60 Quick Luxury Knits: Easy, Elegant Projects for Every Day in the Venezia Collection from Cascade Yarns
Series: 60 Quick Knits
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Sixth&Spring Books (August 5, 2014)
As much as I love browsing patterns on the internet, my favorite way to look for new projects is in books. There is something about flipping through the pages that makes me excited about the possibilities. Unfortunately, a lot of the time there are only a few patterns that I might actually make. Now that is okay if I borrowed the book from the library, but if I'm going to buy a book I want to make sure that it has several projects that I'm apt to make - someday.
The 60 Quick Knit Series is from the folks at Cascade Yarns and Sixth&Spring Books. is definately worth checking out. I think that there are seven books now. They all have a unifying theme and showcase their family of yarns. Using the recommended yarn is what they hope you will do, but of course you can make appropriate substitutions. Although if you have the opportunity, give their yarn a try!
So far from Luxury Knits I have chosen two projects. First I made this hat. The pattern is called Catalpa Hat designed by Anastasia Blaes. I did not have Venzia Sport Multis (merino wool/mulberry silk) yarn that is called for, but I did have an excellent substitute. A hank of the Kangaroo Dyers merino and silk hand dyed Poet Seat Yarn in a fabulous colorway called Sunlight in the Forest.
I have to extol the virtues of this hat. I'm not sure if it is the yarn (amazing), the pattern (lovely) or the combination (stunning), but whatever it is, this is officially my favorite hat of the season. It's warm, comfortable and looks great - if I do say so myself.
Honestly, there are so many cool patterns in this book I had to try another one. After much deliberation (I have sticky notes on at least 8 projects!) I settled on theCenter Back Cable Shawl by Candace Eisner Strick. I am a huge fan of cables, and this one does not disappoint. Again I had to make a yarn substitution. I'm using Serenity Garden Yarn from Deborah Norville in Crocus. Of course I would love to use merino and silk, but this microfiber is surprisingly nice. It is smooth, has a terrific sheen and is easy to work with. Plus the price makes it an economical option.
I was a little worried about the color changes, but so far it looks like everything is falling into place. Purple is my favorite color and this one is wonderfully true and rich! It is hard to see in my picture, but the body of the shawl is kind of "ribbed". Alternating (multiple) rows of knit and pearl create a texture that is easy to execute and helps direct focus to the wide center cable. Now if only I could knit faster! I can't wait to finish the shawl so I can wear it and start something else!
All of the projects are from different designers. Since everyone has a unique way of writing it could be confusing. Happily the editors have done a great job of bringing continuity to the patterns. I have found them accurate and easy to follow. The photography and layouts are visually appealing making it hard to choose what to make next!
In fact, in our knitting group at the library someone just borrowed 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops (another book in the series). There are so many projects that she wants to make - she decided to buy a copy for herself. I can't think of a better recommendation!.
You can find the books in the series online or at your local library. If they're not in your library's collection, ask them if they can get a copy for you. Most libraries are willing and able to help patrons find what they're looking for.
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me.
Until next time friends,
Be Blessed and Stitch with Love!
It's a well established fact that I have crafting ADD. I am physically unable to to work on one project at a time. I don't think that I have ever finished anything without starting something new or spending time with a WIP. It's fine with me. It works. My husband doesn't understand - just like he doesn't understand why I insist on leaving the house at the very last minute - no matter where I'm going (I'm not usually late, but I am never early!)
As I was gathering the pictures for this post it dawned on me that my insatiable desire to try new things is actually good for me. Every time a publisher sends me a book to review it's an opportunity to feed my need. What I mean is ... if I were to only work on one thing at a time from start to finish it would take me ages to prepare for a review. Working on multiple projects at the same time lets me get a feel for the patterns and in turn the books much more quickly while at the same time stimulating my creative serotonin. It's my happy way of multitasking!
Let me show you what I'm working on today: A basic ankle sock from Happy Feet, a book devoted totally to tootsies! I'm giving the two circ method a try and hoping that I have finally found the right project for this pretty yarn I won from Danielle at A Stash Addict well over two years ago (more about that later!)
Next up is a little knit pear pincushion from 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet. It's my first attempt at knitting something small and round(ish). My initial impression: crocheting small round things is way easier!
And to wrap it up for today it's the Triangle Tulip Shawl from Lovely Knitted Lace. I'm quite pleased with my progress on what the book describes as a "perfect pattern for beginners". The first pattern I tried was a scarf using the yarn from A Stash Addict. Turns out I'm not quite ready for knitting nupps with skinny yarn and tiny needles!!
