Friday 26 February 2010

Wasted Wisely

I sat here yesterday having decided to turf the greeny colour socks and felt ready to conquer the world. I was ready to paint.

I couldn't. There are no paint trays around here. Methinks the last guy to use paint and roller left them outside where he had them drying and they are now under feet of snow. My carefully planned productive day was done before it began. But the corners are done.

I could have gone to town and gotten a paint tray, but I do work today and I have 2 days to get the painting done before Mr Needles comes home. It seemed like a waste of gas.

So I knit but it was frustrated knitting.

Knitting did work its charms and I was soon a happy camper. I finished up that lovely little homage to the Silk Kerchief that I have been working on. It needs a little blocking and I will have photos tomorrow.

Then I knit on socks, but socks, even nice ones, gave me itchy fingers. There was a Lace Ball, Schoppel Wolles Zauberball like lace, right next to me. I picked it up and cast on a few stitches and played a while. More swatching than sinning really. (My story. Sticking to it.) I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I once had a project in mind, but I think I've another yarn that will work better for that. I took the happy lace off my needles and set it aside.

I picked up the Icarus and knit the rest of the day on it. While I knit, I contemplated lace and how I hate knitting to a deadline, I thought about how I much better I felt for having tried something bright and cheery and how bright and cheery made me feel just a little better.

I knit, watched Olympics and sat in the sun. I did not accomplish anything that I planned, but it was a marvelous day.

Today a little work, a little teaching, a little stopping to get a a paint tray and roller. Bring it on.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Decisions, decisions

OK I lied. I no longer care if I finish two more pairs of socks. I am going to try to finish one.

Did I mention how much I hate the one pair?

I heard about a Raveler who had a scarf of the metal yarn from Habu. The scarf was half knit and she had just plain had it with the yarn. She offered up yarn, pattern, half knit scarf , including needles to someone, anyone who cared.

I realized his is how I feel about these socks. I'll finish them, but I am sure not going to worry about it. And then they are going straight to the charity bin. I do not want to wear them at all.

Having decided this, I feel fresher somehow. As if I already won gold.

Wednesday 24 February 2010

If it were Friday

If it were Friday the painting would be done, and I could sit and knit. If it were Friday, the two pairs of socks I am working on would be done and I would have reached my goal for the Olympic challenge. If it were Friday, I could pull out the new knitting and start to work non it rather than these tired old projects.

Aye there is the rub. Friday or not, I really wish I were knitting on a new yarn and a new project. (This is why this is an Olympic size challenge.) I'm sticking with my old projects, but am finding an inordinate number of reasons not to knit. I might consider painting a subterfuge except I am not getting a lot done there either.

I am making good progress on both pairs of socks that I picked to finish up my challenge. One pair is lovely and are a pleasure to work on. The only reason they have not been completed was the shawl binge of 2009. The other is a real problem pair.

It is a sock made out of Patons Stretch yarn. It's a fine yarn, but the colour is deeply uninspiring. The only reason I am finishing these is because I need socks and because there is just no sock yarn that is too ugly and uninspiring to wear.

I have about two inches of knitting, and heels to go to make these suckers a pair and I will get there, but I am starting to doubt the too ugly and uninspiring to wear part.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Need Paint

I think I need paint. Sigh

I like colour. A lot. All you have to do is recall my studio photos to see the bright yellow on the walls.
Colour like that is only good for small rooms, accent spaces and is best used with care. There is a lot of white furniture in my study, plus a ton of white built in shelving. In my wee study, it works.

In spaces that are larger, with a greater sense of space, I like warm rich tones, softened by gray so that they provide a soft background for our day to day lives. They don't make a statement but they are definite colours and they are not beige.

The upstairs, where the guest room is located, is a soft sage green. Muddy. Neutral. Restful. The outside mirroring the inside, if you will.

My plan was to paint the bedroom in the lighter coordinating 1 off white shade of the same green, and fill the room with bits and pieces of things:
the lovely linens I was given by our Ukrainan family,
a lovely simpler than simple hardanger throw I made a long time ago. The plan was to make curtains/drapes of some sort with the acres of the soft green ramie fabric I have left (originally a 50 cent per metre find in the discount bin at the fabric store). I thought about placing another hardanger panel on the drapes to tie it together. I have a few doilies and pillow covers that will fit in wonderfully too. A touch of old and an homage to handwork and beautiful fabrics.

