Enough with the rain already! It is now close to hurricane conditions, with pouring rain, strong gusty winds and the occasional lightning and thunder. At this time of the year we are usually flat in front of the TV watching cricket but the first test vs India was washed out yesterday and I don't know whether this wet stuff is moving or not. It started yesterday evening and has been raining all night and is still going at 11.30. This is not a Canberra summer, but then I don't have to water the garden.
I finally finished the Panda Cotton socks. I liked the yarn and now knowing how much yarn was in the balls I could gave made them a little longer. I am now casting on some Regia cotton/wool in grays and white and aim to finish them and the red cotton top before the warm weather is over. Having said that, our only hot days so far were in November and we've had night down to 10C.
This is also what I have been doing and have many more to go. When the supermarket has a tray (box) of 12 mangoes for $15 you buy it, make mango jam out of half of them and eat the other half. MMmmm, mangoes..(imagine Homer Simpson voice). When I innocently planted loganberry and boysenberry plants I did not anticipate that they would be laden with berries that more or less all ripen at once. So I make mixed berry jam which is now world famous. If I have extra strawberries they go in; if I have raspberries, they go in as well. The small jars are honey lemon jelly. J gives me huge bags of lemons when her tree overachieves and because Australian honey is so yummy, I found the recipe for this jelly, which is to die for on crumpets. I make jam for gifts, for home consumption and to distribute to the world through my annual sale at the NLA. I encourage donations and the results go to charity. I have apricots calling to me and more berries (and I've made 2 batches of the berry already).
This came in the mail this week from Lone Star Arts: 2 hanks of superwash roving, one called Go Spurs which I assume refers to a sports team, the middle one is Hula for obvious reasons, and the sock yarn in Neapolitan. Do you all remember when ice cream only came in cardboard boxes and flavours were strictly limited (unless you went to Howard Johnson) and the carton of Neapolitan always seemed to lose its chocolate first (at least it did in my house)? So the sock yarn is brown, white, and pink. I haven't spun in ages being knitting obsessed with only time out for alpaca. So I pulled out a 500gm lump of merino cross in a colourway called Amethyst from Ewe Give me the Knits which is a blend of colours that ends up purple, but not solid. I do so love to spin but it just creates more knitting yarn. Must warp that loom.
Book reports: The Root of the Wild Madder was certainly interesting from a traveling point of view, when the author is wandering over Iran and parts of Afghanistan looking for his heart carpet. There is lots of stuff about Persian culture going back before Islam, and discussions on the languages of carpets. Now, while I love Oriental carpets and I too prefer handmade natural dyed tribal rugs, this book seems to be on a higher plane than simply either the making of the carpets or the carpet business except parenthetically. It's got more about how a carpet speaks to you or not on a sort of mystical level. There was very little about madder or any natural dyeing at all, or even a in depth description of the carpet making process; the author refers to to other books about carpets for that. So if you are interested in ancient Persian poetry and the mystical nature of carpets, this is the book. I felt a little let down because I thought there would be more about the process.
The Terminator Gene by Ian Irvine is as you would suspect by the title about a virus that is developed to be released making all males sterile to rid the planet of humanity after global warming raised the oceans 6 meters, because the maniac in power believes that is the only way to restore Earth to its natural state. That said, the author pours every bit of action-adventure stuff he could think of into the plot is excruciating detail. The story ends with the levees around New Orleans collapsing and the heroic rescue of the population by hundreds of volunteer chopper pilots and the bad guy falls out of a helicopter holding the canisters of virus that end up buried in the Mississippi mud. Had I been the editor of this I would have removed many irrelevant sections. I was disappointed because it started out well and is also Aussie sci-fi. I only give it a B-.