Unraveled Wednesday | 2.10.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.10.21

If you have time to knit, if you’ve taken up knitting, it means you’re not worried about the essential stuff.

— Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

That quote defines my life this week…Laundry? Dusting? Meh…I have been consumed with knitting this week!

This week I have finished two infinitely wearable knits and I will take at least 6 more weeks of winter to get the maximum wearing opportunities possible for both items!

Yes, I finished my Heart Warmer Cowl, which when I saw Karen knitting hers I needed to cast on immediately! And…it is everything I wanted it to be! Warm, not tight around my neck, and it was fun to knit! (okay, outside of those bobbles… oh boy, lol) And though those bobbles were a bit of a pain to knit, wow do I like the texture they bring!

Details, if you are interested:

  • Cast on in January, cast off February 3
  • Yarn: Jill Draper Makes Stuff Ansel in Forget Me Not color 2 (which is sadly out of stock.) I used almost the entire skein. This yarn is a joy to knit with, it is sheep-y and light as air. This is my second project with this yarn and I wish I had more of it!
  • Mods: I only did two rounds of the bobbles – instead of three. I did four repeats of the broken rib pattern, two repeats of smocking, and one and a half repeats of the grapes. I used a German Twisted cast on, and the recommended tubular bind off.

Next is my handspun Hitchhiker! Oh.my.gosh! I am absolutely in love with it! It might be my favorite thing I ever made! The fiber I used was from Amy at Spunky Eclectic and I bought it probably 5 or 6 years ago. I had 2-4 oz. braids. I can spin  BFL so thin, so my goal was to get a consistent fingering weight yarn. It bloomed a bit when I finished it, so I’d say it ended up a fairly consistent heavy fingering weight yarn. (Amy sadly doesn’t have any gradient braids right now, but she does have some fiber sets that I think would work!) I love to knit, but knitting with handspun yarn just takes my love of knitting to a new level. If you don’t spin, I am sorry for you, because knitting with yarn you made is just incredible. (And when the yarn you made is practically perfect in every way… Zen Knitting FTW!)

Again, details if you are interested:

  • I started spinning the yarn in December and finished the spinning in January. I spun roughly 760 yards.
  • I cast on on January 23, and cast off on February 7.
  • I used almost every bit of my yarn (just 7 yards left over) and managed to get 50 “teeth” a really lovely size for me!

As you can see, I am spinning a fun set of merino from HipStrings and have plans to make another Hitchhiker…this time with beads! Yes, I’d say I have caught the Hitchhiker Bug! I am about halfway through the fiber and look forward to finishing soon so I can cast on this month!

My nighttime knitting project is sleeves on my resurrected Evening Dew Cardigan. I have about a sleeve and a half to go. It might be done sooner than I imagined! Ha! Hopefully, I have a finished sweater next week!

Finally, a friend sent me the loveliest little present this week… it was a complete surprise and I stopped everything and cast on on Monday and in short order had one heart done! This, my friends, is potato chip knitting at its finest! I might have more hearts in process! lol

The reading this week, though…

The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been stumbling around looking for another good mystery series and I think I have found it! Gabriel Allon is a fascinating character. He is unexpected and incredibly likable. The writing is good, bits of information but not so much as you solve it too early!

 

The Gifts of ImperfectionThe Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the “little book I did not know I needed”!! I listened to it, twice. Yes… twice. And when I considered listening a third time – I knew I needed to buy it, asap! I originally rated this book 4-stars, but have changed that rating to 5-stars. It is the perfect guide to help you learn how to embrace your life.


But what about you, Gentle Readers, what are you excited about making or reading this week?

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


Looking Back | January 2021

Looking Back | January 2021

“JANUARY,
The first month of the year,
A perfect time to start all over again,
Changing energies and deserting old moods,
New beginnings, new attitudes”
― Charmaine J Forde

Charmaine Forde seemed to know exactly what I was trying to achieve in January. Starting over, changing, deserting old moods, new beginnings, and yes, new attitudes!

I confess these were not easy tasks…they were easier to write than they were to do. It was a month that brought changes though. My son moved to Wisconsin…all on his own. (okay one friend helped him pack up the truck and unload it…but still, no help from me outside of “distant encouragement and a sympathetic ear”) I am trying to wrap my head around how I will manage this change into seeing kids this year…my hopes are that we can all travel to one place and gather together. I am really not wanting to even just “plan something only in my head” because if that did not happen, I think it would be the end of what’s left of my sanity.

January had me thinking lots about a new start with my word – release. Lots of thinking…new beginnings for certain and wondering about deserting some old things… moods, feelings, pain. Hard work that won’t happen over night so I instead worked on releasing things…a closet clean out, a yarn clean out, a project clean out. Gosh, those all felt so good! Progress sometimes needs space to happen. So I started making some space to do that work!

