Command Scarf

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As well as finishing and blogging about my book this week (Welcome to Night Vale), I also managed to finish my first ever lace weight yarn project. I’ve made projects using lace stitches before, but I’ve never actually used lace weight yarn.
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The project that I chose for this was “A Hap For Harriet” by Kate Davies. When it was first published however long ago I knew that I wanted to make it, and it didn’t take long for me to choose some Fyberspates yarn to go along with it. The yarn was something I had wanted to try for a while as well, so it seemed like a win-win situation.

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The pattern is well written, and doesn’t take long to memorise what needs to be done where such as the increases, decreases and knowing instinctively what part of the chart you’re on for the lace section. The construction is really great two, working side to side, and the last 25 stitches the only section that has any lace in it. I thought this was an excellent foray into using lace yarn as it meant that I only really had to concentrate on those 25 stitches rather than a complex all over pattern.

I did something like 24 increase sections, 20 centre repeats, and then 26 decrease sections, accelerating the decrease slightly otherwise it wouldn’t have balanced out very well. It’s extremely wide for sure, even though I haven’t measured the wingspan as of yet. The drop isn’t too bad either, sitting about the top/middle of my back (if that makes sense! I really should just measure it!).

It took a little over a month to make this, working on it most days. The wider it got it certainly took longer to make, each repeat taking about an hour. It was super exciting when getting to the decrease and seeing that each section was just taking that bit quicker to get through. Of course, it meant that I wanted to spend longer and longer completing each section, even though I knew that I wouldn’t actually be able to finish in one sitting.
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Incidentally the Fyberspates yarn I used was one of the first I wound using my yarn winder that Alex got me for Christmas last year – I wanted to see if it could do it, and I was impressed with it all round.
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My next project is a couple of market bags, and hopefully they won’t take the month or so that this one did!

What are you working on at the moment?

Kialtho

Welcome to Night Vale – Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

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Based in the town of Night Vale, of the super popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast, here we have a novelisation of some of the weird stuff that happens to some of the other characters of this strange desert community. We are introduced to some familiar character, like John, you know, the farmer? And Old Woman Josie, with her winged guardians that definitely aren’t illegal Angels.

Be warned, there may be some illegal discussions about the existence of mountains.



Synopsis (from GoodReads)

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live.

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked “King City” by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.

Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: “King City”. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures…if they can ever find it.

When I first found out that the writers of Welcome to Night Vale were releasing a book based in the town I was really excited. I love Night Vale, Cecil and the town that we share these 20 minute glimpses in when listening to the podcast. Most of them were listened to when I was knitting, so the two for me are strongly related.

To be honest it was one of those books that I wasn’t sure what to expect, nor how it would translate into a book. The audio format of the podcast works perfectly for those 20 minute sessions. The liver performances were perfectly in that they are extended episodes just played live. A book? It’s a different form of media, and a different form of delivery.

I wasn’t that keen, and that made me sad.

I don’t know if it’s one of those things that’s a victim of it’s own success, or that it was simply a debut novel which, as mentioned, is an entirely different format to a scripted radio show, but for me, something didn’t click when I was reading. In some instances it felt as though I had to force myself to read.

At it’s heart we have two main characters, with two concurrent plots, interlaced with excerpts from Cecil’s radio show. Jackie, a forever 19 year old who runs the pawn shop, is given a slip of paper saying “King City” that just won’t leave her hand. And she can write nothing else but “King City” and it’s disrupted her life. She endeavours to find out just what the heck is going on. We also have Diane, mother of shape shifter Josh. Josh wants to know about his absent father, and Diane did not want him to know really [the reason is never really discussed except for the fact he left when he found out about Diane’s pregnancy].

We encounter a lot of typical Night Vale strangeness, and it’s revealed that it is Night Vale that is strange, not something that is particularly universal. King City succumbed to Night Vale strangeness, and the Man in the Tan Jacket is trying to fix it. Except no one can remember him. Wait, who were we talking about again?