Of course there are more, but we can talk about those another time!
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me.
Until next time friends,
Be Blessed and Stitch & Read with Love!
I live in Massachusetts. It's cold here. Not all the time, but right now in the middle of winter we're seeing some pretty low numbers! Add in the wind chill and we're talking negative numbers! And as much as I'd love to stay hunkered down in the house with a hot steamy cuppa and my latest project, the need to eat, which necessitates the need to work, means that I have to brave the elements. The best way to combat the wintery winds? Layers. And the final layer before the coat? The Wrap. Don't get me wrong - I love a good scarf, but The Wrap is what I reach for when I'm dressing for the weather. I have wraps in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials - I love each one and I will never have too many! As if their powers of warmth weren't enough, wraps are so stylish and versatile that they simply beg to be worn anytime and anywhere you need to keep a little (or big) chill off your shoulders and neck. Wraps are a wardrobe staple that can see you through every season and any kind of day - from work to weekend, casual to formal there is a wrap for every occasion!
So when Tammy Hildebrand's new book Crochet Wraps: Every Which Way landed on my doorstep, I knew that I was in for a treat. Not only is it about my favorite accessory, it showcases 18 patterns and SIX different techniques! How perfect for someone (me me me) who is always looking to try something new?! Tammy has put together 3 patterns (easy, intermediate and advanced) for each method: Traditional Crochet; Motifs; Broomstick Lace; Hairpin Lace; Tunisian; and Double Ended! Wow!
With so much to choose from, it's hard to know where to start! The Introduction and Tips & Hints at the beginning of the book are quite uplifting and inspirational. It's easy to see that crochet brings Tammy great happiness and she wants us to enjoy it just as much as she does. She offers lots of encouragement to experiment with new colors and not to be afraid to tweak the patterns to suit your personal taste. Because there are six techniques, Tammy's advice to seek out on-line video tutorials and practice along with them is a great idea. The book does have a How-To section with step-by-step instructions and clear photography to help you, but sometimes you need a little more guidance - especially when learning something new.
I have lots of projects on my hooks and needles at the moment, so I wasn't able to commit to a new wrap that I would finish by the time my stop on the blog tour came around. I did however recently have the opportunity to purchase two pairs of giant (US 35/20 mm) knitting needles - perfect for making broomstick lace. It must have been fate! I'd been admiring the look of the "peacock" design you see in typical broomstick work, but had no idea when I'd ever get my hands on those huge needles. I decided when I saw them that I'd keep one pair to give it a try - and give the second pair away as part of the blog tour prize package! Wielding the large needle feels pretty awkward. I had more trouble getting the loops on than working them off. I'm sure that with practice it gets easier, just like everything in crochet! I don't know that I'll be jumping right into a big broomstick project, but I can see it looking great as trim on a scarf, table runner or place mats.
Since I didn't actually make anything from the book I'm not able to comment on the accuracy or clarity of the instructions. However, each project is beautifully photographed with many shots showing different ways to wear the wraps, as well as the stitch details. In reading through the patterns things look complete and I wasn't thrown my any unfamiliar abbreviations or wording. Plus, I was able to figure out how to do the basic broomstick lace by following the pictures.
Tammy has put together a lot of kick in a little book! It's rare to see so many different techniques all in the same place, and I think using the wrap to showcase the variety of stitches is a brilliant idea! Although there are patterns that are "easy" a true beginner may be overwhelmed. I'd say a confident beginner who is familiar with the basics and is looking for a challenge or the intermediate crocheter who is ready for something new will be very happy with Crochet Wraps. Also, to complete most of the projects specialized tools are required. In addition to the "big" knitting needle for the broomstick lace, you need a loom for the hairpin lace, an extra long hook for the Tunisian crochet and a double ended hook for the double ended crochet. All of these tools are available on-line, but chances are they're not part of your everyday tool box.
And finally, my personal pet peeve about craft book bindings. Like most paperback craft and pattern books this one has a traditional glued binding. While in most instances this is just fine, in craft books it's a bit frustrating because they don't easily stay open while sitting in your lap. You can press the pages open and it will sort of do the trick, but it's hard on the spine, and after a while the book flops open to the page you've used the most. I'm always much happier when my pattern books have a spiral binding! That said, it's certainly not the kind of thing that stops me from buying a book - it's just my personal preference! (I'll be getting of my soap box now and moving on to the fun stuff!)
