I am reading The Nix. I put it on my Amazon wishlist because I read a review that compared it to a Dickens novel, fat and entrancing with interleaving storylines, and I am a sucker for fat entrancing novels with interleaving storylines. My mother gave it to me for Christmas but it took me a few weeks to start. It's a big book.
At first I did not think it was AT ALL like Dickens. I went in search of the review that had made the Dickens comparison, and found instead a different review calling it, aptly, the love child of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace. I still wish I could find that first review, because I want to know if it included a spoiler. There's a plot line in which a character is mysteriously ill, but the etiology of the illness, and indeed the etiology of the etiology, were immediately transparent to me. They seemed both chilling and inevitable, and I would like to know if the reviewer made them seem inevitable to me, or if the inevitability was entirely the author's work.
Now I am 480-ish pages in and you know, it is something like Dickens. Only with better female characters. And more sex, and less enthusiasm for the countryside. But yeah, the Dickens comparison makes sense. It's really good, if frequently disturbing. The author slides persuasively into the points of view of a variety of characters, and cuts from one story to another in a way that has reeled me right along through 480-ish pages. I am making occasional notes to myself about anachronistic dialogue, etc., because for the most part I have been so impressed with his authorial judgment that it jars me to bump up against a whereby where I don't think a whereby belongs. It reminds me that this is, after all, a guy writing his first novel and not a master of the form. It was published in August of last year, before the election, but I am intensely curious about the timeline on which it was written. The bits about American political divisions are so timely-- I was especially struck by the moment in which American authorities think wistfully about Russian authorities' use of brute force.
So I had thought that I might write you a post about the retreat, or a follow-up post about liturgical music or healthcare, but instead I am going to curl up in bed with my book. See you soon...
This morning Stella was browsing through an Ogden Nash book on the couch. She doesn't really read Ogden Nash yet -- there's too much wordplay for her to enjoy it on her own. But that particular shelf is a favorite of hers, and she often sits down to pore over the pages of something she isn't ready to read yet. In school they push hard for the kids to read within their ZPDs,* but at our house we encourage browsing through whatever catches your eye. I bet I have a dozen different pictures of Stella peering at the pages of a Shakespeare play, even though she won't be reading Shakespeare for a while.
(*Is Zone of Proximal Development an abbreviation that needs to be spelled out? It seemed weird to write it out and also weird to abbreviate it.)
Ogden Nash was still on the couch when I came home this evening. When I picked up the book I flipped to the front, where I saw this inscription. The Elizabeth in question was my great-aunt-in-law; the Pa my husband's great-grandfather.
In December 1938 Aunt Elizabeth had no way of knowing that far away in Milwaukee a baby girl had just been born, a baby girl who would grow up to marry Elizabeth's nephew. She could not know that they would have a book-loving son who would marry a book-loving girl. I am the book-loving girl in this story, and coincidentally, in the year that Elizabeth died, I gave her great-nephew a book of Ogden Nash poems. It is also inscribed; the inscription begins "When we are old and wise and famous, when you've eclipsed Einstein and I've topped Camus..." Even as I wrote it I knew that it wasn't quite right: the thing about Nash is he rhymes things that seem like they shouldn't rhyme, whereas I was only not-rhyming things that looked like they ought to rhyme.
These days the two Nash volumes sit cheek by jowl on a crowded shelf, tucked into a corner of our dining room because (a) we have so many books in this house that they have to spill over into the dining room too and (b) it is much easier to resolve dinner-table arguments about Shakespeare if a person can just lean over and grab the complete works. I might lobby for keeping the complete works within grabbing distance of the dining room table even if we were to move to a bigger house someday.
