Unraveled Wednesday | 1.2.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.2.19

Happy New Year Unravelers! I hope that 2019 is off to a very good start for you all!

We had a quiet New Years celebration at home and knitting was the highlight! I have made some progress on my ADVENTurer wrap and the weekend saw my first repeat color as well as the passing of the halfway point of the knitting! I am hopeful that this will be finished in time for Valentine’s Day!

I should have resurrected Blaer from the basket by my bed and knit a bit on it as well, but instead I cast on a new sweater. I know. What the heck! Day Two and my focus is faltering! Haha!

My only saving grace is that I am using yarn from a failed sweater. It has been on my radar for some time now and the color is really calling to me! I don’t have any deep red sweaters in my closet at all and I simply love the fabric I got! I am the tiniest bit leery about the yarn quantity I have, but I think I have done the math correctly and if I only do the cable pattern on the front and not the back, I should have enough yarn. Because, nothing says Happy New Year like a new knitting project and especially one that you have a niggling fear that you might not have enough yarn for, amirite?

However, the reading is always good, and I have set my reading goal for 2019 at 150 books, which I feel is realistic as I ended 2018 with 154 books. It is a goal that will keep me focused every day.

Finishes in the last week of December:

Meet Behind Mars is a book I discovered on one of the many end-of-year lists that I read. I was surprised that my library had it available, so I jumped at the opportunity to read it. It is Renee Simms’ debut book of short stories (and part of the Made in Michigan Writers Series). I always thought that I did not like short stories but Meet Behind Mars proved me wrong! It is a lovely little book and the writing is wonderful! This got 4 stars and I recommend it if you can get your hands on a copy of it!

The Alice Network goes on my failure read list of the year and only got 2-stars.

God is in the Manger was my Advent devotion and I loved it. If you have never read any Bonhoeffer, I recommend you start with The Cost of Discipleship and move on from there. He is a brilliant writer and reading his words, you can hear him speaking!

That is all I have this week! But what I want to know is what do you want to make in this New Year! As always, if you wrote a post please leave your link below!

And, thank you so much for your participation!

Just One Word | 1.1.19

Just One Word | 1.1.19

Happy New Year, Gentle Readers!

I am joining with Juliann this year as she hosts us in our Word Study – and, I’d like to thank her for leading us in this journey!

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. Eckhart Tolle

In 2016 I chose Gratitude as my word for the year and it was a very good choice and 2017 brought Joy. Both lovely words that I selected – with emphasis on the “I selected” part!! Last year I did not pick a word and…nothing inspired me…Why?? Perhaps, I did not inspire me!

So, I spent considerable time in December “trying on” a word for 2019 – words like “inspire” “kindness” “grace” and “dream.” And despite doing that – one word kept percolating to the top despite me trying to ignore it…Focus! Great word, I thought, but how will I use it? (See that “I” again?)

So I avoided….I kept thinking about words and looking at lists…but focus kept prodding me – asking me to consider, and yes – telling me to focus.

Merriam-Webster says focus can be used as a noun or a verb. It can mean “a center of activity, a point of concentration” or “to cause to be concentrated, to adjust the focus of your eye, to bring into focus.”

However, Eckhart Tolle’s quote was what pushed me over the edge – I am rarely “present in the Now” but instead focused on what comes next – the next project, the next book, the next…whatever!!

It seems I am deeply in need of a year of focus! Please join me in my journey this year as I focus more on the NOW and less on what’s next. Sometimes you choose the word, but occasionally – if you are lucky – the word chooses you.

What about you – did you pick a word this year?

Want to see other wordly inspriation? Head on over to Juliann’s!

The Year in Review | 2018

The Year in Review | 2018

I absolutely love Vicki’s posts of her Blog in Review. She shares the first line of the first post of the month, as well as her favorite photo of that month!

I am not sure what I enjoyed more: re-reading the blog posts or looking at all the pictures of the month!!

January:

December 31st, I completed my last stitching, in the last month of my yearlong project.

February:

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within. William C. Bryant

March:

The weekend was kind of a chaotic blur.

April:

Yellow daffodils
Bring sunshine on fragile stems
On grey, rainy days

May:

… this morning the lilacs are all open!

June:

I am not sure one could pack more into a regular weekend than I did this weekend!

July:

Greetings Unravelers, Summertime and the knitting is varied!

August:

Yes, it’s that time of the year when it seems the weekend is almost all work!

September:

For me, this was truly the Summer of Reading (Thank you, Mary for organizing another amazing Summer Book Bingo!)

October:

Welcome to the Vacation Unraveled where there is not much making of anything but memories going on!

November:

Happy November!! Or should I say NaKniSweMo!?!

