Monday, February 26, 2007

Northern Lights Discussion

Hi All--After being pretty much out of action for the past 2 weeks--note with details on the mailing list later this morning--I am working my way through all of the "Northern Lights" posts looking for meaty comments. Y'all really do need to remember to keep the subject lines matching the content of the posts. and with 350 messages posted so far this month... As groups go, we may be small, but we are talkative!!

Book business--

The winner of last month's critique contest is--drum roll, please--Opal! I'll be in touch to see which prize you want. They included 2 hardcover titles from the Amelia Peabody series, the unabridged CD version of Judge & Jury by James Patterson, the 4th and most recent Maisy Dobbs book, Messenger of Truth, and Julie Garwood's Slow Burn.

The official discussion of Northern Lights is now open, and will continue until March 5! I don't have all of the prizes collected yet, but they will include a pristine hardcover copy of Cornelia Read's A Field of Darkness, just nominated for an Edgar for best first mystery novel by an American author published in 2006. This is a terrific book, and it is at the top of my personal list for best reads of the year. I'll post the complete prize list in a couple of days.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Northern Lights Quiz (spoiler)

What was Nate's best friend's name?
What were newcomers called?

What was the name of the town newspaper?
Where did Jack work before he came to Lunacy?
What did Rose and David name their baby?
What movies were playing the night Yukon was killed?
What were Meg's dog's names?
What was the evidence found in the cave?
Who were Han, Luke, and Darth and what game were they playing?

E-mail your answers to me -

The prize - more Nora Roberts books!

Winner of the Guess How Much Yarn Contest

There were 30 skeins of yarn stuffed into that bag! Laurie in Maine came the closest with 29. E-mail me your address Laurie and the bag will be on it's way to you, minus the yarn of course. You will have to fill it up yourself!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Finished scarf post LeslieJ

I've posted a picture of my (wet) finished scarf. Check it out here .

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Scarf Progress!

And now I need to know how to finish off the triangles! My son's girlfriend had a sister that came home from college and brought me yarn from The Wild Purl in Billings...I just love the colors!

Ahoy! The Purloined Stash arrives in Montana!

Argggg...that was what the box was saying as it adapted to the snow. I'm letting it warm up slowly...I would hate to have to amputate due to frost bite!


I'm excited about this - so let's get started! Here's how it will work.
If you want to participate, you will need to knit one, or more, 12" squares which will eventually be sewn together into a blanket and given to a charity (yet to be determined). Squares should be made from a washable worsted weight yarn (Woolease is a good one) in any shade of green. The squares can be anything from an intricate aran pattern, to a simple moss, or even garter stitch pattern, whatever your skill level and time constraints allow. What a great way to try out new patterns, use up some stash, and do something for charity too! There are some great aran patterns here and here.
If you want to be part of "The Great Whoduknit Aran Charity Blanket KAL" leave a comment on this post, along with your suggestion for a charity. When your squares are finished, post a picture and send me an e-mail ( and I will let you know where to send them.
And, oh yes, there will be prizes! Everyone who sends a square will receive a beaded bookmark. Other prizes will be awarded for the first square sent, the most squares sent and a random drawing of all the squares sent. (Don't get too excited though, this is a low budget operation LOl).
Are you in???????

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Guess The Yarn Contest Winner

This was a hard one! The answer was Plymouth Galway Color #600. There were four correct answers - and I'm about to draw the lucky winner now .................. and it's Debbie (Doborah)! Congratulations - I'll send the yarn off to you on Tuesday.

But don't give up! Here is a new contest! When I saw this bag I couldn't resist. Your challenge is to guess how many 4 oz. skeins of yarn I have stuffed into this bag. It's 16 x 16 x 4 and the yarn is all either worsted or bulky weight. No little sock or lace yarns thrown in to trick you. The prize - no, it's not all the yarn in the bag - that's MINE! But, I do have another bag to send off to the winner to fill up herself. Take your best guess and e-mail me at with your answer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Lookout!

Ahoy, i was just mindin' my own business when I heard my lookout callin' t' me - Cap't, Cap't - thar is a boat filled with cargo headin' this way - maybe it is that Purloined Stash you told us all t' look out for, shiver me timbers!

Ahoy, sure enough it was the infamous Purloined Stash - I had my crewmen brin' it t' my cabin as fast as they could carry the loot - soon Me shall take a look t' see what wonderful treasure lie within and pro'ide an additional report on the infamous Purloined Stash you have all been a hearin' about...

Cap’t Wilderose
On the 11th day o' February, in the year o' our Lord 2007 Aye.

