Rosemary and Rue

Sometimes when I talk about how I didn’t much care for a book I feel kind of mean. Like, I’m sure the book meant well and it might be my fault because I read it on the bus and was kind of cranky. (Nothing fills me with rage quite like waiting 20 minutes at the bus stop staring at the sign that promises 10 minutes or better service. Can’t they just take those down?)

All of which is to say that I picked up Rosemary and Rue as a bus read and spent the whole time thinking “Shut up Toby! And you too loud cell phone talker sitting next to me.”

Anyway, Toby is half faerie which the book weirdly calls a changeling. (I thought a changeling was a fairy swapped for a human child? Doesn’t really matter but kept making my eye twitch. Shut up Toby!) During the prologue she gets turned into a koi fish by villains, and turned back several years later. Then she has to solve a friend’s murder.

I understand how this could put anyone in a bad mood. It’s even worse than waiting 20 minutes for the bus. But it got old after a while. She’s constantly encountering enemies/obstacles and complaining about how inconvenient it is. And I’m sure it is! But I feel like if you’re going to be all “Dear me, assassins again. Will I ever get to finish my crossword?” you have to back it up by making quick work of the assassins. It ruins the effect when you almost die a lot. Shut up Toby! Oh, that was mean; she almost died after all.

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In Progress

Still knitting that blue cabled sweater. For some reason I rarely take progress photos – I like looking at other people’s but somehow never think of doing it myself. But this time I’m so obsessed that I totally did.

Progress is so motivating! This is what I love about knitting – you can see how you’re getting there. Unlike, say, days at the office where two coworkers review your document and cancel out each others’ changes.

Body is done and part of a sleeve.  It’s a coned yarn so I’m slightly worried about gauge. My swatch filled in after washing but didn’t change size so it should be fine but there’s still that little element of suspense to keep me knitting. How will it turn out? Exciting!

Also, I need something simple to knit on the train this Easter, so I cast on a scarf with some laceweight I’ve had hanging around far too long. (Dear Past Self, why do you keep thinking you like laceweight? Stop buying more!)

Doesn’t it look delightfully swoopy?

(I stick a safety pin on the “right” side of my garter stitch so I can keep track.)

I have this vague plan/daydream of taking a series of progress photos over the weekend with various festive Easter backdrops. But let’s be honest, we all know I’m going to mostly knit this at home in bad light while watching TV.

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Kiki Strike

I’ve been in something of a reading slump lately, looking out the window on the bus instead of reading. (Alas, my commute is still not especially scenic.) Obvious solution is kids’ books!

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City is so much more delightful than admiring the passing strip malls. Mysterious Kiki recruits girl scouts with cool secret agent skills to explore the forgotten Shadow City where disreputable characters used to gamble and smoke opium under New York City. Who doesn’t love a good secret passage? (Did you search your house for one? I know I did.) Although admittedly when I might prefer fewer skeletons and rats in my adventures. Universe, please take note.

Yes, it’s wildly implausible in spots but amusing enough that I don’t care. Do you think I can be a girl detective/secret agent/ninja when I grow up? Perhaps it was a mistake not to stick with Girl Guides.

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Can’t Talk Now…

…Knitting cables. Aren’t they awesome?

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Finally, Octopus Thumbs

Okay, so I guess octopuses don’t really have thumbs. But now my octopus mittens do:

A finished pair of octopuses. I love them. The light green is pretty drab looking on its own but I like it paired with the dark green – looks less like it tried to be beige and failed.

Tentacles go around onto the palms:

There are some stupid long floats in this pattern but worth it, I think. The original cuff pattern looked kind of unclear to me so I changed here to a tidier row of suckers.

I was worried I might finish just in time for the end of mitten weather. But luckily (or unluckily,depending on your point of view) it got cold again. Oh March, always keeping us guessing.

Specs: Octopus Mittens knit in odds and ends of Verdant Gryphon Bugga.

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London Sans Octopus Thumbs

Y’all, I’m just back from London.

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Doesn’t it look Londony? I rarely take famous landmark pictures because it seems redundant in a world with postcards and stock photos but I think a few might be a legal requirement. What if I have to convince customs I’m really a tourist?

What with all my gallivanting I never got around to knitting those octopus thumbs.

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I better get to it before it gets too warm for mittens.

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All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See sounds like it might be about winter in Toronto. One assumes the sun is still working but it’s so cloudy you can’t really tell. I have a finished sweater and I was kind of waiting for some photoshoot sun, but you can’t see the light these days so I gave up and went the lazy selfie route:

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Simple sweater in Briggs & Little Regal, on of my most favouite rugged woolly yarns. I followed the pattern for Trust, although mostly just the yoke. It’s knit all together in the round; I’m not totally in love with the tops of the sleeve caps but I aim to master this so I can knit fair isle sweaters with set in sleeves.

Anyway, All the Light is not actually about me and my frivolous sweater adventures but about the Second World War. Which is to say, it’s pretty grim. Especially the Germany parts. I suppose you can consider it as a moral – even if you are Aryan (but especially if you are not) Nazi times are bleak and sad. Obviously you shouldn’t go down that road anyway on account of it’s wrong, but if that doesn’t dissuade you, here’s deterrent #2.

It’s well done, and I see why it’s popular but, man, it did not cheer me up on any cloudy winter bus rides. Why must Serious Litterchure always be so depressing?

What does cheer me up is Octopus Mittens! They just need thumbs. Details…

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