This yarn, Nashua Woolly Stripes, has been marinating in the stash since 2009. I kept an idea in the back of my mind that I would knit a child’s sweater with its 528 yards. But last week I happened on the French Market bag, upper right above. It requires 420 yards and is felted. Perfect! I plan to make it a little deeper than the pattern so I can use up all the yarn.
When I cast on it turned out to be rather more difficult than I expected. The directions say to knit the flat bottom in the round, starting from the center and working/increasing outward. Given that this yarn is single ply and not very tightly spun at that, I was having a great deal of trouble with the tiny center. After trying and frogging 3 or 4 times I happened to read a little further in the pattern and discovered that the designer also gives the knitter the option to knit the bottom flat. Just what I needed! After knitting the bottom rectangle (above lower right), the knitter picks up stitches around the edge of it and joins in the round. Great!
As I knitted, however, I found that I was un-plying the yarn, a Z twist. Long ago I began knitting a lopapeysa with Icelandic yarn and did the same thing — the yarn fell apart in my hands. I do not remember how I solved the problem then, but this time I found that if I wrap the yarn around the needle the *wrong* way, I am actually tightening the yarn twist. Doing it the *wrong* way, however, caused the yarn to over-twist more in the right direction. So I alternated rows — one *right* and one *wrong*. Or sometimes when I noticed the yarn was [un]twisting I changed in the middle of a row. I just had to remind myself to notice which way a stitch was sitting on the needle when I encountered it in the next row.
[digression] I taught myself how to knit out of a book in my teens. In my twenties I learned how to crochet and made several things. When I returned to knitting, I automatically wrapped the yarn the *wrong* way because that was the way I crocheted. That *wrong* way came to a screeching halt about 15 years ago when I was knitting my first pair of socks. At one point the instructions said to “knit through the back loop”, which was the way I had knit for years. I shook my head at the illogical way of patterns and continued on my merry, *wrong*, way. Eventually I was paging through through a learn-to-knit book and saw the author’s illustration of stitches on the needle. Ahha! It all became clear to me, and I resumed knitting the *right*way. (If you have ever done combination knitting as taught by Annie Modesitt (R.I.P., Annie) you know what I mean.) [/digression]
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan. One of the blurbs on the cover of this book likens the author to Tana French, who is one of my favorite authors. The comparison is a bit of a stretch, I found, but generally accurate. The story is set in Ireland, mainly in Galway, and is both a police procedural and an amateur detective story. Occasionally I was scratching my head trying to decide if I had missed something because the plot made some jumps that baffled me. Turns out that after writing this book the author wrote two prequels; I need to read those. Anyway, it was a good read. 4★
The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. I will be reading this one for a while. The subtitle describes it perfectly: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. Quantum physics and string theory have long fascinated me, but I am not smart enough to grasp them in a technical sense. This book is written for people like me. It is still hard going; I cannot read too much at one time without suffering brain fatigue. I plan to read 10 – 20 pages each night, or until I cannot absorb any more. So far that is working quite well.
Back when Tom and Ray Magliocci were doing the weekly radio show Car Talk on NPR, they occasionally had Brian Greene on the show. Greene was an entertaining physicist, not a common combination. Anyhow, that is how I first heard of him. When (if?) I finish this book I have two more of his books on my shelf.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman. As much as I love Neil Gaiman as a person, I often have trouble loving his books. (But I did like The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere. Oh, and Good Omens. I guess I love his short books and find the long ones — like American Gods — just too difficult.) I didn’t love this book, although it was more that I really wanted to start on one of the other books I had just picked up from the library rather than read this one. But I persevered and finished this [short] book. He loves to write about Faerie and how it intersects with our world; that was the premise here. 4★
Suits on Amazon Prime. I finished season one, on to season two. The plots are so… plotty. Convoluted. Surprising.
Still listening to Pretty Things by Janelle Brown. It is good car listening — not deep, but an entertaining plot.