One of the many reasons I like making blankets is that you can fake the finish pretty early in the process. Here the worsted mitered blanket is....just a mere 57 squares...and already it can (sort of) drape over the back of the sofa when not being worked on. It looks like almost looks like a real afghan. OK. You have to use your imagination just a little bit, but soon it will be an honest-to-goodness fake blanket, looking pretty spiffy and finished---but not. (Only you and I will know the truth.)
The book I'm reading while knitting is a real gem, recommended by friend. Not one that would ordinarily have crossed my radar, but I'm so glad it did. The End of Night is a beautifully written treatise by Paul Bogard on the night time sky...or more specifically, the lack thereof...because of the inundation of artificial light in our society. He begins in Las Vegas at the Luxor Beam, the brightest single spot on the planet, and travels around the world looking at the sky...how it looks now, how it looked in the past, the use and effect of artificial lighting though the centuries. I'm not far into it, but I'm relishing ever page so far. A book that makes you think...and makes you want to turn off some lights.
One place to see real darkness in Manhattan is at the MoMA....Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night. Oil on canvas, painted in 1889--pre-electric light. It was painted in his asylum cell at St. Remy...mostly from memory...but was it really the painting of a madman?
In a letter Van Gogh wrote in 1888, he described a nighttime walk on the beach in southern France:
'The deep blue sky was flecked with clouds of a blue deeper than the fundamental blue of intense cobalt, and others of a clearer blue, like the blue whiteness of the Milky Way. In the blue depth the stars were sparkling, greenish, yellow, white, pink, more brilliant, more sparkling gemlike than at home---even in Paris: opals you might call them, emeralds, lapis, lazuli, rubies, sapphires.'
Who are the madmen now---erasing such a view with the power of the electric light. In 2001 John Bortle created a scale on which he described levels of dark skies, ranking them from 9 (brightest) to 1 (darkest). In this book, Bogard is in search of a 1; he questions whether such a thing even exists in the Lower 48. He strongly believes that most young Americans and Europeans have rarely if ever experienced a night dark enough to be considered a '3'...a rural sky where only some indication of light pollution is evident along the horizon.
Just look at what we're missing.