Book Review: His Royal Highness

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Let me just start by saying that this book is downright fun. It takes place in a theme park. The heroine plays a princess and the hero is as close to a prince as it might be possible for him to get.

One of my favorite things about R.S. Grey’s work is that she isn’t afraid to write awkward heroine’s, but not in a clumsy-for-no-reason Bella Swan sort of way. They are bodily so ultra-self aware that they can’t help making a spectacle of themselves, and Whitney is no different. She flies through the story, trying to outrun her responsibilty for her own life by focusing on everything outside herself until confronting her relationship with Derek also brings her face to face with what she’s been avoiding. It was a joy to watch her grow and fall in love.

His Royal Highness is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.


Buy on Amazon

Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2019

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long, aka GAL2019, is starting a little later this year! It will run Tuesday, November 26th at 8 pm (US-EST) through Tuesday December 31st at midnight (US-EST).

Prizes galore (patterns, books, yarn, and more) will be available. I’ve donated e-books of Beachwalk KnitsWinery Knits, and Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock; and of course, there will be Ravelry patterns to win as well!

286 indie designers are participating this year. To join in the gift-a-long, simply knit or crochet any of their paid patterns and post all the required info in the appropriate thread in the group here.

From Tuesday November 26th at 8pm (US-EST) through Monday December 2nd at 11:59 pm (US-EST) the participating indie designers will be discounting between 10 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Use coupon code: giftalong2019

I have 19 patterns chosen for the sale — you can get a peek at some of them in this pic:

I’ve focused on shawls and cowls this year for my sale bundle.

But don’t forget — any paid design by any of the participating indie designers are eligible for the GAL, not just the sale patterns!

 

Now Selling Hand – Dyed Yarns!

Wow! It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it? Life has a way of getting so busy and overwhelming sometimes that it can be difficult to get to do the things you love with any regularity. I decided it was high time to re-prioritize my passions, though, and I’m happy to announce my new Etsy store, Thistle & Sprout.

I’ve been adding hand-dyed sock yarns along with wool felt poinsettia pins for the holidays. As I can, I’ll be adding other yarn weights along with fleeces from the backs of my small flock (maybe even some other little fibery fun!).

Im thrilled to be back on the fiber wagon and to share this journey with you all!

November – Indie Gift Along on Ravelry


It's that time again!

Get your yarn wound and your knitting needles warmed up.
Indie Designers Gift-Along sale is happening next week!
More info here: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/indie-design-gift-a-long

Have a great November!

-A

Pattern Release: Rincon Cowl

It’s Gansey time!

I wanted to play with this sort of knit-on-the-bias bandanna cowl construction. I chose to address texture, rather than color, in this unisex piece.

Easier to wear than a shawl, just toss it on and go.

This is a fast, fun knit, great for gifts. Enjoy!

One Size

Finished Measurements
Height (from top of cowl to bottom corner): 26” / 66 cm
Circumference: 26” / 66 cm

Yarn
Anzula Katara, 50% Merino Wool / 50% Yak (98 yds / 90 m per 1.76 oz / 50 g), 5 skeins (sample used 450 yds / 411 m), shown in Chiva.

Needles
US 6 / 4 mm (your choice straight or circular), or size to obtain gauge
US 6 / 4 mm DPN for Applied I Cord

Gauge
20 sts and 32 rows over 4” / 10 cm in textured patterns, blocked
Gauge is important. Alterations in gauge will affect yarn requirements and finished size.

Notions
yarn needle
stitchmarkers as desired

Skills
Applied I cord (directions given)
Grafting (only 6 sts), can sew if desired instead
Mattress stitch
Both charts and line by line instructions are provided

Meeting Carly Simon, Finally…

What’s it like to finally meet someone you’ve admired for years, someone you have  come close to meeting through mutual friends but didn’t for one reason or another, and so you resigned yourself to the fact that it would never happen!  Carly Simon has always been an inspiration to me through her song lyrics and through her written words, and to meet her, although for only a few minutes…. well, it was down right awesome, nerve wracking and surreal and all I hoped it would be.

 

After 40 years of being a fan and admirer of Carly Simon – 5 concerts (MV with Harry Connick Jr, NJ art center, Lincoln Center, the Apollo and Joe’s Pub in NYC)…

 After a lifetime of both of us having a connection to Martha’s Vineyard and never ever meeting each other it finally happened on Oct 24th here in NJ at Carly’s book signing for her new book ‘Touched By The Sun’ about her long time friend ship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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How did this come to be after all these years?  Carly has done signings of CD’s and books over the years in NYC but I’ve never been able to make them, but when it was announced she was going to be on this side of the Hudson River in New Jersey and not far from where I live, and an early evening appearance… we knew it had to be now or possibly never.

My daughter got off from work early and we left around 3 for the 6 o’clock signing.  We got to Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ around 4.  There were already maybe 7 people in line outside, we went into the book store to purchase our reserved copies of the book which were our tickets into the event, got a refreshment and then got in line which had swelled to about 12 people by then.  I was so relieved to be near the front, and my daughter could relax knowing she had delivered me bright and early to the event.  I tend to get anxious sometimes and this was absolutely one of those times. The final estimate was between 250-300 people.  Around 5 they led us into the bookstore and downstairs into a large room where they had a sort of roped off maze of lanes which led up to the front of the room where there was a desk. My description is horrible but the concept was great as it kept everyone orderly and in order of how you first got in line.  As in most cases when you’re in a line for awhile for something you begin chatting with those around you, some were sitting on the floor already reading Carly’s book, my daughter was knitting socks, everyone was friendly, happy and anxious for 6pm to roll around.

