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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Quest for a Man by Laura Nelkin
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed in the Prussian Heather colorway
Needles: Size 7 DPNs and Size 6 and 7 circs

I knit this hat twice.    The whole point was that the original hat I made for my brother was too big.    I've since made a size medium hat in the same pattern for my other brother, which was fine, so I figured this would be fine too.    Well, turns out I should not have done my customary one needle size up from what's in the pattern with this yarn.   I got all the way to the end of the medium, and it was just too big.    So, frogged that, and did the size small.     Which looks so much better.

Worlds Elsewhere - Andrew Dickson

I’d never given much thought to Shakespeare in translation – I mean, the thing about his work is his amazing use of the English language.     You find lists of words that he pioneered in his work that we’re still using today.     Heck, we’ve basically moved on from that particular form of the language, and yet, his work is still taught in schools today.

But, it turns out his work has moved around the globe, and in many cases been translated, and Shakespeare has been adopted into other cultures as a national poet/playwright.     Or, his work has come to be associated with some very fraught ideas of colonialism and national identity (see: South Africa), or even with the very nature of what is art for the masses vs. the intellectuals (see: China).    

There are five sections: Germany, the US, India, South Africa, and China.     The author travels to each, so you get a really great flavor of the places involved.     It’s just a fascinating read.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Leap! by Brooke Ramos
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in the Dusk, Pine, and Merlot Heather colorways, and Knit Picks Palette in the Silver colorway
Needles: Size 1.5 DPNs

So these are my first pair of mitts with actual fingers - and I'll admit, if I was doing these again, I'd make the fingers longer.     Other than that, great pattern - really easy to follow.    It was a nice vehicle for using up some more of some yarn ends.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fenway Park, Boston, MA

I was recently bemoaning the lack of photos on my blog - January is entirely books and knitting up until now.     But, it is is winter in New England.   It's not that I don't go anywhere in the winter - it's usually just things more like last weekend, where we went down to greater Boston to hang out with friends for the night.    There are pictures on Facebook for that- but not so much of the kind of pictures I usually post here.

But, today was my FIL's 70th birthday, so we (MIL, BF, me, and his two brothers) all met up for the festivities.    Which started out with a Fenway tour.   Now, I am not the world's biggest baseball fan, but I am from New England, so I wasn't completely disinterested.    And Fenway is very cool, and very historic.    And it was a lovely weekend to wander around Boston (properly bundled up, of course.)

Yes, there is a random 14 story ski jump being built in the field.     And no, even the tour guides did not know the full detail of how that was going to be used.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Knitting Notes

As a bit of a contrast to the Leap! mitts, I've also cast on yet another Quest men's hat.    I 'd made one in a size large for my younger brother ages ago, but it was really too big, so he asked if he could get a smaller one.    I like this pattern, and I like him, so I'm happy to oblige.    I'm making this one in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Tweed, in the Prussian Heather colorway.

Merlin - Stephen R. Lawhead

Here’s another technical re-read, from back in my high school days.     It’s the story of Merlin, from childhood, to when he claims the baby Arthur from Uther Pendragon.

In this series, Merlin is the son of the bard Taliesin and the Princess Charis of Atlantis, daughter of the Fisher King.     He is foretold to be a king, and in his younger days, he rules alongside his step father as king of Dyfed.      The death of his wife and unborn child drives him mad, and he disappears into the forest for a number of years.     When he emerges, he is no older, but many of his companions have died.      His legend has grown, especially when people see he has not aged.

A young man named Aurielus is shortly to become High King of Britain, and his younger half brother Uther is the chief of his army.     Anyone familiar with Arthurian legend knows where this is going.

The first thing I noticed is how Christian this book is.     Not in a modern sense, but Merlin is firmly a Christian from birth, despite also being prophesied by the Druids to be their king.     It’s an interesting take on things – certainly a way different view than The Mists of Avalon, for instance.

The other thing is that I really didn’t get a sense of Merlin as a man.     He’s a young appearing man.      And his life before Uther seems quick.      (I suppose the fact that he’s mad for a good portion of it helps.)     I just don’t get a good sense of deep-seated power from him.    I suppose this Merlin is born to his power, but I feel like I need to understand better where it truly comes from, and this story left me lacking.    Still, it’s a good transition to the next book, called Arthur, so you know exactly where the story is headed.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Knitting Notes

The next thing I cast on is firmly in the use up yarn! category.     These are Leap! mitts, by Brooke Ramos.    I've got three different types of KnitPicks Stroll, and a KnitPicks Palette in there.    They all had fairly large amounts left, so I'm hoping to get them down to more manageable scrap sizes before I start with the hexipuffs.