Monday, November 9, 2015

Garden Notes

The weather is just wacky.   It's so freaking warm.   I mean look at the Swiss chard!   Because it can survive a frost or two, it's doing beautifully.   So it's made putting the garden to bed this year problematic.

Some things are done - I pulled out the clematis yesterday, so that whole side of the side garden looks empty.

But the herbs are, for the most part, still doing strong, so I've left them for now.

So yesterday was a whole lot of neatening.     It was a little on the breezy side, so I didn't do much raking - if you count the four bags I pulled out just from around the driveway as not much raking.   But I suppose when you compare it to the below, it really isn't that much.

I had today off, so the above was my first order of business.

Because of some other things I needed to get done around the house, I committed to ten bags this morning.     Which got me to the above.    I guess it's a good thing I took Friday off as well...

To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis

I’ve had this book in the Tote of Shame ™ for a while – I think because I’d never read any of the author’s work before, so I really wasn’t sure to expect.     So I’ve been passing it by because I never know if it’s going to fit whatever reading mood I’m in at one moment.     But, I finally got into one of my "I just need something different, so let’s dredge the back of the Tote pile" moods, and out this came.      And I really should have read it a while ago.

The basic premise of the book is that time travel is possible, but you can’t move anything out of another time, so it’s basically been abandoned to historians to go back and observe what’s happened.    A very rich lady has more or less co-opted this history department at Oxford because she’s building a replica of Coventry Cathedral (which was destroyed in the Blitz), and is trying to track down ever last artifact that may have escaped the bombing.   Ned Henry is charge of finding a Victorian monstrosity referred to as the bishop’s bird stump, and for various reasons, ends up back in Victorian times.

The rest of the story is hard to summarize, or classify.    It’s like a comedy of manners, with time travel.     I really enjoyed it.     I am absolutely going to have to track down more of this author’s work.    At least now I’ll have a better idea of what moods I can be in to read it.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Knitting Notes

So, being at loose knit ends again, I've cast on some socks.     Which will probably be going to my friend K.     This is Cookie A's Elm Socks, in Knit Picks Stroll in the Pine colorway.   (I think I've actually had it so long it's technically Essential Yarn in the Pine colorway.    It's been a while since they changed that name, which tells you how long I've had this yarn.)

Knitting Notes

Pattern:  Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf by Karen Baumer
Yarn: Tess's Designer Yarns Microfiber Ribbon
Needles: Size 6 circs

This is one of the few times I've seen a knit sample at a yarn store and said, you know, I really want to make exactly that.     I've never knit before with this ribbon, but this particular skein caught my eye at the shop.   (Melinda told me it was the last skein left of a special run she'd done for a recent-at-the-time show.)  

They had several scarf samples up, and the one that caught my eye was a variation of this really easy triangle pattern.    (The yarn itself comes with a free pattern for a dropped stitch scarf.)     So I snagged the yarn, and came home and found a decently written variation of this pattern (there are a ton to chose from).

The ribbon yarn is interesting.    The color is definitely gorgeous, but I can't say I see that yarn being a versatile option for lots of different types of projects.    I'm not sure I'd ever buy it again, but it was fun to work with the once.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Range Pond State Park, Poland Spring, Maine

Trigger Warning - Neil Gaiman

I think what I most liked about this book was that Gaiman outlined where each of the stories or poems came from in the introduction.      That’s not something authors do often, though he mentioned he thought this was his least thematic short story collection, so perhaps that was his way of pulling things together more for the reader.    It was actually more helpful to get back and read those after reading the stories (which he had in fact recommended), but the quick skim head of time was useful.

This was a good near Halloween read- there were some definite creepy stories involved, but also straight fantasy, like "The Sleeper and the Spindle", which I had no idea had an unillustrated origin.   (Coincidentally, BF, who is the main Gaiman collector in the house, just purchased the illustrated version – it arrived in the house a day after this book.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fall in Maine

We took a bit of a drive yesterday with the BF's parents.    Had lunch at our favorite restaurant (Krista's in Cornish), stopped at the quilt shop next door (mostly for the MIL, but I bought a few fat quarters), stopped at our favorite apple orchard (Apple Acres farm in Hiram) for honey crisps and homemade apple cider doughnuts, and ended up at Patternworks in Center Harbor, NH, where I bought yarn (probably more than I really needed, but oh well).