Category Archives: knitting

Knitting, crochet, embroidery, sewing, Ravelry, colorways, yarn and general musing.

read the book

Standard

I’ve been to his home, Rowan Oak, in Oxford many times. But before last night I’d never read a William Faulkner novel.

I know, I know; I’m already ashamed.

Maybe it’s because I always tried to start out with “The Sound and the Fury.” By the second page I still hadn’t figured out what the heck was going on. So I always copped to rather more soothing reading.

But James Franco’s “As I Lay Dying” was on Netflix. As it was Christmas weekend and I had a scarf to knit, I figured, what the heck: another California actor trying to play a country boy. Let’s see how bad this is. “The Beverly Hillbillies” has persistently informed Hollywood’s iconic Southerner and we’re still trying to live it down.

As a director, Franco excelled. But it was Tim Blake Nelson who knocked my socks off. I have known people like Anse Bundren and am probably related to one or two. So my impressions of the film were visceral.

In the Delta, you go about your business in the rain. It’s not unusual to see someone on the street without a raincoat. But in Faulkner’s narrative, oldest son Cash works in a downpour, as both tribute and grief.

His sister, Dewey Dell, faces her dilemma with a naivete that speaks to a different time. Her situation, unfortunately, threatens today’s young woman under the yoke of regressive legislation.

An obsessive fatalism ruled the Bundren family. Burdened by such a mission, they tromped on the tender shoots of Providence. The message was not lost on me.

I located a PDF of the novel and downloaded it last night. I did not stop until I read the last page. Today my eyeballs feel blistered and my attention wanders from my work because I have downloaded “The Sound and the Fury.” Now that I have a feel for Faulkner’s cadence and convoluted narrative, I feel empowered to try it again. Also, I’m excited to see if I learn more new words. I had never experienced the term “pussel-gutted,” but I plan to use it in a comment soon.

Franco made “Sound/Fury” into a movie this year. I think this time I’ll read the book first.

Advertisements

coolness

Standard

It is a rainy, chilly Monday morning. I have to drive downtown to see my dentist. I’m killing time before I leave, playing 8 Ball Pool on Facebook.

My opponent is DarkFeelings, and his avatar looks slightly like a Smurf. I’m guessing DarkFeelings is a male, because this game is the realm of mostly young or youngish men, rock star or gangsta wannabes.

I wonder what they think about my avatar: a meme of Gromit with a caption that says, “Knitting: It makes everything better.”

Nevertheless, I sympathize with DarkFeelings. I have some Dark Feelings of my own.

See, I was left off a Cool Girls List.

In times past I have been a Cool Girl, times when I immersed myself in a culture (or subculture) which eventually consumed me.

Right now, I am not a Cool Girl. In fact, I’m practically invisible. Since my dad’s death four months ago, I have been rebuilding social stamina. I’m not there yet.

But being left off this latest list felt a lot like adolescence, when I was always too something. Too outspoken. Too nonconformist. Too alpha female (whatever that is).

The truth is, I like those things about myself. It’s when I’m ashamed of them that there’s a problem.

DarkFeelings scratches the cue ball and I run out the game, leaving him with five on the table. I offer to play again but the Smurfy avatar vanishes.

My next opponent has a name I cannot decipher, because it is in Russian. It could be Kevin but it could also be Katie. (There are a few women on here.) This player’s avatar is a photo of two young boys holding hands. It’s possible I’m playing one of the boys’ parents.

But on Facebook one just never knows.

Between shots I ponder the old, familiar feeling of shame, a straitjacket from my throat to my ribs. While Kevin/Katie lines up the next shot, I Google “cool girl.” One result takes me to an article, which I passive-aggressively publish to my Facebook page. It theorizes that coolness is borne of practice, a kind of covert conformity to a very subtle standard.

I do not try to guess the identity of the next 8 Ball player. Drawing conclusions from the wispiest knowledge set me up to step off Monday’s curb into a funk. Making assumptions about what I am and ought to be is just no way to get rid of Dark Feelings.

Instead I discuss it with my Higher Power. And I recall that Jesus Christ was a Cool Girl — until He wasn’t; that is, when He was too outspoken, too nonconformist, too alpha male (whatever that is).

I recall also that He was always hanging out with people who would never have made the Cool Girls List.

Then I pick up my knitting.

Weasley Blanket

Standard

I made a small blanket for Elijah when he was about four, and it came out as a distorted parallelogram.  If any of you use Photoshop, you know exactly what this looks like.

When I frogged it out it became a pile of small balls of worsted weight acrylic yarn, which I never use any more.

Now I hardly ever go to movies.  I think it’s because I watch them so much on my laptop that I get used to having a (mostly) purely cinematic experience.

Watching a movie in any of our local theaters is sort of like seeing them at a bus stop.  I just find it hard to tune out all the cell phones, the conversation in the seats behind me, the feet up on the seat next to me, etc., etc.

So one weekend I decided to catch up with the rest of my family by watching ALL the Harry Potter movies back to back.  By the time it was over I was sure I had been living at Hogwarts for two days.

Ron in his room at Hogwarts

every boy needs a blanket.

Then somehow when I was trolling my usual sites I came across a wonderful project by Jackie Wierzbicki— The Ron Weasley Blanket.

You can read about her journey at http://penguineerspurls.blogspot.com/2011/12/potter-pattern-done.html.

So I found yet another destash project, this time using those orphaned balls of worsted.  I’m averaging about three squares a week and hope to finish this by the time Eli needs a blanket on his bed.

I ran out of stitch pins, so I substituted whatever circular needles were hanging around, just transferring the squares and letting the needle tips dangle on either side.

I also had a hard time keeping up with where I was, since I didn’t QUITE have all the colors I needed in progress (Ravelry, Listia and eBay to the rescue, of course) so I stuck the squares up on the wall with pushpins.

My daughter likes the look of this, so I told her for my next project I will knit her a wall.

 

Log Cabin Blankie

Standard

This was my first big destash project of 2012.  It started on a long road trip from Memphis to Wichita, in the back seat of my daughter’s vehicle, next to Hannah, her puppy.

I think it took on some of her characteristics.  It required much more attention from me than I originally planned to give it.  It caused me to spend more money than I had budgeted.  And it seemed to take over my waking life.

Log Cabin squares

The pattern for the blanket shows it bordered with black, similar to many of the granny square afghans I grew up seeing.

Not a fan.

So I thought I’d border mine with a blue to match my dorm pillow.

and the squares just kind of get lost.

So I’m frogging out the blue and I’m going to make some more squares.  Stay tuned.

Blueberry Squares

Standard

So I started a destash project — my Log Cabin Blankie — and ended up with more yarn than ever.

But then I saw this beautiful pattern and I thought, ok, I can try another destash.

This is from susyranner on Flickr.

But I have this favorite pic of blueberries — it’s my desktop background — and coincidentally the colors would look great in my room….

So I’m on a quest for Simply Soft in these colors.

I have started a GIMP image incorporating the yarn swatches onto the berries.

swatch palette for Blueberry Squares

swatches of Simply Soft

not knitting…

Standard

I’m blessed with work and the discovery of a new site called Listia, which is like eBay for barterers.  So I’m destashing/dejunking and occasionally finding something I really want in return.  But the graphicist in me desperately wants to tweak my look here and add some pics.  *sigh*  Maybe later…