Unraveled Wednesday | 7.11.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.11.18

No unraveling this week, but just barely!

I am making progress on my Beekeeper Cardigan, but I have had to tink back a few times when I was not paying attention and my bees got out of sync! However, today I have about 5 inches to go in the body, but I won’t get any knitting time on this project until Friday. My “days” of knitting on this have had to be adjusted because of pesky things like making meals as Steve is home so I have not had much uninterrupted time to knit. However, Steve is gone for a work function this weekend and I am selfishly looking forward to having the house to myself. And, with some luck – I will have a completed sweater before the weekend is over!

The reading had mixed reviews this week. I finished Backman’s Us Against You and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

After reading Bonny’s review of Us Against You, I was concerned but I forged ahead and began to read it. I, like Bonny, loved Beartown and it was a beautifully told story! However, Us Against You  fell short for me and I gave it just 3-stars. It is a bit of a disjointed story and it felt quite chopped up as I read it and I think it could have been better if it the writing had flowed better. But, it is a dysfunctional story about some very dysfunctional characters. It leaves you feeling very uncomfortable and the story feels very unfinished, but I am hoping that the final book of the Beartown trilogy fixes these issues and my suggestion is to wait to read Us Against You until the third book of the trilogy is released.

The Picture of Dorian Gray fills my “Classic you should have read” bingo square and wow… this story really blew me away. The writing is brilliant, and the premise of the story is fascinating – again, Dorian is an utterly dysfunctional character, but the story that plays out is thought provoking and, yes, disturbing. If you have not read this story, I don’t want to give anything away, but the concepts of vanity, youth, and the perceptions of how one looks make for great discussion and I think this would be an excellent book for a book club to read! I gave it 5-stars and highly recommend it!

I am more than half way through The Weight of Ink and loving it. And, I just started listening to Anna Karenina… and will be listening for a good bit of time yet (I have about 34 hours of listing time to go!) I have just 7 books to go for a coverall so perhaps August will see me get a bingo or two on my second card!

But, what about you? What are you making and reading today?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 7.4.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.4.18

Greetings Unravelers!

Summertime and the knitting is varied! That’s right…when the weather gets unbearable – vary your knitting projects! On Monday I started my Knit a Beekeeper Cardigan in 4 days (okay, for my size I can take 6 days… but I think 5 days will be my sweet spot!) I am 15-ish rows from my “try on” point…which will hopefully mean I have arrived at the Great Sleeve Divide! I am still working out my next day of knitting (which might not happen until next Monday!)

Vodka Lemonade is in a bit of a holding pattern this week as I finish up Clue Two of KK’s MKAL…Clue two is a lovely chart that must be repeated three times and I am almost done with the second repeat and Clue Three will be out on Friday!

However, all this knitting has meant some very good listening this week!

I finished June strong with my finish of This is How it Always Is (which I deeply loved, and it got 5-stars) and that means I read 13 books in June…13 very good books! By my count I read 6 5-star books and 7 4-star books, and I highly recommend every single one of these books!

My July is starting out with a bit less enthusiasm – I finished Ohio, which was an ARC from NetGalley. It only got 3-stars from me and you can read my review here. As you can see, it was a difficult read.

Fortunately, Gilead is not that at all and I have about 2 hours of listening time left! I am enthralled with this lovely novel. It very much reminds me of The Secret Scripture in how the tale is told. It is wonderful writing and I will have it finished today.

I also began The Weight of Ink and Us Against You.

Up Next: The Picture of Dorian Gray.

That’s all I’ve got to share today…what are you knitting or reading?

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P.S. One lucky person who comments today will get a free month of the Washington Post, I will use random.org to select that person! Good luck everyone!

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.27.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.27.18

Greetings Unravelers!

The knitting is slow and steady this week and please forgive the lame photo of said slow and steady knitting. I am just over half way through the arm increases for my Vodka Lemonade. I should be a bit further, but I was distracted by the first clue of KK’s MKAL! I got it done with some days to spare and clue two will be out on Friday! So far, so very good! I love the lace work and how it flows along. (No spoiler’s here… if you want to see how the MKAL is progressing, you can see photos here!)

