Come Out of Your Shell

More stash-busting, this time in the form of a striped hat.

Come Out of Your Shell hat

I only had a really small amount of this yarn left, and I wasn’t sure how far it might stretch. I started off thinking this would be an adult hat, but about half way through I realized that there wasn’t going to be enough yarn. So I adjusted the pattern as I went and made it into a hat for a bigger baby/smaller child. The ribbed edge is very stretchy, so it can probably fit a variety of sizes. It’s shown here on the model I use for newborn hats but would definitely stretch to fit a larger head if desired.

Come Out of Your Shell hat

I was able to retain some of the slouchiness of the original pattern and used up almost the entire skein – I only have a couple yards left, which is really cutting it close. The brief for this HPKCHC challenge (Herbology) was to make something that will help you overcome your shyness or timidity. I thought that this self-striping yarn fit since it is a pretty bold pattern.

As this hat is for a baby or child, I’m looking for a home for it! If you know a kid you think might like it, let me know and I’ll send it your way.


soy sky

You guessed it – more stash-busting! And another giveaway!

Soy Sky Hat

This hat is made from yarn that is 70% wool and 30% soy. The soy makes it very smooth, almost slippery.

Soy Sky Hat

This pattern was designed for this particular yarn, so of course it works quite well with it. Personally, though, I just don’t love knitting with this yarn. It’s too slippery for my taste – I like my yarn to grip the needles a little bit more. It also doesn’t have quite as much give as I prefer, so the finished object is the size it is, rather than being somewhat flexible. On the upside, it’s really breathable, and not scratchy like some wool blends. So, anyone out there with a roughly 21″ head want a hat? Let me know if you do!


slouchy fisherman

Yep, it’s another stash-busting knitted object. This time, a slouchy hat made from Fishermen’s Wool.

Slouchy Fisherman Hat

You can see that the shape of this hat is a little specialized. It’s got a very stretchy ribbed section that will grip the wearer’s head tightly enough to stay on, but not so tightly that it’s uncomfortable, and the top of the head part is quite slouchy.

Slouchy Fisherman Hat

I think this is a neat style. It would be awesome for someone with a lot of hair, if they wanted to tuck it up inside, or have a hat that wouldn’t leave them with hat-head when they removed it.

Slouchy Fisherman Hat

It’s stretchy enough that it would fit a woman or a man. I feel like this hat does it all – it slices! it dices! it makes julienne fries! If you’d like this hat for your very own, leave a comment!


City of Screams

City of Screams City of Screams by John Brindley is the sequel to The Rule of Claw (which I have not read). COS will be released in October.

I read this book without reading the first one, and it stood up decently on its own. I’m sure that there are things I could’ve gotten out of it had I read the first, but I didn’t feel that I was missing pieces.

So, the gist here is that it is many years in the future and the world has changed radically, including the rate at which species evolve. Evolution has sped up to the point that within a single generation, some humans have gained wings and the power of flight, others the ability to sense emotions through their hair and scalps. Humans are not the only species to evolve so rapidly, and the earth has become a very violent place with vast expanses ruled by vicious hybrid creatures. After years of relatively peaceful existence, the city dwellers are invaded by yet another human mutation, a race of warriors evolved into super soldiers, armored by their own skin.

Sounds like a great premise for a dystopia, eh? I think it is, and it’s a reasonably compelling story, but the execution is not as strong as I’d hoped.

The author has a definite agenda but apparently not the skill and/or desire to use language and story to convey it without preaching. I happen to agree that the Dubya years were bad, that war for war’s sake is never okay, that the far right conservative Christian fundamentalist movement is dangerous and that a lack of respect for differences is bad. I don’t, however, want to be lectured to when I’m reading fiction and I appreciate subtlety in allegory. The other problem I had was that it seemed like every time the circumstances got truly dire, some off-the-wall miraculous thing would happen and deus ex machina a resolution.

Despite these issues, the book kept my attention and I genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen next. The action was exciting and I still think that the premise of the book is a good one.

Reviewed from publisher copy, which I will send to a person who comments with a creative mutation that could theoretically happen in the world described in this book.



Evil? by Timothy Carter Evil? by Timothy Carter

Want some controversy? Protagonist Stuart has found himself with an overabundance: not only is he gay and out of the closet in a small Christian town that overwhelmingly believes him to be ‘choosing’ a sinful ‘lifestyle’, now his little brother walked in on him while he was jacking off in the shower and then told everyone at their predominantly small-minded church about it. Not so coincidentally, that same morning all the Sunday school teachers were compelled to change their lesson plans to the “Sin of Onan” (spilling seed), and the whole town seems suddenly to be obsessed with the utter wrongness of masturbation.

Stuart also regularly conjures a demon he can coerce into telling him only the truth, and that demon is his source for what really is or is not a true sin (guess where masturbation falls?). Stuart realizes that there is something weird going on in town and hijinks ensue as he works it out with the help of a few friends.

This book is a bit of an oddball, but was a generally enjoyable read for me. Stuart is a likable character and the ridiculous people and events surrounding him make for humorous situations which are mostly well executed. There were a few places where the dialogue didn’t ring true to me, but only a few. The theme certainly feels familiar: the right-wing Christian fear of just about everything related to sex seems more and more prevalent in the media these days, and the inappropriate ways people have been acting lately make this book seem quite plausible. If nothing else, I learned a few new euphemisms.

Reviewed from copy provided by Flux

I am giving away my (paperback but not ARC) copy of this book to the first person to comment here on LibrariAnne (click through if you’re reading this somewhere else) briefly describing your favorite (so-called) sin and why.



Geektastic Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

This is one of the stronger teen short story compilations I’ve read. Not only is the list of contributors like a who’s who of teen fiction, the geek stories run the gamut: LARPers, Star Trek fans, Star Wars fans, MMORPG players, Rocky Horror participators, trivia nerds, and more. There’s definitely something here to suit most everyone, and I identified at least a little with many of the stories. Interspersed between the stories are humorous one-page features and comics, which sort of serve as palate cleansers.

I’m all about owning my geekiness and it’s fun to revel in it sometimes, but the main thing that came across to me as I read this book is the universality of the characters’ experiences. We all have our own pet passions, but our experiences of uncertainty, shyness, camaraderie, and so forth transcend the specifics. Recommended.

Reviewed from ARC provided by the publisher.

Thanks to the generosity of Little, Brown and Co., I have four free ARCs of this to give away. First four people to comment on the LibrariAnne blog win! (This means that if you’re reading this on Facebook or LiveJournal or somewhere else, you’ll have to click through to comment to enter.)