Thanks for all the comments on my last post–clearly, I need to fact-check my blog posts, instead of just rambling. But oh, how I love rambling. I’ve updated the post to reflect the new, correct info.

Anyway, when I went to see He’s Just Not That Into You the other day (I enjoy a rom-com, shut up. Read this post written by these guy friends of Adam’s who all watched Music and Lyrics, the fine fine movie with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.) and I noticed that Jennifer Connelly (an actress I dislike normally–her eyebrows! I just can’t deal!) was wearing this short-sleeved sweater with a long-sleeved shirt underneath in most of her scenes:

Jennifer Connelly

I think this might have been the wardrobe department’s idea of using clothes to signal that her character is uptight, but I kind of liked the look actually. There’s been a long tradition of guys wearing long-sleeved t-shirts under short-sleeved t-shirts, which was popular even when I was in high school, and probably best shown on tv by the O.C.‘s Seth Cohen (Adam Brody):


But that’s shirts, not sweaters. I think the layered look is cute, and I found this free Classic Elite pattern that uses this same kind of styling. What do you think? Cute but impractical? Or does it only work with thin sweaters, not bulky ones like the one below? (By the way, the Classic Elite site has tons of great free patterns. I think they can come in a weekly e-newsletter too, if you want.)


Posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized at March 5th, 2009.

Once, when I lived in Paris and saw movies by myself all the time, I went to a movie I thought was called Lola Stella, but turns out to have been called Lola Turns Stella Does Tricks,  and it was a film of unspeakable filth. (I was deceived by the movie guide listing and apparent lack of ability to read movie summaries in French. I had only understood one sentence of the summary. All I knew was that it starred the girl from Trainspotting and that it was in English) After ten minutes, I was like, OMG, I cannot take anymore of this movie–I felt like I needed to bleach out my retinas from what was going on on screen–and I went outside and explained my predicament to the usher and she nodded. She said, “I understand completely. Just wait here for five minutes, and you can go see the next showing of Stepmom, it’s really good.” I have never been so grateful to see Hollywood schlock. I was like thank the lord for Julia Roberts and her dippy movie, because it has saved me from seeing these terrible images of Lola Turns Tricks Stella Does Tricks.

To a lesser extent, this happened to me reading-wise last week. As I mentioned, a friend had given me Out and Grotesque, two Natsuo Kirino mystery novels, and since he and I normally have the same taste (we almost always give each other stuff the other person already has–past gifts have included Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled) I was excited to read them. They were compelling and parts of them were quite interesting, but there was also a level of violence that I was not expecting and I was a little taken aback. (Out was about lonely factory-working housewives who turned to murder and Grotesque was about prep-school girls who turn to prostitution and more.) So when Adam’s mom sent me Kate Jacobs’s The Friday Night Knitting Club as a gift in the mail, it was a very nice unexpected surprise–much like when I saw Stepmom.

The Friday Night Knitting Club is blurbed on the front as “Like Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan.” I have not seen Steel Magnolias, but I am pretty sure this is a fairly accurate description. In fact, I am kind of surprised no one has come up with the gimmick of the book before. Much like Like Water for Chocolate or Heartburn or whatever book that used food as a metaphor for life,  the novel uses knitting as a metaphor for life–you know, each chapter starts out with a description of a stitch, and then it says something like, “Purls, you keep the bumpy side hidden, and the smooth side you show to the world.” (<–paraphrasing here, but you know where this book is heading. It’s like all the Carrie Bradshaw pun-filled voiceovers in Sex and the City–“When it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?”) I think Julia Roberts is actually starring in the movie version of this book, which is amusing, because she is also in Steel Magnolias and Stepmom, all three of which (spoiler alert) involve a woman–with so much life left to live!–dying of cancer.** Not that cancer is funny, but it’s like the modern consumption. Once someone in an old-timey movie or book starts coughing, you know it’s all over. Though characters with consumption always seem to have a lot of male suitors.

Anyway, personally, I enjoyed The Friday Night Knitting Club, and might even read the sequel, though I have to say that it’s kind of the literary equivalent of Stepmom. I went through a phase of reading a bunch of Laurie Colwin novels (I get the urge again every summer at the beach), and this book definitely fell into the Laurie Colwin category, where everyone lives in a mythical Upper West Side: People are quirky, but not to the point where it would be weird; people work in publishing, and love to read; men sometimes cheat, but only because they cannot express their true love; old people live in the San Remo; and everyone loves Zabar’s. Laurie Colwin novels are like porn for a certain kind of girl*–it’s this fantasy of the Upper West Side and all of its bourgeois WACKINESS in one light joyous romance. 

*If you majored in English and work in publishing, this is probably you.

I will also say that though I do not feel this book actually had very much to do with knitting at all, though if you like knitting, you might enjoy this notion of a knitting circle as the new book club. It’s not like they knit entrelac in it or anything. Haha. There is, though, like Heartburn, a knitting pattern and a recipe in the back, (written by the characters, of course) for verisimilitude.

** EDITED TO ADD: As several commenters have pointed out, Julia Roberts actually dies of diabetes, not cancer, in Steel Magnolias. Also, after reading Grace’s comment, I checked and realized this movie was called Stella Does Tricks. This blog, clearly not fact-checked. Will try to improve.

Posted in book reviews, Uncategorized at March 5th, 2009.