Knitting on ...and on... and on..., Some Book Reviews and August Meaderings

Life just goes on. Since last I posted, dear 2.5 readers, we've all been plugging along, working, babysitting the grandgirls, knitting, sleeping and not much else. Makes for thrilling reading, I'm sure. In the news, I've been following the despicable behavior of people who think intimidation and screaming (behavior apparently funded by some interesting right-wing groups), lies, name calling (as in Nazi) and other techniques and dirty tricks reminiscent of Hitler's cronies in the 1920s will stop the people of this country from determining how to address our health care issues. It amazes me how many people just buy into whatever BS somebody tells them, like, yeah, sure, Obama is sitting in a back room, plotting to kill all of the nations elderly. I mean, after all, his grandmother died, so he wants everyone else's grandmother to die. Yeah, sure, right. OY!
Random thought: I wonder if there's ever been a website (hosted of course by GodasBBL) called, "No She Don't" in response to Phred Phelps' ??
Today I did something that truly frightened me. I finished the wash. I don't know if any of you remember reading Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey - it was one of those heartbreakingly unforgettable novels we read in high school. What, you may ask, has that to do with laundry? Well, the novel is about a bridge that collapses in 18th century Peru, killing five people. Once central theme is why this happened to those particular five people. As the book progresses, one could posit a number of various theories about this question, but a friend of mine from college, Phil Fitz, once said that each one of those people died because their life's purpose and life's work was completed and it was their time to die.
Which brings me to another book, Die Unendliche Geschichte (The Never-Ending Story). Laundry is my Never-ending story. When one has numerous children, one NEVER finishes ALL the wash at one time. Never. I don't care what Mrs. Dugger says! So, hopefully by now you see the parallel and I'm not totally crazy: If I finish the wash, I will have completed my work here on earth and it's my time to go.
Hmmmmm well, the upside of that is I won't have to do any more wash!
The other thing I attempted to accomplish today was to give blood. And so, I moseyed on over to St. John's where we are having a blood drive, I read the instructions, which were quite voluminous and quite an eye-opener! I figured I was OK to donate, since I haven't been in Africa, lived in Europe, been hospitalized, had a blood transfusion, been incarcerated (ew!), had brain lining transplant (again: ew), or had sex with anyone for any purpose for any amount of money, straight, gay or otherwise since at least 1980 (well, maybe 1986). In fact, the only thing I've done is to have two ear piercings this past year, which I let grow back because they never healed. But that was OK for some reason. Go figure.
But, as usual, my veins were doing the hustle, dipping and diving and sticking their hands in the air. So the poor Red Cross workers had a hell of a time getting the blood to flow. Then, after they got a half a bag from me, a clot developed in the needle and the whole thing was aborted. They can't even use what they got from me. Bummer. But hey, maybe I'll donate platelets for someone who needs them, since I'm apparently able to clot pretty well. My uterus can attest to that. OK, sorry TMI.... (but thank GodasBBL for meno Pause). I got home and wasn't even woozy. Now what kind of blood doning is that, I ask you?
When I got back in the door (to finish the aforesaid laundry already begun this a.m.), I saw that B and her honey J had come back from vacation. Y'know, it's funny, I know I'm supposed to be glad when my kids are all independent, and GodasBBL knows, I am, but there are times when I miss having them around. So far, B was home the longest, which actually I think was pretty smart on her part, so it was a little bit harder to say goodbye to her.
In the coming year, it is very probable we'll be moving again. Our landlords are returning from out of the country and it will be time. We really need to think about where we will be and what that will look like. It may end up being just the two of us. I sure hope not!
Right now I'm typing this as the kids are out shopping or something and John is taking a nap before getting up for work tonight. I'm going to try to get to bed at a decent hour tonight. Tomorrow a colleague from our firm is going to be giving her first sermon at her church (she's a lay speaker) in Baltimore and I thought I go see her preach - a good opportunity to visit other churches as mentioned in a previous post. I'm always open to others' theological reflections! Hopefully they'll have a hymnal so I can sing along or something when the time comes.:)
Well, one thing finally happened this afternoon - a Crafter's Choice book selection finally arrived - re-sent by them after the first never arrived (very unusual - their stuff always gets here!).
One of these books was Reversible Knits by Iris Schreier. The patterns, with the exception of a shawl pattern, really didn't turn me on all that much - they were fairly simple and not really exciting, but the techniques discussed in the book were definitely worth it! What Ms. Schreier does is not necessarily give patterns - although there are quite a number of them in the book - she really does inform and instruct well. So if you're looking for ways to make your projects the same on both sides, this book is for you! I have another one of Ms. Schreier's books - Lacy Little Knits - and I will be reviewing that one in the future. Iris Schreier makes the most difficult things look easy with her quiet, informative style.
The other arrival today was by another prolific knitting author: Baby and Toddler Knits by Debbie Bliss. Ms. Bliss has put together yet another wonderful volume of projects for those of us knitting for small people. Her use of cable and other textured knitting, embroidery, and what I think is positively adorable: box pleats is quite creative. The neat thing about these items is one gets to practice intermediate and advanced knitting techniques that don't take forever because the item one knits will be very small:) The photography is wonderful and the babies and little children are adorable! This one I think will be a classic!
Finally, I'd like to review a book already in my knitting library: Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. I had to laugh when I looked at the models in this book - most of them aren't wearing much, LOL! I mean, a sweater can only do so much if you're running around in your panties! That aside, Ms. Bernard offers up quite a number of lovely top-down patterns, all of which are customizable to suit your tastes - hence the title of the book. A knitting friend of mine (ExecutiveKnitter on Ravelry) says that the 50's style Ingenue sweater is one of the most flattering sweaters for most any woman's form. I think I'm going to try to prove her right on that and knit myself one. The patterns are really nice; although a number of them are too "young" for me, they certainly might work for some of the younger women in my life - or friends my age who just look young (and you know who you are, Nancy!).
Patterns aside, a real strength of this book - as with Ms. Schreier's - is the informative section at the end, in which the author discusses various possibilities for alterations in a number of the patterns and how those alterations are accomplished. If for that reason alone, this book is also a keeper!
The other day I mentioned how nice this time of year can be. While most often, August is a time when we cannot wait for the kids to be back in school, for the weather to get a little cooler and for life to get back to "normal," there's another reason I like August: the fall knitting magazines come out:). I recently got a copy of Interweave Knits for Fall 2009 and it is lovely - and interesting. I think the two most interesting patterns are the Scoop Pullover and the Every Way Wrap. But there are so many others that are truly lovely that I can't stop there. I just love the way this issue uses textured cabling and lace and there's even a colorwork project or two - the Bandolier Socks and the Freyja hat and pullover. Every time I look at the stacks of Interweave Knits magazines I have saved over the years, all I have to do is look inside them to know I know why I save all of them.
I have finished Mitten No. 1 of Jared Flood's Green Autumn Mittens from Vogue Fall '08, and have purchased another skein of yarn to make a hat to match, but I have to finish at least one baby blanket before I go on to finish this project - after all, it's for winter and the baby shower is in two weeks! Yikes!
Well, I'd better get cracking. Hope your life is going well and that you and your loved ones are safe from harm. I will be back soon. God be with you 'til we meet again.
Post Script: I brought the baskets of wash up from the basement and told John that I was scared because the wash was done and that certainly meant life was over as we knew it. His response:
"No, I don't think so."
Me: (much relieved) "Please tell me there's more wash on our bedroom floor."
Him: "Yep."
Me: "Thank GOD!"
It's not my time yet, I guess....
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