Unraveled Wednesday | 2.21.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.21.24

Greetings Dear Unravelers and Welcome!

There was some unraveling this week… remember that hat I shared last week? Well, it was just too big, which for a hat is not a good thing. I got gauge, but it was just huge. This yarn has “tried” to be a number of things so perhaps it is the yarn and not the knitter! Socks did not work (and I tried several patterns), and a hat was not it either! And so this skein is being consigned to the Gnome Bag! My goal today is to find a suitable skein to try Sarah’s hat pattern again…wish me luck! (with eleventy-zillion skeins of sock yarn in my stash this should be an easy thing to do!)

However, I did have success this week with a finished pair of socks! Pair #2 for 2024…The yarn is a “test color way” from Fibernymph Dyeworks — Grays/Pinks Test Colorway. I knit my favorite sock pattern, Carole’s Picot Socks and they just flew off the needles. A sock is the perfect nighttime knit… I can sit with Steve but not really pay too much attention to what is on television.

I also succeeded in the Italian Tubular Cast On… and I have the ribbing finished and have started the body of Steve’s vest. The color is kind of off-putting because really I want to keep knitting with pinks! But it will be the most excellent business attire color… so I knit on!

The thing that is saving my sanity these days is my daily stitching ritual…  you can see page six above on my 100 Day Journey. Such fun from literal scraps of fabric… things I probably should have thrown away, but my goodness, am I glad I did not do that!

My reading has definitely slowed dramatically down. I saw my doctor earlier this month and talked to him about my insomnia… he had some suggestions, which I have implemented over the month. The main thing was “no screen time” and I read books on my iPad at night. Or at least I had been… now, when the lights go off, I do not lay there and read in the dark… and stunningly, my sleep has improved. I have only had a couple of nights this month that sleep has been elusive. Thus it took me forever to finish a kindle book but I did! I got an advance copy of Mr. Comey’s latest mystery, Westport, from Netgalley. I am happy to report that the second book in this series was much better than the first! I made a guess early on in the reading of who I thought “did it” and I was right! (Although, I prefer being wrong… lol) Anyways, if you tried Central Park West and were disappointed, you might want to try again with Westport which will be out May 21, 2024.

I also have finished listening to The Poisonwood Bible. Oh my. Kym said there’d be so much to discuss with this one… and she is so right! Anyways, I loved it (and hated so many things in it…) but really, really loving how the story is told! I have laughed, cried, laughed some more, and even had some rather animated discussions with Steve about some aspects of it. (He is not even the least bit intrigued to read it… lol)

I have begun listening to The Eyes and The Impossible by Dave Eggers. So far… so very good. And my next Kindle read is one many of you have read… an advanced copy of Real Americans. I barely cracked it open… but those few “pages” have lured me in!

And there you have my week. What about you? What are you loving right now?

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

Sometimes Monday | 2.19.24

Sometimes Monday | 2.19.24

Is for processing the weekends thoughts and ideas!

You all provided an abundance of food for thought with your comments last week…thank you so much for your input!

Yes, I have been thinking LOTS of thoughts about that Great Cabled Disaster of a Sweater… starting with the painful thoughts of ripping the entire thing out.

And while that is a very real possibility for the sweater, I also considered a simpler starting point… buttons to see what that might do. I did not buy new buttons, rather I went to my button jar and pulled out 5 matching buttons and stitched them on. It helped… the tiniest bit. After sewing those buttons on, I am still not at all sure what the designer wanted with the button holes that she wrote in the pattern. Quite simply, they do not work… I managed to jam two buttons through two of the holes and if this sweater is not frogged… they will need some improvement. At the current size it also needs an additional button to snug up the collar.

Next on the adjustment list… the sleeves. The cuffs are just all.too.much. They need to be less bulky… and quite a bit tighter. It might not be too difficult to cut the current cuffs off, put the sleeve stitches on a needle and knit new, tighter, less bulky, better fitting cuffs. Still… this is a lot of work for a sweater that the scale is tipping more and more towards frogging.

I also did a bit of Ravelry searching over the weekend which might be the tipping point for this disaster of a sweater.

So after all this “thought processing” I am pretty sure I know where this sweater is heading… now I just need the right “binge watch” to get that process started!

Happy Monday all, I will see you all back here on Wednesday!


A Gathering of Poetry | February 2024

A Gathering of Poetry | February 2024

As a person who finds a great deal of silliness with Valentine’s Day and the whole idea that surrounds it… love poems are not my favorite.

That is until I read José A. Alcántara’s poem in Poetry of Presence II. (I mean a former construction worker, baker, commercial fisherman, math teacher, and studio photographer turned poet… seems brilliant, no?)

