Autumn 2013

Autumn 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Too much going on?

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Apple Basket!
We are having lovely October sunshine again after a couple of rainy days – the forecast promises more rain soon, though, and cooler temperatures, so this is only a short reprieve before the cold season settles in to stay. I have been out picking more apples and taking pictures of the glorious display of many-hued foliage that the trees are putting on.

This week, I am keeping it short and sweet; I have been grading the first test done by my Latin students, there are a couple of September short stories still waiting for my feedback, and I am working on two knitting patterns, writing, editing, and translating them for publication.

So right now, I am in that annoying state of feeling that I am neglecting at least three things no matter which one I am currently doing. You know what I mean, right?
Just before, I was trying to get back into writing mode and instead went upstairs to find yarn for socks – after having done some editing on the sock pattern while ignoring the untidy kitchen and forgetting my coffee that was cooling as I photographed autumn trees outside.
Some days are just like that.

The Knitting
The Leaf cardigan: I finished the garter edge and moved on to the first sleeve. It was quite a thrill to see the body of the cardigan gradually emerging from the scrunched-up state it had been in while bundled onto the cable of the circ, and resuming its proper shape, now neatly outlined.
I am really beginning to look forward to wearing this cardigan – though it may have to wait till spring. Depends on the weather, we’ll see. And on how much I let myself be distracted by other knits instead of plugging along on the sleeves.

The stripy socks have been marching along, if you’ll pardon the pun; I brought them for the day of the testing, when I spent one lesson of each double watching the students while they were toiling (well, some of them toiled, others did the thing and proceeded to be bored the rest of the time).
These are the ones I made in the inexpensive Bumbo sock yarn, in some purple (left over from my Fosco socks) together with a multi-coloured version, in greens, blues, and purples. The long colour changes have made for interesting stripes that were deemed ‘hippie-like’ by one of my students. Can’t blame him for that.
So, now I have a pair that should fit me well and fit into shoes; next, I will make a pair without stripes to a) keep my feet warm and b) have a pair to show on the pattern page, when I get to that.
And a pair in the XL size, for one of my boys (or maybe more pairs, for more boys), to check the numbers.  

I finished also the Rêveur cowl, the one inspired by Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus; it is lovely and soft and warm – and the moebius cast-on (which really is a lot easier than it looks) makes for a fun knit. The pattern will be coming out soon, in time for Christmas knitting :o)

Now, I announced last week my intention to knit another sleeveless o w l s jumper, partly to push myself into getting it started – or have to admit defeat. And that would have been embarrassing, right?
So, I cast on last night, in Studio Donegal Aran Tweed, something I bought in Dublin two years ago. I am working it top down like the first one, my Upside Down Owls. I’m at the bellies of the owls right now; the aran weight yarn on 5 and 5.5 mm needles make for a quick knit.

The Books
I haven’t done much reading this week; my current paper book is The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, which I really enjoy. Mostly, though, I only get to read in bed, and several evenings this week, I have been too tired to even reach out and pick it up. But, as it is a library book and due back next Thursday, I decided to make an effort – I may be able to extend the loan, but then again, it may have been ordered by someone else – and so it became a companion to the o w l s knitting.
The narrative has multiple layers: the present and the memoirs of the first-person narrator; clips from newspapers; a novel written by the narrator’s sister – and in that novel, a story told by one character to another, from which comes the title of the whole package. I love enveloped tales, finding threads between layers and marvelling at the complexities.

Listening is easier to get done, particularly of course while driving. And so, I have finished Silver, written by Andrew Motion and read by David Tennant. This is a sequel to Treasure Island, featuring Jim Hawkins Jr. and Natalie Silver – called Nattie or Nat – undertaking a voyage back to The Island (Lost, anyone?) to appease the ghosts of their fathers’ shared past.
We get the traditional adventure elements, known from the original story: the sea voyage, including storms, the island, the battle against the pirates – the three men who were marooned when Jim Hawkins Sr. and his fellows left the island 40 years ago.
Added to these are more modern themes: the flora and particularly fauna of the island turns out to be rather special; questions of slavery and gender are dealt with, and not surprisingly, we have a budding romance. The ending of the book allows for a sequel – I don’t know if Motion plans to write one, or is content to leave the rest to the readers’ imagination.

Well, that’s all for now; as advertised, the offerings are slim this week – thank you for stopping by, and I hope you will return next time for more.

Until then: have a lovely week, enjoy the season, and take of yourself and your loved ones!

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