I bought some buttons to match some brightly coloured yarn. Then I decided that bright orange might not be the best colour for premature babies. So I compromised.
Fronts and back in one piece
I am knitting in two colours. The buttons will match the button band, but the colour scheme is a bit calmer. It is also more interesting to knit, even if there are more ends to sew in. The sleeves will have coloured ribbing.
Detail of inside
I have taken two photos of this work in progress. One of the right side of the body knitted in one piece as described in a previous post. I had to wind a second ball of wool, so that I could knit the second band. This would not have been necessary if I had used the pattern as written and knitted three separate pieces. The second photo is of the inside (wrong side) showing how the two colours are twisted together to make a neat join. Without twisting the yarn when changing colour, the two sections would have to be sewn together afterwards. This technique is used in picture knitting (intarsia).
I have read three books between late January and the end of the first week of February. They were very different books, but had one thing in common: they were all about changing the world in some way. Two were non-fiction and the third was a historical novel – three more highly recommended books.
The Running Hare The Secret Life of Farmland by John Lewis-Stempel
This book is the story of the author’s year-long experiment to use wildflower- and wildlife-friendly farming in a field, which had lost many species due to modern agricultural methods. Apart from his own superb writing, he quotes many other writers from earlier times. He also tells a few amusing stories about things which went wrong for him.
I have already reviewed Meadowland, which he wrote before this book. I found The Running Hare easier to read. It has much useful information about endangered plant species and how different parts of the animal kingdom interact. I returned it to the library before writing this review, but I remember there was also a bibliography.
It was short-listed for the Wainwright prize 2017.
God’s Smuggler One man’s mission: to change the world by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill
I first heard of this book when I was a student, but I have only just got round to reading it! It is a fast-paced story. Brother Andrew as a young man reminds me very much of the author of From Prison to Praise, which I mentioned here. Like that book, it is a page-turner. I acquired my copy in exchange for a voluntary donation to CAPuk.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
I chose this book from the library, having read and enjoyed another book by the same author a long time ago – The Secret Life of Bees. I had completely forgotten what the story of that was, until I read a synopsis at the back of The Invention of Wings. This is set in the 19th century mainly in Charleston, South Carolina. It does not pull any punches about the cruelty of the time, but is well worth reading. There is a bibliography at the end of further reading about the protagonists, Sarah and Angelina Grimké and African culture.
I chose two “How to” books from the Fiction section, having a bit more time to spare than usual when I went to the library. Did the fashion for fiction with titles sounding like non-fiction begin with A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian?
The first book I chose was How to Measure a Cow by Margaret Forster, whose writing I have been enjoying recently. It is set mainly in Cumbria, but partly in the south of England. The characters are well-drawn and the mystery behind the main character is revealed slowly. I found it to be a page-turner.
The second book was How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. It is a fascinating book, well researched and well-written. Although this is definitely a book for adults, it had some similarities in content with a children’s book I read and reviewed – King of Shadows by Susan Cooper. Coincidentally I reviewed that book in the same post as A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (linked above).
Apart from the “How to” in the titles, these two books have a few other similarities. Both explore assumed identities and differences in culture between places in the same country among other things. I recommend them both wholeheartedly.