Sunday, April 27, 2008

First off a couple of book reports.

Color : a natural history of the palette
by Victoria Finlay. If you are a textiles person you surely have heard of this book and I'm a bit behind the wave on reading it It is truly a fascinating book, which mixed her hands-on experiences with finding the original sources of natural colours with the history and science of pigments. Her basic focus as is indicated by the subtitle is art (painting), such as an unfinished Michelangelo that is unfinished because he couldn't get the ultramarine needed for Mary's dress. On the other hand the details of her trip to Afghanistan to find the real source of ultramarine dragged it down a bit. There were also crossovers between dyes and pigments; I don't know that ultramarine (a rock) was ever used as a dye but she she has a whole chapter devoted to indigo. Admittedly it would be difficult to write a book about colour without mentioning indigo. I think this book is a must for any person interested in the history of color in (mostly) Western art. I feel a great need for education about colour. It's a very important central feature of all my textile crafts going back to which fabrics I chose for the quilts on my dolls' beds. There are some colours I thinks just don't go together but don't ask me why. Which is exactly why I need to learn more, see more etc.

L.E. Modesitt. No relation (I think) to the famous knitting guru. I have been reading several of his sci-fi action thrillers. While they are real page turners and always seem to have a deep current of environmental awareness and ethics, I just wish he wrote better. He does so many of the things I marked down student essays on, that I wish I could send him one of his books with my editing. However, he seems to be selling well, so I guess it doesn't matter. Very violent but in a stylized and "we are the good guys" way. The Ecolitan novels are the ones I most recently read but The Ethos Effect was also very good. But I am always left with a guilty feeling like laughing at an Adam Sandler movie.

Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson. This writer is one of my all time favourite sci-fi writers. Admittedly I just couldn't penetrate The Years of Rice and Salt, but his early stuff and the Mars trilogy are at the top of the all time great fiction. The current trilogy which I am almost halfway through is about plausible, maybe not too future at all, sudden climate change. A few tipping points are reached and there are floods, and severe weather events world wide. The first was Forty Signs of Rain. (BTW I cannot understand the only 3-star ranking on Amazon) As some of the front blurbs have quoted reviewers, every politician should read these books. It can happen to you and what would you do then? The added plus for me is that they all are set in Washington so I can see every place he mentions.

The bathroom is finished, the painters are gone and I can start moving furniture so I can put my studio together and free my dining room table of loom and accessories, many cones of yarn, etc., etc. I do need an electrician to put an additional powerpoint (electrical outlet) in the guest bedroom because there's only one and when the wardrobe (closet) is installed on Wed. there will be power for a lamp etc. by the bed. Yesterday I overdid in a major way by 1) going the the National Gallery to meet up with one of the Bear's old friends who told me many interesting things, 2) going to Pialligo to try and find cider only to find they had already finished for the season (what apples do you pick at the height of summer? why were they always open before at this time of year?) 3) going to a garden centre where I bought veggie seedlings and 2 natives for the front desert, 3) drove to Spotlight and looked at drapery materials without buying any and buying new towels and accessories for the new bathroom which turn out to be exactly the colour of the Imp, 4) stop by the markets to get more fish and a few more pears (I had the choice of 7 different varieties if pears which boggles my mind after growing up with pears being the blah white cubes in fruit salad), 5) stop by the chemist to get a script filled. This morning my legs are very unhappy and my left knee hurts a lot. While I would love to rush out into the garden, I know I would not be able to go to work tomorrow if I did that. It is also very windy and supposed to rain.

I am on the last bit of the Sakiori vest, knitting in the collar. Had I this to do over I would not construct the collar this way, but we shall see. I have a full bobbin of plied heathered purple wool, which is really Bendigo Classic colourway Damson. I am 3 rows into the colourwork on the Komi hat. I see in Ravelry that many people said the had knit as written was too big which is good because I have a big head so it might actually fit. The second sock has about 4" knit.

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