I am also looking at the calendar and figuring out what days might work best for my participation in Marie Greene’s Sweater in 4-days KAL. I have not settled on the days yet, but this is something you absolutely need to plan out!

The reading has fortunately been much better, and I have a couple of finishes to share with you!

First up, I finished The Kremlin’s Candidate…this is perhaps the best series I have read in a very long time! (Outside of Armand Gamache, but more on him later) I will give no spoilers away here, but I will tell you that the ending made me cry. 5-stars all the way!

Next, I finished The Feather Thief for my “Set in a different county” square. This is an intriguing true story about a heist from the Tring Museum in London. It is well done and fascinating. 4-stars and I highly recommend this story!

Now, on to Armand Gamache who is my current “listen” for my Mystery square. The Nature of the Beast is the first book after dear Ralph Cosham passed away. I admit I am struggling mightily with the transition to the new narrator, Robert Bathurst. Now, don’t get me wrong, Mr. Bathurst is not a poor narrator at all, but he is not Ralph Cosham. And, I am finding myself deeply missing his way of reading – his inflection and how he related the story to the listener. I had hoped that I would ‘get used to’ Mr. Bathurst, but this will likely be the last story I listen to in the Armand Gamache series. For me, I would rather hear Ralph’s voice in my head as I read the story than be distracted by the voice I cannot get used to at all. However, Penny as usual, is doing a masterful job in this the eleventh book in the series and I should be finished with it later today!

Up next: This is How it Always Is for my ‘with a cover that matches a current WIP’ square and then Gilead fills the ‘one-word title’ box. And, Gilead does double duty as it is also on The Great American Read list!

This week I also started a second bingo card…I know! What the heck? But, The Kremlin’s Candidate helped me out by filling the “Thriller” square and I have books that have come in from the library that I did not have a square for, so it seemed logical to begin another card. As luck would have it the book that came from the library is Fredrik Backman’s new book, Us Against You, which will perfectly fit the “originally published this year” square on my new card. I am not sure how far I will get on this card, but there is still a good bit of time between now and Labor Day!

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And, what are you making and reading this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 6.20.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.20.18

Greetings Unravelers!

This is the week for finished objects! Yes, Eavesdrop is done! This was a great knit – a well-written pattern with video helps for those less often used knitting techniques, and the end result is a very wearable sweater with great little details. I did no modifications, outside of adding an extra inch of length to the body. I also did the suggested crochet slip stitch around the neckline to give it a cleaner edge. I loved this pattern and will be wearing this sweater lots this summer! Things I would change if I knit this again: I would not knit as many repeats of the arm increases – it is a bit low and I would be happier if it was a bit higher. However, my gauge may be at fault here – I did not get row gauge, so it is apparent that my Knitty Math figures were off a bit.

I also finished my Beekeeper Cowl, which I test knit for Marie Greene. A fun, quick, easy knit with great details and texture. The pattern is easily memorized but it has just enough going to not be at all boring to knit! Now, I just need to find some buttons that I like! The pattern is available on Ravelry now.

Finished reads:

I finished Palace of Treason, book two of the Jason Matthew’s Red Sparrow trilogy. Excellent and riveting reading – 5-stars. I highly recommend this series!

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon also filled a bingo square and I simply loved this story! It further cemented my love for Chabon’s writing. He is a masterful wordsmith and the tale is brilliantly told. I highly recommend, especially if you need something for an “alternate history” square!

Current reads:

I am struggling to finish Ohio, not because it is not good, but rather because I am not reading more than a paragraph or two before falling asleep at night. However, that means insomnia has not been a problem in the past week!

I just began listening to The Kremlin’s Candidate for my free bingo square. And, picked up The Feather Thief from the library for another square. My bingo card is filling up nicely!

But, what about you? What’s are you making or reading this week? And, if you wrote a post this week, please leave the link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 6.13.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.13.18

Greetings Unravelers!

