Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas...

I'm almost done with my next book review (it's a twofer) and will try to get it up tomorrow. In the meantime, feast your eyes on some selections from tomorrow's Etsy shop update:


This is a new-to-the-Etsy shop yarn, Superwash DK, which is the same yarn I used to make Courtney's baby jacket:


It's the same base as my Superwash Sock: 100% merino, nice twist, great stitch definition, and having finished a little sweater in it, I can tell you it's a pleasure to knit with.

I've also been working on a bamboo blend for the Etsy shop. This is NOT the same yarn that the BBF Sock Club just got: it's a different blend from a different vendor. It really does look and feel quite different, and I suspect it will knit to a slightly heavier gauge (i.e. 7 to an inch instead of 7.5 to 8). It's fifty percent merino and fifty percent bamboo. I've only got a few skeins ready for tomorrow




but I'm hoping to have more in next week's update. Nice sheen from the bamboo! Superwash, too. (The one up top is shades of brown, more complex than it looks in the photo.)

While I'm catching up, I've got my December Book Report for my bibliophiles:

  1. Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited by Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein. Imagine you are an adoptee in your mid-thirties. Imagine you contact the agency that handled your adoption to get medical information about your birth parents. Imagine that a few days later, you get a call from the agency telling you that you have an identical twin who was adopted by another family in another part of the country. This is a memoir written by a pair of twins to whom this actually happened. It's a fascinating story, quick to read, in memoir form; it's also infuriating to read how blithely the adoption agency made human guinea pigs of these infants, separating more than one pair of identical twins in order to do a nature vs. nurture study.
  2. Never Enough by Joe McGinniss. McGinniss is best known for Fatal Vision, his somewhat controversial book about a former Green Beret and medical doctor who was convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters. The controversy surrounded both the defendant's guilt based on mainly circumstantial evidence, and McGinniss's role in befriending the defendant only to write a book concluding that the defendant was guilty of murder. McGinniss's latest book concerns the murder of a Hong Kong investment banker by his wife. I was fascinated by the description of this couple's world, living as wealthy young expats in Hong Kong, but since there was never any serious doubt as to who did it, the case was less compelling than those covered in some of McGinniss's earlier books. (Part of what was so gripping about earlier books was the dawning discovery by one family member that another family member may have committed murder in light of less-than-conclusive evidence about what actually happened.) While reading the book, I found out that I went to college with the murder victim; I don't recall meeting him, although I think he may have dated someone on my freshman floor. Weird and sad.
I started a couple other books and ended up abandoning them; I think the hubbub of the holidays made it harder to get into books for me.

6 comments:

Carol said...

Comment! Comment, damn you, comment!

the hanged man said...

Was doing a nature vs. nurture study the deliberate reason the adoption agency separated the twins, or just an unintended consequence? Did they track and monitor the twins after they were adopted? Creepy.

Did you see the recent case in England where a man and woman got married, only to then discover that they were separated fraternal twins. Creepier...

Carol said...

Yes to the first question. It's one of the only studies that exists that has the perfect "control" of separately raised kids with identical genetics. They did want to track and monitor the kids in the study (there were twins and one set of triplets), and they talk a little bit about how this was done with other kids in the study. The researchers abandoned the tracking of the authors because certain of their life experiences as infants deviated, so they felt there was too much of a disparity for them to continue to be part of the study. The results of the study are locked in a university archives until 2066 b/c the researchers were so concerned about the contents and the impact on the kids studied. None of the people in the study, parents included, were told about the precise nature of the study. Today standard adoption protocol is not to separate twins, and of course the whole idea of informed consent would make this thing impossible today. I believe that some other adoption agencies also participated in the study.

I had not heard about the English case. Very very creepy indeed....

mindy said...

I had seen a small article about the English couple- how heart breaking for them. Can you imagine the amount of therapy? Poor things.

The seperating twins thing has to hit you hard- I know it bothers me all the more thinking about my nieces. Their relationship is so special- even at just 10 months- I can't imagine anyone purposely denying them that.

Lovely sweater, and the yarns look great. As if I need more...

Theresa said...

Oh my... superwash dk! I might have to stalk the shop tomorrow. Those look fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading Identical Strangers right now. (No, I don't approve) I think the Louise Wise Agency made a mistake when they separated the triplets. They should have placed two together and one separately. They would have had the perfect way to actually test the nature/nurture concept. They didn't give themselves a control subject.

It is absolutely fascinating to see how closely the lives paralleled each other (and the other examples).

Liz in NoWhere PA
My DH teaches Experimental Psych. Some of it has worn off over the years...