Yarn Along (by Bethany)

yarn along 12.11.13

There’s something not-quite-right about publishing two Yarn Along posts right in a row, without a single book review in between, right? It’s – I don’t know – bad form. Tacky. Gauche. Well, maybe not gauche. But definitely bad form.

I’ve been a little under the weather lately. Last week I felt awful all week, and this weekend I did a lot of reading and a fair amount of knitting, but mostly I slept. I slept ten or so hours each night, and I took a two-hour nap on Saturday and two two-hour naps on Sunday. On Monday I felt better, but yesterday I was back in bed about two hours after I woke up, and again I took a two-hour nap. All day long I felt as if I was just on the cusp of having a fever – warm skin, chills, an aching back. So we’ll see. For all of my issues with chronic pain, I rarely get actual infectuous illnesses. My last illness was bronchitis in November of 2009. Before that, I had bronchitis in January of 2006 and viral tonsillitis in April of 2002. I can’t remember the last time I had a cold or flu – probably in college. I feel as if something big might be coming on – we’ll see.

So ill health is one of the reasons I haven’t posted since last Wednesday. You can see the second reason in the photo above: I’m reading Cloud Atlas – and yes, it’s every bit as good as everyone says. For those who don’t know, this book is structured like a set of nesting boxes. It contains eleven chapters, and as you read through the first six, you feel as if you’re reading six separate stories. There are some signs that the chapters are connected – for example, the first chapter is a journal written by a sailor named Adam Ewing sometime in the 1850’s, and in the second chapter a rare-maunscript dealer is trying to find a buyer for the original manuscript of Ewing’s diary – but mostly they take place in different times and places, and the connections between them are not obvious. But then the seventh chapter has the same title as the fifth, and completes the story established in the fifth chapter. The eighth chapter completes the story established in the fourth, the ninth corresponds with the third, the tenth corresponds with the second, and the eleventh brings us back to Adam Ewing and his 19th-century diary. I’m just about at the halfway mark, and I’m starting to get glimmers of how all the characters and situations are connected to one another. It’s very Martin-Amisy, full of world-weary British cynicism and caffeinated prose like “Sometimes the fluffy bunny of incredulity zooms round the bend so rapidly that the greyhound of language is left, agog, in the starting cage” (168). I am enjoying it immensely.

The scarf above is the one I’m calling Forgiving Scarf #1. I made some modifications to a sock pattern and created this simple yet really beautiful lace pattern that is the single most forgiving knitting pattern I’ve ever worked with (hence the name). Even-numbered rows are all a basic K2-P2 stitch. Row 1 of every four-row cycle is always K2tog-YO-P2, and row 3 of every cycle is always YO-K2tog-P2. If I make mistakes – for example if I forget to yarn over, or if I accidentally yarn over twice in the same set of stitches – I can correct them easily in the K2-P2 row that follows by either knitting or purling two stitches together to get rid of an extra stitch or adding a stitch if I forgot to yarn over. The front of the scarf doesn’t even show signs that I’ve made the mistake and corrected it in the next row instead of going back and ripping stitches out to fix it. That’s why it’s my Forgiving Scarf – because the mistakes are just part of its fabric.

And this is the part where I’m supposed to say something wise about how mistakes being part of the fabric is a metaphor for life. But I’m not going to say that. It would be so out of character. Goodbye – happy Wednesday, everyone!

Yarn Along is sponsored by Ginny on her blog Small Things.

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2 Responses to Yarn Along (by Bethany)

  1. CathieJ says:

    I love the sound of that book. I will need to add it to my list of “to be read”. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • lfpbe says:

      You’re welcome! It takes some patience and willingness to be confused for a while (and, at about the halfway mark, I’m still a little confused) but is definitely worth it.

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