…You’re on a beach, the sun kissing the sand all around you, an umbrella protecting your skin (freckles + burn = not fun). You lean on your backrest, lift your eyes from the page, look out at the waves and think about what you would do in Nora’s position.
That’s not right.
Lying on a picnic blanket—not unlike Nora’s—in Maritime Park—close enough to hear the clang of the Powell Cable car but not so close as to hear the tourists—you pull your eyes from the page and raise a hand to your brow to block the sparkling sun. Gulls cry overhead; in the distance you think you hear—could swear you hear—the bark of sea lions mixed in with the sound of surf lapping the thing ribbon of sand below you.
Really you’re sitting next to a wood stove that is blazing away, trying to shut out the sub-zero chill of this Suddenly Very White end-of-February. You’re bundled in thick socks, slippers, flannel PJs, and a snuggly robe, realizing that you really should take a shower and get on with the day—but you can’t.
Like any knitter, you’re used to “just one more row” but now you’re struggling with “just one more page”—a feeling you haven’t had in a long while. But you’re reading an advance copy of Rachael Heron’s latest book, Splinters of Light and now you’re at that ‘can’t put it down’ stage. You wish for an audiobook because you’d really like to have Nora and Ellie and Mariana and Harrison and Paul in your ears (in your head… in you) for just a bit longer and the day is pulling you away from your book cocoon and you don’t want to go but…
That’s what it’s like to find yourself immersed in Rachael’s latest novel. (Well, that plus the pile of tissues you suddenly realize has been growing next to you. Bring a box.)
It snuggles its way into your heart, wraps around it like Mariana’s feet twisting a sheet around Nora’s leg, and doesn’t let go until the heartbreaking/heartwarming, lovely-as-it-should-be end.
There are plenty of others more well-known than I who have favorably reviewed (all of) Rachael’s books—including this one—but I’ll bet few of those reviewers can also tell you this: Rachael is a LOT of fun to Skype with and even more fun at SOAR. That, plus, honestly, she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever be lucky enough to meet.
Get the book and read it on a beach during Spring Break, sitting by a fire right now, or in bed every night. But don’t say I didn’t warn you that reading in bed will fix your fate: it will be 4am before you look at the clock and remember that you needed to sleep. Like any gateway drug, you won’t be able to put Splinters of Light down. Thank goodness that, when you finish it, there are many
dealers bookstores out there from which you can pick up a fix another (or 15) of Rachael’s other books to read right away on your Kindle, iOS device, Kobo reader, or Nook.
Becky Herrick and her friend Calley Hastings have a new book coming from Cooperative Press! The book is near and dear to my heart not only because Becky designed for What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit, but also because her book combines patterns and recipes (like WWMDfK?). They focus on local ingredients and American made yarns throughout the seasons because the chapters each focus on a new month with a pattern or two and a recipe or three. As you might expect, that means they have “paired fresh summer dishes with simple summer garments while cozy fall sweaters rub elbows with hearty baked goods.”
You will like.
See the purple lusciousness?
I know you will like.
Want to know the best way to learn when the book is available to order? EASY!
<a href=”http://eepurl.com/gIvrr” sl-processed=”1″ class=””>Sign up for the Cooperative Press newsletter</a> . You can <a href=”http://eepurl.com/I82IP” sl-processed=”1″ class=””>sign up for Becky’s too, if you like</a>. Neither of them go nuts with glutting the ol’ inbox. They get too many emails, too, so you’ll pretty much only hear from them when new goodies are coming your way.
Felt so Good?
(Oh, my goodness. Yes, yes it did.)
Felt so Good: 70+ Felted and Plain Wool Designs for You and Your Home by Tone Rørseth is a book that made me want to felt. Well, more specifically, go out and find some Nepal Wool Felt and some Wool Felt by the Yard and dig out the craft felt and and and…
Full disclosure: I have needle and noro felted—in classes and on my own—and I very much enjoyed it… but it never really stuck. I’ve wondered why over the years, but it wasn’t until this book that I finally got a glimmer of why.
I never know what to DO with it.
I made a cute birdie... well now, where can I put that? Somewhere where it wont be lost,
overwhelmed, whacked at by a cat, knocked off its perch by a kid, or covered in dust.
I made a gorgeous noro shawl… I work from home. I rarely go out to fancy places.
