Greetings Unraveler’s and Happy Wednesday!
I have been very productive since we last talked! I spent some time going through my stash… and I culled quite a few things. So now when I look in my “Yarn Cupboard” I can clearly see what is there, and it has been separated (once again) into categories… sock, not sock, and lace weight… and in the sorting I had unearthed some yarns I completely forgot I had! Which was perfect because I needed to cast on something that would qualify as a “mindless knit” … and what is more mindless than a sock (at least before the heel flap portion! Ha!) Enter this discontinued Meilenweit Mega Boots yarn and I have started a sock for Steve. I cast on last night…I am using my own sock recipe, but have changed up the ribbing a bit. Hopefully it works! Ha! Anyways, I am still working my way through the cuff… so yes, I have miles to go.
I have a Tegna that I knit some years ago out of mohair-silk. I love the sweater and it is the perfect layering sweater. I can wear it over a tunic or with pants. It is just such a versatile sweater I wanted another one that I could wear in the warm weather months… and had been looking at yarns for it when I unearthed 11 skeins of Elsbeth Lavold Hempathy. I swatched… and got gauge! I know! I love Hempathy… it is the easiest care yarn for summer. It does not stretch out when you wear it, and it washes up beautifully in the washing machine. And, I test drove my swatch in the dryer and my gauge did not change! So I cast on a new Tegna as well. (This is currently not a mindless knit thanks to the tricky but oh so lovely lace edging at the bottom.)
Finally, I have a successful finish to my Agnes Pajamas… yes, the button holes are done! I watched several videos and made some good notes. I have a Bernina machine that is 30+ years old…. and it still is going strong. I have long since lost the manual, so button holes are kind of a nebulous thing. They are not entirely automatic, but they are semi-automatic… sort of… anyways, I did several test button holes to get the size right and, more importantly, to get all the steps that I needed to do coordinated. And then I did the button holes on my pjs and they were a success! Wooo! All I needed to add were 5 vintage buttons from my Nana’s button box and Voilà! My new favorite PJ’s!
On my agenda today is to get another set of pjs pinned out and cut so they are ready for me to sew… yes, they are that good!
The reading this week was a mixed bag. But they can’t all be 5-star books, right?
House of Spies by Daniel Silva
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had originally marked this a 4-star read, but since have backed it down to 3… this was not my favorite Allon story and I am wondering if this series has outlived its life.
Gabriel is now “The Chief” of The Office… and I am not sure if this is a good fit for him. Gabriel is not even in the story until almost a third of the way into the book.
In previous books, the stories seemed to have a “reality” thread that ran through them… but this book just seemed to have ditched any thread of reality and headed off into the “this can never, ever happen” waters… and I had a hard time with that…so many things seemed so far fetched.
I will give this series another shot… but if that is more of this, then I am likely done with this series. Your milage may vary though!
Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read and loved Braiding Sweetgrass and could not imagine anything topping that, much less an entire book devoted to mosses… yet here I am telling you now that I am fascinated by mosses, I am suddenly seeing them everywhere I go, and I am wondering what else I can learn about them!
Yet, this book is not just a scientific tome about mosses… nope. RWK, in her amazing way, shares the story of mosses in a way that is so interesting. I feel like she has woven a little moss basket, tucked me in and carried me to a magical place. She is an amazing story teller, she brings the reader into her magical world… and honestly, I never want to leave that place.
If you want to learn about mosses, this book is a great place to start, but if you really just want to experience a(nother) slice of RWK’s life… read this book. She is a master. I highly recommend!
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Oof, this book! A friend described it as a mindf*ck, and is it ever. After reading it, I am not sure what is real and what is not… and I think that was Watkins intention.
I have one great take away though… she left me questioning if the better mother is the one who thinks she is failing… or the one who is the “perfect mother”… my gosh, it made me stop and think (for days now) and my feeling…well of course it is the mother who thinks she is a failure. Every.single.time.
The stories about her dad though… oh my, they made me wildly uncomfortable.
Sometimes though… you just have to read the wildly uncomfortable… (still, I could only give this 2-stars because of that wildly uncomfortable-ness… it was almost too much)
And that is all I have for today! As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
We need much less than we think we need. ―
This month I have contemplated full from a different perspective… rather than comparing it to emptiness, I considered contentment.
And Maya is so very correct… I need much less than I think I need.
The Less is More concept is a foreign one to me because… being a True American…I always want the next best thing. Rather than being content with the overabundance that I have, I am quickly distracted to that next thing… (Hello to all my fellow Band Wagon Jumpers!)
So this month I slowed down, I thought more, and I waited longer to make impulse decisions.
Perhaps Pandemic Living had already set my feet on the path to slowing down and thinking about decisions. Yet, I still jumped on a Band Wagon or two recently… and lived to regret doing so. And that was after thinking about that decision for a number of days. So I increased the wait time… drastically. And low and behold… the urge eventually passed for almost all the things that I thought I desperately needed.
Instead of filling up with more things, this month I focused on being Full of Contentment. I spent some time with March Madness. I sewed… and worked on liking the necessary process required to get to the point of sewing. I read some unexpected books thanks to not having an entirely full Book Queue which allows me to do some “spur of the moment” reading. I gave my self permission to let go of perfection and played with water colors… and loved every imperfect second of it! I pulled out yarn from my stash and cast on for a summer sweater that I had been contemplating *buying yarn to knit*! And there was even a healthy dose of Bonus Contentment when I got gauge… The Knitting Gods were smiling! I put contentment in my Daily Gratitude Journal… more than once. It is a good reminder that more is not better… and contentment is exactly enough!
I am really loving this process of looking at what full means and I am eager to continue this journey in April!
A huge thanks to Carolyn for hosting us this month! See you all back here on Wednesday!
I have said this many times, that there seems to be enough room in the world for mediocre men, but not for mediocre women, and we really have to work very, very hard. — Madeleine Albright
Dearest Madam Secretary,
The news of your passing took me by surprise this week because, somehow, I was of the mindset that you would be here forever… If only. I have such incredible memories of you… starting with your becoming Madam Secretary. My goodness, that was such a note worthy event. You were The First (but absolutely not the last!) You were such an incredible breaker of glass ceilings and you were most certainly not mediocre! But my greatest joy ever was listening to you read your book, Fascism: A Warning… I imagined that what you shared must be similar to what your students heard in your classes, and perhaps… what other leaders heard when you spoke to them. You are leaving a void that will take many to fill but fortunately, you have inspired so many others and my hope is that those many others will rise up and fill that void in magnificent ways. I promise you that your memory is a blessing to so many. May you rest in power.
With Deepest Sympathies,
A Devoted Fan
Honorable Judge Brown Jackson,
I wanted to take a moment to send you my thoughts on The Senate Confirmation Hearing…aka Your Week In Hell. I am so very sorry that out of the hundreds of judgements that you have delivered, some…the mediocre…only focused on a very small handful. Do not fear, we all saw that they were doing there… Sadly, Irony died a very long time ago. The adage of glass houses seems to be most appropriate here, but they are blind and deaf to that. Sadly, the mediocre are never mute… and for a very brief moment I erroneously felt a bit of woman-ship with you. Many of us have been in meetings where we were interrupted…continuously… so please, forgive my white privilege in even momentarily thinking what I (and many other white women) experienced was in any way similar, it was not…at all. I also want to thank Cory Booker for showing us all so beautifully how to have someones back. And yet through the entire debacle, you maintained such incredible composure! You are a shining example for all of us! I am so eager for your confirmation to the Supreme Court. Your presence there is long overdue…and I, for one, am so glad you persevered. You are the best of all of us!
A Joy-Full and Inspired American
Have a great weekend everyone, I will see you all back here on Monday with my word update!