The folks at Stackpole Books have generously offered a copy of Tammy's book for me to share with you. To spice it up a little I'm including a set of hand crafted stitch markers from Nirvana Designs and a pair of US 35/ 20 mm knitting needles to get you started on your broomstick lace! The contest will run for a week, is free and open to US residents.
Win: A Selection of Goodies to Add to Your Library & Tool Box!
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me!
I hope you enjoyed the review and will take a moment to enter the contest.
Until next time friends,
Be Blessed and Stitch & Read with Love!
Scarves, Shrugs & Shawls:
22 Knitted Designs with Their Special Techniques
by Sarah Hatton
St. Martin's Griffin
February 26, 2013; 136 Pages
Scarves and wraps are the perfect canvases for experimenting with new stitches and practicing new techniques. From well-respected Rowan Yarn designer Sarah Hatton with Sharon Brant as the technical editor, Scarves, Shrugs & Shawls offers over twenty easy-to-make and fun-to-wear designs that explore a range of knitting techniques—from gorgeous textured and cabled stitches, to intricate openwork and lace patterns, to interesting and appealing shaping. A gallery of designs features the garments photographed in full color and includes a helpful and inspiring "How to Wear It" section, showcasing the myriad ways to wrap your shawl, twist your neck warmer, or tie your scarf. Making these popular accessories even more versatile so you can wear them over and over, and still keep them looking fresh! (from Amazon.com)
Welcome to a new review and an awesome giveaway. First, let me tell you about the book. As most of you know I'm a lover of books - that includes all kinds from fiction to dictionaries and everything in between. As a crocheter and more recently a knitter I love browsing through the pages of pattern books looking for projects and inspiration. Having checked out many titles from our library I fancy myself a bit of a connoisseur. So how does Scarves, Shrugs & Shawls measure up? On a scale of 1 - 10 I give it a solid 8.
The book is set up in sections. Right away I was drawn in by the full page photographic spreads featuring each item. So often in pattern books you get one little picture. Not here. After you've had a chance to view each piece from a variety of angles it's on to the patterns. Again there are more (different) pictures that really show you what you're making. Along with the line by line instructions charts have been included allowing you to use whichever format you prefer. Now I haven't made any of these items, so I can't speak to the accuracy or ease of following the patterns, but I did read through several and it appears that they are well laid out and complete.
As the publisher promises, there are a variety of different techniques featured in the patterns providing an opportunity to try new things. As a beginner I feel like several of the patterns are more advanced than I am, however the technique section at the back of the book seems to offer good insight on the skills needed by covering everything from how to avoid holes when doing two handed fair isle work, how to string beads using a needle and thread, to making a no-turn bobble. I'd say the projects are best suited for those with knowledge of the basic skills and some experience under their belt. A confident beginner should be able to handle many and might be inspired to give some of the more complicated designs a try. Intermediate and advanced knitters will be pleased with the options available. There really is something for everybody.
I'd say my favorite part is the "How to Wear It" section. What a brilliant idea! As a scarf and shawl enthusiast I'm always struggling to find new and interesting ways to wear them. While this section is showcasing the garments from the book they make it easy to see how it would work on any item of similar shape and dimension. In addition to the pictures they tell you what to do to achieve each look! For the fashionably challenged like me this is important!
The paperback book is nicely bound and lays open fairly easily. It's 9.7" x 9" size makes it big enough to see things clearly, but small enough to fit in your bag if you wanted to take a project on the go. I like the matte finish of the pages, too. Overall I think this is a well done book that any fan of shoulder and neck wear would be happy to have in their collection!
Now, for the fun part - the giveaway!!
I love giving things away! I'm so blessed and thankful to the people at St. Martin's who send me all kinds of books to review. It only seems right that I spread the joy and share them with you. I've been collecting little trinkets to put together a fun knitting prize package. In addition to the book, there are stork scissors!! These are a classic item and a huge favorite of my Facebook friends. This pair is 3.5" tall making them perfect for home or on the go in your travel bag. I have a 5" pair that I use every day - they cut beautifully! Next I found a pair of Rosewood knitting needles from Boyd. They're US size 6 and 14" long. They're quite lovely and while I've never tried them, I know that my Rosewood crochet hooks feel warm and natural and seem to get better every time I use them. Finally there is a set of handmade cobalt blue glass stitch markers. They're one of a kind and will help you keep your place in style! So there you have it! All the tools you need - just add your favorite yarn and you're on your way to knitting nirvana!!