Aunt Elizabeth could not have foreseen that in December of 2008, 70 years after she gave that Ogden Nash book to her father, his great-great-granddaughter would slide into the world a few feet away from the shelf on which it sat. She could not have known that the preschool-aged Stella would grab the eye-level Shakespeare volumes from her Goucher College days, or that the 8-year-old Stella would be fond of Nash. Perhaps 12-year-old Stella will be browsing from the next shelf up: will she like Dante, or Euripides, or Aristophanes? I cannot see the future any better than Aunt Elizabeth could. In fact, I am writing this post and realizing that I cannot even see the present clearly. Stella saw me taking a picture of the inscription and launched into a disquisition on Ogden Nash. She likes his Doves poem, on page 61, but it has some confusing parts, and here is what she thinks it means...
Color me surprised. Color me wistful.
That shelf is mostly books that Elwood and I have bought, and I wonder tonight where they might be eighty years from now. I've posted before about my copy of Paradise Lost, with one ink color from Intro to Western Lit and another ink color from my class on Restoration literature and a third ink color from my Milton class. Together they remind me of the hard work that went into those classes; they are a trail of breadcrumbs through the thickets of Milton's syntax. And I cannot help but wonder whose hands might page through that book in eighty years' time.
Tonight, though, I am being summoned to read Mysterious Benedict Society. So I will hand off my wistfulness to you, my friends in the computer who love to read, and maybe you can tell me about the volumes on your shelves that tell a story in addition to the stories they contain.
Amazon kept telling me that I should check out Small Admissions. Eventually I downloaded the sample, and then I read the whole thing greedily. It is a riot. More than once I had to stop reading so I could laugh out loud. It's also a winning story, in which hard times get better and justice sneaks up on you. There were a couple of plot moments that another reader might find heavy-handed, but I am not that reader. (I'm the Dickens girl, remember? I have a high tolerance for plot contrivances.) The main character's transformation was delightful -- I will remember her resolve and insight.
It reminded me in some ways of Class, which I blogged about last month. (That author managed to tie up her loose ends, albeit hastily and not entirely persuasively.) Both books send up New York parents, casting gimlet eyes on their worries about educating kids in the city. Small Admissions is much more fun, though.
Today I was thinking about which fat Dickens novel I'd like to re-read next, after the spring semester ends. "Martin Chuzzlewit!" I said to myself. It's the only novel that's partially set in the US, and its biting observations about American culture still resonate. I read it for the first time in 2001, not long after our return from two years in the UK, and I am curious to see how my memories hold up. Plus it's an interesting time in which to reflect on outsiders' perceptions of the wacky ways we do things here in the US.
"Oh!" said my brain to itself, "let's spread the word right away! How many people will want to join in? We could make a hashtag: #FAMDRAL, for Fourth Annual May Dickens Read-Along!" And then I thought realistically about the number of people who will probably want to re-read a 900-page novel that I myself have classed in the bottom tier of Dickens novels, and I had to laugh at my enthusiasm.
But hey-- if you are pining away to learn more about the Dickensian perspective on US quirks and redemption through illness and Victorian midwifery, you have 3.5 months to deal with your current reading backlog. I know you won't want to miss a minute of the #FAMDRAL party.
At the top of my own pile is a brand-new book called Class. The Times reviewed it this week and I bought it impulsively. The main character is increasingly unlikable and yet I do not want to see the trainwreck I fear awaits her. It is crisply written, packed with on-target zingers about mommy-wars nonsense and subtle flavors of racism, but it is also pretty depressing. This character won't stop telling lies, though, and I almost can't deal with it. (My reaction reminds me of the way I felt about Eligible. People on the internet had all kinds of complaints about that book; I liked it except for the lies. I hate it when characters I'm supposed to like keep telling lies.)
I am bracing myself to find out what happens. Something I appreciate about Dickens: you're never expected to root for a person who lies habitually. There, I bet that filled you with firm resolve to join me in May. (I bet Tracy, who may not have forgiven me for persuading her to tackle Bleak House three years ago, is pretty sure what she's not reading in May.)
If I hurry, I can hit my book-per-week target for 2016. I'm at 49 books finished so far; I'll read the last 4 chapters of Malachi tomorrow and add the Bible to the list. Four days is plenty of time in which to read two more books, right?
