Arrives and I have nothing for a blog post. So when all else fails, poetry saves the day! I hope that this poetry will bolster your day and start your week off in the best way! See you all back here on Wednesday!
Just a dash of lambent carmine Shading into sky of gold; Just a twitter of a song-bird Ere the wings its head enfold; Just a rustling sigh of parting From the moon-kissed hill to breeze; And a cheerful gentle, nodding Adieu waving from the trees; Just a friendly sunbeam’s flutter Wishing all a night’s repose, Ere the stars swing back the curtain Bringing twilight’s dewy close.
Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you. — Langston Hughes
The hot, muggy weather returned which meant I was spending extra time watering the vegetable gardens so when some summer storms rolled in, it was so welcome…for the vegetables and me! Ha! And that rain brought some amazing nights of sleep… there is nothing that compares to listening to it rain at night. It is the perfect sleep track!
Thoughtful (contemplation) —
But thinking about humor like that refreshing summer rain has been more of a challenge. Although, those thoughts work well with things I need to release… perfection and control. Those two things are the bane of my existence and I fear I will never, ever be able to let go of them. But, this month I am going to try to use humor, levity, and purposeful lightness to try and release my stranglehold on them. Kym shared the most excellent (and very familiar) quote this week: “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” — David Foster Wallace. I wrote it in my journal and on my weekly calendar pages for the remainder of the month. I am going to force myself to remember just how hard it is to let go… but it can be done!
(so much) Good —
I saw this last night on television and it just made my heart sing! I thought you all might need a little heart song this morning as well! I will be excited to watch both Megan and Sue in the Olympics next week!
Inspirational (making) —
This week kicked off the #dawnmakealong… and I have followed the hashtag on IG and my plan is to pick a project (or two?) and *actually get it done* this summer! One would think I would pick a knitting project… but, you’d be wrong. I think I am going to start with some coasters… and hand stitch them. I like the thought of it being a slow project (but not so daunting that I won’t be able to finish it!) Once those coasters are done… I will see what inspires me from what other makers are doing! If you have been looking for some inspiration and want to work on a project from Dawn, let me know… we can cheer each other on!
(thoughtful) Finishes —
This week the idea of slow really settled in for me. I am working away on my pastel drawing… but I did not get it finished this week. And… the world did not end! I know, I was so shocked! Haha! There are only 24 hours in a day… and there is a garden that I love to spend time in, there is a test knit that I gladly committed to completing by a specific date. I finished the body knitting yesterday… up next, getting my crochet steeks in and then knitting on the button bands. Even with today’s grey day, I am confident that I will more than meet the deadline to complete the sweater. Why, I might even have found buttons by then as well! Anyway, the idea of slowing down has really taken root and it is working! I am slowing down and not feeling I need to rush to the next thing… I don’t feel like I have to hurry and finish to start the next thing… I am just loving the current thing… so very much!
That’s it for me this week! I will be back on Monday! I hope you all have a great weekend!
It has been a slow making week here at Casa del KatKnits… but the three tubes have been joined which seems like a good thing…and it is! It means I am closer to a finished sweater, but it also means I have monstrously long rounds to knit… monstrously long! But I am close to the decreases/color work portion and color work always seems to fly for me. But it is truly at the “slog of sweater knitting” right now. (and sorry I can’t post a better image than the one I did… one almost black blob is just so attractive, no? lol) I also about to finish my second “plate” of Plötulopi, I will likely start a third, but won’t use much of it.
Sometimes the reading for the week is just so amazing you can’t move past it. I had some of that this week. I have not stopped thinking about What the Chickadee Knows… it was just so good. The other book I read was good as well, but in a different, disquieting way. This week brings two more bingos and just 5 books to a cover-all… so I am feeling zero guilt at not working on my card and instead immersing myself in a re-read of Beach Music and could stay there for the remainder of the summer quite easily. (We also arrived at the It’s My Bingo Card So It’s My Rules portion of the summer reading, lol… )
This book of poetry will likely be my favorite book of poetry for the year. Noodin shares words in Anishinaabemowin and then they are translated to English. She gives you a “road map” for reading the poems in the native language so that you can linger over the Anishinaabemowin before diving into the English translation. I read this book through multiple times and was sad to have to return it to the library… a copy has been purchased so that I have it in my collection. I highly recommend this powerful little book!
Oof… what a story. I started out listening to this story wondering what the connection was between these two very divergent story lines. They seem utterly unconnected… yet there is this disquieting urgency… a sense of foreboding that kept growing inside me as the story progresses.
