Friday FO(s) | 9.3.21

Friday FO(s) | 9.3.21

I am scraping the bottom of the barrel on finding anything good to post about today. Each week ends and I think how can it possibly get worse… and then it does. I am worried about where we go from here. NPR summed it up rather succinctly with these handy memes:

I think there is some significance to the number of laws that just took effect in Texas…I wonder if any of them will note the same? Also… if a Judge can give a more than 6 hour dissertation on the effing Sackler family and then agree to give them blanket immunity from future lawsuits… I mean, why even say anything? Much less the 6+ hour diatribe?

But, perhaps my most grating, irritating thing of this entire week of nonsense is the BS that Texas with the support of the SC (although my new girl crush… Sonia Sotomayor and you can read her glorious dissent in full here) pulled this week. So let me get this straight… these are the same people who want NO ONE to control what they do… i.e. no mask mandates, no vaccine mandates… you know, the “we know where we are going when we die crowd” of pro-life lunatics… yes… those same people want to control the very difficult and very personal decision a woman makes for her body. My rage level: off the freaking charts. And if you think this is just a Texas anomaly… well, this very legislation is most likely coming to your state next.

America… the Shit Show that is never-ending.

But on a mildly brighter note….I have not one but TWO finished objects to share with you!

The one bright spot this week was this… MaryJane Mucklestone’s new pattern dropped this week. And here is my duo of  Stopover Cardigans! I posted a few more photos on IG yesterday. This pattern is very detailed and well written… and it is very size inclusive! MaryJane’s genius at knitting this sweater at a much looser gauge than the yarn is typically knit creates a light, but warm fabric and, miraculously, the weather has changed dramatically and I have been wearing one of the sweaters non-stop since yesterday! I knit mine with plötulopi and lettlopi yarns, but this would be wonderful knit in a non-super wash, woolen spun yarn if you are a person who can’t abide the itchiness of the Icelandic wools. Oh… and that needle-felted steek? Brilliant times 1,000! Yes it was easy. Yes it was quick! And I love how it sort of just melds the stitches together into a nice “solid” fabric that made cutting super easy and I loved it for kind of meshing together all the floats in the color work section of the steek!

That is all I have for this week. Be kind to yourself, remember to breathe, and I will see you back here next week Wednesday  for some unraveling! (Yay for a long weekend!)

I found today’s header photo hilarious… I searched for “shit show” in Pexels and voila! Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.1.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.1.21

Greetings Unravelers and Welcome September where I am waiting for the weather to flip the switch from heat and humidity to something a few degrees cooler and less moist!

**I apologize for the poor photo quality, but I tried multiple times on Tuesday to get “natural light” photos but all the spillover rain from Ida tossed a monkey wrench in that plan.**

Sometimes the “unraveling” means cutting off a waistband from a muslin I made this week to adjust the fit. It is my first Sew House 7 pattern and while the directions provided incredible detail for adjusting fit, the rise in the front is just too long…even with the adjustments I made. I can wear them with the band rolled over, but that really only works around the house, lol. So I am going to see if removing the waistband and removing just a bit of fabric from the front of the pants will make it a muslin I can wear out of the house! Plus, it will help me with the fit on the next pair of pants I make (and I do have plans for another pair!) I hope to have images to share once I have reworked the waist. Stay tuned!

One other fun thing happened in knitting this week. I got gauge for a sweater... with both commercial yarn (I am using Rauma Finull P2) and handspun! I am in shock… honestly. In. Shock! I started the sweater with the commercial yarn and that will tell me exactly how much yarn I will use to knit… so I can determine how long my sleeves will be on the handspun version! lol. This sweater if fairly flying off the needles… I have divided the sleeves already (and knit a couple of inches of the body post photograph!)

It was a banner week for reading this week! My best read… Isabel Allende’s soon to be published book, Violeta. I was fortunate to get and ARC from Netgalley and this book will absolutely be in the top five for best reads of the year! If your library has a copy on order… get on the list to read it! It is so good!

AtonementAtonement by Ian McEwan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes I just need some Ian McEwan writing in my day… this book filled that void for me – perfectly. I have not seen the movie (but after reading this book, I am not sure I want to… nothing could beat this writing…this story…and how McEwan masterfully unravels it for us)

McEwan always makes me think, and Atonement sure did. Can you ever make up for things you did…knowingly or unknowingly? It is a question that I will ponder for a long time. If you think McEwan is hit or miss… this is a hit. I listened to the audible version and the narration was excellent.

I very much recommend this book!

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her HouseHow the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a very hard read, but it is just so beautifully written. The stories are not easy to take in (and this book has triggers for rape, incest, domestic abuse/violence, prostitution, and drug use to name a few… )

The writing is what really drew me in… the stories are so compelling. I did feel that there are some superfluous characters that I did not find a connection to the stories… they could have been edited out. But it also made me think of life… we have superfluous people in our lives that do not know what is really going on in our lives… they just see the snapshot that we share.

VioletaVioleta by Isabel Allende
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Epic. Spectacular. Compelling. Allende at her best!

From the first pages, Violeta drew me in. The writing is captivating and the story is so engaging. I wanted to know ‘what’s next’ and had trouble putting it down!

This is a story of Violeta’s life… it is one very long and loving letter written to someone she deeply loves. The story includes Chilean history (which I knew very little about) and bookends the life of Violeta tucked between two pandemics. It is brilliant and I found that bit of irony so perfect and gave an incredible glimpse into the unique life Violeta lived. If you think a person cannot change, this book will show you that change is absolutely possible… you just have to want it with everything in your being.

I want to thank NetGalley, Ballantine, and Random House for this ARC and this is my unbiased review of this book.

I highly recommend it! Really… this is a must read book!


As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you! I will be back on Friday!


Release | August 2021

Release | August 2021

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

August…eight months “in” on release and still…the struggle remains real.

I started off the month in a good direction or at least I thought I did and then I just sort of set everything down and ignored it.

Because sometimes, I am my own worst enemy. It is easy to identify things that need to be changed in around me… but turning the lens inward is not as simple… or easy.

My notes to self this month simply said:

recognize things I can change versus things I cannot change

And there is my wisdom and my failure all in one little phrase. Like I said… the struggle is real.

Thank you, Carolyn for providing the space for us to share…and make sure you stop by and see how everyone else did with their word this month!

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!

 

 

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