My accounting is always a little goofy. I finished reading The Hobbit aloud today, snuggled up in between Pete and Stella, but re-reads only get counted in selected circumstances. I included L.M. Montgomery's Emily books on the 2016 list since I'd last read them in 1986; I've certainly read many chunks of the Bible more recently than I've read The Hobbit. And yet-- the Bible will go on the list and The Hobbit will not.
Do you keep a reading log? Paper or electronic? What does it include and exclude? Mine dates from 2000; it is paper. The rule is that I can only write down a book if I finish the whole thing. This is a little silly, I know, but I do it faithfully anyway.
This is a flying post about the Connie Willis duology, Blackout and All Clear. I loved these books and I meant to write an unhasty post about them, but they are overdue at the library and I should go to bed. This is a hopelessly spoiler-y post; consider yourself warned. So:
One of the things I liked best about these books is the way they shake up preconceptions. I don't know why I had it in my head that Christians don't write science fiction (C.S. Lewis and the space trilogy notwithstanding), but that was an ironclad rule in my brain. And so the creeping intimation that the time travelers are acting in cooperation with something bigger than themselves struck me like a glorious sunrise. This was the big surprise for me, but it is echoed by many smaller surprises. The Hodbins made me laugh and laugh and laugh -- the snake? in the hospital? -- and then they made me cry. You think that you know what the Hodbins are -- and then, in the end, you see that Binny named herself Eileen and earned the nickname Goody Two-Shoes. We don't quite know if it was a nickname given in jest or if she actually turned into a rule-follower under Eileen's influence, but we see what love can do.
Oh my goodness, do we see what love can do. I was moved to tears more than once by Eileen's willingness to stay, to embrace a cross that initially she could not wait to escape (for good reason!), and to die a preventable death for the sake of love and duty. I love the resolute hopefulness of the books, the way that the languorous (and annoying!) Lady Caroline could turn into the Major in the wake of tragedy. I love the picture they paint of the importance of persistence; I am thinking of Colin searching patiently for years and years.
I think my favorite part, though, was the non-sappy way that Willis steers the reader toward the certainty that we can do good work wherever (and whenever) we are: the crescendo-ing conviction that kindness and courage and willingness to "do your bit" can always change the world for the better.
EDITED TO ADD: Willis doesn't put these ideas forward in a heavy-handed or saccharine way. I feel confident that someone with a very different worldview could enjoy these books every bit as much as I did.
There was a stretch, during this new Stephen West MKAL, when I wondered if he was perpetrating an enormous joke on the 2400+ knitters who were slogging along through his new pattern. I thought about the color combinations he had recommended. I thought about the wincingly improbable juxtaposition on my own needles, and its unexpected angularity. "He is punking us," I thought to myself, and only the knowledge that his patterns are pretty much unfroggable (because they leave you with weird and unpredictable lengths of yarn) kept me from throwing in the towel.
I had resolved not to worry about weirdness along the way. I had so much fun during his 2012 MKAL, and I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn't been worried about the Knitting Police. Did the peacock blue really work with the silvery green? Was the pattern too weird? I couldn't decide. But no one ever looks at that wrap and says, "You know, Jamie, I'm unconvinced about that ruffle with the simultaneous vertical and horizontal stripes." And, weird as it sounds, that ruffle was a blast to knit.
Now, though, I am experiencing unprecedented weirdness levels with this new MKAL. Behold:
I am currently working brioche stitch in apple green and vivid turquoise. I might need sunglasses to finish this section. I am blinking in a pained way just looking at the picture. I have to avert my eyes to do the actual knitting. This is bad for my brioche stitch. I've only done one other brioche stitch project, and it was a child's hat, so I don't yet have a good feel for how it's structured. I have discovered that every single YO on this row is oriented incorrectly. That's a lot of YOs to reseat.
I think I am going to set it aside for now and go read some Connie Willis in bed. Perhaps it will be less blinding in the morning. Hobbit update: Stella and I just left the goblin's caves; they are hooting and hallooing at Bilbo's wobbly shadow.
More Yarn Along posts at Ginny's.