And really… who does not have a love affair with silence?

Love Note to Silence

by José A. Alcántara

It’s impossible to stay in bed when you’re around.
I love our morning tea, our walks in the woods,
listening to all your crazy stories.

I’m sorry that I don’t contribute much,
that I mostly just nod and smile,
and sometimes scratch the back of my head.

But listening to you is like the shore listening to the ocean.
I’m swept clean of my detritus, my rotting organic matter,
everything tossed there by the rude and the ugly.

Here, let me grab my pen and notebook, my binoculars. Let me slip
on my coat and shoes. The handheld cranes are passing overhead.
Let’s go to the fields at the edge of town and make some noise.

“Love Note to Silence.” Copyright © José A. Alacántara

A huge thanks to Bonny for hosting all us poetry lovers… Stop by and see what other poems you can gather today!

See you all back here next week Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.14.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.14.24

Greetings Unravelers and Happy Valentine’s Day Ash Wednesday! (Or the opening of Fried Fish Season… IYKYK)

It is a day for all.the.things… especially the things we make!

I have some good… and some not so good to share with you today. I will start with the good..

Yesterday I began my sixth page for the 100 day project I am working on. Fifteen minutes a day over five days per page is the sweet spot of making… really. Less or more would not be good. Page five was inspired from Ann Wood’s “monthly creative spark” … vessel. I thought and thought about how to approach this… and I think I came up with a great interpretation! I present A Maker’s Vessel!

A knitting “bowl” filled with inspiration!

A bit of appliqué and then I just let my creativity flow with bits of scrap yarn, a wee pocket to fill with wee balls of yarn. It was so fun to watch this idea come to life on my “page.” This time might be my favorite 15 minutes of each day. And it is really making me think about how small blocks of time can really spark your creativity!

Pages 1 and 2 on top, 3 and 4 on the bottom.

As you can see in the header photo… there was a good bit of “safe knitting” done this week as well. Thanks to Super Sunday, I had an almost finished sock on Sunday night when I went to bed. I just had the toe decreases and grafting to a finished sock, which I did on Monday… and I immediately cast on its mate and have made great headway on it as well! I think that another pair of socks this month is very doable! I have also made some progress on a hat… I just love the “sunny-ness” of the yarn!

Now on to the Very Bad and Extremely Disappointing News of the Month. The Great Cabled Sweater is Enormous. E-Nor-Mous. And it weighs a ton…which I think does not help the fit at all. I have not purchased buttons yet… and I am at the point of such great disappointment that I am not sure I will. But, in my deep disappointment I have been thinking of how this colossal disaster might be salvaged… perhaps I could rework all.the.shoulders. and the sleeve caps of each sleeve. That’s an extremely daunting task and I am not sure it is worth all the additional effort that would take. (Or maybe Steve will wear a pink sweater?) Sigh. Also… that yarn… well it seemed nice and sturdy pre-washing… post washing, it is a super-shedder… as in it sheds more than Sherman does… if that is even possible! And, sans sunshine and an outdoor breeze… it takes FOR.EVER to dry! I washed it again on Saturday and it has been laying out to dry in the house since then and it is still.not.dry. (at this writing on Tuesday afternoon!) 

Maybe it can become the most expensive bathrobe ever crafted….

There is really no place this sweater fits…

Although, I do love this collar and the 3-needle bind-off detail…but note, where the collar edge is on my shoulder… that is my shoulder. The shoulder seam is some two inches down my arm, making the sleeves even longer than they already were! 

Fortunately, the reading has been a balm this week! I finished The Color of Water by James McBride. If you have not read this… you should! It is balm reading at its finest!

I also started The Poisonwood Bible on Monday… and it sucked me right in and I can’t wait to talk about this book!

At night, thanks to Netgalley, I am working through James Comey’s second mystery… and it is MUCH better than his first mystery!

Now… I am going to attempt the Italian Tubular Cast On to start Steve’s vest and have one enormous fried fish sandwich for lunch!

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

See you back here tomorrow with some much needed poetry!

Sometimes Monday | 2.19.24

Sometimes Monday | 2.12.24

needs a bit of humor…

Yes, we have departed the Fool’s Spring and have arrived at the Second Winter portion of February. Sigh. The snow onslaught begins overnight…

Staying in the Land of Humor… I finished the seaming of the sweater. It might be a trifle big… okay, more than a trifle… more like the Entire Box of Chocolates Big. I am debating in my head the options for said sweater. Stay tuned.

See you all back here on Wednesday where there will likely be LOTS of unraveling!