I think what was missing for me was the atmosphere. I don’t think the atmosphere of the podcast was translated across to the book, which despite the absurdity of Night Vale, made the book a bit… dull, and difficult to follow.

In all, I wanted to love this book, but as mentioned that lack of atmosphere made it hard. Here’s hoping that the next book will have developed in this respect as the authors gain more experience about venturing the Night Vale name into this medium.

What are you reading at the moment? I’m trying to decide from the 181 books on my GoodReads shelves!

Kialtho

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson and Rod Bradbury (translator)

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This is one of those books that I’ve been wanting to read for a while, having seen and been attracted to the title alone. I actually bought it for a friend for Christmas as it was something that I thought he would enjoy, to which he also lent it back to me, so it’s kind of boomeranged back. It’s an interesting book for sure, but I definitely had a few issues with it. This is going to be a bit spoiler-y.


Synopsis:

It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century.

We first meet Allan as he’s being prepped for his birthday party – he’s going to be 100 – no mean feat in anyone’s life. But Allan isn’t happy with that, he doesn’t want a birthday party, and does what any normal person would do, and runs away from it instead. He’s not happy with life in his residential home, he doesn’t belong there and doesn’t like Director Alice because she doesn’t like/want/let him drink vodka. If there’s been one thing that’s guided most of Allan’s life decisions it is vodka.

This is one of those stories with two concurrent storylines running at the same time: Allan in the present, the actions and effects of those actions, alongside the people that he meets. It started with the theft of a suitcase. The other is Allan through the years, from when he was a youngster through becoming experienced in explosives, the Spanish Civil war, working in the USA, Russia, China. Through this journey we see Allan’s singlehanded effects in politics – even though he doesn’t like politics and tunes out when people talk about them – he gave the US the atomic bomb, then the Soviets, he spent some time with Churchill, Truman, Mao…there was a lot going on.

For me this book turned into one that was moderately okay, but I wasn’t captured with it like I thought I was going to be. Everything that Allan did was by extraordinary luck, and nothing seemed to have any particular affect on him long term. From being sent to an asylum as a child, experimented on, castratrated, through to serving in wars, blowing up bridges and the invention of the atomic bomb – if I remember rightly Oppenheimer felt intense guilt about creating the bomb and went on to try and alleviate that guilt by lobbying for international control on nuclear power – but Allan just seems to glaze over it with an ‘oh well’ kind of attitude that I don’t think would even exist. Later in life – even into his seventies, he was working as a spy, falsifying reports and contributing to both the space race and the disarmament campaigns in Soviet Russia through his work in the CIA.

I think I would have liked this book a whole lot more if the writing had been a little different. I really felt that the use of the short and simple sentences detracted me from the book itself, and was a little insulting as it sort of read like a newspaper article. Just a really long one. There were also lots of sentences that ran like this: this happened and then this happened, and then this happen, and then it was time to leave because Allan wanted some vodka.

I don’t know – I just didn’t gel with the writing. I partly think that this could well have been because it was translated from Swedish, so perhaps something got lost in translation.

Would I recommend this book to others? I think it’s one of those books that if you want a quick read and a little suspension from disbelief for a small while, then sure. Perhaps it would be one of those that you would enjoy far better that I, but overall I didn’t get with the hype of the book, so would say that it’s on the must read list or anything like that.

What books are you reading at the moment? Anything that excites you? I’m about to pick up “Welcome to Night Vale” and looking very much to reading. It’s been on the bookshelf for long enough!

Kialtho

Bramblewood, Haps and Dyeing Yarn

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When I was driving around today I had a thought about whether there’s an Industrial or EBM DAB radio station. Chances are slim, to be honest, so when I got home I loaded up my MacBook and searched for some online music instead. Kerrang Radio is okay, but not always what I’m looking for. The same with Classic FM. Sometimes you want something that bit more aggressive, and with the iPod not plugged in today, I had to make do.

When I checked my blog I was a bit shocked, and a little ashamed, to realise that I hadn’t written recently, especially considering I have some knitted exploits to share! I’m making progress on my most recent book as well, but this year does not seem to be the year that I am going to hit that 40 books a year target. I should have read ten by now, and I’m only on the fifth. Perhaps next year, then.