Sunday Contest Winner and New Contest

I finally had a contest that stumped you all - I know, I cheated with the lousy picture, but you all are just too good. There were actually 32 needles in that jar. Leslie's guess was the closest, so a set of size 4 Bamboo DPNs are on their way to her.

This week's contest:

Guess the Yarn - Manufacturer and Color # - e-mail your guess to The prize? The yarn of course! Contest ends next Sunday morning - good luck!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Ahoy, me just heard a rumor that a big ol box o' loot is on tis' way t' Texas, with no escort. Me best get my first mate out o' his bunk t' go and find the scur'y dog who has my package, argh!

Purloined Stash -- the trauma of it all

"You said that I would be going someplace warm!"

"Yes, I did and you are."

"Well, I just checked the Weather Channel and Lewisville, Texas is 38 degrees. THAT is not warm! I wanted Florida or Hawaii or Fiji."

"You are a lunatic. You have a fur coat. And, it is 18 degrees here. Stupid cat."

"Marielle had a sweater. She is loved and she had a sweater."

"Do you want me to make you a sweater? Do you want it made out of wool or cashmere or angora?"

"You would seriously make me a sweater out of rabbit and expect me to wear it? Are you just perverse or something . . . I eat rabbits. Stupid human."

"You don't eat rabbits. You are too old, too fat and too lazy to catch a rabbit. You EAT Purina Cat Chow."

"I cannot go to Texas. They EAT cats."

"That's Korea, you idiot. And if you don't behave, I'll send you to Korea on vacation. Now you have to get going because the postman is going to be here to pick up the box and you have to go too."

"Catch me, catch me if you can, you can't catch me cause . . . whatever."

Stupid cat.

The box is on the its way to Texas. Without the cat. I hate it when she's right. I am so sorry but I had to entrust it to the USPS, but it is wrapped in brown paper with no indication on the exterior of the treasure that is inside.

It is, actually, almost like a treasure chest full of awesome goodies. A pleasure to behold.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Nominations for March/April books

We have 5 terrific nominations, including one that is set in Ireland--how perfect for March! Only one has been nominated before, so the other 4 are all new. Three are for the first installments of popular series, and the remaining 2 are free standing mystery novels. Poll will be up this evening. The winner will be our March book, the runner-up will be the April selection.

1. Crewel World by Monica Ferris

“Margot Berglund owns a needlework and wool store called Crewel World. She's fifty-three, a widow and an expert in her field. Her store does very well for a small town, and she is able to support two part time staff as well as other casual workers. Her husband Aaron had been a wealthy man but despite this she lives a simple life, causing speculation among the town's people. Margot's older sister, Betsy, comes to live with her. When Betsy was young she ran off to join the navy and married a sailor and now her second husband is divorcing her. Betsy seems to be planning to sponge off Margot, she sees living off Margot an easy solution to her problems, at least for the short term. In the idyllic world of Margot there are some problems. Her landlord wants her building so he can build something new and charge more, but Margot has a cheap lease that is good for another four years. So Joe sues Margot regularly and threatens her too, but she has a good lawyer to protect her. She also has a "Wanta be" successor who wants to run her own needlework store in a town that cannot support two. Irene is a little nuts and readily admits that she wants something to happen to Margot so that she can take over. Unfortunately for Irene she has no people skills and is not very successful with the customers. A few nights after her arrival, Betsy comes home and finds Crewel World trashed and Margot murdered. The mystery begins and Betsy takes it into her own hands when she thinks the police aren't doing enough.”—Literary Times.

2. Haunted Ground by Erin Hart

“Two brothers "cutting turf" from a peat bog in the Irish countryside discover the head of a beautiful red-haired woman, decapitated and perfectly preserved in the decay-resistant bog. Who is she, and how long has her head been in the ground? Irish archaeologist Cormac Macguire and American pathologist Nora Gavin are summoned from Dublin to help answer those questions, but soon they are immersed in another mystery: Will the bodies of the recently disappeared wife and son of the local landowner, Hugh Osborne, also be found in the depths of Drumcleggan bog? And did Osborne put them there, as many local villagers suspect? First-novelist Hart follows her gripping set-piece opening (evoking the bodies-in-the-snow tableau from Gorky Park) with an utterly beguiling mix of village mystery, gothic suspense, and psychological thriller. Just as Macguire and Gavin are drawn into, first, the mystery of the red-haired girl and, second, the question of Osborne's guilt or innocence, so Hart draws us into, first, life in the small Galway village near where the girl was found and, finally, the insular world of Bracklyn House, family home of the Osbornes (think Manderley in Rebecca). Atmosphere is all in this detail-rich novel, from the traditional Irish music that not only plays in the background but also helps drive the plot (Hart is a founder of Minnesota's Irish Music and Dance Association) to the fascinating snippets of history concerning peat bogs, archaeological methodology, and the devastating effects on the Irish people of the Cromwellian resettlement in the seventeenth century. Simultaneously, Hart breathes life into local history the way Graham Swift did in Waterland; reinvents the du Maurier formula for gothic suspense; and brings new texture and psychological acuity to the usual suspects from the generic village mystery. In every way, this is a debut to remember”—Booklist starred review by Bill Ott

