Unraveled Wednesday, June 21

Unraveled Wednesday, June 21

Happy Summer Solstice!

It is the best day of the year with more daylight hours to knit and read by! Amirite?!

On the reading front, I am close to finishing 2 books; The Hanging (which I am listening to) and The Other Einstein (which I am reading on my Kindle). Both are excellent and even without finishing them, I can tell you that I highly recommend them both! I will have reviews for both next week!

Last night I picked up Spycatcher from my library. This is for my “banned outside the US” Bingo Square. I can’t wait to crack this book open! And, this book will bring me my first bingo of the summer!! So, my summer reading is going exceedingly well!

Up next in my ears will be Lincoln on the Bardo, which I am also looking forward to!

On the knitting front things are also going very well. I am cruising along on Stillwater #1 and, wait for it… yes, I began swatching for Stillwater #2 which I will cast on June 30th and join in with a little KAL led by the designer. Yes, I have lost my mind!

I am anxiously awaiting Mystery KAL clue #2, which will be out tomorrow. Clue one is done and I like it very much!

What are you making this week? And, how is your reading going?

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Unraveled Wednesday, June 14

Unraveled Wednesday, June 14

What is better for the almost “ides” of June to talk about knitting and reading?

Up first, reading… I have lots of books to update you all with! I have completed three books since week:

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This book was recommended to me for my “about a homecoming” square on Summer Book Bingo. And, like Carole, I wanted to give this book 5 stars, but I also felt like parts were very tedious. However, I loved the viewpoint on an immigrant view on “white America” – it was powerful and one I will think of for a very long time. Perhaps, I will listen to this book as Mary did, because I am sure my thinking on name pronunciation is way off! I gave this book 4 stars
  2. The Likeness by Tana French. In the far-fetched category, this book takes top billing. I really wanted to like it, I promise. But, the entire story line is so implausible…I had narrowed down the killer to 2 people very quickly and my guess was proven correct (although, they never really have a “true confession”). The writing is good, but this book could have been so much better if any of the story line had any hint of being believable. In short, the entire story fell a bit flat for me and I am not sure I will continue with this series. I gave this book 2 stars.
  3.  Marie Antoinette: The Journey. This book filled the “biography of a royal” Summer Book Bingo square. I knew absolutely nothing about dear Marie (outside of cake and the guillotine). This story is well narrated, and well written. It is interesting, endearing, and educational. I enjoyed being immersed in the French court pre-revolution, and the ending was as I expected – moving and sad. If you are looking for a wonderful “listen” I highly recommend this! I gave this book 4 stars.

I am currently reading The Girl with the Pearl Earring to fill my “about art/artists” square. I have just begun, but thus far I am enjoying it.

I will start listening to The Hanging by Lotte and Soren Hammer today.

And, did you hear about the Big Library Read? No? I love the concept of this: “Big Library Read (BLR), facilitated by OverDrive, is a reading program through your library that connects millions of readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds.” And, the first book is The Other Einstein. I have downloaded it and will be starting it shortly – reading time began on Monday the 12th and you have until the 26th to finish. There is discussion and a little podcast to hear from the author, Marie Benedict! Summer reading is simply the best!

Summer Knitting has been equally good, especially when there is no unraveling. I am cruising along on Stillwater. I love that the pattern within the pattern is not overly challenging and it makes for a very interesting knit. I have divided for the sleeves and the “removal” of those stitches should make the rows speed up a bit!

What about you? How is your summer going?

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Unraveled Wednesday, June 7

Unraveled Wednesday, June 7

Sometimes life gets in the way of knitting and that happened to me this week in the form of a delivery of 7 yards of mulch on Monday. So, for the past two days, Steve and I have been moving the mountain of mulch from the driveway to all the garden beds.

FYI: 7 yds of mulch is over 3′ tall and 10′ wide…

Let me tell you, that’s a lot of moving!

While this was not so great for knitting productivity, it is excellent for audiobook listening! I am now more than half way through Marie Antoinette: The Journey and I am quite enthralled with her. The narration is also excellent (FYI, it’s Donada Peters). I have been laughing and have generally fallen in love with Marie. I have not gotten to the “rough parts” yet, but I fear that I will shed a tear or two. If your Summer Book Bingo has the “biography of a royal” I highly recommend this audiobook!

Last night, I collapsed on the couch after a long hot shower and I pulled out a simple sock to knit. You know… something mindless to just knit on. Following a pattern did not sound appealing so I did not work on the cloche I am knitting with the Year of Techniques crew – but if you have not started this month’s pattern, you should. It is a Romy Hill pattern and it is beautiful. I am about half way through the first repeat section, so no quite half way. I also did not want to count rounds on my dear little trial mouse. I am on leg one. Which means I have a leg, 2 arms, and a tail to knit before completion. Oy. I think I better start on Genevieve’s mouse sooner than later.

Also… next week (the 15th) begins Kirsten Kapur’s Summer MKAL – you will find the details here. The pattern is being offered at a reduced price before the MKAL begins, just saying. However, I did get those gold singles plied. I am quite happy with both yarns.

I am itching to cast on, so I am really happy that the mulch moving is in essence done (there is a wee bit of spreading to finish up)! What is your “Go To Mindless Knit”?

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 31

Unraveled Wednesday, May 31

Greetings Dear Unravelers!

I have good things to share with you today – it seems as if I have found my “sense of urgency” and have this dire need to finish up some lingering projects.