Yet I find myself in a conundrum this morning. The only thing I have enough of to paint an entire bedroom, is a single, full, untouched can of beige. It is a dark beige, warm chinchilla beige to be exact, but it is, none the less, beige. Not enough of the soft green to shake a stick at.

So I will be off to town rather than painting today. The upside is I'll be going to Tuesday Knitting.

Monday 22 February 2010

Not knitting

Mr Needles has a significant birthday today. Significantly big. Really big. He heads off today, on a big birthday golf trip. We celebrated yesterday instead. Not a lot of knitting was done.

I worked on some socks and on a shawl I forgot about in the depths of the WIP basket, but didn't get a whole lot of anything accomplished. My goal for the rest of the week is to finish two pairs of socks. Each pair has one sock completed and the second started. (I know, I know.) It ought to be a reachable goal.

I'm not expecting to get anything big done this week. That bedroom I was working on a few weeks ago remains unpainted and I am determined to fix that. Today I will be about brush and roller and paint tray. If it weren't for the many corners around the closet shelving and the couple extra corners formed where the closet space is built out into the room, it would take less than an hour to get the job done. The corners will add about three thousand hours to the job (or so it will seem)

I like painting. Just not the corners. I like knitting better.

Friday 19 February 2010

Finish Two!

Finish number two.

The Easy Drop Stitch Scarf. I love these bright colours (much more vivid in life) and I really enjoyed knitting it. Knit knit, floop, knit, floop, floop, knit floop, floop, floop. It was just fun. It feels good to have the pile looking just a little smaller.

The brown sweater is ready for class. Both front and back are ready for the shoulder saddles, and as soon as the class is done, I will sit down and start to knit them. In truth it is hard to have to wait to finish it, but class sample that it is, it must wait.

As I knit on my variety of socks, a couple of shawls, and the mohair sweater I'd like to get done, the one thing that tumbles through my mind is what is next. I do have that little 'Next' silk Kerchief homage in my bag to knit on, but that is just a little fill in project to knit on whilst visiting with friends. It is instead of sock knitting. The big next is what I am thinking of as I work now.

I have a lovely collection of yarns I am thinking of. There is the soft blue Royal Tweed, that is slated for the Susie Hoodie and I'd like to do that so that I have something nice to wear once winter coats are no longer required.

There is a really gorgeous cedar coloured Blue Faced Leicester from Fleece Artist that is going to be the Portland Tweed Vest from The Curvy Knits series Cambridge booklet. It has been on the nest list for weeks now.

There are three cones and a few stray balls of Treliske, an organic natural coloured yarn (no longer available) that is the perfect sort of yarn for my copy of Twisted Stitch Knitting book. The call to knit these patterns is strong.

And then besides all these things, there is a host of crisp lean fresh summer yarns waiting to be knit and a need for light weight summer tops. Louet's pure linen Euroflax, Elsbeth Lavold's Bamboucle, and the strong vibrant dense colours of the simple and simply marvelous Butterfly Cotton.

So many wonderful yarns, so many fine ideas for good things to knit and to wear.

Thursday 18 February 2010


So here it is. Thursday again. The weekend is just one sleep away. It means only one day left to prepare for Gansey Class number two and that means another marathon day. I have, as usual, left things to the last minute. Its like Christmas knitting, only not Christmas.

I'm taking the easy way out and will tell you about some lovely new books in my collection. The store is rich with books right now, and the only thing harder to resist than yarn is books

Books are serious business and I'm trying to build my knitting library with care. I focus on books that expand my knitting skills, pattern collections and the boundaries of the very deep rich history that is knitting.

My long awaited copy of Clara Parks 'Book of Wool' came in. I can't wait to find time to delve into its woolly rich resources. If it is anything so full as the Book of Yarn is, I will use it over and over again.

I had promised that when the Book of Wool came I allow myself a copy of Knitting Brioche. Knitting Brioche is a book about a single stitch, but deep within that single stitch pattern is a wealth of history, technique and variation that is almost as endless as the combinations of the knit stitch itself.

And then there was that Omnibus knitting magazine, Knitting Traditions. If you like historical knitting, this pricey but absolutely stunning collection of knitting patterns from past issues of Piecework magazine is for you.

And then as if these riches were not enough, a shipment of books from Schoolhouse press come in. Besides the stitch libraries, and the Elizabeth Zimmermann books there were copies of Twisted Stitch Knitting, by Maria Erlbacher. This is an English reprint of a book published in 1982. Schoolhouse Press unerringly choose to republish a collection of patterns and stitches that will enrich my knitting for many years to come.

