Posts Tagged ‘filet’

Questions of judgement

Thursday, 21 August 2008

So, having coming up with lots of interesting phrases and comments to work into my tablecloth, how come I started this massive – and thus boring to do – picture that’s taking up a very large portion of it? I haven’t made any appreciable progress on it today at all. I suppose I should go back to the motifs, which are small and interesting.

236. Mother by Kathlen Norris

Today’s new offering from Librivox is their first by Kathleen Norris, a short (seven chapters) well-read fable. According to Wikipedia it’s the first of her many very popular sentimental/romantic novels, and this certainly fulfils the description. The issues here, of the values and aspirations of middle and upper (in American terms) class women, and how many or any children fit into these, are still recognisable today, although the past 95 years have certainly made a difference!

Although the inspirational, eponymous Mother of the main protagonist, Margaret Paget, has quite specifically withdrawn herself from all close relationships beyond her husband and seven children, this is not the only lauded womanly role; Margaret’s slightly older friend and colleague, the widowed Emily Porter, is presented from the first as having fought for her teaching post, both for the enjoyment and for the financial security it brings herself and her two children. Margaret (Mark to her family, Peggy to her New York friends and acquaintances) is given the opportunity to compare and contrast their examples of giving, fecund maternity to the life of leisure and suavity she has always wanted and takes full advantage.

Niccolo Rising chapter 12. Claes’ unexpected skills come through.


Flitting About

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

filet butterfly

I’ve done this simple filet pattern twice recently in swatches (both in my Ravelry projects), so I thought I should put it into the tablecloth as well. I’m now working on another picture in it, that I knew would be big, but that looks to be taking up the vast majority of the piece now, which I didn’t really intend it to. Nevermind. So long as the yarn doesn’t run out it’ll all come together.

234. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

I must have spent practically one whole summer watching the old black and white Tarzan films on the television (they had a different one on at the same time every day), and then a year or two ago I found a new edition of this first book of the series, bought it and read it, but didn’t find any of the later ones. Now I find that Librivox has the first and third, with the second in a limbo, part way complete. So I just listened to the first now, and intend to listen to what there is of the second, and read the rest on Project Gutenburg, then listen to the third, and possibly read some of the others. (I believe they may not all be out of copyright as yet.)

I am starting to wonder, listening to all these classic/old novels, just how much the inherent racism can just be ignored as a product of the times in which they were written. Not that it isn’t true, but for myself perhaps I should protest, or stop listening, or something. It’s definitely more of an issue with this work than many of the others, since so much of it is about Tarzan trying to work out value judgements about the various creatures, peoples, societies, individuals, moralities, he comes across. Definitely problematic.

As for the story beyond the ethics (although I amn’t convinced they are particularly separable), it’s entirely implausible, but mostly holds itself together, apart from the last couple of chapters, which are entirely too rushed and try to wrap things up, and set up an immediate (guessing here, since I haven’t even begun it) sequel all at once.

For my liking too many of the characters are entirely dense (especially Jane — I mentioned the racism already, but the sexism is laid on pretty thickly as well), so why do I enjoy the story at all?

235. Up the Attic Stairs by Angela Bull

Another nostalgia reread, about an interconnected but shifting network of women – young, old, and middling – based around a town and in particular two houses within that town, across eighty years and several generations. Three contemporary (the book was published in 1989) student flatmates start a fundraising project that leads to them researching the lives, loves, clothes and struggles personal and political of their predecessors, forcing them to confront their own memories and aspirations. It sounds very worthy, and I amn’t sure what draws me to it, but I keep returning to it every couple of years. It’s long out of print, but isn’t that long, so is worth keeping an eye out for. Sexism in this one is a very acknowledged topic, it being a Virago Press title.

Niccolo Rising chapter 11. I lived on the edge of the old part of Geneva for a year, and I’m trying to work out what the city would have been like around 1460. I think I probably had a better time there than Claes did, anyhow.

Unexpected speakers

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sorry for the delay in this post (and for the shadow on the image — this was the most legible picture), but I wanted to finish the first filet piece of the tablecloth to show you. Appropriate, no? I’m still working on the flower motifs, but those are small and easily transportable, whereas I think I’ll do the flat filet work all in one piece, so I’ll do it at home. That’s what will gain me the size, as well.

