I was telling someone the story of Les Miserables the other day, and it occurred to me that I no longer could tell what bits of the story I remembered from the book, and which were really the musical adaptation‘s version. So I started rereading the book. I don’t know how many times this makes for me. I read it for the first time in 1985, and have read it over and over again since. The thick paperback copy I bought in high school was read until it lost its covers, and eventually I bought a new one. This time around I’m reading it on my kindle, which is ever so much more convenient, not to mention lighter!
So far I’ve gotten through the early history of Jean Valjean and the Bishop, and have followed Fantine up through leaving Cosette with the Thenadiers. I love Victor Hugo’s writing style, particularly all the little inconsequential details he puts in. (Though as Sherlock Holmes reminds us, “To a great mind, nothing is little.” And God knows I do love me some Sherlock. (seriously, I just joined tumblr just so I could keep up with the fandom (yes, I know these nested parenthetical clauses are out of control))) They make the story more real somehow. Anyway, I was reading the bit about Fantine and her friends spending the day out with their boyfriends, and the bit about the girls’ stockings caught my attention:
And in this community of Paradise, talking, singing, running, dancing, chasing butterflies, plucking convolvulus, wetting their pink, open-work stockings in the tall grass, fresh, wild, without malice, all received, to some extent, the kisses of all, with the exception of Fantine, who was hedged about with that vague resistance of hers composed of dreaminess and wildness, and who was in love. “You always have a queer look about you,” said Favourite to her.
Hugo, Victor (2010-12-16). Les Misérables (English language) (Kindle Locations 2630-2633). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.
You see, I need another knitting project, and none of the projects I’d been thinking about before Christmas are quite right anymore. However, I do need more warm wool socks, and I have this gorgeous skein of Ice Blue Double Down yarn from FreshIsle Fibers (it just sorta happened to end up in my basket when I was getting the Winter Is Coming mittens kit that was Pippi’s Christmas present). But I have this quirk that I can’t start a project until I can see in my head what I want it to be like, and I couldn’t quite see it yet. But when I read that little bit about the pink, open-work stockings, suddenly I could see it: tall, pale blue stockings, just lacy and open enough to be pretty, just solid enough to still be warm, perfect for feeling like a girl even when it’s deathly cold outside. Not really lace, just an eyelet pattern, maybe the classic clover leaf, maybe something a little more complex. And over lunch I did a little googling, and now I’ve got a plethora of options. So now I’ve got a decision to make. I won’t be able to really decide until I go home and do a little swatching, but for now, this is what I’m thinking about:
- Eyelet Hearts
- Hoop’s Rib
- Chain of Hearts
- Diamond Eyelet
- Lacey Points
- Baby Elephant (though I have to admit this one is mostly for the name, not so much because it’s pretty)
What do you guys think?
In other news, I found out today that my dear Sarge is on the brink of being hired away by one of the local police forces. I’m trying very hard to be happy for his sake – this is a great career move for him, and will be much better for his family too. But he’s one of My Boys, and I’m going to miss him so much.
Also (and this goes back to Les Miz), if I ever have a daughter, I fully intend to name her Josephine, and shorten it to Zephine, and then probably just to Z. I think that would be awesome.