Life update

Reading: The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth. A compelling narrative, well-drawn characters, and good writing. I liked this book very much, though reading it made me feel a bit paranoid: I saw in it echoes of the current neocon-driven discourse. Roth writes about Jews, but in many parts if you substitute “Muslims” you see glimpses of the prejudice and fear in our own society today.

Also reading: The Dark Is Rising sequence, by Susan Cooper. Actually, I’m listening to these: the three of us are listening to the audio books together (great for long car rides, and for evenings spent playing with Legos in the den after dinner). We’ve gotten through three of the five books, and Sylvia loves them. So much, in fact, that we started having “Wouldn’t it be nice to take a trip to Cornwall soon?” discussions before we realized that such a trip isn’t in our budget right now. Soon, I hope.

Mucking about with: Google Body.

Knitting: It’s been quite some time (months and months!) since I did a knitting update. Over the winter months I completed several small projects:

  • three sets of baby legwarmers (made from Baby Cashmerino) for three different new babies
  • five (!!!) Seven Circles scarves/necklaces (also from Baby Cashmerino); all but one were gifts for friends*
  • one pair of socks for a child (this isn’t quite finished but will be within a few days, I think); these were supposed to be for Sylvia but are turning out to be too small for her, so they’ll be a gift for someone else

I also knit a February Lady Sweater for myself. I cast on in January, but I did happen to knit most of it in February. Since I finished it, I’ve worn it at least three days each week—I really love it.

BONUS: All of this knitting was done with stash yarn. WOOT! Up next on my plate: a February Lady (Kid?) Sweater for Sylvia. I think I’ll just take the grown-up pattern and knit the smallest size in sportweight (instead of worsted). That ought to fit her, I think. Unfortunately, I don’t have suitable yarn for this (she wants blue, and I’m thinking of something that’s mostly cotton), so I’ll actually have to buy some for this project.

Watching: The Secret of Kells. One of the most visually stunning films I’ve seen in a long time.

* And one of those friends was the person who gave me some of that yarn about four years ago. She gave me three balls of Baby Cashmerino in a deep red color, and that turned out to be just the right amount to make one scarf for her and an identical one for myself.

14 Responses to “Life update”

  1. Frankon 21 Mar 2011 at 7:18 am

    I’ll have to check out The Dark is Rising. We’ve been wanting to visit Cornwall too thanks to the Doc Martin T.V. series.

  2. Imperatrixon 21 Mar 2011 at 9:51 am

    The Dark is Rising is fabulous! I love when kid stories are frightening but not crazily so.

    We did the Golden Compass series on tape (oh, back in the day when we’d buy audiotapes!) with the girls. They loved it.

  3. Shannahon 21 Mar 2011 at 10:04 am

    Your knitting sounds lovely! Photo of the February Lady sweater? ;-) I particularly love that you made two matching scarves out of a gift of yarn.

  4. Marshaon 21 Mar 2011 at 10:11 am

    @Frank and @Imperatrix: Jan read (and loved) Cooper’s series as a child, and we knew Sylvia would love it too. We have no plans to show her the 2007 film based on the second book, though. Truly one of the worst films I have ever seen. Cooper hates it, it’s only 14% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s as if the film writer and director said, “Let’s take a really fabulous book and make a movie version of it that’s EQUALLY AWFUL.” Seriously–Uncle Merry as a short stout man with black hair? Gah. The ONLY good thing about the film was Christopher Eccleston cast as the Rider. Even he couldn’t save this dud, though.
    @Shannah: I will try to get a photo up soon! And I, too, love how the yarn worked out for that project. One Seven Circles scarf takes 1.5 skeins of Baby Cashmerino, and my friend had given me three, so it worked out perfectly!

  5. Cap Jon 21 Mar 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Arrrr, it be lookin’ like your link to “The Plot Against America” be borked. It be havin’ the “greater than” link terminator and the “double quote” character transposed, me be thinkin’, aye, lassie?
    Me be thinkin’ ye intended the link to be:

  6. Chrison 21 Mar 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Oh, I’ll have to keep The Dark Is Rising in mind for my next driving trip. I remember I loved that series as a kid.

  7. Beccaon 21 Mar 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Nice work on the stash yarn!

    We started The Secret of Kells but had to turn it off as the littlest was too scared. Hoping to finish it up soon.

  8. Marshaon 22 Mar 2011 at 2:38 pm

    @Cap J: Thanks for the heads-up on the broken link! All fixed now.
    @Chris: The narrator for the audiobooks, Alex Jennings, is very good!
    @Becca: True, it does have some tense moments. I hope you make your way back to it soon!

  9. courtneyon 23 Mar 2011 at 12:40 am

    The Dark is Rising is great! In fact, I blame my librarian uncle and Susan Cooper directly for my missing the Grand Canyon in the 5th grade. I was too busy reading in the back seat of my parents’ mini-van to actually look out the window. I listen to lots of audio books at work, but I’m conveniently supplied by the local library. It is across the street, and it is free!

  10. Marshaon 23 Mar 2011 at 9:42 am

    I think it’s awesome how many of you are familiar with those books! The Harry Potter phenomenon seems to have drowned out mention them in recent years. Those of you who already know Cooper’s series—did any of you watch the movie that came out a few years ago? Just wondering if you share my (and Susan Cooper’s!) outrage about it. :)

  11. Imperatrixon 23 Mar 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Nope, never saw it. But then, I prefer to keep my great childhood stories in my head. I do a much better job at transferring the characters to my mind’s eye than do film directors.

    PS: when Sylvia is a bit older, you must introduce her to Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small quartet. A strong girl, doing what she wants, despite what others think, and standing up for what she thinks is right.

  12. Bethon 23 Mar 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Did Sylvia watch The Secret of Kells?

  13. Marshaon 24 Mar 2011 at 9:16 am

    @Imperatrix: Thanks for the recommendation! We’ll definitely add it to the “when she’s a bit older” list (which already has Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books, among others).
    @Beth: She did. She loves it!

  14. ariannaon 26 Mar 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I just wanted to add to the chorus of “I loved the Dark is Rising series when I was a kid”! :) Excellent choice. I have not seen the movie, either, though – which sounds like it was a good choice. :)
    I also really liked The Plot Against America when I read it several years ago…I was really intrigued by the plot description which I’d seen somewhere, and it was right around the time of the RNC in NYC and the beginnings of the Iraq War, so it was also quite timely then. I’ve always been intrigued by Ford & Disney being Nazi sympathizers, so reading that interesting twist on “what if” was really cool. I think the writing was sometimes very dense, if I recall correctly, but the overall story was a good one.
    I also want to see the February Lady sweater! I’ve been meaning to knit one of those, myself. Also, I have been knitting from my stash too, and am LOVING the feeling of decluttering a bit! It’s nice to make room for more yarn! ;)