Things I learned this week | 2.9.24

Things I learned this week | 2.9.24

Happy Friday!

Yes, February is moving on… rather rapidly! (too rapidly?) I am thinking that our little run of gloriously sunny days might be the reason why… because the normal sunless winter we usually get… well, those days just seem to drag, don’t they?

But this week was for learning… and learn I did! So let’s get started!

I had no clue that I really needed a Fast Car duet coupled with a rousing rendition of Both Sides Now… every. single. day. The most delicious ear worms. Who knew that songs from what feels like a lifetime ago, suddenly have new life in my head!

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Foyle’s War… I needed a Seaming Companion this week and Christopher Foyle and dear Sam were just the ticket! Two episodes “done” and I have just two seams to go on my sweater! The seaming will end soon (today maybe) but I think that I will be spending a bit more time with the Foyle Crew!

And speaking of seaming… I had forgotten how magical mattress stitching is! Although sleeve caps remain one heck of a challenge! They are the Main Culprit for my Seaming Angst. But down the “straightaway” … well, it might be the most fun of knitting!

In the ongoing search for “Horse Books” for Genevieve, I discovered Elaine Heney! (and there are LOTS of books by her to grow Vivi’s library!)

And there you have the things I learned this week… Happy Friday, Everyone! See you all back here on Monday!


Unraveled Wednesday | 2.7.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.7.24

Greetings dear Unravelers and Happy First Wednesday in February!

Is it just me or are you all surprised to find yourself on the seventh day of this month?

I hit a HUGE milestone on Sunday afternoon… (I feel like I should insert a drumroll here… lol)

I finished the knitting portion of The Great Cabled Sweater! 

Done… with a skein to spare! All ready for a nice long soak!

Which ushered in a rush for the washing and blocking of all the pieces. Fortunately, the weather is cooperating delightfully here in the ‘Burgh… a week of warm sunny days to speed the drying. My yard looked quite hilarious…

Precise measurements… come on sun, dry these pieces!

Tuesday morning the pieces were mostly dry and so The Great Mattress Seaming began! I am nervous… as all get out! It’s A LOT of seaming, people. Seaming inside and outside… I made a more concise list of seaming order. Please send all the Seaming Juju you can muster my way. I hope to have a finished sweater THIS WEEK! (although, if this warm weather holds I might not get to wear it until next winter… sigh.) And I will begin my search for the Perfect Buttons (so any button retailer recommendations would be gratefully accepted!)

To celebrate, I whipped up two fuchsia “valentine” trees for the gnomes!

The Gnome Home is all set for the Valentine’s holiday!

And wound some yarn for another pair of socks… and cast on! (who am I?? lol)

The reading this week… slow as all get out. Just two finishes… The next Max Tudor Mystery, A Demon Summer. Perfect palette clearing listening! And Laurie Frankl’s latest book, Family Family. The premise is curious but I have strong thoughts about all of it.

And with that, I have some seaming to get back to! What about you all… what is demanding your attention this week?

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

Welcome February | 2.5.24

Welcome February | 2.5.24

The Polar Intuit of northwest Greenland, the northernmost people, call February ‘seqinniaq’, “the month when the sun appears. ― Fred Bruemmer

Yes, February brings lengthening days and in Pittsburgh, we will gain an additional 66 minutes of daylight this month! Woot! If that does not lighten one’s spirit, I don’t know what will!

So what do I want to accomplish this month? Or what do I want to try? I have a few ideas that have been rattling around my head… some for a very long time. Maybe this is the month to set them loose and see where they go!

Of course, there will be February Stitching. I am really enjoying this addition to my morning routine. It is quiet, inspiring, and after the long days of January… it very much feels like a ritual now. I begin thinking about what I might stitch each day as I brew my coffee.

February circles

There is one other new-ish thing I have added to my year… a reimagined gratitude journal. I have tried and failed so many times at a “gratitude list” journal. But this year, I wanted some of my time to be focused on gratitude and late last year I had a bit of a gratitude epiphany. I wondered if having a bit of a gratitude conversation with myself… not a list, but something more thought-provoking… and yes, self-conversational… that’s a thing, at least for me! Anyways, my hope is that I will be able to go back and read my conversations on bleak days where gratitude seems impossible… and find a bit of gratitude from the past to hold on to! I began quietly in January… I wrote just eleven entries but those eleven conversations… well, they were powerful… thought provoking… and they have lingered with me well past the writing! I hope that February builds on those eleven days and takes off in a good way!.