Eavesdrop slowly grows and I am almost ready for my last skein…which means I have about 2 inches to go to the “recommended length”! I am not sure it will be quite long enough, but I will try it on when I have this skein done and see what I think! I really want to get it done so I can wear it, because I think this will be a wonderful hot weather sweater and we have a slate of hot weather in the forecast! Hopefully, next week I will have a completed sweater to share with you all!

I had a few finished reads this week; I finished listening to The Magician King, which I enjoyed tremendously! I have one more book in the series, but it will have to wait until after Book Bingo because I don’t have a square for it! Boo!

Less: A Novel quickly followed as it is a short little book. I enjoyed listening to it but quite frankly I am not sure how this won a Pulitzer Prize!

I also finished The Pittsburgh Stories of Willa Cather – a truly lovely little compilation of stories she wrote while living here. This little taste of Cather has piqued my curiosity and I will be reading more of her stories!

I also finished reading An American Marriage which is beautifully written. I love how Teyari Jones wrote this sad tale with a perspective from each of the main characters. I highly recommend this book!

Current reads include listening to book two of the Red Sparrow series: Palace of Treason and reading an ARC of Ohio: A Novel (which I set aside to read An American Marriage) but I should be done with it quickly as I don’t think I have any library holds that I am anywhere near next in line!

What’s on your making/reading list this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 6.6.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.6.18

Did you ever have moments in your knitting when you feel like you are not making any headway? This is that time for me in my Eavesdrop sweater… I am knitting but it is slow going, or so it seems. But, I am on the fourth skein and I only have 2 more to go so if I buckle down and put some knitting time it…

Yes, that is the only thing standing between me and a finished object…knitting time! I had a hiccup over the weekend when the Farmer’s Market had all.the.things in and then I had to finish a book which I forgot was due yesterday. My Monday encompassed all the reading (of actual real books which makes it kind of impossible for me to knit and read!)

But, I am back to listening, which is perfect for knitting.

Speaking of reading….

This week’s finishes were spectacular!!

I finished five books! YES, FIVE!!

A Month in the Country was my next read from Michael Ondaatje’s recommended reads list. It was a lovely short little story and I gave it 4-stars. If your Summer Book Bingo square needs a historical fiction book, this would be a great choice! It is post WWI in England is beautifully written.

The Magicians was crazy good! I could not stop listening and loved every minute of it. 5-stars and I recommend it!

Heartburn filled my “with recipes, patterns or puzzles” square. It was a lovely short listen, narrated by Meryl Streep. It is a 4-star book filled with good things and laughs!

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza is the second in the DCI Erika Foster mystery series. It is fast paced and riveting! I gave it 4-stars and recommend if you want something grittier than Armand Gamache and Three Pines.

Warlight is Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel which might be my favorite book of the year. I know, but what about The Woman Who Smashed Codes, you ask? All I can say is get your hands on this book and read it. Ondaatje is a master word smith. The writing is spectacular, and the story is brilliant. If you want spoilers, you can read my review here on Goodreads. I gave this book 5-stars and highly recommend you drop everything and just read it now!

The audio finishes were thanks to two full days in the kitchen. And, really? Thank goodness for books which made the tasks much more pleasant!

Believe it or not, I am almost done with The Magician King, the second book in the Magicians Series. It is equally good and I am ravenously listening to find out what happens to Quintin in Fillory!

I started Willa Cather’s The Pittsburgh Stories on Monday night, which will fill my “set in the state where you live” square. I love that Willa lived in Pittsburgh for about 10 years and love her description of arriving at the stunning East Liberty Train Station in 1896. Something we have in common… we both first came to Pittsburgh via a train and arrived in the same station! I am enjoying this short little read tremendously and hope to be done with it later today!

I am about halfway through Ohio, and while I am enjoying it – staying awake to read it at night has been a struggle!

Up next in my queue: Less, Six of Crows, and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union all for Book Bingo squares!

And, FYI… I am closing in on my first BINGO!!

But, what about you? What are you making or reading this week?

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