Unraveled Wednesday | 3.23.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.23.22

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:

FlightsFlights 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!


Weekend Realities | 3.21.22

Weekend Realities | 3.21.22

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!

 

Friday Finds | 3.18.22

Friday Finds | 3.18.22

Whew, Friday… it seems like eons since you were here!

It’s been a week… of all the weather (at least here in Pittsburgh) and all the heartbreaking news. We were happy to join in this week in making a donation for Ukraine to Brother’s Brother. Even though it feels like what we donate won’t make a difference, this delightfully reminded me that if we all drop something in the bucket… we can collectively make a difference.

Things that helped me get through this week…

Sewing:  My goodness, was it a very good distraction. I am not through my sewing pile, but I have made some good progress.

On Monday, someone commented to me about me making the Agnes pjs out of linen and wearing them more than at home. What?! Sorry but there is zero chance of that ever happening… LOL At least not while Sew House Seven’s Free Range Slacks exist!! Those are my Pjs You Can Wear Out Of The House pants! Really, I have sewn 3 pairs and am in the process of making a 4th pair as I type! They are the most comfortable pants ever (although not for sleeping) but for everyday wear they are my perfect pants! But if you are wondering what might be the perfect pants for you… The Foldline has you covered with their Trousers Issue. And if you sew, you should absolutely subscribe to their weekly news letter. It contains such great pattern reviews and such useful information!

Listening: I discovered a new podcast last week… NPR’s Book of the Day. Small, bite-sized podcasts about books. What could be better? I have added a book or two to my “read soon” list. Thank you, NPR!

On top of that, audiobooks – this week I have been listening to Olga Tokarcuz’s Flights. I think it is always good to read books that remind you really how not smart you are. It keeps one humble. And Olga is keeping me very, very humble this week and yet, I cannot stop because I keep hoping that I will connect the dots. Ahh, the hopes of the reader, right? lol

Inspiration: I really like reading about what other makers are doing and recently Katrina Rodabaugh shared some new things she has coming… classes – even an online class in which I am I am very interested. I also have loved her sharing what she has been reading each week! (if you don’t get her newsletter, it’s really a treat!)

And for some close to home inspiration, Tuesday night I am attending an event (IN PERSON!! What???) at the Carnegie Library: Chutz-Pow! Super Heroes of the Holocaust. I am excited to listen to Wayne Wise and Marcel Walker talk about their comic book series!

That is all I have to share this week. I hope you all have an incredible weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

 

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.16.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.16.22

Greetings Unravelers!

Happy Wednesday! Perhaps you remember that test knit I did last month. Well, I can finally share it with you all!

I present MaryJane Mucklestone’s Lakeway Beret! As always, it is a joy to knit one of MaryJane’s patterns and this one is a color work masterpiece! I felt like I was painting with yarn as I knit away. I simply love the natural colors that MaryJane selected! It has quickly become my favorite hat! Light weight and so warm! In the rush to knit so many other hats, I had forgotten how easy fitting a tam is… and how it does not give you “hat hair”!!

Lakeway Beret in the sunset

All the details are here on my Ravelery project page. (sorry about that… beware the flashing icons as you sign in)

Aside from that, I have picked of Vera’s sock again (as you can see above!) I have the heel turned and am working my way down the foot. A finish is likely this week! Woo! (just in time for it to NOT be sock weather! hahaha)

And over the weekend, I spun up a bit of yarn to finish my Hitchhiker. It works well, I think.

It practically matches my “starting yarn”!

But this week my focus has been on sewing – pajama sewing specifically – Monday I finished started and finished the pants. Tuesday I started the top and will hopefully finish up the top today. I have the hard bits to go… the collar, the facings, and those joyous button holes! Those pajama pants pattern alterations though… perfection! They fit perfectly and I can’t wait to wear them. They are so soft and comfortable… and NO SIDE SEAMS! And that fabric… well those are from a really lovely sheet set that I got more than 20 years ago from Meijer’s in Holland, MI – at the time they carried a line of products from Katie Brown… these sheets were just divine (and I am pretty sure I bought them when they were on clearance) but then I got a different sized bed and they got packed away. I could not get rid of them because they were in such great condition. And I am so glad I did not because they are just the perfect pjs!

All ready for a collar and facings!
Complete with the original tag!

I have enjoyed sitting at my sewing machine this week. (Good thing, because I have lots of sewing still to complete! HA)The reading this week was so delightful! Two brilliant finishes! I have slowed down my reading a bit, and I am honestly enjoying it so much more. I love giving myself a bit of a pause as I read to digest what I am reading. As well as a bit of a pause when I finish a book to savor the joy that the book has brought me.

These Precious Days: EssaysThese Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is only the second book I have read by Ann Patchett, but I think I need to read all of her books!

These Precious Days is a collection of essays… and if a writer can connect with someone talking about something the reader has not done, has not experienced… and make the reader feel like they are there… or even better… makes you think that you might need to try something new, that is truly good writing.

That is exactly how Patchett made me feel… even though I had not done (or had no interest in) some of the things she talked about, she packed my bags and brought me along… and I had so much fun.

I highly recommend this book! Really… you need more Patchett in your life!

Cloud Cuckoo LandCloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What an incredible story!!

I had my doubts as I started out…it took me a bit to figure out the characters and the times, but once I figured out who was who and when they were. I just followed the trail that Doerr led me on… twists and turns, for sure… so pay attention, but you will not be disappointed in how this ends.

My favorite character… Zeno. Oh my gosh, Zeno! And Omeir… he really worked his way into my heart.

If you want to go on an epic journey with a book, about people who love a book… read this book!

I highly, highly recommend!


And there you have my making. What about you? What is filling your week?

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


Thoughts for a Monday | 3.14.22

Thoughts for a Monday | 3.14.22

Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Truer words were never spoken, no? The weather certainly brought that point home in my neighborhood this weekend,,,with an exclamation point! We have had rain, snow (the official total is 8″ but I think we got a bit more than that in my neighborhood), ice, winds, more winds, and even a bit of a warm weather teaser to usher all that crazy weather in. I am hesitant to say this… but it was a balmy 29° F this morning for Sherman’s walk. Yes, balmy! After a weekend that spent too much time in the single digits I will take a balmy 29°!

But really, I am not complaining about the weather. I am hopeful that this mornings peace talks are more serene and perhaps even fruitful (although, I am not holding my breath) my heart and prayers are with the Ukrainian people.

I tried valiantly to ignore the savage reality this weekend and engaged in The Great Pattern Cut Out. Yes, I cut out patterns… pajama’s (hopefully a wearable muslin… in wait for it…a vintage set of sheets, HA!), two sweatshirts, and another pair of Free Range pants. Lots of cutting… oof.

I don’t have a table big enough to cut on, so yes, I commandeer a good portion of the living room floor and begin the process. Hopefully I am getting bonus points for practicing this tricky move that Kym showed us last month! FYI… I can’t do it yet, but I am trying!

And when I needed a bit more than that, I discovered sew-ga thanks to Bernina’s We All Sew. FYI… Head Rolled Hems and Seam Rippers are excellent to get the kinks out after you have been hunched over fabric, pinning out patterns for hours.

And now I have my work cut out for me (literally, lol) for the week. I am starting with the muslin and will move on from there. Why the muslin you ask? Well… button holes, oy. I want them over and done with…ugh! One thing I have been able to do with this pattern is what I hope are some very good pattern alterations (thanks to excellent finished garment measurements) I have very high hopes for a very wearable muslin that will need little to no alterations!

I hope your Monday is productive! I will see you all back here on Wednesday with a knitting update (and perhaps even a sewing update! Ha!)

 

 

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