All these books are riches beyond compare, but this last book is the true gem of the collection. Looking in this last book was like dipping my feet into a history that I don't quite remember, a knowledge that lingers just below the surface but that affects everything I do. It is completely new and unknown to me and yet familiar and comfortable. It was wanted before I knew it was there to want.

As good as the others are, this last book eclipses the rest. The riches within its pages will be personal history as soon as the Olympics are done.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Finishing Thing One

Finished. Red Heart Heart and Soul Sock yarn socks. Nice yarn to work with, fun patterns, wear to be determined. It has to go a long way before it meets the high standard set by Kroy and Trekking yarns.

In keeping with my Olympics pledge, I am finishing things. And working on already started things! Most amazing.

It is killing me though.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Red Endings

I worked on all sorts of things this weekend, just as I said I would, working only on existing projects and having a really really good time.

I worked upstairs, in the light that now stops in the dining room a couple of times a day.

I've always loved the way this room filled with light, and I love it even more since we put the second window in. More sun and more light. It made it easy to work on existing things even as my fingers craved new ones (Does this mean that I am a startitis junky?)

I had to stop and take a photo just before I finished the red sweater. Weeks of work all comes down to 11 or twelve stitches. There is something so right in this, something that fills me with joy, but also fills me with a wee bit of sadness too. The rich red yarn was possibilities and this is what I will miss most; that its possibilities are done.

It isn't something to regret for more than a heartbeat. I have an absolutely lovely new sweater in possibilities place.

A red sweater, taken from a pile of red woolly yarn, knit without a pattern, no list of rows to count, no guide other than the 'use your common sense' directions supplied by the how to get there writing in Barbara Walker's Knitting From the Top Down.

Knitting a sweater this way is fulfilling in ways that are hard to describe. Elizabeth Zimmermann's works put me in the drivers seat and Barbara Walker's teaches me how to build the car.

Friday 12 February 2010

Knitting Olympics

I'm not officially joining the knitting Olympics, but I do have a plan. Oh yes I have a specific Olympic plan to deal with something that is a real challenge for me.

The Yarn Harlot said your Olympic project should be something that would challenge you. That was when I started thinking about what challenges me.

I have a lovely stash. Picking something new to knit from the stash is easy. Way too easy. Starting anything has never been a challenge. I'm not interested in deadline knitting and if I am not really into it, I can avoid it without even thinking about it.

A real challenge to me would be dealing with things I actively work on avoiding, things I purposely go out of my way not to see, not to look at, not to acknowledge. Things for which avoidance has become an art form.

As I write this I am sitting at the dining room table. I have been here for the last two weeks, writing and knitting. I have told myself that I am sitting up there to get just a little more sun. I have told myself that I am able to cook better meals if I sit and watch them (no burning of food) Both of these are untrue. The sun is in the kitchen for only 3 minutes a day and the edible food to burn ratio is stable.

I've really been hiding up here in the kitchen. I am avoiding my study. Why am I avoiding my study you say? I'm avoiding it because the pile of unfinished projects has just become too overwhelming.

At every opportunity the projects toss themselves untidily on the floor in a large and noisy pile that threatens to cover all 4 square feet of flooring that isn't furniture. You can't walk in there for unfinished things.

Two rows on a shawl. Two feet of a scarf. Two heels on a pair of socks. Its really very silly.

My greatest challenge is to make a dent in this pile of unfinished things. My challenge is to work my way out of the kitchen and to stop avoiding the study because there is something in there that scares me.

Contrary to knitters everywhere, I am going to work exclusively on finishing what is already on the needles. I am vowing not to start any new projects till the Olympics are over, a huge challenge.

I will win bronze if I have two items finished. I will win silver if I have three items complete. If I finish 4 or more, I will be a gold level winner.

What about one, you ask? If I finish one only, I will be in fourth place. Not going to happen.

The red sweater, and the brown sweater are not part of this. They are part of classes. Work on these two things must continue but both are coming along very well. They are both at the point where they are ready for the next class.

There is plenty of knitting time in the next 14 days. Cheer me on as I cross the finish line. I need all the help I can get.

Thursday 11 February 2010

Do I really want to know?

Down on the side bar of this blog is a little Knit Meter. It records how much I have knit in a year.

I really haven't knit all that much this year. A considerable amount of time was spent reading in January, and so far in February, all I have knit on is a couple sweaters and a little bitty of a shawlette. And a sock or two, currently unfinished. The amount is pretty normal.

