This week moved at warp speed… or at least it felt that way to me! I kind of had a mini-freak out this morning when I realized it was the 7th. Why this surprised me, I am not sure… as long as I can remember 7 follows 6… but yeah. Why this sudden panic? I realized that in two short weeks we will be on vacation!! Yikes!
Anyways, I have two patterns to finish cutting out this morning… so this post will be direct and to the point! Let’s get started!
As in the new podcast series from Sharon Says So. This series is touching on some history that I know little about, and though I have dipped my toes in to learn more, I have miles and miles to go.
From Sharon’s Blog: “For the next few weeks, we are going to explore a part of American history that we tend to learn very little about: the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.”
I am avidly listening and eagerly awaiting each episode. (Sharon has a vast library of podcasts so if you just want to listen to this series – it begins at episode 185.
Inspired (textstorming) —
As you all know I am taking another watercolor painting class this fall, but what you all might not know is that Kym is taking the same class with me! This has provided an entirely new line of learning for me and I wanted to share that joy with you all. The teacher provides feedback each week, but it is especially wonderful to get feedback before you turn your homework in… We have had several “textstorming” sessions and her input has helped me be better. We have both grumbled about the subject matter, and shared that we were yearning to paint some pumpkins! The Painting Gods must have read in on our texts… because this week is all about PUMPKINS! A huge thanks to Kym for all her input, advice, and inspiration!!
I am a fairly new poetry reader. I know some (of the more famous) poets, but I feel like there is this deep and wide ocean overflowing with poets I have yet to discover. Sometimes I find a poet and I just don’t “click” with their poetry but other times, I find someone whose words just sing to me… loud choruses! That happened this week… I stumbled across a new-to-me poet (Dr. Rafael Campo) and since then I have been driving Steve mad making him listen to Dr. Campo’s poems. I will be sharing more about Dr. Campo later this month, but for now I am sharing his TED talk about how poetry heals us.
Fall (gnoming) —
I began the October Gnome on Wednesday and it has been a bit of a challenge. I started with a yarn, but very soon things just felt very wrong. The October Gnome did not want to be all grey and dark green… at all. So I got out my “odds and ends bag” and I found some more Autumnal Yarns and that felt so much better.
The hat looks grey, but it is not… it is very tan in color!
The hat is done and I have begun the “body” and I think I see braids (and an acorn or two?) in this little gnomes future!
And with that, I am out of here! Happy Weekend everyone! See you all back here on Monday!
It has been a good week for making in my house!
I have a finished, blocked, and all ends-woven-in sweater! In January of 2020, I started Amy Christoffers’ Pheasant Sweater (Ravelry Link). I started out like wildfire knitting all that fun color work fairly quickly and I got past the sleeve divide… and then it languished for a long, long time. I picked it back up in August and, as in all things, a little time and attention and before you know it… there is a finished sweater!
I used the colors Amy used in her version and I could not be happier! They are such perfect autumnal colors! It is light, yet so warm and cozy. I can wear it with a camisole underneath… the Shetland wool is soft. I love the subtle color shifts in the color work and I will be living in this sweater this fall!
Tight, close colors…such perfection!
The other making success I had this week involved baking! I have been trying to make pita bread but have had mixed success… the pouffing of the pitas was hit or miss for me. So I did some research and made some tweaks to my oven temperature, and amount of preheating of my baking steel… and those tweaks… worked!
From the first two…
I baked Pillowy, Puffy Pitas! And they were so delicious! I used Food52’s recipe. My recipe tweaks: After the dough has proofed, I refrigerate the dough and I used it within 36 hours (although I think 48 hours of refrigerator time would be fine.) I take it out about 45 minutes before I want to bake… and upon taking the dough out of the refrigerator, immediately divide the dough as the recipe calls for. I let the divided dough rest on a baking sheet, covered, for 35-40 minutes. I preheat my oven before I divide the dough and put the baking steel (this is the baking steel we have) in about 30 minutes before I am going to bake… so a short preheat for the steel. Once you are ready to bake, things go quickly, I roll out all the pitas on squares of parchment paper (like Erin did here) and I stack them and keep them covered until I begin the baking process which is so incredibly easy. You just drop the parchment squares on the steel and set your timer! It is almost too easy for something so incredibly delicious! Homemade pitas are so much better tasting than any store-bought pitas I have ever tried! I hope I have inspired you to make your own pitas soon!
To the last two…
The reading was a bit slower than last week… I am finding that I need a few days after finishing a book to “digest” it. Which makes what I have just finished more memorable. But I did have one finish this week!
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As in most collections of short stories, I liked some more than others in this collection of stories.
But even the ones I did not like as much as others, were still good.
This is my second “book” by Li and I am enamored of her writing style. She makes me think. She puts me in the shoes of the subject. She changes my focus and my pre-conceived notions.
I am left feeling an urge to read more of Li’s writing. And I very much recommend this collection of short, but so thoughtful, stories.
And that, gentle unravelers, is a very good making week! What is good for you this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave you link below and thank you!
October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace! — Attachments
I have a list of things that I’d like to accomplish this month:
- Autumn-y decorating to carry me through Thanksgiving
- Corduroy Tunic Sewing (I found some Wide Wale Corduroy!)
- Wash and put away my summer-y sweaters
- Start and finish Steve’s second sock!
- Clean out all the garden pots and tuck them away for spring!
I am really focused on getting those things done soon because later this month we will be heading to Presque Isle to spend some time… and I am really looking forward to that as well!
Finally… a huge thanks to Carole for inspiring me today! You are the best!
See you all back here on Wednesday with a New Sweater and a Pita Story!
We have arrived at the last day of September and I have a letter or three to share with you all.
Dear Citizens Bank,
You botched our loan pay off and dinged our credit score but you said you’d fix it all. Honestly, I did not believe you… I thought that you were just saying what we wanted to hear.
But!! You did indeed fix it. Our loan is paid off. You have reported your error to the credit reporting agencies. AND those late fees that you debited our account… well, you sent a check which we have received.
I am just letting you know that Steve is not going to deposit that check…he is still a bit perturbed at the entire debacle. His hope is that not depositing that check messes up your accounting system for a bit. Sorry… not sorry… about that.
A shocked, yet mortgage free customer
Dear Emergency Veterinary Clinic,
I am profoundly glad that you are available, even on a Friday night, for Sherman who was having an acute allergic reaction – to what we don’t know – but his face was swollen and he was not breathing well at all. You whisked him back immediately and we sat and waited… which allowed us to observe the constant flow of pet in and out… and I pondered one question you asked deeply: did we want CPR for Sherman. I said yes, but as I sat there I began to wonder how you might do that on him. Thankfully, he did not need CPR, but I am still contemplating that whole concept.
However, as we sat there it was impossible to not hear the amounts people where being charged (sound really carries in your waiting area… just sayin’) and Steve and I began to “joke” about a vet bill the size of the National Debt. And five hours later when you called my cell phone to give me an update on Sherman… I began to really worry that it would indeed exceed the national debt.
Your Vet Tech was lovely… truly she was! But it would have been nice to actually meet with YOU versus a phone call… we were sitting in your lobby… ffs. Happily, Sherman seems entirely recovered and, no offense, but I hope we don’t have to come back and visit you for a very long time!
Sherman’s Mom and Dad… who now have a much lighter wallet!
Finally, this last letter is in response to the multitude of IG reels that Steve has sent me this week on one topic… (One of the many reels can be found here)
Dear Bored Instagram,
Or should I say Board Instagram? I think that sometimes you have lost your damned minds… but this time I know you have!
Butter Boards? Really?
I do not understand… at all. And I like butter! But I am not spreading it dollop by dollop onto a cutting board and topping it with anything and sitting down with a loaf of bread and swiping and eating.
If this is the next best craze… count me out!
