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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

A pair of fingerless mitts | Inspiration on Monday

When I was in middle school, we had a knitting club that was always in high demand. I wasn't a member of it though I wanted to be. I was never quick enough to raise my hand when they were looking for members, which wasn't always. There's something intensely fascinating about whipping up a whole garment from some thread. I didn't know anyone who knitted and where I stayed (in Dubai and later South India), the temperatures were in the 90-110s year round. Knitting just didn't come my way in those days. My mom would sew and she taught me some of it, but I was never fascinated by it as much as the idea of knitting interested me.

It wasn't until 2012 that I decided to teach myself. I started with a beginner staple - the garter scarf, a long rectangular piece knit completely in knit stitches. Easiest pattern in the world but also the most boring, so I didn't actually finish it until a year later, having abandoned it more than a few times. Around this time, I also bought a knitting book and tried to learn the basics. Knitting is easy enough that everyone would transition from beginner to intermediate early on. All you need to know is how to read a pattern and then your best friend Google will guide you through any term you don't understand. Since then, I've made mitts, hats, another shawl, a cowl, a shrug, a bag, a baby sack, Kindle sleeve, and baby sweaters. I happen to have a pullover, a pair of mittens, and a blanket in progress right now.

Nowadays, I hunt for patterns on Ravelry - a Goodreads-type website for knitters and crocheters. There are tons of free and paid patterns on the site and if a pattern doesn't make sense, there are forums to post questions in. Last week, I finished my newest project - a pair of long fingerless mitts. My colleague's wife had been knitting a pair of arm-length mitts last year and I loved how they looked. So I picked a pattern that I liked and whipped up a pair. I actually started knitting this pair in July, a few days before I went into labor. I picked it back up about three weeks ago, and because of the limited knitting time I get now that I have returned back to work and there is a baby to care, it took me an unusually long time to finish them. I made them using Debbie Bliss cashmerino - a yarn that's gorgeous to touch and look at, but is so splitty that knitting with it wasn't that fun. The pattern is gorgeous, delicate and easy, which made for some mindless knitting. While I knit the body of the glove using the Augusta pattern, I made the thumb using the Fallberry Mitts pattern, because I preferred a thumb gusset.

My autumn mitts

When it comes to projects that require two of the same thing - mitts, socks, or sleeves, I usually get very lazy when I need to start the second of the pair. So it often takes me a while to finish such projects. This time, I chose to make both mitts together, using this technique. It's a little tricky getting started - one has to be careful not to use the wrong yarn ball for the wrong mitt. Also, it's working in the round, so I had to make sure the pattern could easily be divided into a front and back side. But after I got going, it was a very simple knit.

I just wore these mitts this weekend when it got chilly and I love how they well they go with any sleeve-length. Since I have more of this yarn leftover, I started making mittens for the baby. At this point, they are almost done so hopefully the babe will appreciate having them. Next in line is another sweater for her. One of the cardigans I made for her no longer fits - she is growing too fast! - so I need to make another one - bigger the better!

A half-done mitten and a full one for the girl

Do you knit? What are your favorite things to make?