Thursday, May 18, 2006

Liz's Summer Knitting, Part 1

I am a reader, and have always been. And the summer for me has always been met with great anticipation of my summer reading. After the last day of school, my mom would take us to the bookstore to get all the books on the Required Summer Reading List, and I would always fill the basket with many, many more.

Most people use the summer for beach books, light reading, you know...but not me. I am the person on the beach re-reading Animal Farm, or reading the Heart of Darkness for fun. I always begin my summer with an unread classic, removing another book from my English teacher/Librarian Unread Classic Hall of Shame.

Some of the books were classics by authors I had already read widely, but hadn't gotten to a major work (East of Eden, Slaughterhouse 5). Some were the favorites of others recommended to me (A Prayer for Owen Meany). Some, just because they were lying around (Brave New World, Siddhartha). Some I had tried once before, and decided to would try again (One Hundred Years of Solitude).

So I am trying to decide what my classic should be this summer. I am leaning towards trying Pride and Prejudice, after reading it in high school and being thoroughly uninterested. But I could use a few more ideas. What are your favorite classics? Leave a comment, and I'll compile a list for all XRK readers.

But as the Summer Reading, do goes the Summer Knitting. The summer is filled with anticipation about this summer's knitting, and have I got challenges in the queue. I have two major focus areas this summer.

#1 -- The Amazing Lace
I have decided to sign up for Theresa and Rachel's challenge. You'll find me in the sidebar with my teammate, the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. I am approaching this with great trepidation because I have a feeling that I am setting myself for a huge headache.

Here's why:

Meet the Wool Weavers Mini Shawl, in Blue Heron Rayon Metallic. This is a terrifically simple project, a beginner's warm up to the DFS. Mostly stockinette, with the occasional YO, K1, YO, to create the shape of the shawl, and create a nice line of openwork. Just about the simplest pattern that you could imagine. No TBLs or P3tog or anything scary.

Note the green wool running through every few rows. These are lifelines. After completely frogging this shawl at least 6 times this week, I finally realized that even on a project as simple as this, I need lifelines. I cannot frog lace without making a terrible mess, and I am making tons of mistakes -- not keeping the YOs aligned, skipping them entirely, dumb things...

I shudder to think how many times I am going the screw up DFS.

In the meantime, here's the progress on Green Gable. Only about a zillion more knit stitches to go.

I'll tell you more about Summer Knitting Challenge #2 in my next post. This one's a doozy.


Susan Wike said...

On the subject of classic reading, I was surprised at how entertaining The Scarlet Letter can be. I guess treating such a dark subject in such a riveting way is what makes the book a true classic!
On the subject of do great work!

Anonymous said...

Gone With the Wind, A Christmas Carol, In Cold Blood, Valley of the Dolls for classics.

Other reading - any books by Lisa Scottoline or Lawrence Sanders(murder mystery), Philadelphia history books, USA passenger railraod books, biographies. The Bridges of Madison County for you romantics out there; or any book by Jennifer Weiner.

I try to read a minimum of 10 books a year. Currently reading "Mother and Daughter - The Letters of Eleanor and Anna Roosevelt" and "Chuck Amuck", the autobiography of Chuck Jones (road runner, pepe le pew, wile e. coyote).

Hope this helps.

anne marie

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love Jane Eyre -- romance, suspense, and a surprisingly modern heroine (considering it was published in 1847.)

Devorah said...

Pride and Prejudice! That was my classic for last summer and it sent me on to Sense and Sensability and then Emma. All wonderful books which made me wonder just why I had been avoiding Jane Austin for all this time. (That actually made for at least 3 classics last summer.)

I also highly recommend A Tale of Two Cities -- it was my first Summer Classic. (We do the same thing around here -- start the summer with a Classic or two.)

Cynthia said...

Pride & Prejudice is great although Persuasion is her best IMO. Other suggestions -- Tristram Shandy, Nicholas Nickleby, Great Expectations, Trollope's Palliser series if you like politics, and his Barchester Chronicles if you don't. I didn't read To Kill a Mockingbird until recently; it was wonderful. Richard Adams' Watership Down but also Plague Dogs. Dante's Inferno, translated by Dorothy Sayers -- interesting & readable. Barry Lyndon. Catullus.

Oh, my -- I need to go lie on the couch with a book!

Ann said...

I am quite fond of any Jane Austen -- P&P being my fav. However, Jane Eyre may be my favorite "classic" of all time. But follow it up with Jean Rhys' "The Wide Sargasso Sea" for some interesting perspective.

My book club is reading "In Cold Blood" but I haven't gotten my butt in gear to get from the library yet ... thanks for the inspiration!

NeedleTart said...

For many years I re-read the Ring Trilogy every summer. Now I say I'll re-read The Count of Monte Cristo. Austin, the Brontes and almost anything written at least 50 years ago. The longer the book, the better. I recently read Nat Turner's Autobiography and Uncle Tom's Cabin. I must have been going through a Civil War phase.

Lace has its own logic. Like math, just hang in there and keep doing it and someday it will all make sense (until then keep your calculator and lifelines handy).

Tina said...

Pride and Prej! Of course, I haven't read it in a bazillion years, but just a few weeks ago I vicariously enjoyed it via DH's loud blasts of laughter here and there.

Yes, you can

Elsie said...

What better summer reading than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Amazing, entertaining, and invigorating.