I have nowhere to wear the shawl to… but it’s gorgeous.
And in the cedar chest.
Then this book comes along.
Even the little tchotchkes are things where I can see a way to display them (most especially because of the way they were photographed). There are also decorations—adornments for pillows as well as garlands and mobiles that I know I’ll be fiddling with soon.
And the slippers.
Her clever design is just what I wanted and for exactly the same reason as she recommended. Make a bunch in different sizes and keep them in a basket by the door so guests can kick off muddy shoes and slip into something a little softer, warmer, and wonderfuler-er.
Some items are adorable, but I won’t have much use for (because boys).
Some are pleasantly functional (and good Christmas present fodder).
And many show how to upcycle old sweaters (don’t forget to check the label. Wool won’t felt if it’s superwash or has nylon, polyamide, or any other synthetic mixed in. And if you’re looking to get a cheap sweater at the thrift store and unravel it—check the seams! If the seams are cut and sewn together the yarn will be in sweater-wide lengths, rather than a continuous strand knitted around and around to create the sweater. This doesn’t matter if you’re felting and cutting the fabric yourself—only if you want to unravel it to repurpose the yarn.)
All in all, this is one of those books that I’ll be buying myself a copy of after giving this one away. With 75+ things to create, I think it’s a good investment.
Wait, what did I say back there? Giving this away?
I’ll be giving away my copy of this book on the CraftLit site during our big WEEK o’ RAFFLE EXTRAVAGANZA to celebrate the beginning of the next book on the Audiobooks-with-Benefits podcast. And that book is…
The fun begins November 17th with 24-hour raffles popping up each day. Want a reminder? Sign up for the (infrequent) newsletter here.
Thank you to Sellers Publishing for providing the book to read, enjoy, review, and soon, give to a reader. (Maybe you!)
Pre-orders are OPEN today!
On Hunter’s new adventure—a Curly one!
Go here: www.violentlydomestic.com
Head on over and order in an orderly pre-fashion (now that an hour and 19 minutes of stampede is over and the server has bounced back from it’s overwhelmed crash — could have been the goody bags for the first 250 folks who bought the paper copy (there still might be a few left if eveyrone else went digital… worth a look).
I got to read the book early (because Editor) and I have to tell you, this is the first book that’s made me WANT to knit in months (neck and shoulders not feeling friendly toward needles right now). Clever. Simple. Pretty. Fun. What more do any of us need, really.
And there it is!
(If you got the CraftLit September update today, you’ve already seen this—just FYI).
So, so much has happened in the last month in my complete world (as opposed to my knitting world) that I needed to share—since some of it may affect you, too.
Big Bleak Weekend Event!
Wanna chat about the awesomeness of Bleak House? In real time?!? FACE to FACE?!
You’re invited whether you read the book on your own or listened via CraftLit’s Premium Membership audio. We just wanna talk about the book!
We tested the system at a new site (vokle.com) and were impressed by how easy it was to use.
You can ask a question by video (in real-time) or a typed question (in the little text box)—and for our purposes, when the site says “ask a question” we really mean “ask a question or share a comment” because y’all are going to want to answer each other’s questions, too.
If this works, there will be more.
There’s an FAQ page for this site, and this handy and very important tip: DO NOT forget your headphones. We all risk wicked-painful feedback and/or disorienting echo when the mic is “handed to you” if you’re using your computer micAND computer speakers. Just normal ear buds will be fine. Anything but the speakers (same goes for Skype, too. You’ll be surprised at the improvement in the conversation).
If you have found a better site for this kind of thing—let us know!
If you can’t make it, the discussion will be recorded. I’ll give you the URL as soon as we have one!Big Bleak Weekend Event!
- Stitches East — Thursday October 9th only — I’ll be seeing market and Franklin’s talk and then Heather Goes Back Home. Wanna meet up while I’m there? Email and let me know when/where you’ll be!
What we’re trying to do: Shannon Okey, Tara Swiger, and I have teamed up to present at these two back-to-back SXSW conferences in 2015 to spread the word about harnessing the internet to… well… harness the internet for independent learning and on-the-go, supplemental education. CraftLit’s place in the conversation is pretty obvious: the show is used by parents, students, home schools, and classroom teachers. Shannon and Tara are also pioneers in using online venues and social media to educate and aid people all over the world.
