Fantasy newsletter covers

A selection of book covers from our monthly Fantasy newsletter. Subscribe now to get it delivered to your inbox.

Cover of The Lost by Vicki Pettersson Cover of Casino Infernale by Simon R. Green Cover of The Tyrant's law by Daniel Abraham Cover of Limits of Power by Elizabeth Moon Cover of Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi Cover of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Knitting – don’t let the Julia Gillard experience put you off

Don’t let the Julia Gillard experience put you off. Knitting seems to be a misogynistic put down in Australia but in fact it has a long and feisty history involving both sexes.

Sailors and fishermen were skilled knitters in traditional communities around England and Scotland and whole families knitted for a living.

Women knitters may have been given a bad rep by Madame Defarge and her fellow tricoteuses in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, but women in places like Norway, Guernsey and the Shetland Islands created beautiful and intricate work. In recent times it has been a man who inspired a new generation with intricate and colourful knitting patterns – Kaffe Fassett.

These days with the rise of stitch n bitch groups and yarn bombing there is a certain defiant attitude about knitting, despite television news often lingering on elderly women knitting during meetings as if it is something to be mocked.(Actually it is easy and productive to knit and listen to politicians burbling on). Knitting is a wonderfully social activity – you can knit and talk,  you can easily share tips and tricks and it’s highly portable.

Winter is the ideal time to get knitting – maybe share a box of wool in your staffroom and knit peggy squares or simple hats for children.If you want to be environmentally staunch you could knit a penguin jersey (instructions provided).

If you’ve got the time quite a few of our libraries hold Knit n Stitch sessions – just check our Classes and events calendar to see what is on each day.

Free online fun for bored kids

Far be it for me to advocate the use of computers to babysit children, but sometimes Mummies and Daddies need an easy way out before they start going feral themselves. There is always something going on in libraries to help you out but if  the weather is keeping you inside then let me present some electronic aides that may prevent domestic tensions:

BusyThings Award winning quirky and fun online games and activities for 3 to 7 year olds;

TumbleBook Library An online collection of animated books, games, quizzes and puzzles;

Literacy Planet Children can create characters and earn rewards  in return for completing fun tasks around reading  and maths skills;

OverDrive: Our downloadable e-book and audio book collection has a number of items for kids!

If homework looms …

World Book Online Kids An easy-to-use encyclopædia for young readers. Articles, multimedia games, science projects and interactive tools for homework and fun;

Encyclopedia Britannica Junior Search articles, photographs, maps, famous people and more. Aimed at primary level.

All of this and much more besides is available through the library catalogue or at the Source with your library card number and PIN.