After I got done with the second pair of foot sweaters I was knitting for my nephew Tyler for Christmas, my knitting slump returned, which is a bit of a bummer. Well, I did knit an earflap hat last night, but I need to add some pom poms and braids to it before it’s really done. But besides that, everything I try to knit lately has turned to crap. I cast on with some handspun yarn last night, and got about 15 rounds into it before I was like, “You know, I don’t even have any idea what I’m trying to make.” Which actually, is kind of okay. Sometimes I think I can get too wrapped up into what the end product is going to be that I forget to just enjoy the actual knitting. So, I’m probably going to knit another hat or something later, while The Office is on (last new episode of the Office is tonight – after that, reruns for forever, I guess, because of the Writer’s Guild Strike. Stupid rich movie producers).
Light posting this past week due to a few different things. I think I kind of sprained my shoulder/back/neck again. I’ve probably been working up to it with all of my knitting angst, but I think I pushed myself over the edge when I started weaving with my brand new shiny Craftstravaganza yarn. Here’s what all of those batts became:
Two skeins, totalling about 250 yards and 13 ounces. Huge! Fluffy! The yarn is really blumpy because all of the crap (and I mean crap in a good way, here) that was thrown into these batts. It’s pretty cool, really, to be able to use what is essentially waste products from other fiber processing and still be able to make yarn out of it (like sari silk is done). I started weaving what I hope is going to be long enough to be a wrap out of it – the width is about 20″ on the loom, and I’d like to get around 65″ long, if possible. Anyway, I think I hurt myself today weaving. Not too badly, though, so I’m just going to take it easy the next few days.
Which is fine, because I went out and bought books (yes, multiple!) for the first time in what seems like forever.
Travis and I went to the Kenyon College bookstore this afternoon. The Sherlock Holmes and the Dickens were what I really went there after (I’ve never really read Dickens, and I’m predisposed to not like any of it, but I’m thinking I should go ahead and give it a shot because broadening horizons is a good thing), but the Erik Larson and the zombie book wound up coming home with me, too. I didn’t realise it at the time, but Erik Larson, the author of “Thunderstruck,” is the same guy that wrote “Isaac’s Storm,” about the huge hurricane in Galveston. I really enjoyed that book, so I’m especially looking forward to the one I just got.
Seriously, here is my thought process on how I picked out “Thunderstruck” – “Hey! It’s a book with a boat on the cover!” (Pick up book, skim the back cover, see the words “stormy coast,” “Nova Scotia,” and “North Atlantic,” decide to buy book). It wasn’t until after I got home and really read the back cover when I realized that I had read a book by the same guy before, and also, that the book was non-fiction.
I suppose I just assumed it was fiction because it was placed right next to “World War Z – An Oral History of the Zombie War.” On second thought (again, hours later) I realized that they were next to each other because they’re both New York Times bestsellers. Anyway, I saw that the author of World War Z was the same guy who had written the Zombie Survival Guide, which we had bought for Christmas for Travis’ brother a year or so ago (and which I read before I wrapped it – I love giving people books 🙂 ), so I had to give this a go. I was intrigued because the book is written in a series of oral accounts of survivors of the sombie apocalypse, and it reminded me of the best and scariest part of Stephen King’s “The Stand” – the chapter that was written in the form of radio and TV transcripts, newspaper articles, etc., that told of the plague spreading across the world.
I read “The Stand” when I was in 4th or 5th grade. My family always had a lot of Stephen King books around, and I especially liked to read them because of all the popular song lyrics that King would throw into his books. “The Stand” has always been my favorite Stephen King book (although some of the Dark Tower stuff comes close), but that particular chapter stands out to me as the finest thing he’s ever written. I’m not the type to read a horror novel and get all freaked out, because for the most part, the situations that they portray are unrreal or fantastic – I can enjoy a good story, but I’m not going to have nightmares or anything because of reading a horror book (now watch me have zombie dreams tonight).
“The Stand” is different, though, because the “monster” is something very real. I’m not talking about the parts of the book that all about the Walking Dude, of course, I’m talking about the actual sickness, the plague. And in this particular chapter in “The Stand,” it’s not just the plague that’s the monster, people are the monster, too. So you get these few records of the complete breakdown of society, of people powered by fear doing horrible things to each other – and that’s real, and that’s what’s scary.
The rest of the book is good, too, but it’s always a bit of a let down after that chapter.
Anyway, I’m about 150 pages into “World War Z,” and it hasn’t exactly reached “The Stand”-like proportions of creepy, but it has its moments. I love me some apocalyptic fiction! High five, Boccaccio! And yes, I’ll gladly take recommendations for people’s best end-of-the-world/plague/zombie books and movies. Bring on the spookiness!