But we can’t present if we don’t get the votes. And the voting closes Friday, September 5th!
- Vote here right now! — SXSW Education
- Vote here right now! — SXSW Interactive
CraftLit has been invited to join other (awesome) free-content creators at the Subbable.com site where listeners can receive email notices of new posts AND get access to cool Perks. You can subscribe to CraftLit there for free (just like you would at the CraftLit.com site) and get an email every time a new episode comes out:
AND when you subscribe you have the option
to pledge a little something to contribute
to the monthly cost of podcast upkeep.
The money that you pledge is “banked”
at Subbable and when enough is banked
to get one of the nifty Perks you’ve
been eyeballing, you can redeem
that part of your bank
and we’ll send the goodies
right to you.
What goodies make up these Perks?
a USB Bracelet — with or without an Audiobook with Benefits;
a set of five CraftLit “Got Book?” Art postcards—all post-office ready;
a way to proclaim that your betterness measures up to the best—with a CraftLit measuring tape;
a Haute Men of CraftLit T-shirt (we’ll alternate other styles from time to time).
There’s more, but these have the cute pictures. Got toSubbable.com/craftlit to see the rest and subscribe.**
CraftLit is barreling towards the end of North & South and Bleak House is DONE!—and in the shoppe for those of you who are interested. If you’re not sure about a book with such a wonky title, I’ve got the first chunk ready as a small bundle of audio so you can find out if you like it before committing to the whole shebang. There was also a Sneak Peek of the first chapter that I posted over a year ago (oy!) that you can check out, as well.
Our next Premium Membership Audiobook will be the very first Sherlock Holmes story—and we’ll keep that series going in between larger works for as long as there’s a podcast. Even more better, Jon Scholes (who was our Jonathan Harker) is going to read Sherlock to you. (Streaming or Download-only Premium Membership info)
So, yep. It’s been a busy month. Gonna be a busy September, too. But that’s not a bad thing…
**FYI—This is completely separate from Premium Audio Memberships — but way better than “just” donating through PayPal — as a way to support the show. Plus, it’s a huge flippin’ honor to be invited onto the same site as the Green Brothers.
Ooooooh! Do I have a cute book for you!
Do you like to crochet?
Do you like to crochet for kids?
Do you like a path to follow like, “do this for January, and this for February, and … ” — if so, then I have a book for you!
Crochet for Baby All Year: Easy-to-Make Outfits for Every Month by Tammy Hildebrand.*
There are some extremely clever crochet patterns in this adorable book—including his-and-her stegosaurus onsies (long legs and sleeves for Halloween), June’s crocheted beach “flip-flops” (which may not be all that functional, but they are darn cute!), and a makes-me-hope-my-sons-have-daughters-one-day little girl dress that is “Pretty as a Posy” for April.
My fave, though, both for construction and look is September’s back-to-school set: a letterman’s sweater and cheerleader uniform.
This is not a book for beginners—though I’m confident that if you know sc, dc, and hdc and have a reference book by your side you’d be able to find something you could do in here (boy’s swim trunks? several of the hats?)—but if you’re an experienced crocheter I think you’ll find some nifty things to keep you interested. The construction of that gored cheerleader skirt, for one.
All in all, I found this to be another lovely entry from the ever-busy Tammy Hildebrand. I loved her previous book (and had fun corresponding with her back then) and this looks like another winnah!
A note on the physical book itself: since CraftLit has gotten on Stackpole Books’ mailing list, I’m finding myself very impressed with the quality of the book itself. I like the covers—they’re made with a matte finish, but it’s a matte that feels really silky under your fingers. Very nice. And I like that they have not only a “Yarn and Suppliers” and “Abbreviations” pages at the end of the book, but they also have a visual index, so for those of us who are visual learners (she said raising her hand) it makes it very easy to find the pattern you remembered seeing but for which you can’t remember the name (or in this book, the month).
And best of all—you could win a copy!
During the month of August 2014, visit the CraftLit giveaway page to find out how to enter.
And did you know about:
*All Amazon links on this blog are affiliate links. Clicking from here, going to Amazon, and buying… anything, helps to support the CraftLit podcast—with no cost burden to you. If you do choose to click-n-buy from here, thank you!
OOH! OOH! OOH!
