Yarn Along is hosted by Ginny at her blog Small Things.
Sometimes knitting serves no purpose in my life except as an outlet for my obsessiveness. The last couple of months have been like that. I haven’t been knitting all that much – just an hour or two here and there in front of a movie or CNN – but I’ve been knitting the same project over and over. Baby hats. First I made five red ones. Then I made four green ones and have just cast on the fifth. I have a skein of the same kind of yarn in purple waiting in the wings. I do have a few friends with babies, and maybe I’ll give away a hat or two over the next few months. I’ve also been known to make noises about starting an Etsy store, and an inventory of a dozen or more hats wouldn’t be a bad way to start one off. But really I didn’t make the hats for either of these reasons. I made them because they were easy. Easy and attractive and cute and manageable. I can make them without screwing up. This is a wonderful gift that knitting gives me at times like this. Knitting can be challenging and complicated, but it can also be easy. Sometimes I need a task at which I KNOW I can succeed, and lately that task has been baby hats.
Here are the hats in a pile:
Here are the hats in a fan:
Here’s Cleo wearing a hat:
You get the picture. We have hats to spare. I considered taking the nine hats to the produce market and taking pictures of a bunch of grapefruits wearing them, but I didn’t quite have the energy for that. I am working almost full-time now, and I consider myself lucky to have even had the energy to think of that.
I’m reading Justin Cronin’s The Passage, and it’s fantastic. It’s set in the relatively near future, maybe fifty to a hundred years from now. A team made up of Harvard scientists and Army weapons engineers are working on a top-secret project designed to manipulate and control a newly-discovered virus that turns humans into vampires. The vampires, of course, eventually escape from captivity and overrun most of North America. I’m less than halfway through it, and the focus right now is on a small colony of survivors in a compound in southern California – in the San Jacinto mountains, actually, right near where I used to live in Idyllwild. I can’t help picturing the compound as the campus of the school where I used to work.
As you may know, I usually shun vampire literature – or at best, I mock it. But what makes this book good is not the vampires, but the intricacy with which Cronin creates his characters. This book is marketed as a thriller and in some ways is a thriller, but it does not move at thriller pace. Sometimes I spend an hour or more reading ten or fifteen pages – thinking about what I’m reading, flipping back to corroborate half-remembered facts, reading complicated paragraphs over and over. This is character-driven fiction that just happens to have vampires in it. And I recommend it highly.