Saturday, August 30, 2008

Score! With a Quick Reading Report

I have pictures of the finished Gathered Pullover to show you. I really love how this sweater turned out. It fits perfectly and it's really comfortable. Here's a close-up:

And here's a more full-length shot:

The specs: Gathered Pullover from Interweave Knits, Winter 2007. Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed. I made the size that would give me zero ease around the bust, knowing that the cable motif would pull it in a little. I did make some modifications to the pattern, including lengthening the sweater by a couple of inches, replacing the rolled hems at the sleeves and bottom with a knitted-in hem, and giving the sweater a bit of an A-line shape by making it wider at the bottom and decreasing down to the final size as I knit upwards.

I think the sweater looks great with jeans, but it's got enough of a tailored look to it to go well with a skirt or a nice pair of trousers.

Alas, I broke my "no new yarn for a year" pledge during the Loopy Ewe's most recent Wollmeise sneak-up. People go nuts for this yarn! I've never used it or seen it in person. Typically, the Wollmeise is listed on the site surreptitiously and then it's like a shark feeding frenzy -- lots of blood in the water, but over quickly. This yarn supposedly sells out in a matter of minutes after it's put up on the site. I knew Sheri was going to put it up in three different lots over the course of the week, but I don't have the time, the energy, or the desire, quite frankly, to hover near a computer waiting for it to happen. So imagine my surprise when I checked in late one afternoon and there it was. Remembering that people have said that skeins they'd put in their carts had been sold out before they had a chance to reach check out, I picked out three skeins that seemed like colors I'd like. Two of them were sold out by the time I got to check out, so I got one. That's all I need, really, anyway.

It's very pretty. It's red with some black and purple, very hard to capture with my meager photographic skills. It's almost like the yarn was a dark red and purple, overdyed a bit with black.

So far I've had it for about an hour, and I have yet to lose the five pounds I gained this summer, win the lottery, or have David Tennant swear his undying lust for me, so maybe the magic from the yarn hasn't been released yet.

We spent some time last week doing middle school orientation stuff. Sr. Jr. is excited. I hope it will be a good time for him. He's most anxious about his math placement. He's "tagged" as gifted in math, so we know he'll be in one of the more advanced math classes, but whether he'll be in the 7th grade or 8th grade placement has yet to be determined. We met Jr. Jr's teacher as well. She's very young, but she seems nice, and we've heard good reports from friends whose child had her last year. Most of his good friends are in other classes, but he does know several of his classmates.

So, what shall I knit now? I feel an urgency to get something started so I have something to work on next week when the kids go back to school. It would be ironic indeed if, after complaining all summer long about how little time I've had to knit, I don't have anything ready to go when I finally do get the time.

Reading Report

It's been a while since I've given you an update, so this will be a quickie.

I read two books by Geraldine Brooks, Year of Wonders and People of the Book. Year of Wonders was a story about a 17th century village that voluntarily quarantines itself for a year after some of its residents come down with plague. While there was a bit too much "male medicine bad, female herbalism good" for my taste, the novel as a whole was engrossing, with interesting, well-thought out characters. People of the Book was based in part on the real-life story of the Sarajevo Hagaddah, a rare 15th century illustrated Jewish Passover hagaddah. The New Yorker had a wonderful story about the history of the hagaddah a few months ago that brought me to tears, so I was interested in whether a fictional representation could move me as much. The book travels through time, using a modern Australian conservator's experiences with the book as a framing device. We experience the lives of all the people who have participated in the lifetime of the Hagaddah, from the manuscript maker who created it in Inquisition-era Spain, to the Bosnian Muslim to smuggled the book out of Sarajevo in World War II to keep the Nazis from destroying it. The real-life story translated well to fiction, enabling me to learn a lot more about the day-to-day lives of Jews in different places and times than I did before.

I also read The Gravedigger's Daughter, by Joyce Carol Oates. It was a bit bleak and depressing, but well-written.

I caught up on more by one of my new favorite authors, reading My Lover's Lover, by Maggie O'Farrell. This one was a bit of an odd beast. It seems at the start to be a bit of a ghost story, but turns into more of a psychological examination of paranoia and obsession. While I didn't like it quite as much as her other books, it was still well-written and hard to put down.

After a quick David Sedaris palate cleanser, I'm reading Dear American Airlines, a novel whose narrator tells his story in a long complaint letter to the airline of the title while he's stuck at O'Hare airport hoping he doesn't miss his chance to attend his estranged daughter's wedding. It's cute. When this is done, I have a couple of books from a longtime favorite author of mine, Eric Kraft, to look forward to.

So my task for this weekend is to find something new to knit. I had said I'd do a cabled vest, but now I'm not so sure. Will ponder the possibilities...


Jeanne said...

The sweater is really beautiful. I like the mods you made to it - it looks really nice on you!

Loren T said...

Thanks, Jeanne. It was a fun, quick knit.