Featured Store: Bonny Knits

If you’re looking for gifts to give your loved ones this year it’s always nice to give them something handmade. Unfortunately (as we were discussing Monday) it’s not always possible to find enough time. Why not pop over to Bonny Knits, a store with all sorts of handmade treasures?

For an added bonus you’re buying from a very nice person with a generous heart; Bonny helped me out with my Kickstarter campaign in September.

Going through her store was difficult: I want to share ALL of her pretty things. She’s so talented! You can see how much love and talent goes into each piece.

On top of that, her prices are extremely reasonable considering the quality and time taken. Bonny, you’re awesome.

Here are the above pieces:

Thank you Bonny for your support, you are a lovely person. For those of you who haven’t checked out her store yet, go click here and get to it. There are some gorgeous things on sale and it’s so rewarding to support a talented person instead of a big box store at this time of year!

Not a Knitted Christmas

For the first time in years I do not plan to give most people knitted gifts this Christmas.

As you probably read in my recent post, I put a lot of love into my knitted gifts for friends and family. It’s important to me. However with the Kickstarter gifts underway I’ve realised I don’t have time this year to put the energy in like I usually would.

So I’m buying gifts for people. Shock horror!

That said, I’m sure my loved ones don’t mind. My Secret Santa at work will be lucky enough to get a knitted gift but that’s something quick and easy. Other than that, people will be getting gifts that suit them – just not gifts I’ve made.

This is very strange for me. Sometimes it even feels like cheating. Yet I know that with care the gifts will be just as full of love as a hand-knitted treasure.

Are you knitting/making people gifts this year? Why/why not?

Knitter Nerd Podcast Episode 2: Let’s knit us a Dalek

Alex is my fellow author at He helped out with my Kickstarter campaign and here is his appearance on the Knitter Nerd podcast!

We discuss about a thousand things. Of course we start out with the whole knitting thing. Alex has a few FOs, including these:

To find out more about them, you’re gonna need to listen.

We also discuss Doctor Who, who is our favourite Doctor, and why the Jem and the Holograms movie flopped so hard. We geek out over His Dark Materials (yay new mini-series!) and talk about being buried under a pile of yarn knitting a Dalek.

Really, we covered all of the bases.

To find Alex’s writings, check out Nerd Underground. He’s also on Twitter.

Yes, there is a weird clicking in the audio. I tried my best to get rid of it, and I’m sorry if it bothers you. It’s worth it, I swear. Alex is awesome.

The Appeal of Knitting Podcasts

The thing about knitting is that you don’t generally need your ears to do it. That leaves them free to take in whatever you want, and if you’re like me and easily distracted, it’s a great idea to listen to a podcast. Even better, why not listen to a knitting podcast while you do?

I like to listen to in-depth, complicated, fascinating podcasts like Hardcore History or the much-lauded Serial Podcast, but when I’m knitting something more interesting than stockinette I can’t do it. I need something that I can tune out while I figure out how I missed a YO and fudged my k2tog tbl. It needs to be interesting but light-hearted, and that’s where I turn to knitting podcasts.

One of my favourites is Never Not Knitting, especially the catchy theme tune which is now in my head again. There’s also Knit 1 Geek 2 which appeals to me for obvious reasons, and I occasionally binge on The Knitmore Girls.

Tomorrow I add to the list with the first of my two guest star podcasts. A fellow writer for, Alex will be joining me to talk about his knitting projects and which Doctor is his favourite. As you can see, he fits in well around here.

Check out the Knitter Nerd podcast on Saturday if you’re interested!

A cuddly blanket for my nephew


Remember that blanket I knitted while I was at Manitoulin? It’s a lovely chevron pattern in grey and white stripes. Finally my little sister received is and she let me share this adorable photograph of little Tommy all snuggled up. She reported that he fell asleep as soon as he was tucked into it.

When we were children we were nervous to be separated from our Mum. She would take our teddies and cuddle them tight, saying she’ll put all her love into it so she’ll still be with us when she’s not there. I used to love that, and I think it translates well into why we knit for those we love: we put all our affection and love into the process so that we can give a little piece of ourselves to carry around.

I can’t be there to hug Tommy. This little life who is so closely related to me has never met me, though I feel like I’ve met him. Now he’s all wrapped up in something I made. It’s not quite a hug but it contains my love; it’ll have to be enough.

Why I Write

Because it’s an escape from reality into infinite possibility.

Because I don’t have to be self-conscious or awkward when I’m typing words on a page or writing in my notebook.

Because writing is the closest I’ll get to real magic, and I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts owl.

Because it is deeply personal and yet we share it and love it and talk about it.

Because I am a writer.

Because it’s like knitting; word after word, stitch after stitch, something new and beautiful (sometimes) comes together.

Because I’ve written over a million words in the last twelve years of doing NaNoWriMo just in the month of November.


Because the process is what matters.

Because I never lost that sense of awe I felt as a child when I realised a pen and paper was all you needed to create a new world.

Because someone thought something well over thousand years ago and I can still read it now.

Because I never figured out to stop, and I don’t want to.



When you’re looking at a pile of WIPs that need finishing, what do you do? When you realise that it’s also November and you have to figure out how to squeeze in at least 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, what’s your plan of action? Oh, let’s not forget a dedication to writing comic reviews and a book review assignment due at the end of the month for your other site.

If you’re sensible you’ll write a plan of action and get going on all your commitments. If you’re me, you’ll find a project you haven’t touched for months and start procrasti-knitting.

