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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Barbara Kingsolver, author and knitter, and my sleeve

Sometimes it seems that a small number of people have the majority of the available talent on Earth. For example, not only is this person the author of literature to die for, but she is also an expert knitter and a gardener, plus many other things. Welcome to the life of Barbara Kingsolver, one of the world's most beloved contemporary authors who has penned fourteen novels ranging from The Bean Trees to The Poisonwood Bible to her most recent, Flight Behavior.  It seems that despite her fame and well earned fortune, Barbara Kingsolver is a down to earth individual who is devoted to her husband, daughters, the environment, and her community in southern Virginia.  In addition, she helps new writers' voices be heard and published through the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, the nation's largest prize for an unpublished first novel which she established in 1998.

A few months ago I bought a copy of Vogue Knitting and was thrilled to see a feature article on Ms. Kingsolver.  It turns out that she and her family live on a farm in southern Appalachia and guess what they raise?  Icelandic sheep.  And she knits.  Really really well.  If you like knitting, check out the article and the photos of two of the gorgeous sweaters she knit.  One actually is a coat she knit for her teen aged daughter, and the other is a sweater she made for herself.  What really would have sent me over the edge would have been the news that she sheers her sheep and then spins the yarn.  Thankfully for my sanity she doesn't, BUT, she does hand dye the yarn that is sheered from her sheep and that she then sends out to be spun.  She writes, hand dyes her own yarn, takes care of sheep, tends a garden, and travels all over the world promoting her books and doing research for future novels.  What isn't ideal about that life?  When you have talent, you have talent!

In the meantime, I was feeling rather proud of this cable I knit for the cuff of my red sweater that is scheduled to make its debut late this fall for the reopening of Arturo's art gallery in Chicago.  I have the outfit all planned out in my head.  All I have to do now is make the sweater so that it fits me, lose a few pounds so that I fit into the pants I have hanging in my closet, and we will be good to go.

It doesn't look all that impressive yet - but these are the most intricate cables I've attempted to knit yet and I think they came out okay.  The front will be the same cable pattern.

The construction work is coming along.  Arturo promises that we will have a working stove by tomorrow.  To tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind if it takes a couple more days.  I kind of like eating at the little restaurant right around the corner!

Happy 4th of July!!

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