Friday, October 17, 2008

One and Two Halves

Look! I made a pair of socks!

Only, not quite.

It's a little weird having 2 pairs of socks underway--for all the socks I've been knitting, I usually knit them one pair at a time. But I wanted to get started with the blue pair (the one I'm designing for Schaefer, with their lovely new sock yarn--lovely, lovely, lovely, but not yet on their website), but not set aside the Waving Lace pattern (in Schaefer's Anne), so here I am.

(It's also occurred to me that the third project I have on the needles is a wrap from Schaefer's Nancy. At least they're different colors--in contrast to the time everything I was knitting was from Scahefer and in the Lillian Gilbreth colorway.)

Unexpectedly, I kind of miss the mostly mindless knitting of the sweater. I've been listening to a couple of podcasts that include book reviews and/or excerpts, and one of them (Forgotten Classics) included selections from Agatha Christie's autobiography a couple of weeks ago. Since I evidently did not learn my lesson about literary biographies when I slogged through the recent Edith Wharton biography last year (I suspect it was actually a good book, but that I am an uncultured heathen), I started Christie's autobiography last week.

It's going much better, since she's writing about things that happened, rather than endlessly discussing what her writing might or might not owe to various other mystery writers' books... which would be very difficult to do about yourself, come to think of it. So it's mostly interesting (and I'd love to be knitting and reading, which is why I miss my easy project. See how this relates to knitting?)

Except that every so often I work myself into a tizzy of annoyance because she writes about how much better things were for women, how much more free time they had, how they could do whatever they wanted, etc, before they convinced men that they should be allowed to work. And then I'm annoyed on two fronts: all that wonderful free time was only available to the middle to upper classes (in the golden period when women had all kinds of free time, Christie's family had servants, and it never seems to have crossed her mind that their female servants did not share in all the free time available to women!), and Christie only sees women as being able to do anything because the things she personally was interested in as she was growing up (art, music) and as an adult (writing) were things that women were already allowed to do. It never seems to occur to her that she would have had a completely different perspective if she'd been interested in something off limits.

It's not that I want her to write about how limited women's career options were, or how difficult servants' lives were--that's not the point of the book, after all. It's that since a big part of writing fiction is seeing things from other people's perspectives, it's interesting to me that she apparently doesn't in these cases, either at the time or in retrospect when she was writing. If she had, she would have described the same events/situations/experiences, but just skipped the few editorializing sentences about how perfect it was, or written that it suited her instead of suggesting that it was perfect.

OK, that was a digression! Maybe now I'll stop ranting to Kevin about it! What I meant to say was that I've been reading, would like to knit while I read, but need to finish a pair of socks before I start something mindless.

And I'm not sure what that mindless thing will be. I'm thinking about a couple of shawls/scarves that are mostly garter stitch or stockinette--the Wool Peddler's Shawl (sorry, these will all be Ravelry links... you should join Ravelry!), the Feather and Fan Triangle Shawl, or some kind of garter stitch wrap with ruffle, along these lines.

And there are several yarn options:

1. An unknown amount of single-ply cream wool which Rachel brought back from Peru (seems best suited to the Wool Peddler Shawl).

2. An unknown amount of four colors of blue wool I brought back from Peru (best for the Feather and Fan Shawl).

3. The remaining handpainted lace weight from the sweater plus some coordinating solid alpaca bend lace weight... but not the same coordinating solid I used for the sweater... it turns out that all my yarns coordinate... (this option seems best for the ruffled wrap).

Whichever one I've thought about most recently always seems like the best choice--any thoughts?


Baby Beth said...

I like the ruffled one the best.

Sunflowerfairy said...

I love anything by Cheryl Oberle. I need a new project too.

Any thoughts for me?

Annie said...

Try checking out the Feather and Fan Gone Wild stuff from Jane Thornley. You could use all your yarns--she makes it work, too.

Julie D. said...

I never really thought about Christie's comments about "the state of women" (so to speak) as anything but a carry over from those Victorian times. All the issues you bring up, of course, are valid but I just looked at them as an expression of her personality. She did have to work for a living after her divorce, which you may not have gotten to, so that also may have generated some of those longings for "the good old days."

I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the rest of the book AND that you were interested enough to try it at all. It makes me happy that one more classic isn't quite as forgotten. :-)