Archive for the ‘books’ Category


June 28, 2012

The sad news: the last local bookstore near me is closing, for real estate reasons (rather than business ones).

The good news: all books were half off, so I acquired the great book Mend It Better by Kristin M Roach. A great reference for how to do various sewing repairs, plus some fun creative ideas on embellishing or upcycling. Some of these are things my mother never taught me, and it’s good to have a reference. I think this would be a great gift for a young girl going off to college.



November 19, 2010

When I don’t have a lot of knitting time, I end up getting a lot of inspiration from other places. I have some ideas for a hat and mittens for Siggi based on hats we saw at Rhinebeck. I also like taking new knitting books from the library.

My absolutely favourite new knitting book is Northern Knits: Designs Inspired by the Knitting Traditions of Scandinavia, Iceland, and the Shetland Isles. I want to knit almost everything in this book. There are shawls, sweaters, hats, mittens, socks, and a bag. Everything is beautiful.

Another book that I took out but was less of a hit was Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man. I thought some of the sweaters were nice, but Ingi did not agree. The only thing in there he liked was a hat. It was a fun read, though.

The Joy of Sox is another great addition to the wealth of sock books that are out there. I would buy this for my knitters’ group Christmas swap if I hadn’t already bought something awesome. If no one buys it this year, I think I will have to get it next year. A lot of fun looking patterns, including thigh high socks. I don’t think I have the endurance to knit thigh high socks (how long does that take?) but it looks like a really fun project anyway.

The other book that I would love to be on my Christmas list is Complete Feltmaking: Easy Techniques and 25 Great Projects. Although I have done a few felting projects (needle felted snowman, knitted and felted things, and hand felted pincushions), I don’t consider myself a felting expert by any stretch. This takes all of the different felting techniques and describes them, with detailed pictures, as well as providing a few sample projects for each technique. It is a great reference book to have.

I also have a new favourite graphic designer: Sandra Isaksson. I love the look of her designs, especially a lot of the stuff on the

Fun shopping in Iceland

October 21, 2009

I haven’t had much knitting time. Siggi likes to be held a lot, so between work and housework, I get little time with my hands. I have been working on a sweater for him and I’ll try to post the progress photos soon.

We just got back from a too-short trip to Iceland visiting friends and relatives. I wanted to go to the knitting night there but we had just arrived, so after dinner and visiting it was too late to go out.

One of the stops we always make is to the bookstore, so I got two great books on sale:

Hlýjar hendur, a book of 53 mitten patterns in all sizes. There are some cute ones I want to make for Siggi, and some skull fingerless gloves to make for one of the teens for Christmas. Really, I think I’d be happy making all of the mittens in this book at some point, so it’s a perfect book for me. I love mittens. I wanted to get some kambgarn for the mittens while I was there, but the only day we really had to go wandering around was Sunday and nothing is open, and the yarn store near Ingi’s parents doesn’t carry it.

The other great find was Einföld barnaföt fyrir 1-4. This is a translation of a Danish sewing book (Sådan syr du-Børnetøj 1-4 år) that I had been thinking of getting, because it is a collection of basic patterns for children from ages 1-4. It was exactly perfectly what I was looking for. It has patterns for jeans, pyjamas, a button-down shirt, some really nice jackets, and even patterns for making small clothes out of big ones (sweaters and ties).

We also got to watch a fun video, Män som hatar kvinnor. We wanted to go see the sequel in the theatre (I’ve read the first two books), but the timing didn’t work. We were about to go out to the movie rental when we found out my mother-in-law had already bought the movie, so we just watched that. It’s a good thing because it hasn’t come out here yet, so who knows when we’d be able to see it.

Summer Reading

September 1, 2008

I have been doing a lot of reading this summer instead of knitting. A friend gave me Water for Elephants when she was done reading it, which was a very fun read.

Then on vacation, I picked up The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island, which is a true story of a woman who moves back home to a small island in Maine to be a lobster fisherwoman. I always find glimpses into life in small (less than 40 people) communities (especially island communities) to be fascinating.

I also picked up a used copy of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. I can’t remember if someone recommended it on their blog, or if I just saw it around on the best sellers shelves, but the book had struck me as interesting so I figured I would pick it up. It really grabbed me right away. The author has a great use of descriptive language, and the story (as poignant as it is) really catches you and makes you want to find out what will happen in these people’s lives.

I think I will be back to classic literature when I finish that one.


April 20, 2008

This morning I was able to snap a photo of Ingi in the finished Cobblestone pullover.

We are listening to the Juno soundtrack. That was a really fun movie, and the soundtrack is great, it’s worth it just for the Sonic Youth Superstar cover.

I’ve been using the 1001 Books list as a way to help me pick out used books when I see them at library sales and so on. I realised one of the books was a comic book that I read years ago (The Watchmen). I’ve read a few more from the list Never Let Me Go, Cat’s Eye, City Of God, The Summer Book, and The Devil and Miss Prym (which was a really fun read), bringing my total up to 70 books from the list. Part of the reason I have been reading so many books is I have been upgrading my bookshelf with I have been swapping read-once books for classics and other interesting books. Sadly, this is a US-only site, but is another good site, and international.

1001 Books

February 5, 2008

I burned my thumb cooking pea soup tonight (how stupid is this!) so I figure I will talk about something besides knitting. We spent our Superbowl Sunday browsing a used bookshop and ended up coming home with Rainer Maria Rilke’s Stories of God, a Peter Hoeg book, and a book by William Burroughs about cats. It seems like every time we are in a used bookshop we end up with some of those books you “really should read.”

Speaking of books you really should read, someone wrote a book with a list of top 1001 books you should read before you die. I don’t agree with the list entirely, because there are a few that seem glaringly missing, but out of the ones I have read, many of them are ones I would really agree with belonging on that list.

I’ve read about 60.

The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson
Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Høeg
Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams
The Passion – Jeanette Winterson
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
Perfume – Patrick Süskind
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Neuromancer – William Gibson
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Shining – Stephen King
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich
Solzhenitsyn (I think I read this one too, I know I read the Gulag
Archipelago which should have been on the list)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote (just read this on the plane from Iceland after New Year’s, it was a Christmas gift)
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
The Once and Future King – T.H. White
The Wonderful “O” – James Thurber
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien (hey! this is 3 books! That
doesn’t count? Shouldn’t it be 1004 books, then?)
The Story of O – Pauline Réage
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
Foundation – Isaac Asimov (another trilogy, I think I’ve read them all)
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft
Independent People – Halldór Laxness
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Steppenwolf – Herman Hesse
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe
The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus
L’Étranger – Albert Camus

The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe (started then misplaced)
Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood

On the To-Read List (we have these books):
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
Wild Swans – Jung Chang
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier (can you believe I haven’t read this one?)
Erewhon – Samuel Butler (I started this a long time ago and put it down. Guess I should finish it.)
Emma – Jane Austen
Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Books that I would like to read soon (either I’ve always wanted to read, or heard good things, or like the author):
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Dead Air – Iain Banks
Choke – Chuck Palahniuk
The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho
Ignorance – Milan Kundera
City of God – E.L. Doctorow
Super-Cannes – J.G. Ballard
Blonde – Joyce Carol Oates
Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho
Mason & Dixon – Thomas Pynchon
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
The Pigeon – Patrick Süskind
The Summer Book – Tove Jansson
Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
Naked Lunch – William Burroughs
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
Threepenny Novel – Bertolt Brecht
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Devils – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole