Unraveled Wednesday | 1.23.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.23.19

It’s Wednesday and that can mean just one thing – making and reading!!

On the making front – there was a bit of unraveling this week. My yarn selection for Ysolda’s shawl was not good. I worked “clue one” with no problems, but “clue two” is where the problems arose. There are some slipped stitches with the yarn on carried on the right side of the fabric – but my yarn choice did not show this at all in a pleasing way. So, it has been frogged and while I swatch with a few other yarns, I am working on my “in process” Ravelry queue – which is a very good thing! This means I am finally almost to the halfway point on this project!

I also cut out a bird – in a bit of a “muslin” flannel to see how this works. Stay tuned for this stitching to unfold.

As you can see, even with failure – the making still progresses!

This week’s reading had some very interesting results!

In the, “wow this took me a long time to read” category: Tenth of December by George Saunders. This is a collection of short stories that were not quick reads at all. This was not a quick read for me because I needed to think about each story after finishing it. It was at times hard to understand without a bit of thought – and at times upsetting, at times humorous, and at all times compelling. The first and last stories were by far my favorite – but maybe because I understood them best? I gave this book 4-stars – Saunders is an amazing wordsmith!

Last year, I read and LOVED The Story and I have been fascinated by it ever since so when I found Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How they Communicate – Discoveries from A Secret World I thought I would find answers to many questions I had, and while I enjoyed it – it was too much a blend of supposition and fact. And, sometimes it was hard to figure out fact from fiction. However, it was a book that held my attention, so I gave it 3-stars.

A book I do not recommend is The Ruined House. The story revolves around egocentric Andy Cohen and the slow destruction of life as he knows it. The entire book is full of almost over-kill on details until the end. And, then with no logical explanation – life is somehow miraculously and perfectly restored for Cohen. Originally, I gave this book 2 stars, but have downgraded my review to 1-star (and really, I’d love to give it a half a star, but Goodreads does not have that option!)

Finally, the winner of the week is Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. This is a beautifully told story surrounding an absolutely horrific act and what happens because of that act. The story is told from the perspective of Joe, the son of a judge in a tribal court. The book is powerful, moving, and gives a look into life on an Ojibwe Reservation in North Dakota. 5-stars and I highly recommend!

That is what I have for the week – what about you? What’s on your radar this week?

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

Weekending | 1.20.19

Weekending | 1.20.19

Greetings from a sunny but very cold wintry wonderland!

The weekend forecast was the stuff of a weatherperson’s dreams – all the weather in one day so, we braved the crazed “Armageddon” crowds at the grocery store to get a couple of things. Really not the most brilliant thing we’ve ever done, but we did manage to survive.

We thought that trip was a fool’s errand when all the predictions for Saturday just sort of fizzled out. No snow but yes, we got lots of rain and the temperatures stayed well above freezing all day. The rains finally turned to ice and then to snow as our temperatures plummeted to single digits overnight. The arctic blast is indeed upon us!

And, so what do you do with all the weather drama? Well, you make comfort foods (i.e. stuffed acorn squash), drink whiskey, and finish projects!

I did some sewing with really lovely results. I mentioned Fancy Tiger Crafts One-Hour Top a couple of weeks ago and I found some knit fabric on sale at JoAnn’s and in less than an hour I sewed up a muslin from the sale fabric to see how it would fit and what adjustments I might need to make. Yes, less than an hour – including cutting out the pattern in that time! There are just 4 seams and then stitch the neck, sleeves and hem with a double needle, which gives a really lovely and surprisingly easy finish! And, the fit is really wonderful so I have been looking online for more knit fabric to make a couple more shirts!

Steve’s mom loved her Christmas Cowl so much she asked if I could make one for Steve’s dad, which I was happy to do. I finished it on Saturday and delivered it early Sunday morning and just in time for the single digit weather we are going to be having this week!

I blocked Rachel’s Birthday Shawl and got the few ends woven in, and it is all ready to be shipped off to California!

I also finished a pair of handspun socks that were two years in the making! That’s right I bound them off on Sunday morning – I still have ends to weave in but at least they are off the needles!

Inspired by Mary, I cleaned up my Ravelry queue and frogged a few items that just are not going to ever be finished for a variety of reasons. It feels infinitely better looking at my queue now and I even feel energized to get these lingering projects finished! All this work deserved a reward so I cast on a new shawl with a skein of handspun yarn that I found in last weekends organization that I had earmarked for this project!

In the “late to the party” category (and thanks to pneumonia!) I have recently discovered how entirely enjoyable Doctor Who is! I am just starting Season 4 thanks to Sunday’s snow storms and wintry blast! I will just say this; The Doctor is a very good knitting companion!

Steve works tomorrow, no day off for him! But if you do have tomorrow off – I hope you spend a little time thinking about MLK!

What did your weekend hold?

TGIF | 1.18.19

TGIF | 1.18.19

Even though it feels like January is moving at a snail’s pace – it is Friday again! And, perhaps this weekend I might even be motivated (i.e. feel good enough) to get more things done. Last weekend it took me all weekend, but I cleaned and organized my Craft Room/Office! I might have even made a note to myself that I have enough single skeins of sock yarn to knit socks until I live to be 150 years old – at least! But, as Mary pointed out yesterday – I have no SQ of sock yarn – so there is that! This week’s TGIF is full of lots of good things so let’s get started!

Thinking About – In some ways, January’s slowness has been a very good thing for thinking! And, one thing I have been thinking about lots is this blog and what I want it to be versus what it has become. One thing that has perked to the top is that this blog has been doing a bit of controlling me, rather than me controlling it. So, you might have noted some changes this week – changes that revolve around posting frequency. This is a bit of a work in progress as I find a balance that feels good. Thank you Mary and Honoré for being open and honest in our blog discussion this week!

