It seems that there are still a few things I can do very fast, once I set my mind to it: reading, and socks.
Even after ripping out two UFOs, my knitting basket has been overflowing. Although I’e always been a multi-project knitter, this still annoys me somewhat. It means that I can knit for hours on various things and still see very little process. It certainly doesn’t help that I had a large-ish shawl in progress.
So I got an itch to knit socks. Simple, stockinette socks; for the past year pretty much all patterned socks have ended up in the UFO pile.
Pattern: None. CO 72 sts, 2×2 ribbing for 16 rnds, short-row heel.
Yarn: Handu MCN sock, colourway “onnen oikotiellä”. Bought at the same time as the yarn for my beret-turned-cowl.
I started the socks on last Wednesday and finished them on Monday. For me, a pair of socks in 6 days is pretty phenomenal. We did have a long weekend in there, sure, but that also meant cooking, cleaning and travelling.
They are incredibly soft, reasonably lightweight, and might actually still be useful before the summer.
I had just finished the socks and blocked them when I got another idea: download the free sample of The Hunger Games.
I’m pretty sure I only heard of The Hunger Games this winter, and mostly through Twitter. Then, when the movie premiere approached, I saw it mentioned in papers. The first plot descriptions I read did not make the whole thing very tempting, and in retrospect some were just misleading. Then of course the film reviews started pouring in, and the BF expressed interest in going to see it. I decided to give the book a try.
Now, I did read it in a day. But that’s not very uncommon in my case, and does not automatically mean high praise. Although lately my reading has mostly consisted of individual articles or random chapters from books that might be useful for my thesis, when I do read for pleasure, 12-hour marathons are my forte. The Help took 24 hours, most Dorothy Sayers books the same. And I read three Connie Willis’ novels in a week. In the end I liked all of them more than The Hunger Games, although I have to admit the book isn’t without some merits, either.
Hunger Games is fast-paced yet still has a relatively well-structured plot. The heroine is an interesting character. The writing is at times surprisingly vivid and the struggle for survival portrayed well: it is convincing but not too gory.The violence was what initially perplexed me -a YA book about teenagers killing each other?- but is is as a whole handled in a way that suits the tone. Being aimed at teens, the book is also a very easy read and requires very little effort from an adult reader.
But. The story would have needed some more flesh. As it is, the world-building is very minimal (especially given the dystopic setting that provides plenty of opportunities), many characters barely more than their hair colour and the love triangle forced and unnecessary. My knowledge of the Twilight series is limited to half of the first book (a bad Mary Sue fanfic, if you ask me), the movie trailers and a few interviews on Conan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone thought the love triangle would attract the teenage girl audience.
In spite of its flaws, The Hunger Games was a pleasant surprise. The main character shows such promise that I’m willing to belive that the rest of the cast improves as well in the remaining two books. I will almost certainly end up reading them, and I’m now relatively eager to go see the movie too.