Finally… this month I want to spend some time de-cluttering/re-organizing my kitchen cupboards. We have limited space in the kitchen and a fewseveral… most cupboards that have things in them that are never, ever used. Those things need to find new homes and usher in a reclamation/reorganization of space. But… I have been thinking about this for a long time and this month I am going to implement my ideas! And maybe I will no longer have to lug things up and down from the basement!

A small list… a small(ish) month… but these are big intentions!

What about you? What do you hope February holds?

Proof of Life | 2.2.24

Proof of Life | 2.2.24

Today is Groundhog’s Day and Punxsutawney Phil will soon be making is prediction… but regardless of him seeing his shadow or not, we have 6 more weeks of winter before spring arrives on March 19th. (Although with our forecast of a week of much warmer temps, maybe spring will be arriving this week!)

I read another week with Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows and it might just have been my favorite week thus far!

I was so absorbed by the task of planning for spring that I completely forgot how long the wait for true springtime would be…I was remembering my favorite part of planting: the moment when the seedling, fragile as any lace-winged insect or hallow-boned nestling, somehow shoves the clods of earth aside and makes it way upward and outward. Searching for the light. — Margaret Renkl, The Comfort of Crows, an excerpt from Winter, Week 7

Last fall… I invested in spring. I planted LOTS of bulbs and have since been battling squirrels who believed I planted a buffet just for them! I have even seen said squirrels taunting me from the tree gnawing on the big, juicy bulbs they had unearthed. My fears grew and grew and grew… was my hopeful investment for a blooming spring for naught?

Oh, me of little faith!

Crocus peeking out! And yes, the weeds are growing… sigh.

This week a plethora of “proof of life” has been showing in my gardens! I might have even put on my happy pink socks and done a great big happy dance in my soggy back yard!

Daffodils that the squirrels missed!

So even if those squirrels have feasted on a good number of bulbs… some survived and that makes all that work in the fall very much worth it! (Even if Bah Humbug Steve does not agree with me!) Sadly, the alliums that were sending up their delicate tender fronds were mowed back down to ground level. What ate them? I have no clue. I am hopeful their will to live will overcome this tragedy.

Who chomped these wee alliums?!

And… I have one month of stitching done… A Proof of Life from my creative self as well!

Thirty-one days of stitching!

I wish you all a very happy weekend! See you all back here on Monday!

** Header Photo by Gelgas Airlangga **

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.31.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.31.24

Greetings dear Unravelers!

At long last, we have arrived at the last day of January… it has been A. Month. (that felt like a month and a half… at least!)

We had “winter” for roughly ten days… ten glorious flannel sheet days. There was snow for less time, but for those brief days everything felt clean, bright, and hushed. I think snow makes the dark days of winter… well, less dark. But we are back to dark, dreary, with a yard that is like one giant squishy sponge. My game of “whack-a-mole” with the squirrels returns… because of course they STILL are trying to dig bulbs up! (more on those bulbs later this week… )

Happy Handspun Socks!

And yes, on this last day of January… I have a finely finished pair of socks that make me so happy! I have barely taken them off since finishing them last week. My love for them and the love of having a mindless sock to knit while watching television at night caused me to dig out an already wound ball of yarn (from a failed attempt at socks, I think) I tried again… but the yarn is just too fine and I am not going to knit on smaller needles. So I am going to frog this start and get a hat started. I think it will be miles and miles of mindless nighttime knitting once I get past the increase portion, that is. I was going to knit a Musselburgh, but I like the look of Sarah’s crown increases and decreases better… so I made the purchase yesterday. I will get it started later today.

Frogging in 3…2…

As you can see above, the BIGGEST NEWS of all is that I have just ONE button band to go on the Great Cabled Sweater! I have begun the shawl collar increases… which is really a great deal of knitting… and it is pay attention knitting, so it not exactly “mindless” knitting. But I have a method for this madness. My countdown is the row of markers on the completed collar. As I increase, I move one from the completed to the in process… and that countdown is a bit like a cheerleader! I also wanted to begin the “wash and pin out to the correct dimensions” portion of the making…but I woke Tuesday to no water (thanks to a water main break… sigh.) We still have no water at this writing so the sweater blocking will move to another day’s list… hopefully we have water soon!

The reading remains slow… just two finishes this week. I have struggled to “stay awake” to read at night… only to wake around midnight to toss and turn. No reading then, because I am hopeful of falling back asleep… grrr! But, my listens were delightful… The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo was lovely! (It will be published February 13th!) And I listened to Geraldine Brooks Year of Wonders… very different from The Fox Wife, but I liked it as well! Brooks does such a wonderful job on research… and I am so very thankful for vaccinations! Haha!

What about you all on this final day of January?

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

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