3. Once a Thief by Susan Ledbetter

“In the space of three years, Ramey Burke lost her mother, father, and husband. The worst of her grief has passed, and she now lives in the old family home in a small town in Missouri, schlubbing around in her sweats and eating when she isn't preparing houses for sale. But her quiet life takes a U-turn when three long-incarcerated relatives show up at her door. Now senior citizens, her aunt Melba Jane and uncles Ed and Archie Dillinger (the Other Dillinger Gang) were once notorious bank robbers. With nowhere else to go, they promise to make themselves useful if allowed to stay. Ramey reluctantly agrees. But within days, the body of "Shifty" Falcone, the Dillinger's getaway driver, is found on Ramey's property. When attractive Detective Mike Constantine arrives on the scene, Ramey's placid life shifts into overdrive as she attempts to find the real killer, deal with her comical houseguests, and fend off a would-be suitor. Funny, smart, and moving”—Booklist starred review by Maria Hatton.

4. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

“Carolyn arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Carolyn is not convinced. And after the police leave, Carolyn can't help wondering...If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?” (Synopsis from book, no journal review available)

5. The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picault

“There are no black and whites in Picoult's latest novel, except for the drawings that graphic artist Daniel Stone inks. Stone, a former bad boy who grew up among the Yup'ik Eskimos in Alaska, now lives a sedate life in Bethel, Maine, with his college-professor wife, Laura, and his 14-year-old daughter, Trixie. But the night Trixie's ex-boyfriend, Jason, rapes her at a party is the night Daniel's carefully ordered life falls apart. Daniel is forced to acknowledge that he's ignored the distance growing between him and his daughter and that his wife, a Dante scholar at a local college, is having an affair. After the rape, Trixie's classmates turn on her, and even her best friend, Zephyr, sides with Jason, a school hockey star whose future seems bright. When Trixie claims she was drugged and the evidence backs her up, the tide turns against Jason, and another tragedy sends Trixie fleeing Maine for her father's childhood home of Alaska, forcing Daniel to confront the demons he'd hoped he'd left in the past. Picoult's sad, complex novel should appeal to the many readers who have enjoyed her previous works”—Starred review in Booklist by Kristine Huntley

Case of the Purloined Stash - OHIO

Marielle managed to deliver the package and slip away before Shadow caught sight of her. Even though Shadow has been diligent about keeping an out for Marielle and the package, she must have been dozing. Plus, we have to remember that Shadow is, after all, nine years old. Plus, there was the fact that it has been bitterly cold here.
I am sure Marielle will be regaling you with stories about her trip to the bitter north coast. Above is the current weather map for the area. The great big blue blob is Lake Erie which is, right now frozen at least past the breakwall. "Burke" refers to Burke Lakefront Airport which is, right by my office, less than 1/2 mile. I live closer to Elyria. Anyway, the temperature at 2:00 p.m. today was 8 degrees. When Marielle delivered the package yesterday, it was 2 degrees and she was especially glad that she had been overindulging in preparation for her trip North. Nevertheless, the box came flying into the mailbox, Marielle, mumbled something about "you people are all friggin nuts," and off she went. Shadow on the other hand rolled over, licked her paw and said "am I going somewhere warm?"

The yarns in the box are fabulous even Shadow was pleased with the selection, the colors, the textures. Fortunately, I squirreled the box away to the bathroom (the only place in our house where there is any privacy) and sorted through the STASH. Also, since I keep mucho of my personal stash in the bathroom shower (it also doubles as an off-season closet), it gave me the perfect opportunity to switch out some of the yarn. Shadow did, however, insist that I send along a yarn called "Shadow." Besides the fact that the yarn matches her name, she made it clear that she thought it was ridiculous that I would have a sock yarn! There is nothing more annoying than a know-it-all cat!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Case of the Purloined Stash (part 2) ending

