Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Reluctant Penguin discovers Librivox!

Literature to knit by, and all free! provides books, poems, and short stories that are read by volunteers. I first discovered it via the CraftLit podcast, wherein a former English teacher discusses knitting, spinning, and assorted other crafts and introduces a few chapters of an audiobook every week. She is currently doing one of my all-time favorite books, Pride and Prejudice, nicely read by Annie Coleman via Librivox. Now that I'm caught up, I may just skip ahead directly to the Librivox version so I don't have to wait a week for the next installment!

So here's the scoop on Librivox. Anyone can volunteer to read... all it requires is a little time, a microphone, and free recording software. The literature is all in the public domain, meaning that it is mostly pre-1923, but that covers a lot of classic literature. The catalog is expanding all the time. The Reluctant Penguin got her feet wet with a few poems from
Fables for the Frivolous by Guy Wetmore Carryl and Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (still in progress) and then went on to read several chapters of Candide by Voltaire (still in progress). Some projects are collaborative, with different people reading one or several chapters of a book, and others are solo, with a single individual reading an entire book.

Knitting is much more interesting while listening to a good book, especially this time of year when everything on TV seems to be a rerun.


Judith said...

Many thanks for this great link PLUS the long-tail cast-on advice. How simple - i really admire people who think outside the square. Me, I'm stuck with what I'm told.

The work you have on your bolog is lovely. What gorgeous yarn did you you use for the opera shawl? I tried the link to the shetland workshop and got her home page but no advice as to how to access the workshops.

What a great round-the-world community the net allows!

Cheers, Judith in Australia

Reluctant Penguin said...

Judith - Thanks for the compliments! The yarn for the opera shawl is Valley Yarns Fantasia, which I got from Webs (

Elizabeth Lovick has a book called Shetland Lace Workshop, which is available through her website. Just click on the link to her home page and scroll down to the bottom of the page for information on purchasing it. It includes easy-to-follow instructions and advice and some lovely patterns. I actually bought both Starting Shetland Lace and the Extra Patterns and am still working my way through the first lesson, which has three different scarves.