Monday, March 26, 2012

The Lady in the Attic by Tara Randel

A few weeks ago I was going through some painful times and needed a mindless read. Nothing to stretch the mind; nothing to make me think. "The Lady in the Attic" fit the bill perfectly. The old Victorian style house on the front brought back memories of all the gothic romances I read as a teenager. This mystery is set in Maine and the characters are simple and small-town, easy to get along with. The best thing - a knitting/needlework theme! Yes, the main character is a crocheter, with a famous needleworker grandmother who has left all her worldly goods to her granddaughter. Annie travels from Texas to Maine to deal with the estate. To pass some time while there she joins the local stitch group only to discover that there are underlying tensions among the women. In the house she has inherited Annie finds a hither-to unknown stitchery done by her grandmother of a mystery woman. When she reveals the piece to the women in the group, the tensions come to a head. The search is on to discover who the woman is and why it has been hidden. There are clues in the stitchery and Annie resolves to find out what they mean. Along the way she makes friends and uncovers old relationships of her grandmother. Admittedly I figured out the solution part way through the book. However, the plot was fun enough to keep on reading. How Annie solves her dilemmas of a jealous daughter, a resentful new acquaintance and a grieving heart carried me to the end. This is the first book of a series, so when another trying time comes along for me I will search out the sequels.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Noro by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton

Noro yarn is well-known in knitting circles for its vibrant colours and earthy texture. What I didn't know was how environmentally friendly it is. Eisaku Noro, the humble man who came up with the yarn, stresses eco-friendly options in all phases of the yarn development. This is truly an organic yarn and explains why the price is higher than run-of-the-mill wool yarn. "Noro: Meet the man behind the legendary yarn" gave a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the yarn is developed from sheep to shelf. The book also has 40 innovative patterns for clothing, accessories and home decor. I am now quite excited to start a new project - a Kureyon blanket. Of course, the chase is on - tracking down the elusive dyelot that I MUST have.