I think I’ll do a picture next, as I’d like to separate the different text phrases from each other.

I’m enjoying being away on holiday, even though I’m back in the house I grew up in! My mother and I went to a ‘Day Spa’, on Friday, with a package including massage, manicure, pedicure and facial – the first time I’d done any of those. It was a really fun day (but very expensive) and I shall now have to try finding the time and money to repeat at least part of the experience.

231. The Fantastic Flying Journey by Gerald Durrell

I think I might have got this when I was a little older than the intended readership, but I’ve always enjoyed it anyhow. I think Durrell’s autobiographical accounts of his animal expiditions, as well as his family and friends are hilarious, but this isn’t trying to be funny, specifically (although there some very funny parts) but a gentle adventure story for children, where Emma, Ivan & Conrad’s eccentric Great-Uncle Lancelot turns up at their house one day in his balloon to whisk them away on a rescue mission that involves travelling around the world meeting (and talking to) fantastic animals. The book is wonderfully illustrated by Graham Percy, and well worth getting your hands on.

232. Watership Down by Richard Adams

I had remembered that there were ‘spiritual’ elements to this book, but not how much of a rabbit world is created and explained, nor how graphic some of what happens (or is described) is. This is an epic adventure in the classic style.

233. March by Geraldine Brooks

Reading this now made sense, having just recently completed rereading Little Women (with Craftlit). I still amn’t sure how much the LW connection matters to this story; I think it is a plausible account of what could be the background to Alcott’s characters, and yet I amn’t sure it’s the one I will have in the back of my mind for them.

As for the book’s own merits: I think it’s good, and thought-provoking, and satisfying in many ways, although it left me on edge. I think it might not have left me that way had I not been trying to reconcile it to my sense of LW, of course…

Now I’m considering rereading some other books I have about the American Civil War.

Niccolo Rising chapter 10 includes Tobie and Julius discussing Claes, and I still can’t work out (after how many rereads of the whole series?) where they’re both coming from, how honest they’re being, and how much they believe each other.

Making use

Friday, 15 August 2008

No new picture today, I’m afraid, but I have done another motif or two on the tablecloth. I’ve also printed out some filet patterns to play with. In fact they are meant as cross stitch patterns, but will do just as well for filet, as only one colour is needed.

There are several free online generators of text patterns for cross stitch, but I would recommend two in particular. Celtic Cross Stitch allows you to type in a word or phrase (excluding accented letters and punctuation), then gives a Jpeg image which you can save or print directly of that word or phrase in Celtic lettering. Stitchpoint is much more flexible, with four fonts available, as well as accents and punctuation, and the option to build in line breaks, but I could not see how to save the resulting image, only print it directly, and it is rather slower, since the text cannot be typed in by keyboard, but each letter and piece of punctuation has to be clicked on separately.

I’m planning on interspersing my words and phrases (food and guest related) with pretty pictures, for which I’ll use charts meant for filet work, as most of the cross stitch ones I have seen expect a variety of colours to be available. I haven’t really begun looking for those online, although I know there are a lot out there.

I’ve had no excuse for not continuing with Niccolo Rising in the last couple of posts, even through I didn’t bring my copy, since my mother introduced me to the books, and has all of them… So, chapter 9: In which we learn a whole lot more about child-parental relationships.


Friday, 27 June 2008

No post last night, and still behind with discussing the books, because life got in the way. We are having guests this Shabbos and had to sort things out in the flat. Mainly, we had to rearrange some furniture to be able to pull out the sofa bed for use. And then of course I had to check the mattress is comfortable…

Which it is. It’s far more comfortable than either of our beds, and I don’t think I got up from it for at least half an hour. I wasn’t allowed to sleep, unfortunately, but between that and the Pilates class I went to earlier in the evening I’m feeling quite relaxed, if still tired.

I was teaching a filet pattern yesterday, which of course entailed making it myself, and now I’m doing a second one, to satisfy myself as to the difference between one-chain boxes and two-chain boxes. The (unfinished) two-chain version is much clearer in terms of seeing the pattern, although it also helps that I’m using a smaller hook and a single solid colour this time. (The knot in the yarn is not my doing – it was already there!)
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