I've been on a Connie Willis tear lately. I finished Passage. You can't see me making a scrunchy face as I ponder its pacing, though I am indeed making a scrunchy face. I found it draggy as I was reading it, but I suspect that I will look back on it as I do on the seventh Harry Potter book: all of that wandering in the woods makes more sense in hindsight. I have Bellwether on my e-reader and a short fiction collection on top of my stack of book-books. This quote comes from a short story I read last night, Inside Job:
Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. --H. L. Mencken
I've got to finish Britt-Marie Was Here, though, which is overdue. So many books, so much other stuff on my plate.
I was alternating knitting and grading when the debate started, but it quickly derailed both efforts. I can't not listen, I can't listen without clenching up my hands, and I certainly can't listen and grade at the same time. Donald Trump may have stolen a chunk of my peace of mind, but BY GOLLY I will not allow him to disturb my gauge.
Have you noticed that I'm having a little knitting ADD lately? I keep showing you new things and not mentioning that I haven't finished the stuff I showed you last time. Maybe I'll do something about that between now and next week, but for tonight, look-- something shiny!
This is the new Westknits MKAL, which I am working in sportweight Wool of the Andes. I'm still on the week 1 clue, but maybe I'll catch up by Friday, maybe. Or, you know, next Friday. Like other Westknits patterns, it's fun to knit and a little funkier than my usual taste.
I have a chunk of Passage left, because it's 800 pages long. Stella and I started The Hobbit this week, and we're just about to leave Rivendell for the Misty Mountains.
There are no politicians in the Misty Mountains, only goblins. Sounds like a pretty good place to be about now, doesn't it?
As always, there are lots more Yarn Along posts at Ginny's.
Last night Petely and I were sitting on the couch talking about books. "What's the biggest book in our house, do you think?" he wanted to know. He thought it might be the hardcover version of Gray's Anatomy (1257 pages), which did indeed turn out to be a hair fatter than the Columbia History of the World (1237 pages) though not as fat as Davies' Europe (1365 pages). I had to run upstairs to say good night to Stella; he continued the conversation with Elwood. I came down and found our condensed version of the OED on the dining room table. At >2000 pages per volume, it's the hands-down winner. It lives in our bedroom, though (what, you don't have an OED in your bedroom?), so Pete and I hadn't considered it when we surveyed the dining room shelves.
Elwood gave me the OED for Christmas in 1990, I think. In the pre-internet era a person needed a real dictionary, and I had looked wistfully at the OED ads in the back pages of Harper's and The Atlantic. He had bought it for himself, using a rather alarming chunk of his wages as an enlisted man in the Navy, but he was willing to give it to me. Probably some of you (at least some of the geekier among you) remember those boxed volumes, with the little drawer up top for the magnifying glass.
His sister was appalled that he would give me a dictionary for Christmas. "Did you ask for that?" she wanted to know.
I loved those books.
This weekend Elwood and I have been having an ongoing conversation with our 16-year-old, who just read the Inferno independently. "Hey, Dad, would you consider the Inferno an epic?" he wanted to know, which sparked an emphatic and enthusiastic discussion about an epic versus epic poetry. At dinner we were talking about prose and verse translations, and we had to stop to pull the Fagles down from the poetry shelf (right next to the dining room table, natch) to look at his magical rendering of the Iliad.
If there are any geeky young women out there reading this, bemoaning the lack of book-loving guys with whom to talk about literature, let me offer you some encouragement: it might take you 25 years, but you can totally grow your own.
For this week's Yarn Along post let us contemplate the difficulties of color selection. Back in the summer I started a Fox Paws with some leftover sock yarn. It's a fun pattern in five colors; I picked a pale yellow-green, a semisolid medium green, a peacock blue, a sort of sea blue, and a brown. The thing is, the pattern told me to use those same five colors for all 15 pattern repeats and I was not persuaded that (a) I had enough yarn (see above re: leftovers) or (b) the result would be very interesting. After the first 5 repeats I put it aside for weeks.