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. — George Bernard Shaw
I have a completed pair of socks! Yay! Thanks to Vera for clueing me in to this sock pattern. It is free, well written, and a joy to knit! (Bonus… the fit is fab!)
I am contemplating my next pair of socks… and I saw these socks (Ravelry link) and have been thinking about them… lots. I have lots of sock yarn left overs, but I have not yet considered how many I have that will work well together.
I also have been doing some creative playing! Kym sent me an email for Sketchbook Revival… two weeks of inspiration (and it is free!) It started on Monday, I had time to sit down and watch the first video on Tuesday… and so I started. I have not painted anything creatively in eons… and I know next to nothing about watercolors… but gosh was Day One fun! I plan to doodle a bit more today and then settle in and watch Day Two’s video.
A quiet reading week for me… just one finish:
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I wasn’t in a hurry. I never have to be in any particular place at any particular time. Let time watch me, not me it.
Whew! This is a book in which you must pay attention… closely. The subtleties are extraordinary, and they are a very important undercurrent of this book.
The story felt very disjointed to me, at times, abrupt endings. Moving on to abrupt topics. Abruptly leaving those topics… and yet… Tokarczuk returned to each thing that felt disjointed… eventually. But once I really started actively listening, I began to notice the subtleties that changed my understanding of what was going on.
All that being said, this is not an easy listen… because you have to really think… hard… often. That makes it not a “calgon take me away read”… but all that aside… The writing is really beautiful. The translation is excellent. And stepping outside of my “reading comfort zone” to consider a challenging read is a very, very good thing.
I heartily recommend… but your milage may vary.
That is all for me today… I am off to do some watercolor doodling! What fun thing are you going to do today?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
I had such a lovely “list of things” I wanted to do this weekend.
Things that included tackling button holes with a fresh mind on Saturday morning, finish my handspun Hitchhiker, watch some of March Madness, and start reading The Books of Jacob.
But Real Life had a different plan because on Saturday morning we discovered that our refrigerator was not refrigerating… or freezing. And of course, we had gone grocery shopping on Friday so it was on the fuller side of the scale.
So we made some attempts to determine what might be wrong. (I say we, really I just stayed in the vicinity so Steve had someone to yell at, lol) And for some brief moments, there was a glimmer of hope…it started working again but it was not for long. Kaput refrigerator was not on my weekend plans… nor was scrambling on Sunday to try and find a refrigerator replacement. (Why do these things always, always happen on a weekend? lol) The Big Box stores near us were a mixed bag. One had nothing in stock (at least nothing in stock of a size that would fit or with a price that was reasonable… $7k for a refrigerator??? What??? Does it cook and clean too, because at that price it better!) and the other had some better luck… but no deliver until April 12th. Could I live without a refrigerator until mid-April? Could we live without a refrigerator that dispenses water and makes ice? Oh boy… those are the million dollar questions, are they not? The local appliance store was of course not open on Sunday… nor did they have any idea of available stock on their website (really, if you have a website – including useful information might be a good idea) But Best Buy to the rescue… (In a million years, I would never have guessed that that would happen!) They had the necessary size, with the desired bells and whistles… and they can deliver it on Thursday! Four days sans refrigerator almost seems something to be gleeful over, lol!
(And we really aren’t entirely refrigerator-less… we have the “Beer Fridge” in the basement and while it is not perfect, it is amazing how much you can pack into a refrigerator if needs must!)
Aside from all that drama… I did manage to see some of the Michigan game! Yay to them for advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.
I also finished the second sock!
And I started The Books of Jacob… but I have a very long way to go!
And this week… button holes… that is once I have the Monday chores done!
Oh… and that photo… that is a picture of my snowdrops. They managed to survive the 10″ of snow… only to be done in by Wednesday’s 70+° weather. (but I spied a tulip peeking out of the ground…yes, a single solitary tulip. Must be one the squirrels “transplanted” to my yard!)
I hope your weekend was much better than mine! I will see you all back here on Wednesday!