Sunday, June 30, 2013

canada day eve

Fireworks are exploding in the background, so it seems fitting to write about my 13th and final book in this year's Canadian Book Challenge. The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson was exactly what I expected - quirky, experimental, creative. But it was also exactly what I didn't expect - heavy, meaningful and heartbreaking. I devoured this small novel and every page was wonderful. I've been sticking to fairly linear storytelling this year so this was a nice break from that, reminding me of some of my favourite writers - Jeanette Winterson, Daphne Marlatt, George Elliot Clarke. The two main characters are so rich and loveable and it was very hard to say good-bye to them. CS Richardson is a book designer turned novelist so I was especially fond of his designer's sense. Structuring the novel around the alphabet, using the scale of a small notebook, the wonderful single opening page in robin's egg blue and the perfect description of font choice - these details added immensely to my whole experience of reading his words. What a perfect ending to this year's challenge.

I can't wait to start this all over again tomorrow! And if anyone out there is looking for the motivation to read a little more Canada, come join the challenge

Happy Canada Day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

baby knitting bliss

Oh yes, this is one cute baby hat pattern. I suppose you can't go wrong with the simple combination of cables, bear ears and bows. If you have a baby gift in your knitting future, I highly recommend The Cabled Teddy Hat pattern. This version, knit with Rowan's Pure Wool, is going to a friend's new baby girl. I followed the 6-12 month size and made absolutely no mods. It was easy to follow, quick to knit and deeply satisfying in the adorable category.

The Canadian Book Challenge is almost over (how is it almost July?) and I just finished my 12th of 13 books. I read Joan Clark's An Audience of Chairs a few years ago and thoroughly loved it. Road to Bliss is her latest novel and although it wasn't as captivating it was still an okay read. The notion that a 15 year old boy would leave home and not be tracked down by his loving parents was a stretch for me, but there were some interesting characters and description of place. Though some characters may have been a little one-dimensional, or the characterization of the community they belonged to a little obvious. Or maybe I'm just loving my 13th book so much that I can't remember how this novel affected me.

For more knitting and reading stories be sure to visit today's Yarnalong.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

animal party

Not long ago I made a fox pillow for a friend. I was a little smitten with it myself and couldn't stop thinking about the face construction, so obviously I had to try another. The changes are subtle - I made the ears orange instead of white and then the cheeks are all white with a really tall nose. But it actually changes the whole expression.  This fox is quite sly by comparison. He's a great addition to a lonely black chair of ours.

In what is clearly an animal phase, I've been making a number of mini owls. It's birthday party season around here and they've been great additions to gifts for both 4 and 9 year olds. I tend to give them away as soon as they're done, but today I finally remembered to take a photo of a rather colourful version. The free pattern is super easy and it's a great way to use up scrap wool. Sadie and I estimated that with my scrap wool I'd likely be able to make about 1000 of them.

It's probably not even an exaggeration.