TGIF | 8.27.21

TGIF | 8.27.21

In a week of disturbing incidents… so many… too many… I thought a bit of a calm might be just the thing. Just a bit to allow us to take a breath… so we can remind ourselves to breathe.

Thinking about not thinking —

Because this week thinking is a bit overwhelming. What I have done instead is gather all the woes of the week in my morning meditations and then released them to move forward with my day. They are not all magically gone or fixed, but doing this frees me to move past those big things to function…and breathe…during the day.

Geeked —

For September!! (Hello, LAST Friday in August!!) These late August days have been a bit much. Days on end of heat and humidity are just…wearing. Ten minutes in the garden and I am dripping wet. I am anxious for less humidity, cooler nights, and open windows! Yes, I am very thankful for central air… but gosh, I am so ready to turn it off!

Inspirational —

Lots of things are filling my head in these late August days… one of the main things is FALL KNITTING! I mean, is there anything better in life? I think not. I have been making some notes about an altered shape Pressed Flowers. Up next is to order some yarn to begin this exciting journey!

The next thing that I have been unable to get out of my head is the #SeaGlassTee tag on IG. I have gotten to the point of getting a container to start pulling together all.the.yarn.scraps. No “start date” or even if there will be a “start date” but I need to see if this is even a possibility. Stay tuned.

The final thing is a new pattern that dropped this week from Sew House 7 patterns… Romney Gathered Dress/Top…yeah, and I have some very drape-y fabric that I think might be perfect for it!


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Fact-Checking —

Steve sent me this and I was not quite certain it was correct. Because I can think of lots of presidents who are infinitely quotable and Grant does not usually make that list. And, lo and behold, it is! Tucked inside that speech: “…Grant remarked that “if we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason & Dixon . . . but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side & superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other.” He went on to say, “Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support . . . shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school.” How eerily true Grant’s words are!


See you all back here on Monday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.25.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.25.21

Greetings Unravelers!

This week I have the big reveal of my summer mystery knit. Let’s face it, sometimes mystery knits sound exciting but the end results…not so much. I have knit many a mystery shawl that are never, ever worn. It is a sad thing to invest time to making something that does not spark much of anything other than a lovely “basket adornment”…amirite?

Well, this is NOT any of that. This is my Bee Hive Shawl and I love every last thing about it! (FYI… it is also known as the Waggle Dance Shawl which I think is possibly the worst name ever for a shawl… lol) This is the first design I have knit of Anne’s in ages and it was a lovely reminder of the joy that knitting one of her patterns is. She is a detailed knitter and her patterns reflect that detail. She charts things *and* includes written instructions. And I loved her tips for making all the cabled stitches easier (and so much faster!) This is the first time I have knit with Anne’s yarn line (Bare Naked Wools) – I used Targhee Tango Sport and I loved it.

This shawl is sort of a scalene triangle shape with a nice, gradual stretch of decreases before binding off. Decreases only happen on one edge of the shawl and as I was knitting, I worried it would be not an easy shape to wear but it blocked out beautifully to Anne’s dimensions and I can tell you that it is infinitely wearable. (Now if only the 90’s with all.the.humidity would depart so I could wear it!) I knit the tall size and I don’t think the petite size would be as wearable for someone my size.

I love the color, the texture, and the wonderful, squishy feel of the fabric. If you are looking for a single color shawl to knit, I highly recommend this pattern. It is knit with a sport weight, woolen spun yarn… which means it is lighter than air and will be a wonderfully warm layer which hopefully I will be utilizing soon at least in the mornings for Sherman’s walk!

All this heat makes working on a woolen sweater seem not the thing to do, but my plans for today include a bit of crochet and then getting acquainted with these as I needle felt the steek on my test sweater.

My stay-cation really amped up my reading in the best possible way! First, I ran across this article about the book club I joined this summer. I am excited to continue on with them as we read and discuss Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent in the fall.

Black Diamond (Bruno, Chief of Police #3)Black Diamond by Martin Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mystery within a mystery, but are they connected?

Again, I learned about Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges and his little corner of the world… which sounds incredible (if you discount the murders, lol) with the local wines, truffles, and simple foods coupled with the lovely inhabitants of St. Denis make it the perfect place to visit through the pages of Walker’s writing.

If you are looking for a semi-cozy read (there are murders after all) in the French countryside… this is a lovely series.

This Tender LandThis Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book really struck out for me. To me, it seemed so trite… too religious… to preachy.

If this had just been a story that one might possibly find believable, it might have worked. Sadly, it was not and I do not recommend this story.

Moscow Rules (Gabriel Allon #8)Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have no idea if “Moscow Rules” are a thing but this book invites you to come along on a mission inside Russia… I am loving how Allon’s team has grown into a family which is perhaps the exact family he needs. I highly recommend this series!


The Heron's Cry (Two Rivers, #2)The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Welcome back to North Devon and book two of the Two Rivers series! Come and spend some more time with Detective Matthew Venn and his team. We get to know them all a bit more…with all their faults and foibles. However, I began to see how the team is gelling together… how each team member has strengths that might just over come their weaknesses!

Of course, there has been a murder… an incredibly well crafted Cleeve’s murder. This book had so many twists and turns as Matthew and his team begin to unravel the case. I changed who I thought “did it” numerous times during the listening and I was shocked at the ending. (But I should not have been… Cleeve’s is an incredible mystery writer!)

I loved this story and highly recommend you read it ASAP!

I was unbelievably fortunate to receive an audio ARC of this book. And I would like to thank NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books for providing this ARC for purposes of review.

