Yarnalong: Audrey update

I’ve made a fair bit of progress on Audrey in Unst over the past couple of weeks. The front is done, and I’m now working on the back. Then it’ll just be the sleeves & button band to go. I’m loving that it’s all one piece, with no seams at all. I have to say, though, that I don’t think I like knitting bottom up. I miss being able to try it on as I go, and am worried the length won’t be right. I’ve done my best to try to make an educated guess, but there’s really no way to know.

As for reading, I am still reading Alice Munro’s short stories, but in the meantime I’ve also reread Fahrenheit 451. It has a timely message about the importance of freedom of speech, and Bradbury’s one of my favorite authors. I have to admit this isn’t my favorite of his books, though. Given that Bradbury was also a screenwriter, I was surprised to realize on rereading that this isn’t a particularly fast-paced book. Most of the characterization was really successful, but I never really bought into Beatty, one of the key characters. I also felt it leaned toward the didactic, with characters using lots of long speeches to convey the message of the book rather than showing me values via dialogue and plot. I’m just being picky, though. It’s certainly a classic worth reading if you haven’t yet.

I know I’m a bit late, but I’m linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along. Pop along and see what others are reading & knitting. I’d love to hear what you’re working on, too.

Wednesday yarn along: casting on

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It’s been a while since I posted for the yarn along, mainly because I haven’t been doing much knitting. Today I cast on for the Audrey in Unst cardigan in black. I have to wear black at work sometimes, and I’ve been wanting a nice cardigan to keep there in case I forget. Audrey in Unst is a simple but pretty pattern, and I don’t think it’ll take too long to make, provided I can tear myself away from books.

As for reading, I’m currently finishing up Michael Chabon’s latest, Moonglow. I must admit it’s not as great as some of his others, but I’ve still enjoyed reading it. Next on my list is The Maid’s Version by Daniel Woodrell. Woodrell is one of the few authors I know of who sets his writing in the Ozarks (near where I grew up), so I do have a real soft spot for him. The Maid’s Version promises to be a small-town drama with complex characters.

Linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

 

 

Wednesday Yarn Along

What I’m knitting: Knee highs

I’ve finished the mystery knit and am back to the knee highs. I’m now in a dilemma, as I’m out of yarn and have about 6-8 inches to go. A couple of weeks ago, John Arbon didn’t have it on their website, but now they’ve dyed some more. So the question  is do I unravel a bit of the other sock, or do I spend the eyewatering £16 to buy more and hope the dye lots are close enough? I wouldn’t normally spend £16 on yarn- the skein I have, I bought for about £6 at a yarn festival. What would you do in my place?

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What I’m reading: Finch, by Jeff Vandermeer

This is another sci fi book. I really enjoyed the Annihilation series by Vandermeer, so I thought I’d try this one out. It’s about a pair of detectives investigating a double murder in a world ruled by fungus. Yup, really. I’m not very far into it, but it’s quite interesting. I’m not entirely sold on it yet. Hopefully it’ll improve, though.

As always, check out the Yarn Along page on Ginny’s website to see what others are up to this week. And feel free to share what you’re working on in the comments!

Wednesday yarn along: the one with a mystery knit

P1070438.JPGWhat I’m reading: Manja, by Anna Gmeyner

“These are difficult times to grow up in,” Heidemann said as they walk towards [the river].

“More difficult than yours?”

“Yes.”

“Perhaps,” Heidemann went on – asking a question only possible because of their new equality – “perhaps we’ve been wrong about many things? Could being a decent human just be a liberal’s daydream? Perhaps Might is Right has always ruled the world.”

I finished this book today. It’s the story of 5 children growing up in 1920s-30s Germany, and it is every bit as heartbreaking as you’d expect, especially because it was published in 1938. I mean that in the best possible way. I think this should be required reading for every high school student, and I really can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this (I just happened to pick it up at a charity shop). I gave it 4.75 stars out of 5 on Goodreads, only because the message is the tiniest bit heavy-handed at times. I do wonder whether some of that could be down to the translation, though, as it was originally written in German. Anyway, I couldn’t recommend this book more.

What I’m knitting: a green and grey present

I can’t share any details of this as it’s a present, but as you can see, it’s very green. I’m really enjoying this knit, as it’s very quick and pretty.

Are you reading anything good this week? Have you started making any presents? If you want to see what others are up to, have a look at Ginny’s Yarn Along page.

Yarn Along: the one with yet more sci fi

Wow, is it Wednesday already? The weeks are just flying by these days. I know it’s not technically October yet, but October is so jam-packed for me that I’m already looking forward to it being over. Is it just me?

Knitting and reading are definitely helping me relax, which is extra important right now.

What I’m reading: In Other Worlds by Margaret Atwood

The subtitle of this is SF and the Human Imagination, and it’s another non-fiction book about the genre of science fiction. I say another because you may recall I read a book called The Stuff Our Dreams Are Made Of earlier this year. I’m about halfway through In Other Worlds now, and I much prefer it. It’s a collection of essays, divided into three parts. The first is her reflections on the genre of sci fi and why we are drawn to it, the second is individual pieces about sci fi works that are of personal significance to her, and the final she describes as tributes. In the words of the blurb, she “explores and critiques the form, and elucidates the differences – as she sees them – between ‘science fiction’ proper and ‘speculative fiction’, not to mention sword and sorcery, fantasy and slipstream fiction. Atwood’s a great writer, and this is interesting and thought-provoking and critical without being didactic or overly negative (which was one of my key problems with Disch).

What I’m knitting: Zitronenmelisse knee highs

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I’m really enjoying knitting these, though I’m starting to worry I might not actually have enough yarn. I can’t decide what to do about that. If anyone has ideas, I’ll happily take them!

Linking up with the Yarn Along. Let me know what you’re making or reading this week!

 

Wednesday yarn-along: the one with The Moth and a sock

There’s a very simple reason that I haven’t been posting about what I’ve been making recently, and it’s that I haven’t actually been making anything. I have been really tired for what feels like forever, so I’ve been using my energy to read instead. I finally cast onto a project again last week. It is a great feeling.

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But first, what I’m reading: The Moth, edited by Catherine Burns

The Moth is a compilation of 50 true stories. What I love about it is that they are stories, not essays. I like essays, too, but it’s nice to read something different. The Moth is a real-life storytelling event and podcast based originally on the Southern tradition of storytelling, where people would gather together on someone’s porch at night & just share stories as long as they liked. These stories are all excellent – surprising, pithy, and emotionally engrossing. I found myself laughing often, as well as welling up. The storytellers run a wide spectrum, from an astronaut to a war reporter to global wanderers, but while there is a name at the front, the biography is at the end. It’s great to see so many different lives being shared. It also really inspired me to think about my life, whether there are moments I can crystallize into a story myself.

What I’m knitting: Zitronenmelisse sock.

Sorry for the lack of pictures this week! It is getting darker already, sob. These are knee highs and I’m knitting them using some 4-ply alpaca/wool blend from Jon Arbon Yarns. I bought the yarn years ago at a wool festival, so I’m glad to finally be using it. It’s lovely and squishy and soft!

Linking up with the Yarn Along; do go check out what others are making & reading.