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
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“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!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Translation
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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!!
If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest. ― Nanette Mathews
Carolyn’s prompts for June included a Blast List, which I struggled with… I was stymied by what to put on this list. Or so I thought… soon the idea of an Un-Blast List was rattling around my brain. As in… releasing the idea of “must do’s” and reimagining a truly slow summer. One not full of things to accomplish, but rather full of something very different.
Finding joy in the slow moments of the day… and intentionally creating more of them.
And so June began and each moment I felt some urgent desire to hurry to get on to the next thing, I stopped and contemplated why? What’s the rush? It was the beginning of a lovely experience… stopping and enjoying the current thing. Purposefully. With intention.
Summer is a finite time… fleeting… all too soon over…and rushing to fill the days with all.the.things. seems so very wrong. Releasing the idea that more is better… and embracing each moment has made for a really wonderful month! (Although, not rushing to fill the days is not as easy as it sounds!)
Slowing down allowed me to sit quietly with my thoughts as well. This, my friends, is never a good thing… except this month it was different and I could not put my finger on what was different until I listened to this…and these words especially struck me… deeply: “…Have patience with all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves”
Yes, slowing down has been very good. The days still feel as if they are racing on, but each day feels more full… memorable… lasting…
I want to thank Carolyn for hosting us as we share our word updates! Be sure to stop this week to see how June was for everyone else!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
“How did it get so late so soon?”
Today I am one with Dr. Seuss. It is the last Friday in June… and all I can do is wonder where the heck the month went?
But it is still June for a few more seconds and so let’s slow down and savor some things that stood out for me this week.
First up, a very good listen… Ibram X. Kendi and Ari Berman talk about voter suppression. Voter Suppression is my new “constant worry” and if it is something that worries you as well…. the latest episode of Be Antiracist has some frank conversation and even some things to think about, to read, and ways you can support groups that are fighting voter suppression! PA is not immune to voter suppression and there is a bill making its way through the State Congress that will make it more difficult to vote here and despite the promise of a veto from our governor they forge ahead. Sadly, 48 states have a 389 restrictive voting bills that have either passed or are in process so chances are that this will have an impact on how you vote as well.
I had a very slow (and yes, painful) journey with my summer art project this week. Full disclosure… this little pastel drawing was just a bit of a much bigger photo I found online. It has more wrong with it than it has right… but I am proud that I did not give up, I did not start over, and I kept working at it. I am even going to try again next week because each day as I worked on it I could see how I could have improved it…what I should have done…placement on the page, etc. So… here is my first attempt… I hope next week’s attempt is better in all aspects!
Tomorrow starts the Tour de Fleece… which ironically coincides with the Tour de France, LOL. Generally, it’s all about how much you can get spun during the Tour… yards and yards and yards of singles that are then extrapolated into miles… in other words, it can be as competitive as the actual Tour! Not so for me this year… I am going to worry less about my “mileage” and focus on savoring these gorgeous batts that I got from Hipstrings! They are so soft! I am going to set aside 30 minutes each morning to do some spinning meditation at my wheel. I am not on any “official” team, but rather this will be a solo ride of discovery!
Finally… a wee little Animal Crossing update. This week I achieved a big milestone! I have managed to “cultivate” all the different colors of flowers! My practically impossible final flower… the elusive Purple Pansy sprouted this week!
That is all I have for this week. I will be back on Monday with an update on my word! Have a great weekend everyone!
Greetings Gentle Readers!
Apparently sofa’s have a great desire for AirPods…and yes, I found them deep inside in a place I did not know my sofa had. I also found one pen and, curiously, just one stitch marker. The Single Stitch Marker surprises me because I am very confident that I have lost more than one stitch marker in the sofa. And so this morning my ears are happy, the pen is put away, and the stitch marker is back with its pals. All is good in the world and with my list…if you don’t count “finding a new physician” that is!
Test Sweater Knitting is moving right along… I like knitting a sleeve as a gauge swatch and that is what I did for this sweater. I did have to rip back my swatch and reknit to get gauge… which I would not have had to do if I had listened to my head and started with a bigger needle. Oh well… one sleeve is done and the other is well under way. I should be starting the body no later than Friday! This sweater is one of the most fun knits… you get the sleeves out of the way early because this is a bottom up sweater so you have that magical moment when you join the three tubes and suddenly, you are almost done with you sweater! This is a steeked sweater and I am leaning toward doing crochet steaks and I think I am going to knit the button bands pre-steeking to try something new! Steeking is a long way off though, I will wait to join in the Zoom Steek Party next month. What fun… I mean only knitters would be excited about that, and I am very excited about it! Ha!
I do have one HUGE thing coming very soon. For months now I have watched with interest the progression of Daedalus Spinning Wheels… they are a hot commodity in the fiber world. HOT! I have tried, with no success, to purchase one when they do a drop of product but they are literally sold out in minutes from the time they open sales up. However, this month Daedalus tried something different…a lottery. I signed up and hoped for success… and I was successful!! I will have one Yellow and Black Sparrow making its way to me… and I can’t wait! I have never spun on an electric wheel so I am expecting a fairly large learning curve… but maybe not? One can hope! LOL I am not a person who names my wheel, but this somehow seems different… more car-like almost and cars always had a name when I was little. So I think this motorized wheel needs a name… and I think the perfect one is Wiz the Sparrow! After all… I hoped that I would have some Steeler luck with my color choices and obviously it worked!