Enter now for your chance to win!
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me. I hope that you'll take a moment and throw your name in the hat. I've tried to come up with lots of different ways to enter giving you plenty of options. This time I'm opening the drawing to everyone everywhere! If I can send you mail through the US Post Office than you're welcome to enter. If you're a crocheter and are feeling left out - don't! I've got something special planned for you coming up towards the end of the month! I promise you're going to love it!
Until next time friends,
Be Blessed and Stitch & Read with Love!
A lacy shawl teaches a lesson about using the right tools.
The recent break in the hot weather has me thinking about fall (my favorite of all the seasons)! One of the best things about the cooler weather is wearing wraps and shawls. I have several that are crochet, but none that are knit. For the past year or so I've been pinning and bookmarking patterns for the someday when I'd finally give knitting one a try.
It's been a while since I picked up the needles so I figured now is a good time to work on my skills. If you remember, I've only been knitting for less than a year, and my entire repertoire includes one pair of socks, a small stuffed baby toy, a few pairs of fingerless mitts, oneleg warmer and a scarf and hat that are still in progress. (I have issues with finishing I know!)
I sifted through the mass of beautiful patterns and finally settled on one called Blossoms by the Brook. It's quite lovely and looks like it will keep me interested and be a good way to practice lacy techniques. It calls for worsted weight yarn and since I have a bounty of acrylics in pretty colors I decided that's what I'll use. Normally I'll pick a fiber that feels better next to the skin, but since this is my first attempt it seems the wiser choice to use something economical. If all goes well then a knit shawl in gourmet yarn is in order, but for now I'll stick with the cheap seats!
I have a fair collection of knitting needles. However, with the exception of a pair of dpn's I bought to make John's socks they've all been donated. Which means that lots of them have been very well used. Many of my crochet hooks came to me the same way and they've always treated me well. I have learned that all hooks are not created equal and to use the same one throughout a project, but I've never had one not work properly because of it's age. So when I picked out the size 8 circulars that the pattern calls for I didn't think twice about their condition. I used the long tail cast on and set to work. The first row is usually tight and hard to pick up, but once I get past that the tension evens out and I can get a good rhythm going. So why after 4 or 5 rows was I still struggling so much?? That's when I took a closer look at the tips of my needles. Well how about that! The finish was worn off and it's clear that these babies have knit a lot of stitches! What was once a fine chiseled tip is now blunt and dull! Of course I don't have another pair that size so I had to decide if I want to go up or down. I chose bigger needles figuring that with the worsted yarn the larger stitches would improve the drape of the fabric.
Wow! What a difference! Now I get it. I had the right tool but it's worn condition made it so hard to work with that I could probably use chop sticks with better results! And so I've learned a valuable lesson. Make sure your tips have good points. For a moment I thought that I had lost my knitting mojo, but once I got going with a healthy set of needles it was smooth sailing. The larger size has helped with the drape and the pattern is proving to be a fun as I hoped. Now that I'm nearly half way done I'm already picking out the "nice" yarn I'm going to use for my next knit shawl!
I'm sure that you seasoned knitters know exactly where I'm coming from, and may have even enjoyed a chuckle at my naivety! Somewhere deep in the recesses of my brain I know that I've read about points and lace needles and what makes for good easy knitting, I just got so caught up in the excitement of the project that I never even considered that I might have dull needles!
Crochet and knitting are activities that you really learn by doing. Books and videos are definitely helpful but the real knowledge comes from taking the yarn in hand and getting to it. One of my biggest knitting fears is having to rip out my work, that's why I'm using life lines. It's another valuable lesson I learned "on the job". Yes, it's a bit tedious but I'd much rather take the time to run a safety line than have to leave in a mistake (never!) or start over!
So there you have it. Check your tips! Working with dull points is frustrating and time consuming. Don't let shabby equipment ruin your knitting experience. Thanks so much for stopping and spending a bit of your day with me.
Until next time friends,
Be blessed and stitch & read with love!
