Sunday, May 24, 2009

Big Accomplishment

Do you have any idea how long Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley has been sitting on my bookshelf? Long enough for the edges of the pages to start yellowing, that's how long. I've been meaning to read it, really I have, especially since I've tried twice before, crapping out in approximately the same place both times, and that just seems like a challenge to me. The thing is, weighing in at just under 900 pages, the thing is not light reading in the literal sense of the word, even in paperpack, and not readily portable. It's physically uncomfortable to read, not unlike some of the later Harry Potters (in hardcover, if you please) but not nearly so addictive.

I did make it. It took me two weeks, which for me is an eon in reading time. I read fast, people, and I'm not used to dedicating so much time to something not for a class. I'm really glad I did finally make it. The book was very good - well conceived and well written. There are few dangling ends and remarkable connections are made across many pages and years. I found, however, that it really wasn't my thing. I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. I just didn't like any of them. It was hard for me to invest myself in the outcome because I didn't identify with any of them. This the King Arthur legend told from the point of view of the women in the story, and while it is very interesting to see the inner workings of the women of the time, I find that a huge and complicated story like this, told only from one side, is a half-told story.

Still, I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to add a little weightlifting to their reading.

Did you notice what I'm wearing?
Pattern: Prairie Tunic by Veronik Avery from Interweave Spring 2006
Yarn: Frog Tree Pima Silk in color 820
Needles: US 3
Mods: Did a little gauge magic to make the yarn work - knit 36.5" size for an approximately 38-39" bust. Shortened the vents on the side from 6" to 2.5" and did not start the A-line decreases until after the vents. Also, I decided to forgo the racer-style back for a regular tank-style back and used ribbon instead of yarn cord for the straps.

Sorry the color is washed out in this picture, but you can see how I did the back. I knit to the armpits, did about 1.5" of the initial short-row armhole shaping specified in the pattern, and then continued on in stockinette, decreasing each end every row for about 3/4-1". Then I added four rows of garter stitch to the middle portion (the patterned bit plus six stitches on either side), decreasing every row at the armholes and the beginning and end of the garter section. Bound off the middle part, leaving three garter stitches on each end and worked the two tabs separately, decreasing every other row until 8 stitches were left, and following the directions for the tab extensions as for the front.

I opted against the twisted yarn straps in the pattern because: 1. I was not using the racer back, and 2. I have broad shoulders and do not possess the ability to go bra-less. I used a 7/8" wide leopard print ribbon for the straps to add some interest and coverage. I'm not normally a leopard print kind of girl, but when I went to the store, this ribbon just jumped out of the rack and into my hands. I'm embracing it.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!


ithaca_chick said...

You look really cute in these pics! The top is really great too!

Kara said...

You are so cute! Yellow is a great color on you. The top is great. And congrats for finally tackling that book!