Yarn Haul, Knitty and Book Review

So, Mom and I had to go to Niceville today; and thus stopped by Unwind. Before that, though, we had gone by Amy’s (King’s Sewing and Knitting) and I picked up three skeins of Kureyon. (40, 33 (which is gorgeous and I think discontinued) and 180 (which is prettier in person than it ever is online)). At Unwind I got 194 which is brilliantly gorgeous. So, that’s two more to go that I want: 102 and I think 207 or 214. Probably going to order tonight if Mom’ll let me.

33 has lots of greens and browns in it which reminds me of the Shrek milkshakes that L&V were talking about. I would put in pictures; but my camera is being ridiculous

The Summer Knitty is up, and after Fetching last summer I was very exited, but I’ve got to say that nothing in this issue really excites me. Chapeau Mariner is cute and I might make Wisp, but can’t say that I’d wear it. There seem to be a lot of sock patterns. I like socks, but do we really need so many patterns in the summer issue? Ah well, I guess I’m not very into knitting summery things anyway, and it’s not like i really need more on the to-knit list.

Book review then. Non-knitting related. Which is a perfect time to remind you all to sign up for the Official Knitter’s Bookswap!

Review:

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

Lolita is one of those books that you hear about as a classic, but never read. I picked it up partially because of the Sting and the Police song (“Just like the old man in/the book by Nabakov) and the fact that the editor of the litmag at my school’s computer wallpaper was a comic of two dinosaurs, who were portraying characters in Lolita. As bookish as I am, I found that I could not read this book for very long sittings at a time. Partially because the book has very long paragraphs and very small spacing; but also because you have to read carefully or you might miss something.

It is not what I was expecting. All I knew of Nabokov was that he was an old Russian guy. I was expecting something set in the nineteenth century à laCrime and Punishment. That’s not what I got. I got a fascinating look at the contrast between pre-WWII Europe and post-WWII America; and the changes within. It’s also a wonderful psychological study. It’s not told by a third person narrator, but by the subject himself. Humbert, the man fascinated with the average teenage girl Dolores Haze (“Lolita”) and thus you cannot trust the narrator. Although, it seems to be an unbiased account and he tries to see both sides, the simple fact is it is written as his defense in trial for murder and paedophilia. You forget, though, until the end how untrustworthy he may be.

Nabokov makes sure that the reader is not able to place all blame on Humbert; at least in old Hum’s eyes. Lolita is now the term for a fairly sexual promiscuous young girl; and for good reason. You can imagine, though, the psychological effect on her that Humbert doesn’t describe.

The literary elements and allusions within the novel are absolutely fantastic; particularly the running parallel to Poe’s work: Annabel Lee. Lolita’s a work I plan on rereading in the next five or ten years; after I’ve had more education in literature.

It’s definitely worth the read; and don’t let the subject turn you off. It’s a brilliant novel.

Right now I’m reading Northanger Abbey)by Jane Austen and will review that as well as Ella Enchanted as I’m rereading it for a Livejournal book circle I’m a part of.

That’s all. Pictures when my camera stops hating its batteries. Still no Ravelry invite.

Musing on Yarn Stores and Other Thoughts

My titles sound a bit like titles of Panic! At the Disco songs….

So, I’m down in South FL visiting my dad. He’s been working down here, so Mom and I brought Jacob (my brother) and Adam (my nephew) aka the two hyenas to visit. I wasn’t wanting to come, but yarn crawls were promised, and crawl we did!

Details and pictures of the yarns later, but for now some musings on stores.

We went to three places, The Knit and Stitch in Cocoa, Stitchworm in St. Petersburg and Knit ‘n’ Knibble in Tampa.

Some had better stock than others; Stitchworm didn’t have Noro which I was after, but they did have some nice pretty yarn.

One thing that struck me in all of them was something I’ve seen in all Florida yarn stores. Older proprietors and customers (in general, although some young employees), all of whom sit around at a table talking. Very nice, but people in browsing aren’t brought into the conversation which could seem a little stand-off-ish. At the same time, I don’t like it when a proprietor shoves yarn in my face. I know what I like, and I don’t need you to tell me without me asking a question.

The locations of stores is also interesting to me. In Atlanta Why Knot Knit is in a little house smushed up between wearhouses, and Knitch is in a conberted firehouse. Both unique, charming and adding to the display of wonderful yarns. In Florida they’re mostly in strip centers, even my LYS, which isn’t bad, just more generic leading to a fairly generic feel inside.

Not all the stores can support the designer yarns, understood, although one yarn store in FL that I didn’t go to, but saw online seemed to have mostly Lion Brand. Fiber snob I may be, but, seriously? Notsomuch.

