The making over the past two weeks has been varied! Some Gnome Knitting means that I have finished my May Mystery Gnome and I love him! I also added some inches to the Sock for Sam.

First Finish is Gnocchi! And I have some Gnome deets to share with you all: 1. The Third Beard was the charm! I used low twist handspun singles and they did exactly what I hoped they would do after a little soak. 2. The Gnocchi pattern is written sans arms. However, I thought he needed them so I cast on for a six stitch I-cord, knit for 1.25″ and then added “hands”… I increased 3 stitches, knit four rounds and decreased over 2 rows to 3 stitches. To give the arms some “body” I added a bit of paper clip wire inside the I-cord tube. Voila!

I now have 5 Mantle Gnomes, and soon to begin my June Gnome. Year of Gnomes is going incredibly! Haha!

Second finish was my Out of Sight, Out of Mind Hitchhiker. Yes, I finished my Base 12 Handspun Hitchhiker and I love it! No really… I absolutely love it! It will be the perfect companion once summer is over…a bit of sparkle, the perfect blend of colors, and the perfect size at 45 “teeth” and the add in handspun to get to 45 teeth worked perfectly.

One other thing I did over the past couple of weeks was a bit of a “look back” on some knitting photos from previous May projects. May seems to be the month that I knit Close To You shawls… I have knit 4 of them that were either slated for a fundraiser or as a gift for someone.And, however improbable this seems, I do not have one for my own wardrobe. I know!! I began remedying that last week. I had a special skein of Miss Bab’s Shaken, Not Stirred in my stash and so I cast on! Selfish knitting for the win, right? (see it way up top with Sam’s Sock!)

The reading has been so good over the past couple of weeks… despite a couple of books not quite living up to the hype.

WeatherWeather by Jenny Offill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a very short book, there is a lot of meat… err, meaty topics? Perhaps stormy is the better analogy, lol.

Anyways, part of the time I was wondering if all accidental librarians are also pseudo-shrinks. I mean it fits… ask your librarian to recommend a book for you and you will be incredibly surprised at how well they know you!

But back to this story… yes, it is stream of consciousness and sometimes hard to stay with Offill, but do, because it’s worth it. This book made me think about so many things… some I have thought of before, some I have never thought of… but all in a very good way. All in all, I really enjoyed this journey.

Recommend. Absolutely!

The Order (Gabriel Allon, #20)The Order by Daniel Silva
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Order really missed the mark for me… yes, I know. I thought the same thing…how is that possible.

Well it’s entirely possible when a writer brings in an entirely implausible story line… like Silva does in this book. Yes he brought back characters I enjoy, but not one part of this story is believable… sadly. And part of that… that what Silva is writing about could happen…. is what makes these stories so good… at least for me. Or maybe this series has met it’s ending because I have just started #21 and it is not grabbing me like previous books have…

If you are an Allon fan, I’d say skip this one.

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for MortalsFour Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a recommendation from a friend… and what a perfect recommendation it was! It fit in so well with my One Little Word (Full) and I really enjoyed the bits of insight that I gleaned from it!

I listened to Burkeman read it to me… and I found that helpful… it felt very conversational, and I wrote down so many little things.

My main take away is that this book has something for everyone and it is not a huge time commitment to get to the nuggets! (and curiously, I thought this book fit very well with Offill’s Weather… this book made me think of so many things Offill talked about there!)

If nothing else, this book gives you permission to step away from that which you don’t like and lean into the things you do love… because if we get four thousand weeks… we are so fortunate. Time is a treasure, fill it with all that you love!

Highly recommend!

The Fire Next TimeThe Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

โ€œIt demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.โ€

This book begins with a letter from an uncle to his nephew… and continues with a letter from Baldwin to the reader. Tough love comes to mind, but perhaps total honesty is more accurate. That which is hard to hear… yet Baldwin holds your attention and states it clearly… as only he can do.

These words will be ringing in my head for a long time: โ€œWe cannot be free until they are free.โ€

Amen, Mr. Baldwin. Amen!

Highly recommend.

The Island of Missing TreesThe Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a book that did not live up to the hype… at least not for me. IMO, the book could have been infinitely improved if the Fig Tree had told all of the story…I completely agree with a friend who felt the same way.

I did not connect with the other characters and really struggled to stay focused on the story when the Fig Tree was not narrating.

Shafak talks a bit about the partition of Cyprus… but she barely scratches the surface. I think a bit more could have been included about that that might have piqued my interest more.

I cannot give a rousing recommendation on this one… but others have enjoyed it tremendously so YMMV.

That is all I have for today! What about you? What are you making today?

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