Unraveled Wednesday | 1.16.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.16.19

Greetings Unravelers! I am just a few LONG rows away from finishing Sarah Jordan’s Mini Maximization! Stay tuned for glamor shots next week!

In order to show you something NEW and interesting this week, I have some spinning to show you. I have finished skein three of my spin for Andrea Mowry’s Nightshift. I am incredibly happy with my skeins thus far and I started on the singles for skein 4 last night! I am excited to continue spinning and have hopes that my consistency maintains itself. All the fibers are not the same, but I tried to select fibers that all had similar qualities – thus making my worsted-spinning match between bumps of fiber. The last skein was the tiniest bit thicker than the previous skeins because it bloomed more than I thought it would in the finishing, but I think the difference will be imperceptible in the shawl. (Skeins from left to right: Southern Cross Fibre Rambouilet Wool Top – Allium colorway, Southern Cross Fibre Charollais Wool Top – Boil and Bubble Colorway, and Into The Whirled Superfine Merino – Scissors, Lizard, Spock colorway.)

One thing I really want to do more of this year is spin and use the yarn! I have a couple of SQ of wool washed that I would like to spin this year with the idea that I will knit it next year. Goals make all the difference. That is what drew me into this SAL-KAL lead by Brenshevia Boone in her group on FB – the idea that spinning for this project would take a good bit of time, as will the knitting. So, this is a SAL-KAL that runs through the summer – an easy time frame to spin and knit this shawl! We have monthly check-ins that help me stay focused and truly – if I can’t spin a bump of fiber in a month, there is something wrong with me!

Now, how about a bit of a reading update?

This week had two wonderful finishes:

After an extremely long wait, Where the Crawdads Sing finally came through on Overdrive. A beautifully told story, that knocked me for a complete loop in the end. I loved this book deeply and cried for a good part of the end! This book was easily 5-stars and I highly recommend it!

I also squeezed in the quick listen of Michael Eric Dyson’s Tear’s We Cannot Stop. This book is moving – and includes a good number of actionable items that us white folk can do to make a meaningful impact in the black community. It has painful moments – both to listen to and to hear. He also gives an excellent list of “must read” authors. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author and I highly recommend it. Mr. Dyson is a magnificent speaker and hearing him talk to you feels personal and intimate – like he is speaking to you alone. 4-stars – only because I wish it was LONGER!! I highly recommend, especially if you are trying to figure out how to help in light of the recent discussions on IG and Ravelry.

I am almost done with The Ruined House and have very mixed thoughts about this book. Stay tuned for my full review next week!

But, what about you? What is inspiring you this week?

As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you for joining us this week!

Sometimes Monday is for Poetry

Sometimes Monday is for Poetry

Michael Eric Dyson Spoke in depth about James Baldwin in his book What the Truth Sounds Like. My knowledge of James Baldwin was non-existent but thanks to the internet, I found a beautiful introduction to James Baldwin and his works. I found this poem most interesting and thought I would share it with you all today!

The giver (for Berdis)
By James Baldwin

If the hope of giving
is to love the living,
the giver risks madness
in the act of giving.

Some such lesson I seemed to see
in the faces that surrounded me.

Needy and blind, unhopeful, unlifted,
what gift would give them the gift to be gifted?

The giver is no less adrift
than those who are clamouring for the gift.

If they cannot claim it, if it is not there,
if their empty fingers beat the empty air
and the giver goes down on his knees in prayer
knows that all of his giving has been for naught
and that nothing was ever what he thought
and turns in his guilty bed to stare
at the starving multitudes standing there
and rises from bed to curse at heaven,
he must yet understand that to whom much is given
much will be taken, and justly so:
I cannot tell how much I owe.

Finally, a tiny postscript to last week:

If you did not find anything wrong with the post that lit the internet on fire last week, Karen explains beautifully what should have made you uncomfortable here.

And, then perhaps this perspective will open your eyes even wider.

Amaryllis Watch | 1.11.19

Amaryllis Watch | 1.11.19

This week, I am seeing the promise of blooms on my Amaryllis watch!

I am also seeing the reduction in coughing – which is a very good thing!

One more thing I am very happy about – it’s Friday and the weekend is here! Make it a good one, everyone!

Three on Thursday | 1.10.19

Three on Thursday | 1.10.19

I am joining with Carole today and my things all surround something that sort of blew up over social media this week thanks to a very poorly conceived blog post and the crucial things we all need to learn from this debacle:

Thing One:

An apology for offending people is not an apology. The apology needed to be for the behavior, thoughts, ignorance, and yes… the extremely poorly worded blog post.

Thing Two:

Making excuses for your behavior does nothing but compound the problem.

Thing Three:

Finally, it requires each of us to spend time realizing that we don’t know, what we don’t know – and in that realization – we need to make the commitment to learn more. Be more aware. Acknowledge that we have said – say – did – do things every single day that compound this problem. And, yes… even that we are silent when we should not be.

