Friday, August 26, 2011

Black Blob is... blobby


Work continues apace....

So, the time before last when I wrote, I promised to say more about Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I think Robbie put it best when he said that Yates really understands relationships. The thing is, Yates' gift really lies in the relationships that have fallen apart. In this book (it was made into a movie that was also really good), he follows a couple from their hopeful inception (see what I did there? Leo was in the movie!) to the dregs. Yates' voice is so distinctive. He's one of those writers who make you think you could do it too. His prose is so effortless. But if you tried to replicate it you'd recognize the futility. I suppose some may say his dialogue and style is dated, but while the specific phrases used are of a certain time, the plot is timeless. I definitely recommend this book.

I also just finished Falconer by John Cheever. This book is like a Cheever short story given room to luxuriously spread out and relax. It follows Ezekial Farragut (just called Farragut) as he enters Falconer prison and makes a life there. Farragut is much like other Cheever protagonists, except that instead of being an alcoholic he's a heroin addict and he's in a literal prison instead of a figurative one. What I love about this story is that it's a story set in a prison, but is so close to Farragut and his experience, it transcends the "prison story" cliche and becomes a story about human experience, and how we change and evolve according to what we experience. Heartily recommend.

I just started Zazen by Vanessa Veselka, recommended by Cari. I was hooked by the first paragraph on the first page. I feel like if I met Vanessa Veselka, we would instantly be best friends, like she just gets me and all the crazy crap swirling around in my head. More when I finish! I'm sure my reading will slow down once fall semester starts. My lit class has, like, NINE short story collections as required reading. I've read parts of most of them, and a couple of them in their entirety, but most of them are new so I'm excited.

What are you reading? What do you look for in a good book?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good News and Bad News

Everyone likes to start with the good news, right?


I finished the vest! I am so happy with it. I love the color, I love the texture, I love the fit. This is my second project from fitted knits. (Way back in 2007 I made the Puff Sleeved Feminine Cardigan.) I love Stefanie's use of texture in this book, especially in this vest.


In review: This is the Back to School U-Neck Vest by Stefanie Japel from her book Fitted Knits. I used Cascade 220 Superwash in color 819. I had three skeins, but only used a very small bit of the third one.

With the vest finished, I was ready to dive into my next project. Would I make a hat? Socks? Maybe some new mittens? I blacked out with all of the possibility before me and when I came to I had cast on for a sweater. A men's sweater. This from the girl who took three months to finish a vest. This also brings me to the bad news. It's not just a plain old men's sweater (Jared Flood's wonderful Cobblestone, which I've made before), but it's a plain old men's sweater in black. My apologies, and I completely understand if you skip over my photos until it's finished.


I didn't realize that I last made this sweater almost four years ago! As soon as my brother saw it, he started asking me for one. I didn't realize I'd kept him waiting for so long! Last year for Christmas, I gave him a hat I made using Mission Falls 1824 Wool. My brother is one of those people who likes to insist he's allergic to wool, so the hat was a little test. I didn't gloat about it, but he loved the hat and wore it all winter, no complaints! I figure, if he can wear wool against his forehead, surely he'll be fine in a sweater. I love this yarn. It feels heavenly and has great stitch definition.