Soooooo. I know I’ve been a bit remiss in posting but I have been busy. In my defense I’ve had a few things to do, like shopping for wool for prezzies and going to the thrift store because they had women’s clothing half price and how can you resist a bargain like that especially since I found this spring coat, which is right on trend, for $3.00.
And it looks great! I just have to lose about 2 kilos (around 5lbs) and it will fit perfectly.
I also found this 100% wool sweater from the GAP for $2.00.
The picture doesn’t show the colour of the sweater but the collar and button bands are a deep plum and the body of the sweater a tweedy dark emerald. It will be a nice warm sweater once winter really starts to blow. I almost bought a robins egg blue 100% mohair sweater for $1.50 but it wasn’t my colour and the collar came right up under the chin. I think that would drive me crazy and the previous owner probably would agree.
There really were some great bargains there. My youngest daughter bought a really nice 100% wool coat for $10.00. It’s a lovely shade of dark crimson and is double-breasted. It looks great on her and she was looking for a good coat to wear out instead of her down jacket which is too hot to go walking around the stores in. She also bought a GAP 100% lambswool cream-coloured sweater for $2.00 that will be really cozy on a cold day. And, of course, we bought books. Lots of books. About 15 books. But it’s hard to resist when you find interesting books from 1935.
I’ve said before how my kids will take a book as a present over just about anything else so when I told my daughter I would buy her some books as part of her Christmas present she kind of went overboard. This is what we got:
1. The Music Story Series – Printed in 1968 this book traces the history of hymnology and carolry from ancient Greece and Rome through to more modern times. On the way it describes how this type of music gained in popularity and lost popularity through different eras. It also contains sheet music and lots of examples of poetry that would have been set to music and sung on special occasions. It’s looks to be very interesting especially to a musicologist like myself.
2. Canadian Home Gardening – Printed in 1938 this book is exactly what it says. I find these old gardening books interesting because they had to deal with enriching the soil and dealing with pests in an all natural way. Also there weren’t the amount of hybrids or imported seed that we see now so it’s a good way to learn about native plants and what type are best for our climate. Yes, our region is at least 1 degree warmer than what it was in 1935 but it should still give valuable information on the challenges of gardening in Canada. The chapters are laid out by month so you know exactly what you should be doing and when. Also any book that has a section called, “December, the Month Of Christmas – and the Annual Slaughter of Trees” is a keeper. For my green-thumbed daughter.
3. The Good Housekeeping Needlecraft Encyclopedia – Printed in 1950 this book is an extensive look at everything to do with needlecraft. If you can use a needle to do it, it’s in this book. They even have a section on how to make your own fishing net. It has everything from simple sewing to tailoring to tufting to net embroidery to rug making and weaving. I love these old needlecraft, and homemaking, books because they often have tips and techniques that have long since lost favour but are very useful just the same. After all, who knows when you may need to make a fishing net to catch your own cod fish? For both my girls. They both love needlecrafts of all kinds so should find this useful.
4. Our Witchdoctors are too Weak – This is one I got for my daughter bought because it looks at a pair of missionaries who lived with a remote Amazonian tribe, Wilo, and learned about their language and customs as they try to teach them about God. Now we are not Christians but it will still be interesting learning about the language and customs of people you never knew existed. Now, I’m not one to agree with missionaries trying to convert people but there is no doubt that they do good work in any case so I try not to judge. It looks like this book will be a fun read as the pieces I’ve already read are humourous without losing sight of the incredible difficulties these people face.
5. Robert Service Biography – Robert Service is my favourite poet. I love his romantic view of the high north. I love how he paints the people who live there and I love his sense of humour. He was also my Dads favourite poet and I still have the books he used to read. I can still see him sitting in the kitchen chair with a cup of tea in one hand, a cigarette in an ashtray on the table and the book open in his other hand. I can’t wait to read what motivated this man to want to live in the Yukon.
6. Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind – Printed in 1998 so a little out of date but still useful in learning about the brain.
