I knit hats while I was recuperating from the knee surgery. Not sure where these will go. Blue will probably go to the Blue Hat Project, the others to the local annual warm clothing drive next December. I was planning to send the gold one to Hats for Sailors, but then I remembered that they only want hats of 100% superwash wool. That hat is knit of Berroco Vintage, which is machine washable, but ~50% acrylic. Darn. I have probably 20 skeins of Vintage in a variety of colors; they will have to go elsewhere.
Next up is a blue cabled hat for me. The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Buscando Azul, an absolutely gorgeous, fully saturated blue merino. I had to tweak the color in the photo to approximate the yarn’s true color. I started knitting it in the Mountain Trail pattern, but that pattern forces the knitter to cable in round 1, and I found that more challenging than I wanted to deal with. I frogged and switched to another pattern, Declan’s Hat. The beginning of that hat is pictured above. But I didn’t like it as well as the Mountain Trail, so into the frog pond it will go, and back to Mountain Trail I will go. (I made a Mountain Trail shortly back in 2019. If I made it once, I can do it again.)
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki. I have read other books by this author and found them thought-provoking and highly readable. It took me a while to get into this one, but once I did it grabbed me. Benny is the 14-yo son of a Japanese-Korean-American jazz clarinetist and an American woman. Father was run over and killed in a freak accident, mother is copeless, becomes a hoarder. Benny hears voices, the voices of all the normally voiceless things that surround us: scissors, plates, forks, bats, and most importantly, books. He is diagnosed as schizophrenic and a myriad of other mental disorders and spends time in the mental hospital, where he meets Alice. Out in the world later, he meets her again; she is now called Aleph. There is so much in the plot it is difficult to describe in a few sentences. Recommend! 4★
Zero Day Codee by John Birmingham. My iPhone insisted that I needed to be on wi-fi to continue to listen to this book. Instead I re-listened to Duchess Goldblatt. Will download Code again.
Becoming Duchess Goldblatt by Anonymous. The author is a woman in crisis. Her husband just divorced her, the joint custody arrangement for their 4-yo son tears her apart, her job is disappearing, and she has lost her house in the divorce. She invents The Duchess, a fictional, 81-year-old woman from the 17th century who dispenses love, wisdom, and pithy one-liners on social media. But the author doesn’t want anyone to know who she is, so she makes up a name — Duchess Goldblatt. The Duchess’s Tweets are humorous and entertaining (Ex.”Tonight’s headache registered a 6.5 on the Goldblatt Scale, but I think it may now be moving on to its next host. Sleep with a hat on, to be safe.”); her responses to others’ Tweets are compassionate and wise (“Too burnt out for heartache, Your Grace, but did appreciate the concern all the same.” Duchess: “Heartache? In this economy?”). I listened to the audiobook last year and loved it; I re-read it in January because I picked it for our book club to read. Now I am re-listening in preparation for book group in two weeks. No such thing as too much preparation. 4★ (I would give the audiobook 5★ just for the narration; the Duchess’s voice is delightful and Lyle Lovett was a surprise)
We finished season 6 of Doc Martin; waiting for seasons 7 and 8 to come into the library.
In the meantime, we watched Saving Grace, the movie that the character of Doc Martin is the inspiration for the series. The only things from the movie that remain in the TV series are the actor, his character’s occupation as a doctor, and the same Cornwall location. Movie was nothing special. A wealthy widow (Grace, played by the same actress who stars in the Vera franchise) discovers that her husband — who committed suicide by jumping from a plane sans parachute — left her with nothing but massive debts, no cash. She and her gardener (played by Craig Ferguson) hatch a plan to grow marijuana in her greenhouse, sell it to a dealer in London, and pay off the debts. The plan, of course, goes off the rails, but there is a happy ending. 2.5★
Back before my surgery we went to this movie simply because of the title. We agreed that there should have been, 1, more dog scenes, and B.1 the makers should have decided whether this was a comedy, in which case there should have been more humor, or B.2, or a drama, in which case most of the humorous bits should be cut. 2.5★