Fiber Friday | 5.4.18

Fiber Friday | 5.4.18

This photo is from Wednesday, but this morning the lilacs are all open! Their gentle fragrance fills the morning breezes and our weather is supposed to cool down a bit, so I am hoping they will last longer. Add to that, my neighbors Dogwood is on the cusp of blooming and the trees all seem to be in a race to unfurl their leaves. We have had glorious gentle rains. Outside is a smorgasbord for the senses! Spring is absolutely springing here in Pittsburgh.

I continue to knit around and around and around on my Lucinda sweater. I need to get to that magical number of 16 inches and I can then divide for the sleeves… I am at roughly 10 inches so a bit more to go. I have taken to heart all your comments about my uneven stitches becoming more even through the wonder that is blocking! My fingers are crossed, and I am worried much less about how it looks right now.

This weekend is a trifecta of fun: Maryland Sheep and Wool, Cinco de Mayo, and the Kentucky Derby! I mean what more can you ask for in a weekend?

Are you despondent because you can’t get to Maryland to peruse the wares? Jennie the Potter will have pottery online today starting at noon central. Yes, you are reading that correctly! You can get pottery online on Friday here! This year’s MDSWF design features River Otters… oh the cuteness of a knitting otter!!

In the making department, I also finished a sleeveless tunic on Thursday, and will get some photos taken to share with you next week. This tunic is extra special because I was able to make it out of the ‘reclaimed’ fabric from a previously made garment! I know, I was so excited too! The modifications I made worked well and I could not be happier! Well, I could maybe be a tiny bit happier if I could knit a sweater in the amount of time I sewed these tunics! Hahaha! But, I am now planning what other garments I can deconstruct to make a couple more tunics!

To start the links off, I want to share an wonderful app I discovered this week: The Cornell Lab Merlin Bird ID I know a good number of birds, but not every bird I see I know… but thanks to the wonder of Merlin, I have been able to identify a few new (to me) birds! And, best of all… it is FREE and available in both the AppStore and in Google play.

Heidi Kirmaier has a new tee shirt with perfect summery knits timing!

Ankers Bluse is adorable and will be out in English soon!

Silver Forest… just stunning

Balloon Cardigan is a new twist on a classic!

That is all I have for this week! Have an awesome weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

Three on Thursday | 5.3.18

Three on Thursday | 5.3.18

Spring has definitely sprung in my little corner of the world. Everything is blooming everywhere you go! But, apparently all this spring springing has awoken other things…

Thing One:

A fear of snakes or “excessive fear of snakes”; also called ophiophobia.

Or, me! Yes, I am terrified of snakes and I realize it is an irrational fear, but there is nothing I can do about it.

Thing Two:

I saw not one, but three snakes on our walk yesterday…as in on the path and moving and entirely too close for comfort! Oh, and did I mention they were fairly large? Yeah, there might have been some screaming involved as well.

Thing Three:

On a positive note, I did clock in at a much faster pace during yesterday’s walk. So, there’s that. However, I now need to find a new place to walk.

There you have my Three for Thursday. Want to see more? Head on over to Carole’s!


Unraveled Wednesday | 5.2.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.2.18

Greetings Unravelers!

The sewing is going well! Uniform top #1 is done! I do need to make some alterations to the pattern when I make another one, but I think they will be easy alterations. I love how clear and concise the instructions are! I did do some modifications – I did flat felled seams, and made a slight adjustment to the tunic pieces in how they are hemmed. There will be more of this top in my future!

The knitting grows on my Lucinda sweater, as you can see in the above photo!

Things I discovered: I much prefer knitting with 100% wool yarn. I am finding it hard to keep an even tension with the silk-wool combination of this yarn. There are some spots where my stitches are quite different (read looser!) but I am not unraveling to fix them. I also had to do some “pre-planning” about weaving in ends. Silk-wool does not full together, so spit splicing was not an option. Also, this sweater is knit wrong-side-out…so weaving in ends on the purl side (or the right side) is not an option either. My solution? I am knitting about 6-8 stitches with the old ball and the new ball held together. I will leave a bit of a tail on the inside, and I think this will work. I can’t see the areas held double when I look at the fabric, so I hope I am good!

Now, let’s do a bit of a reading review, shall we? All in all, it was a very good month. I finished 16 books! Yikes! That was not planned, but rather I had a “it poured” moment from the library with holds that came through. I don’t think May will end with that volume of books read, but we shall see – and the end of the month brings Summer Book Bingo! Out of the 16, there were 4 books I gave 5-star reviews to, 8 books got 4-star reviews and I’d say that makes a darn good month of reading!

My finishes:

Home Fires by Kamila Shamsie. I liked this book very much and gave it 4-stars. There is so much to think about in this book and Kamila does a great job of sharing the story of Muslim immigrants. I highly recommend.

