there was no knitting on the menu this week. i have a couple more rows to finish the “Like Sleeves” for Miss L. but I am afraid i miscalculated the amount of yarn needed. i am not sure why i am waiting to finish it, it’s very unlikely the yarn will lengthen on its own. i am hesitating between starting a new project or just finishing this one. Amanda just finished a textured shawl and that beauty has been on my list for quite a while now. maybe that would get my needles moving again.
when compiling the list of books i read this week i found an explanation to my lack of knitting. i think i have been holding a book for much of the week. my absolute favorite was “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking”. i read this book in a record amount of time and it has been the subject of numerous conversations i had lately. susan cain takes us on a journey from Dale Carnegie birthplace to a seminar with Tony Robbins, from a mega-church to the halls of Harvard school. she charts the rise of the extrovert ideal in the twentieth century and how dramatically we undervalue introverts in our society. how we stopped admiring character and instead replaced it with personality . in a world that values self-promotion, brainstorming and group work she makes the case for respecting other ways of working and creating. the book is amazingly easy to read and compelling in so many ways.
the little giant of aberdeen county was my next book. it the extraordinary story of Truly, extraordinary because of her size and also because she manages to stay caring and loving despite terrible circumstances.
I picked up red hook road because of a quote about marriage from the book that i found beautiful. despite the tragedy of the death of their children on their wedding day two families manage to survive and find new ways to love. it’s a beautiful hymn to family and the importance of traditions.
“That was true, Iris would sometimes think, about marriage: it was only a boat, too. A wooden boat, difficult to build, even more difficult to maintain, whose beauty derived at least in part from its unlikelihood. Long ago the pragmatic justifications for both marriage and wooden-boat building had been lost or superseded. Why invest countless hours, years, and dollars in planing and carving, gluing and fastening, caulking and fairing, when a fiberglass boat can be had at a fraction of the cost? Why struggle to maintain love and commitment over decades when there were far easier ways to live, ones that required no effort or attention to prevent corrosion and rot? Why continue to pour your heart into these obsolete arts? Because their beauty, the way they connect you to your history and to the living world, justifies your efforts. A long marriage, like a classic wooden boat, could be a thing of grace, but only if great effort was devoted to its maintenance. At first your notions of your life with another were no more substantial than a pattern laid down in plywood. Then year by year you constructed the frame around the form, and began layering memories, griefs, and small triumphs like strips of veneer planking bent around the hull of everyday routine. You sanded down the rough edges, patched the misunderstandings, faired the petty betrayals. Sometimes you sprung a leak. You fell apart in rough weather or were smashed on devouring rocks. But then, as now, in the teeth of a storm, when it seemed like all was lost, the timber swelled, the leak sealed up, and you found that your craft was, after all, sea-kindly.”
i also read a visit from the goon squad and Let the great world spin. i just realized that all four fictions dealt with stories of love and redemption. it was not intentional but yes that was the common thread.
today i started the witch’s daughter and imagine. i will be sharing more about it next week unless knitting takes over 🙂 wouldn’t it be perfect if i could read and knit at the same time.
what are you knitting and reading?