Saturday, May 28, 2005

Next Up

A new book is heading for the bookshelf. I finished Kite Runner this afternoon. I'm still not sure if I liked the book. This was an emotionally difficult book filled with images that I want to leave my mind, but that are stubbornly refusing to depart. Mothers of handsome little boys will probably all have this reaction. The writing was sparse, but I cannot fault the author too heavily for this as my writing is also usually succinct. The imagery was also bare, but generally sufficient. During certain scenes, I was quite glad that the images were not more detailed. The plot had several weaknesses, not the least of which were the many obvious turns. Some of the not-so-obvious turns seemed to stretch plausibility just so that the readers could not completely anticipate the twists. It did seem convenient that all the female influences were wiped out early in the book so that the issues of female roles in Afghan society did not have to be addressed. I found it particularly difficult to accept the lead character's supposition that growing up without a female influence actually left him more sympathetic. Many works have reported the opposite conclusion. Some sociologists suggest that the lack of female influence in the lives of the young men of Afghanistan was a factor in the rise of the Taliban and the resulting suppression of women's rights. Obviously, this is too large a subject for a work of fiction (at least a work of fiction that wants to be published), but to nearly ignore it seemed a grave omission.

It is not clear what book will be next out of the stash. My book club has selected So Big by Edna Ferber for its July discussion. There are so many other tempting books waiting for my attention that I may sit this one out. I am leading the discussion on Kite Runner in June and then on John Adams in August. Perhaps a stint of light reading is in order.

Both Shedir and the second pair of rainbow socks made it off the needles this week. After the initial wrong direction on the cables, the end result is pretty nice. Young Man loves Shedir and wants me to make him one as long as it is a little smaller and in a different color. At midnight, I snipped the last tail for Young Man's new socks. He woke me this morning when he found them on the sofa. The smile on his face was worth the lack of sleep. To be technically correct, the Kid's Poncho is also off the knitting needles. It needs its ends woven in, the two pieces seamed together and the edge added so it is only "done" and not "done done."

The newest project added to the needles is an exercise in masochism. Whoever designed Bernat Matrix had a real mean streak. I thought it would be a real kick to do a drop-stitch scarf as a special gift for my neighbor who shares my birthday. I cast on 50 stitches on US11 needles and went to work. The scarf is now about 8 inches long and is already trying my patience. This is definitely not the relaxing, knit while watching TV project I had planned. Each time I relax my vigilance for an instant, I slip through the strands instead of under them or I forget to YO. Luckily, the pattern is amazingly forgiving. Time will tell if this project actually becomes reality or if it is destined to return to the back of the yarn bin where it will taunt me with its unfulfilled promise for years to come.

I want to start Branching Out, but I don't think it is a particularly good idea to have two taxing projects on the needles at the same time. Maybe I need more socks. That's it, socks.......

1 comment:

Mzungutatu said...

The first time I used Matrix I knit into the thread and I lost and added stitches without noticing it. I had to recount my stitches every row. I became so frustrated I frogged the prject and incorporated the Matrix into another project using Lion Brand Suede. DD, K, is using Matrix to make fashion scarves (as opposed to scarves that warm a neck) for her friends. She apparently got the hang of Matrix before I did.