No One Is Talking About ThisNo One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow!! Just wow. The first half of this book (re)introduces you to the insanity that is our life with social media. It made me laugh. It made me mad. And it made me very uncomfortable and very unsettled.

And I wondered where Lockwood was going with all this… and then came the second half. So the question forming in my mind was this… what is the life you want to live. What is important. What do I want to spend my time with.

Things that I am going to think about every time I open a social media platform.

If those are questions that have rattled around your brain, this might be the book for you.

The Defector (Gabriel Allon, #9)The Defector by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a continuation of Moscow Rules and we find Allon’s team heading back to Russia to finish what they started.

The continued story is not without its toll though and the big question that lingers throughout the book seems to hang over every page… will this be Gabriel’s last mission. Is he hanging up his spy work and leaving The Office behind? I don’t think so because there are lots more books in this series, but you see the cost that this work brings to the team.

Also… Allon stories are not good for sleep, as in once you start you just cannot stop!

I very much recommend this series!

That is all I have to share for today. What about you? What are you excited about making or reading?

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

Renewed and refreshed? | 8.23.21

Renewed and refreshed? | 8.23.21

Just to show you all how completely out of sync my brain is… I thought that today was the day to update you all on my word.

Good thing that I have one more week for that so that I can try and do something with my word this month because I have basically avoided my word this month despite my inner-self trying to  get me back on track:

Self: Hey… you should be moving forward with something on release.
Me: Lalalalalalala… I don’t hear you!
Self: How about ANY.THING?
Me: ….

The theme for this month… one bite at a time… so in this last week of August I am going to try a bite or two on my word. Maybe. Hopefully….?

Anyways, I am back and it feels good to be back despite not really accomplishing momentous last week. I had over-achiever goals of having a blog break filled with epiphanies! And… I confess that there was not a single epiphany. Nope… but what I do have is a whole lotta bupkis, drowning in the Sea of Overwhelmed.

Is it just me or does it seem like All The Shite is hitting the fan at.the.same.time. COVID numbers are once again insane. Voter Suppression is alive and well and expanding in America. The news seems to be all bad and on steroids… even my 15 minute Up First fix in the morning is overwhelming. I don’t know about you but my stress level is moving to the Off The Charts range once again. Sigh.

In the plus column for my week away… I have a well-cleaned refrigerator thanks to 18 hours without power. The freezer fared much better with only a few things lost, whew! I taped two “pattern puzzles” together and got them both traced off! I have a finished “neutral” shawl for the fall (big reveal on Wednesday!!) and I also have finished the knitting of my second test knit sweater… it needs a soak, a little blocking, and some button bands (I am going with crocheted bands this time) and then a bit of needle felting the steek – so while it is not completely done, it sure feels like the biggest part of it is! And for once, I do NOT have a new project ready to cast on! Instead, my plans for this week include getting two pairs of pants and a shirt cut out, marked, and begin sewing!

That is all I have for today! How was your week?

I will see you all back here on Wednesday to Unravel some reading and knitting!



Good Things Friday | 8.13.21

Good Things Friday | 8.13.21

My plan was to post something this morning to let you all know that I will be taking a little blogging break next week. I am not going anywhere, but I am in need of a recharge of my brain…creativity…etc.

But last night some huge storms rolled in and with one very large BOOM… we were suddenly without power. It was a long, warm night and has been an even longer, warmer morning.

However, the power is FINALLY back on. Now comes the fun work of tossing things from our refrigerator (I am pretty sure 18 hours will mean the end of most of the perishables.)

I have one freezer that is not kept very full so I fear most of it might be lost… but it really only has partial bags of things. Opened things. So that won’t be a great loss.

The other issue is that in the great onslaught of rain (we got more than 4 inches of rain!!) we have some water in the basement… so now begins the “mopping up” and then…Let the Laundry Begin! LOL

Anyways. I won’t be here at all next week…no Unraveled Wednesday. I will be back on Monday the 23rd. I hope you have a great weekend and an even better week next week!

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.11.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.11.21

It has been a slow week for making this week. But!! I am on my second sleeve and happy to have this easy to pick up and put down project right now. But it is just all so much of a grey blob, isn’t it? I thought I’d share the ribbon I found to cover the steeks… I love it! Scissors ribbon, FTW! I think I am going to order this contraption and give a needle-felted steek a go. Stay tuned!

The other bits of making I have been doing is a little bit of stitching every day… and I have a couple of snowmen to show for it! I am really enjoying getting back to this craft and I am LOVING my Ottlite! It is exactly what I needed!

It has also been a slow week for reading with just one finish. But I do have one brilliant short audio story to share as well!

First up, my finish this week… so. darned. good!

The SearcherThe Searcher by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this slowly unfolding story so much! I loved Cal (and I hope this is the not the last we will hear of him) I loved Trey and ‘his’ determination to find the truth. This is a “settle in” novel that you might feel has a slow pace, but that pace is vital to allowing us to get to know the *all* the characters, including the setting itself. I did not know what a rook was, thank you Google for the assistance! The character development is just brilliant and the ending was so unexpected. If you are looking for an engaging story, this is it! I highly recommend!

The other very good “finish” this week was this week’s episode of LeVar Burton Reads… it was a riveting listen of a brilliant and moving short story by Louise Erdrich. It was so good! If you don’t normally get LeVar’s weekly podcast… this is an episode you might want to tune into! (4-stars, and the narrator is the best!)

Finally, thank you for all your input into Pressed Flowers (and for remembering that Kym had knit one!) I am pondering colors  and will be adding this to my fall knitting list! Yay!

That is all I have for today! What about you? What is capturing your attention this week?

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

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