Refocusing Intentions

Refocusing Intentions

This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to “consider what it means to be at the halfway point of the year. Did you state some intentions for 2017? If so, check in on them and give us an update. If you didn’t state any intentions then maybe you could tell us what you think so far about 2017 or perhaps you’d like to set some intentions for the second half of the year. Whatever you decide, however you approach this topic, regale us with your words!”

I am sure of nothing so little as my own intentions. – Lord Byron.

Who besides me feels this great internal debate of time? You know, that great conundrum of “how is it only June?” and “how can it be June?” – yes, these two phrases seem to tell the tale of 2017 – the year that is both creeping slowly and racing rapidly by simultaneously!

I wrote down a few things to “focus on” this year and even foolishly declared it the year of the sweater (can you hear me laughing here?) I assure you that this is not the year of the sweater. In fact, this might not even be the year of knitting! To date, I have only finished seven projects and not one of them is a sweater!

My stitching is perhaps the most faithful thing I do (and though I have had a day or two here and there where I have missed, I have caught up easily).

I set my reading goal at 60 books and I have only completed 22, which puts me 5 books behind schedule. I am hoping that I can catch this up this summer – and perhaps even get ahead a bit!

I wanted to organize my photos and while I have done a fantastic job this year of organizing by month – I have not worked on previous months at all.

There were some other things that I journaled about as “wishes” that may find themselves moving to a reality.

And, there are some things (hello, LipSense) that I had no idea about at all but could not be happier with today!

This mid-year refocus is bringing some changes… and if you know me, then you know that I think that is not a bad thing at all!

If you want to see how this year is unfolding for others, you will find them here. If you want to “regale Carole and I with your words”, you can sign up here!

Unraveled Wednesday, June 14

Unraveled Wednesday, June 14

What is better for the almost “ides” of June to talk about knitting and reading?

Up first, reading… I have lots of books to update you all with! I have completed three books since week:

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book was recommended to me for my “about a homecoming” square on Summer Book Bingo. And, like Carole, I wanted to give this book 5 stars, but I also felt like parts were very tedious. However, I loved the viewpoint on an immigrant view on “white America” – it was powerful and one I will think of for a very long time. Perhaps, I will listen to this book as Mary did, because I am sure my thinking on name pronunciation is way off! I gave this book 4 stars
  2. The Likeness by Tana French. In the far-fetched category, this book takes top billing. I really wanted to like it, I promise. But, the entire story line is so implausible…I had narrowed down the killer to 2 people very quickly and my guess was proven correct (although, they never really have a “true confession”). The writing is good, but this book could have been so much better if any of the story line had any hint of being believable. In short, the entire story fell a bit flat for me and I am not sure I will continue with this series. I gave this book 2 stars.
  3.  Marie Antoinette: The Journey. This book filled the “biography of a royal” Summer Book Bingo square. I knew absolutely nothing about dear Marie (outside of cake and the guillotine). This story is well narrated, and well written. It is interesting, endearing, and educational. I enjoyed being immersed in the French court pre-revolution, and the ending was as I expected – moving and sad. If you are looking for a wonderful “listen” I highly recommend this! I gave this book 4 stars.

I am currently reading The Girl with the Pearl Earring to fill my “about art/artists” square. I have just begun, but thus far I am enjoying it.

I will start listening to The Hanging by Lotte and Soren Hammer today.

And, did you hear about the Big Library Read? No? I love the concept of this: “Big Library Read (BLR), facilitated by OverDrive, is a reading program through your library that connects millions of readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds.” And, the first book is The Other Einstein. I have downloaded it and will be starting it shortly – reading time began on Monday the 12th and you have until the 26th to finish. There is discussion and a little podcast to hear from the author, Marie Benedict! Summer reading is simply the best!

Summer Knitting has been equally good, especially when there is no unraveling. I am cruising along on Stillwater. I love that the pattern within the pattern is not overly challenging and it makes for a very interesting knit. I have divided for the sleeves and the “removal” of those stitches should make the rows speed up a bit!

What about you? How is your summer going?

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Weekend Recovery

Weekend Recovery

Do you ever wish you could just skip something? Or have a do-over? Yeah, me too although I am not sure if I would rather skip the weekend or have a do-over.

It started off nicely with the close out of Negroni Week. But, Saturday morning I had a nasty fall in Mt. Lebanon… downhill, hard. Yeah, so perhaps skipping the weekend is a much better idea for me. With my luck, I’d fall again in the “do-over” version! Maybe I just need to plan some recovery time for a day or two more.

I am hobbling around a bit better today and one good thing about being “laid up” over the weekend is that I spent some guilt free time just sitting and reading! I managed to fill in some squares on my Bingo Card, but more on that on Wednesday!

I also, made some changes to a sweater I was unhappily knitting. And, with a bit of gauge help from Mary I frogged Daelyn and have started knitting Stillwater… I am far enough to know that I like the fabric, especially knowing that it will bloom a bit and soften significantly when I wash it. Sometimes, changing things up is the best idea ever.

Today, my big task will be to do laundry accompanied by Marie Antoinette (who I hope to finish today) and some knitting. (and really, hauling laundry down 2 flights of stairs counts as a big task in my book!)

