a review: The Art of Looking Sidways

by Alan Fletcher
reading guide-it is the guide

over 1000 pages of mentally stimulating visual intrigue

a review
I’m a big fan of the library system. I can read more books in a year than I could ever afford to buy. I’ve even borrowed long out-of-print books that would be difficult to obtain otherwise. I received an email from my library about 6 weeks ago letting me know this book was ready for me. When the librarian brought it to the desk my eyes nearly popped out of my head. I requested it based on a recommendation from another site based on a recommendation of another book based on a search of “creativity”. I was hoping to find a book that would give me some simple steps to find my creativity that I used to have as a child but let the educational system and real world beat out of me. I asked the librarian if she was sure it was my book because it looked like the kind of book you get when the library has a textbook rebound. I admit, I was a bit disappointed but since someone went to the trouble of sending me the book via interlibrary loan, the 5.4 pound book(bigger and heavier than my college calculus textbook), I felt obligated to bring it home with me. I’m glad I did, but sorry to report that even after having it checked out for nearly 5 weeks, I’m only 200 pages into it as it’s not a sit-down-and-read-cover-to-cover book. I find that I absorb more by reading a few pages, responding in my journal to anything that’s given me pause and stopping for a few days to contemplate the new ideas.

What in this book am I so chuffed about? Alan Fletcher has collected drawings, photographs, quotes, summaries, and more to present mind-boggling things to readers. Yes, things, you read it right, things. I can’t describe it any better than that. This book has just gone to the top of my list of books to buy because even if I did manage to finish all 1000+ pages of yumminess, I’d just want to start again. I look at a page with 1+1=3 and a wonderful assortment of quotes on creativity and spent hours contemplating each quote and then the places my brain went all on its own gave me hope that I may not have lost all my creativity after all. I love that a thought will begin on page 92 and tie into a thought 100 pages later with a footnote on the first thought to be sure to see the second. And the pages, they are not each number, each pair of facing pages shares one number, so 533 pages is really 1066 pages give or take. And lest you still be wondering about the title, it’s not just a metaphoric looking at things in a new way. I have had to turn the book round and round and round and this way and that to read everything. Not for each page, mind you, but for many there is something written this direction requirement me to turn my head awkwardly before remembering I can turn the book.


Smallish knitting projects

Every year, Mom P makes wonderful crafts to take to local craft shows and schools to sell to those in need of Christmas gifts. We brainstormed gift ideas for men in general and older girls. After knitting up three dishcloths the other week, rather quickly I might add, I thought, I bet I can make a bunch and sell them. However, there are some ethical, if not legal, ramifications to selling a design someone else made without his/her permission. Rather than jump through hoops to do that, I am going to come up with my own version of a simple entrelac washcloth. I am going to experiment with different sized triangles/squares as well as stitch patterns. The pattern I used to make the first three, for personal use, were basically 8×8 squares, and the triangle base leg was 8 with a height of 8, which made a pattern of 3 by 3-three squares in several rows, two squares and two triangles, which combined make 3 squares. I have tentatively decided to try 6×6 squares with a 4×4 pattern, 4 rows of 4 squares or the equivalent. I am not going to do any searching for other entrelac patterns, lest I find that what I dream up has been dreamed previously. I think this makes sense to me. I’ve been scouring through the two smallish stitch dictionaries I have and will probably raid the local library via the web for more. Here’s to my first project on my own, or maybe second?

What would be the other project? There is a rather coolie R2D2 pattern (.doc/Word) for a hat that exists, but it seems to be a child’s sized hat. Since I don’t know of any children in need of a hat, I am altering it to an adult size, I do know of an adult or two who could use one. By the time I’m finished altering, I don’t think it will completely resemble the original, as there are almost 55% more stitches per row than the original pattern. Another pattern exists with protruding protrusions and I may refer to that as well, this pattern has a few more stitches than the first, but much larger needles. I tried size 7 US with the yarn, and it’s too loose of a stitch.