So: Knitting. I have one complete project to share with you, and that would be my knitted Bramblewood Vest. I loved working on this because it’s the sort of pattern that reminds of something that my Nana would wear, especially if it was a tweedy blue or a tweedy red. It sort of makes me feel a bit closer to her by having made it. It’s made in the Hayfield Bonus Aran, which is the same yarn I made my Heliopath Vest in, so know that this is a good yarn and will stand up to the test of time. The yarn itself just seems to go on forever as well.IMG_7798

IMG_7799The pattern itself was easy to follow, which was great as it was my first ever top down project – although I’m not sure if I like the way that the top of the shoulders look. I know there’s no changing that, it’s just the type of construction, but still….

The overall fit is pretty good as well, considering I (didn’t) really pay attention to gauge/tension. I’m totally happy to admit that I’m a winger when it comes to make projects that require tension swatches…. ain’t nobody got time for that! In all seriousness though… I know I should pay attention but that side of knitting bores me. I want to just dive right in!

In regards to this project the only thing that I need to change is the icord edging around the arm holes. The way I’ve finished it has made them too tight, and the arms weren’t exactly the biggest shaped arms I’ve come across – so these will have to be unpicked and knit up in some ribbing stitch instead. I know that it does fit as I tried it on before adding that icord edge, so it’s definitely that that’s causing the issue there. It’s just finding the motivation to unpick the icord!

My next project is “A Hap for Harriet” by Kate Davies. The pattern is simple, and well executed which is what I needed for this one as it’s my first time using lace weight yarn. It does feel like it’s going to take some time to make it all the way to the cast off edge, but so far I have completed 15 “teeth” (for lack of better words) which I think equates to about 13 pattern repeats plus the two set up repeats. I like the fact that this pattern bases the yarn on percentage of what’s left rather than set measurements in the pattern as it means tension isn’t so much of an issue, and means that I can use as much of my 1000 metres of yarn to it’s full potential! Although, again at 15 teeth and only 96 grams used, this may take a while. My original skein had 106g of yarn, so it’s not so bad when put like that! I’m using Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in this most brilliant cherry red colour. It’s one of those colours that I just can’t seem to capture adequately on camera!

IMG_7801The last thing that I have to share with you is that I dyed some of my own yarn! Amazing! Before the end of last year I bought some KnitPicks bare… Stroll I think. I really just wanted to have a go, plus it made the order I wanted be over the free shipping price so it was like it was meant to be. These are the two outcomes:

IMG_7800They were made with KoolAid – conveniently sold in one of those USA imported sweet shops in town. And the little sachets are on offer so I had to stock up some for sure. When I first bought some though I wasn’t really sure what I was buying, so ended up with lots of different colours which explains the yellow/blue/purple one. My favourite one is the green and pink, and it’s screaming at me that it wants to be socks, and I even have an inkling as to what that pattern may be as well.

In other news in my life – remember my pretty new car from March first? Well… someone scratched it. I don’t know whether it was on purpose, or an accident or something like that. I’m of the view that someone has keyed it. It went in for it’s repair last week and is looking all shiny and new again! Which is great, except that she is also a bit dirty because you know, having a black car on these UK roads means that she will be dirty within about five minutes of being cleaned!

Anyway, that’s all for now folks, I hope to have another blog entry for you soon! I’m over halfway finished with my current book – The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Escaped (or something like that), so I look forward to writing about that soon.

Take it easy folks,

Kialtho

Wayward – Black Crouch [Wayward Pines #2]

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“Welcome to Wayward Pines, Where Paradise is Home”

With the announcement quite recently of a second series in the Wayward Pines universe, a series that I got super into last year and watched all ten episodes in one day, I thought I would go back to the source material and read the second book in the series. I read the first one last year, and thought that the TV show had certainly done the book justice. This book was slightly different to the running of the series, but I’ll come to that a bit later.