Greetings Friends! The weekend is upon us and I'm thrilled to have two projects to share with you! Recently I asked for your help picking my next project. I was surprised when the voting ended in a tie. Making an executive decision (because here is the only place I have that power) I decided on the Little Wing Shawlette. Mainly because I wanted to use the Amazing yarn that I bought months ago. Happily it feels as if this pattern by Andee Graves from Two Hands Healing was written just for this yarn! Another pleasant discovery was having enough yarn left over to make a matching set of wrist warmers. I made them using one of my favorite patterns - Chevron Lace Wrist Warmers by Karen at Colour in a Simple Life.
Together these pieces make the perfect autumn ensemble, and I love the way they so easily coordinate with my favorite denim jacket.
When I started Crochet Nirvana it was mainly a way for me to chronicle my work. I had no idea that it would connect me to so many talented people. I also didn't know that there is such a large community of crafters and how accessible, helpful and supportive they are. Before I started blogging, I got the majority of my patterns from books and magazines. Occasionally I would use the internet and print something from Crochet Pattern Central (as was the case with my wrist warmers). The designers who wrote these patterns were strangers to me and the idea of actually communicating with them was just silly! Oh how things have changed! Now I know that designers are out there and they want to hear from us! They want to help if we get stuck and see what we made with their pattern when we're done! They have blogs, Facebook, and Ravelry pages. Some are fortunate enough to do it full time, and others have jobs that have nothing to do with yarn. It turns out they're a lot like me!
How does this relate to today's post? Well, let me tell you. Before I begin any project I always go to Ravelry and see what other people who have made the item have to say. In fact if there are too many negative comments I won't even bother! I also check out the materials used, because I never seem to have the yarn that's called for. If it looks like most people have been successful I give it a go. Such was the case with Little Wing. Several folks commented about the foundation. I gave it a try as written, but when it didn't work I used a regular Fsc like they suggested and it worked perfectly. Problem averted! Next I ran into trouble at Row 2. I couldn't figure out how to make the transition for the point. I looked at other people's notes and pictures and while some had mentioned having trouble, no one told me how they fixed it. I was thinking I might have to find another pattern. Instead I decided to contact the designer - Andee. It was late, I was frustrated, and I fear my message was long and rambling. I wasn't sure what to expect. The next day with a fresh coffee and fresh perspective I tried Row 2 again. Success!! And what else? A response from Andee who was more than willing to help me out. How cool is that? I made a beautiful wrap, and I made a new friend!
Here's a closer look at the details of Little Wing
But what about Karen and the wrist warmers? Like I said, I originally printed her pattern off the internet, and I had no idea that I would ever run into her again. Then one day on Facebook someone shared a picture of a happy, bright square that caught my eye. I followed the link and ended up at Karen's blog. Reading through (because it's well done and she has fabulous pictures!) I was totally surprised when I saw the pattern for my very favorite wrist warmers on her sidebar. What a small world! I started following Karen, and of course had to let her know how I had found her and how much I loved the pattern. I was even fortunate enough to receive a complimentary copy of her Granny's Gone Dotty pattern. Again I say, how cool is that?
We hear so many negative things about the internet and social networking. As the mother of a teenager I am always fearful of who my son will come in contact with and what kinds of things he might see while browsing the web. But then there is the other side. Where we have access to the inspiring work of thousands of people. Where we offer encouragement and teach each other the things we know. Where a stranger is willing to help when asked. Where a gift is offered as thanks for a kind word. Where we can laugh, learn, create and share in a community we've created. Sitting at the dining room table in fuzzy slippers and messy hair I have found my (crochet) Nirvana.
In addition to my fiber offerings, I like to participate in Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo Baker's place. It's writing in the raw and if you've never done it, why don't you give it a try? It's really easy - you just:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat on this week's prompt with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking - then post it just as it is!
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.
Here's what happened when I spent five minutes writing on the prompt "Voice"
The human voice is as diverse as a finger print, but so much easier to recognize. It doesn't even have to be a particularly interesting or unique voice for me to know who it belongs to with out seeing them. At work people often call to renew their books. I'm always surprised by how distinct their voices are and how many I recognize with out even thinking about it.
I never thought that my voice was very unique. But once many years ago the phone rang. I answered. "Hello?" The person asked for someone - Jim, John, Joe - someone who didn't live at my house. "Sorry" I said, "wrong number". And then they said, "Robin? Is that you? This is Cindy, remember we met a few months ago at my brother- in-laws house? I knew I recognized your voice!!"
What?? Are you kidding?
We live in a small town, and the likely hood of calling someone that you know does exist, but it's a pretty slim margin. This was in the days way before cell phones when we all had the same exchange and you only had to dial 5 numbers to connect your call (really dating myself here!)