We meet Lexi and Elina… one young and carefree, who eventually has a child; the other a new mother… who arrived at motherhood with no recollection of her child being born. And so the story takes off from there. O’Farrell’s writing is something to savor… her prose, her development of characters, the tiny breadcrumbs she begins to drop as the story progresses.
But the ending… oh my. I did not see that coming (even though O’Farrell told us it was coming at the very beginning) It was a jolt to my senses, but then as O’Farrell begins to put all the pieces together something entirely different emerges… and for me Lexi becomes the shining star. (I had really not liked her much prior to the ending… but boy, was I wrong!)
If you like O’Farrell’s writing, you will enjoy this tale. I highly recommend!
Summer Book Bingo Square: That you want to read because of the cover
That is all I have for today. I hope you had a more productive making week than I did!
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave you link below and thank you!
Summer Slow Down continues despite the cooler temps and some really good “soaking” rains we’ve had over the last day. Truthfully, it was a welcome change from 90+ degree days. I understand that our heatwave was nothing compared to what many are experiencing, but still… too hot is too hot and for me temps in the 90’s (and upward) are just too hot! There is no rushing to do anything in the heat but the cooler temps are a very welcome break before we head back to those warm temps next week. All that heat means I have been spending lots of time indoors, but that is okay… I have plenty to keep me occupied inside! (And I don’t mean housework… although, I probably shout! Ha!) But how about some good things to close out the week and welcome in the holiday!
First up, I have had little Wiz K. a week now and wow! There was a very tiny learning curve on how to adjust it but once I figured it out, I was off to the races! I did a bit of trial spinning with some of the leftover fibers from my MDSW classes… I sorted out my “normal” spinning quickly, and once that happened it all just sort of fell into place. So I grabbed a braid of fiber (from my favorite Hipstrings!) divided the braid in thirds and started spinning!
One third of a braid, in process!
The Sparrow is completely silent, which is shocking to me, but I love it! It is easy to adjust tension and take up, and starting and stopping is a breeze! I have only spun with it plugged in and the “start/stop” speed control is genius. It is separate from the e-spinner, so I can have it closer to me for ease of reach. There is a slight delay on starting and stopping so there is not an abrupt yank of the fiber, but rather a smooth start and a smooth stop. I have the “speed” set to 40, but it can go much faster… much faster! Likewise it can go slower as well, so I think this could be an excellent e-spinner for a new spinner! Changing twist direction is as easy as the flip of a little switch, so easy! It comes set up in Scotch Tension, but can easily be switched to Irish Tension, if you needed to. I like that bit of versatility… and I don’t think you’d need an e-spinner to do much more than that.
One genius controller!
Now, let’s talk about one wee draw back, if you can call it that…. the battery. I have yet to spin with the battery because I need to plug something else into the battery to increase the output so it (the battery) stays on. Some people plug their phone in, but I think I will get a little USB light and use that instead. Why is this necessary? Because the Sparrow hardly uses any power – so little that the battery does not register anything using it so it turns itself off! Yep… that is right, it is one efficient little bird! I have not filled a bobbin yet to determine the capacity, but Daedalus says their capacity is 5 oz of fiber, which is larger capacity than anything I currently am using but I will update you once I have a full bobbin.
For the price, I think this is an excellent “starter e-spinner” but it is also would be an excellent addition to your wheel collection… (small foot print, silent, portable, and it spins incredibly!) The price for the e-spinner is $400, which includes the wheel and three bobbins. That price does not include the speed control, which is $110. But!! Once you have the speed control, it is interchangeable with all of the other e-spinners Daedalus makes… so it is a one time investment. The battery pack is an additional $110 and again, it is interchangeable with all the other Daedalus e-spinners.
Now let’s talk more about the footprint, shall we? It is minuscule! The space it takes up on my table is 5″ x 7.5″… yes that is it! So if you are looking for something that can get a good bit of spinning done and not hog up all the space in your room… this is the bird for you! I have two “manual” wheels, lol, a Schacht Matchless and a Schacht Flat Iron. I thought my Matchless took up a reasonably small bit of space, but it now feels like a behemoth in comparison! And as for that Flat Iron… well, I think it is time that it moves on to a new home (so if you know anyone who is interested in a wheel… let me know!)
I am impressed with the quality of the wheel and with the dedication that Dave and Rebecca have to customer support. They have a very active FB Group where questions are answered very quickly. This has rapidly become an invaluable resource for me, because you can search a question… and find an answer quickly without having to ask again. Plus, the community there is incredible! They are a helpful, supportive group! I love watching Daedalus e-spinner owners cheering on those trying to get their first e-spinner. If you are thinking about an e-spinner… a Daedalus product would absolutely be my recommendation!
