My Idea of Heaven

I work at the local public library and count myself lucky, because our library is wonderful (it’s the St. Charles Public Library in St. Charles, Illinois). But I love any and all libraries, and some of my earliest memories are of going to the library with my mom. It was just a little storefront, but to me it was Aladdin’s cave, and it had the wonderful smell  of paper, glue, ink, and varnished wood that I associate only with libraries.

What does this have to do with Something for (almost) Nothing? Just that your library card is the key to having any book (temporarily, but that’s okay), however expensive, that you might want to read. My idea of heaven is to curl up in a quiet corner of the library with a huge, gorgeous art book, and to pore over it. For a few minutes I am in Venice, or looking over the shoulder of Gaugin, and the real world falls away. How wonderful is that! I could never afford these books myself, and I am grateful that I have access to them in the library. In any given year, I read thousands of dollars-worth of books and magazines. So if you are watching your pennies and want to enrich your life, a library card is a must.

Here are three books that I have been mooning and mulling over recently. I am in a knitting frame of mind, and ideas pop off every page as I take in the patterns, colors and styles.

Noro yarns feature exquisite color blends, but are fairly expensive (a 50-gram ball of Noro’s “Silk Garden” yarn is about $12.00, and other Noro yarns go up to $25.00 a ball). Knit Noro Accessories: 30 Colorful Little Knits features small projects, so you can enjoy knitting with this luxurious yarn, but not go into debt for it. The designs are lovely, and I will have a hard time choosing which to knit, though I am zeroing in on the Diamond-Motif Shawl.

I borrowed Men’s Knits, 20 New Classics, by Erika Knight, because Jim wanted a warm hat, and there are several in this book. I made the “Weekend Hat,” and Jim liked it so well that I’m making it in another color. I used Lion Brand Yarn Wool-Ease, making a hat that is soft, comfortable, and inexpensive. The designs are simple, and many could work for women. Worst thing about this book is the cover design, which looks difficult to wear.

Right now my favorite knitting book is Knitting Around the World by Lila Nargi. There are ideas on every page, unfiltered by modern design sensibility. In particular, the chapters on the Scandinavian knitting tradition are  inspirational, as are the mittens knitted in the Baltic Sea area. So tomorrow I will go into the library stacks and look for Quick Nordic Knits by Ann-Mari Nilsson and Mostly Mittens by Charlene Schurch.

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