The making this week has been entirely focused on the Super Secret Test Knitting I am doing… In a different world, I would be done already. But instead I am on my third try…yes, you read that right. The third try! First time… I cast on 4 too many stitches. And while I might just do 4 k2tog in real life, in Test Knitting Life that is not what the designer is hoping I will do. So… Ripppppppp! And start again. The second try I entirely effed up the pattern (because… somehow I thought when the designer said to “put markers” between sections… I did not think she meant me! Ha! I think she wrote that direction because of me!) Again… Ripppppppppppppp! (The second time I was a lot farther along… sigh.)
So today I have the exact amount of stitches, markers were placed exactly when the pattern says. And I am past all the previous knitting I did (albeit incorrectly) and, though I hesitate to say it, all is good!
Instead you have a photo of my Base 12 Hitchhiker in the brief but spectacular sunshine we had late yesterday!
I am hoping that I will be back to knitting a Cabled Gnome and that Hitchhiker later on this week! Fingers and toes crossed!
The reading, though sparse, was so very good this week!
The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A book to savor – and I did! I read it slowly in delicious little bites. A book to read over and over – I want to read this book until I have it memorized! A book full of beautiful artwork – oh my gosh, the artwork… it is just perfect.
I loved every minute of this book and I loved it so much I have purchased my own copy. I want to take this book to Presque Isle Park in Erie PA and read it to the birds, the water, the trees, and think about how beautifully written this book is.
I highly recommend!
Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oof. This was a chilling read… but so brilliantly written!
Enter the world of Cedar Hawk Songmaker (perhaps the best name for a character… ever!) and what a messed up world it is. Some cataclysmic event has happened and the word as we know it is gone. It is both a journey of discovery and a journey of desperation.
For me… listening to Louise read her novel made the journey better for the listener. I might have missed things had I been reading… but listening, I allowed myself to be drawn along in the story as it unfolds.
And the ending… oh my. It was not at all what I expected… and yes, I cried.
I am excited because I have picked up Agatha of Little Neon and if the Knitting Gods keep smiling on me… I might be able to start reading it this week!
That is all that I have for today… what about you? What is on your making or reading radar this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
We are just one week into February… how then does it feel like that week had way more than 7 days. Is it just me or does it feel like it should be the 17th of February?
I don’t think this bodes well for the remainder of my month! Haha!
What have I been doing in the past seven days? Hmmm, if productivity equals time… then in reality it should only be the second or third! Sigh.
What I have been doing is lots of thinking about Full and it’s Opposites (my list currently has the following: lacking, empty, inadequate, wanting, and incomplete.) And that last word has really been getting a work out.
Some years ago, I did a Year Long Stitching project and I loved every minute of it. I did not have a pattern, no charts, no direction… except my own. And for as much as I loved that project… it is incomplete. I stitched, I washed, I dried, and I readied them to be assembled… and they are *still* waiting exactly where I put them.
But I loved stitching so much, I thought that perhaps doing *more* stitching would help inspire me. So I signed up for a 100 Day Poject and I stitched for 100 days. And that has likewise sat, tucked away in my stitching basket.
Above you can see the “top half” of the 100 Day Project… this is the “bottom half”
Perhaps you can see where this is going. My thinking has turned back to stitching… it is a thing I miss… lots. I have tried to do cross stitch and it just does not bring the same joy… nor does it spark the same creativity. And in the past few days I have been looking at that 100 Day Project… and it seems…. lacking… unfinished… incomplete. (Exactly like the Year Long Stitching Project!)
As soon as I am done with my Super Secret Test Knit, I am pulling out both projects and plan to fill some of the moments from my week with them. I have an idea of what I want for the Year of Stitching… I just need to begin the work to complete them!
And it brings me great joy to think about filling in that incomplete 100 Day Project!
And those are the thoughts filling my brain on this cold, but very sunny Monday morning! What about you? What is filling your head right now!
See you all back here on Wednesday for some Unraveling!
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. — Nelson Mandela
It is Black History Month and in these days of an outrageous number of people wanting far too many books removed from libraries, I thought a good place to start this month is with books!
So I did a bit of Googling to see if I could expand my recommendations of books to include in your February reading and I found several great lists (that even included the books I have read!) I am sharing ones that I loved, ones that have been on my radar, as well as some that were not until I discovered them this week! I hope you find something you’d like to include in your February!
- Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi
- The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne
- Deacon King Kong by James McBride
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Between the World and Me by Ta–Nehisi Coates
- The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah–Jones
- (and if you have children…) The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah–Jones
- Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
- (Double digits… double books?) Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents and The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
- How The Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (and if you are looking for a second Clint Smith book pick up Counting Descent... his poetry is wonderful!)
- You Don’t Know us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston (I read Their Eyes Were Watching God and loved it so I am excited to read her collection of essays that was published posthumously)
Now I am off to do some super-secret test knitting for my favorite knitting designer. Which means my Base 12 Hitchhiker and the February Gnome will be gathering some dust… sigh. But I have a very short time frame to finish the Test Knitting… very short. Oy! My yarn arrived late yesterday so you know what’s next… Let the Swatching Begin! Haha! I am hopeful that the Knitting Gauge Gods will be smiling on the process…. my fingers are crossed!
That is almost all I have for this week aside from this wee tiny post script for all you Wordle fans… it seems that all good things must come to an end…okay so maybe Wordle is not ending but soon it will no longer be free. This closing paragraph to the article might be the most brilliant thing I have read all week:
I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t get attached. I’m staying lower than lo-fi with my games from now on. A brilliant friend of mine — he’s nine — plays a variant called “Wordle in Your Head.” He thinks of a five-letter word, and you guess. He replies with your progress: green, gray, gray, yellow, gray. So far, he hasn’t charged a dime.
Yep… World in Your Head with a nine year old sounds like the best thing ever… unless I can convince a certain six year old I know to try!
Have a great weekend all! I will see you all back here on Monday!
This is what a ball of yarn looks like after you have cast on, knit a bit and ripped out every stitch… not once but twice.
Confession time: I put the ball of yarn in a bag with the pattern and needles and have not looked at it since last weekend – save to take the photo for my blog – then it went right back into the bag. One of us is in time out or perhaps we all are! Ha!
Frustration, Thy Name is Feather!
Yes, there is a very, very steep learning curve that was beyond my brain bandwidth last weekend. I need to do some practice… okay, who am I kidding. I need LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of practice with yarn that I may or may not knit into a hat, lol. In other words, some yarn from my stash.
And speaking of the yarn… can I confess that I do not like how the yarn for the hat feels… it feels somehow sinful to say this, but there you have it. I do not like the hand of the yarn at all. I am afraid that I will be knitting worsted weight yarn on US3 needles and that is a daunting prospect.
So… I did a good bit of Happy Knitting on my Base 12 Hitchhiker… Bonny… I got to the color change! I will be in the Land of Minty Green and Purple for a bit and it is a very happy place to be!
I also started my February Gnome! A wee cabled hat is in the works!
And there you have my making since we last talked!
The reading this week has been fun! And sometimes you just need to read for fun… right? I have The Lost Words from the library for 21 days… and I have read it every day since I picked it up. I think The Lost Words as meditation is quite perfect and it certainly goes extraordinarily well with my morning coffee!
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Enter Macfarlane’s magical world of words and you will want to stay there!
This book is gorgeous. The artwork is stunning, but the poetry is simply perfect. Each acrostic poem succinctly describes the subject.
I happily dove into The Lost Spells… I think February should always have some time spent in Macfarlane’s magical world.
I loved this book so much that it will be my Valentine’s gift to my grandkids! I highly recommend!
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Good, not great. Fast paced until it drags a bit towards the middle. Plausible until the ending… when all plausibility departs.
However, it was a fun read – I listened but I might have liked it more if I physically read it because I could “speed up” the slow bits.
If you are looking for a legal escape that includes a side of science on the side… this might be your book!
That is all I have for today… what about you? Did you have any struggles or successes last week? Please share!
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below!
It seems fitting that for this final Monday in January that I close out the month with some poetry and this poem by Linda Pastan seems perfect for today!
I think many on the east coast will be nodding their heads at Linda’s imagery! I hope this Monday finds you all dug out and back to a semblance of normalcy!
by Linda Pastan
how to stop
at the glass
a silk windsock
under the porch light
like old women
in their own
up to the step
over the doorsill
a pointillist’s blur
of form and motion
to the wish of
any object it touches
laps of snow
the moon could be
over the eaves
over the roof
a white bear
Blizzard by Linda Pastan from Poetry Magazine, 1978
Happy Monday all! I will see you all back here on Wednesday!