Grateful for – So many who are doing the “heavy lifting” in the ongoing conversation about the fiber community becoming more inclusive for everyone – I am daily learning much and have found some really amazing and new-to-me fiber artists that I am now following. They bring amazing things to my IG feed and I am profoundly grateful for them!

Inspired By – As always, Courtney from Be More With Less. She shared a beautiful post about being “the priority of your own life” this week and it moved me – especially this quote by Rudy Francisco: Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done. This especially hit home for me, because I believe that as moms/partners/wives/etc. our focus is on everyone else and if we have a scrap of time or energy left at the end of the day, we might use it on ourselves. This has certainly been true for me and the list in her post is full of lots of somethings you can do for you. I have added a few of these to my weekly planner through the end of February to not forget myself!

Focused On – My Word! Yes, indeed – and in such a very good way. I have been making a list of so many things that I am currently “doing” just because I have always done them and, more importantly…I am thinking about the why for each of them. This is causing lots of shake ups (see above) as I ponder, meditate, and yes… focus on life. This might be the best word ever because the impact this word is having on me is just crazy!

One final thing… I have not posted any tempting links in ages but the teasers this week for Tina Tse’s Home Sweet Home Formula pushed me right over the top! Impulse purchase FTW! Oh, and a bonus – today is her birthday

That is all I have for this week! And, my Amaryllis update is most showy this week – four huge blooms on bulb #1 with a fifth opening this morning! I have been sitting and sipping coffee in the morning and appreciating its beauty! Now, if only it will last as long as January feels like it is! Have a good weekend all!

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.16.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.16.19

Greetings Unravelers! I am just a few LONG rows away from finishing Sarah Jordan’s Mini Maximization! Stay tuned for glamor shots next week!

In order to show you something NEW and interesting this week, I have some spinning to show you. I have finished skein three of my spin for Andrea Mowry’s Nightshift. I am incredibly happy with my skeins thus far and I started on the singles for skein 4 last night! I am excited to continue spinning and have hopes that my consistency maintains itself. All the fibers are not the same, but I tried to select fibers that all had similar qualities – thus making my worsted-spinning match between bumps of fiber. The last skein was the tiniest bit thicker than the previous skeins because it bloomed more than I thought it would in the finishing, but I think the difference will be imperceptible in the shawl. (Skeins from left to right: Southern Cross Fibre Rambouilet Wool Top – Allium colorway, Southern Cross Fibre Charollais Wool Top – Boil and Bubble Colorway, and Into The Whirled Superfine Merino – Scissors, Lizard, Spock colorway.)

One thing I really want to do more of this year is spin and use the yarn! I have a couple of SQ of wool washed that I would like to spin this year with the idea that I will knit it next year. Goals make all the difference. That is what drew me into this SAL-KAL lead by Brenshevia Boone in her group on FB – the idea that spinning for this project would take a good bit of time, as will the knitting. So, this is a SAL-KAL that runs through the summer – an easy time frame to spin and knit this shawl! We have monthly check-ins that help me stay focused and truly – if I can’t spin a bump of fiber in a month, there is something wrong with me!

Now, how about a bit of a reading update?

This week had two wonderful finishes:

After an extremely long wait, Where the Crawdads Sing finally came through on Overdrive. A beautifully told story, that knocked me for a complete loop in the end. I loved this book deeply and cried for a good part of the end! This book was easily 5-stars and I highly recommend it!

I also squeezed in the quick listen of Michael Eric Dyson’s Tear’s We Cannot Stop. This book is moving – and includes a good number of actionable items that us white folk can do to make a meaningful impact in the black community. It has painful moments – both to listen to and to hear. He also gives an excellent list of “must read” authors. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author and I highly recommend it. Mr. Dyson is a magnificent speaker and hearing him talk to you feels personal and intimate – like he is speaking to you alone. 4-stars – only because I wish it was LONGER!! I highly recommend, especially if you are trying to figure out how to help in light of the recent discussions on IG and Ravelry.

I am almost done with The Ruined House and have very mixed thoughts about this book. Stay tuned for my full review next week!

But, what about you? What is inspiring you this week?

As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you for joining us this week!

Sometimes Monday is for Poetry

Sometimes Monday is for Poetry

Michael Eric Dyson Spoke in depth about James Baldwin in his book What the Truth Sounds Like. My knowledge of James Baldwin was non-existent but thanks to the internet, I found a beautiful introduction to James Baldwin and his works. I found this poem most interesting and thought I would share it with you all today!

The giver (for Berdis)
By James Baldwin

If the hope of giving
is to love the living,
the giver risks madness
in the act of giving.

Some such lesson I seemed to see
in the faces that surrounded me.

Needy and blind, unhopeful, unlifted,
what gift would give them the gift to be gifted?

The giver is no less adrift
than those who are clamouring for the gift.

If they cannot claim it, if it is not there,
if their empty fingers beat the empty air
and the giver goes down on his knees in prayer
knows that all of his giving has been for naught
and that nothing was ever what he thought
and turns in his guilty bed to stare
at the starving multitudes standing there
and rises from bed to curse at heaven,
he must yet understand that to whom much is given
much will be taken, and justly so:
I cannot tell how much I owe.

Finally, a tiny postscript to last week:

If you did not find anything wrong with the post that lit the internet on fire last week, Karen explains beautifully what should have made you uncomfortable here.

And, then perhaps this perspective will open your eyes even wider.

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