If it's possible for a book to be a disappointment and a page-turner simultaneously, Gone with the Wind is just that. Z and I watched the film before I finished listening to it, and I almost couldn't finish it, knowing what was coming. I listened to the last hour yesterday, with a deep sense of despair. Scarlett and Rhett have such a selfish relationship, if indeed their interactions can be called a relationship. They are constantly at cross purposes, and refuse to humble themselves--it's a nightmare. Lately I have been focusing on the sacramental nature of marriage and parenthood from both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic point of view, and the associated humility and continual self-denial. Rhett and Scarlett are an example of the exact opposite of that! There's no redemption! It was difficult and painful to listen to. If nothing else, this book is a model of how not to do things.
I finished Mr. Midshipman Easy over the weekend, and immediately started The Personal Reflections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain, which has been on my list for the past few years. So far it's delightful. I know that it's a work of fiction, but the description of Joan's bravery and virtue are so inspiring! Quite a departure from Gone with the Wind.
As for the Gideon Method, ha. I started well, following my self-imposed rules for when to knit projects, and then I regained some momentum with a long abandoned project and threw the "rules" out the window. I do believe that the point of the Gideon method is to pull out languishing projects and give them some knitting time, which is exactly what happened! I also think that I'm self-disciplined about finishing (most) projects before I cast on for new ones. So maybe the Gideon Method isn't necessary for me.
For example, I only allow myself to have one pair of socks going at a time. I knit a pair of socks for T as a Name's Day gift (those blue ones in the first picture) and as soon as they were finished, I cast on a pair of socks using leftovers from a pair of socks I never blogged about. I have two sock yarn blankets on the needles, but those are long-term projects, ones I use to fill in the corners of my knitting time. As I knit through my sock yarn leftovers, I am amazed at how much my tastes have changed in the last five or ten years. There's some leftover Jojoland Melody I'm using right now that brings back memories! I bought two balls at the local yarn shop when I visited my alma mater twelve (!) years ago, and made a pair of socks with it. The socks have long since worn out, and the yarn shop is out of business, but the yarn reminds me of those long ago days! Two little, little ones at home (both are taller than me now), traveling with just them to visit friends and family, deliberating over the yarn while trying to keep M from dismantling the store, knitting those socks on dpns while waiting in the hall for Greek school classes to end. Even without a written list, each little scrap of yarn is in my memory--the name of the fiber, the project it was used for, what was happening in my life when I first used it. (The project pouch I'm using for my sock yarn squares is from this Etsy store. It's great.)
One benefit of the Gideon Method was that I forced myself to put the finishing touches on some little sewing projects. Little M has a new Geranium dress to wear, and the birthday crowns got an elastic replacement, which should help with fit. I also pulled out my Chauncey sweater and attacked the buttonbands. They only need a ribbon for reinforcement, and then they'll be done. Whew! I've half-finished the first sleeve, and while there's momentum, I'm knitting.
And I finally cast on the Autumn Blush shawl in Madelinetosh Vintage. I bought the yarn years ago, intending to knit the shawl years ago, and I'm having second thoughts. Not that the yarn isn't lovely, but looking through my shawl collection, I realized that the shawls I reach for most often are in naturally dyed (or undyed) very woolly yarn. I'm not sure if the variegated superwash wool will stand the test of time for me. I love the pattern, though! Perhaps another version in YOTH Father or Plotulopi?
p.s. I picked up a medium-sized leather pouch/clutch at the amazing local thrift shop, but I can't figure out that to use it for. Suggestions?