Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{Yarn Along} Jayber edition

Need inspiration to finish up a project? A good friendly "scolding" from Karen works wonders! The redwoods shawl, or  "calico" as I've been calling it, is complete with the exception of weaving in its ends. I will give it to my sister for Christmas. It has a very lovely lacey feel. I was a bit timid blocking it because the directions said to block it hard to open the eyelet but I didn't want it to look batty. Do you like it? I do!


So I have a friend who has often (many times over the past 7 years) recommended that I read the work of Wendell Berry. I had a mental block against it because I have actually known two Wendells in my life and neither were inspiring. One was the chorus director at my university and was a bit too rasta-ish for my liking. The other was dude who lived in my mom's best friend's basement, and I later learned that he was a good guy and had a nice daughter my age, but the baggage is still there.

Moving on, I actually did what she said and started Jayber Crow this past week on audio. Wowzer. The only thing I don't like is that this book makes my book from last week (still 40% left to go) seem so shallow, predictable, and not well thought out. 

When I am reading The Ladies Room, I am reading a novel that was written about the typical "crazy southern lady" that is in SO MANY BOOKS. You know the one - she wears a size 16 elastic waist jeans because they are practical and comfortable, she talks about her dead great aunt and about what God and Satan have to say about painting the baseboards. Just last week I was reading it and had to roll my eyes - the author clearly doesn't understand that no woman with kinky curly hair runs a brush through it on a summer day before bee-bopping out of the house. That's all well and good when you want a "light" read, or a "cute" read. 

On the other hand, reading Jayber Crow is like overhearing a one-sided conversation on the sidewalk, an old man telling his story, all of it. 

“Perhaps all the good that ever has come here has come because people prayed it into the world.” 

“But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time...of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here...It is in the world, but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.”

“He never complained. He seemed to have no instinct for the making much of oneself that complaining requires.” 

Berry, very much like Tolkien and other favorites, has the same gift of knowing exactly which word and in what order to express exactly what he means in a way that seems so natural, so sensical, so why-would-you-do-it-any-other-way?  Suffice it to say, I like this book. 

Joining Ginny. What are you knitting and reading??


  1. scolding? Oh my I hope not :) Amanda this is GORGEOUS, the color paired with the pattern is perfection and your sister's jaw will drop when she opens the package at christmas, unless she reads your blog then she is drooling on the keyboard.

    I want to make this shawl now....

    1. Oh yes, you said "Not one stitch eh? You need to get knitting...." And so I did!! So glad you like it. Lucky for me I can show it here and my sister doesn't read the blog, so it will be a surprise. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement!

  2. Stunning shawl! Love your glass door too! Thanks added Berry to my goodreads want to read list.

  3. Beautiful shawl! Your sister is very lucky.

  4. That is gorgeous Amanda! Isn't Karen a good motivator? It must feel good to be able to check one thing off your Christmas list.

  5. I love the feeling of being ready (at least somewhat) for Christmas in the summer months. (It means my life gets that much simpler around the holidays!) The shawl is stunning - it looks like you bottled up fall and poured it through your needles. Thanks for the Berry recommendation - I am looking for a good book, though I never seem to have much time for reading these days. Oh well. I guess we make time for what matters. :)