This opened the door to a very real problem that exists in the Fiber Community, et al – it is structured for white success. We all need to work on making it more inclusive – this is not something we can think well “someone else will do that.” It is something that requires work from each of us collectively – every day!

I am not linking to the blog post, but you can find it on the Fringe Association blog but there is a very interesting conversation happening on IG which you can see here and here and here.

Image used courtesy of Peter Heeling.

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.9.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.9.19

Welcome Unravelers! Another week brings more making, and yes – more reading! Sorry for the lateness of the post, but light has been at a premium here lately and so you get knitting with a sprinkling of snow today!

With my illness-fogged brain – I was struggling mightily trying to knit anything on my ADVENTurer wrap – I carefully unknit as much as I knit! Good thing I had this lovely almost mindless knit to keep me company! I am well into the third colorway – a nice blend of pink and green to transition to those final skeins. Although the rows are getting longer, I think I should have this done this week! Then a bit of blocking and weave in the few ends and off it can go to CA for my daughter’s birthday!

It has not been all knitting though – I have spent some time going back and looking at photos from last January – specifically my stitching project. I have been feeling like something is missing and I think stitching is it! And, while I don’t want to necessarily repeat that project but I have been thinking about stitching and even looking at some things on Etsy. There might very well be some small stitching projects in my future! These birds are really calling to me!

This week’s reading was most excellent though!

I feel like I have been on the waitlist forever for Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black but it finally came through! I listened to it and LOVED every word! It is the story of George Washington Black an 11-year-old slave who lives on a plantation in Barbados. After a bit of a rough start in life, Wash ends up with his master’s brother – Christopher Wilde or Titch, as he tells Wash to call him. Theirs is a magical relationship – one where learning is a must, exploring is all, and people are equal. Together they leave Barbados and travel to spectacular places. It is simply a magnificent story, beautifully written and masterfully told. I did not want it to end – and I highly recommend it. It easily gets 5-stars!

I also read the first Vera Stanhope story – A Crow’s Trap. Wow! I have read and enjoyed Ann Cleeves Shetland series, but what she does with Vera is wonderful! The character development is so good! Although, I wish Vera would have arrived in the story sooner than later! This will not be my last Vera mystery – 4-stars and I highly recommend!

Finally, I round out the week with Michael Eric Dyson’s What Truth Sounds Like. Wow. This is one powerful, thought-provoking, damning little book! I will be thinking about it for a very long time. 4-stars!

My current reads are also things that I have waited seemingly forever for – I started Where the Crawdads Sing yesterday and last night, Louise Erdrich’s The Round House came through on Overdrive!

This is truly the perfect start to my year of reading! But, what about you? What is catching your eye this week?

Did you write a post to share today? Please leave you link below!

And, thank you for your participation!

Beginning as you mean to go on

Beginning as you mean to go on

First up, I want to thank everyone for their well wishes yesterday! Through the wonder of antibiotics, each day I am feeling the tiniest bit better! Today, I even managed to do a short bit of Pilates and that is a very good thing! No chances of an afternoon walk today though – it is wet and rainy outside and those few minutes of Pilates were enough to expend my energy. No overdoing it for this girl!

Last week, Juliann asked what changes I made this year to my planner system. I managed to work a bit on it yesterday – and I am happy with my results! I need to make a trip to Joann’s to get some Tombow markers – but yesterday, colored pencils worked just fine. I have been finding some really helpful things on Pinterest and have implemented some of them this year. Previously, I had been using a Traveler’s Notebook weekly calendar with the week on one side and grid paper on the other side. This worked well when I was “working” and spent my day attached to my PC and my planner. I used it to track hours worked, and things I needed to complete and by when.

This system was great for that, but in my non-working-for-pay life, its functionality was just not functional for my daily life. First, I am not at the PC like I was when I was working and, therefore, not “attached” to my planner in the same way. Too many pages were unused and so when I needed to replace it, I looked at what I wanted my calendar to do in my day.

Enter my take on the “BuJo” craze. On Amazon, I found a set of 3-dot grid books that fit perfectly in my traveler’s notebook. They are stitched, and the paper works well for fountain pens!

I will set up each month with the calendar and my focus for the month. As you can see, my focus right now is moving and thanks to this pneumonia that is not off to the most auspicious start, but that is okay. It is there, and I am well aware of it. Each week has a section, and I can fill in things that I need to remember that week. I still need to make that page of my yearly “remember” things, i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, prescription refill dates, etc. I am also contemplating adding something in with a gratitude/mental health/focus list, but I am not entirely sure how to work that in yet.

My morning routine now includes, checking in with what is “yet to be done” this week as I spend a few minutes writing in my journal pages… a much better and more productive start to my day!

What about you? Do you “BuJo”? And, if you do, how do you make it work for you?

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