Overall, though, most stores have basically the same thing, so it really is the display and the atmosphere that makes or breaks a store. Knit ‘n’ Knibble (which, unfortuately, I continually read as Knit ‘n’ Kibble) is really good as far as selection, lots of Cascade, Noro and so on. Their idea is good, coffee and such, but I wouldn’t so much say that have a café as they serve coffee, similarly to Knitch. Not bad, though.

I think, though, my favorite store would have to be the Knit and Stitch, because while they are small they are very nice, entertained the hynenas while my mom and I were shopping and were just generally a good store.

A lot of Florida yarn stores don’t have websites, which makes it difficult to decide which to visit. They seem to be the only Florida enterprise not aimed specifically at tourists….

I need to review A History of Hand Knitting, but before I do that; I read a fantastic book that my dad bought me at Barnes and Noble last night entitled When I Was a Soldier

It’s a memoir of a girl, Valèrie Zenatti, who was born in France but lives in Israel from the age of thirteen and is thus drafted into the army. The book very expertly juxtaposes her pre-army life with her experiences in the service. I saw myself and my friends in her, and had to imagine what our pampered, in college selves would do were we forced into military service. Not fare well, I think.

The book is very well written, jumping between diary entries and narrative, but all first person. It is well-translated from the French. My one complaint is that the end comes fast, but overall it’s a very well written book. Definitely worth the read and a good reminder that the American way isn’t the only way people grow up.

Mkay, massive picture post when I get home!

LOOK IT’S SPRING!



See? That’s my friend Sandhya up in a tree, and her boyfriend below her. It was hilarious, because she just grabbed a branch and climbed up, and then was like: how’d I get up here?

It was a very pretty day, and very college-y. I spent much of it outside writing sonnets ( I kid you not) for my medieval renaissance final. I plan to post a couple here when they’re typed up. For now I can give you a poem that was published in the litmag; I’ll post it at the bottom of the entry.

That’s me, sitting with them while they read philosophy and I wrote sonnets.

You’ll be proud to know that I started a new sock. Sock‘s demise did not turn me off knitting them forever. This one’s toe-up using the Knitty pattern, and it looks like it actually might fit! We’ll see when I get further into the cuff, but there’s a lifeline after the heel!

I also received my letter from the Knitterly Letter Swap yesterday! She’s like an older me, I swear! And I wish I had time to write back this second, but it may have to wait until the weekend because finals are eating me.

Yesterday Rie and I went to Why Knot Knit and I bought two skeins of Kureyon. I plan to do one Lizard Ridge Block in between Sock and his mate, although I’ll cast on the mate first to avoid Second Sock Syndrome.

This may be my last entry for a couple days until finals stop eating me. I have a two page French paper due April 30th, Medieval Ren paper (the sonnets) due May 1st, Honors paper due May 3rd, Shakespeare Preformances May 3rd, French final May 3rd and then a final paper due whenever before May 10th. I’m probably heading home around the 7th and then SUMMER!

For those who didn’t know, Shakespeare’s birthday was yesterday and in honor of that, I bring you this. Watch. Laugh. Be happy. I’m seriously considering Shakespeare Scholar as a career choice.

And now, knitting poem:

Afghan

Unexpected child, unexpected change

Mother with pursed lips reluctant to lay blame,

Sit in the creaking chair with a ball of yarn.

Clicking needles, ticking clock

Fabric formed under shaky hands.

Baby grabs at moving wooden sticks

Siblings lay quiet on a braided rug

Mama’s singing hugging them tightly as

Papa bangs around the room. Wary eyes do peek

Staring down as stitches fly snow and leaves outside

Wrapped in wool; clock still turning

Children done with growing up

See only a quiet woman in a corner

Kittens crawling on the floor beat yarn about.

Smile up at Grandma, pull a sock off of your foot

The room is still, light is gone

The rocking chair stands still

All that remains is wool and memories

Of a girl, young and scared

Of an unexpected child, the unexpected change.


Why the complicated?

Working on Afghan Block the Seventh….

So. I got the grant for the trip to France. BUT they want a copy of your passport for registration. A passport I don’t have. Granted, I’m putting in my application Monday, expiditing it and will have it in about three weeks. It’s good enough for the Consolate in Atlanta remains to be seen if this will be good enough for the French government.

I’m trying not to get to excited, just in case.

But if it works, Mom and I are going to fly into Manchester the week before, go to London, Stratford, Paris and then I’ll go on to Avignon.

Anyone know any good yarn stores in those areas? xD

And having used an emoticon I give you this article