(I don’t think that this review is particularly spoiler-y but just in case… you know the drill!)

Synopsis:

Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden…except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture.
None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining.

I think one of the things that needs to be remembered from this book that is that the first and second book only cover about 3 weeks in our apocalyptic dystopia. We know the truth now, about Wayward Pines, about the mountain, and what it is , exactly, that lay just beyond the fence. Of course, we know the truth, but the people of the town do not. They think that they are being held prisoner, or in limbo or somewhere against their will. Constant surveillance – a concept that is widely expanded upon in this book – not being able to talk about their past, how they really feel and just what is it about this town that they just can’t leave?

Crouch introduces the Wanderers to us, those who have discovered their microchips and removed them. This innocent group of people who just want to be themselves, and certainly not the people they have to pretend to be in the every day. Wives, husbands, children to people that they don’t belong to. But they can’t bring themselves to leave the town through the secreted away tunnel through the fence. The thing holding them back? No one has ever returned. Fear. Fear of everything keeps the people of Wayward Pines at bay.

And then Ethan Burke shows up, knowing the truth, going from fugitive to the Sheriff in little under three weeks with a town to run, a murder to solve, and a fete to call.

I thought how he dealt with the fete was great, and I don’t recall a murder in the TV series so that was a good plot twist, especially when I find out more information about it, and who the murderers were. It’s one of those things where it could have been really, super in your face obvious, but I didn’t feel as though it was.

We get more screen time with other residents of Wayward Pines this time around, get to experience what life feels like for these poor people confined to boring jobs, pretence and surveillance. We’re also introduced to a lone ranger, operating outside the fence, making his way back to the town – and considering how the story was progressing especially with some of the flashbacks into the past, I felt that it was going to be predictable who he was going to be… if that makes sense. Although, I am intrigued about his knowledge, about what he and he alone can do about the abbies.

We did end with that typical second book dystopian cliffhanger though. Luckily my version of the book from Amazon had that “next bit” in, which suggests it is going to have a fast paced conclusion.

Winter – Marissa Meyer

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Winter – Marissa Meyer

I finally finished! This book, being the last in the series was huge! At just over 800 pages [823, I think] it was always going to take some time to get through, but it felt like it was going on for a long time. Admittedly I did read another book in between, something that I don’t usually do, and I was focusing on my crochet and playing the most recent Pokemon game…. so you can see why it took so long to get through!winter-final

Synopsis:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

There’s so much to talk about from this book. First off, it was really, really big. Possibly the longest YA book I’ve read to date. I’m sure that some of the beginning of the book could have been cut down, but it was a great ride, and I loved being back with Cinder, fighting her battles against the evil Queen Levanna.

Things happened in this book but that I didn’t think would happened – the wedding, the coronation for instance. [I’ll try and be vague, I don’t want to give anything away or be someone who will spoil the story for anyone who may not have read it yet].

I love how immersive this world is, and how good the reinvention of the fairy tales were. I love the fact that this was set in the future, and that this particular book took place largely on Lunar. We got to see how Levanna treats her subjects, even those that were loyal to her. I felt like she could have held out for a little longer though, I have to say. I won’t talk too much about it, but definitely thought she could have hung it out a bit longer, or have something else up her sleeve before that final battle.

Winter was a brilliant character. I know she was a little bit crazy, and that everyone loved her – I think that’s what made her more compelling. The Queen was outdone by a teenage Lunar that refused to use her gift, afraid of that Lunar because she was just so pretty. Naturally pretty, and Levanna wasn’t.

I think Iko may have been my favourite character of the whole book. I know she wasn’t based on a fairytale, but she definitely held an echo of Pinocchio in her story. I felt like she had the most character development, and not just because she ended up with a different body [the one that Thorne had gotten for her in “Cress”]. I just loved her personality, it was on point for sure. I love some of the fan art around her too!

There’s so much to say on this book, but I just don’t want to. It was brilliant, and I loved it. I’m sad that this part of the story is over – I know that there’s the short stories, and Levanna’s book as well, but seriously, I’ve loved this story. It’s been a while since I enjoyed a series as much as I have this one.

