Unraveled Wednesday | 1.29.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.29.20

Greetings Unravelers!

It has been a long, sad week. My Tuesday night knitting group lost a member last week and knitting last night was bittersweet – we were there, but a bit diminished. However, we made plans to pick up a special shawl that was in progress for a beloved niece. We will each take turns knitting until it is finished. Our stitches will be full of love and memories of Mary and having a path forward with some meaning felt so right.

I have not picked up my Evening Dew Cardigan in over a week, as my knitting attention has been distracted entirely by my Pheasant Pullover! I finished the colorwork portion over the weekend and have been working on the mindless knitting portion of the body but I am still not to the sleeve divide. I still have a little over an inch to go before I am to that point. However, I am so happy to be mindlessly knitting and reading!

The reading this week was outstanding, though!

Shade: A Tale of Two PresidentsShade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Early on, I had been directed to Pete Souza’s Instagram feed and I enjoyed that tremendously. However, seeing the feed here with the correlation to what he was responding to is simply brilliant. I laughed at many of these, and it also made me yearn for the days when we had a president we could be proud of.

Night Sky with Exit WoundsNight Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe we pray on our knees because god only listens when we’re this close…

This book is only 70 pages, but those 70 pages are packed full of such incredible words. Words I sometimes had to read over again because they were just so beautiful. This is not a book of poetry to miss.

Stars. Or rather, the drains of heaven—waiting. Little holes. Little centuries opening just long enough for us to slip through.

Slip through the words and settle yourself into the world of Ocean Vuong, it is a place you will want to linger in and enjoy. I highly recommend!

The Guns of AugustThe Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I add that has not already been said about Tuchman’s tome on WWI? Woefully little, but I will try. I listened to this book and it very much felt like I was sitting in the history class with the professor everyone said was wonderful – only to discover, they were wrong – she was more than wonderful, she was brilliant and made things clear and so understandable!

If you at all have any idea that you like history – this is a must read book. I highly recommend the audio version with Wanda McCaddon narrating, she is wonderful and very easy to listen to!

Peace Like a RiverPeace Like a River by Leif Enger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The answer it seems to me now, lies in the miracles.

Do you believe in miracles? You might after you read this book. I fell in love with Davy, Swede, and Reuben. This book makes you think about faith, poverty, justice (or rather injustice) all told from the wise perspective of Reuben. Read this book and be witness to the wonder of this family. I highly recommend!

That is all I have to share this week, but I want to know what is consuming your making time?

If you wrote a post to share today, please leave your link below and thank you!

An Intentional (?) Beginning | 1.28.20

An Intentional (?) Beginning | 1.28.20

I am joining Honoré and friends today to share my start with my word for 2020:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. — Frederick Douglass

I foolishly assumed that my focus of 2019 would just flow seamlessly into my intentional start to January.

Key word there… foolishly.

Because for as brilliant as focus was, my intentional start was, well, rather rocky. Uncomfortable. Awkward. Unsettled.

I even had some moments when I considered picking a different word!

But I persevered and have settled in with my discomfort – sort of. The wisdom from Frederick Douglass has become my mantra:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

So, I don’t have much to share this month outside of this messy, unproductive start.

However, I am immersed in the struggle and live in the hope that progress will soon be visible!

Did you pick a word for 2020? How has your start been?

TGIF | 1.24.20

TGIF | 1.24.20

Turning (point)

This week felt like a turning point in a great number of things, but one that was most welcome was the gradual lengthening of the days which really became noticeable to me this week! Since Solstice our daylight has expanded a whopping 34 minutes here in Pittsburgh! That might not seem like much of a turning point, but boy it sure feels like one to me! In addition to the increased minutes of daylight, some other issues I have been struggling with have found turning points on their own. Which is a good reminder that sometimes, whether I do something or not, problems eventually work themselves out – so worry less, Kat!