Now let’s get on to the reading, shall we? It was a most excellent week for reading! And, thanks to The Dark Vineyard, I have my first bingo! I am close on a couple more bingo’s and it feels like I am standing at the apex of my card and one or two more reads and it will all fall into place. Feels like being the operative term there…Reality is that I have some hard squares left open so I need to do some serious work (or some outlandishly creative thinking) and find some books to fill the squares!
Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I wanted to like this book, but I did not. I wanted to learn from this book, but I could not get past the fairy tales. I am not a fan of fairy tales and this book is heavy on the fairy tales. I might have liked it more if I had not just listened to Ibram X. Kendi’s new podcast and a conversation with Rebecca Cokley (https://www.pushkin.fm/episode/ableis…) on ableism, disability rights, and advocacy. It was much better with no fairy tales. Skip this book and listen to the podcast instead.
Summer Book Bingo Square: With a beautiful cover
The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A series that grabs you by the second installment is good… and this is that series! I want to move to France and settle into Bruno’s little village, Saint-Denis. I want to eat his truffle omelets, sip his wine, eat the local cheeses, and join everyone for a Ricard at the day’s end. An added bonus would be to help him solve the mystery. If you want to spend your summer in France… get started on this series. It is wonderful!
Summer Book Bing Square: Set in a place you’d like to
Becoming Duchess Goldblatt: A Memoir by Duchess Goldblatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Any asshole can make a mean joke. It’s harder work to reach out further for the joke that’s funny and can’t hurt anybody.”
― Duchess Goldblatt, Becoming Duchess Goldblatt
One of the greater finds on the Twitterverse is Duchess Goldblatt’s account… and this quote is the exact reason why she was such a great find. She is witty, funny, and kind… something that is quite lacking in the Twitterverse.
This is a quick listen and it is just as fun as her twitter account… but it is more, it also has a bit of a memoir woven though. It makes you see the Duchess in a new light… a very lovely new light.
Summer Book Bingo Square: Inspired to read because of a
TV show Twitter account
The Dubliners by James Joyce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If one is in doubt at the sheer genius and brilliance of Joyce’s writing, they but need to read The Dubliners. Fifteen stories… glimpses into the some of the lives of the residents of Dublin. A collection of short stories…who am I? I thought that short stories were my least favorite thing, but that is obviously not true! Although the last story is the longest of the 15, and the most poignant, and perhaps my favorite! Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that how this collection of stories, published in 1914… is so relevant today. If you have read no Joyce… start here! I highly recommend!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Originally published in the 20th century
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“There’s a particular kind of close you get when you find someone you can trust in a space you don’t.”
― Mira Jacob, Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
This book! AMAZING! Fun! Hard! EXCELLENT!! I think the best space for learning is by listening when it matters. This book is full of things that matter that you need to listen to! Conversations you likely won’t hear unless you read it! I laughed, I cried…lots, I cringed at reading things I have done, and this book will make me better. It will make you better too… read this book!
Summer Book Bingo Square: Protagonist with a different ethnicity from your own
That is what my week looks like, what about you? What are you excited about?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
Bring (the official start of) summer and a very full week.
I have a list which includes the mundane that I don’t need a list to remember to do, but the joy of crossing things off inspires me to always include the mundane.
It includes finding a new physician… never, ever a fun task but I can’t put it off any longer. (I have had it on my list for several weeks now… sigh)
It also includes finding my missing AirPods. I am hoping that if I pull the sofa apart first this morning I will find them. But everywhere else I have looked has not been successful. Sigh.
I hope your Monday brings a short list and a long, lovely day! See you all back here on Wednesday!
I want to close this week out with a list of Good Things that I thought you might find some of them enrich your days as well. All these things all fit well with my LSD Mantra (Learning to Slow Down) for the summer.
Listening things are probably the best part of my day. Somehow the mundane things of life (think laundry, cleaning the bathroom, and scrubbing floors…) are not so bad with something good in your ears!
Pádraig Ó Tuama’s Poetry Unbound Podcast, which this month introduced me to Margaret Noodin’s voice and song and Roshni Goyate of 4 Brown Girls Who Write. I have listened to these two episodes over and over and over and over. Margaret Noodin’s singing has become my favorite thing…ever.
I love how Ibram X. Kendi makes me think and his new podcast is full of thought provoking things. The Juneteenth Mixtape is an excellent way to usher in Juneteenth. Listen…really… listen! It is so good.
Last week I shared that I was going to be doing some random, hopefully weekly, bits of art. I got some soft pastels and a little sketch book and so I began. I started first by watching some YouTube videos and so my apple was born. It was done in one sitting… it is not perfect… but it was a start. This week, I did not watch anything and I did not do my drawing in one sitting, rather I spent several days working on it. It is better, I think and I am going to keep going… who knows where this will lead, but I love working with the pastels. I love using my fingers to create, smudge, blend… it just feels so good. I also loved finding that opening the door to the closet of my high school art classes released all sorts of things I have not forgotten! Who knew!! My high school art teacher, Mrs. Boyce, would be so proud of me!
Finally, I spent some time this week thinking about the brilliance of women. I especially am thankful for the woman who figured out how to ease a sleeve into an arm scythe… and the woman who had the “ah-ha” moment that brought understitching facings… they are just the most magical processes! (And for the knitting minded…the woman who figured out paired increases and decreases in knitting… because really, where would knitting be without that bit of genius!)
(and as a side note to all who loved my Tunic Fabric… a huge thanks to IKEA. Yes, the fabric was an IKEA purchase…good things that are inexpensive FTW!)
There you have a few good things and now for a really good thing…the weekend is here! Have a good one and I will see you all back here next week!