Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Owls (and Ibsen) Revisited

owls revisited - front

I finished my Aran-version of the Owls Sweater over a year ago (amongst the snow of Feb '09), but it was always a bit on the short side. I was over-cautious about yarn quantities and ended up with a slightly too small sweater (well, fitted, shall we say) and a whole ball left over.

I did wear it, just not as frequently as I'd like. Last week I took action: unpicked the cast-on edge, picked up the ribbing and added a few inches. The result is much more wearable (and afterall, we are all wearing our tops longer these days). If you look very closely, you can just about see where I picked up the stitches, but you do have to look carefully. Full notes on ravelry project page.

owls revisited - side

The building site/ roundabout in the background is the lovely Yorkshire city of Sheffield, which I visited at the weekend, mainly to see An Enemy of the People. Sheffield might seem a long way to travel from London to see a 19th century Norwegian play about the politics of sewage, but I do love that play. Ibsen has a reputation as grim. This is wrong, especially in terms of An Enemy. The ending is tragic, the final line especially so, but that's only because the build up is so full of joyous enthusiasm for life. It is also a classic study of science and society (Ibsen was a med student turned journalist before he was a dramatist), in many respects as relevant today as it was in the 1880's.

I first saw it in the late 1990s. It was at the National and Ian McKellen played the lead. I was an impressionable 17, and inspired. I ended up doing a big coursework essay on it, and er, devoting my entire life to studying/ researching/ teaching issues of science in society. So, it was with excitement but also a bit of trepidation that I went back. I wasn't disappointed: by the play, by the production or by the changes I could (Holden Caulfield style) track in myself. That's enough blather about literature though, I'll finish with a shot of my current WIP: a small and very easy project using some a few balls of leftover yarn.

leaves scarf WIP close up leaves scarf WIP long shot

It's really just icord with the odd leaf growing out of it. Yes, there are a load of ends to sew in, but I'm doing them as I go. It is inspired by a few projects I've seen around, but largely improvised. It should make a lightweight decorative scarf when its done (or maybe just slightly odd bunting). More details on ravelry project page.