Sunday, May 16, 2010
I Need a Treat
Today I finally had a couple of hours of quiet time, so I kitchenered the two halves of Elegant Empire together. It was something like 115 stitches plus the cable panel. I've never kitchenered anything but plain old stockinette before, and figured I'd just wing it when I got to the cable panel. Classic overconfidence, no? In this case, it worked out just fine. You can see that the panels don't quite match up. I might have been a row off, but hey, it's not that bad, is it? I think it will look a lot better after it's all done, washed, and blocked, too.
All that kitchenering took a while and definitely made my head and my eyes hurt. I need a treat! All I need to do now to finish this thing is to do the front band, and then sew the side seams and the hems. Not too bad.
I'm still contemplating what to knit next, and I'm still undecided. Kippi provided lots of good suggestions in the comments to the last post, which was helpful and NOT helpful, because it gave me more to choose from. I have a ton of great yarn that I really want to knit up, but I don't have a pattern that's thrilling me.
And no, I don't have time to design one of my own, thankyouverymuch. It's tempting, though.
A weekend of sitting around and waiting at various events has allowed me to finish the first of my Lagoon socks and to start the toe of the second:
I love these socks. I've been knitting a bit tightly, though. I think I need to loosen it up.
In non-knitting news, we got a new treadmill! I'm very excited about this. Now I have no excuse not to exercise. I can't complain when it's too hot, too cold, too rainy, or whatever.
I've read a few since the last blog post mentioning books, of course. I finally got around to reading Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill. This book came out a while ago to great acclaim and good reviews, falling into that category of "post-9/11 novels" that make me wary. I find it hard to read books or see movies that center on 9/11 because it's still so raw in my mind. It's such a huge event that in some ways, putting it into fiction seems exploitative or cheap. There are some 9/11 books that work, however. Next, by James Hynes, one of my favorite authors, deals mainly with post-9/11 anxiety, the effects it has on a personal level, rather than on some larger societal level. Netherland was a bit too slow, in my opinion. It had its moments, but overall was a bit of a slog for me. I know it's supposed to be paced that way (much like a cricket match, which can go on for days), but it had stretched where I just wasn't connecting with it.
I just finished reading The Imperfectionists, a first novel by Tom Rachman. The novel is a portrait of a newspaper told from different perspectives. I really enjoyed this book, but I think I wanted more. On some level, it's a history of modern newspapering, from the days when newspapers were the whole story, to the days of budget cutting and audience-pleasing, to the days when people feel newspapers are old media, not able to keep up with the fast pace of current information dissemination. That last part -- the internet age -- isn't really examined as much as the other stages, so the novel seems to end kind of abruptly. However, it's a great book, very well-written, funny and wise and insightful. We get to see newspapering from so many angles, from the publisher to the stringer to the copy editor. I do recommend it, and I'll be looking out for more from this author.
One of my newest favorite authors, Maggie O'Farrell (The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox) has also come out with a new novel, called The Hand that First Held Mine. I'm still at the beginning, but I'm finding it hard to put down. There are two threads that are being developed, and I haven't quite gotten to where they come together, but I can't wait. O'Farrell is definitely now on the list of authors whose books I buy as soon as they come out, along with Jane Smiley, Lorrie Moore, and others.
Off to put some aloe on my sunburn :(