A little after 6 we were all led back upstairs where Carly was seated behind a desk waiting for her eager fans.

 

Carly looked gorgeous, she was charming, gracious and warm, she didn’t rush anyone and spoke to you like the two of you were the only ones in the room.  I was afraid I would turn out to be one of those ‘gushy’ fans that says the same things she’s heard a zillion times so I practiced in my head what I wanted to say in the short amount of time I had.  I did not gush, I did not blather, I did not forget my name, or hers,  I was my version of cool.

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I wonder if we were both thinking the same thing…

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If you’re wondering why the pictures show the back of the jacket I have on, it’s from Carly’s tour in 1978 when her ‘Boys In The Trees’ album came out. I came into possession of the jacket through two mutual friends of mine and Carly’s and thought she might get a kick out of seeing it.  She did.

Thank you Carly for all the years of your incredible music,your heart felt lyrics (there’s a Carly song for every emotion),  and for books, you are truly an inspiration.

 

carlysimon.com

 

 

Book Review: Maybe This Christmas by Susannah Nix

I will be the first to admit that I am not generally a huge fan of Christmas books. I don’t mean to come off as a Scrooge, but I totally am one, so why deny it. Christmas romances, in my experience, tend to be Christmas books with a dose of romance. Maybe this Christmas, however, is a fantastic romance that just happens to take place over several Christmases.

The second I started reading, I was hooked on these characters and their journey from the first page and devoured most of it in one sitting. Well–I read it in the dark while my husband slept. Thankfully, it is a novella and I only stayed up kind of too late instead of waaaay too late. And the book still had all the great things I’ve come to except from Nix’s work: smart characters, fantastic dialog, and a love story worth rooting for.

Maybe This Christmas is on sale today, and it is totally worth the $.99!

Two best friends. Ten Christmases. One happy ending.

When best friends Alexandra and Lucas share a first kiss on Christmas night their senior year of high school, it feels like the best years of their lives are ahead of them.

Then Alex goes off to college, and Lucas stays behind to work at his dad’s construction business in the small beach town where they grew up. Life, as they say, happens. And somewhere along the way these two high school sweethearts find they don’t have as much in common as they once did.

Lucas’s life is on Beaufort Island, and Alex is all about getting away and moving on. So he makes one of the hardest decisions of his life and lets her go.

But every year when Alex comes home for the holidays, fate conspires to reunite the two former lovebirds on Christmas Day. Year after year, through good times and bad, Lucas and Alex meet up, catch up, and reconnect on the anniversary of their first kiss.

Is it too much to hope that one year they’ll find their way back to each other permanently?

Maybe even this Christmas.

* * *

GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/2lqAEQw

AMAZON: https://amzn.to/2mZcs8B 

APPLE: https://apple.co/2mqwpok 

B&N: http://bit.ly/2kW7Ora 

KOBO: http://bit.ly/2kSyiK2 

GOOGLE: http://bit.ly/2msqMGb

UNIVERSAL LINK: https://books2read.com/mtc

Scream…

Chamber of Internal Dialogue. This was taken at the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ in October 2011.  Aren’t we all screaming internally at times 🙂

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https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/21/rdp-monday-scream/

Photo A Day Challenge: Autumn Trees and Leaves…

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https://citysonnet.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/october-photo-a-day-challenge-2/

Review: Two Japanese Knitting Stitch Books

Review: Two Japanese Knitting Stitch Books post image

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Title:Japanese Knitting Stitches from Tokyo’s Kazekobo Studio: A Dictionary of 200 Stitch Patterns by Yoko Hatta

Author:Yoko Hatta, (Translated by Cassandra Harada>

Published by: Tuttle Publishing, 2019

Pages: 128

Type: Stitch Dictionary

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Title:Keiko Okamoto’s Japanese Knitting Stitches: A Stitch Dictionary with 150 Amazing Patterns

Author: Keiko Okamoto (Translated by Gayle Roehm)

Published by: Tuttle Publishing, 2019

Pages:144

Type: Stitch Dictionary

Both books do have basic Table of Contents, but they’re basically just laying out the techniques. It doesn’t seem strictly necessary to spell them out for you.

KS: Japanese Knitting Stitches

The In-Depth Look:

This is a two-fold review, if only because both books arrived at the same time from the same publisher and have so many similarities.

Both books are stitch dictionaries. Both are originally published in Japan (in 2012, I believe), and recently translated into English and published here. (Tuttle Publishing has a great “Books to Span the East and West” program.)

Yoko Hatta’s “Japanese Knitting Stitches” is primarily stitch patterns–200 of them, according to the cover. They’re beautifully photographed and well illustrated via really excellent graphs. The stitches make up about 3/4 of the book, with the back section explaining each symbol with a description of the what exactly you’re supposed to do with each symbol/stitch as you read the graph. There are a handful of project patterns at the back, but the only illustrations of them (so far as I can see) are tiny thumbnail-sized photos in the Table of Contents.

The other book, Keiko Okamoto’s “Japanese Knitting Stitches” is similar in that it is filled with stitch patterns–but they’re different. Rather than just being basic cable, lace or knit/purl patterns, these are a little more enthusiastic in their color and texture–stranded color and bobbles, and open-work. There are more elaborate projects included–only seven of them, but more intricately detailed and photographed. (That Nordic Coat is to die for!)

Both books are fantastic stitch dictionaries. Like all Japanese knitting books, they rely heavily on graphs–don’t expect elaborate written instructions–but how necessary is that, really?

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here

This review copy was kindly donated by Tuttle Publishing. Thank you!

My Gush: So many possibilities to play with!