The woman who will not be making any Butter Boards… ever.
And there you have it, the insanity of my week. I am really ready for a normal, instagram free weekend!
I hope you have a great weekend… free of any hiccups or emergency vet visits! And if there are any bank errors I hope they are in your favor! See you all back in on Monday!
Greetings dear Unravelers!
I have a confession for you all… September has been a month of me living my very best life (sadly, my house is complaining of neglect…loudly! lol) But for me, it was a great month!
I am on still on Sleeve Island…BUT! One sleeve is done! I still have one to go but I also have two more episodes of The U.S. and the Holocaust to watch, so I feel like that sleeve just needs a bit of Sit and Watch time and it will be done! This sweater is very much nearing completion… and good thing because Mother Nature flipped off the summer switch last Thursday… it has been chilly and perfect sweater weather. And this sweater will be a welcome addition to my fall wardrobe!
Knit six rows, decrease, move a stitch marker from the finished sleeve to the one in process…
I also finished a gnome… as you all may have seen on social media. Dear Gnorton. He was The Gnome of All The Options. There were multiple hat choices, body choices, beard choices. And even a couple of nose and hand options! And so I listened to Gnorton as I knit away… what did he want to be… And the thing that came through loud and clear was he was a thinker… who enjoyed a pipe. He now sits on the mantle next to Gnombleberry who occasionally reads poetry…providing lots to think about! A broken DPN was just the perfect “pipe stem” and I even managed a bit of “embers” in his pipe bowl. Nine months in and my mantle of gnomes makes me smile. three more to go… and a new Mystery Gnome arrives for December! FYI… The latest Mystery Gnome pattern will be on sale in November… you do not need to buy the kit! And the December Gnome Story is so much fun!
Gnorton the Gninth
And I am back to “daily painting” as well. Most days, just practicing all the techniques… there are so many things to learn! But the first class of the Changing Seasons Class I am currently taking is done! I shared my painting on IG… and as I said there, some things I feel good about, others need some more practice… good thing I like practicing! Ha!
The reading this week also fit the My Best Life category! AND, I started another book by Yiyun Li yesterday, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl… and I was quickly drawn in! It makes me realize that there are so.many.authors and so little time. And, for those interested, The Book of Goose is now available… it is so good!
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For all the struggles I had with Olive in Olive Kitteridge, the Olive from the end of that book grew and flourished in Olive, Again.
Simply put. I loved every single word. And, more importantly, I fell in love with Olive.
Strout’s writing feels so very much like she is sitting at the table sharing stories over coffee. It is real, personal, and so engaging. I was lost in the book in the first chapter. The narrator, Kimberly Farr, was excellent.
If you wonder if change is possible… read this book. If you need a renewed hope in humanity…read this book. If you don’t know what to read next… read this book.
Oh, Godfrey, just read this book! You won’t be disappointed at all!
The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One afternoon, I was scrolling through the “available titles” on Netgalley, and this cover caught my eye. I knew nothing of the author, Yiyun Li, but I loved the cover and the title. So I made my request… and fortune smiled on me with the audio-version of this compelling little story.
The story opens in America, where Agnés is reading a letter from her mother about the death of her friend, Fabienne.
And from there a story of memory, the deep bonds of friendship, art, writing, exploitation, and life in the countryside of Saint Remy France after the war unfolds.
The memories flow from Agnés and it feels a bit like a dam has broken… things she had kept bottled inside could no longer be contained. It was a book I could not set down, even though parts were uncomfortable…
Li’s writing is really incredible. And the narration… it was perfect! This won’t be the last of Li’s books I read. If you are looking for a beautifully told story, this is exactly the book you need! I highly recommend. I had originally given this book 4-stars, but I have not stopped thinking about Agnés and Fabienne and realized that this is absolutely a 5-star book!
I would like to thank Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for the audio-copy of this book.
That is all I have for today… I am off to queue up some Ken Burns and get back to Sleeve Island!
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!