7. Ideas and Opinions – This book is a collection of Albert Einstein’s most popular writings. So it has his essays about relativity, nuclear war, religion, human rights, economics and the role of government. I studied his philosophies a bit in university but always wanted to read more by the man. Interesting fellow with a lot of good things to say.
8. The Complete Woodsman – Printed in 1974 this book will give you all the information you will ever need to know about living out in the woods of Canada. You can learn how to make a shelter, rafts, mocassins, bows and arrows, sun goggles, how to start a friction fire, how to navigate by the stars, which plants are safe to eat and which will kill you, and how to pack for travel in the forest. Good things to know when the apocalypse comes. Christmas present for dear daughter.
9. The Workingman in the Nineteenth Century – Printed in 1974 this book is a collection of documents that paint a picture of the life of a workingman. It talks about the formation of unions, working conditions, living conditions, his health, diet, recreations etc. A good history lesson on the way ordinary people lived back in the day. All the information is from books, newspapers and evidence supplied to the Royal Commission on the Relations of Labour and Capital of Canada, so it’s not just anecdotal evidence. This is another Christmas present for my daughter.
10. And here we come to a real treasure. I bought these for my endlessly curious daughter. This is a collection of five books from 1934, ’35, ’39, ’41, and ’45 entitled Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Year Book. Along with these we also found and 1931 edition of Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia of Universal Knowledge. The year books are exactly that. They are books that chronicled the events and economic changes that happened in countries around the world during that year. These are going to be endlessly fascinating, I expect. Can’t wait to find some time to sit down with one and just read until I pass out or something. This is a great find for people like us that just love history and are always curious to know what went on before we were born.
These treasures aren’t the only things I bought today. I also went to a yarn store. *gulp* And although I went with the intention of buying a couple of balls of Noro Silk Garden in order to make my oldest daughter a new pair of fingerless gloves to replace those she lost, I didn’t end up buying any. Apparently she found them at the bottom of her backpack. But I didn’t learn this until I had already crossed the river Styx and entered into Satan’s lair. I have no excuse whatsoever for what transpired after I opened that door. I have very little recall as to how the yarn I am now staring at found its way into the plastic bag that sits at my feet.
Just in case you are wondering, this is what followed me home:
Three skeins of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in Flame colour #115. The picture doesn’t really show how vibrant this colour is. I was thinking of knitting someone a cowl. Or maybe two someones because that is a lot of yarn. Approx. 414 yds. of a bulky weight pure wool. It’s gorgeous.
One skein of Cascade Heritage Silk Paints in the Vino colourway #9958. It matches the Manos pretty well so I thought I could make a pair of gloves or fingerless mitts for that someone. There is 437 yds. per skein so I might be able to eke out two pair of fingerless mitts for two someones if I’m really careful.
Four skeins of Cascade Yarns Pastaza in #068. It’s no longer available which is a shame since it is a nice, soft Llama/wool blend. I was going to make a cowl for the same someone but changed my mind because I like the Manos better. So now I have 528 yds. to make something out of. Still could make a couple of cowls. They never go unappreciated and in this weight are a quick knit. And last but not least:
Two skeins of Cascade Yarns Pastaza in #079. This is a rich, deep forest green. Love the colour. This is for me although I haven’t a clue what to make of it yet. I may go back and get the rest of this because I left about four more skeins behind. And there were a couple of skeins in the blue and one in a mulberry colour and one in a camel colour…
Oh, yarn, you sweet siren you, calling my name until I am helpless to resist your allure. Your bright colours, your soft texture, your endless possibilities! I am powerless, impotent, to resist you. Oh, yarn, I shared my hopes for the future with you, my dreams of what you could be, lofty goals of that wonder of wonders – the perfect sweater, and, oh!, the many disappointments you have thrown at me when you refuse to live up to the swatch . Yarn, to quote Pablo Neruda, “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” except I don’t love you in secret. I love you openly, wantonly, with passion. Oh, yarn, look at me, a woman covered in lint, with knitting needles in one hand and an empty wallet in the other.
Oh, yarn, why do you torture me so?