I'll mix it up a bit, I thought. I'll sub in some yellow for the yellow-green, and a lighter brown for the dark brown, and hey, Knitpicks is having a sale so I'll get some Palette in a green and a blue that fall between my existing greens and blues. I'll do 7 repeats in this new switch-it-up color scheme, and then I'll do 5 final repeats in the original colors.
I am not entirely sure that it's going to work. I suppose we'll see.
Books for me: Passages, by Connie Willis, and Britt-Marie Was Here, which was due yesterday at the library. Whoops. Stella and I found My Father's Dragon lurking under the couch cushions -- hurray!
Lots more Yarn Along posts at Ginny's.
I'm making a hat with the newest pattern from Ysolda's Knitworthy collection. The idea is that they're suitable for Christmas gifts, but this one is probably for me. Two years ago I bought some extra yarn for a Knitworthy cowl pattern, thinking I'd make mittens or a hat or something to go along with it. When she included an Aran-weight hat in this year's collection, I cast on with the cowl leftovers.
It's the most fabulous color, called Autumn. From a distance it looks like an ordinary golden brown, but up close it's flecked with fiery orange and leafy green. It's an angular cable on a moss stitch background. I keep thinking I'm almost done but cables are always slower than I think they ought to be. I'm not even knitting the adult cable pattern; I'm doing the smaller child's cable over the adult number of background stitches -- on a larger needle, because I have an extra-large head topped with extra-large hair.
I didn't make a purposeful choice to do the child's cable -- I just started on the wrong page accidentally. But I think it was a good decision. The adult version is described as "slouchy," but in the pictures it doesn't really seem to slouch. It looks more like jutting than slouching to me. I fear that if I made the adult version I would look like Jane Curtin in a fetching shade of Shetland wool.
I bought Passage for my Kindle and checked a book of Connie Willis short stories out of the library. I want to be sure to blog about Blackout/All Clear while the memories are fresh, but this is not the night for that post.
My reading with Stella has been scattered and desultory. My Father's Dragon DISAPPEARED somehow when we were just a few chapters from the end of the third book. It will turn up -- they always do -- but in the meantime I have been reluctant to start a new chapter book. Harrumph.
More Yarn Along posts at Ginny's.
"Mom," said Stella, when I told her I'd read to her when I finished my All Clear chapter, "it seems like these books have changed your life." (I know that sounds like a weird thing for a 7-year-old to say, but that is exactly what she said.) She said, "You want to read them all the time."
Oh my goodness, I could not have enjoyed these books any more. I loved Blackout and All Clear even more than Doomsday Book -- which was one of the best books I read this year. The books are a fantastic rendering of a world in which love conquers much and there are time travelers but no smartphones. Who could ask for anything more?
Look at that, it's a stranded wool fingerless glove. Just the thing for an 89-degree day, don't you think? This is Ysolda's new Belyse pattern, the first in this year's Knitworthy collection. I'm making it for my MIL with beautiful wool from the 20-pound box that an internet pal sent me in...late 2014, maybe.
I am not sure whether the yarns work together. In the hank the main color looked like a pretty bright red, but it's much more variegated than I initially thought -- just look at the striping/pooling in the fingers. I'm not sure how well the star pattern will actually show up. It is unlikely, though, that my MIL will say, "You know, I would have liked these a lot except that you picked colors that were too similar in value." I think I'll probably just keep knitting. I'll join the thumb in the next round, and it should move pretty quickly from there. (Is that an invitation to knitting disaster? I find this chart to be fun and addictive. Just one more round, I keep telling myself.)
Books: I am almost done with Understanding Scrupulosity. It keeps causing me to say, "OH MY PEOPLE I HAVE FOUND YOU," followed immediately by "I NEED SOME NEW PEOPLE." It's kind of hard to read, actually. Today I started The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, which so far is sweet and gently funny and well written.
Stella and I are in the third book of the Dragons of Blueland series. We're both grateful to commenter swimmermom for mentioning them -- I'd forgotten about them and they're a fun quick read.
More Yarn Along posts at Ginny's.
