Unraveled Wednesday | 7.28.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.28.21

This week you have a nicely folded dark square of knitting paired with a lovely start of a new project… not what I expected but it is what it is….

I know I said last week that I would have my Shakerag Top finished and while the *knitting* is done… it still needs seaming and edge finishing. My hurdle??? Doing *this* while also doing *that*… sigh. Apparently I cannot count or walk and chew gum at the same.time! So having to rip back the back and front to correct the *this* and *that* bits meant that I do not have it finished. (Can I blame this on The Olympics… not really… this was 100% Knitter Error!!) But…before seaming (and because of the likelihood of errors) I really need to block out the shoulders before I seam them…bringing this to the “finish soon” category! However, since I got the knitting portion done I did cast on for my second test knit cardigan… GUILT FREE! Bonus in that this is the PERFECT Olympics watching knit! (big hint… it is a lot further than this picture shows!)

Now… how about a little reading update! Only one bingo book this week…BUT!!! I have just one square to go to a completed bingo card! Whew!

The Jane Austen SocietyThe Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Is this book a literary masterpiece? Hardly, but it is so comfortable… it is just the most wonderful “feel good” novel. Light, cozy, and thoroughly enjoyable.

 

Summer Book Bingo Square: Debut

The Sisters SweetThe Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A curious, twisting tale of two twin sisters who’s lives are overtaken by the machinations of their parents. This book starts out brilliantly… but the middle section of the book needs some heavy editing. It drags quite a bit… it was so slow going that I almost bailed on it. And suddenly the pace picks up and WHAM… it is finished and you are back where you started… sort of. I think there could have been less of the slog-ish middle and more of a transition to the ending. I did enjoy the peek into life post-WWI in America leading up to the Depression.

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of this book.


That is all I have for today… I hope your recent making had no unraveling!

As always, If you wrote a post to share please leave your link and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 7.21.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.21.21

Summer making is just so good!

I have two “Moon Rise” coasters completed… and they are perfect! A combination of hand stitching and machine stitching… I appliqued the moons on, then I sat at the machine for less than 15 minutes to sew them together. Then I spent an afternoon reacquainting myself with hand quilting. I have one more pair to complete… but maybe not. These would be a wonderful gift to send… so there might be more of these in my future!

On the knitting front…. I have achieved the Great Sleeve Divide and I am motoring along on the back as I make my way to the shoulder decreases. Gosh is this a fun little knit! At the rate I am progressing, I predict it will be finished for next week’s update! (then I will be guilt free to start a second Test Knit!)

I do have a reading update this week (and just two squares left on my bingo card!!)

I finished my ‘re-listen’ of Pat Conroy’s Beach Music. If it is at all possible, it was even better than the first time I listened. I cleared my “book shelf” and just immersed myself in the story. I did not do any “power listening” where I listen for 6+ hours in a sitting… but rather I listened over the course of twelve-ish days… so about 2.5 hours of listening a day. This slower pace allowed me to catch more nuances of the brilliant story. I am including my review from my “first read” of this brilliant book. No Bingo Square, but just pure reading enjoyment.

Beach MusicBeach Music by Pat Conroy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not think it was possible that I could like a book more than I did South of Broad, but then I read Beach Music. This book made me laugh out loud and also brought tears to my eyes as Jack collected the stories of family members and shared them so incredibly beautifully. Long live Chippy the Dog stories, GRRRRR! GRRRRRR! The tender brilliance of Pat Conroy’s writing has left an indelible mark on my heart with this story.

GreenlightsGreenlights by Matthew McConaughey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Read for Summer Book Bingo… or I likely would not have picked this book. It is humorous… but a bit much at times. Moral of the story… don’t be too stuck on your own greatness…and I still think McConaughey is a good actor, however his writing skills leave much to be desired.

Summer Book Bingo Square: (Auto) Biography

Caste: The Origins of Our DiscontentsCaste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book stopped me in my tracks….so.many.times. I listened to several chapters more than once. Wilkerson completely unravels how society is built… its biased construction… and yes, that we in the US are large participants in the caste system. It is painful to take in most of what she shares… but it has invigorated me in finding a way to actively work towards equality for all. This is a must read book!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Chosen by a celebrity bookclub (at any time)


And that is all for me today… what about you? What are you happy about this week?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 7.14.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.14.21

Greetings Unravelers!

Happy (almost) mid-July! (a statement that does not even seem remotely possible!)

Despite that fact…my world of the Great Summer Slow Down is full of so many good things!

