Posted by: scrabblequeen | July 5, 2010

Reading, Knitting, Viewing Update

Knitting:
Nearly all of June was spent on the go, but that didn’t stop me from pursuing most of my favorite leisure-time activities. On the airplanes (yes, multiple plane trips) I was able to read, knit, listen to cds and radio programs, and view movies. Trains and ferries were good for reading and knitting, while busses were limited to knitting only.

My plan for my “vacation” knitting began with hats for each of “the boys”, which is to say James and Donnie, who are both the singing group Men of Worth and our tour guides. Attempt number one, using Paton Classic Wool in Olive and the Nottingham pattern, ended up being too small for a grown man. The second hat, using Cascade 220 Superwash and the same pattern as the first hat, was for James. It really touched me how he reacted when I gave him his hat. Honestly, it’s been rare that someone has appreciated my efforts as much as James did.
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Hat three was knit with some thick, blue yarn I bought in a shop on the main island of Orkney. I have no idea what it was, but I hope it was at least wool! For Donnie’s hat, which hat three was destined to be, I choose a simple K2, P2 rib, with cabling on the knit stitches most of the way up and a divider of purl rows before the decrease section at the top.
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The fourth, and final hat of this trip was my flight home knitting, and wasn’t finished until today (July 5). It’s a newborn hat knit from the left-over Cascade 220 from James’ hat, using a Fetching-like cabled pattern on a K4, P2 rib. The only other knitting I managed over the whole month of June was a single baby sock which is still waiting for a mate. The roads in the Highlands did not lend themselves to knitting as well as one might hope, and the rest of my days and evenings were too busy for any knitting time.

Reading:
I completed three books while on the trip and since I got home
1. . First, Darjeeling by Bharti Kirschner, from my Summer Reading stack. It was a story about relationships more than anything. I found it interesting, but not especially compelling. I’d rate it a 3 out of 5 stars. Worth reading if you are interested in Indian Tea Plantations or the Immigrant Experience in North America.

2. Dragon Song by Anne McCaffrey, the Book of the Month for my Anne McCaffrey group on Shelfari. It is the first book in the Harper Hall trilogy, which is part of the Dragonriders of Pern series. It is short and simple, serving mostly to introduce us to the character of Menolly, who will play an important role as the series continues. I’ve read it many times over the years, but still enjoy it every time.

3. Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett. My first DiscWorld novel…oh heck, my first Terry Pratchett that I’ve actually read myself. My boys are all hooked on his books and have read me so many excerpts that it feels as though I’ve read at least one before! A fantasy book, with a very humorous view, perhaps even satire, of sorts. The Wizards of Unseen University have to play Foot The Ball in order to continue to recieve certain moneys for the school. The key characters include Wizards, a goblin, a cook, and a “candle dribbler”. Very intersting. Lots of philosphy. Entertaining. I think this book rates 4 out of 5 stars.
That brings my books read total for this year to 29! I up-dated the Reading page if you want to know all the details.

Viewing and listening:

Sadly, I cannot recall what movie I watched on the out-bound trip to Great Britain. That almost certainly means it wasn’t worth the price of admission or renting, so I’m sorry I can’t warn you about it….whatever it was. On the return flight, I decided to view the new Alice In Wonderland, by Tim Burton. True confessions; I am not a Tim Burton fan. I was not plesantly suprprised. The movie was….pointless. I’d have to rate it only slightly better than 2 stars out of 5. It wasn’t so bad that I didn’t finish it, but I can’t truly say that I liked it.
A much better use of my time was listening to an episode of Desert Island Discs, featuring Annie Lennox, formerly of The Eurythmics. It was my first time to hear the show which I had heard so much about. I really enjoyed it! The hostess did a good job of interspersing chatter with Annie and playing her selections of what 8 pieces she would want with her on a desert island.

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Responses

  1. Interesting reviews. Might have to find out why so much of the world likes Terry Pratchett…

    The hats are lovely! Isn’t it sweet when a knitted gift is so well received?

  2. Love Terry Pratchett! He is a satirist, but you often miss a lot of the humour if you’re not British and it often takes more than one read to get a lot of it. That’s the beauty though, you can read him again and again and still find new stuff in his books.

    I also liked Dragon Song. That particular series is the best of McCaffrey.

    Nice hats! Don’t you love it when people are thrilled you knit for them?

  3. Really like the hats, especially the first one. I saw “Alice” at El Capitan in Hollywood. I am a Tim Burton fan, though I have liked other movies more. Right now I am reading “Adam” by Ted Dekker and it is so great. It is creepy~good, and Ted is an excellent writer!

  4. Isn’t it nice when something you’ve made yourself is so well received? Most of my knitting now is done for charity so I only hope the people who receive it enjoy it.

  5. Excellent hats!

    I’m glad you enjoyed Unseen Academicals.. I’d actually consider it one of the weaker Pratchetts, and less relevant to an American audience because of the football references.

    I always recommend starting with Guards! Guards!, followed with Men at Arms, Feet of Clay and Night Watch. These follow more or less in sequence and they’re the very best of the ‘mystery’ Pratchetts, funny and thoughtful at the same time.


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