Huzzah, my stomach has quieted itself back down. Now I can shovel out from under the pile of stuff that accumulates when an adult gets sick around here. (No, really, I am glad glad glad for the return of GI equilibrium and normal energy levels.)
I have bound off my Metronome; it needs to be blocked and to have its ends woven in. This nifty intarsia trick means I only have six ends to weave in, though. Big thumbs up on the pattern. I made it one stripe smaller than instructed, because I prefer the cream/green contrast to the teal/green contrast.
I am not entirely sure that the teal/green contrast works, but I know that I am super-cautious about color combinations so I'm just going to pretend that it works and trust that the Color Police will not pounce upon me for failure to consider the potential blinding effects of teal + moss.
Books: finishing up My Father's Dragon with Stella -- it's a hit. Looking forward to reading and re-reading some of those other commenter recommendations from the first sidewalks post!
The Small House at Allington will take me some time to get through; in the meantime I am also reading Understanding Scrupulosity. I really appreciate it: the priests who wrote it seem so kind and gentle and persistent and also possessed of X-ray vision that would be creepy if it weren't so helpful.
Ysolda Teague is doing another round of Knitworthy patterns this year; she released the first one yesterday. Doesn't it look fun? Those fingers are made with an awesome I-cord-ish trick that means you don't have to work them in the round. I am trying to decide: I might make a pair for myself in rust and cream, or I might make a black and green pair for my MIL for her December birthday. The black/green yarn is superwash, though, which doesn't work as well for stranded colorwork. OH THE DECISIONS -- any thoughts for me? The Knitworthy threads have been fun for the past two years, if you're the sort of knitter who means to knit Christmas gifts and then gets surprised by how soon Christmas is actually popping up on the calendar. The projects have been mostly bite-sized, with some new but accessible techniques sprinkled throughout.
Lots of Yarn Along posts linked at Ginny's, as usual.
This is a Wednesday post about books and knitting. If you are looking for children's books to read, do check out Lissa's and Melanie's comments about kids' books and competence on yesterday's post.
In other reading news: tra la laaaa! I have FINISHED How Not To Be Wrong. It was well worth reading -- I really did enjoy it. It's just exceedingly rare for me to spend so long reading a single book. I dove right into the fifth Barsetshire chronicle, The Small House at Allington.
I am chugging along on my Metronome. I have 7 more purled rows of cream and then it will be time for the Bold Green Adventure Moment. Can you stand the suspense?
This project has taught me that I produce knitted garter stitch at a slightly different gauge from purled garter stitch. Who knew? I think it should all sort itself out in the blocking, though.
I did a fair amount of knitting and reading aloud over the weekend while we were traveling. Stella and I finished E. Nesbit's dragon stories. She wants to read them again right away. I might see if we can make a little more headway in The Book of Three. I am certain she will love Eilonwy when we get to Spiral Castle, but right now it's just Taran and Gwydion and Gurgi, before we know that Gurgi is a big softy.
There are lots more Yarn Along posts at Ginny's.
Hm, this post is providing a visual for my observation that there is less leisure time available during the semester than during the summer.
Stella and I are still reading E. Nesbit's Complete Book of Dragons. We both love it, which makes for a pleasant change from Roald Dahl. (She loved it; I tolerated it.) It has been too long since I read an E. Nesbit book aloud, and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed her writing. Stella is hanging in there beautifully with the Victorian arcana (what's a snapdragon and why is it on fire? also, what's caning and why is it happening to Edmund?) We are three-quarters of the way through and I will be a little sad when it's over. But I will also lobby for Five Children and It as our next read, which could be a lot of fun.
I am still (still! STILL!) reading How Not To Be Wrong. I've been reading this book since, like, the Pleistocene Era. It's a really good book; don't get me wrong. If I don't finish soon I might need a little Trollope dalliance to fortify me for the final chapters.
My Metronome is coming along, as you can see. The pattern mixes up clever and brainless in a way that ticks my knitterly boxes. It requires a lot more purling than a garter stitch project usually does, but the stripes are so appealingly tidy, and the back is such a thing of beauty, that I am willing to keep on trucking with the purling. I will have to post a picture of the beauteous back one of these days. It will cause anyone who has ever sworn at a tangly intarsia project to drop her jaw in astonishment.
