So, no frost yet. Which means the tomatoes are still going. They're blighty and ugly, but there are tomatoes, and the yellow one is still blooming! They're toast the second we get a frost, but at this point, I don't see that happening. We're now at the point where it's getting dark early enough that I can't always get out every night after work, so I am actually having some go bad on the vine before I can get to them. It's just really weird. I'm thinking of christening them the zombie tomatoes.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
So far, so good. I'm in the easy part of the body. I'm really looking forward to the yoke pattern, and my first hood!
In the 12th century, the Royal Forests were hunting lands reserved for the king, where even gathering firewood was forbidden to anyone else. Actually poaching in these lands could lead to a death sentence. This story is set in Devon, in the area around Exeter and Dartmoor, where the local foresters are notorious for their greed and corruption.
When one of the senior Foresters turns up dead in a local village, the county Coroner (a new office created by King Richard) is summoned to investigate the death. Sir John de Wolfe is a loyal king’s man, given this job partially due to his service in the Crusades. It also happens that he’s the brother in law of the local Sheriff, but Sir Richard de Revelle was on the side of Prince John in the recent rebellion, and de Wolfe doesn’t trust him. When de Revelle shows interest in the killing of the forester, Sir John knows something is up.
The author of these books is an academic, and did weave in actual historical figures from this time period. There’s also a great deal of attention paid to the details of normal life. I’d heard of the Royal Forest when I stayed in Cornwall last year – the lands of the cottage we stayed at ended at a wall of the former royal forest in that area. I’d figured it was a relatively small hunting area. I had no idea how extensive they were at one time, and how much control the king (but really, the local men who managed to get the offices representing the king) wielded in those areas. I already knew this, but being a peasant in medieval England stucked!
I also loved Sir John’s life. He has a wife who hates him, but also knows she owes her station in life (and her nice dinners, and nice gowns) to being married to him. He also has a mistress. One of the interesting side stories of this book is what happens when Nessa becomes pregnant.
If you like a good history read along with a mystery, I do recommend this book. (It’s actually several books into a series. There are a few references I can tell referred to prior books, but it was nothing necessary to the story).
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Pattern: Swirl hat by Mandie Harrington
Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll Tweed in the Down Heather colorway
Needles: Size 4 DPNs and Circs
Since I bought four skeins of yarn for my knee highs, and only used just shy of three, that means I've now shifted into heavy use up that yarn! mode. I was a looking for a slightly more interesting sock yarn weight baby hat, and this pattern totally fits the bill. It's nearly as easy as a plain stockinette pattern, but so much more interesting.
I ended up making the 4-12 months size to keep in on a circular needle until the very end, but there's wide size variety available, which is great. I can pair this with a slightly larger sock, and have some older than newborn gift sets available.