Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Yarn Along...

I mentioned a week or so ago that a friend had asked me to teach her to crochet.  She got along pretty well after our first lesson together and seeing a pillow on my couch she liked, she decided she wanted to try to make a similar one.  It's just something I made up using the Corner to Corner stitch pattern, so not having followed an actual pattern the first time I decided the best way to show her how to make one was for me to make another one right alongside her.   I was crocheting slowly so I didn't get too far ahead of her, but now she tells me she may be more than half way through with her first full panel!  I'd better get a move on.

As for reading...  Last night I picked up Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie.   It's a little book, but there seems to be a lot here.  Told in the voice of a young man who was sent far from home to a mountain village to be "re-educated" in the early 1970's during the Chinese Revolution under Mao Zadong, this story is authored by a man who experienced a similar re-education along with hundreds of thousands of other Chinese youths,   It's astounding what corrupt governments are capable of doing to their own, often innocent, citizens.  Knowing little about the details of this time period in China, I'm finding learning about it both fascinating and terrible at the same time.  These things were happening just before and during the time I was in high school, and knowing now that these things were happening on the other side of the globe, I find it amazing?  ironic?  unbelievable that one of my Social Studies teachers was something of a fan of Communism.  No wonder my father became so angry when I came home spouting ridiculous commie platitudes I was being exposed to. I'm half-way through and, so far, I highly recommend this engaging and fascinating little book.

Linked with Ginny Sheller's weekly Yarn Along.



 

17 comments:

  1. wow, what a fascinating book. Your Dad was so wise to see through communism - so many did not. I am sure I would of been just like you in high school, I was very influenced by my teachers.

    The pillow cover is very beautiful and I love the colour choice!!!

    You may like (it's a bigger book but very readable) Everyday Saints about people and esp. a monastery near Pskov who had to deal with the Russian Communists and the stories are often touching, often funny and full of spiritual courage and daring...

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    1. Thank you for the book recommendation, Elizabeth. I am going to keep my eyes open for this one. Reading a description on Amazon, it does look like something I'd like very much.

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    2. hope you like it! I read it out loud to my husband while he washed dishes in the first year of our marriage, it was great fun!

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  2. I love the Corner to Corner pattern. I love the yarn you are using. It shows off the stitches so nicely. You better get moving or your friend will finish before you! Have a great week.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. The nice thing about this pattern (and only making a pillow-sized square) I ought to be able to catch up pretty quickly. :^)

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  3. My goodness...that's just a gorgeous pillow. ♥ I am going to look for this book at the library. I have to admit, sometimes I judge a book by the cover...and this one looks very good! You might also like "Across Many Mountains" which takes place in Tibet, which was taken over by the Chinese Communists. I am a Russian Orthodox Christian, so the theme of Communism is fascinating to me. How horrible that your teacher in school would be a blatant fan of Communism. I really think teachers should try to present a neutral view of everything. All the more reason to homeschool.

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    1. Not that it's smart, but I often judge books by their covers. I've been known to pick up a book and read it simply because the cover attracted me, and ignore others because the covers held no appeal. On the other note, I'm not sure the teacher was all that blatant, but as an adult with a bit more understanding of the world (and people) I looked back and could see her bias more clearly. I think she appeared neutral (for the sake of propriety - and probably her job), but in her own way she influenced my ignorant and impressionable mind. I'm not sure it's possible to teach from a neutral position, or even ideal. Leaving children and teens flooded in uncertainties about the world doesn't seem a good thing. It's complicated, for sure. While these things were not the reason we homeschooled, as my children got older I gave these types of things much thought.

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  4. The yarn is such a great choice for your pillow, very pretty. What color is your friend's yarn? I read the book many years ago. It was very thought provoking for such a small novel. It is often on the required reading list for the high school where I work. Having read it as an adult I do wonder what the students think of it. I work in the library.

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    1. My friend is making hers in an aran fleck color. Hers is completely neutral and won't look striped, but I saw to day that she's coming along just swimmingly. :)

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  5. So happy you got one more person into crochet! I hope she is hooked now :) Love the gradient colors of your project!

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  6. I read this book a few years ago and found it fascinating as well. And like you, I didn`t know much about this time in China before....
    I think I would like to read it again, now you reminded me of it!

    And: I like the blue colours of your pillow!

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  7. I've been asked to teach others to crochet, but I'm left handed. I'm not sure what I'm doing, but my work is always down in the opposite direction and inside out. LOL All the righties watching me can't figure out what I'm doing. And truthfully, me either, but it seems to work! Beautiful colors!

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  8. Your pillow is so pretty! How fun to share a project with your friend.

    Corrupt government and communism is very sobering.

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  9. Your crochet is beautiful . I read that book and loved it. But, I didn't understand the ending.....let me know when you get to it please

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    1. I did finish it, and the ending was a bit less than satisfying. I still recommend the book, though. I don't want to give anything away, but I think the ending was making a point about the ideas that books give us. That they open our minds to new possibilities, and we see even ourselves differently when we are exposed to ideas that were previously foreign to us.

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