Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

“SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

This week I present my new favorite sweater! It was a long time in the making, but wow do I like it! I like it so much that I have plans to make another.

I have this vintage skein of yarn from Briar Rose Fibers (thanks to being a premier SABLE member) and once I find some mohair to go with it, I will be knitting a second sweater! (if you all have color suggestions for me, I will gladly take them!)

Anyways, back to my sweater…the fit is really lovely, but next time I will knit 2 more repeats of the “pine cones” before beginning the bottom ribbing as I’d like an option with a bit more length.  The sleeves are long and I am surprised how much I like them this length! I only did 7 sets of sleeve decreases (versus the 10 the pattern called for) and for me that was just perfect. I worried about how it would fit at the shoulders, but it sits perfectly and there is no slipping or sliding off! The pattern is incredibly well written and it is easy to follow. I highly recommend Ririko’s Evening Dew Cardigan.

On top of all of that, I managed to spin up a bit of fiber and I finished the yarn from last week. Sarah was right…a soak helped, but some bits still need a bit more twist, so I will run this through my wheel again. The other skein is Warm Woolen Mittens I (sorry, no longer available on their site) from HipStrings and I just love how it turned out!

I have yet to re-cast on those socks… and I need to get going on that pronto! But….

This lovely little diversion arrived this week from Lisa at Fibernymph Dye Works… my first installment in the Backyard Birdwatchers Club! This is chickadee (with a small bit of contrasting fiber dyed to match their speckled eggs!) and it is just gorgeous. It is BFL and I can’t wait to spin this up!

The reading was so good this week… and there was so much of it! Insomnia is good for something…oy.

Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-free Life by Francine Jay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think this book is a simplified version of Marie Kondo – minus the joy. The author immediately suggests not reading the book cover to cover (perhaps her best suggestion, lol) but rather pick and choose the areas you want to work on. I did not find many useful suggestions, but she does make some suggestions that are helpful (perhaps not so much helpful, but insightful.)

Archive 17 (Inspector Pekkala #3)Archive 17 by Sam Eastland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It felt good to get back to Inspector Pekkala and this book takes him back to Siberia to uncover a mystery and find the Tsar’s hidden gold stash for Stalin. There are some unexpected twists and turns, but Pekkala prevails… sort of. I won’t give any of the story away, but it is a fun read!

 

The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9)The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vera and a murder…what’s not to love? This latest installment in the Vera series does not disappoint. I have so enjoyed watching the development of characters as this series has progressed. I highly recommend this series!

 


Whew… that was a lot of stuff for a post! What about you? How was your week? 

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


Welcome, March! | 3.1.21

Welcome, March! | 3.1.21

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. — Charles Dickens

Welcome March! I have been eagerly awaiting your arrival!

It seems Dickens and I have the same vision of March… it can be glorious in the sunshine (when the sun shines here in Pittsburgh), but in the shade you’d think winter was still here!

While we had all kinds of melting in the last week of February here in Pittsburgh, I have memories of the “Mud Season” that Michigan does so very well in the spring. We have a tiny version here… our ground must thaw more quickly so it is only a Brief Interlude of Mud in Pittsburgh. This is not something I miss about Michigan, lol. Despite that melting, we will still have some very chilly days… perfect weather for a sleeveless tunic with a sweater!

Your wild winds always, always take me back to my earliest reading days with Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice. I remember walking home from the bus stop reciting it on blustery days with my arms out for balance as the wind pushed me along. I just loved reciting the “blowing once, blowing twice, blowing chicken soup with rice” part the best.

March makes my thoughts turn to my garden and how it might grow this year. I love looking through seed catalogs and at garden images on Pinterest! This year my goal is to certify my backyard!

March also brings a time change and Pi-day (March 14th), St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th), and March Madness begins March 18th. Oh..and the Knitter’s Pattern Party begins March 29!

But the best thing of all that you bring is SPRING on March 20th. I am hoping for a Lion and Lamb month… and I am so ready!

What about you? What are your hopes for March?

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

This quote has been so true for me this week. Sometimes, when life is just grand… why do you need hope? It is in the moments that are, well…less than grand…that the light of hope shines through.

I want to thank everyone for their incredibly uplifting comments to my word update on Monday. You all provided little beacons of hope that lifted me this week.

Words continued to bring hope…pleasure, attention, flesh, friendship, power, struggle, and loss. I thought I’d share a couple of the “poems” I wrote this past week. It amazes me how when I read the prompt in the morning… I am worried, what will I write? Yet a day of meditating on that word brings such delight and hope when I sit down to write. Bonny was brave and shared a couple of her poems, so I thought I’d do the same.

