Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Weekend with a Book and Assorted Stitches

Thank you from FL for all your birthday wishes :)
That's another birthday season successfully negotiated - phew!
So what am I doing now that I am not racing the sock clock?

Sewing isn't happening, but I have been preparing to sew.
I have traced the patterns for the Eloise and Melanie dresses from Un Ete Couture, but am hesitating over fabric purchases and questioning whether either style is truly "me".
I have reached a point where my me-made wardrobe feels adequate for my lifestyle and the season, with a few recent makes still unworn.  So I feel no compulsion to sew to fill gaps or simply to have new things. 
I would really like a linen Beatrice pinafore, but can't seem to commit to buying the fabric.  While I barely blink at spending £30 on yarn, it feels like a lot to spend on fabric for a single garment that I intend to wear around the house.
I have cut out my Snow White's apples fabric to make a blouse, but as I haven't yet worn either my stripey blouse or my Afternoon Blouse, it feels... superfluous to make another.

There was another burst of crochet activity yesterday, resulting in me running out of teal cotton about 18 inches from the end of a round of my giant mystery blanket.
I felt so frustrated with myself for such a lack of planning!  So I have now ordered an extra ball of each of the remaining colours, in the realization that I WILL run out of yarn.

So I am knitting - of course.
I am at the end of Clue 2 on Sock 1 of Rachel Coopey's Pavilion sock.  Clue 3 is out now and I will take it to the waiting room on Tuesday and hopefully polish that off this week.
Meantime I am ploughing up and down the ever-lengthening rows of my laceweight Vintage Fremont shawl.  I am now on my 20th "point".  At some point soon, I will have to decide to start the zigzag edging / bind off, but I am aiming to use as much of my yarn as possible.
I am trying really hard not to cast on anything new until I finish one of these projects.

I have just emerged from a binge-reading of "My Salinger Year" by Joanna Rakoff.
Some unkind people have suggested it is"The Devil Wears Prada" set in the literary world.  Well...only in the sense that she (the author) has a demanding and slightly eccentric boss and works as an Assistant.  Otherwise?  No - this is a really compulsive and well-written book, a literary book, a book about literature and writing and reading.
Joanna Rakoff herself draws comparisons between herself and Jean Rhys, and there are elements of that same melancholy hopelessness of a young woman depending on a man for her place in the world.  And sometimes I could shake her... while at the same time recognising my younger self and that implicit belief in "destiny".  Oh dear me, yes.
JD Salinger himself has a walk-on part in this autobiography.  And I need to re-read Joyce Maynard's autobiography now, At Home in the World, to see if I recognise him as the same person from a different angle.
Have I read any Salinger?  Nope.  I have tried to read "The Catcher in the Rye" and I spent some time with "Franny and Zooey" once upon a time, but I couldn't get on with either.  Maybe I need to try again.
My Salinger Year left me wanting more.  I enjoyed Ms Rakoff's voice and I really really want to know what happened next and why and how:  "Three years later I would pack up my children and leave him for my college boyfriend."  You did?  You DID?  What, that same guy you have been mentioning all the way through with such wistfulness?  Oh come on Joanna, spill the beans!  More, more!
I think you might enjoy this book.


Kestrel said...

I love the colours of your crochet. the teal and orange together are delicious

colesworth said...

I just finished My Salinger Year this weekend! Read the Joyce Maynard one about 10 yrs ago and slogged through a new bio last year. I've now read more books about him than I have read his books. I looked up Joanna Rakoff and I think you can listen to a short BBC radio doco that she made, so I plan to do that.

I want to see that apples blouse!

Linda C said...

Thanks for the book recommendation. Sounds interesting. Maybe I can get my book club to read one of the Salinger book sometime. Better than some of what we end up.

I read CATCHER IN THE RYE way back - didn't care for it. Holden reminded me too much of some guys I knew, including a cousin. All I could think of was "SPOILED". I did read FRANNIE AND ZOOEY and I like it very much at the time. I read it several times. I think it was one of the books I thought I found the secret of life in, or a part of the secret of life. I'm not sure I would think so now. I used to read Aldous Huxley - all the books I found - and I was sure I was learning all about the secret of life. Last winter I found one of my old paperback, very tattered, of a Huxley book I loved. I decided to donate it, felt bad and read (skimmed) through it. Oh dear, boring,sort of the same story from the other books, my old love affair with Aldous was definite over- I had gone way past him He too was stuck in an attitude, past Holden, but still "the superior young man."

Saw a documentary last year about Salinger' life , and mostly his life with women - a bit on his children. Poor man, he was an older Holden I think.


Linda C said...

By the way, SOUTH RIDING re-run was on last night , all three episodes from 10 to 1am. I was glad I saw it because I missed parts and did not get all the story before. Not sure if I got it all this time. But my real point was I thought of the SOUTH RIDING blouse you made a few years ago. I love the clothes - and there was Mrs Crawley Sr. from DOWNTON ABBEY.