Manitoulin sock

On the plus side these socks are necessary, though not urgent. They are a gift for a dear friend who once had me knit her a lovely green dress out of Manos del Uruguay while I kipped in her bedroom, cut adrift from my partner while I waited for my Permanent Residency in Canada. Lucy is one of the best people I know in the world; she’s the kind of friend who hears you’re stuck in the wrong country again and the first thing she does is offer her spare room, hundreds of miles away. She’s a wonderful musician and artist, and we had an intense eighteen months leaning on one another before my PR came through and she moved to Glasgow with her partner.

When I was on my way back from Manitoulin, where I bought this yarn, Lucy texted me to ask ‘Aunty Eag’ (me) whether I can please knit her lots of baby things. I burst into tears and announced the socks I was knitting had to be for her. If I finish them today then I can get them sent to her before Christmas, thereby breaking my trend of never getting any gift to anyone on time ever.

If you’re wondering about the Eag thing, her neighbours were some young kids with broad Geordie accents and one day they were leaning over their wall telling us they were learning to spell. They asked what my name was, then said “I can spell Laura! E-A-G!”.

Yes, my ‘real’ name is Laura. Forget you knew that, please.


The yarn is crunchy and amazing, and it is dyed with natural colours. I’m looking forward to washing it because it’s superwash and turns much softer after, or so the dyer told me.

On the plus side I’ve already finished two out of the Kickstarter rewards and written 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo, so this is just a case of November being my most productive month. If I indulge in a little procrasti-knitting between important things, well, at least Lucy will be getting her Christmas gift on time.

Featured Store: Pleasant Plushies

Are you looking for somewhere to buy some adorable plushies just in time for the holidays? Of course you are, in which case you should check out Pleasant Plushies, full of geeky-adorable gifts for yourself or others.

You’ll have the added bonus of supporting an independent creator who helped support this blog during the Kickstarter. Rachel has been creating plushies in the amigurumi style since 2012, saddened by the lack of plushies that she was craving. Her creations are adorable and interesting.

Take a look at some that are on sale now:



I really love Pokemon. I might be biased, but this is super.

Omg a tamagotchi
Omg a tamagotchi

Tamagotchi “Tarakotchi” ($15 USD)

When I was a kid I spent hours playing with my tamagotchi and this makes me all nostalgic.

Oooh it's No Face
Oooh it’s No Face

Spirited Away Inspired “No Face” ($25 USD)

A few years ago my girlfriend had me watch Spirited Away and I loved it. This was one of the best characters.

As you can see Rachel is creating a whole bunch of interesting, complex amigurumi that’s perfect for the geek in your life (especially if that geek is you). I could post every one of her creations and show them all off. So cute!

If you want to see more from Rachel head over to her blog, also named Pleasant Plushies.

Thank you again Rachel for your support!

KN Reads: Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley

Empire Ascendant

Empire Ascendant

by Kameron Hurley

There is something about picking up the second in a series. You already know you like the concept or you wouldn’t bother to continue, but this time it’s different. The story has to hold up not only to its internal standard but to your memories of the first book and it takes a skilled author to manage that. Luckily Kameron Hurley counts as a skilled author and in Empire Ascendant she unravels the story into something even bigger without once dropping the thread.

For you poor souls who haven’t picked up the first of the Worldbreaker series (The Mirror Empire), it is set in a multiverse where the worlds are dominated by stars in the sky that switch and change over time. Each one brings changes with its ascent and each one gives power to a certain group of people. When the most destructive and rarest star, Oma, begins its ascent the worlds are drawn closer together and the barriers grow thin. Those in dying worlds begin their attempt to conquer another to keep their kind going past all odds. Through a select group of varied characters we are shown through the complexities of war and loyalty from people trying to achieve their conflicting goals.

That’s what sets this book apart: complexity. Whether you’re talking about the unusual gender constructs between the different cultures or about the many motivations for slaughter and mercy, Empire Ascendant has you covered. Nothing is dumbed down. No morality is considered superior to another; they merely exist and are portrayed through the struggles of characters that cannot truly be taken as good or bad.

In other words, it feels real. Even with the stars and the magic and the windows between worlds, the characters are believable, though they are not comfortable.

Take Zezili. By far the most interesting character in the books so far, she is a horrible person. She abuses her husband in her chauvinistic entitlement. She is sexist to the lesser gender of men (brutally portrayed as weak in her culture, and even forced into girdles to keep their narrow hips). She has slaughtered countless slaves and others with no qualms. Yet although you may not agree with her methods, you understand her reasoning and want her to survive. Though I would hate to meet her down a dark alley she is an excellent mirror into a person twisted by circumstance and privilege.

Zezili and her husband twist ordinary fantasy sexism on its head. With a strong, violent wife and a weak, submissive husband it would be easy within the context of our culture to play them for laughs, but Kameron Hurley never does. The characters are not caricatures. They have motivations and conflict within themselves and are both doing the best they can in a rigid gendered society.

Though some people have decried the first book as sexist I believe that’s too narrow a view. Nothing in these books is given a moral judgment; it is portrayed as it would be in reality, often giving you some insight into how we in our own world view gender without shoving it too far down your throat. It’s a fascinating way to get new viewpoints across and never in my life would I have thought a gender neutral character might get hir own chapters. It is refreshing and should be celebrated, especially when it is done so well.

Usually I would have problems keeping up with so many characters; like A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin the chapters switch between characters and cities and worlds, but it’s never hard to follow. It is always a smooth transition even with the added characters of the second book. If you’re a fan of intense fantasy with an impressive death toll, Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley is the book for you.  Good news! It’s out in October, so preorder it now.