Reading Follow Up

Well, I’ve read most of the books that were in my stack.  I must say that I’m quite enamored of the Mary Russell / Sherlock Holmes series (Laurie R. King).  They are more suspense than mystery, but I like them very much.

Lake District Murder iAutumn Readings a snooze-fest.  I enjoy reading old Perry Mason series books by Erle Stanley Gardner.  It’s an older style of writing, but still entertaining to me.  But Lake District Murder is an older style of writing and it is annoying!  It’s talky and plodding; makes me want to scream, “Get on with it!

Mystery in White, another in the British Library Classics set, I started but discarded in favor of a few others.  I am still withholding judgement.  I couldn’t get myself into it, but that was (I think) because I was wanting to read something else.

Murder on the Leviathan (Boris Akunin) was OK.  I had figured it out before the end, but I kept reading it because I expected it to get better.  I was wanting more of the detective’s background; instead, it was a cast of eccentric characters.  I’m not interested in reading other books in this series.

Wicked Autumn (G.M. Maillet) was a fine, modern cozy.  The writing of this first book was jam-packed with wonderful references and puns!  I went on to read the other books in this series:  A Fatal Winter, Pagan Spring, and A Demon Summer.   In perusing Goodreads, I see that there is a fifth book in the series, The Haunted Season.  I’ll be looking for that one soon!

At Christmas I treated myself and my husband to the Song of Fire and Ice series (George R.R. Martin) in paperback.  I’ve just started on the first book, Game of Thrones.  I like it.  I love the way this man writes!  The novels are thick — both with pages and with plots — but never dull.  If ever I am stuck at home in a blizzard, I’ll have my books and my knitting!

Cabled Hat for Adult – a free pattern

Ed wears hatAt last!  I can post this now that my husband has received his hat!

Worked with  Socks That Rock Heavyweight (Blue Moon Fiber Arts) which is about a sport weight.  Or DK weight.  I don’t know.  The colorway is Chanticleer (nice for fall).  I’m working it on a 16″ US 6 circular needle with a gauge (in stockinette stitch) of 5.5 stitches to the inch.  Finished size is about 23″ circumference, which should comfortably fit an adult head but still have a bit of stretch if needed.

The corrected version of the pattern is now available on Ravelry.

K2tog

At 1:00 a.m. they were asleep. He, on his right side, a single line from head to toe, his face relaxed; she, on her stomach and sprawled like a child with one foot dangling off the edge. But her head was near his, and her arm reached out to his, and they held hands through the night.

It had not been an easy evening. In fact, it had started on Friday when she came home to say that she might be laid off from her job due to budget cuts. From that moment the weekend was a like working with a knotted hank of yarn: a few yards of “normal,” interrupted by a tense spot (again!). It meant carefully working backward; it meant leaving lots of ragged ends to weave in later, when the fabric was more secure; it meant walking away sometimes just to get some emotional distance from the problem.

The problem wasn’t that there were knots; the problem was that this was an expensive hank of yarn in which they both had invested everything for more than 20 years. There had been other knots. Good grief, there had been other sections with many knots and there had been times when they both wanted to just rip out everything. But they had worked through them, learning to be gentle and patient. It was never easy, but they were committed to coming back and trying again.

Earlier that day she had been afraid again that they were at the end. He had walked out. He had never walked out before. In the past he withdrew into a huge shell and stayed there for days. But this time he had actually gotten up and walked out the door. “I have to leave,” he’d said.

He had felt overwhelmed by the reality that they both were growing older. There might be another 20 years of work to do on the blanket of their lives, but she was worried over the devastation that would likely follow if her job were gone. They had lost so much of their savings in the economic realities of the last 10 years, and they both were of an age considered “too old” by potential employers. She felt they needed to downsize themselves: clear out the clutter and find a small house in a little town where the taxes were not as high and the mortgage payments would be smaller. But he couldn’t face leaving. His family had moved around so much when he was young, and then he had moved around so much as an adult, and each time he had found it hard to make new friends. This house they had bought together was the first place he had ever felt was HOME.

The future is still uncertain. She does not have a definitive answer on whether she has a job, and she may not have an answer for another week, but yesterday a small miracle happened: he came back. He was gone only about 30 minutes, but he came back; and when he came back he didn’t withdraw. He said, “Let’s NOT talk about this for a while. Let’s talk about something else.”

So, they talked about other things. They pretended everything was normal, that the upset of the past few days had not happened. And then another little miracle occurred: He was willing to talk about it. He asked if she was willing to work with him. He asked if she was willing to help him find a way that they could continue to live in this house, and she said yes.

At 1:00 a.m. they were asleep. He, on his right side, facing her; she leaning to the right, leaning into him and holding on: it wasn’t a decrease so much as a new direction for the whole work. Do they need to increase somewhere else on the row to keep the number of stitches even, or is this one of those rows where the stitch count would differ from the cast-on edge? They don’t know, and it’s OK.

How an Omaha knitter became integral to a British WWI documentary

Well, the headline isn’t exactly correct. Tell Them of Us wasn’t a documentary so much as it was a film based on the letters, diaries, and other writings of a Lincolnshire family in WW1. But it was a joy to be involved in the project, and I’m quite fond of this story that appeared in the local newspaper. http://www.omaha.com/living/hansen-how-an-omaha-knitter-became-integral-to-a-british/article_1a226646-033f-512d-b4a8-25e0810acaf6.html

TBT: Mom and Dad

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My parents, Alice and Jerry, in their wedding portrait, 1945.  Handsome, beautiful people.  My mom didn’t have a wedding gown.  She wore an ivory linen suit.  Her matron of honor was my dad’s sister (and her best friend), Jenny.  His best man was her brother Fred.  They loved music and dancing.