Yarnalong: Ursula, American Peril, & Shepherds

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I’ve decided I ramble too much in my Yarnalong posts, so I’m going to limit my intro and descriptions to 140 characters each, Twitter-style.

Knitting: Ursula Cardigan in Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumper Weight

I swear I’m on the home stretch now. I ripped back the shoulders a little and it now fits. I only have the sleeves and neck band to go.

Listening: The American Peril from Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Highly recommended. Looks at the beginning of the USA’s self-contradicting foreign policy of ‘freedom for all’, now let’s invade someone.

Reading: The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District by James Redbank

Enjoying this, even if it is a little repetitive & I assume Redbank is talking about me when he disparages those who leave the rural life.

See what everyone else is knitting/reading/listening to over on the original Yarnalong.

Yarnalong: Knit.fm, A History of Britain, and Ursula

Right, let’s get back on the Yarnalong train.

Reading: Nothing

After getting most of the way through Postcards from the 20th Century, I gave up. The memories are in a thematic order, with very little reference to which of the six authors are responsible for each story – except their name. Being absolutely fecking useless with names, I got frustrated as I had to ‘get to know’ the author with each new short story.

Then I started to ask myself why I was reading this and how often I read something because I feel like I should. And it’s a lot. So now I’m trying to think of something I would like to read, rather than should read.

Listening: Knit.fm and A History of Britain by Simon Schama

Knit.fm is a short series of podcasts by Knitbot’s Hannah Fetig and Quince and Co’s Pam Allen* that go back to the basics and explain pretty much everything you need to know about knitting. I thought it would be mind-numbingly boring; it’s not, it’s incredibly useful and makes me pay much more attention to my knitting, why I do knitterly things the way I do, and how I could do them differently.

I’ve been meaning to read A History of Britain for years; listening to it seems a wonderful alternative. I’m learning a lot – mainly that I know very little about British history!

Knitting: Ursula

I’ve finished the fair isle body! Hallelujah! I’m currently a quarter of the way through steeking. One armhole down, another to go, and the front.

See what everyone else is knitting/reading/listening to over on the original Yarnalong.

* It wasn’t until I was writing this that I wondered – this isn’t the same Pam Allen who writes poetry is it? It can’t be, that Pam Allen wrote poetry in the 1970s, so she’d be quite old by now.

Yarnalong: Lighthouses, Genghis Khan, and Ursula

Reading: Romance of Australian Lighthouses by Valmai Phillips

I’m about halfway through Romance and, while it’s still interesting, I have definitely identified just what’s wrong with it: a lack of structure and an assumption the reader has good knowledge of the Australian coast. The later amplifies the former – if you don’t have any knowledge of the coast, the abrupt jump to the next lighthouse is disorientating.

Listening: The Wrath of Khans series from Dan Carlin’s ‘Hardcore History’ podcast 

I tried to finish Guns, Germs, and Steel, I really did, but in the end I gave up because I just wasn’t interested. Macro history isn’t really my jam and I don’t believe Diamond does a particularly good job of it.

I’ve turned to Dan Carlin, who makes history exciting instead. Carlin’s fairly famous for his ‘Hardcore History’ podcast series and with good reason. He has an excellent style, which borders on being overly-dramatic, but really just conveys his massive passion for military history. He’s incredibly well-read and doesn’t shy away from the more terrible aspects of war. I’m working my way through the Wrath of Khans series.

Knitting: Ursula Cardigan

I’ve just cast on the Ursula cardigan by Kate Davies. Luckily, I’m knitting this as a KAL with Sharon, because otherwise I would’ve given up by now.

Challenges include:

  • every second size in the pattern has a different gauge
  • it’s a very exacting fit with nil ease
  • I very rarely get the same gauge as Kate Davies
  • I didn’t buy enough yarn, so I can’t do another swatch and will just have to hope my calculations are correct
  • I’m doing a KAL with a person so much smaller than myself, I’ll be knitting a third more stitches. But at least I’ll have company, right?

For more Yarnalong inspiration, visit the original.