The Lady of Shalott

The July instalment of the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s Story Time Sampler is The Lady of Shalott by Lord Tennyson. To be honest the only thing I knew about this was that Anne Shirley ran into some trouble when reenacting it. Since it’s a poem it was a fairly quick read, I especially liked this bit here:

No time hath she to sport and play:

A charmed web she weaves alway.

Seems like the Lady was a craftsperson.

The Lady of Shallot

The Lady of Shallot

Once again I lowered her mouth, but I also eliminated her smile. She’s floating to her death, a smile just didn’t seem right.

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We’re Jammin’

It’s that time of year again, time for jam! I spent a whole day cooking and canning jam and couldn’t help but hum Bob Marley as I did.

My favourite grape jelly

My favourite grape jelly

Early in the year I bought a book all about canning with lots of different and unusual recipes in it, but I ended up just using the recipes that come with the pectin (except for one, but we’ll get to that in a minute).

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Little Bastards in Springtime

My most recent Evergreen read was Katja Rudolph’s Little Bastards in Springtime, and I honestly think this might be one of the best novels I’ve read all year.

It was an incredibly difficult read, there were actually a few scenes that were so graphic I was almost sick (especially when I remembered they were happening to an 11 year old). But this is the type of book that gets under my skin and makes me rethink my whole worldview. And Rudolph’s writing is so beautiful, it has this wonderful dreamlike quality to it.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone, but for the right reader this is one of those novels that will stick with you for a lifetime.

Anne Finally Has Clothes

Well, she has a skirt at least. I had planned to give my Anne doll clothes inspired by the outfits she wore in the books, thinking I could use a mix of sewn and knitted clothes. Well, making anything with sleeves proved to be quite difficult since her hands are so much larger than her arms and nothing would slip over them. I’m still going to experiment a bit and see if I can figure something out (since I have some fabric scraps that would be just perfect for her clothes!) but in the meantime I decided to make a quick skirt for her.

From start to (almost) finish

From start to (almost) finish

I unravelled some woven squares and started on a basic skirt pattern from the Knitted Dolls books.

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Yarn Chicken

Usually when I buy sock yarn it’s in skeins that are over 400 yards, which gives me enough yarn for a pair of socks and plenty leftovers. I didn’t notice that each skein of the Patons Kroy Socks was only about 160ish yards, or about 320 for the pair. Which led to the inevitable game of yarn chicken, the terrifying game a knitter plays when she is unsure whether there is enough yarn to finish a project yet, rather than unraveling and making the project smaller, she keeps on knitting and hoping for the best.

Starting the toe

Starting the toe

That might look like a good amount of yarn there, but I’ve discovered that the best fitting toe for me is a long, slowly tapered one. One that takes a lot of yarn.

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Who by Fire

My fourth Evergreen book was Fred Stenson’s Who By Fire. It’s the story of one family’s struggles with the oil industry and how the opening of a plant near the family farm changes the course of their lives forever. It’s a great book in and of itself, but reading it so soon after Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything really added another layer to it.

My main issue with Klein’s book was that it was just so large in its scope. In this novel Stenson looks at many of the same issues through the eyes of the Ryder family, really helping me to relate and making it all that much more urgent. At the same time, having read Klein’s book I was aware of the larger overarching effects that the Ryder family could not have been aware of, especially early on in the chronology when they don’t know these things were happening in towns all over the place.

This is one of those books that really made me think about priorities and how far a person can go without compromising their principles. It’s the kind of book that, to be totally honest, I didn’t actually enjoy (by no means was it a ‘fun’ read) but that will stick with me for quite some time. And the ending! Just when you think things are going one way… but I’m not going to give it away. You’ll just have to read it yourself. And I really do mean that, I highly recommend this one.