Marielle was eating so much this week for the final assignment that she gained weight and could not wear the special camouflage jacket that Patty bought for her to wear on the next leg of the journey. She wanted to in make sure the package will arrive safely with Puss-n-boots in Ohio. She didn't want to have to stop and grab a bite on the way. She knew that everyone was depending on her so she agreed to wear the "store" bought sweater to keep her warm. Everything was ready to go. The package was on its way up north. Marielle is making sure that Puss receives the package and will head right back. She will tell Puss that it is a bunch of knitting books so that in case Puss gets curious. She doesn't want her to get into the box and have fun with whats inside before Mary Lynn can get her chance to play with the yarn. Just so that Mary Lynn can recognize the package, Marielle has left her paw prints on the outside. If the prints are missing someone got into the package. So be very careful when checking the package out.

Snowy Sunday Contest

How many knitting needles are in the jar? I know - it's a lousy picture - that's the challenge LOL. The prize - why a pair of knitting needles of course! Contest closes Sunday, Feb. 11. In case of a tie there will be a random drawing.

Silly Sunday Contest Winner

The correct number of stitches was 150 and this is what it turned into.

A Mason Dixon dishcloth for my Monthly Dishcloth swap pal.

In a random drawing of the correct answers (you were all very close) Sharon P. is the winner! This row counter and mini-felted purse will be on it's way to you.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Case of the Purloined Stash # 3

Usually, my cat glares at me. This is usually how I am greeted by her! She hates me but then again, it is justified as I am her evil Mother ~ I am the one who takes her to the vet and does the flee dips. Oh, and I don't allow her to play with my yarn (we actually had a huge argument the one time about how my yarn stash was totally off limits . . . she was unreasonable and I have to admit that I did tell her that her coat could be spun into a lovely yarn). She hates me, seriously!

She never ever comes to greet me. Oh, no. In fact, she usually runs . . . and how is it that she always knows when it is vet time again. On most occasions, I have to don a long-sleeve hooded sweatshirt, gloves (gauntlets work really well) and corner her. And she always knows. Even when I am not donned in my "taking to the vet" or "flee dip" gear, she avoids me, gives me a dirty look, flips her tail and saunters off.

So, you can imagine my surprise when last evening, she greeted me. She didn't run off. She was actually waiting for me on the step between the kitchen and the garage. You cannot even begin to imagine my surprise when she told me that she had received a message from Marielle. It was a coded message. She was told to keep a look out for Marielle and a purloined stash box. She said that at first she was truly annoyed as she doesn't do fetch and carries for anyone, especially me and for a dog . . . seriously, what could I have been doing or thinking. Of course, then again, she does have a certain affinity to the Blue Bird Clan . . . if you catch my drift. They have been having and on-again, off-again relationship for years. She tries to leap on them and they take off. She finds it very frustrating, especially when there is a glass pane between them!

Anyway, I digress. It appears from the message, that the purloined stash is on its way to Ohio. I am so looking forward to it. But more importantly, it is vital that Marielle gets a message to NOT tell Shadow what is in the box. If she learns that it is yarn, the purloined stash will be truly gone forever!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Let's Talk!

What did you really think of Crocodile on the Sandbank and what specifically did you like or not like. There will be a prize for a random critique. If your comments include a spoiler, please mention it in the subject line. For those who liked this book there is good news and bad news--the bad news, no Amelia Peabody episode this spring--the good? Well there are already 17 books in the series and you have plenty of time to read them before Peters delivers the next 2 books in her contract with the publisher.

This month there are several prize choices--hardcover copies of numbers 10 and 11 in the Amelia Peabody series: The Ape Who Guards the Balance or The Falcon at the Portal. If you never want to hear of Amelia again, I also have hardcover copies of Jacqueline Winspear's latest Maisie Dobbs novel, Messenger of Truth, or Julie Garwood's Slow Burn (2005). If you like audio, I have a once and gently used cd version of James Patterson's Judge & Jury.

I'll try to get a picture posted, but since my DH got involved in the camera selection process, things are a little slow in the digital photography department. I'm not going to put reviews of the prize offerings on the blog, but plenty of review material is available on or

While we are all enjoying Northern Lights, we do have to spare a moment to think about March and April. Please nominate something you would like to read, only one suggestion per member, please. Because we want to have a decision in time for everyone to get the book by March, nominations will close on Feb 5 so we can post a poll. Please put something in the subject line to let me know that a book suggestion is included--I don't want anyone's idea left out.

PS. The snow is coming down here in NC--am I ever in the mood for a book set in Alaska! And for the weight watchers among us--it's hard to eat while your hands are full of knitting!