The Taxidermist’s Daughter

Neither of my parents is a taxidermist (at least as far as I know) but I picked up Kate Mosse’s The Taxidermist’s Daughter based mostly on the title. (Also, I was looking for a  paperback for the train since I always end up with 45 pound hardcover library books then have to haul them around all weekend. I know the obvious solution is just get a Kindle or whatever but I have a general aversion to gadgets and try to minimize my ownership of them. I don’t understand the point of, say, rice cookers.)

Anyway, I am sort of skeeved out but also morbidly interested by taxidermy. I can mostly get behind dioramas at natural history museums which at least seem sort of dignified.  But a museum with taxidermied kittens dancing and ravens taking tea as described in the book? Yikes Like, is it a craft project or a corpse? It’s both! That’s … kind of weird mix. It’s the sort of hobby you would expect a serial killer to have.

And coincidentally, the book is pretty serial killer-y. I wanted it to be more moody and creepy what with all the taxidermy/churchyard gatherings/ominous weather. But it is pretty straight up murder-y. Olden times, young woman terribly wronged, vengeance with a side of taxidermy.

Eh, I dunno, I feel like I’ve seen this stuff a bunch of times already. Although usually without the taxidermy.

For your creepy taxidermy book needs you might want to check out The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs by Jack Gantos. I read it years ago and I still remember it was creepy as fuck.

 

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A Week In Stripes

Last Friday I got some new yarn in my mailbox. I’m trying to knit the yarn I have instead of buying shiny new things, but this stuff is just SO COOL. I have a longstanding love of self-striping sock yarn (like here for example) but the thing about that is if you change the number of stitches per row you get weird looking stripes. Increase the stitches: narrower stripes; decrease the stitches: wider stripes.

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Caterpillergreen has self-striping Shawl yarn that lets you knit a top-down triangle with tidily spaced stripes. (As you increase stitches the length of each stripe of yarn gets longer. Genius.) I cast on last weekend and merrily knit all week doing garter stitch for the coloured parts and stocking stitch for the grey.

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Then I finished this morning and played yarn chicken with the bind-off. It was close.

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Not trimmed at all. I’m just that lucky good.

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I think the green stripes might be slightly excessive but they do have “green” right there in the name. I love it. Triangle! Stripes! I even have a striped shirt to match.

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Now I, uh, think I was knitting some socks or something? Whatever happened with that?

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Nothing Says Spring Like Mittens

Because I am me, while everyone else is pining for the day when they can put their winter stuff away, I’ve been knitting mittens. Look, new mittens!

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I made them with leftover scraps (from this sweater), which always makes me feel so clever. Like, hey, something from nothing. So I was feeling all clever and resourceful. Then I thought I was going to run out of grey but, lo, I am so clever and resourceful I found some other yarn that kind of works and swapped it in for the main diamond part. I, um, totally meant to do that.

You can see it more on the palms, actually:

 

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Pattern is Lisa by Solveig Larsson. My friend the sommelier’s name is also Lisa. Pretty sure this means I should get a glass of wine to go with my new mittens, right? What wine goes with stranded mittens?

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Remember crazy roommate days? I had so many crazy roommate times! (Why are roommates always so crazy? Do sane people just always live alone or something?) And I would so often find myself rolling my eyes and saying “I just live here.”

Did you know the cops will stop by the house to check on your supposedly suicidal housemate? I did not and, I dunno, I still can’t work out how an email about dropping a class sounds like a suicide note. Hey, I just live here. There’s a band sleeping in the basement? Like, a rock band or a marching band? Oh, whatever, I just live here. Hey, the kitchen table’s in pieces in the backyard – how’d that happen? No idea; I just live here. No, officer, Josh doesn’t live here. Why am I always the one who answers the door when it’s the cops? I just live here.

Anyway, the subtitle of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness might as well be Caroline, You Need To Read This. And, lo, I was not disappointed.

You know how there’s always vampires or soul-eating ghosts or some kind of evil to be destroyed? Some prophesied Chosen One gets assigned that job while meanwhile bystanders are going about their business and maybe think those glowing lights and mysterious deaths are kind of alarming? If you have ever watched Buffy or any superhero movie ever you know what I mean. This book is about those bystanders. And if you are the sort of person wondering who’s going to clean up New York after the credits roll, or what it was like for all the kids who just went to Hogwarts to learn magic, this is the book for you.

Seriously, how do you get home if your car is a casualty in the fight against evil? Maybe that’s what happened to the kitchen table?

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Done, Not Done

Done: A new pair of socks:

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Pattern is Nemesis which is basically a variation on the 2×2 garter rib sock I have knit eleventeen times. Recommended for fellow garter rib enthusiasts. (Er, assuming there are any.) The travelling stitches pull things in a bit so maybe consider knitting the bigger size (I did not and it takes a bit of tugging to get them on and off.)

Not done: The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas which I picked up because, hey, illusionists. It’s one of those books that just didn’t really grab me and then started getting on my nerves. Little stuff that I would totally overlook in a book I actually liked.

Everyone’s in love with Eliza and I don’t believe it’s so much because she’s just that awesome but more because this book needs more ladies.

Devil Wix, I don’t think you should call yourself Devil unless you’re really committed to evil. Being kind of obnoxious doesn’t count. Have you considered Dick? It might be a more accurate name for you.

In a book illusions can be pretty impressive because Physics? Not a problem! But I know the laws of thermodynamics aren’t slowing you down so I’m not impressed.

Seriously, everyone is still in love with Eliza?

I got about two thirds of the way through, put it down, days passed and, eh, I’m not picking it back up.

Maybe I should learn some magic tricks instead.

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Shiny! New!

So, I finally got myself a new laptop. I put if off 20% because of the expense but about 80% because laziness. (I have to transfer files? And install stuff? Hey, maybe this limping old computer isn’t so bad.)

Y’all, the internet is so much less frustrating! I love when you click and something happens. As opposed to, y’know, the browser crashing. I forgive you internet. Let’s hang out again. You can buy the first round of drinks though.

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Multiple Choice

I’ve been merrily knitting away on a cabled cardigan.

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Then i finished the sleeves and find myself at the part where I have to start sewing. Which I keep reminding myself I don’t really mind once I get started. But I haven’t started. So knitting this weekend could be:

a) Dutifully work on finishing cardigan

b) Dutifully carry on with the second sock

c) Dutifully obtain and sew on buttons for the Bog Jacket

d) Screw duty, cast on something new

Naturally option d is looking pretty good right now.

Happy weekend!

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