book review

After a slight internal struggle I decided to frog the Tantalizing sock. It really wasn’t progressing as I would like and I didn’t want to forge ahead only to be severely disappointed.
After ripping it out, I promptly cast-on the master Coriolis pattern from the same book. Here is the first sock.

Ok, it’s a little wonky looking when not on the foot. But when worn…

Much nicer. Here is a better view of the top…
I didn’t do any of the suggested variations. Instead I just knit the master pattern with a plain heel. After the heel was completed I knit for another 1 1/2″ and then did 4 rnds of 1×1 ribbing. I knit one round of purl, and then 8 more rounds of knit and cast-off. This gave it a nice rolled edge, but with ribbing to keep it in place.

I’m very happy with the way this one turned out and will be casting-on the second sock tonight.

That being said, I have a huge complaint with the New Pathways book. The patterns are revolutionary and, once you muck through everything, fairly easy to knit. However the layout of this book SUCKS! You are constantly having to flip pages just to knit one pattern. For this “master” pattern I had to have 3 pages bookmarked for reference. If I had chosen a variation it would have been more. On Ravelry there have been a lot of people who have taken their copy to Kinkos to have the perfect binding chopped off and a spiral binding installed. I’m seriously considering doing this.

On top of the layout issue, because the patterns are generalized for all the variations (and presumably unwritten variations) they are not specific enough. There were several times where I had to stop and try to figure out what they heck I’m supposed to do, and I’m an experienced knitter and very well versed in sock construction. It’s so bad that I think if I knit another project from this book I will have to go through and write everything out beforehand so I’m not constantly searching for the correct page, and possibly missing a step because I didn’t pay close enough attention. 😦

So, overall I would give the book a B. It really is innovative, but the layout went for style over ease of use and coherency. I would only recommend this book to experienced knitters. Definitely not for the beginner or novice.


Well I think I’m slowly coming out of my creative funk without the aid of the spa (I’ll save that until I’m really stressed out!). However, I’m not there yet.

A few days ago I cast-on my first project from the new Cat Bordhi book New Pathways For Sock Knitters. I have to say when my sil first showed me this book I was blown away. The patterns are so creative and the construction is quite different. I was so excited when I received the book for x-mas! Imagine my dismay when I discovered that I couldn’t just jump into a pattern but had to read the book first, and then actually do math (shudder) to determine the number of stitches required for every pattern! I, who fearlessly knit sweaters without checking gauge, am now required to knit a swatch for every pattern just to determine the number of stitches required! Tsk! 🙂

Anyways, I dutifully did my swatch and got my numbers and then started knitting Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks.

I have to say that I’m not feeling the love for these. I really like the pattern, but I’m not liking the way this attempt is progressing. I think a froggin is in order.

I just finished reading Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy book for young readers. I would recommend it for ages 9 & up, because there is some imagery in the book that may be frightening for younger children. Also, there are several “big” words in the book that may be difficult. There is a bit of British slang used, but Mr. Mieville has been thoughtful enough to provide a small glossary at the back of the book. Also, he has kept the chapters short, most are only 4-5 pages long, so it is easy for even a slow reader to get through a chapter quickly. Below is a brief synopsis from

“It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.

When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very imaginative and the illustrations are wonderful! Mr. Mieville is a very talented writer, with a voice that reminds me a lot of Neil Gaiman. Apparently this is his first novel for younger readers, however he does have several other novels out that I will definitely be keeping an eye out for.

I have to say that, since the break through of the Harry Potter series, the quality of novels for the young has skyrocketed. I find myself enjoying these books far more than most of the adult novels I have read. These books seem more original & imaginative, without all the sexual tension/hangups that can cause books aimed at older audiences to falter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for good love scenes… just not obligatory love scenes. Not every protagonist needs a love interest.

Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. I am definitely giving this one to my niece.