I have a solution!
So, book riot released this a week and a half ago (and I just saw it, thank you, Heatherly):
20 Books You Pretend to Have Read.
Of course, because of CraftLit I was intrigued. Then, scrolling down past the top twenty-lied-about-books, a reader shared this graphic:
I humbly present my solutions for the world’s lying-about-reading conundrum:
Listen to Audiobooks with Benefits!**
Here—from the graphic:
and from the Top-20 list:
- A Tale of Two Cities (20)
- Hamlet (25; and the general “Shakespeare” response—link takes you to Chop Bard)
- Little Women (34)
- The Scarlet Letter (35)
- Slaughterhouse Five (36; link takes you to Crash Course—not the audiobook, but will help you attack the book!)
- Dracula (38)
- Jane Austen (48; P&P, 1 above, Persuasion, 323)
- Frankenstein (61)
- Alice in Wonderland (67)
- Charles Dickens (69; Bleak House and A Christmas Carol)
- Canterbury Tales (83; being remastered, but soon—and if anyone wants to translate and read Beowulf for me, just let me know—and could you throw in “The Wanderer’,” too?)
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde (129)
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin (171, link takes you to Forgotten Classics)
- Bleak House (200)
- Edgar Allen Poe (232; Cask and Masque)
- Turn of the Screw (380)
and that’s all you need, right? Everyone is set, now, yes?
Because these books are a lot of fun!
And these are the books that are on-deck at CraftLit (meaning there is work being actively done on them—either by book readers or by me:
- Picture of Dorian Grey (51) is on-deck at CraftLit
- Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (81) some are on-deck at CraftLit
- Middlemarch (111) on-deck at CraftLit
- The Awakening (189) on-deck at CraftLit
Painless classics! No need to be embarrassed and lie any longer–at least not about these 19 from CraftLit and the others I listed here from friends of the show.
*I’m always asked, so I’ll say up front, I can only do classics on CraftLit. The podcast is free so the text has to be as well—that means only books and translations that are in the Public Domain. This is why we haven’t done Russians or things like Don Quixote yet—the translations we have access to are all Victorian and… kinda… dull.
** Technology has finally caught up to where I needed it to be and thus I’m remastering old audio. It takes awhile (because one-woman-show) but it IS happening. However, if you previously purchased an Audiobook from me, and I release a remaster, you will get an email with the link to the new files. No need to re-pay or re-sign up or hassle with any of that.
Lot 4 — Fair Isle!
Bidding for Lots 3 & 4 begins at 3pm EDT Wednesday—
June 25, 2014—and ends promptly at 6pm EDT
To enter to win, please put your bid in the comments below.
Highest bid at 6pm wins.
One knitting bag is included with this lot—seen in picture above.
Only One Way to Win!
- Read through the comments below to see what the bidding is up to.
- If you want to win the lot, make a higher bid than the previous one.
- Highest bid at 6pm wins the Lot.
- Winner receives email with payment instructions (PayPal, please).
Feel free to Tweet or about the raffle.
It would be lovely if you would spread the word and help out Nanette the Nanny—an awesome knitter and even awesomer person!
Suggested Starting Bid for Lot 4: $35.00US + actual shipping*
*calculated from McLean, Virginia, USA
Marie Grace Berg—the most enthusiastic business woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking with—has released the interview she did with me awhile back for her show Today’s Leading Women.
or to iTunes
SO excited by this—Marie Grace is a lovely woman and I am honored that I was given this opportunity.
Sorry for the absence! I’ve been packing boxes.
I’ve also been doing this:
But mostly, today, I wanted to talk to you about this:
This book is full of fun patterns.
I love fun.
I decided to highlight two for you today.
The first is Coventry:
I admit that I’m a sucker for this color grey, so I’m immediately drawn to it. But beyond that…
…I really like this stitch pattern repeat. I thought it was simple enough but very elegant—and I liked the button on the (left) side (in picture) beyond all reason.
The other pattern I wanted to highlight for you is this kicky number:
The girl is the picture is holding a skateboard, but it is so clear that if you (like me) have boys at home, these would be ideal. I love the detail work and the instructions are nice and clear. Fear not the zipper!
I found the book to be an easy and pleasant read and I can’t wait to hear more from our lucky Raffle Winner (through midnight, April 30, 2014).