Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Reading and Knitting Notes

Reading notes: I was intrigued by A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland. Long ago, I adopted this philosophy given to me by a good friend: "Before abandoning a book, read as many pages as you are old. After age fifty, start subtracting the number of pages to read." I am now way past the age of subtraction. Regardless, I did not find this book engaging enough to continue. Maitland excerpts from many journals of solitude/silence seekers - one after another. I was troubled by her dismissal of the difference between choosing silence in a relatively safe environment and having silence imposed involuntarily. Perhaps she comes back to this idea later in the book but I will never know. The fifty four pages I read did make me think about quiet, silence, and solitude.  Ironically I am moving on to another work of nonfiction, Words Are My Matter  by Ursuals K. LeGuin. I find her nonfiction essays and short talks beautifully written and thought provoking. Evidently silence is not in the cards for me. Just ask my family.

Knitting notes: I am working on the sleeves of the baby kimono. Usually I enjoy sleeve knitting because it means I'm nearly finished with a sweater. This little sleeve knitted in garter stitch in the round is a bit tedious and I have a few loose stitches in the area between needles. I hope a good soak and block helps or I will be using a crochet hook on the reverse side to even out the stitches. Yesterday I bought a shorter pair of double pointed needles from a local yarn shop and have been shifting stitches to different positions. Even with new needles, alternating knit and purl rows for garter stitch in the round feels fiddly. Another time I would knit the sleeves flat and seam them together. Magic looping the sleeves might be another alternative. It is not my favorite knitting technique.

I finished a hat I began for the Minnesota road trip so I have two hats to replace the one I wore inside out and mended last winter. This was an easy breezy summer knit. I also cast on the first Irish Hiking Mitten. The mitten was not good social knitting. The dark color way is pretty but hard to see in evening light. It is an older free pattern with written row by row instructions. I have knit several pairs of these mittens previously. These days I am used to more concise charted patterns. Once home, I unraveled five or six rows and straightened out the cable twists and thumb gusset.

One of my grandsons has an August birthday. He wondered if I could make a rainbow bear. Well of course I can. I plan to use the Mother Bear pattern.

I am joining Kat and the Unravelers today. What are you knitting, reading, or not reading today?


  1. I am feeling much the same about Ready Player One... it is just not striking a cord with me.

    Your knitting, as always, is gorgeous!

  2. A Book of Silence sounds like it could hold great potential, but you make an important distinction about choosing silence voluntarily and having silence imposed. I've always enjoyed Ursula K. Leguin, and I hope that book is a better read for you. It's always nice to be asked to knit something by a loved one, and I'm looking forward to Rainbow Bear!

  3. Rainbow Bear! What a fun project! Can't wait to see how it turns out. :-)
    I usually give myself 75 pages with a book before deciding if it's working for me or not. I think I like the age-method better! I have been reading a lot of non-fiction (and particularly essay collections) this summer, too. I love Ursula K. Leguin! XO

  4. commenting again to receive comments

  5. Love that you wore your hat inside out! I finished Sedaris' Calypso. made me laugh out loud. What a family he has and talks about. Now I must pick up a audio book ENDURANCe that was recommended by a friend whose nonfiction picks are always spot on. Cowl knitting tonight . I m making up a pattern ! Whee

  6. Great way to "field test" a book...not sure I'd make it to 50 before I closed up... the baby sweater is so pretty; sorry it's a bit o' a bother to knit. look forward to seeing the rainbow bear!

  7. I am finally 99% recovered and am abled to sit and knit (for now). I am in HEAVEN. Not knitting was not fun. I love that you have two hats, you have choices during the fall and winter now.