The numbers exist only for a wee bit of a challenge that I am working on with the Ravelry Edmonton Knitters Group. The idea is to knit down 5 kilometres of your stash yarn in 2010.

There were conversations in the group, about when a yarn becomes stash and could qualify for the knit down. Were we talking new stash or accumulated stash. Stash of a certain age? If it was knit once, and had to be pulled back and reknit, did it count twice? If you spun the yarn, did that count twice?

The answers were yes. So long as it fits within your personal definition of stash, it counted. My definition of stash? If it comes through the door, and hasn't been put onto the needles before the end of the day it is stash. The yarn that isn't in this category is yarn that left the yarn store and has not been brought into the house...not that that ever happens.

It isn't like I have car stash. Even if I have van stash. Van stash has been in the house already and is a subset of all stash. (The concept of dedicated car stash doesn't sound so out there. ) There is only one 'level' of stash, current stash.

Right now to mid February I have knit 2600 metres. I haven't added anything since the second day of February.

If that is what I knit so far this year, makes me wonder just how many metres is in the complete sta...

Nope not going there. At all. Don't want to know.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Brown and Red

Brown misbehaved. He's taking a wee time out while he thinks about things.

Meanwhile, with loan of a 16 inch needles, have recovered craptacular gauge. Sleeve appeared.

Second sleeve slated to appear this evening.

Tuesday 9 February 2010

More Brown

I did go back to simple seed stitch for the center panel. I am determined to knit this yarn into a first sweater for Mr. Needles. If it means I have to adjust my thinking along the way, I'm good with that. I'll save the fancier and more intricate stuff for a different time and a different yarn.

In just an hour this morning, I knit a couple of rounds, took good look at it, and started the back and forth knitting for the remainder of the front and back. Its a little mind bending to have to adjust the patterning for back and forth knitting. Maybe it is a good thing that the centre panel didn't work out. Knitting it back and forth might have made me nuts.
What really is interesting is how fast this is moving. I thought it was going to take huge effort to get to the armpits, much less to finish to the shoulder, but it is one of those knits that is hypnotic, and very very hard to put down.

I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the yarn, but some is the patterning. It is very very cool watching how fast the cable cross comes up again, and how the horizontal is always offset by just one row. Due to the wonderful job I did planning, I am learning to cable on the purl side as well as cabling on the knit side. Must plan better for next time.

Part of me is wondering if I have to do anything besides knitting so long as this is on the needles, but most of me knows it can only go to the next significant point for the class, and another part knows there are other things to tend too.

It is February, and February is renovation month.

The last time the guest room was painted was 1994,and we are long past time to redo. I'm going to do it right, fill all the holes, and replace all the little finishing details. It means this wall of pictures has to come down.

I'm a little sorry about that, because I really like this wall. It is a mishmash of photos of all the people from our history. All 4 sets of our grandparents are represented here, many of our great grandparents and even one of my great great grandparents, as well as various interesting photos of other relatives, like great Uncle Hubert, with his amazing beard. I like being surrounded by this history, so they will go back up again some way or other but it isn't a job I am looking forward to.

The two things go together in a way. Knitting a traditional styled sweater while working on a project so full of personal history. Tickles my fancy.

Monday 8 February 2010


With the first Adult Gansey Class under my belt, its time to get back to work on the brown sweater for Mr. Needles. While the red sweater is looking good, it is a lot of plain knitting and I really needed a mental break after the gauges problem. I am waiting for Tuesday when a friend with a set of 16 inch needles will put me out of my misery.

Meanwhile, brown is working up very nicely.

When last you saw this sweater, it was an ocean of plain brown, but it was a nice ocean of plain brown. It was left that way so students could see mine in progress just a step ahead of theirs. While I waited I played with stitches and patterns, but nothing was set in my head till it was time to do it.

I knew from a sample at the store, that the yarn worked up beautifully in a full ground of seed stitch, so seed stitch was my fall back position, but I wanted more. Allover seed stitch was not a very exciting prospect. I tried some twisted stitch patterns, some knit and purl patterns, some allover knit and purl patterns, and found that there were things this yarn just doesn't do well.

I picked three things:
seed stitch on the right, a double cable section with banding in between, and a nice little seed stitch based woven band panel.

Nice patterns, quietly strong, just like Mr. Needles. I thought this woven panel would make a great central panel, but just like the knit and purl patterning, the yarn just doesn't do it.