I’ll leave it there for now, I know that this isn’t the most constructive review… but if this is on your to read list… enjoy it!

Kialtho

A Little Catch Up…

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It’s been such a busy time of it lately that my blog has been rather sadly neglected. Finding the time to do anything – read, knit, even going to the gym – has been a bit of a hit and miss. I blogged the other day about a book I got free from NetGalley, which was cool that I got a free book, but it was a bad book… so I’m not sure if/how that balances out. Because it was from NetGalley I was able to read it on my break at work on my iPad, but it wasn’t the book that I wanted to be reading! I’m almost half way through “Winter” but it’s such a big book that reading and eating at the same time is pretty much impossible.

I thought I would take a little time out this morning to update the blog and some of the things that have been going on lately, although, I’m not really sure where to start. Can you believe that it’s the middle of March already?

Hmm… I know. I finished my second ever crochet project this week! Again, finding the time to do it has been hard, I think I started it in the middle of February. It’s a Virus Shawl, crocheted in Wollmeise yarn, colour way “True Love”. It’s a love blend of colours, and I remember where I picked it up from and everything [Loop, London, a good couple of years ago]. I picked up a crochet needle from John Lewis on my way back from a course in Milton Keynes [nightmare journey. What should have been something like 2 hours turned into travel chaos]. That was also the first time that I had ever sat in a restaurant and had dinner by myself.
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I got carried away with the crochet and the disaster struck [drama!]. The hook had developed a snag, and not sure when I was going back to John Lewis in Bluewater – the nearest one to me that does the knitting/KnitPro stuff I like – I ordered a replacement from Amazon, and then had to wait about 2 weeks it to turn up. In the mean time I started a new knitting project. When I do have time to sit and chill, I like to keep my hands busy.
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This is the final product:
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It still needs blocking, so am hoping to do that next week. There were mistakes in the project for sure, and there was a definite learning curve. The yarn was just the right size skein, and even had an extra 13g to it! When I weighed it before starting there was 163g! Amazing.

I used a video to help me get through this, at least to begin with. Once the four main repeats were committed to memory it was as easy as pi. I also found a written version of the pattern as well, which was also great for reference.

So that was my big project of the last small while. Other things happened as well:

– I got a new car! I said a sad goodbye to Luna, my Fiat 500 as it was time to move on to something with a bit more power. I got myself a Limited Edition Vauxhall Corsa, which has power and boot space! I’m not entirely sure how Limited they are though as I seem to see them everywhere now! I’ve only had her a couple of weeks and have nearly done 450 miles though. *sad face*
– Alex had to go in for knee surgery, so have been ferrying him around. He’s off work at the moment recovering.
– I had one of my wisdom teeth out this week. My face hurts.
– I went to dinner with Alex and my parents at the new Turkish restaurant in town. It was amazing. I really want to go back there already!
– I started my new role in my new site. That’s what has been taking up most of my time, and eating into my knitting/crafting/reading time. I’ve been doing a lot of late shifts, which I didn’t really do before, but it’s good. It’s busy! And it’s a job so I’m not going to complain too loudly.

I really feel as though there’s more that’s been going on, and I’m sure that there is, it’s just that’s what has sprung to mind so far!

I’ll leave it there for today, and hope to update you all soon on Winter, and my current knitting project!

Take it easy folks,

Kialtho

Awakening – Catrina Burgess

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I received this book free from NetGalley on condition of a fair and honest review. NetGalley seems to be an interesting website so will be requesting more books from there in the future. Todays review is for Awakening, by Catrina Burgess. Here’s the synopsis from GoodReads:

Synopsis

In Awakening, the first installment in the Dark Rituals series, a former healer turns to the Death Arts to seek revenge.

Seventeen-year-old Colina was born a healer. But after a horrific event forces her to leave her clan, she becomes desperate to learn the dark magic of the death dealers, mages who draw their power from the spirits of the dead. Colina was taught to fear and hate death dealers, but becoming one of them is the only way for her to get the revenge she seeks—and the only way for her to survive.

