9 May 2012

Knitting and Reading

First ever pair of knitted socks!  Oh yes indeed.  And a promise fulfilled, after two years...  Socks for my darling husband, for his birthday.  :)  I was terrified of attempting socks, but I really didn't feel I could get away with putting it off any longer.  For goodness' sakes, I've knitted my first cable, I can do lace, I've taken a commission for a huge shawl...  No more excuses!
DSC05728
They are the Broken Rib Socks from Designer One Skein Wonders, and I am still really loving that pattern book.  In fact, the library have kindly renewed it the maximum permitted number of renewals and I'm finding myself thinking I need to buy it.  It's on my wish list.
DSC05775
The short rows for the heels were different to short rows I've worked before though and, well, if I hadn't been so determined to keep my promise...  Patterns for turning a heel are the word of the devil.  I suspect I may make socks again, but it won't be for a while!
DSC105777
Still...  Martin was a very happy husband.  :)  Even if I did only finish the first sock in time for his birthday morning (the second was cast off just before I served up his birthday tea)!  First thing on his birthday, he was handed a Sock IOU and I sat in bed feverishly knitting heel rows while he ate chocolate and drank his first cup of tea of the day.
DSC05780
I have been reading more Star Wars novels.  They are going to leave a little hole in me now that I'm up to date and waiting for the next book to come along - don't you hate it when that happens?  Of course, aforementioned lovely (and very patient) husband will be glad to have me back...  Well, I blame him for buying me the last three books in the series a week ago...

I have switched my attention to yet more "books that may be suitable for Jenna" bought in charity shops for hardly any money.  The Fire Thief is a book you mamas will want to get hold of for any child who loves Horrible Histories.  It's fantasy fiction based on Greek myths and set partly in the Victorian era.  They are witty, human, bizarre, and not very nice.  And they poke fun at grown-up ways of looking at the world.  In short, there's not a lot not to love if you're about ten years old (or wish you still were).
DSC05810
Personally I'm enjoying the Edge Chronicles books a *bit* more, but think it will be longer before Jenna is ready for them.  They're almost on an age-range with the Eragon books - a little easier, mostly because they're shorter, but I make the comparison largely because they are the complex-detailed-fantasy-world type of fiction - and perhaps on par with Discworld books for readability (plus; they have young heroes and heroines... minus; no clever humour to carry the drier plot points).  If you're a twelve year old boy, you might want to nag your mum to get you The Last Sky Pirate and see what you think.  But read the Mortal Engines series first, because it's funnier and faster-paced.

Reading is, for me, like any other activity I love.  I obsess for days, sometimes weeks or months.  I devour twenty books in a row and then barely read a thing for the rest of the year.  Only this time, this current reading spree is lasting and lasting.  Perhaps it's being able to alternate it with knitting - a few pages, a few rows.  Someone asked me the other day how I get the time to knit, with four small children.  I said, "two words: benign neglect."

It's true - it's just not possible to helicopter parent with knitting and a book in your bag.  :)  Jenna will attest to the truth of this, as she got herself caught under a playground roundabout this week and skinned the top of her foot. I realised what had happened right at the point where she limped over to me...  My excuse is that there were lots of other trusted adults around!  And I knew exactly where the toddler was:  Trying to get on the zipwire by herself.  Health and safety, be damned!

(Oh, and that blue silk is finally destined to be an Aviatrix hat for my brother's soon-to-be-born baby.  Hint: don't try winding pure silk into a ball.  It ties itself sinuously into unknottable knots and then sits there looking at you insultingly reminding you how much you spent on it.  Use it from the skein.  It's easier.  Even with a house full of children.)

16 comments:

  1. Lovely, great seeing this on rav this week - they look great so I'm sure you'll do more socks one day.

    We recently picked up the Fire Thief from a charity shop, haven't started it yet as dd is reading How to Train your Dragon at the moment, but devours Horrible Histories books and the show, is really into History at the moment.

    Love your philosophy on H&S!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Benign neglect is the best. ;)

      Jenna doesn't like How to Train your Dragon; I guess she just likes the film incarnation too much there! We need more Horrible Histories books though, definitely. :)

      Delete
  2. I have been knitting for years and have yet to attempt socks... they seem so intimidating. I finally bought some sock yarn last week. Maybe soon I'll toss my fears. Good job on yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou! They're dk weight and worked up very fast (the pattern called for aran). :)

      Delete
  3. Sarah, those socks are just fab :)
    Oh and thank you for this post, you had me chuckling away, I love having friends (ok virtual ones), who make me feel I'm not the only one of 'our' kind lol x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your socks are great, very professional! My husband is yet to get such a treat from me :) I think I share your view on H&S too - the books Idle Parenting has made it acceptable somehow, and it does foster independance and responsibilty in the children, it's all good ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I so need to learn to knit socks, and after a couple of failed attempts am terrified of picking it up again!

    Aviatrix is my favorite baby hat pattern, and your silk looks wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That silk yarn is so beautiful, and I know your right about the horrible tangling that silk does! I was scared of doing my first sock too but now I'm totally addicted to them. Good job on yours they look really comfy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gorgeous socks! :) I am ashamed to say I have two five year old skeins of beautiful Lorna's Laces sock yarn which has yet to be knitted up.
    Was just wondering if you have any book recommendations for 5 yr olds? Am a bit fed up with the faraway tree and she has got hooked on the "whatsername the whatever fairy" series! Bleurgh. Keen to introduce better quality books but she doesn't like scary stuff.
    I am a fan of benign neglect too but I have trouble practising it as a 5 yr old articulate girly girl and a 2.5 yr old boyish boy who talks in telegraphese aren't always the most well matched play buddies! Lol. I have high hopes for the future though! ;)
    Thank you for sharing. Hope you are all feeling better xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have a look through our books and see what I remember reading to Jenna at that age... Have you worked your way through all of Roald Dahl? I think mostly we read those on repeat at five! (Morgan still likes picture books the best.)

      Delete
  8. The socks look great, you are braver then me! As for the knitting with children that just doesn't happen here as they always want to help and touch and feel...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congratulations on your first socks! You'll find that handknit socks are so much better than bought socks. I didn't believe it when I was told, but now - oh my. Oh, and if you're having trouble with the heel, try an afterthought heel. I've only knit one once, but it's basically like a short-row toe. I like toe-up socks too - that way I maximize the use of my yarn.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hae you tried The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D’Lacey? There are seven in the set. My 7 year old loves them. She’s also a huge fan of the Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter. She’d highly recommend both series to Jenna.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool, thank you, I'll keep a look out for those! :)

      Delete
  11. Great socks! They look like they fit perfectly and would go with a pair of jeans :)

    ReplyDelete

Penny for your thoughts? :)