That means I have kitchnered some sock toes and I am cruising down the foot to a toe of a second sock, which will give me a completed pair! I also have begun Steve’s second helical sock which is my “travel sock” so hopefully this will mean it is done sooner than later!

Sometimes, the “feel good” of finishing something gives you some motivation to finish more, amirite?

This has also kicked in with reading…I have my first square completed on my Summer Book Bingo card!

My first finish: Moby Dick, which I gave 5 stars on Goodreads. If you have not read this classic, might I suggest you download the Moby Dick Big Read podcast and settle in for a good listen. Now, some people might be put off by 136 different narrators, but I truly loved it! I am embarrassed to say I should have read this in high school but “faked it” for class. However, I can honestly say my appreciation of this incredible work of art would have been lost on my 17-year-old self. Melville brilliantly builds the cast of characters that are aboard the Pequod and I found each one quite endearing for entirely different reasons. And, while I enjoyed Ismael’s narration, my favorites were Queequeg, Tashtego, and Dagoo. I simply loved them. If you need a classic for Book Bingo, look no further and give this a listen!

I have lots of books in progress currently, and I am giving priority to library books that are due back this month. So, even though I have no square for it (although perhaps my “any book” space?) I am reading Tana French The Likeness. And, I have been reading selectively from Alabama Studios Sewing Patterns – so much to take in!

What are you reading and making this week!

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 24

Unraveled Wednesday, May 24

Hello Dear Unravelers!

This is it, the post where I reveal the list of what I hope to accomplish this summer. Get ready, because it is long!

In the finish category… (as in I have started and I need to finish)

  1. My Air Soft Shawl (AKA Brambling Shawl)
  2. Montadale Socks
  3. Daelyn pullover
  4. Steve’s Socks
  5. Spring Dream KAL (for Rachel)
  6. Test Mouse (because I have never knit stuffed animals and practice makes perfect – or at least allows you to work out the problems?)
  7. TTL MKAL Socks (I have less than a half a sock to go)
  8. Rock the Lobster (1/2 a sleeve to go and the body of the sweater, so a good bit of knitting)
  9. February Lady Sweater, perhaps (this is iffy, but maybe)

Yes, there is LOTS of knitting here, I am not sure I even need a second category, but go big or go home, amirite?

In the Start and finish Category:

  1. I have the yarn to knit a lopapeysa or two. But, having knit 2 of them, I know they are quick knits! So, I am kind of excited about this! But if these bump a little into the fall, that would be fine by me. After all I am not wearing them until then!
  2. Calliopsis with Sheepspot Yarn
  3. Kraemer Yarns Cowl
  4. Bijou Basin Mitts
  5. Genevieve’s Mouse
  6. TTL Summer Shawl MKAL

Yes, these are daunting lists. Good thing I have an entire summer to work on all that.

The basket is packed full!

And, speaking of the mouse – I have the head done! The cotton yarn is really lovely. It is not harsh on my hands, and knits up beautifully. I have started the body.

Now, how about a bit of a book review.

The Lake by Lotte and Soren Hammer. This is Book 4 in the Konrad Simonsen series and this book is my second book from NetGalley. If you like Scandinavian Noir, you will love this book! I liked it so much that I added Book 1 The Hanging to my summer reading list. It is well written and very captivating. The story unfolds with a crime and then it is off and running. The writers weave through the story the police working on figuring out the crime and the criminals and their corruption. It is gritty, and at times unsettling, but these things are not unwelcome in the story at all. I found in Konrad Simonsen another detective that I believe I will love as much as Karl Morck and Armand Gamache. Konrad is brilliantly intelligent and wonderfully human. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am giving it 4 stars on Goodreads.

I started a new book from the library last night, Tana French The Likeness. No thoughts yet, as I have just started reading. I hope to get further into this today if time allows! Summer Book Bingo starts this weekend, are you ready? What’s on your list this summer?

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Summer has abruptly arrived here in the Pittsburgh area. Temps climbed into the 80’s yesterday and are slated to climb into the 90’s today. This has created a sense of urgency for the garden, but I won’t be transplanting young plants in that heat. They can wait shaded on the porch until later in the week when the temperatures are more moderate.

On the reading front, I finished The Lake and I loved it! Look for a full review next week! I am back to The Girl in Green by Derek Miller and I am enjoying it. I also have printed out my Summer Book Bingo Card. If you want to join in, you can get all the details here from Mary.

I was so excited to learn that my local Knit Night group is no longer meeting at the world’s worst knitting shop! The shop owner for unknown reasons has cancelled knit night at the shop so they are now meeting at my favorite library on Tuesday nights. Last night was my first night back at the new location. I am still working away on the Air Soft Shawl but I am at the point of repeating rows and staggered increases – it is not a “mindless knit” right now. So, knitting it seemed like an exercise in futility (or frogging…) so I knit on the KAL since my kit arrived on Monday. I was unsure how I’d like knitting with such big needles (you cast on with a US17 and then knit with a US15 for a good bit) but it seems okay, if albeit a bit awkward managing those needles until the fabric grows a bit. However, I love the texture of the knitting and I learned a new stitch K1-rb (Knit 1, row below) This stitch creates an elongated stitch and has a lovely texture. I have a bit more to go until I switch to a smaller needle.

That is all I have for this Wednesday. What are you making and reading?

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