Colina asks a young death dealer named Luke to help her, but he’s reluctant to train her in the Death Arts. Little does she know convincing him to teach her will be the easiest part of her journey. To become a death dealer, Colina will need to undergo three dark rituals, each more terrifying than the last. At the same time, she’ll have to deal with her growing feelings for her mentor. Too bad the first ritual involves him strangling her to death.

As Colina undergoes the trials, she discovers an untapped darkness within herself. If she survives the horrific rituals and gains dark power, what will she become?

The premise of this book was interesting. Girl is in need to help to learn some Dark Arts magic in order to get revenge for the murder of her entire family. She was a Healer, now she wants to lean these “Death Arts” in order to become more powerful and awesome and to kill the people who wronged her. That’s what drew me into requesting this novel.

The thing is I really wanted to like this, but it was clear from the get go that it wasn’t going to gel with me. The writing style was clunky, the characters weren’t relatable, and why wasn’t “death arts” just called dark arts, which is how I read it through the entire book.

Let’s start with Colina, our heroine. Family tragedy occurs – fine – seeks help after apparently being on the run for a few weeks [I think. It’s not entirely clear]. She decides that learning the death arts is the solution to all her problems. Except she knows nothing about death arts, and what it entails.

Luke, our protagonist first accepts, then refuses, then accepts, then refuses…. through a fair amount of the book. In fact, it’s not until his sister is kidnapped that they decide to go through with teaching Colina the magic she desires. Except that it usually takes a year to teach and go through the rituals in calling the dead. So naturally, they’re going to complete them in about three days straight.

Darla, Lukes’ little sister. Described has having hair “that sweeps the floor” or something similar. [Why…?]. She also starts of quite nice, but with the events of the book she changes quite drastically, but I didn’t feel it was all that believable.

That’s pretty much the lowdown on the characters. The evil ones were pretty one dimensional evil characters, with little reverence to the over all plot despite their brutal attack on the family.

What got to me was, as I was reading though, that there was so much emphasis on the rituals, that they were tough and that they would take so long to get through, and that a typical apprenticeship would last a year because it was that brutal to learn. The rituals? One where she would have to “die,” and then bitch about the fact that she had to die, even though she know that she would have to do it. Add in the typical ceremonial creepy cemetery scene, and the transformation into super goth for all of 5 minutes just made for choppy writing.

One of the things that I kept thinking about when I was reading this book was that infamously famous Harry Potter Fanfiction “My Immortal.” It just didn’t gel, and I just kept thinking about “goffik” and all that.

Overall this left me frustrated at the story, at the writing, and made me angry at points as well. I would be unlikely to pick up the next book in the series.

Evenstar Gloves

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I finally finished some knitting! It feels like it’s taken forever to get these gloves finished, which seems ridiculous as I did most of one last night. It’s a pattern I’ve made before as well so I found it even more frustrating that it was taking so long to finish. IMG_1755

These are the Evenstar Gloves, and they were made for a friend at my training store. He was eyeing the pair that I had made myself to so it was a perfect project.

I made these out of some yarn that I was given for Christmas. It’s Cygnet, a brand I haven’t worked with before. Seems to be a pretty good yarn, and I have three balls left to find something to make with. I am toying with the idea of making a Rainbow Dash out of the other blue/purple one, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m going to make more crochet projects this year. I think the fact that I made a My Little Pony last year proves that I can do it, so it is definitely time to expand on that skill.
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Part of the problem when it came to making these was the first glove I had made was on my 9” circular needles, which I’ve never had a problem with before, until this project. They made my hands really hurt. I persevered through the first glove and decided to switch to magic loop for the second one. Despite the minutest difference in the needle tips the tension was completely different so I had to make a third to match the second. I did feel like a bit of a beginner again, to be perfectly honest. However, it is now done, I just need to find the time to get them to the recipient as I no longer work in the training store – I’ve been moved to my new, permanent store.

