Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

A Few Technical Changes


You might have noticed a few minor changes at the bottom of the navigation bar. I added a SmartFeed courtesy of FeedBurner and have claimed my blog at Technorati.

Why? Well for two reasons…

1) This post by Bill Sweetman at One Degree.
2) I’m trying to learn as much as possible about Blog Optimization and decided to test it out here.

Stay tuned!

Le Sock


I turned my first heel! You’ll have to imagine the happy dance going I’m afraid. The sock (Slouch socks from Not Just More Socks) traveled with me to Toronto for a day of fun at the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival, although no knitting actually happened there.

I have to admit that a fair bit of frogging did occur as I was working on the heel. I managed to misread the pattern while doing the heel flap and then a second time while actually turning the heel. Despite all the frogging, I am really enjoying the process. Now for some gusset work!

Oh, and the CSNF was fun and I took a short class on crocheting rag rugs. While it was interesting and I ended up with a great hot pad, my wrist ached for two days afterward so I suspect this is not the craft for me.

TGIF – or what to do when you have a d’oh day


I don’t know if anyone else has these days when you wake up 20% less smart than the day before? Recently I’ve had a few days like this and today is one of them. You wake up and it takes forever to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing. Thinking seems slower – thank goodness you haven’t forgotten how to get yourself dressed.

You feel like you are thinking through a head of mattress stuffing. You are no longer your normal verbally acute self. Words escape you at an alarming rate. You suddenly understand the term “slow” because it feels like someone has hit the mute button on the smart part of your brain.

Thank god it is Friday so that I’m not going to be a danger to the population for the next two days by trying to negotiate my way through work. Eek!

Have Sock, Will Travel


I have joined the sock camp. I have to confess that until now the only socks I’ve knitted were done with chunky yarn from Pattons which turned out a sock that was not wearable with shoes.

What first began to draw me to today’s world of socks was attracted by the beauty of the hand-dyed sock yarn. I love the colour combinations people put together to create the lush colours (which is what sent me on a hunt to Lettuce Knits for some of the coveted Socks that Rock yarn). But this past weekend, I experienced some of the larger benefits of the sock phenomena.

– I pack for the BookCrossing convention in a frenzy of book lust. Box of books to release – check. Socks and underwear – check. Books wrapped in pretty paper for swapping – check. Halfway to Toronto I realized with extreme horror that I had forgotten to pack knitting! How was this possible? What was I going to do during the workshops on Saturday?

Now do not despair too long since, luckily for me, I was staying with a fellow knitter who was willing to let me dive into her stash! Heather generously allowed me to snag some sock yarn and needles so that I could keep my hands busy during Convention meetings on Saturday. (No really, I am getting to the portability part..)

Sitting there in the workshop I realized just how handy socks are. They are small and easily slip into a bag. The double-pointed needles lay flat for storage in a purse. The project doesn’t take up a lot of space around one either – unlike a bulky sweater. Wow!

Community – I wasn’t the only sock knitter in the room! There were other sock knitters up near the front and they quickly sensed other socks in the room and came round for a look-see. Many non-knitters are fascinated by someone knitting socks. I think it is all the needles sticking out, makes the entire process seem much more mysterious than it really is.

Am I addicted? Too soon to say but definitely I have entered the first flush of romance with this knitting phenomena. And this cute slouch sock with be journeying with me to the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival this weekend. Perhaps I will be able to find it some attractive mates to join the stash…

BookCrossing Convention Update


I can’t believe the number of books! Table after table of books people brought to share with other BookCrossing. I think there were four 8 foot tables chock full of books. I managed to restrain myself and only came out with about 15 but who knows how good my restraint will be today…*whistle*.

I had a lot of fun “meeting” so many BookCrossers and BookRelay in person! Shouts out to all my book buddies…here’s to lots of fun today and tomorrow.

So cute!


I just had to post this new picture of Aaron with his Mom, Jenn. He’s grown so much and this is one of those priceless shots.

It’s Convention Time!


BookCrossing convention here I come! I’m going to meet lots of my BookRelay friends and swap out tons of books with other book lovers. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend.

I’m packed up and ready to go with lots of books sent on ahead with Rhonda and Jennifer. Rhonda spent the last two nights visiting from Indiana and is spending today with other BookRelay friends visiting BookCloseOuts and Niagara Falls. Me? I’m at work, sneaking a few minutes here to post since I won’t be back on again until Sunday night when I trundle home with my pile o’ books with a book hangover. LOL

Today’s Post…or How not to spit water through your nose


Don’t read Walter Kirn while drinking water…or you will end up drenched.

Found today on BookSlut…how does Kirn come up with this stuff?

If unborn children really had rights, the infant daughter of the actress Katie Holmes and the temporarily-humanoid immortal starseed that styles itself ‘Tom Cruise’ would have been delivered by a lawyer. Breaking the absolute silence of the delivery room, the lawyer, on the infant’s behalf, would have sued for spiritual guardianship and demanded that all profits earned from sale of the child’s story and image– including ‘virtual’ profits in the form of publicity for its parents — be deposited in a trust account to fund its lifelong psychotherapy needs. It would also be stipulated that such therapy could not be interfered with or curtailed by ‘Cruise’ or his religious representatives.

A Worrying Trend – Could this be a good thing?


“Several trends are driving the popularity of the memoir today. One is the public’s continuing fascination with reality TV. The programming genre’s obsessive interest in the lives of ordinary people and B-List celebrities has migrated to the printed word.” From the Wall Street Journal via BookSlut

What happened to the good old autobiography? Is it a dying artform?

Continuing controversy over the Harry Potter books


A Gwinnett County, Georgia, parent wants to remove the Harry Potter books from the county’s public school libraries. Why? I’m glad you asked:
On the forms, she wrote that she objected to the series’ “evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder, evil blood sacrifice, spells and teaching children all of this.” She wrote she had not read the series because it is long, and she is a working mother of four.

I don’t know which is my favorite part: the fact that she didn’t read the series “because it is long,” or the reference to “evil blood sacrifice.” (Is there good blood sacrifice?) Atlanta Journal-Constitution readers react to the controversy, and thankfully bring some perspective to the issue:

“I am a Christian. I feel that Christian rights are being abolished in this country. Everyone talks about our views being pushed on them. But what about our beliefs? Don’t we have any rights at all?”
— Posted by “red” on the message board

I have heard the Constitution has something to say about free expression and nonestablishment of religion, but I haven’t read it, because it is long. (Thanks to Leila and Tim for the links.)

This was posted on BookSlut today and I had to follow the link through to the article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The reader response that got me was this one:

“I totally agree with this parent seeking to have Harry Potter books removed. If we suggested the Bible be on a list of mandatory books for students to read as a part of their novel requirement, there would be an immediate protest. Therefore, as a Christian, we must begin to take a stand and begin to show accountability for what our children are being taught and exposed to.”
— Posted by Mendi on the message board (ed. bolding added by me)

This raises an interesting point. I’m sure most parents would have no problem with the Bible being read as a novel as part of a literature course. What most people object to, I’m sure, is it being taught as religion in public schools.

I, personally, am all for studying the Bible as an important piece of literature since it has had such an influence on common literary themes, just like Greek and Roman myths have, and I know I studied those in school.

*ducks in preparation for the flames*

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