But… it was not all spinning this week! I have another drawing to share! I was disappointed in last week’s attempt… but I thought I could do better so I tried again. This time I focused on just what I could fit onto my page… and I took my time. This outcome took me all week… I worked on it for probably 30-45 minutes at a time. I kept reminding myself that it was layers… not one and done. I am very happy with the outcome! Is there room for improvement? Yes… but, there is also a great deal of pleasure in my finished drawing! I also added some supplies to my arsenal… I got a box of semi-hard pastels, some charcoal pencils, tortillons and blending stumps! Summer of Art continues!
One happy drawing, which is not really as grainy looking as this image appears.
The other amazing and incredible and very good thing is that my sweet Winston turned one this week.
Cute… but where is the cake???
I know I am entirely prejudiced, but he is just the most beautiful boy! (and he looks so much like his momma!) (Also, what is not to love about a first birthday when no one cares if you have anything on but your diaper! LOL)
And the final good thing this week? Well, it’s all about going from winning at the “Pandemic look” to suddenly public ready… yes, I finally found the courage to make an appointment to get my hair cut… and I could not be happier that I did! (and thank you all for your incredibly kind words on IG… you all are just such wonderful people! XO
Gentle Readers… we have arrived at the final day of June…sigh. It gives me a tiny pang in my heart to say that and despite a week of 90+ degree days…life is just so good!
On the making side of my life… I am progressing on my Test Knit… this week the three tubes shall merge into a sweater! I am loving the fabric of this sweater so much that I am contemplating knitting another one… perhaps pale grey and pinks this time! This will be the perfect layer for fall/winter/spring weather! (and fall will be about the time I can reveal it to you all!)
But never fear! I do have a little something to share with you all today, I just eased into the third clue of Anne Hanson’s mystery shawl. I had forgotten how much I love to knit Anne’s patterns. They are truly a wonder… and it has certainly been magical to see the “honeycomb” come to life in the knits, purls, and twisted stitches! I was looking for a “neutral” shawl and I could not have picked a more perfect pattern! It is a joy to knit!
But let’s close out the month with a bit of a Summer Bingo update, shall we? I read 17 books in June!! (which is just insane!) No new bingos this week, but I just have seven squares left to fill my card… and it is not July yet! (at least not quite July yet!!) I have some excellent finishes this week though! And a couple of books that will be with me for a very long time and one of which will quite possibly be the best book I have read all year.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“I realised that the search for the Knowledge has encouraged us to think of the House as if it were a sort of riddle to be unravelled, a text to be interpreted, and that if ever we discover the Knowledge, then it will be as if the Value has been wrested from the House and all that remains will be mere scenery.” ― Susanna Clarke, Piranesi
This book. Oh.My.Gosh! I don’t even know where to begin to describe to you this story, but it is incredible! A book that is a labyrinth about a labyrinth… reading it was like working peeling an onion layer by layer…And just when you think X is happening, you discover that it is really Y and there is not one second of disappointment! But rather joy at the brilliance of the writing! If you read no other book this summer, read this book! I highly recommend!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Originally published in the 21st century
“This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots. So it needs saying from the outset that it’s always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is.” ― Fredrik Backman, Anxious People
I did not think it was possible for a Backman book to surpass my love for Ove, but Backman has made the impossible possible! This book is just so good… no one does character development like Backman does! And then when he weaves these tiny threads to connect the characters to each other, and then reveals the connections with each page of the story.. it is just a joy to read. But I warn you… this is a book that requires a box of tissues and involves some ugly crying (I cried for the last hour of listening!) This just might be my favorite book of the year thus far. I cannot stop thinking about it! I highly recommend it!
If you think this book is just about a pandemic, you’d be wrong. It is full of so much more and has incredibly beautiful twists and turns. The ending was beautiful, but getting there had me in stages of disbelief… but still the ending made up for that.
Summer Book Bingo Square: An author from a country you’ve never visited
I am going to take a wee break from Book Bingo next week (and probably the week after as well!) because I just got Beach Music from the library and I want to settle in, listen, and not feel any pressure to rush through it! (It is 31 hours of listening!) I was inspired by Bonny to find something to re-read this summer and I think Beach Music will be the perfect thing to listen to in July! (so I might not have many book updates next month! Be warned! lol) I have one book to finish before I can start it, but it is a good bit shorter than 31 hours! Ha!
That is all I have this week… how about you? What made your June sing?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!!