I am having a little color anxiety about this project. WILL my second skeins of the cream and teal, ordered months after the first ones, look more different once I start knitting them up? SHOULD I have feathered them in? HOW will that 70s appliance green look as the contrast color on the edge? My 16yo, who pulls no punches, tells me it will be fine. But he doesn't really care if I look like a 70s washing machine, now does he? My grandmother's washing machine was exactly that color. I loved my grandmother enough to name a child in her honor, but I am not willing for my accessories to pay homage to her appliances.
You know, as I am typing this up the solution to part of my uncertainty appears obvious: tomorrow I will wind the new hanks of yarn and feather them in. I can do that.
Goodness, 9:00 comes early. Hoping to run at 5, which means I am posting without proofing. Other Yarn Along posts are here.
Oh my goodness, friends, this is going to be a busy couple of months. I am coming in late with a Yarn Along post:
Stella decided she would read James and the Giant Peach to herself (thank goodness -- I was ready for a break from Roald Dahl -- and hurray for advancing reading skills). We are reading E. Nesbit's book of dragon stories. SO much fun. I can't remember when I last read these aloud -- long enough ago that I'd forgotten many of the particulars. I much prefer reading E. Nesbit to reading Roald Dahl.
I've made some progress on my Metronome, after ripping it back to end the first blue stripe a few stitches over. Fun pattern, yummy yarn. One of these days I should update my Rav notebook, but today is not that day.
I have not made much progress on How Not To Be Wrong. I am really, really enjoying it, even though I'm only on chapter 14. My Kindle told me that I should expect it to take me 10 hours to read, and I scoffed. But my Kindle knows me fairly well -- its "time remaining" estimates for Trollope chapters are usually spot on. (That's a little creepy, now that I think about it.) The fun part of the book is Ellenberg's voice. He reminds me of my brother -- smart and quirky.
Other Yarn Along posts are here.
I forgot to share the Yarn Along link last week, which was not good linkup manners.
This week Stella and I are finishing up Matilda. We should wrap it up tomorrow. All five of my children have loved Roald Dahl, but he is a little bleak for me.
I am still working my way through How Not To Be Wrong. I'm enjoying it very much, but I keep trying to read it in bed at night. In the battle between sleep and math, math keeps losing. I just finished his section on what Bayesian inference can tell us about the existence of God. (Answer: not much, but it's worth reading anyway.)
I am knitting a Metronome. It's a fun pattern featuring a novel and clever method for painless intarsia, but I think I'm going to rip it back. I want to take that blue stripe a teeny bit farther over, so it is exactly the same length as the setup rows. This small difference has bugged me in all of the Metronome pictures I've viewed, and dernit, it doesn't have to be that way. I am also wondering if I might get a nicer drape with a size 6 needle, or if the yarn will become more pliant and drape-y when I wash it. It's all garter stitch, and you know how garter stitch will sag if you give it a chance. I should probably just wash it instead of wondering, you figure?
I am knitting it with fancypants yarn: it's Kate Davies' Buachaille, acquired in last winter's Seven Skeins Club. None of those patterns really spoke to me, and I'd been thinking to myself, "What am I going to do with these 50g skeins of luxury sportweight wool?" Then when I got the itch to knit a Metronome I thought to myself, "It's too bad I don't have any nice sportweight wool in my stash." And then, like a 1970s Reese's cup commercial, those two thoughts collided and produced a good idea. Or at least I think it will be a good idea. That green on the left does not fill me with joy. I like the pictures of it in other people's projects, but in my own personal house with my own personal lighting, it always looks to me like somebody's grandma's couch from 1977. I was thinking I might use it as the contrasting border for my Metronome, but I am going to have to go outside in the sunshine and take a good hard look at it first. It would be a shame to knit up something that left me looking like I had mistakenly donned a 1977 couch.
Speaking of books: fun quiz from the NYT!