Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday - #17

I am hoping this is a quick post. I'm running late this morning, for some reason. This post is part of a ring of posts, the rest of which can be found on Tami's website. Do go and check out all of the cool projects people are working on!

First up, I showed this in my Monday post, but here is the second section of the Cone Nebula quilt, all sewn together. This section fits next to the first section. This coming week, I'll be working on the next section down from the first section. Yes, I need to get a shot of the sections next to each other. I'll do that next week. I promise.
I have been working along on the Haiku baby jacket for my great nephew. This jacket is knit side-to-side, starting at one front lapel, working around the back, and finishing at the other side lapel. In this shot, you'll see that I am on the final third of the back. (The sleeves are knit separately.)
(I pinned the jacket to the design wall in the sewing room. The little yellow dots are the heads of the flat flower pins.) I ran into a situation with the back shoulder where I had an odd number of stitches. Now, a good knitter would have carefully reread the pattern, tinked back to the mistake, and reknit. Nope. Not me. I worked with the odd stitch for a while, decided I had probably doubled up stitches at some point and merrily added another stitch. Then, a couple of days after discovering the error, actually re-read the pattern, etc. At that point, I thought, "Baby jacket, cute design, pretty color, no other knitters in the family," and I just threw in a random decrease in each of the next two rows. So, that shoulder is a little off..... oops!

Last week, I said that I had just started reading The Pillars of the Earth. Judy commented on the soft-porn aspect of the book. I read the entire book over the course of the Thanksgiving Day weekend, finishing late on Saturday afternoon. Here is my summary:

The heart of the book is a description of the challenges of financing and constructing a large building filled with light and air in an era of stonework and with machines powered by muscle and water. Lots of attention is paid to the sources of the materials, the details of how the construction was done, much peering over the shoulder of the master builders as they confronted various problems with load bearing, wind resistance, mortar quality, labor relations, etc.

There are also a lot of pages devoted to discussion of the political scene in England in the 12th century (the century between the Norman Conquest and Magna Carta), with glimpses of the personalities of the major players and the maneuverings of a lot of the minor players. Admittedly, this is fictionalized, but the era and its politics (both secular and religious) are brought to vivid life.

There is a lot of description of how people made money, produced crops, conducted commerce, entertained themselves (with their clothes on), and organized their society. Because one of the characters travels, we see some of French society as well as Spanish society at the height of the Moorish reign.

I should also warn the sensitive reader of the following:
Rapes and/or attempted rapes: 5 (all described in lavish detail)
violent deaths lavishly described: 7-10 immediately come to mind
Non-violent sex scenes, also lavishly described: perhaps a half dozen

Is this one of the best books I've ever read? No, not even close. Is it engaging and interesting and worth reading? I think so, especially if British history and the Middle Ages are of interest to you.

For my book club, I've started reading Little Bee by Chris Cleaves. I'm not very far in. I'll report next week.


Sara said...

I love the yarn you are using for the baby sweater. I've put the pattern in my faves.

Beth said...

Nice sweater! I've never done the side to side knitting. It looks interesting!

I'll have to check back and see what you think of Little Bee. I read it a couple months ago.

Joycers said...

That baby sweater looks interesting. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Rachel said...

great jumper, fab progress, x

Kathleen said...

That quilt (or part of it, anyway) is so beautiful, I think I could sit here staring at it all day. It really does have a sort of photo-of-deep-space look, and I love it. Wonderful colours and shapes.

Tami Klockau said...

Wow, both of your projects took a huge leap with the progress! Great job.

I'm currently ready Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult and rather enjoying it!

Denise said...

The baby jacket looks interesting to make. As for the random increases and decreases, I've done that and just kept going. Nobody ever notices.

autumngeisha said...

The quilt looks amazing so far. It reminds me of Japanese prints that I've seen used to make kimonos. I love your knitting attitude and wish some of it would rub off on me. So often, perfectionist knitters like myself sweat the small stuff too much. Knitting is supposed to be fun. Next time, I will try to fix mistakes on the fly like you!