Sunday, December 14, 2014

Knitting Notes

This is the Fisher Hat, by Lindsey Felice.    It's for the BF.    He asked for something a little less stretchy than the last hat I made him, so this one has cables, and stockinette on the top.     We'll see how it goes.

The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the Glazed Carrot colorway.    It really is as bright as it looks in the picture.    BF picked it out.     Crazy boy loves orange, bless his heart.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wizards - Editted by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois

This is actually a reread – I think I got this book out of a bargain bin at some point, and it’s been hanging out in my stored books since.     I did a catalog of those last month, and this was the only one I really couldn’t decide if I either definitely wanted to keep it, or definitely didn’t.

All of these stories are very readable, but oddly enough, I found the ones by authors I normally love to be more on the side of meh, while some others authors I don’t follow had better stories.    (And Neil Gaiman’s entry is the story that would become The Graveyard Book that seems to have shown up in a bunch of anthologies from that time period.     Like I needed it somewhere else…)

I’ve been annoyed with Tanith Lee lately, but her story “Zinder” is an interesting little tale of an ugly duckling with a very surprising swan-like form at night.

I also enjoyed “Winter’s Wife”, by Elizabeth Hand.     It’s set in Maine, and has a very mysterious protagonist, but I enjoyed the setting and atmosphere.

Knitting Notes

I've also been plugging away on hexipuffs from the grey Koigu yarn I just used to make mittens.     I finally managed to finish that off last night, as I was at loose ends from finishing L's hat the night before, and I need to wind some more yarn before I start any other projects.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Floralys by Wooly Wormhead
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash in the Columbine Heather colorway
Needles:  size 7 circs

My true Christmas knitting is done!    The hat's for my niece.      I did the size that seemed to match up to a three year old head, but it does seem a bit big.     I suppose I might end up surprised, but she's also growing, so I think I'll be fine either way.

I still have nearly two skeins left of this yarn.     I definitely have to come up with a project to use that up.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Battle Magic - Tamora Pierce

There is something about returning to YA authors you read when you were actually a young adult – I do get a lovely nostalgic feeling when I read their work, even if it’s a series that came about after I left that demographic.

Battle Magic tells the story of what is basically the invasion of Tibet by China, but with China being at the height of its old imperial power, and Tibet being protected by some seriously bad ass gods and demigods, as well as the mages that serve them.

Of the Circle mages, this is Briar’s story, along with his teacher, Rosethorn, although ultimately, it’s his student Evvy’s story.     The action begins in Gyongxe (the Tibet stand in), where the three are visiting the chief temple of Rosethorn’s religion, and have met the young God-King.     They very much enjoy their time there, but it’s time to move on, and the emperor of Yanjing has invited them to see his Winter Palace, knowing that Rosethorn and Briar are renowned plant mages.

Once in Yanjing, it’s clear the emperor has vast armies at his disposal, and that he wants Gyongxe.     Rosethorn, Briar and Evvy must make a perilous journey back there, to save their friends.     This is a good story – the battles are appropriately terrible, but our friends finally save the day, as should happen in such a book.

Knitting Notes

Pattern:  A Noble Cowl by Emily Kausalik
Yarn: Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
Needles: Size 7 circs

The Christmas knitting keeps coming!    This is for my SIL.   

I like the pattern - it's nicely customizable (I made the smallest size), and it's interesting without being super challenging.

The yarn is fine - I do notice it's discontinued, and I suppose that's not a bad thing.    I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again.    For something with "soft" in the name, I didn't find it to be outstandingly so.   

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Well, it’s time for my annual read the newest (to me) Hunger Games book at the same time as the movie comes out so I’m not spoiled by something random in Pinterest.   (Seriously, the Geek feed in Pinterest has the most randomly spoilerific things if you’re not caught up on various fandoms.    But I digress.)

The biggest thing that kept popping into my head while reading this was why are they splitting it in to two movies?    I think I can see the logical split, except that all the action that happens after that is the conclusion to the story, and really doesn’t merit its own segment.     Maybe in a mini series, but with a year between?   There are days I hate the YA movie machine.

Katniss has been rescued from the Quarter Quell, and brought to District 13, but Peeta has been left behind.    It turns out District 13 had Panem’s nuclear weapons, so they’d managed to arrange a stalemate with the Capital, where they’d at least leave each other alone, if District 13 pretended they were gone.     They’ve finally gotten themselves in a position to challenge the Capital, but they need Katniss – she’s the Mockingjay – the only person that can rally the populations of all the districts.

But Katniss is a mess.    They’ve put just enough of Peeta on television so that they know they’re probably torturing him, she has incredible PTSD, and she really doesn’t know if she’s the person to at least figuratively lead a rebellion.     And this is where I think this story is great.     Collins could have made Katniss a hero of the ages, right off the bat, and she didn’t.      This is such a human story (if a bit on the unremittingly depressing side)  - I totally understand why it’s become so popular.