Friday, October 17, 2014

Good poetry, bad prose

Notice: knitting content will be returning to this knitting/books/film blog.

After 8.5 years, I have completed the knitting project that has been my albatross. This sweater is why I haven't been in a yarn shop in, well, probably 8.5 years, until yesterday when I purchased the buttons to finish it off.

And here it is:

The pattern is from a gorgeous, now out-of-print book, Poetry in Stitches, by Norwegian designer Solveig Hisdal. The knitwear designs in this book are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen, and I would be happy to knit them all, if I live long enough. But for the next one, I will take the time to adapt the pattern for knitting in the round with armhole steeks, rather than divide at the armhole as written. A pattern that requires constantly consulting a chart is slow enough; reading the chart backwards when the purl rows begin is excruciating.

Also excruciating was the book I finished yesterday, Jeffrey Archer's Only Time Will Tell. I was misled by the high ratings on Goodreads. What are people thinking? This is the Lord Archer that is one of Britain's best-selling novelists? Readers from the land of Dickens consider this good? Rubbish, I say. Admittedly, few novels could follow on the heels of the elegant prose of Wilkie Collins' masterpiece and not suffer in comparison, but this was still bloody awful.

Curious to know if I'm alone in my harsh judgement of the novel, I searched out reviews and could find no critics who were impressed. (The delightful Diana Gabaldon raked it over the coals for the Washington Post).  This must be akin to the summer movies that receive one star from critics yet top the weekend box office receipts.

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