Thursday, February 21, 2008

This lovely alpaca yarn was going to be a seamless sweater with a circular, fair-isle yoke for Finch. I got the yarn at Sea Needles in Bethany Beach, Delaware, and after knitting up scads of swatches I've concluded that the yarn really wants to be a lacy scarf. My lacy scarf. I've never knit for myself until this year, but I have a scrumptious blanket on the needles por moi and now plans for this scarf. I'm almost certainly going to knit it up in Feather and Fan, in thin stripes at either end and the middle bit in the oatmeal color. The green is a lot prettier in person, a sort of sage color, and I'm tempted to order more of it and use that for the solid color. I'll knit some swatches soon, but with my current backlog of projects (apron for the sassy apron swap, Robin's cable sweater of doom, Wren's lace cardi, Finch's striped pants, cranes and balloons for the origami tree, a turtle stuffy just for fun, my blanket...) I don't see me wearing this scarf until next fall. Unless. Unless I take it with me in a few weeks when we go to Rehoboth, just a few miles from where I bought the yarn. I've been feeling sad, mad, and bad lately, and now, as I hold the image of me looking out to sea wearing or even knitting on my lace scarf, I'm comforted. Well, I suppose the thought of getting away from the city and basking in the glory of the seaside is comfort enough, even if I do my duty and bring the children's knitting with me instead!

Ah, the sea, the sea! When you read that, do you think of Iris Murdoch, Xenophon's army, both, or neither? Until I discovered Iris Murdoch, I'd have answered 'neither'. The Murdoch novel won the Booker Prize I believe, and is excellent. I haven't read Xenophon (I'm nothing like that erudite, but Murdoch certainly was, and it's where she got the title.) But it's a romantic sort of phrase so I looked it up awhile back. Xenophon helped lead the Greek army, some 10,000 strong back north to the Black Sea after they'd been defeated by the Persians. They'd been defeated and were deep in unknown and enemy territory and the thing was next to impossible, but they managed it, and Xenophon describes the soldiers' joyous cries of 'the sea, the sea!' in his 'Persian Expedition.' An even more romantic version asserts that, when the Greek army first heard the roar of the waves, they mistook it for the enemy army until they came to the edge of the cliff and finally saw the sea, upon which sight they shouted joyously. Either way, I'm sure it was a relief to them, although they still had to book passage on a ship and sail home, battle-weary and defeated. Serves them right for invading another country I suppose.

dinner tonight: apple-sage turkey burgers topped with sweet onion jam, buttered fava beans

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