Sunday, May 05, 2013

52 Books: #8 - Island of Bones

Island of Bones by Imogen Robertson

This is the third in the series about Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther, set in the 18th Century.  Harriet is a women of independent means and independent spirit. She is beginning to make a name for herself as an investigator of sorts. Gabriel is a pathologist at a time when pathology was in its infancy. The pairing make for an interesting and intelligent read.

Harriet is recently widowed (in the previous book, which I haven't read) and she is seeking distraction from her grief.  When she is invited to travel to Cumbria to the former family home of Gabriel to investigate a mysterious body, she leaps at the chance.  Gabriel is less keen to rediscover his family history which is a grim one.

I really liked this, thought it was clever and atmospheric, with interesting characters. I'd read the first in the series which is called Anatomy of Murder and liked it. I do have the second one somewhere but half of my books are in boxes so I'm just reading what comes to hand.

Anyway I enjoyed this and will certainly read the others.

Spinning stuff - finally

I know I said there would be spinning stuff a couple of weeks ago. I can't believe you all fell for that old chestnut.  You should know me by now - it always takes far longer for me to get around to writing a post than it should.

But today I do actually have some photos of spinning to show you.

Way back last year sometime the lovely people at Storey Publishing sent me a digital proof of a new spinning book called Spinners Book of Yarn Designs. I loved the book and I even blogged about how good I thought it was.  I even went and bought my own copy when it was published.  And I thought it would be a good idea to try some of the techniques in the book, to try and expand my skills a bit.

So I sat down one afternoon and spun a lovely fat singles yarn from some unidentified fibre that was probably merino. I had carded this fibre a while back and I never remember to label anything. Anyway I was pretty happy with the resulting yarn which holds together and is balanced and is a pretty cool colour too.
And, no, since you ask I have no idea what I'm going to use it for.
At the same time, I took the chance to free up all my bobbins of odds and sods that were cluttering up my spinning basket.
So there's some bright red and pink merino bought from the Threshing Barn and spun into a lovely loose, sqwooshy 2-ply yarn that will make a beautiful hat. Of course it's too warm now to wear a hat but there's always next winter.
And then there is the last few yards of a merino/silk blend which looks like one of those Ashford blends but I can't think where it came from.  There was about half a bobbin left unplied so I Navaho plied it just to free up the bobbin and it's come up very nice.  I had more of this but it wasn't so nice as a 2ply. That'll teach me to sample, won't it.  Actually it probably won't. I hate sampling.
Finally there is a full bobbin of loveliness -

That's a laceweight alpaca spun with some beautiful alpaca fibre that I bought from Fleecewitch at Alpaca Futurity 2013 at the NEC.  Alpaca Futurity was a blast. We (that's the Walsall Handspinners) met lots of spinners and potential spinners. We made a few new spinners. We made new friends. AND - we made a blanket from handspun alpaca fibre which we then knitted and crocheted into squares and sewed together.  The lovely alpaca people auctioned it at their dinner and raised £1050 for Birmingham Children's Hospital.  How brilliant is that!

Back soon(ish) with a mega book update, because I'm still trying to do that 52 books thing.