WIP Wednesday: A teeny tiny bed

Good lord, I love the tweed stitch (also called the seed stitch, moss stitch, linen stitch, or granite stitch). Anyway, this bed might be done. I can’t decide if I want to make a pillow for it or not. Either way, it looks more comfortable than my bed.

I’m considering crocheting a mandala next, largely because I want to perfect my skills (I’ve only crocheted 2 “mandalas” before), but also because it will make a nice rug in a teeny tiny bedroom.

Book Review: Lust for Life by Irving Stone

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Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers. 1888. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London. Source

Even though I’m often in a mess, inside me there’s still a calm, pure harmony and music. In the poorest little house, in the filthiest corner, I see paintings or drawings. And my mind turns in that direction as if with an irresistible urge. As time passes, other things are increasingly excluded, and the more they are the faster my eyes see the picturesque. Art demands persistent work, work in spite of everything, and unceasing observation.
– Vincent van Gogh, the Hague, on or about 21 July 1882, to Theo van Gogh (Letter #249)

It’s been a long time since a book made me cry– and I mean actually cry, not just get misty-eyed. I honestly kind of hate admitting that fact, as this book is very much an artifact of 1934 (when it was first published): while it is undoubtedly a classic, it is also a modernist (i.e. heroic and slightly masculinist) telling of the artistic life of Vincent van Gogh. Furthermore, one cannot help questioning the veracity of the biography because many parts had to be speculations by Irving Stone because of how the book is written. Nevertheless, I, like many others, am a fan of van Gogh’s work and have always been fascinated by his tragic life story. And, in all fairness, credit is due to Stone for his research of van Gogh’s 700+ letters to Theo, as well as his admission at the end of the book that some of the scenes were informed imaginings.

I’ve decided that this review is going to be not so much a full-on book review of Lust for Life, but rather several analyses of parts of the book that align with things that have been discovered about van Gogh and his work in recent years. Also, because I listened to the audiobook over the course of 3 weeks instead of physically reading it, my ability to cite specific quotes will be limited, and I apologize in advance for any discrepancies between my interpretation and the source material.  Continue reading

WIP Wednesday – A farewell hat

The two things I have been working on this week have led to a bit of pain in the fingers and wrist of my right hand. I put down my projects over the weekend and played copious amounts of Minecraft with my husband, and though my hand felt good again on Monday, it is now sore again. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how I am getting older (I am going to be an ancient 30 in July), and I thought that this might be a sign of that. In an effort to find relief, I did what everyone does: I Googled it. It turns out pain from repetitive motion is very common amongst people of all ages, as well as from gripping your hook too tightly or finger position can also contribute to pain. I found some useful articles about warm-up stretches and exercises, how to prevent pain, and treating pain. But I digress. Why have I been in pain for the last week? Because I have been making a hat for a coworker who is moving on to other things after the end of this week. Even though winter is technically over, she hates the cold and snow, and I am hoping that she can get some good use out of a thick cable-crochet hat in future winters. Continue reading