Less photos this month, and that felt very good too!

We had diverse temperatures from some warm days to some bitterly cold ones, and we got some snow! Spinning and knitting and an AC Aurora! And the best bit… Madam Vice President!!

Happy Monday everyone! See you all back here on Wednesday!

100 Days of Hope | Week 7

100 Days of Hope | Week 7

“Art is the highest form of hope.” ― Gerhard Richter

This week I really noticed mornings that were lighter. It is just so nice to walk Sherman and greet the morning at.the.same.time! (rather that stumbling around in the darkness!) This morning it was mild but windy. And those winds were moving the clouds right along…almost painting the sky with shades of grey tinged with oranges and reds. A lovely morning to walk!

It was a slower paced week where I appreciated the beauty of small things.

The gradual changes in my Hitchhiker… it is “42 teeth big” and I am almost to the final color of my yarn. I will keep knitting until I am  almost out of yarn and then bind off. This project has been so inspiring to make, and I am currently spinning some yarn that I think will make another hitchhiker. Some unexpected inspiration from Bonny this week… a beaded hitchhiker! I found some beads in my recently organizing. I am eager to get this fiber spun up so I can cast on!

The other beauty I have been appreciating is  the #WOMENSART Twitter account! What a lovely little rabbit hole to travel down! All the art is breath-taking, but the fiber arts are truly spectacular! I am sharing a few that have caught my eye!

And finally, did you know the Brontë sisters quilted?

I hope your weekend is full of beautiful things! See you all back here next week!

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.3.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.3.21

“A half finished shawl left on the coffee table isn’t a mess; it’s an object of art.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

There was a similar discussion in my house recently, this quote works for spinning as well… because that wheel in the living room? Why yes, it is an object of art! lol

But the making this week! I am 35 teeth in to my Handspun Hitchhiker and it remains my “evening with television” knit. But the rows are getting longer and so not as many teeth are completed each night. I am inching into the next color though, and I am still so in love with this knit!

My Heart Warmer Cowl is almost done…just the ribbing to go! And just in the nick of time – it should be done today – the weather people are warning us that Pittsburgh will have bitterly cold weather next week!

Finally, my *pseudo* glamor shots of my blocked Autumn Forest. I love everything about this, but most especially the yarn! It is Baa Ram Ewe’s Titus (a blend of Wensleydale, Alpaca, and BFL) there is a hint of a halo, it is soft and so drape-y, and it is so warm! A part of me wishes it was just a tiny bit longer… I probably should have stretched it out a bit in my blocking.

The reading this week, though! Two very different stories that I wanted so badly to love, but 3-star reads are not a bad thing, right?

The Night TigerThe Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book. There is so much going on in this story – coming of age, class, folklore, first love, and a mystery within a mystery. I listened to the story – read by the author – which helped, I think. But really, I think this story just had too much going on – it was a distraction.

Leave the World BehindLeave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book left me feeling this: wait, what?

It gripped me from the beginning, kept me not wanting to put it down… but then, out of no where, it ended. Throughout the book there are such great hints as to what might have happened, but the ending left so many loose ends. I look forward to discussing this book… it really left me feeling very uncomfortable.


That is all for me today, if you wrote a post to share – please leave your link below and thank you!


Monday Magic | 2.1.21

Monday Magic | 2.1.21

“We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.” ― Pema Chödrön

I stumbled upon this quote this weekend and have been pondering it ever since. It rings true for me as this new month starts… life is not “passing the test”  or overcoming the problem. There is no point when it suddenly all becomes easier, no apex moment to achieve with a reward of “down hill” ease. No, new tests/challenges keep popping up and there is always a new problem…always. Yet despite all of that, Pema’s wisdom in the continuity of things coming together and falling apart is somehow comforting.

Good things to keep in mind as my household approaches one year of Safer at Home… yes, we started in early February 2020. A year of being distant, masking up, and thinking about “is this trip absolutely necessary.” A habit now it seems, yet this weekend our discussions included frustration, disappointment, and longing for life before COVID.

The science reports on wearing two masks seems to echo Pema… things don’t really get solved.

But!! I had an interesting discussion about the efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this weekend, and while it might not score as high as the currently available vaccines, it does boast a very impressive stat… preventing hospitalizations and deaths! More Pema echo’s….they come together. 

The reminder for me this morning is that there is no “magic button” but rather a determination to keep on going and hope there is more coming together and less falling apart. (Or if they do fall apart, may they be easily fixed!)

Finally, in these socially distant times there was some most excellent coming together… a small group of fiber enthusiasts got together Saturday afternoon via the wonder of the internet and we spent time spinning, and talking, and laughing, and sharing. We have plans to meet twice a month… and if you’d like to join us, you would absolutely be welcome!

Happy Monday, everyone! See you all back here for some unraveling on Wednesday!

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