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian was, imo, horrid. At 1-star, and I found it to be a colossal waste of reading time. You can read my review here, but be warned, it has spoilers. A blog friend felt bad about my review and suggested I try another Bohjalian novel (she suggested The Double Bind). Surprisingly there is a long wait list at the library, and the reviews are very mixed on it on Goodreads, so I am having a bit of a debate about reading this with myself.

Bring Me Back is B.A. Paris’ latest novel and I received a copy from NetGalley for review. I was disappointed in this, her third novel, and I gave it just 2-stars and I do not recommend. You can read my review here, and again – it contains spoilers.

On a brighter note, I also finished Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, which I loved! 4-stars and I highly recommend this short but lovely novel!

And, finally I listened to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. This year is the 60th anniversary of the book and somehow, I had managed to avoid reading this until now. I loved it, it is brilliantly written. If you have not read this, I recommend listening to it. It is short, but riveting!

I have 2 long audiobooks that will close out the Library Waiting List Bonanza: Amor Towles Rules of Civility and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. I am over half way through listening to The Rules of Civility and so far, so very good!

I am reading another Net Galley book: Ohio a novel, by Stephen Markley. I have just begun reading it and don’t really have a feel for it yet.

And, finally, I started Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn as well. This is due back to the library next week, so I need to get going on it!

There you have it… my entirely Unraveled Wednesday!

What was good in your April and what are you hoping May holds for you?

If you are joining along, please leave your link and thank you!

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Week Beginning

Week Beginning

When I am in a rut, the best thing to get out of that rut is to find a new perspective! Welcome to that new perspective!

Instead of focusing on what has passed, I am instead focusing on what lies ahead.

With joy…

And excitement…

And, just maybe I will find myself more focused and productive for the week!

With that frame of mind – a better breakfast has been a topic I have been contemplating for some weeks now and last week I tried something new: overnight oats…And, guess what? I really loved this little change in my morning routine! They are simply delicious and so quick and easy to make! This week I am trying some new variations! It seems the possibilities for overnight oats are endless…

I am also spending some time this week thoughtfully reviewing my volunteer time – without even really noticing, it has crept into a much larger slice of my week than I originally intended. There is a solution in this tangle, I just need to find the wherewithal to say no…sans guilt. And for me, the best thinking time comes while I am making and this week I hope to have a Uniform tunic or two completed along with a solution to my problem!

There you have my plan, or at least some of the plan for my week. What does your Monday hold in store?

Fiber Friday | 4.27.18

Fiber Friday | 4.27.18

Spring has sprung in my neighborhood and that can mean just one thing – Nest Wars! Yes, that’s right. We have one determined Robin who wants to build a nest on our porch. And, they are so determined. I have removed seven nests in various stages since last week. Note the bag on the light is not deterring her from building the nest on top of the storage cabinet!! Yesterday, I took two down in a span of about four hours! Silly, silly robins! And, yes… I removed another one this morning!

The knitting is strong with Lucinda though! I am almost done with my second skein of yarn, which means I am just about to the halfway point of the body! It is a wonder what a few minutes dedicated to knitting can do each day!

Yesterday was Poem in Your Pocket Day and wow… there were so many, many, many great poems filling up my blog reader! Thank you all for such inspiration and for introducing me to so many new poets! April is just the best month and I am kind of sad to see it end from a poetry standpoint! I have both enjoyed sharing poetry and reading the poems that you all have shared!

Now, how about some links?

I love Adine Pullover

Isabell Kraemer has a new pattern out: interstellar

Rainwashed and Sandalwood are also lovely!

I also love Around in a Round very much! The construction is so interesting!

And, the texture in Kuben

And, Scramble! Oh, my! It is adorable!

Perhaps socks in your preferred warm(ing??) weather knit? Brick and Mortar

And, finally…there is a fade for everything! And, it is free through the end of today!

There you have it, Gentle Reader, another week draws to a close! See you back here on Monday!

A Poem for Your Pocket

A Poem for Your Pocket

Kym so kindly reminded me yesterday, today is Poem in Your Pocket Day! She asked us to share our favorite poem. I could easily share with you two of my absolute favorites: Fog by Carl Sandburg or Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. But, today, I am hoping that the poem you put in your pocket changes you, wakes you, and engages you – and while these poems do that most certainly. Today, I am sharing something that does those things to me!

One of my absolute favorite poets is Pablo Neruda and I first became aware of him more than 20 years ago in the film Il Postino. And, so began my love of Neruda.

Die Slowly
Pablo Neruda

He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions,
the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yarn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
dies slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck,
about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it,
who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know,
he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

There is my poem for your pocket today, Gentle Reader. As always on Thursdays, I am joining Carole where you just might find another poem or two as well!

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