It’s a good store, except that one of the staff insulted one of my knit hats because she was annoyed that work that she had done wasn’t recognised as good by the store manager. I was quite hurt at what she said about my hat, but not everyone is going to like/be impressed that I can knit stuff.

It has been a busy few weeks to be fair. I think that’s only set to continue as well. I ordered a[nother] new car, which will be ready to pick up on March 1st. I’m going to be one of the first off the forecourt! I have a limited edition black Corsa coming my way! I love my Fiat 500, but it’s time for a complete change, and the offer was too good to resist! I have to go to Milton Keynes on Thursday, and I have my final review and exam on Monday, so yes… it’s going to be busy!

It would seem that I missed out on blogging about a hood that I made as well! Oh dear, I’ve just not been very organised have I?

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This is probably the best picture I took of it before I gave it a new home – this one I gave to my Mum, who assures me that it’s nice and toasty when she wears it. The pattern came from KnitNow and was one that I had wanted to make for a while. It surprises me that I haven’t blogged about it before as I learnt how to do the Kitchener stitch properly for this and was extremely excited about it! It was really quite seamless. I used some King Cole yarn for this one, although I can’t remember the exact name. I remember being attracted to the sparkly nature of the yarn.

I’m sorry that this blog entry is all over the place! Next time I’ll aim for a bit more structure!

Anyway, that’s all for now folks, happy crafting!

Kialtho

Cress – The Lunar Chronicles [#3] – Marissa Meyer

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The third in The Lunar Chronicle series is Cress, a reimagined version of the Rapunzel story. This time instead of being trapped in a tower with no doors, we have Cress, trapped in a satellite orbiting the Earth, working for the Lunars but wanting to help the rebel Linh Cinder.

Being as though this is the third book in the series, I’ll warn for spoilers because I’m sure that I’ll end up speaking about the events of the book.

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Cress – The Lunar Chronicles [#3] – Marissa Meyer

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

I have read  a couple of other books since reading Scarlett, but it was nice jumping back into this universe and reconnecting with the characters. It doesn’t take long. Sadly, actually reading the book took a lot longer than I had wanted as life in general got in the way – so did the knitting…

I also found it harder to maintain my focus on reading this one. It felt as though something dramatic was happening a little too often, like every chapter which is great for plot development, but I did get to a point where it felt like a little too much was going on, especially to Cress who gained her freedom in a rather dramatic way – and gets understandably intimidated about how big and vast everything could be on Earth, when all she’s known was the tiny satellite.

It was great when things started to come together, when the gang were more or less reunited and were able to start to put their plans into action. I liked the little threads that connected all the characters together, things that perhaps weren’t so obvious in the beginning – Dr Erland, for example – and their endings as well.

It wasn’t until I started writing this blog entry that I realised that one of the central plots involving Thorne and Cress relates to the fairytale of Rapunzel so well that it just wasn’t something I had thought about. And, I love it more for that as well!

Things weren’t smooth going for the guys and girls of this instalment, even though at the end the ultimate objective of delaying the wedding was achieved. Of course, this means that all out war is going to happen in the next book – which has skipped the queue and will be read next instead of something else.

I love that this series is full of strong female characters – something that I think is needed. However, in the same sense I feel that Kai wasn’t portrayed as a particularly strong character, folding to Levanna for the wedding. Strong females can be portrayed alongside strong males, but he certainly doesn’t seem that way in this one. Perhaps that will change in Winter… Wolf was also a bit less… driven in this one as well. I would have thought he would have behaved a lot different, with a lot more determination and resolution to get Scarlett back, but instead he was resigned, and almost indifferent to the situation. Jacin is going to be interesting. Is he going to be super strong, or is he just a blank slate as already portrayed?

I look forward to the next book, and am probably going to start reading that as soon as I press “Publish” because this series is just too darn good to sit on a shelf and forget about.

What are you reading at the moment? One of the books on my reading challenge list is to read a book recommended by a friend – so I was thinking… why not ask you, my dear readers, instead?

Regards,

Kialtho

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