Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another book review, and some knitting stuff

The book

The Romance Reader by Pearl Abraham - no, it's not knitting (or even craft related). Part of the plot description is "The Romance Reader invites us to enter the Hasidic world as few have ever seen it - through the eyes of a young woman on the brink of adulthood." and that's certainly a true statement of the book. You (ok, I) could also say that it's not a "Jewish" story as much as the story of any teenaged girl struggling to decide whether to do what her parents' expect because of 'old world' cultural standards or to break away toward a modern American lifestyle. Or figuring out what's a safe middle ground. And that's a story that can be told from so many ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The book follows Rachel's life from age 12 to 18 during the 1970s. It's told from her view point, and it's well written with her voice - it felt almost like reading a 12 yr old's diary and realizing slowly that the language is changing and maturing as she grows up. On one hand, it's an unusual book because of the 'Chassidic girl grows up & rebels' perspective, but on the other hand, it's a variation of the 'first generation immigrant family wants an American life" story that's been told before.

Oh, and the book's title? Rachel sneaks romance novels home and imagines living the life in the books. I used to do the same thing when I was Rachel's age, although I didn't have to sneak them into the house!

The Knitting

I'm almost done with my variation of Eunny Jang's Endpaper mitts. When I finished the first mitt, I wrote down what I did for the fingertip decreases - "K2Tog or SSK on the pinky side, then k2Tog around and kitchner closed" Now I need to do the same thing on the 2nd mitten, and I have NO clue how I did the decreases to keep the 1x1 checkerboard pattern looking even. Obviously notes to myself are no good if they make no sense a week or so later.

So after trying out 4 or 5 different decreases on the 2nd mitten, I did what any self-respecting (aka crazy) knitter would do. I took the first mitten (finished except for ending the yarn tails) and un-kitchnered it, and frogged, very carefully, 4 rows so I could figure out the decrease pattern I used. Then I re-knit and re-kitchnered it closed. Of course I haven't actually tried to recreate it on the 2nd mitt yet, that's tonight's adventure!

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