Monday, October 16, 2006
There are so many creative people out there doing creative things that I could spend all day reading blogs, getting ideas and end up accomplishing zip. It means I push myself too hard when I do sit down to do something and get myself into trouble. Result: I waste an entire day sleeping to recover, or get a headache, or my hands get so sore I can't even hold a book. Thus, mea culpa for not posting a decent entry in a long time. I will try and make up.
First, on the knitting front I mentioned J's cardigan. So here is what I've knit so far. The pattern is from Vogue Easy Knits and it's a long cardigan with pockets and a seed stitch rib. Volcano is a wool & acrylic blend. The true colours can be seen best in the yarn ball and not in the actual knitted garment. I have finished the first of the red socks and ran out of wool just at the end of the toe so if I didn't have such large feet there would have been plenty of yarn. The tips of my toes will be solid red from leftovers.
After two days of record high temperatures for October, it is cool again. Yesterday I tempted fate by planting 5 tomato plants 2 weeks early. I also planted 2 rows of beans and did a lot of weeding. Had a big feed of fresh sminach and asparagus for dinner (with leftover Indian from Friday night). The peas have pods and some of the berries are blooming.
I am spinning again, hurrah! I was so set on finishing S's jumper which I haven't mailed yet (tomorrow) that I didn't allow myself to spin. I am now spinning the carded batts from the spotted sheep. This is the part that I could not separate into solid black or solid white but greys and blends of the two. Some of it has a bit of grease left in but not much. What I have in my mind's eye is a zip-front jacket of the grey (I have lots more of that than of either black or white) with one white and one black sleeve. I just washed, de-pilled, and mathballed my wear-around-the- house cardigan which is one of the first things I knit. It was knit out of Cleckheaton 8 ply Tapestry in a blue/green colourway they no longer make. I have worn it to death in the past 6 or so years and it deserves a rest. The other possibility for the everyday cardigan is Chris Bylsma's Saturday morning which is a loose, shirt-tailed cardigan which is designed to be knit of different wools and I could use various hand-spun in the stash: grey, almost black, tan, etc.
Book report: BBBB is Red Dust by Ma Jian. Although it was written 20 years ago, I find it fascinating for showing the side of China Westerners never see. He travels through areas of China that would hardly be called tourist destinations (especially the wandering through the desert for days without water). He is a man without papers, without authorization to be traveling where he is, who has no income besides what he can pick up along the way, whether it is giving free-lance haircuts or drawing illustrations. He crashes with fellow poets, sleeps on floors, or 5 to a bed with smelly feet. You see the parts of China that are as far removed from the bright lights of Shenzhen as you can get, to where peasants live in huts around a well with a few sheep. This is one reason I won't bother trying to travel to China (even if my health permitted me); because I don't want to see the China the authorities want you to see but the real China, disgusting tho it might be. Ma meets the "coil remover" who removes the IUDs inserted by the government to stop the birth rate climbing, as well as all the minority peoples that have been absorbed into Han China. It's a continually surprising read.