… of the book variety.
This was my absolutely awesome Christmas present from Steven this year – a reproduction set of the first ten Penguin paperbacks ever published, which was created for the 50th anniversary of their launch. Since the launch was in 1935, this means that the set is 25 years old!
The set is in almost pristine condition (especially for its age), just some minor fading on one end where it must have been sitting in the sun. The books themselves look like they’ve never been read. As well as the books, the set includes a pamphlet with short blurbs about each of the authors and press clippings of reviews from the launch.
The books are:
Ariel: a Shelley romance, André Maurois
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Madame Claire, Susan Ertz
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy L. Sayers
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie (her first novel and the first appearance of Poirot)
Twenty-Five, Beverley Nichols
William, E. H. Young
Gone to Earth, Mary Webb
Carnival, Compton Mackenzie
(Where I’ve included a link, the book is available from Project Gutenberg, but I should point out that both Agatha Christie and Compton Mackenzie are still under copyright in the UK, even if some of their work is public domain in the US.)
Amazingly, I had never read any of these, although I’m now well on the way to rectifying that.
There was just enough light left when I got home from the office to take some bad web-cam pictures of some of my more recent projects so I thought I’d get caught up on updating my Ravelry projects and actually blogging about some of these.
First up is my Theresa Lace Scarf pattern that is currently available in the Spring 2010 edition of The Fibertarian (more to come later on other publishing news).
I’m going to admit upfront that I love these scarves possibly more than I should so I apologise in advance if I end up sounding like I’m selling something; I’m not on commission, honest!
The first scarf started with a rough idea in my head as a way to use up some leftover laceweight yarn. I played with some stitches from the Encyclopedia of Needlework at Project Gutenberg and Theresa was the result (named after Thérèse de Dillmont, the original author of the Encyclopedia). The second one was when I realised I was addicted.
The first one (in the orangey-brown colour) was knitted using Knit Picks Gloss Lace that I brought back from honeymoon and the second (in navy) is Knitwiches 100% Pure Cashmere Laceweight. These photos really don’t do them justice but there are some better ones at The Fibertarian or on Ravelry.
The pattern itself takes a little bit of concentration at first due to the slipping, lifting and re-knitting of stitches but, once you get the rhythm of it, it is almost meditative. Due to the twisted nature of the pattern, it is very difficult to frog this scarf even with relatively smooth yarn; I can only imagine it would be completely impossible with something like Kidsilk Haze.
They’re wonderful to wear; very light with just a little bit of extra warmth. They can also be squashed very small to fit into bags or a pocket when even that little bit of warmth is too much. Last, but not least, they are also (unusually for something I’ve knitted) highly fashionable at the moment!