Karie Bookish Dot Net

Tag Archives: Musings

Snapshot: Saturday July 26 ’08


Barack Obama is in London. BBC News is showing the door to Number Ten and is building up the tension. The channel has two experts commenting (one qualifies by being American, the other by being a UK blogger) and finally Obama steps out ans answers questions we cannot hear. BBC News keeps saying that Obama’s visit to Germany was tantamount to rock star adoration. Maybe Obama is not giving a speech to thousands of people here in the UK, but BBC News is certainly guilty of the rock star treatment too. I find it amusing when media double standards/lack of self-awareness are as evident as they are right now.

Today’s edition of The Guardian has a special supplement on ‘rebel knitting’. As I’m the polite sort of person, let’s say the patterns are unexciting. The introduction to the new wave of knitters is okay, though. I recently read Knitknit: Projects and Profiles of Knitting’s New Wave which is an excellent overview of avant-garde artists, edgy knitwear designers and intersection between art and craft. It also deals hands-on with the politicisation of knitting which the Guardian’s supplement also addresses. (Yes, I’m the sort of person who has to intellectualise activities)


The kitchen needs tidying, there is laundry to be done and, oh, there are crisp croissants to be had in a minute.

The Bonfire of Good Intentions

If I’m going to have to rip out another effing row on the neckline on my effing sweater, I swear I’m going to toss the effing thing on the bonfire I’m going to build in our backyard. What do you mean “Well, it’s your first attempt at an actual garment and you did abandon the pattern after the first three rows”? That’s not the point!

The bonfire I’m going to build will consist solely of good intentions gone awry: my copy of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” that I took with me across the North Sea in the misguided belief that I’d read it (and left my vintage Georgette Heyer novels in the discard pile while I was at it); the tins of dry yeast that have been sitting in my cupboard for a long, long time waiting for my bread-making to re-ignite; the clothes I was going to mend last summer but haven’t; the plants I forgot to water after having declared 2007(!) the year I was going back to have plants in my home. Let’s not go into my decision to re-reinvent cabbage.

Okay, maybe the sweater will not go the way of the plants or the culinary plans. Knitting continues to astonish me – not just the process of taking a string of X material, looping it in various ways using fancy sticks and ending up with a textile, but also the actual community surrounding fiber arts and crafts. I may be frustrated by a sweater refusing to shape up exactly as I had envisioned it, but the frustration is countered by warm and witty encouragement from the knitting community.

Just three more rows of moss seed stitch and I swear this’ll be it. Grrr..

PS. I have actually begun reading again! Hooray!

Brief Interlude on Language

Watching the Austrian cellar abuse scandal unfold, I could not help but wonder one thing. How had the imprisoned children’s linguistic skills developed? I learned from the BBC that some of the children communicated with each other in ways that did not adhere to standard German linguistic structures. The Austrian news story is horrifying, of course, and I feel slightly guilty that I find its language acquisition aspect so intriguing. It also led me to briefly reacquaint myself with the legend of Kaspar Hauser and the idea of universal grammar. I should get out more.

Speaking of which, I just finished knitting my first major project (I’m going to be self-indulgent enough to post a picture once I know the recipient has received it). The cherry trees outside are beginning to bloom. And while I am still struggling with stamina and energy, I do think I am getting better ever so slowly.

A Corner of a Foreign Field

A blustery day in Glasgow. We seized the moment when the rain stopped and went into city centre to buy me a cinnamon latte and browse quickly through the bargain offers in Waterstones. This is what passes for normalcy – I could do it because the city was quiet, I had company and I had had a good night’s sleep. Yes, I am starting to get cabin fever but the next hospital visit is on Wednesday. Please cross fingers for a solution.

In the meantime life goes on.

And life right now equals being crafty with yarn. I have embraced Etsy – although I am slightly disturbed by the fact that you can buy handmade nipple tassels (link not safe for work, obviously) as well as pig ballerina cloth sanitary towels (reusable) (link not safe for your sanity). I have also become a beta tester of Ravelry which is a knitting/crochet community. I feel very middle-aged – particularly as I have been crocheting along to PUPPIES these past few days. Youth, youth, where hast thou gone?

Finally, I’m much amused by The Independent‘s latest marketing decision: free glossy booklets featuring the Great Poets. Who else would have thought that would entice more people to pick up the newspaper? Who?

Slices of Life

Since I last had an MRI scan (mid-90s, if I recall correctly), technology has allowed the patient to listen to the radio during the scan. Unfortunately this meant I was forced to listen to a talk show debating killing stray dogs and then people suffering from claustrophobia. Not ideal listening material for someone who likes dogs and is trapped inside a snug plastic tube for 40 minutes.

Seeing as today is Super Tuesday, the Slate article, Can I Get My 5-Month-Old Daughter Photographed With Every Presidential Candidate? is a very apt link. The photos are great – I particularly like the first Barack Obama photo and the hilariously panicky Rudy Giuliani photo.

Today is also Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Tuesday – here in the UK. I made pancakes earlier today and served them Danish style with butter, a touch of ground cardamom and granulated sugar. Multi-culturalism r us, yo.