You would think that a whole week in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do except knit, read, dog-walk and think would have led to enormous progress on my projects. But the enormity of the Kex Blanket is only just beginning to dawn on me. I will be lucky to finish the first quarter segment this week. But that’s OK! It was meant to be a long-term investment knit, and so it will be.
Today, I hit the point in my book where I had to give up everything else and just read.
|The Old Inn, Carbost|
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is not my sort of book. And I resisted its charms for many many pages. I was only reading it because it inspired the colourway of my Skein Queen sock yarn: “Man in a Grey Suit”. And I have been pleasantly challenged by the previous inspiration books in the Skein Queen club series – none I would have chosen for myself, but all inviting total immersion.
There is something here with which to indulge all your senses. I started off a little cynical and wry, muttering to myself that it was a jarful of sub-standard Harry Potter jelly beans. That it was written to be a computer game. That it was too flowery in its descriptions, too manipulative of its plot, too obvious.
But somewhere along the way, I stepped onto the circus train and wrapped the symbolic red scarf of the reveur around my neck. OK, you win Erin Morgenstern, I enjoyed your book!
Does it require a belief in magic to be sucked into this dream-world? Perhaps so, and that is something my logical self struggles with. But the theatricality of it all, the construction of scenes and illusions and symbols and stories – yes, I respond to that very readily.
|Real ale and real coffee – at last!|
If there was one aspect of the book which I would pick out as unique, it is the olfactory element. EH? Olfactory: the smells. (There are some great words in this book: FL is taken with “cartomancy” which he chooses to interpret as “the magic of maps”.) I am currently obsessed by the handmade soaps of Future Primitive. I don’t “do” perfume, but the multi-layered fragrances of these soaps have caught my imagination. In The Night Circus, there is a tent where the scents of memories are bottled in tiny phials, bottles and jars: uncork one and find yourself by the seashore, sitting high up in an apple-tree, eating popcorn by a bonfire (not all at once!). That is the experience I am having with these soaps. I ought to write to the maker and suggest she reads The Night Circus! Maybe I will!
This morning, I showered with a sample bar of “Ethereal Seas” and suffused the whole house with a smell that is fresh and clean and clear-headed and energetic. My breakfast mug of hibiscus, angelica and ginger tea was sipped and inhaled as I picked up my reading from where I left it last night.
|Loch Harport: did the Romans come here? Discuss.|
And now? Now I have finished the novel, but it is still with me in many ways. I am hatching a plan to knit a red scarf, that secret sign of a follower of Le Cirque des Reves. If you have read the book, I am thinking of this as Bailey’s scarf. It won’t be for me. It’s a man’s scarf. I’ll put it away in the gifting pile once it’s done. FL isn’t interested in a scarf.
|Plaid scarf from Knit Now Issue 19|
What will I read next? Well… I picked up a copy of Handmade Soap in a charity shop in Portree yesterday for 50p… and a copy of A Good Yarn for another 50p. Sadly, the handful of sewing patterns were not similarly priced – gold dust, clearly!