Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yarn Along: March Sun and Wood Fires

The late-March sun pouring in the windows has conspired with the merry crackle of the woodstove to entice me to read and knit at the kitchen table day after day. When they can, the girls lure me away to read another installment of Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge tales. 


I don't know how I hadn't heard of this collection before now. I'm one of those people who adore cutaway pictures of animal homes, particularly if those animals have tiny things in tiny cupboards. Every story in this beautiful book delights with beautiful illustrations, and cutaways of home built inside trees, little sailboats, a seaside cottage, and so on. 


My children LOVE the stories of a community of mice that work together to celebrate seasonal events, and bake all kinds of wonderful things from seasonal foods. The author's attention to detail makes this a wonderful feast for the eyes. Fans of Beatrix Potter and Alison Utley of Little Grey Rabbit fame will adore this book. Get thee to a bookstore! I got our copy at Singing Pebble Books in Ottawa.
This is an extreme closeup; we've spent many happy times together studying the amazing details in the illustrations in The Complete Brambly Hedge.

For my own reading, I was craving strong female protagonists (inspired by my whirlwind romance with "The Hunger Games"). One of our library's staff recommended Graceling.  Katsa is an admirable character who struggles with her "Grace" (a special gift, indicated in children that have eyes of two different colours) for killing as she heads off on a dangerous mission with another "Graceling" (who happens to be a hot prince with nice muscles)...great stuff! Along the way, she learns more about her Grace, and herself, while learning to trust and love after a lifetime of distancing herself from everyone. 
I'm working on these Baby Fan fingerless gloves. I love it all; the yarn is Misti Alpaca, and the lace pattern easy to memorize (although I'll admit I had to rip out and restart more times than I care to remember, when I kept noticing that I was short some stitches). I'm picturing socks in the same pattern...


Thank you all for stopping by; please don't be hurt if I don't return the favour as Wednesday is a work day for me so I don't get a moment to browse your beautiful spaces! Please stop by www.gsheller.com to add your own Yarn Along, and to visit others!

24 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness - that book looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it; I will definitely have to look out for a copy. I think my children would love it. (Also, those mitts look lovely as well...) xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a huge B.Potter fan, but have never heard of Jill Barklem before. As soon as the bookstore opens I'm calling to see about getting a copy!
    Have a lovely yarn along day and enjoy your work. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh gorgeous mitts in a pretty pattern and a gorgeous colour, just perfect for keeping hands warm while you knit and read.
    The Brambly book looks amazing, that sure is a lovely piece of art. Your reading sounds like fun, may see if my library has that book too.
    Enjoy your March sunshine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. First - I absolutely love the colour of those mitts! The pattern looks beautiful too. I have also read the Graceling and really enjoyed it. It is usually not the style of book that I read but thought the character was well wrote. I also read the companion - Fire - which I thought was ok but not as good. The author has a sequel coming out in May for Graceling as well so maybe I'll give that a try too. I am currently still on the "Scottish Prisoner" which is going slow b/c I'm not really a big Lord John fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you...I skipped all the Lord John books! I think the next in the graceling series is "Bitterblue"? Have you read the Hunger Games? I've just checked out the two sequels to it from the library. Must remember to feed my kids in the midst of all this amazing reading!

      Delete
    2. Bitterblue is the sequel but Fire is the prequel to Graceling. I haven't checked out the Hunger Games yet, I usually jump on the 'bandwagon' about a year later! lol! How was the first one? I'm sure I'll read it eventually. That is too funny about feeding the kids, I remember reading the outlander series while stirring pots and adding spices!

      Delete
  5. Well, Brambly Hedge is on the to-order list! (Amazon loves me so much on Wednesdays!!!) Thanks for the suggestion!

    Love the fingerless mitts!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the heads up on book Graceling, I've added it to my list.
    Love the fingerless gloves!
    Love Leanne

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't thought about Brambly Hedge in about 25 years! As a wee girl, I had the four seasonal books ("Brambly Hedge in Spring" etc etc) and they were very treasured. Thanks so much for reminding me of them, and identifying a gaping hole in my bookworm daughter's library!

    ReplyDelete
  8. We love the Brambly Hedge books - such wonderful delicate illustrations - leaves so much to imagination. Your mitts look great - such a nice deep red.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have Graceling in my TBR list...have heard a lot of positives about it! And those gloves...WOW! Gorgeous color and pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  10. My daughter loved the Brambly Hedge books. I found a book with patterns for making all of the mice but have yet to tackle that project! I had not heard of the Little Gray Rabbit books, can't wait to add them to my children's book collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The books are a bit wordy for my little ladies at this point (although we have them), but I HIGHLY recommend the videos based on the books, even for people who limit viewing time for kids...they're calm and gentle, embracing the rhythm of the seasons and special events through the year...Hugh Laurie of "House" fame does the voice for Hare and always cracks me up!

      Delete
  11. Thanks so much for reminding me of the Brambly Hedge series. I know we had borrowed one book from the library before and we all adored it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The fingerless gloves are lovely! The pattern looks so nice in red. :) The Brambly Hedge book looks so sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy to see you posting...I was worried that we wouldn't hear from you again! You are a great writer and have good insight so I am glad that you are still posting! However, you are right about making sure your are living amoung the living....the blog world can easily draw you in...I just post when I have time and when I feel like it...sometimes it can be three days in a row (althouth not often) and sometimes it will be three weeks...so just blog when the mood hits and don't worry about it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think that book will be on our bookshelf very soon, thanks. Your fingerless gloves look wonderful, the pattern looks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Absolutely love the Bramley Hedge books (and the cartoon videos). Same kind of joy as looking at a really well equipped dolls house, just better!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a gorgeous colour yarn!
    I LOVED Brambly Hedge as a child. I also loved Little Grey Rabbit and Beatrix Potter ;) So I introduced them to my kids :D My daughter loves them too, I should get hold of them again so she can investigate the pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  17. The book sounds good, I'll have to check it out. And those gloves--beautiful! I love the red in that pattern, it is just wow!

    ReplyDelete
  18. we have those books also, your descriptions make me want to go find them right now! thank you for the reminder. your gloves are so pretty, the red looks perfect for the pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just found your blog today and I had to comment. I too just had my own whirlwind romance with The Hunger Games (can't wait to see the movie this weekend) and I am now reading Graceling as well, per my librarian's recommendation. Glad to find a kindred reader. Now off to my knitting! Can't wait to read more of your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh my goodness the Brambly hedge book is soooo gorgeous, we have that one too! I only discovered it in the last few years but adore the amazing pictures and imagining all those wonderful attic rooms and corridors and secret places. Oh to be child and read that!

    ReplyDelete

This space is a creative outlet for a busy mama; I warmly embrace your comments and feedback, as well as questions/requests for details. I do check them daily and will respond where appropriate! Thank you for visiting the Knitty Gritty Homestead!