Unraveled Wednesday | 1.23.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.23.19

It’s Wednesday and that can mean just one thing – making and reading!!

On the making front – there was a bit of unraveling this week. My yarn selection for Ysolda’s shawl was not good. I worked “clue one” with no problems, but “clue two” is where the problems arose. There are some slipped stitches with the yarn on carried on the right side of the fabric – but my yarn choice did not show this at all in a pleasing way. So, it has been frogged and while I swatch with a few other yarns, I am working on my “in process” Ravelry queue – which is a very good thing! This means I am finally almost to the halfway point on this project!

I also cut out a bird – in a bit of a “muslin” flannel to see how this works. Stay tuned for this stitching to unfold.

As you can see, even with failure – the making still progresses!

This week’s reading had some very interesting results!

In the, “wow this took me a long time to read” category: Tenth of December by George Saunders. This is a collection of short stories that were not quick reads at all. This was not a quick read for me because I needed to think about each story after finishing it. It was at times hard to understand without a bit of thought – and at times upsetting, at times humorous, and at all times compelling. The first and last stories were by far my favorite – but maybe because I understood them best? I gave this book 4-stars – Saunders is an amazing wordsmith!

Last year, I read and LOVED The Story and I have been fascinated by it ever since so when I found Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How they Communicate – Discoveries from A Secret World I thought I would find answers to many questions I had, and while I enjoyed it – it was too much a blend of supposition and fact. And, sometimes it was hard to figure out fact from fiction. However, it was a book that held my attention, so I gave it 3-stars.

A book I do not recommend is The Ruined House. The story revolves around egocentric Andy Cohen and the slow destruction of life as he knows it. The entire book is full of almost over-kill on details until the end. And, then with no logical explanation – life is somehow miraculously and perfectly restored for Cohen. Originally, I gave this book 2 stars, but have downgraded my review to 1-star (and really, I’d love to give it a half a star, but Goodreads does not have that option!)

Finally, the winner of the week is Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. This is a beautifully told story surrounding an absolutely horrific act and what happens because of that act. The story is told from the perspective of Joe, the son of a judge in a tribal court. The book is powerful, moving, and gives a look into life on an Ojibwe Reservation in North Dakota. 5-stars and I highly recommend!

That is what I have for the week – what about you? What’s on your radar this week?

As always, if you wrote a post to share today, please leave your link below!

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!

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!

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!

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!

Leave Your Link Here

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.19.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.19.18

Greetings Unravelers!

After a l-o-n-g night and full day of knitting, the mitts just need the ends woven in and they will be done and in the mail shortly! Success is sweet but tiring! Ha! The pattern is Anne Hanson’s Fallberry Mitts from Knitty.com. Sadly, I do not remember what the yarn is – but I love the color! Luckily, this was a quickly memorized pattern which was a very good thing!

I do have one or two other bits of holiday knitting I would still like to get done and somehow I imagined I would finish the mitts as well as the last 10-ish rows done on another gift…silly me! At least these final tiny projects don’t need to meet a mail deadline – so I am not yet without hope!

All this knitting time means I have moved through another audio book – I finished My Antonia! and thoroughly enjoyed it! Cather’s writing is warm and inviting as she describes life on the Nebraska prairie. 4-Stars and I highly recommend!

I also finished Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. I was not wowed by this book, but still – I think it was a book I should have read. It got 3 stars.

There are several more books I would like to finish yet this year – we shall see if I can accomplish that and next week, I will share my Best Of 2018 Books!

There are still a few knitting days before Christmas, but I have begun to think about some selfish knitting – eagerly, in fact! Haha! And, my failed Tegna yarn will be swatched again to see if it might work for a new sweater that Marie Greene is releasing on December 31 – she will be leading an 8-week knit along around her new sweater! If you have never knit a sweater but want to, I highly recommend Marie’s patterns – they are easy to follow, and her tips and tricks have proven most useful in my sweater journey! PLUS!! This sweater pattern can be adapted for several gauges! So, if you (like me) struggle with gauge – do not fear! Marie has done the knitty math for us, so we can knit a sweater that fits!

That is all I have for this week! Are you still trying to finish some Christmas knits? As always, If you wrote a post to share today – please leave your link below!

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Thank you!

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