That was my weekend, I hope yours was much less eventful!

Friday Bird Watching

The past week we have watched a little (but feisty) brown wren decide he liked the cardinal house Steve’s mom gave me for Christmas was JUST what he needed for a nest. Some poor bird had previously begun building a nest in it but abandoned the idea. Well, enter this little wren – he spent last Friday and Saturday tossing out all the “old” nesting material and then began the “building” process. He has filled this nest and now he is singing and chattering to all the ladies that he has the perfect nest for her! I was even nice to brush Sherman this morning and leave her some choice Pug Down to line the nest! (In case you don’t know, Pug’s are the best pets ever except they shed VOLUMES year around, but Spring and Fall they are especially sheddy!) I feel like all I need is for David Attenborough narration.

On the knitting front, I have made little to no progress on anything. But, that is okay, because my reading that was derailed by the great mulch move, got back on track. Last night I finished The Likeness, watch for the review next week! Today, I hope to start Americanah.

Now, how about some links?

Knitty First Fall is up… and while I have not been impressed with much of late in Knitty, this time a couple of things did catch my eye. First up Romi has this and I love them! And, then Martina Behm has this interesting cowl.

Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 11 is out. There are so many gorgeous patterns there!

Mary shared this with me last week and I love it! It’s the perfect summer sweater!

This Old Shale cardi for big girls is adorable!

But, for me, this was the winner of the week. Stillwater is gorgeous and I have it on my list to swatch for this weekend. FYI, there is a coupon code that is good through Saturday!

Fellow Pittsburgh Knitter PAKnitWit (aka Sarah) has released her pattern for her Keremeia Cowl and she is having a little colorwork knit along in her Ravelry Group. Hint: I am participating and would love it if you did too!

That is all I have today except for this to close out Negroni Week! Enjoy your weekend, see you back here on Monday!

Summer Bucket List – 2017

Summer Bucket List – 2017

This week’s Think Write Thursday is to share my Summer Bucket List.

Summertime is always the best of what might be. – Charles Bowden

Summer… that wonderful time of long sunny days! As a child, I loved summer, although I started to miss school right after the 4th of July – you know that feeling, boredom was settling in. Too much of the same thing is never a good thing. But, some things are good to be repeated so my list has some favorite repeats.

  • Book Bingo: Get a cover all and maybe a book or two more in!
  • Finish knitting projects. I mean really, if I died what would my kids do with half completed knitting projects??
  • Organize my fiber stash and determine if I have enough to plan a combo spin for a sweater.
  • Walk – every day. Rain or shine. I have been incredibly lax on this and I am only walking when Steve wants to walk. (while you read this, I will be walking!)
  • Return my focus to my diet as I have been insanely lax over the past few weeks.
  • Can it really be summer without a trip to Mt. Washington to capture a sunrise?
  • Try and convince Steve that a trip all the “Ville’s” and “Vale’s” is just the thing we need to do! Please note, I am not holding my breath on this one – chance of success, slim to none! LOL i.e. Millvale, Swissvale, Lawrenceville, etc.
  • A trip to Lake Erie (never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought THAT would be a great idea, but it is closer than Lake Michigan!!)
  • Go visit my kids!!

Finally, to finish up with my opening photo… Happy Hour on the Porch as often as possible!! Shake, sip, repeat!

What’s on your Summer Bucket List?

If you would like to see what everyone else has on their Bucket List, you will find them here. If you would like to join Carole and me on Think Write Thursday’s you can sign up here.

Unraveled Wednesday, June 7

Unraveled Wednesday, June 7

Sometimes life gets in the way of knitting and that happened to me this week in the form of a delivery of 7 yards of mulch on Monday. So, for the past two days, Steve and I have been moving the mountain of mulch from the driveway to all the garden beds.

FYI: 7 yds of mulch is over 3′ tall and 10′ wide…

Let me tell you, that’s a lot of moving!

While this was not so great for knitting productivity, it is excellent for audiobook listening! I am now more than half way through Marie Antoinette: The Journey and I am quite enthralled with her. The narration is also excellent (FYI, it’s Donada Peters). I have been laughing and have generally fallen in love with Marie. I have not gotten to the “rough parts” yet, but I fear that I will shed a tear or two. If your Summer Book Bingo has the “biography of a royal” I highly recommend this audiobook!

Last night, I collapsed on the couch after a long hot shower and I pulled out a simple sock to knit. You know… something mindless to just knit on. Following a pattern did not sound appealing so I did not work on the cloche I am knitting with the Year of Techniques crew – but if you have not started this month’s pattern, you should. It is a Romy Hill pattern and it is beautiful. I am about half way through the first repeat section, so no quite half way. I also did not want to count rounds on my dear little trial mouse. I am on leg one. Which means I have a leg, 2 arms, and a tail to knit before completion. Oy. I think I better start on Genevieve’s mouse sooner than later.

Also… next week (the 15th) begins Kirsten Kapur’s Summer MKAL – you will find the details here. The pattern is being offered at a reduced price before the MKAL begins, just saying. However, I did get those gold singles plied. I am quite happy with both yarns.

I am itching to cast on, so I am really happy that the mulch moving is in essence done (there is a wee bit of spreading to finish up)! What is your “Go To Mindless Knit”?

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