Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finished Object: Kidsilk Haze Scarf

I improvised this pattern:  Cast on 32 stitches.  Knit 2 X 2 rib on Size 7 needles until there is just enough yarn left for the bindoff.  The yarn is wonderful, but slippery to work with.  I started off on Addi Turbos,  but it kept slipping off the needles, so I switched to bamboo needles using a point protector on the end.  The yarn costs about $16 and it made a scarf about 4.5 inches wide and 60 inches long.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book: "Family Album"

"Aren't all families screwed up somewhere, when it comes down to it?"  That's what Paul Harper, the oldest in a family of 6 children asks in Family Album.  And that's what the book shows.  What appears to be a traditional, if large, family turns out to be troubled by a distant father, a mother unusually devoted to motherhood, an au pair who remains long after the children have grown up and left home, and a secret that everyone knows but is reluctant to acknowledge.

My rating:  **** out of 5

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book: "Lit"

Another memoir by Mary Karr, this one follows her battle with alcoholism, her divorce, and her conversion from agnosticism to Catholicism.  Although I read one review that accuses her of being unfair to her ex-husband, I thought she presented him fairly, making it very clear what he had put up with in terms of her own behavior prior to stopping drinking.  She was raised in Texas by alcoholic parents and a mentally ill mother, but went on to become an accomplished poet.  It's one of those American stories about moving out of the social class you were born into, and those stories are always fascinating.

My rating:  **** (out of 5)

Finished Objects: Hats for Diane

Pattern:  Simple Fair Isle Hat Pattern
Yarns:  Cascade 220 and Berocco Jasper

My cross-country skiing friend Diane  bought the yarn and asked me to make 2 hats to match her new ski jacket.  I like this pattern because the hat doesn't fit as tightly as many handknit hats.  I may make a third hat for myself with leftover yarn from these projects.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book: "Edgar Sawtelle"

Hamlet with dogs - that's one way to describe this book.  Edgar Sawtelle, who was born mute, is a teenager living with his parents who raise a fictional breed of dog that the family has been breeding for over 3 generations.  When his father dies unexpectedly, Edgar is first overwhelmed with guilt because he had been unable to telephone for help.  Then he begins to suspect that his father's brother Claude, with whom the father had always been on bad terms, may be involved in the death.   Then, guess what?  Claude becomes romantically involved with Edgar's mother.  After another death, Edgar takes off into the woods with three of the dogs.  Oh, and did I mention that there are ghosts?

My rating:  **** (out of 5)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Finished Object: Refined Aran

Pattern:  Refined Aran Jacket
Yarn:  Classic Elite, Classic One Fifty
I'm very happy with how this turned out

Monday, February 1, 2010

Movie: "Broken Embraces"

I don't like every movie Pedro Almodovar has made, but when I do like them, I like them a lot.  Fortunately Broken Embraces was one of his winners.  Screenwriter Harry Caine recounts the story of his romance with the mistress (Penelope Cruz) of a jealous producer.  One thing I really like about Almodovar's film is the way he uses color.  In this movie, that color is red.

My rating:  **** (out of 5)