You can see the problem. The weaving pattern shows fine on the stockinette bands. You get a hint of what it could be, but in the seed stitch sections, the patterning just disappears. I suspect that the reason I like this yarn, the airy lightness of it, is the reason it doesn't do well defined very well.

Anyway, it was an interesting exercise that made me understand yarns like this a little better. There are a couple of these airy light things on the market right now, and they will cable incredibly well, but patterns relying on clear edges, are not going to show up well.

The more I knit, the more I come to see, there is a yarn for everything, and an everything for every yarn. A great looking project isn't just a matter of the getting the right gauge. Its also about understanding the qualities of the yarn, about working with the yarns strong points. It is about letting go of preconceived ideas and working to find the beauty the yarn holds inside.

I started with a different plan for this sweater, but letting my plan go hasn't been hard. The real goal, the only goal, like the hopes for every sweater before it, is to have a sweater he will love to wear.

Friday 5 February 2010


In between working on the Gansey Class notes, goofing off with the old catalogue (Till noon. Seriously), and scrolling around the Internet, I knit a little on the red sweater sleeves.

Both sleeves appear to match, both sleeves caps are complete. All that needs doing is to knit to the cuff. Ought to be easy right?

But no. Look closely at the pictures. You can see the line right where I switched to double points. Sloppy normal knitting above, incredibly decent, even knitting below.

I'm not really enjoying knitting the sleeves. There is so much fabric to move all the time, and the dpns, at this size, feel awkward and uncomfortable. Why awkward and uncomfortable is giving me new incredibly even knitting skilz is beyond me.

I'm going to have to have a 4mm 16 inch needle with nickel tips. Without it, I don't see me getting out of this kerfuffle. The store doesn't have any in stock, and cannot seem to keep 4mm needles in stock no matter how often she orders. The city is having a crisis where every man jack of us needs 4 mm needles.

I have always felt that 16 inches was an unnecessary needle length. You can use dpns as easily without the expense of needles devoted solely to sleeves. Right? Apparently not.

I tried longer and magic looping. Gauge problems.

I tried bamboo dpns. Gauge problems.

I dug out 5 metal needles. Gauge problems.

I even tried a slightly shorter Denise needles. Too few stitches to get round properly.

This is just not the time for craptacular gauge to go missing. Not now with the just the sleeves and finishing details to do.

I'd be a whole lot more pleased with this difference in gauge if the whole sweater was the tidy bit, and I just needed to be tidier for the last bit. But nooooooooo, the whole sweater is a little sloppy. I have to go searching for untidy, looking for sloppy knitting.

Not that I am frustrated. Sigh.

There is one more thing to try. I am going to get some 4.5 mm dpns, and see if I can't meet my usual sloppy loose gauge.

Or a 4.5 mm 16 inch needles.


Thursday 4 February 2010

Preparing for Gansey Class

I'm getting ready for another Gansey Class today. We are going to make an adult version this time, and because one of the ladies took the baby class, I want to find more unusual stuff, not just about Ganseys, but about the history of sweaters.

Going through my bookshelves, I came across my reprint copy of the 1901 T.Eaton Co. Catalogue. I completely forgot about this book while getting ready for the Baby Gansey Class. I wondered what the average turn of the century Canadian would have been buying in sweaters and yarns.

I investigated. Which is of course why this post is rather late. I spent several cups of coffee poring over its interesting pages.

I checked out the price of yarn, which ranged from 75 cents to $1.15 a pound for fingering weight yarn, and for the lone listing as worsted knitting yarn, (extra strong and durable) for 50 cents a pound. Names familiar to Canadian and British yarnies such as Baldwins, and Beehive appear, but Eaton's had its own yarn, branded as Eaton's Scotch. Though priced by the pound they seem to be sold as one ounce skeins.

There is a selection of things familiar to lace knitter's (if you have Victorian lace or are interested in old pattern books) noted as Berlin Wools. These are much finer, and several are noted as floss or have notations of good used for the type of yarn. Vest wool, a silk and woolen blend for edging garments. The price for these is harder to figure. Many are listed only as sold by skein. Two, Wyvern and Lady Betty, are sold by skein and pound. My guess is that skeins were an ounce here as well.

Knitting and crochet cottons sold for 5 cents a ball. How much is on a ball, I cannot say, though two brands refer to a hundred yards for the much more expensive 12 cents. The familiar names Coats and Anchor show up.

Crochet hooks were 2 for 5 cents and came in lengths up to 10 inches long. Knitting needles of steel came for the bargain price of 3 cents for a complete set (though it doesn't say what was a set), and better quality bone and rubber needles were 10 cents a pair. Wood needles, 5 cents a pair.

