Monday, October 8, 2007

Blown Away

I got a much needed break over the weekend. I knit most of the day on Saturday, and when I got too tired to knit at 11:00 p.m. I picked up The Kite Runner. That was a mistake. I couldn’t put it down and literally stayed up all night to finish it.

The story is set in Afghanistan and is about how relationships and lives change after a boy is raped. It’s about a failure of moral courage and redemption. It’s about coming of age and relationships between men, boys, fathers and sons, the privileged and servants, and between races/ethnic groups. The story is beautifully written, tightly woven and full of nuance. It gives insight into Afghan culture, the beauty of Afghanistan before the Taliban, and the devastation under the Taliban.

I was surprised by how much the story resonated with me because all of the main characters are male. There was little discussion of the treatment of women in Afghan culture or under the Taliban but none of that detracts from the story. I’ve heard that Khaled Housseini’s next book A Thousand Splendid Sons is about women, and it’s supposed to be a very sad story. Assuming it will be just as moving, I’m going to need a little time to process and move past The Kite Runner before I can read A Thousand Splendid Suns.

The Log Cabin Afghan continues to progress. Last night I got a good start on the LAST square. (Yay!)

At some point it dawned on me that the colors could bleed in the blocking process. (I use the total emersion method described in The Knit Stitch by Sally Melville.) Teresa suggested I put white vinegar in the water to keep the colors fast. She said the more vinegar the better. I’m not sure how much vinegar I should use, but I invested in the biggest bottle of white vinegar I could find.

First I have to begin weaving in ends. Each block has about 18 yarn tails. This could take awhile.


Alice said...

Your Log Cabin Afghan is looking amazing! I don't envy all those ends you have to weave in though :)

I have heard so many good things about that book, I may have to pick it up next time I'm at the bookstore.

Sarah said...

The Shout brand Color Catcher sheets (look like fabric softener sheets) work great in the washing machine at picking up excess dye when I wash new quilting fabric, including batiks. I'm not sure how they'd do with just soaking rather than agitating, but they would be worth a try, I think!