L&L Book Club: Merry Christmas Alex Cross

Welcome to Christmas in July!

Our MKAL is underway and on the Ravelry Hot List as I type this! It’s always a big honor to make the top five, it’s like the perfect validation of my chosen profession.

Sometimes, I think I love Christmas in July just as much as regular Christmas, because celebrating it now feels like I’m getting away with something. I don’t know who the “man” is in this case, but I’m sticking it to him with my unrelenting cheer. That’ll teach him. I’m seriously considering designing some Ugly-Christmas-Tanktops, and rocking my favorite sweaters year round. I’ll put that on the agenda for Christmas in July 2018.

The Book

This week, I tried to read Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson. I tried really hard, guys. Maybe the other books are better, or maybe it’s good and I’m just so far removed from the target audience that I don’t have the frame of reference needed to get it. What I’m absolutely certain of is that there is no need to have so many chapters. Why?! Why do we need chapter breaks to punctuate every conversation? Seriously, if you took out all the chapter breaks that should have been page breaks the book would have been 20 pages shorter. Also, he introduces an interesting villain at the beginning, resolves that, and then moves on to a villain that is basically just some underlying Islamophobia made flesh. Well, made paper and ink anyhow. So I’m going to be honest, I stopped about 40 chapters in. For those of you keeping count at home, 40 chapters isn’t even half of the book. That’s how short the chapters are.


I know a lot of people love Alex Cross. I haven’t read the big ones, like Along Came A Spider, and maybe I would like those better. But this was a bore and life is too short. So, for next week, I’ve selected two short books, just in case the problem is my ADD. ;) I’ll be reading The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.

The Project

I’m super excited that our Christmas in July MKAL has been so well received! I’m keeping the pattern free throughout the month, so everyone can participate in the KAL. You’ll need six colors for the project. I recommend one skein of Vacation Yarn partnered with a contrasting mini-skein set. (I used Baskerville with a Brakebills set, but a skein of Daredevil with a Green Arrow set would be super Chrismas-y and awesome.)  In the pattern, I make LIBERAL use of beads, but you could choose to skip them if you want and go back over the stitches that would have been beaded with a seventh color in duplicate stitch. Or, you could keep it very subtle, and not even do the duplicate sts and simply work the stitches that would have been beaded in the main color. With the beads, when you hold your hands together the mittens will form a secret and awesome mathematical design. Basically, you already know you’re smarter than other people, so it makes sense to have mittens that advertise it.

The first clue came out yesterday, and I will release each of the remaining three clues each Wednesday in July. The pattern is available as a Ravery Download by clicking the link below. You don’t need a coupon, the price will change to $0.00 in your cart until August.

Once you download the first clue, Ravelry will automatically notify you when the pattern has been updated with the next clue. Sizing is handled with gauge, and it’s super important to check your gauge on this one. The first clue includes instructions for knitting a test swatch to determine if you need to go up or down a needle size to get the right size mittens. I’ve also included protips for organizing your yarn for a smooth, fun, project!

Make sure and tag your projects with #LandLMKAL and #ShiningSequenceMittens so we can all ooooh and aaaah over them on Instagram and Twitter!


Who am I kidding? I’ll probably end up reading The Hogfather for the millionth time.