Anyway, after that call I knew the voice that I had thought was plain and ordinary really was unique after all!
Greetings my lovelies and welcome! October is whizzing by. Halloween is on the horizon with Thanksgiving and Christmas ready to rush in. My hook has been in constant motion and if I'm not working on a project I'm planning for them. That means lots of pattern searching and yarn/supply shopping! And while I haven't actually completed any gifts I intend to give, I have several in the works. I'm sure that there will be a frantic push to finish including crocheting after midnight with copious amounts of coffee. As much as I wish, hope and pray this won't happen I'm relatively certain it will. No matter how hard I try I am a last minute, in just under the wire kinda gal. Always have been, and I imagine I always will be!
Today I'm pleased to report that I'm making fantastic time with the Little Wing Shawlette. What a difference in terms of time and technique from the recently completed Juliana. I made a modification right off the bat using a traditional Fsc instead of the method indicated in the pattern. There was a bit of a struggle at Row 2, but a good night's sleep offered a fresh perspective and once I figured it out it seemed so obvious I don't know why it gave me trouble to start with! Now just 9 days after starting I'm only a few rows from the end which makes this one of my quickest finishes. Another bonus is it appears that I'll have enough yarn left to make a pair of matching wrist warmers using my favorite Chevron Lace Pattern from Colour in a Simple Life. Yeah!
On the book front just for fun I've been keeping with the Halloween theme enjoying two witchy selections. I just started reading the Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston and in the kitchen I've been listening to Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong. Happily both of them are entertaining and are keeping me in the otherworldly spirit of the season! Also for you today I have a review of an eerily relevant story.
Could this really happen? Image life after "the Big Shake".
The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick
Blue Sky Press
March 1, 2012; 224 Pages
"Nobody around here reads anymore, Why bother, when you can just use a mindprobe needle and shoot all the images and excitement right into your brain? I've heard of books, but they were long before I was born. In the backtimes, before the Big Shake, when everything was supposedly perfect and everybody lived rich." These are the words of Spaz, a teenager living, rather surviving in the Urb. A desolate wasteland ruled by gangs who control everything. Where you live, what you eat, what you do - everything. Everything except Eden. Eden is as close to perfect as you can get in the post-bigshake world. But the only people who inhabit Eden are the Proovs - that's short for genetically improved human. Spaz earns his keep working for the leader of his section of the Urb. When he gets an order to rob a gummy (an old man) named Ryter, Spaz doesn't think twice. What he doesn't know is that his life - and life for everyone in the Urb is never going to be the same. A series of events finds Spaz, Ryter, an orphan called little face and a Proov named Lanaya on a mission to first see - then save Spaz's little sister Bean. As they search for a solution it becomes clear that a much larger task is at hand. What starts as a trip across the Urb becomes a journey that will change their world!
Okay, I'll admit this is way outside of my normal reading box. It's Young Adult Science Fiction. But after I commented to a patron how much I loved A Wrinkle in Time (which she and her son were reading) she asked if I'd ever read this book. Learning that I hadn't she encouraged me to give it a try. She seemed to think that as a librarian and book lover I should have this one under my belt. And of course she was right.
While the writing is a bit well, young, the story isn't it. The world that Philbrick has created is scary and real. It seems plausible that this could happen. In his characters we see the best of humanity under the worst conditions. This unlikely group faces adversity, clings to hope and questions authority. It's a story that makes you stop and think and at any level in any genre that is what makes a good book. And while I don't know that it'll make my all time favorite list I am glad I read it, and I would suggest that it be included as one of those books we all should read. Who knows when we might one day find ourselves experiencing our own big shake. Because just moments before I sat down to write this review, right here in central Massachusetts we had an earth quake that was strong enough to shake our house and everything in it - even waking my sleeping husband - now tell me that's not a little bit scary?!
Wednesday is a wonderful day for linking up and sharing your work. Today I'm joining my regular group of blogging buddies. I hope you'll take a look at some fun projects and add one of your own!
