I finished listening to Beautiful Ruins from last week. What a 'beautiful' book....multiple story lines are interestingly woven between the present and the early '60s. I ended up really caring about the characters-- rooting for the underdog, boo-hissing the overindulged, know-it-all, and wishing for a fairy-tale ending.
While I've just started Flight Behavior (Barbara Kingsolver), I'm already sucked into the life of Dellarobia Turnbow. I usually love Kingsolver's work and I think this is going to be another good one.
On the knitting front....is Volt, a lovely shawl designed by Grace Anna Farrow (cabin-mate at Squam last year) from the book The Fine Line. Like the colors? Apparently, I like them alot, too. (My last FO.)
Joining Ginny for yarnalong and Tami for WIP Wednesday!
Am I cheating? The current love-of-my-life (project-wise) is embroidery. A few months ago I pre-ordered The Gentle Art of Stitching by Jane Brocket (author of the Gentle Art of Domesticity ), and had totally forgotten about it. Surprise! It arrived in the mail last week. It contains 40 projects---from Japanese sashiko for furoshiki (Japanese art of fabric gift wrapping), to kantha quilts, to suffolk puffs, to traditional embroidery--all lovely, all inspirational. It's beautifully styled. There are several techniques I'd love to try.....but I grabbed the work-in-progress from the spring Squam market and am (for now) loving the change of pace from wool and needles. (I'm obviously having a seasonal problem---the temperatures have left the 90s finally and cooled-- and I'm leaving--I'm sure just temporarily!!!--my knitting. This makes NO sense to me, either.)
Before putting those needles down, though, I did finish Rikke, knit in some old Jo Sharpe merino dk that has been languishing in the stash since XRX did Camp Mo in Texas...a long, l-o-n-g time ago.
It looks rather plain and somewhat uninspiring....
When Miss V and I were at Squam last month, we shared our cabin with some of the nicest women. You know how women are---we share differ information with different people, and somehow, that information gets passed around. Someone said--you know Grace Anna is a knitwear designer and has published a book? NO WAY!! It's called A Fine Line.
What a coincidence! One of my FAVORITE books (one of the two books I would take with me if I was stranded on a deserted island---as if I could plan that ahead of time....) is also called a A Fine Line, but I'm sure it's a Marianne Isager book---I bought the yarn for one of the shawls and the book from David Codling (US distributor of Isager yarn and the person who organized our trip to Shetland in 2005). Funny that there are two books with the same title. Must chat with Grace Anna about hers!
Grace Anna---TALL (as in 6'2"), stately, drop-dead gorgeous, sweet, soft-spoken, quick witted, very pregnant--and extremely humble. A Fine Line is HER self-published book, using all Isager yarns, and distributed by David who is a friend of hers and owns her "local" yarn shop in Santa Fe (Tutto--I've been there; it's FABULOUS).
I had bought the yarn for Volt which is still one of my favorites, but Grace Anna had Dusk with her and I just couldn't get it out of my mind. When I was stash diving last week (looking for that pink yarn to finish Catkin--which I never found), I unearthed some Jamieson spindrift that Miss V had gifted me from a buying frenzy purchase on that Shetland trip. (She doesn't even really like brown....it was a buying frenzy!)
David (Shetland trip/Anna's friend and book promotor); Miss V (my Squam roommate/gifter of Shetland yarn from our trip to Shetland); Grace Anna (author of the book/cabin mate at Squam)--OK, when I write it out, it doesn't sound quite as coincidental/meant-to-be as it does in my head....trust me, though....it WAS meant to be.
(and, lucky me-- I'm only 5'4". I won't have to make the largest size!!!)
joining Ginny for Yarnalong and Tami for WIP Wednesday!
sad, sad, sad....I couldn't connect at Squam. So here I sit, in a motel-- en route home....14 hours in the car to get us to Cleveland.....phew. Miss V is in the shower, attempting to wash away "camp"....she said she'll be soaking for hours, so let me catch you up!!!
yes, it was this beautiful....
yes, that is Stephanie Pearl McPhee (knitting for speed and efficiency--and I increased my speed by 5 stitches/minute.....she's GOOD!), Jill Draper (knitting geometry), and Franklin Habit (knitting vintage patterns)---three amazing teachers. (note the pineapple bag in the last picture---it's the famous knitty one and it's more gorgeous than you can possibly imagine!)
you would never know this was a camp from the food.....I was too busy gorging myself to take more pictures; I've been dreaming about this Maine blueberry cobbler, though, since I had it Friday. Gotta make one as soon as I get home.
once I saw what was going on in other classes, I wanted to take every class. Such inspiration.
got lucky and saw a luna moth....isn't she beautiful?
The real wildlife encounter....Franklin awoke in the middle of the night to a bear "knocking" on his cabin door; both were bare (Franklin was wearing his vintage nightcap)--both escape being seen.
Saturday was not only my birthday (and the birthday of one of my cabin-mates!), but National Yarn Bombing Day. (I personally find this very appropriate....and am already planning next year's celebration.) Thirty-five lucky people found owls that I made (with the help of my friend, "J") and hid and tossed around all weekend.
oh, yes, there were opportunities to shop. I bought a couple skeins of yarn (we all spent a good deal of time in the dining hall "shopping with our eyes", too--so many fabulous FOs to pick from, so of course, I was inspired....), but what was with all the embroidery I bought????
I was quite smitten with Rebecca Ringquist's work. Wonder if I even remember how to embroider????
But, as wonderful as the scenery was....and the classes....and the food...and the shopping....the very best part of all was all our new friends. Montvert Cabin. BFF!!!
I seems months and months ago that my friend, Miss V, and I signed up to go to Squam. We were pretty quick on the sign up--I knew it filled up fast--but we let less than 24 hours lapse before our registration was in the mail, and I'm pretty convinced that we were among the last people to sneak in under the wire (if not the very last two). Why do I think that? We're in the only cabin without a lake view. (I'm NOT complaining!!! I just think they filled the cabins on a first come/first serve basis; the last ones to make the cut, didn't get the view. I could be wrong, but I got my email confirmation and then another email about 2 seconds later announcing registration was closed. PHEW. That was a close one. If it went alphabetically at the end, I'm a "Y"--I might have been the very very last one to make it in.)
We looked into flying....and then looked at all the stuff we wanted to take....and then looked at the route....and decided it would be much more fun to have a whole car full of knitting and talking books and go to Niagara Falls on the way. Miss V has never been; it's been years since I've been there (we lived there over 30 years ago--the falls might not have changed but I bet everything else has!).
We'reloaded to the gillspacked. We leave first thing in the morning. I decided to throw in the computer---why not? I think the kitchen sink is in there somewhere. I thought I'd take you all along with us--virtually. Who wants to go to Squam????