Getting (it)

Although it took much longer than I expected, my finished Esme Tunic put a smile on my face! I have a good start on understanding the concept of what to do to get plaids to match. I have one more tunic to sew, and it will be on my list for next week. This fabric has more “lines” to match, which makes me a bit nervous, but I am going to dig out my walking foot to aide the sewing. AND I am going to do some basting before final seaming! Hello, Bust Darts…I am talking about YOU!

Impeachment (trials)

I have spent LOTS of time this week listening to the Senate impeachment proceedings. I have been sort of shocked at articles like this – I mean, Senators, paying attention is actually your job! You all took an oath, and the rules state you must stay in your chairs quietly listening and taking notes! Although, I did love this suggestion and would LOVE to hear the gentle clicking of 100 pairs of knitting needles as they all listen to the House Managers. Speaking of those House Managers – I might be a bit biased – but they have done an incredible job, one and all! However, last nights closing by Adam Schiff was amazing (you can see part of his dynamic speech here): “Right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.” Exactly!!

Fair Isle(ing)

I am almost done with the second chart of my Pheasant Pullover (see above for dramatically increased knitting times) and hurrah for longer circular needles! I am absolutely in love with the beautiful details and the intricate color variations. At times it seems like I am creating a beautiful Pointillism art piece, each stitch alone is not much – but added together with hundreds of other stitches a wonderfully drawn, and most intricate motif begins to emerge. With each stitch I am singing an ode to the brilliance of Amy Christoffers – I am so in love with this pattern! (I am happy she is such a prolific designer because I have my eyes on Ipswich for a spring cardigan – I love the lace yoke!)

I love how the colors seem to merge into each other!

I am not sure why, but my tensioning is almost effortless with this yarn!

That is all I have for today; I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend! See you all back here next week.

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.22.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.22.20

Greetings, Unravelers!

The making this week has had some highs and some not so highs.

First, remember this sock? Once I got the heel flap done and started down the foot and that little voice in my head kept saying, “holy cow this sock is BIG” after I got through the decreases I finally listened to that voice. End result – I frogged the sock and began again with the smallest size and hopes that this will actually fit. Oh boy.

I completed Chart One of my Pheasant Pullover and I think I need a longer length circular needle before I begin Chart Two. So, it’s in a bit of a holding pattern until I can get that longer length.

It looks spot on from this angle, but trust me when I tell you that the match up is just a bit off from front to back.

But that’s okay because I have spent my time wisely with an Esme Tunic. Matching plaids is not for the faint of heart and while this attempt was better than my first try, there is still room for improvement. The darts are hanging me up and I am not certain how to correct it. I have done something different with the pockets in this tunic with this inseam template from 100 Acts of Sewing! I hoped to have this done, but that was not happening, but at least I have a start on a new tunic! Today my challenge will be setting in the sleeves and hoping my plaids are spot on! Wish me luck! Haha

The reading also had some highs and less than high books this week as well:

I finished Fates and Furries, but it was an effort.

Fates and FuriesFates and Furies by Lauren Groff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Could there be a book with two more horrid characters? I did not like Lotto or Mathilde. There was nothing redeeming about either of them. I do not recommend this book at all.

I finished Malice in Malmö, Inspector Anita Sundstrom #6 and I liked it – a lot!

Malice in Malmö (Inspector Anita Sundstrom #6)Malice in Malmö by Torquil MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mystery within a mystery. While I wondered from the beginning if they were connected – MacLeod keeps dangling hints before me. Anita’s growth in this novel is wonderful! I highly recommend this series.

I also finished Salt to the Sea and I really loved it!

Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four people, four very different stories, all running concurrently. This book will stay with me for a very long time. There are horrific moments that almost crush you. There are tender moments that make you believe there is goodness. And those tender moments are so moving. I cried and the ending was so unexpected. I highly recommend this book!

Finally, if you enjoyed Just Mercy, the first book that Read With Me Book Club selected, you might be interested in the interview Terry Gross did with Bryan Stevenson earlier this week!

That is all I have today and I hope your making and reading had more highs than lows! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!

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