Jun 12, 2009

"Dyed in the Wool"

I bought some of the Knit Picks Bare, a 100% Merino DK weight which I planned to dye with some friends. We never got around to it, possibly because I couldn't commit to a color choice, not knowing what I would make out of the yarn. Each of my two skeins of this stuff might make a nice baby gift so I thought I'd make a boy scheme and a girl one. This is the boy color scheme:
It's a darkish red and a bright orange. I washed the yarn in warm soapy water and rinsed. Then I put two pots on my stove and put several packages of Kool-Aid in each with lots of warm water.I stuck the yarn into both, more in the red and then that top part between pots kept needing more color, so I'd move it into one and then the other. The heat was on, until almost boiling. The kool-aid disappeared from the water and attached itself to the yarn. The water was pretty clear when i took the yarn out. And here it is drying on the front porch. Kool-Aid . Nice.

Stealing Home by Allison Pittman is an interesting tale of living against the tide of tradition, existing under (and fighting against) blame, regret and excuses. It is fiction, set in the great days of baseball in the early days of the 20th century. The plot revolves around four main characters, a baseball star in need of peace and quiet, a woman scorned by her small town and living in isolation among them, a negro boy who works doing odd jobs but whom is practically invisible because of his status, and a man who watches and waits for his chance at his dreams. The characters converge in a situation which could free each one of them or could become dangerous. The story is well written and was easy to finish. The tag line is "A larger-than-life hero and the small town that awakens his soul". It was a good description, but other three characters drew me more than the baseball star. It was their emergence from isolation which satisfied me.

This is no picture perfect ending. It has its share of surprising trials, and yet each character stays true to himself while growing and changing. I think that quality is what I liked best about the book: Progress in character's lives while staying true to the character's voice.

Jun 8, 2009

Long lost blogging...

I've got so very many things I wanted to blog about over the last month or two, but haven't.

Now, for some unknowable reason, I feel like going back and hitting the high points.
This is my good friend Tammy above, right who came to visit me in April. We met up with some other knitters from the St. Louis area while they attended The Loopy Ewe's Spring Fling. While chatting there, Tammy ran into Wendy Johnson while she was knitting one of Wendy's new patterns. Wendy was funny, making jokes while I was taking the photo.
We also ran into Ms. Loopy herself, while she ran by, and got out the camera quickly while she graciously allowed us to detain her for this photo.

Tammy's LYS now carries Malabrigo sock yarn and she brought me some! The colors in this blue one are gorgeous. She also brought me another Malabrigo Sock yarn in Boticelli Red. It is gorgeous. (Did I ever mention that bloggers and knitters are generous! )

Upon agreeing to Knit-along (KAL) together for a great Jarod Flood pattern Girasole, she got right on it and sent me more of that gorgeous Boticelli Red which I can't get here. It already came! Now I have three.

On to books,
I read David Copperfield last week and found it to be so very fun. The iconic Uriah Heap with his "humble" maliciousness, the distraught and loving Mr. Pegoody and his sister the loyal Peggody were all so beautifully depicted by Dickens. The mean-spirited caricatures which graced Oliver Twist were not here; in Copperfield the characters were sometimes painted with a broad stroke, but never in a way which repulses. Em'ly who falls from grace with foolish choices and Agnes who was shown mercy in similar choices are able to minister to eachother, with a resolution most satisfying to each, without losing the ring of truth. Dicken's depcition of Mr. Micawber was hilarious, and Mrs. Micawber as well. How earnest and silly and noble they were, all at once! David himself seems to me to almost a minor character in the book, although he is at the center of action all the time and he received attention from everyone as being very important in their lives. I could go on, but I won't. Bottom line: What characters! I loved them.