This is the sand-dune-y landscape of a Burberry-Inspired Cowl, which unfortunately got stalled when I cut the ends of wool just too short to graft together, so that I am now resigning myself to ripping out the last balls' worth in order not to have to splice in yet another length. The good news is that the whole thing took only a few hours to knit, so once I get up the nerve to pull the needles out, it shouldn't take long to actually finish.
Another work-in-progress is the Brahms German Requiem, which we started rehearsing the week before last. How very lucky I was to be able to sing this in high school -- how lucky I still am, to be a part of it again.
This is a lovely version, a yummy Romantic tempo, and the parts are beautifully balanced. It's interesting, the different perspectives you get, from the chorus or from the audience; I have to not look at the video at times, as it can be distracting, although educational. That is some serious stink-eye Nikolaus Harnoncourt gives even before he lifts up his hands! Rather consoling, in a way, to see that even the Vienna State Opera Choir has trouble with getting their eyes off of their music.
I'm currently reading a "medieval noir" that I found on the new-book shelf at the library the other day. I think I've got spoiled by Ellis Peters, as I find this one more than a little anachronistic in vocabulary -- "décolletage" for example, a late-Victorian word at the earliest, or even more jarring, "gifted" (in the sense of having presented something as a gift), at the same time that the characters say things like "'How fares your good wife?'" and "'Is that the weapon that committed this most foul deed?'". There certainly can be a good argument for writing a historical novel in the modern vernacular, since at the time period of said historical novel, the way that people commonly talked was in fact "modern" -- compare, for example, the 1920s Charles Archer translation of Kristin Lavransdatter with the 1990s one by Tiina Nunnally. And there can be an argument that people in the Middle Ages talked more like the Wife of Bath than like Brother Cadfael, too, I suppose. Still, there it is.
I went to the library, in fact, for the omnibus Mapp and Lucia volume, thinking that I wanted something terribly, terribly English and 1930s. Have not read any of them before.
I'm also reading one of D.E. Stevenson's "lost" novels again, Emily Dennistoun, the current book of the Stevenson discussion list at Yahoo. The more I think about it, the more I think this was not only an early work of Stevenson's, but a very early work, and one that she may have not bothered to dig out of the drawer because the things she wrote later were so very much better. Anyway, here is my choice of something late-1920s for my virtual Stevenson "knitalong" --
I think that Emily Dennistoun would be rather shocked to think that her underwear might be discussed in public, but it is not at all unlikely that she would have actually knitted such things herself. I was surprised at first to see the number of patterns for "vests and shorts" out there -- this is one of dozens from The Vintage Knitting Lady. I had not in fact given much thought to knitted underthings, but upon reflection suspect that in Scotland at least, where this novel is set, one might want such things more often than not.
As for "real" knitting, I did start the Kid Mohair Wrap the other day. Found a number of mistakes in the pattern right off, but once that settled down it has gone very quickly, so quickly that I am rapidly nearing the end of the first ball of Kidsilk Haze and at the same time am becoming increasingly alarmed that I will not finish nine repeats of the crossed-eyelet section, as the pattern assures me I can do, before I get there.
Well, we shall see!