I can attest that the normal excitement felt when the FedEx truck parks in front on your house is compounded when knowing that the only expected delivery is an international priority from Damsdorf, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. My Strickmich! Club yarn arrived today making it a Valentine’s Day treat! Inside the FedEx mailer were four individually packaged projects. The recyclable opaque paper bags were designed to keep the mystery alive, but carefully color coded 1-4 to match the Strickmich! Club logo and the corresponding cast-on dates.
The four (just begging to be opened) bags hold one-of-a-kind skeins representing the artful collaboration between four independent European dyers and designer Martina Behm. Each exclusive skein was specially colored to compliment a new original pattern. But even if I succumb to a sneak peak (which I have not, as yet) the patterns will remain a mystery since they will only be released electronically on the specified cast-on dates. And, on those dates, just as this year’s club theme Together celebrates, I will join other knitters from around the world as Martina hosts two Zoom parties – one in German and corresponding to Central European Time (CET) followed by an English workshop at a time conducive to US participants. As Martina explains:
In Strickmich! Club 2022, the people who make our yarns come from very different places, and every project I design for the club will reflect that. But what’s important is that knitting brings them – and us – together. That’s why our motto for 2022 is “Together”, and we will celebrate that with every design and club project we knit.
Just 12 days until I can open package #1. Happy club knitting!
I am old enough that while working my first library job librarians were still debating the efficacy of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. At the time, there were two distinct camps: Those that felt children should only read “quality” literature and those that believed that any reading was good. This dichotomy played out in library selection meetings and at library conferences around the country as the debate waged over spending precious tax dollars for what, by some, were deemed titles just slightly above pulp fiction. (Note: The distinction that books by Carolyn Keene were not pulp was based solely on the hard covers of this series versus the paperbacks of such authors as Philip K. Dick or Edgar Rice Burroughs. Remember – At the time, a similar debate waged over the merits of paperbacks, perceived as ephemeral and not worthy of being in a library collection, regardless of the author!)
I definitely fell into the latter category; after all, I had loved Nancy Drew mysteries. My childhood friend, Julie B., introduced me to this strong female heroine and her two best friends and ever faithful sleuthing partners, Beth and George, when she lent me her copy of The Hidden Staircase. I thought Julie was immensely lucky as she owned a wonderful collection of 10-13 titles which she began lending to me. Her collection consisted of early titles in the series, so, with my allowance and every birthday and Christmas, I acquired the later books in the series. Our goal was to own every Nancy Drew title, that by combining her early titles and my later ones, our collection would meet in the middle.
There are those avid readers who pride themselves on never re-reading a title and those that re-visit well loved books time and again. On this topic I fall in the middle as I generally don’t re-read books simply because, in the words of Frank Zappa, “So many books, so little time.” But I do remember the first book I ever re-read. It was a sunny day during summer vacation and I readThe Clue in the Old Stagecoach three times, cover-to-cover. The magic of the words transported me into Nancy’s search for hidden treasure. Having just re-read The Bookseller for The Directors’ Book Club, my list of re-read titles (not inlcuding library storytime favorites) is now a dozen plus a few:
The Booksellerby Mark Pryor
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Clue in the Old Stagecoach by Carolyn Keene (Three times in one day!)
Dune by Frank Herbert
Harry Potter, #1-7 by J.K. Rowling (First as the titles were released & re-read before each movie premiere.)
His Dark Materials, #1-3 by Philip Pullman (For the summer science fiction book club.)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Just because what is not to love about a time travel romance between Claire and Jamie aka Sam Heughan with his own blend of whisky.)
A well written mystery, with a story that evolves from an interest in antique books, to the kidnapping of a bouquiniste (a bookseller with a stall along the Seine), plus historic WWII intrigue, and, of course, murder. There is even a little love interest scribed by Mark Pryor in The Bookseller, the first title in the Hugo Marston series.
After enjoying our first book club title, The Directors – a library loving, book reading, wine drinking group of retired friends – moved literary settings from the English countryside to Paris for our second book club choice. The Bookseller introduced us to Hugo Marston, a former FBI profiler now head of embassy security in Paris. The tall Texan, who is fluent in French, loves well brewed coffee and walking Paris streets, possesses a strong sense of justice but will diplomatically step out of the limelight and let the French police claim the glory after catching the bad guys. The Directors all agreed we will be exploring the other titles in Pryor’s Hugo Marston series.
When I started Knit+ Librarian, I thought I could simply resurrect my blogging skills and, violà, creativity would abound. But I forgot that while the WYSIWYG environment is easy to navigate it also abounds in sophistication. Depending on themes and choices, the options for style and design are wildly numerous. So, as part of my 2021 self-improvement resolutions, I registered for WordPress Courses and, dear reader, you may see some different posts (not just knitting or baking) as I experiment with tools and techniques. First up – learning new formatting options and inserting a YouTube video.
The Directors – a library loving, book reading, wine drinking group of retired friends – just finished our first book club discussion, something new for the new year. Our kickoff title was the charming debut mystery, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. The septuagenarian and octogenarian characters are laugh-out-loud funny as they gather evidence, support the local constabulary, enjoy a cocktail and, of course as our heroes, solve the mystery. We all agreed, later in life, we could easily conceive of living in such a retirement village as the one nestled in the hills of Kent, England. Enjoy a book promoting interview with the author.