Thursday, June 7, 2012

when we're not knitting

We love to read. (It definitely gets in the way of the knitting sometimes.) And a few weeks ago I was joking to Pat about how every year my sister and I decide to read War and Peace together, just 10 pages a day. Pat loved the idea and took it and ran. Now a whole group of us are doing it, in a totally non-organized fashion -- more like a support group than a book club, really. We started last Friday, June 1, and have given ourselves October 1 as an end date. Pat did all kinds of research  before choosing her translation; I had already bought a copy of a well-regarded new translation  (sometime in the last 10 years) so that's the one I am reading. No particular translation is required or considered the best one.

Pat sent an email that sums up the project, so with her permission, I am just copying it here to explain. She called it "the greatest novel ever written" - I will decide whether I think that's true when I finish. Here's what she said:

I'm sending this invitation out to folks I know who love to read...including my entire knitting group.  If you'd like to read War and Peace, join me, Elizabeth, and Chilisa and read it this summer.  We'll form an email group or start a blog or find someway to communicate our thoughts, it will be an online and in-person book discussion and should add to the fun of reading a hefty novel.

Chili and I have never read it before and feel like we should read the book that some call "the greatest novel ever written."  I believe Elizabeth has started it but perhaps not finished it?  Chili is reading the Maude translation on her Kindle, Elizabeth is reading the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation in print, while I will read the Anthony Briggs translation in print augmented by the Maude translation on my iPad.  I'm going to try and read +/- 20 pages a day and we will be starting on June 1st.  Let me know if you'd like to join us and don't hesitate to send this on to anyone else you think would enjoy the challenge.

If anyone out there wants to join us, just say so and I will add you to our google discussion group.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

a hand for afghans for Afghans

Pat and I are (you've heard this before) long-time supporters of afghans for Afghans. I sent things in for their very first campaign, and have missed only 3 or 4 in their entire history -- more than 10 years now. The current quick campaign is collecting mittens, socks, and hats for kids who live on the streets or are what is known as IDPs -- internally displaced persons -- who live in camps that provide little shelter against the elements. And winter that close to the Himalayas is cold. I am mailing these on Monday:

From top down: Lopi, a tweedy yarn that I will have to identify later, Brown Sheep Bulky green, Brown Sheep Bulky red with gold stripes (10 points for Gryffindor!), Brown Sheep Bulky purple, Lion Brand Fisherman's wool held double, Elann Peruvian Highland Wool held double, and Knitpicks gray and red ragg (Wool of the Andes, I think, and no longer available unless I'm not looking in the right place)  held double. All but pair #2 (Takhi multicolor) followed this pattern, using the instructions that start with a cast-on of 28 stitches and appropriate needles for bulky weight yarn. Variations in the thickness of the yarn created mittens of different sizes. 

The deadline to get things to A4A in San Francisco is sometime mid-July. There is still plenty of time to whip up a pair of mittens or socks, and think how good it will feel to know some kid in miserable circumstances feels just a little bit better.