There Will Be Pictures

Well, just of my yarn and knitting.  But still!  Pictures!

Before I get to the knitting however, there is much to discuss.  I’ve begun reading Nothing If Not Critical by Robert Hughes and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Hughes manages to both impart a great deal of information about art and artists while still retaining his own voice and opinions, something which I find rare in art criticism.  You know Hughes is good when he says things like “Public belief in Makart’s genius was second only to his own.  Sentimental and bombastic, he was the Julian Schnabel of the Ringstrasse, with the difference that Makart could draw” (Hughes 9-10).  Now, I actually like Schnabel’s work but I totally get what Hughes is saying here.  And he made me laugh.

The great thing about Hughes is that, even if you don’t agree with him (although I often do), he does make you think.  There’s a human voice.  What he says is very relatable.  And his reservations about Contemporary Art are the same reservations that I often have but am unable to express coherently.  As I read Nothing If Not Critical, I find myself thinking, “Yes.  That’s exactly what I was thinking!”  All in all a really great, interesting, and informative read.

As the semester is winding down (less than two weeks of class left and then finals!) most of my classes are winding down.  Part of the reason for my relaxed state right now is that I got a ton of work done ahead of time before Thanksgiving Break so now I don’t have anything pressing to work on.  Getting things done early feels so good I can’t believe I used to be such a huge procrastinator.

The only class that is still kicking my butt (like always) is Japanese.  The sentence structures that we are learning are getting harder and more complicated.  Plus, now we’re actually getting into complex grammar, something I don’t even completely understand in English let alone a foreign language.  That being said, it’s a good sort of complicated.  I’m so excited to be learning this language.  My dream is to live in Japan and I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to making that happen.

Because I have had all this extra time, I’ve been watching some really interesting movies.  Yesterday I watched two documentaries.  One, Urbanized, is about urban planning in this modern day and age.  It brought up issues of overcrowding in cities and the problems with housing the poor in many communities.  It was an hour and a half long and where usually I’d be squirming in my seat (I can’t sit still very long), I was riveted.  Urbanized is a really accessible look at urban planning for those of us who don’t know much about the field.  Plus, some really great architects, like Norman Foster, were interviewed so that was a plus.

The second movie was an hour long documentary about Origami called Between the Folds.  Between the Folds did not focus as much on the history of origami but more on its applications today.  It looked at the artists who create fantastically beautiful origami designs as well as the scientists and mathematicians who use origami to demonstrate some of the most complex formulas, shapes in nature, and equations.  I’m always drawn to origami even though I’m absolutely terrible at it and this film was a really great way to see that origami isn’t just the art of folding paper but also has real life importance.  Plus there were some great shots of really cool origami — always a good thing.

Now on to the knitting:

The Madelintosh Tosh Merino Light yarn and the size 6 needle came in the mail yesterday and I have already begun to knit one of the shawl designs, Different Lines.  It took me about 2 hours to wind all the yarn up (during which time I watched the two movies mentioned above) and then I took off knitting.  Different Lines will be knit in Nightbloom and Citrus (the last two images below).  I’ve done a fair amount (the first picture) and I hope to finish the beginning increasing section tonight so I can begin the stripes tomorrow.  I already have 34 of the 42 stitches so I’m right on track.  The second shawl, Stripe Study Shawl, will be done in the two other colors, Forestry and Wilted Rose.

A word (or many) about the yarn.  I decided to splurge and buy the recommended yarn because I loved the way everyone’s shawls looked on Ravelry.  The deal was sealed when I went onto the Madelinetosh website to choose the colors and saw the yarn.  The colorways for Tosh Merino Light are incredible.  They are so vivid and beautiful. And I love all the names.  It was really difficult to choose just 4 colors and I’m pretty sure I’ll be using this yarn again.  Now that I’ve begun knitting, I can see the appeal.  The yarn is soft, sproingy, and knits up beautifully.  I’m so in love with it right now that I have to stop every other row to admire it.  So far everything is going really well.

In other knitting news, I spent part of this evening cleaning out and updating my Ravelry account.  I have now linked this blog on my page.  I also deleted the projects I wasn’t actually knitting any more, added Different Lines (with a picture).  Then I cleaned out my stash page and started fresh with the Madelintosh yarns (also with pictures).  Same thing with my needles page.  Then I went through my queue and deleted any patterns that I no longer wanted to knit.  I got my queue down from 12 pages to 7 (I tried to be really honest about what I would knit).  And now I’m making a rule for myself to knit everything in my queue before adding anything else.  We’ll see if I can do it.   Anyway, I feel a lot better about my Ravelry page now.

I hope you enjoyed this post and the pictures (even if they were taken with my iPhone camera in my dorm room’s bad lighting)!

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