We are far from these prices, and yet, if you been around yarn for a while, the names are comforting and familiar.

Interesting reading, but there is so much more. I'm going to stop a little longer here, contemplating the mysteries of Braids and gimps and pages of ribbons before moving on with my day. Not really the history of sweaters, but hey, a little side trip is good for the soul.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Still knitting red.


No it isn't that bad. I'm just kidding. But the red sweater is on hold till I can find a different needle. All my sets of dpns are 4s and I find I really don't like bamboo needles with this yarn. I am going to invest in a 4 mm 16 inch needles.

It seems to be working, the number of stitches for each sleeve seems to be the same, and the caps have the same shaping. Seems to be working. But you know how things sometimes fall apart when you see the complete project? Could still happen.

I am noticing how low the front v is. It is below the my bust line. I think my planned I cord edging will still work, but it is going to look just a little different than what I pictured in my mind. Not bad though, just different.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Its not dishes.

All the reading I have done in the last few days means its been sort of blurry around here. No close work for me. Everything I have to do today is not close work, but rather detail work. Not big new things, but the things that make the world go round, the detaily things that keep the household moving. Even my knitting is like that.

I have been working on the red sweater. The second try at a sleeve is almost ready for a try on. The knitting feels like a chore. Sort of like laundry. These rows are not exciting. They just need to get done. If there was a way around them, boy I would take it. But just like laundry, it must be done before I can move forward, or go out of the house.

I'll knuckle down and do it. I'll knit those rows and get them done. It will feel like a chore till I know its going to work. But first I have to go do a load of laundry.

I have only one consolation. I'm not picturing doing dishes when I think about this place I am at and how I feel about this tedious red knitting.

Cause when knitting starts to make me think of doing dishes...

Updated to add:

Successfully avoided thinking about the dishes. The red sweater sleeve fits. It not only fits, it fits well. Almost perfect. Feel like walking around shouting 'dang I'm good'. Will not give in to the impulse or the knitting gods might strike me down. I still have the 2nd sleeve to knit. Plenty of room for screwing up yet.

Monday 1 February 2010


Since it is now the beginning of February,its time to report on my novel reading for the month of January.

If you check my sidebar, I read 5, 5 novels this month. I haven't read this many novels in a month for a long time. There were a few years recently past where I doubt I read 5 books a year much less just novels. It was taking it to the outer limits of what my eyes could cope with. There was a whole day this last week where focus deserted me entirely but I read 5 novels.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant Good book. Bible stories, with a modern woman's take on the place of women in ancient societies. Not a bad sort of fun.

In Another Light by Andrew Grieg. Good book, though there is something a wee bit grating between the two stories being told in tandem (father's and sons). Perhaps the tension was meant to be like that.

The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys. An absolutely lyrical read. This is the one I'll reread right away I think there is much more to catch that I just couldn't absorb the first time. It is one of those books that should be read slowly, one bite at a time so her written pictures get a chance to flower in your brain.

New York by Edward Rutherford. I was at Costco. The book was at Costco. It fell into my cart. I love how he writes his stories, a history of place through its people, through families stories. This was a found book, and an accidental choice, not planned or listed but wonderful all the same.

And lastly, The Arrival. We were discussing graphic novels at the library. I have reservations about them as 'books' and whether they should be counted as reading. They are very popular and populist and it was time I read one. It is another way to tell a story and it is sharing stories, not the reading of books that has been with mankind throughout the millennia.

FrazzledKnitter said to start with a first rate book and suggested this one. The more time you spend in the Arrival, the deeper you come to understand an immigrant's experience of submersion in a utterly foreign landscape. It gives you an inkling of how it must feel to be surrounded by world so foreign that you don't have even the shorthand to imagine it.

This one is going to stay with me, popping into my thoughts at odd moments. Reading the story demanded I go somewhere else to get something out of the story. For a little while, as I made my way through its pages, I was the immigrant, who didn't understand what was going on around me.

I'm still not sure if the experience of graphic novels is reading. Its seems more a new way, a unique way of sharing a story. That said, till they count it as something else, though, I'm quite content to count it among my novels read.

It was a great month, and I am thrilled with my total, but it's kind of nice that I can get back to whatever strikes my fancy. I have a small pile of what strikes my fancy waiting for me. It like knitting. Just a little everyday and you can accomplish unbelievable things.