I am knitting gifts for Christmas, something I have not done for years. Three hats for DIL for her to choose from (one, all, or none), a plain hat knit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts medium weight sock yarn in Corbie (Raven Clan) for Younger Son exactly like one he lost several years ago, and a navy blue Windschief hat and possible matching cowl for BIL. Elder Son and Smokey get no knitting, the first because he never wears a hat and the latter because I knit him one a few years ago which he claims to have given to me to put it in a moth-proof place. I cannot find it; I may need to knit him another. Oh, and everyone is getting a book. ES, YS, and BIL are getting this one written by a local friend who has traveled the world. Smokey is getting the book I bought him for his birthday but forgot to give him. I am still searching for The Book for DIL. It seems silly to give her the same one I am giving everyone else, since she will undoubtedly read ES’s copy at some point.
And now the knitting:
Cabled hat for DIL. Progress is a little slow — I get tired of futzing with the cable needle every other row. (Yeah, cabling without a needle, blah, blah. I can do it but I am a bit afraid of dropping a stitch.) The Shibui Silk Cloud is giving the hat a subtle halo, and the whole thing is lovely soft.
My own purple hat. Also with a halo and lovely soft. I haven’t worn it yet — not cold enough — and once I finish the Christmas knitting I plan to use the remains of the skein to make some fingerless mitts to match.
The patch. I was knitting it with sock yarn on US#1 needles in garter stitch, which meant it would not be finished before the heat death of the universe*. So I frogged, rewound the yarn cake, and am now knitting from both ends (2 strands of sock yarn held together equal 1 strand of DK) on a US#5 needle. Much better, and probably more durable. I pick this one up when everything else is Too Hard.
A charity hat. We and some friends went to a local church’s free will Thanksgiving dinner, and I spied a flyer for a warm clothing drive — hats, mittens, scarves, etc. Deadline is December 11, almost two weeks away and also almost two weeks before we leave for the family Christmas. I figure I can whip out a hat or three or maybe some mittens to match this hat.
As I look at what I have done and what I have left to do, it occurs to me that there is a lot still undone. (Ya think?) Those charity hats and mittens may have to wait. But I have an assortment of other wool hats, originally intended for Hats for Sailors and the Blue Hat Project that I can donate. Their 2022 deadlines are past, so I will aim for their 2023 campaigns.
Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America / Maggie Habeerman. I quit this one halfway through because it was boring. Unbelievable that it was dull, but it was. It is possible I quit too soon because it was at the point in 2015 or so where t***p was beginning his run for the presidency. But it was my usual problem: so many books, so little time. 3★
The Boys from Biloxi / John Grisham. There are certain best-selling authors whose every book I read — Stephen King, William Kent Kruger, John Sandford, John Grisham, among others. I have certainly learned a lot about the corrupt culture around Biloxi from this book. Makes me wonder if that is why schools in Mississippi are the worst in the nation — the public money that should support them ends up in the pockets of corrupt officials. Anyway, this is a well-written legal thriller. 4★
I am a monogamous reader. The most books I ever have going is two — one in my hands and and one in my ears. Right now I am reading the following three (3!) books simultaneously, plus listening to a fourth. Where is The Kat™ and what have you done with her?
The Art of Mingling: Fun and Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room / Je4anne Martinet. Like most people I tend to suck at small talk with people I do not know. At last week’s knitting group, which is held in a small library, this book was displayed by the checkout desk. I picked it up and perused it for a few moments. The librarian saw me doing it, plucked it out of my hands, and checked it out to me. Ah, the joys of small town living where everyone knows everyone! Anyway, I am picking up a few tips and tricks — can’t be bad. 4★
Sophie’s World: A History of Philosophy / Jostein Gaarder. At my last poetry class we started talking about philosophy. It turns out the teacher, a retired Engloish teacher, also has a master’s degree in philosophy. Anyway, one of the guys started talking about a book he had read years ago that was an overview of western philosophy. As he talked I kept remembering a book I had bought years ago but never read and is now packed away somewhere that sounded like what he was talking about. Eventually he said the title was something about Sophie… and it clicked. When I got home I scurried off to Amazon and bought it and started it last night.
The Last Wish / Andrzej Sapkowski. Someone here — gayle? — recommended the Witcher series; this is book 0.5 in it. I generally do not care for traditional science fiction or fantasy (this is the latter) because the author always feels the need to create a world to suit his/her story, and that makes for a lot of work for me, the [lazy] reader. I have gotten far enough into this one, though, to be hooked.
Origin Story: A Big History of Everything / David Christian. I finally finished this one. Interesting, but I question some of his conclusions, in particular that humans can learn to live together in peace and harmony by sharing their wealth and caring for the earth. I personally know any number of people in my county who are the exact opposite. Still, the cosmology, astrophysics, geology, botany, zoology, and anthropology were fascinating, 3.5★
Uncharted Waters / Sally Hepworth. I confess I chose this one from my library because it was less than 2 hours long. I have way too many audiobooks in that library. This one is a suspense story set on a yacht that offers getaway cruises. Too soon to rate.
Unbelievable on Netflix. From Wikipedia: “A dramatization of the 2008–2011 Washington and Colorado serial rape cases, Unbelievable follows ‘Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the two [female] detectives who followed a twisting path to arrive at the truth’. The program draws from “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” (2015), a Pulitzer Prize-winning article by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong for ProPublica and The Marshall Project.” 5★
After we watched The Manchurian Candidate a couple weeks ago, I decided it would be fun to watch old movies not available online — library to the rescue! And it seemed only fair for us to alternate picking the movie. So this is what Smokey picked.
It was, of course, hilarious. We laughed ourselves silly. Smokey loves slapstick, ridiculous movies; I like them in small doses. Whenever I turn on the TV to watch the evening news on Saturday, it is tuned to the Three Stooges, which I immediately click away from. But humor, even silly humor, is always welcome.
* One of my favorite phrases. Ken Jennings used it on Tuesday on Jeopardy.