Read the World!

We’ve got a new display up where we normally have our staff picks. We’ve picked an assortment of books written by authors from Indonesia, Portugal, Pakistan, Russia, China, Swaziland… and various other areas! Come check them out, and read your way around the world!

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

ItstheEndoftheWorldBooksI get so little time to read these days. When I do reach for a novel, I typically want a light, quick read with lots of action and/or adventure. Some of my favourite authors have at least one book whose plot can be summarized something like this: “It’s the end of the world! No… it’s not.” Reading them is like watching a B-movie… they don’t typically offer tons of character development, but the action is fun and fast paced.

If you love the disease outbreak movies like Contagion, Outbreak or Quarantine, check out Daniell Kalla. If natural diaster movies are more your thing, check out Kim Stanley Robinson or Frank Schatzing. If you like a little science or pseudo-science in your books and B-movies, you definitely should read The Martian by Andy Weir. Some of the best parts of the book don’t really work for a movie and were left out, but it’s definitely a fun read, even if you’ve already seen the movie. If the secret treasure/secret society movies like Indiana Jones or The Da Vinci Code are more your style, why not check out Raymond Khoury, Andy McDermott, James Rollins, James Reilly, Thomas Greanias, or even the rest of Dan Brown’s books? There are lots of authors that write this type of book, so if you like this type of story, you’re sure to find one whose writing style you like. We have lots in stock right now, along with more recommendations, if you’re looking for some light summer reading!

 

Summer Vacation

Just a quick reminder that we are closed July 1st through July 10th this year for our summer vacation. We wish you all a happy Canada Day, and we’ll see you again on the 11th. Please note that our regular Thursday knit night will be cancelled on July 7th while we are closed.

Mmm… cashmere is yummy!

We’ve got a new surprise for you all! Some of you have tried the Yarn Indulgences Indulgent DK we’ve had in the past. We brought in more of that, but you just have to come in and squish the new Zed MCN Worsted and Zed Luxe Sock (also an MCN). Man, it doesn’t take much cashmere to totally change the feel of a base yarn, and these are both luxurious! They also come in new colourways. Come check them out!

Note: Any yarn that is drooled on must be purchased; sorry!

Cashmere and wool

The Swarm

The name and cover were enough to convince me I had to read this one, before I even read the blurb at the back to see what it was about. In this case, you really can judge a book by it’s cover!

Intense, but not too realistic, with lots of pseudo-science to appeal to my geeky nature. Be forewarned, you do have to suspend disbelief as you’re reading, but it’s a very fun read. It reads a bit like an ecological disaster novel, and a bit like a “monsters of the deep” novel, which you probably guessed from the title. If you love Andy Weir (The Martian), Thomas Greanias (Raising Atlantis) and the like, you should check out Frank Schatzing and The Swarm!

The Swarm

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

the dark unwindingWhen a rumour that her uncle is squandering the family fortune surfaces, Katharine Tulman is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor, who is employing a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London. Katherine is soon torn between protecting her own livelihood and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for.

This is one of those books that is so engrossing that you finish it, put it down, and then look at the clock and realize that you really should have stopped 10 chapters ago when you had planned on stopping, because now it’s really late and you have to get up in 5 hours. I mean, not that I know that from personal experience… Probably a good thing that I didn’t have the sequel handy or I may not have slept at all!

Besides the compelling plot, it’s also got a couple of fascinating characters. I especially liked seeing Katharine blossom as she got out from under the influence of her guardian, despite the shadow cast by Aunt Alice even when she was hundreds of miles away.

All together, it’s an interesting, fast-paced historical tale, with a touch of steampunk-y flavour that will appeal of teens and adults alike.

Dear Amelia…

Crocodile on the SandbankHave you ever read Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series? This series (along with Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax series) is tied for all-time favourite mystery series.

The series starts with an introduction of the main character, Amelia Peabody: a Victorian-era 32 year old self-proclaimed spinster who devoted her life to scholarly pursuits and caring for her aging father. When she inherits his estate, she decides to travel… which is the beginning of my favourite adventure. A trip to Egypt changes everything for her, and excitement, discovery and danger lurk around every step! Amelia Peabody is an intrepid Egyptologist/crime fighter who is never to be seen without her trusty but deadly parasol. If you haven’t read these yet, treat yourself to Crocodile in the Sandbank, the first in the series; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

New soaps

I’ve been trying to find a soap recipe for myself that I can use on my face, which is always a challenge. Even soaps labelled as mild often leave my face feeling tight and itchy and looking red and blotchy. There’s been a lot of talk about argan oil lately, so I decided to try some in a new soap recipe. It’s rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, as well as being very emollient. So far, I’m loving the results.  It’s a nice, gentle soap, with really nice lather, especially for a handmade soap with no articicial lather boosters. It also helps that I personally love this scent – cinnamon leaf and ginger grass. So refreshing! It also gives the soap an awesome natural colour. Don’t you agree? This coconut and argan oil soap has no colouring agent of any kind, just the lovely yellow from the oils in the soap.

coconut and argan oil soap

Velvet Grapes! Quequay?

We just got in a new shipment of Malabrigo, so we’re fully restocked on Malabrigo Sock and Rios. If you love variegated yarns, we got in the brand new Quequay colourway, and it’s stunning. My absolute favourite, though, is this batch of Velvet Grapes. It’s oh-so-rich, and really does look like you might be touching velvet, on Malabrigo’s fabulous sock base. I tried to take a quick pic, but it just doesn’t do it justice in any way, so this is just to whet your appetite. Come in and have a see/feel for yourself!

Velvet Grapes

New Project Bags

New Project BagsEvery crafter needs a project bag! My favourite over the years has not been one of the beautifully hand-painted fabric ones I have, but rather one that surpassed all the others in its functionality, and we just got some in at the store! Come check them out quickly – Cindy and I have already bought a couple for ourselves!

They’re a simple 10 inch flat-bottomed nylon pouch (10 inches high) , with a snap strap on the inside to use as a yarn guide so your ball doesn’t get all tangled or fall out, and a similar snap strap on the outside, so you can snap the bag to your suitcase or backpack, or even snap to a belt loop to knit on the go. Those little straps are awesome, whether you want to knit and walk, or you just want to bring your project bag with you, but don’t have a free hand at the moment. Oh, and did I mention that the nylon means that none of your yarn sticks to the bag at all, not even fluffy loosely spun singles?

They’re fabulous bags, and at $5 a piece for a medium sized project bag, they’re a great bargain, too. The best thing about these bags, though? The company reached out to unemployed and socially disadvantaged people, and gave them the tools required to make these bags, and give them the means to support their families. Helping people with your knitting bag – what could be cooler?

 

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