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Books! Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

 

When I first heard of Sylvain Neuvel’s novel Sleeping Giants: Themis Files Book 1 (Themis Files 1) I was wary of all the hype surrounding it. It couldn’t be THAT good, could it? When I eventually picked it up I was swept away by the twists and turns and unanswered questions of the book. It was an action packed reading experience. Today I can easily say “Giant Robots! What’s not to like?”

The sequel  Waking Gods: Themis Files Book 2 takes place ten years later when an even bigger robot materialises in London with devastating consequences. Dr Rose Franklin is still coming to terms with the events of the previous novel and the mysterious unnamed interviewer is still there asking questions. Soon more robots arrive…

I don’t want to give much away here, especially in case you’ve not read the previous book, but Waking Gods: Themis Files Book 2 is even better than Sleeping Giants. There is a third book on the way, as well as two other stories from the Themis Files. I only hope I have enough patience to wait for the next book!

Manchester Maker Faire

I visited my second Mini Maker Faire on Saturday. This time it was at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. I didn’t get to see the Faire in its entirity because we were knackered after a day walking around the city but here a few of the highlights.

 

This used to be a G5 Mac. It’s now an internet enabled fish tank.

Just as well the goldfish inside is a fan of Mac OS…

 

The tank can be controlled either over the web or by an iOS app. The bubbles can be increased or stopped, the lights turned up or down. You can write messages and have them displayed on the board. The board is behind the tank in case you wondered!

I love sunflowers and there were several raised beds filled with them just outside the MOSI buildings.

 

Some of Turing’s Sunflowers

They’re Turing’s Sunflowers named after the codebreaker Alan Turing. He was studying the occurrence of the Fibonacci Sequence in sunflowers trying to find out more about the plants grow but died before he could finish his research.

 

I do love robots and this little plywood walking robot was very cute.

 

Bots walking

There was quite a lot of knitting at the Faire but I didn’t make it over to that section to it as I was too tired. I was shattered!

While we were in the city we looked at some of the Pre-Raphaelites in the Manchester Art Gallery. But before we got to see them we saw these pins on the gallery staircase.

 

Pins at the Manchester Art Gallery

While in Cardiff the weather was blisteringly hot, it was a different case in the North of England. But after the rain came this double rainbow.

In my last blog I wrote about digital mags. I hadn’t realised that there was a new kid on the block – Knit Edge.

 

Knit Edge issue 0 on my lovely new Nexus 7 tablet

It’s from Co-Operative Press and if you’re interested in taking out a subscription the first issue is published in September. My Nexus shows the special Issue 0 which is available to buy now for $3.99.

Derby Mini Maker Faire

Sunday, Doug and I decided to go to the Mini Maker Faire in Derby. It was held in the Derby Silk Mill which was built on the site of the world’s first factory.

There was some stunning yarn bombing outside the Silk Mill.

Yarn bombing

 

It was so pretty! It was such a shame that it was pouring with rain and it was a bit soggy

Beautiful Lady Bird yarn bombing

 

Some of the other things that caught my eye inside –

Stag Beetle Violin Case by Jake How

 

crochet set in glass by Anna Krystyna Casey

I loved this cardboard box robot

I especially liked his eyes. Would love to make one sometime.

There was also a Dalek patroling the Faire

 

"SMILE?! I'M ALWAYS SMILING!"

he had a human to help steer him around the mill. Perhaps it was a roboman? 😉

 

Blurry shot of big Scaletrix track by Derby H:O Racing Club

I also had a chat with the creator of a site called Pics to Knits – wish I’d got his name since it’s not on his site. But Pics to Knits is a free website that allows you to upload any image and turn it into a knitting pattern for dk or 4 ply yarns. Basically you upload an image file and it removes some of the details to make it easier to knit. You can set it to 4 colours up to 32 colours and get a pdf of the final stocking stitch pattern. Check it out, it’s a great idea and very generous of them to make it available free of charge.

Really enjoyed the Maker Faire and hope to go to another soon. I particularly love the message that it doesn’t matter what methods we use to create, be it a soldering iron or a crochet hook, we’re all makers.

Thanks for the lovely messages following my shingles attack. I’m now on the mend and feeling a lot better although I’m still taking pain killers.

Project wise I’ve finished off Edinburgh Rock, although have yet to photograph it, and have yet another Leethal knit on the needles, Wild is the Wind, in addtion to her Twitter Mystery pattern plus Woolley Wormhead’s Meret, too. Lots of smaller projects because I seem to have more luck with them than larger ones at the moment.

I’ve not knit any socks for a while but there’s a new online kniting magazine called The Sock Report dedicated to all things sock yarn related. I haven’t looked through the whole mag yet but so far I love Chris deLongpre’s Pocket Pals – cute woodland creatures knit from sock yarn. Fans of Rachael Herron’s Cypress Hollow novels should definately check it out because Rachel’s put up a free short story there called Socks for Alex.