I’ve read my first Canada Reads novel of the year, Birdie by Tracey Lindberg.

To be totally honest, I found it a bit difficult to get into at first. It’s very…mystical? It took me a while to figure out what was actually going on. But once I did it was almost like going into a trance – this is one of those books that just took me away to another world. This is also one of those books that made me rethink certain perceptions – I know that this is going to make me sound like a terrible snob, but a lot of the characters came off as, well, trashy at first.  But the more I read about their lives and what led them to where they are, the more I came to sympathize with them. We’re taught that everyone has a story and that you can’t judge people based on their appearances, but it’s good to be reminded.

I must say, Lindberg is a terrific writer. Some awful, terrible things happen to the main character and yet there is still something very soothing about the cadence of Lindberg’s language. She does this interesting thing where, if there isn’t a word to suite what she needs, she just mashes words together; littlebigwomandaughter, smilesnarl, sistercousin, and so on. It gives the writing a sense of immediacy, like she is so eager to tell her story that it doesn’t matter if the words are real or not, just so long as you get the right idea. Reading this book made me think of a group of close friends sharing juicy gossip over a cup of coffee.

I’m not sure that this is a book that will stand out in my memory for years to come, but I would certainly recommend it.

Canada Reads 2016

For the past few summers I’ve been challenging myself to read all 10 Evergreen Nominees. Now I’m going to try my hand at the CBC Canada Reads titles. The theme this year is ‘starting over’ and the five finalists are:

  1. Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter
  2. The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
  3. Birdie by Tracey Lindberg
  4.  The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami
  5. Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz

Each novel will be defended by a notable Canadian in a weeklong debate at the end of March. Everyday one book will be eliminated until only one remains, a book that every Canadian should read. It’s a really exciting program (well, it’s exciting for librarians and other book nerds) that’s broadcast on CBC Radio. I’m going to try and read all of them before the debates take place, so I have until March 21 to finish all five books. Wish me luck!

Well, That Was Fast

Remember how one of my resolutions was only to buy that one specific fabric collection this year? Well it was just days after that post that Connecting Threads released the Wildflowers and Honey fabric line, the one I’ve been waiting for all these months. Needless to say I purchased some right away.

Connecting Threads Wildflowers and Honey

Just a taste of things to come…

I had a look at the different quilt kits they had available, and I loved the homespun feel of all of them, but none of them really caught my eye. I love this fabric and I wanted a quilt that would showcase large pieces of it. So instead of any of the kits I bought a fat quarter sampler and will figure out a pattern later on.

But here’s the part where I maybe sorta broke my resolution. I didn’t stop at this collection…

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Elderberry Socks

I said that I would focus on knitting socks this year so I figured it would help to actually cast on a pair. I wanted something simple since I am about to embark on a huge complicated project, so these are just a basic socks in a 2×2 rib.

It's pretty, whatever it is...

It’s pretty, whatever it is…

I’m not really sure what the yarn is, it’s been in the stash a very long time and the label is long gone. I know it’s a Stroll sock yarn from Knit Picks but I don’t remember if it’s Stroll Tonal or Stroll Hand Painted. Either way I love the rich colour so I’m going to call these my Elderberry Socks.

Dogwood Blossoms

I love books and I love knitting so it should come as no surprise that I love books about knitting. Of course there are the instructional and pattern books but I also enjoy history and personal essays. When I stumbled across Adrienne Martini’s Sweater Quest at work a few months back I had to grab it (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Libraries are AWESOME! Everything you want right there for the taking! Go to your local library! Okay, getting off the soapbox now…). In this book Martini chronicles her year long quest to knit a famed Alice Starmore Mary Tudor sweater – a gorgeously intricate Fair isle sweater that some would call the knitter’s Mount Everest – and it got me thinking.

Now that my year-long cross stitch project has wrapped up I need a new challenge. I need a big project that will challenge me. I thought about trying a Starmore kit, they certainly are stunning, and I might try one some day, but they don’t have a special place in my heart. There is one project though, one that I’ve been daydreaming about for years…

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