Greetings friends! I'd like to thank all of you who lent a hand helping me select which project to work on by casting a vote. Are you ready for the funny part - it was a tie! The shawls won hands down, but without a clear high score I had to go ahead and just pick. I decided to go with the Little Wing Shawlette and make it in the Amazing yarn. I like the versatility of this shawlette because it has all the lacy drape of a shawl with the functionality of a scarf. Also, it's a worsted weight yarn worked with a generously sized hook (US K) which means it should go quickly. I've been doing a lot of work with little hooks lately and both my eyes and wrists need a break. It's worked from the long edge - which I typically avoid, because I like the flexibility that working from the tip give you. And I find those long starting chains a bit unmanageable. This one begins with a Foundation Single Crochet (Fsc) which is a little better. I did run into a bit of confusion on the second row. My symmetrical, orderly brain did not want to follow the instructions and work off center. But thanks to the Ravelry project page I was able to 1) review other people's notes 2) study the pictures and 3) contact the designer to make sure I'm doing the right thing! I forged ahead and completed the row as written. I feel confident that in a few more rows the balance that I crave will be restored and all will be right in the universe!
That's my Marlo Coat (I'm going to change the name to Marlo Cardigan, because to me that's just what it is!) in the picture too. It's a beautiful fabric that is (unfortunately) mind-numbingly simple to make. I've been working on it during breaks at work - and at the end of the day when I don't dare concentrate on anything tricky. I know it's going to be lovely - I just have to keep the mojo working and not let the simplicity of the rows deter me!
This week I'm reading a young adult novel called The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick. It's a bit sci-fi/fantasy for my usual taste, but it was highly recommended by a trusted patron as a must read for someone who loves books as much as I do. Even though it's a genre I normally shy away from I can safely say that I am enjoying it way more than the book I've reviewed for you today. Take a look...
Imperfect - yes; Bliss - not even close
Imperfect Bliss by Susan Fales-Hill
July 3, 2012; 304 pages
The pretty pink cover, the Victorian inspired art-work and the proclamation of the novel inside being Jane Austin meets Reality TV are the reasons I selected this book. I can’t for the life of me figure out what forces kept me reading past the first few chapters.
Here’s the storyline: Elizabeth (aka: Bliss) is a recently divorced single mother who is “temporarily” living at home while perusing her PhD. She is one of 4 sisters. Her mother is obsessed with British royalty so much that the girls have all been given the first name “Princess” or “Queen” and she wants nothing more than to marry her daughters off to rich men who will improve their station (yes this is a contemporary novel).
Mother’s prayers are answered and Bliss’ nightmares come true when her sister Dianna is selected to be the star of the latest reality offering – The Virgin. Lives are turned upside down as the TV series takes over.
It could be funny. It could be a witty poke at the horror that is reality TV. It could be many things. To me, it was a mess. Bliss had potential, in fact all the characters had potential, but none of them were fully flushed out. And what I did get to know of them I didn’t care for. I don’t expect that I will love every character. But I do expect that at least the main players will be given enough life so that I understand the reasons for their behavior. There was a peek at the ‘back stories’ but that’s all. Had they been given more attention I might have embraced this dysfunctional family and their bizarre behavior. Instead I was annoyed with most of them and felt sorry for the rest.
So why then did I keep reading until the end? Hope, maybe? I kept thinking that it would get better. That it should get better. For me, that never happened. And in the interest of finding out how it ends, I did that sort of ‘skimming’ that I do when I’m not committed enough to read every word.
Too bad. It’s a good idea for a book. And even though I gave it ample opportunity to win me over, in the end I was left feeling a misled and disappointed. I say leave this one be and if you want something that’s “like” Jane Austin stick with the original!
Wednesday is a busy day with several great link parties. This week I'm joining in with these bloggers and the creative crafters who share their work. Click around and see what's happening. I guarantee you'll find something that makes you say wow!
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me!
Until next time friends,
Be blessed and stitch & read with love!
Should I make a scarf or...
do you think I should make a shawl?
Please help me make up my mind!!
Once upon a time, (the end of June '12) I was reading Mary's blog : Needles and Hooks and Books Oh My! and she mentioned that she was participating in a CAL on Ravelry. I had tried to do a CAL once, but it just never came together (wrong yarn, weird pattern bits, etc.) It seemed like she was having a great time and the wrap(s) were awesome so I took a peek. It turns out that Mary was hosting this CAL. Even though it was nearly the end of the month - I decided to give it a go. Reading through the thread I felt a sense of community. Everyone was friendly and encouraging and I knew that I had found the right group this time.
I'm Robin and this is
Crochet Nirvana, where
laughter is essential,
learning is supported,
creativity is nurtured, and sharing is encouraged.
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I hope you
enjoy your visit!
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