April 11, 2010

Standard Knit

We made a trip to Kinokuniya, our local Japanese bookstore this weekend. I looked through lots of crafting books and while they were all pretty I didn't think I saw anything I needed to take home. I even thought to myself, "I shouldn't get anything unless it makes my heart race a little." Then I pulled a book with a very inauspicious name off the shelf, Standard Knit. It's a book of such simple sweaters--nearly all garter stitch--and I don't understand the instructions and yet it made my heart race a little. Take a look.


December 7, 2009

Not Kid Stuff

Older Son was stocking up on comic books at the library yesterday. He often tries to sneak home book with some not kid-appropriate content. One of the books he grabbed yesterday, X-Men: Magneto Testament, had a parental advisory label on it. I told him I would check it out and let him know if it was okay.

The purpose of the book is to tell the story of X-Men villain, Mageneto, in his youth. I'm not an X-Men expert. I knew that surviving the Holocaust was part of his backstory. The authors, one of whom Wes and I know, pieced together whatever clues about Magneto's childhood with an accurate history of Jews in Germany, Poland and at Auschwitz. It's a sparingly told story but incredibly effective. There are numerous notes in the back of the book to flesh out the narrative. There is also a teacher's guide and a bibliography.

There is a brief bonus comic that tells the story of Dina Babbitt, a Czechoslovakian Jew, who artistic talent was discovered and used by Josef Mengele. She paintings she produced while a prisoner are held at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum. She had fought for decades to get them back. And just now, as I tried to find a link about her to include in this post, I found she died this past August and the museum continues to hold her paintings.

This morning I gave my son the book to read.

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March 16, 2009

In Lieu of Knitting, a Book Review

I finished Kate Atkinson's One Good Turn after months. I enjoyed every moment of it. Atkinson writes wry, funny, miserable, dark stories. I laugh out loud at her narrator's snark. I love her. The book is the second in a trilogy of sorts starting with Case Histories and ending with When Will There Be Good News? I started the third book (a holiday gift from Wes) immediately and am loving it as well.

I should finish the second side of the ACS collar tonight--only half an inch to go. Then on to the sleeve tabs. Inching every so slowly closer to the finish.


January 9, 2009

Melusine Inspiration

I'm generally not a huge fan of The Anticraft. Yes, they did have an issue devoted to bacon. But how many impalement themed hats does one need?

But today I saw this new shawl and I have to say I am smitten.

The pattern on the shawl is a very simple leaf lace (okay, they call it scales but I see leaves) but the hand-painting after the shawl is knit is really lovely. I'm deep into sweater mode but I will definitely tuck this idea away for another time.

The name of the shawl, Melusine, has had me thinking all day about Possession which features epic poem about the creature. It's a stunning book. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it.

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December 10, 2008

Knitting, Reading, Watching

I'm well on my way on my second mitten. So far it looks a lot like the first one so I won't bother with a photo.

I actually finished a book recently. My reading has been slow and sporadic for months now. I just read Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. He's a very engaging writer and weaves together many threads of the founding of the Mormon church, the growth of fundamentalist sects of Mormonism and a very brutal double murder committed by fundamentalists in the 80s. It's all very interesting and well told. In the end though the book is utterly lacking in resolution. It felt incomplete to me. It reminded me of why Capote putting off finishing In Cold Blood until Perry Smith was executed. Not that I'm hoping for an execution but two men sitting in prison for twenty-plus years is not a very satisfying end to a story.

Last night I started One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson. She wrote Behind the Scenes at the Museum, a novel I adore. I started this a long time ago when it first came out and for whatever reason I didn't get into it. I picked it up again last night and I am really enjoying it. I read the first two chapters last night and had to make myself put it down to get some sleep.

There has been a lot of movie and tv watching lately. Most has been mediocre but lightly entertaining.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
is a seriously uneven but seriously hilarious pastiche of every musician's biopic ever made. Gross, raunchy, stupid but definitely funny.

Becoming Jane is a fictional imagining of a love affair that leads Jane Austen to...well...become Jane Austen. Pretty, sweet, too predictable. James McAvoy co-stars. This is a plus for me.

The Long, Hot Summer. Holy crap. Paul Newman just oozes movie star charisma all over this one. The cast is stellar with Orson Welles, Angela Landsbury, Lee Remick and Joanne Woodward. A gorgeous and entertaining film.

Twilight. Teenage vampires. They're in love. Yadda yadda yadda. If you liked the book then you know the drill.

Encounters at the End of the World. Werner Herzog goes to Antarctica and shoots mermerizing footage of the landscape and bizarre interviews with the people who choose to live and work there. Herzog inserts himself solidly in the center of the film. It's very interesting.

So there's a sampling of what I've been up to lately.

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November 4, 2007


I'm back from my retreat. I got some knitting done and lots of spinning. I chatted. I relaxed. It was wonderful. I also shopped at the stash sale. A lot. I came home with a big bag of stuff.

1 cone of Euroflax Linen (green)
1 skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (also green)
1 skein of Tofutsies (blue)
4 skeins of Shepherd Sock (green--I know!Shut up!)
14 skeins of Noro Cash Laine (20% cashmere in browns and blacks)
Sweater Design in Plain English
Folk Mittens
Knitting Around the World
Knitting Ganseys
Patterns for Guernseys, Jersey's & Arans
Knit Your Own Norwegian Sweaters (Dale, 1974)
4 Old Interweave Knits
Knitter's magazine tribute to Elizabeth Zimmermann
Vogue Knitting Book (Spring and Summer 1955)
Shells for Every Occasion (1965)

These items were all being sold at amazing prices. Some were free.

Guess how much all this stuff cost and win a prize! Guess how many unread items were waiting for me in Bloglines and win a prize!

I will try to get my few, meager photos up tomorrow or Tuesday.

ETA: Contest closes at midnight Monday night. And a hint, I read lots and lots and lots of blogs.

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August 11, 2007

Knitting Lace Triangles

Evelyn Clark's new book arrived in the shop earlier this week. It's a great little volume that provides four lace pattern that you can mix and match to create a lace shawl in any size or gauge.

If you'd like to order it from the Fiber Gallery you can call us at (206)706-4197. You should also be able to find it locally at shops that carry Fiber Trends patterns.

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May 28, 2007

Amazon Knitting Book Insanity!

Knit 2 Together for $5.50!

Greetings from Knit Cafe for $4.99!!

ETA: Sasha just alerted me to Knitting Nature and Last Minute Knitted Gifts for $10.99!!!

But wait, there's more: Stitch 'N Bitch Nation only $3.19!!!!


March 7, 2007

Great Deal for the Exceptionally Patient

Amazon has Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting on sale for a mere $37.09 with free shipping! The only catch is that it ships in "4 to 6 weeks."