Power:

Simple little words
lifted my soul and warmed my heart
a much needed balm

Pleasure:

Knitting stitch by stitch
slowly building row by row
time just disappears

The other thing that has brought over-flowing hope this week has been the ever-increasing daylight here in Pittsburgh…and days with sunshine! I confess to being giddy with hope on Wednesday this week when we inched our way to the 60’s! I opened windows, breathed deeply, and savored even the rainfall that happened ever so briefly during the day.

I hope you found some things that brought you hope this week! Have a fantastic weekend everyone, I will see you back here on Monday! (and it will be MARCH!!)

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.24.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.24.21

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Greetings Unravelers! It’s the very last Unraveled Wednesday in February! And while we certainly had a wintry February here in Pittsburgh – the snowiest one since I moved here 7 years ago! My thoughts are turning to changing season knits. However, I have been giving my new knits a good work out and they are doing a good job of keeping me warm! And I am sure that the weather will be suitable for wearing my latest finish for a good bit of time before it is too warm for it.

This week the online classes for MDSW were available and I signed up for a couple of spinning classes with the hopes of improving my spinning skills. These classes qualify for Bucket List Classes as well! First I signed up for a class on Twist taught by Maggie Casey. Twist… the hardest part of spinning. I hope to learn how to better control how much twist I want in my yarns. I also signed up for a class on spinning Columbia Sheep with Judith McKenzie. April looks to be an incredible month for learning! Which is a good thing because I finished another skein, and while it absolutely needs a bit more twist in the plying, I feel like my spinning is in a rut… I spin my default spin every.single.time. Sigh.

This week, however, I have a finish!! This sweater was a long time in the making, but she is done and I can’t wait to wear her! I started this sweater way back in October of 2019 and I finished it yesterday! Notes on the knitting… I should have knit the body a wee bit longer, sigh. Ripping back and adding a couple of inches is not something I am even considering though because of that strand of mohair. And, of course, I needed to wind another skein of yarn with just 10 rows to go in the second sleeve. It will be getting a nice soak this morning and I hope to have some glamour shots next week!

I do have a generous amount of the Briar Rose Fiber Angle Face left over to knit something else with. This was the largest hank of fiber known to the Knitiverse… a sweater plus is a very good bargain. Sadly, I don’t have enough of the mohair to strand with it. But there is a matching hat (Ravelry link) that will work with the mohair I have left!

I also had some unraveling this week… the fabric for Steve’s sock from last week just seemed a bit loose to me… so I ripped it out and will cast on again later today with smaller needles. Good thing I was not very much further than the photo from last week!

The reading this week has been just lovely… the perfect companion to sleeve knitting! Nothing like a good mystery to keep you engaged, right?

The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9)The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vera and a murder…what’s not to love? This latest installment in the Vera series does not disappoint. I have so enjoyed watching the development of characters as this series has progressed. I highly recommend this series!

 

The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)The English Assassin by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In The English Assassin we are invited to learn more about Gabriel Allon… and what we learn makes him even more interesting. This story unfolds with a journey and a death (of course, lol) and how it progresses is fascinating. I learned about Switzerland, art, and music. I highly recommend this series and I am eagerly awaiting the third installment in this series.


That is what my making week looked like, what about you? What kept you company while you were making this week?

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


Release | February 2021

Release | February 2021

I am joining Carolyn again this month to share my word update.

This may be the most exhausting blog post I have ever written. I started it on Friday, rewrote it on Saturday, deleted it on Sunday and started again…exhausting  to the nth power! And even then… hitting that damned publish button! February has just been so mentally difficult. Despite a plethora of recommendations, I had been avoiding Brené Brown for a very long time. Something in the things she said just hit way to close to home for me and I was not ready at all to even begin to think about why. But then February came… and I figured, how bad can starting be? Especially in such a short month…

Oh boy…how bad?

Apparently really bad because I listened to The Gifts of Imperfection…twice. And that was not enough so I ordered a physical copy and have been reading it, marking it, underlining it, writing in it ever since. There has been lots of anger, tears, frustrations, if only’s, and thoughts about how ignoring things just doesn’t work long term. This phrase really hit home for me:

“The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Yep. Exactly.

This month I began the work of not hitting the snooze button anymore and started to peek into my inner closets that are jammed full of all the things I don’t really know what to do with.

I started out by using a combination of Carolyn’s Being vs. Doing prompt for February and the worksheets that Brené has on her website for Wholehearted Living. Before I knew it, those pages were full so I moved to the margins and wrote more and then flipped over the paper and wrote still more.

And while I’d like to tell you that I have found a solution in all this reading, thinking, and writing. It just is not as easy as all that.

But what I do know is that I am not going to solve anything. I just need to find a way to release it.

If only the doing was as easy as the knowing what to do

I will be back on Wednesday to share some unraveling (fingers crossed that there is a finished sweater!!)

If you want to see my journey with release, you will find it here.

 

 

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