December:

This image should be a reminder of how I should start every day – really.

That is all I have for this year! I wish you all a Happy New Year and I will see you back here on tomorrow with my word for 2019!

TGIF | 12.28.18

TGIF | 12.28.18

How is it possible that we find ourselves on the last Friday of the year? Please tell me it is not just me feeling that 2018 had the speed of a Bullet Train! Honestly, it truly seems like last week I was in Michigan visiting my kids enjoying some pretty amazing fall days and it seems so surreal that Christmas is over, and 2019 is almost here! As I scramble through these last days of 2018, the following things are filling my mind…

Thinking About – The past few days I have spent quite a bit of time reviewing 2018 – the good as well as the not so good. I am hoping this honest review will help me set some meaningful intentions for 2019. Yes, intentions – not resolutions! I think I have my word for 2019 as well! And, I am also thinking about goals for 2019 – reading goals, knitting goals, sewing goals, and yes – exercise goals. It seems I need little incentive to fall off the exercise band wagon and once off, it is all too easy to stay off. However, I don’t need incentive to read, or knit, or sew… so I am thinking about a rewards system for myself… stay tuned!

Grateful For – So very much, but this week I am especially grateful for all of you! I do not say this enough – but the fact that you all come here and read the trivial things I share here is profoundly moving. I cannot thank you all enough and I truly love this little community and I love reading your blogs as well – you all make my days fuller and more joyful! Thank you!

Inspired By – The latest newsletter that Courtney from Be More with Less! While I am not ready to do a full-scale Wardrobe Defrag with her Project 333, I am ready to try something different! I am going to try some of her tips on reducing the closet chaos! I am also going to revamp my morning routine – which ties directly in with what I have been thinking about and Courtney has shared some wonderful inspiration with simple little things!

Fun, fun, fun – Steve has Monday and Tuesday off next week, so another nice long weekend is in order! On tap for the weekend…loads of fun starting with Christmas decorations! That’s right by Sunday it will all be carefully packed away for another year to make a clean slate for the New Year! We have no big plans, just a nice quiet evening at home where we will be working on The List of Things that I we want to get done in 2019. This will be amazing, because Steve is not a List Person at all, but in all things – nagging persistence pays off! Haha! So, as you can see it will be all fun, all weekend long around here!

That is all I have for this final Friday in 2018, and I even managed to include a picture of how my Amaryllis Watch is progressing! As you can see, we have growth and then some! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Three On Thursday | 12.27.18

Three On Thursday | 12.27.18

A Thursday that feels more like a Tuesday seems appropriate to have a post of random things!

Thing One:

Next week, Juliann starts us all with One Word – a truly wonderful way to spend the year! I did not do this in 2018, and I really missed it so, I will be participating in 2019. If you are thinking about your word and need some inspiration, the internet has it! You could try this, or this, or this!

Thing Two:

Bitty Baby loves her snowsuit! It’s amazing what you can do, even if you are not sure of how it will work out! And, there is a very good lesson in there for me!

Thing Three:

Today begins my 58th journey around the sun! And – seeing the sun this morning is a most excellent start to this journey! I am spending today with lots of good things: some reading, some knitting, and some Chinese for lunch!

It seems impossible that tomorrow is Friday already but I will be back with my final TGIF post for 2018. Happy Thursday everyone!

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.26.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.26.18

I am happy to say that the Gnomes were a huge hit as was the Half-Beekeeper Cowl – so much so, there was a request for another one!

However, now begins the days of selfish knitting! I am back at my ADVENTurer wrap! I am also happy to report that I got gauge with for the January Gansey with my failed Tegna yarn. It seems much happier to be knit at this gauge – so a good match of pattern and yarn! I will be working slowly on this over the winter – but my priority is to finish my ADVENTurer wrap and hopefully next week I have made some significant progress! My goal today is to finish “days 9 and 10”.

This week, however, is really all about the books and I am sharing with you My 2018 Best Reads! To date, I have read 151 books, I think that number will end at 153 – I have a few days left and I am almost done with Tenth of December and I also would like to finish Meet Behind Mars which is due back to the library on Saturday, so I need to get reading! Of those 151 books, however, I rated 57 of them as 5-star reads! That means that almost 38% of the books I read this year I thought were exceedingly excellent! But, out of those 57 what were the best of the best?

It was very hard, but I have winnowed the list down to 10 that were simply spectacular, with 4 runners’ up that deserve some recognition. These books were ones that moved me deeply, stayed with me, spurred interesting conversation, and made me stop and think.

Runner’s up:

If you are looking for a book to take you into the New Year, I highly recommend any of the books on this list.

That is all I have this week, but I want to know what you are making and reading! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below, and thank you!

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