Knitting & Reading

Meet Larry the Leicester. I am knitting Larry out of British Sheep Breeds DK in Bluefaced Leicester cream and brown. The pattern is Janice Anderson's free sheep pattern (pdf). I made a slight mess of picking up stitches around Larry's face (the decreases stand out more than I'd like), but I hope it'll even out once I stuff the toy. I'm knitting Larry on request, but I'm actually enjoying the process way more than I thought I would.

I'm really, really loving the BSB wool: it is a heady combination of the rustic wools I love so dearly (smells faintly of sheep, is unprocessed, comes in natural colours only) and the tempting butter-soft merinos I keep going back to (so very soft, feels great as you're working with it, next-to-skin smooth). I had no idea it would be so fabulous, although my friend LH has been in raptures over it for as long as I have known her. I really have to knit a jumper or cardigan out of it one of these days. Srsly.

In very related news, my knitting bag is safe. Don't ask.

I finished reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go on Friday and I was very disappointed. The book has a meaty subject matter and Ishiguro has the necessary writing chops, but instead of an "extraordinary", "enthralling" and "masterly" book I was left reading a rather tedious, flawed novel. I get that Ishiguro writes about people unable to live full lives, people who are somehow lost (even to themselves) and people who are out of step with time. I get that he "writes like someone impersonating a realist" with resulting defamilarization etc. Still, the novel has an extraordinarily clumsy dΓ©nouement, the plot has numerous gaping holes and the writing felt lazy as though Ishiguro was painting by numbers. Never Let Me Go just did not add up as a satisfactory read and I am left wondering if the glowing reviews (and subsequent prize-nominations etc) were the result of Ishiguro's reputation as an important British novelist or if I am losing my grip on what a good literary novel reads like.

Next: I have exchanged my book vouchers for Toibin's Brooklyn and Mantel's Wolf Hall. I even got Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo thrown in as a special offer, although I rather regret not getting it in Swedish (but then David would be disadvantaged).