I have a finish that I, sadly, cannot yet share. But I wanted to talk a bit about what I learned knitting this sweater… and I learned so much!! In my Knitting Life I have knit 3 sweaters that were steeked but it turns out that not once did I do the steek “correctly” until this sweater. And wow, what a difference correctly setting up the steek makes! The key tip for me was knowing which “leg” of which stitch to use. Also, picking up the button bands while the sweater is still un-steeked is the loveliest thing ever! And it has an added bonus of allowing you to match exactly when you pick up the second band! I have pulled together the yarn to knit a second sweater, but I have not yet cast on. Maybe later today… maybe.

But I have not been idle…not at all! I have been engrossed in a bit of drawing, some knitting on my mystery shawl, lots of reading, and the start of some hand stitching!

The last mystery clue came out yesterday but have not started that clue…yet. I am really not in a rush to finish though because I am thoroughly enjoying this pattern! It is nice working on it a few minutes each day and it will be finished long before I need to use it! Ha!

What I have been doing has been pulling some “scraps” of fabric together for some sewing! I cut out and have begun stitching (appliquéing?) the “moons” on my first make from Dawn. An easy start for the #DawnMakeAlong that I am doing just a bit differently… I am hand stitching versus using my sewing machine. It makes the project entirely portable… and stitching with Jack McCall might be my favorite thing ever! As you can see, I have one moon completed and a second one has begun. (Good thing I am liking this handwork… I have fallen in love with this project from the issue and think that it could be the perfect late summer project!)

And as for some “next season” inspiration, some months ago I pre-ordered Kaffe Fassett’s new quilt book and it arrived on Monday! Oh.My.Gosh! The quilts are just beautiful and though they look complicated, after reading some of the instructions…well, they seem quite easy – or at least not as challenging as they look! I really love how Kaffe helps you with “lights and darks” so it looks like it will be a bit easier to pick fabrics – which is my challenge! But perhaps the best part is how he uses his stunning fabrics to create works of art.

I know I said I would not have a Bingo update, but the next Gabriel Allon book came through from the library and there were a good number of people behind me on the waitlist so I read it over the course of a couple of nights. Honestly, I could barely put it down!

The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down book! I love Allon’s team… especially, the return of Sarah! And the ending was just so perfect (okay, both endings, lol!)

I highly recommend this series! The writing is good.

Summer Book Bingo Square: An author you love

And I continue to be immersed in Beach Music… I expect I will finish it tomorrow. It is the perfect companion to stitching on the porch!

That is all I have for today. What about you? What are you loving right now?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 7.7.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.7.21

It has been a slow making week here at Casa del KatKnits… but the three tubes have been joined which seems like a good thing…and it is! It means I am closer to a finished sweater, but it also means I have monstrously long rounds to knit… monstrously long! But I am close to the decreases/color work portion and color work always seems to fly for me. But it is truly at the “slog of sweater knitting” right now. (and sorry I can’t post a better image than the one I did… one almost black blob is just so attractive, no? lol) I also about to finish my second “plate” of Plötulopi, I will likely start a third, but won’t use much of it.

Sometimes the reading for the week is just so amazing you can’t move past it. I had some of that this week. I have not stopped thinking about What the Chickadee Knows… it was just so good. The other book I read was good as well, but in a different, disquieting way. This week brings two more bingos and just 5 books to a cover-all… so I am feeling zero guilt at not working on my card and instead immersing myself in a re-read of Beach Music and could stay there for the remainder of the summer quite easily. (We also arrived at the It’s My Bingo Card So It’s My Rules portion of the summer reading, lol… )

What the Chickadee Knows (Great Lakes Books Series)What the Chickadee Knows by Margaret Noodin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book of poetry will likely be my favorite book of poetry for the year. Noodin shares words in Anishinaabemowin and then they are translated to English. She gives you a “road map” for reading the poems in the native language so that you can linger over the Anishinaabemowin before diving into the English translation. I read this book through multiple times and was sad to have to return it to the library… a copy has been purchased so that I have it in my collection. I highly recommend this powerful little book!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Color Bird in the title

The Hand That First Held MineThe Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oof… what a story. I started out listening to this story wondering what the connection was between these two very divergent story lines. They seem utterly unconnected… yet there is this disquieting urgency… a sense of foreboding that kept growing inside me as the story progresses.

We meet Lexi and Elina… one young and carefree, who eventually has a child; the other a new mother… who arrived at motherhood with no recollection of her child being born. And so the story takes off from there. O’Farrell’s writing is something to savor… her prose, her development of characters, the tiny breadcrumbs she begins to drop as the story progresses.

But the ending… oh my. I did not see that coming (even though O’Farrell told us it was coming at the very beginning) It was a jolt to my senses, but then as O’Farrell begins to put all the pieces together something entirely different emerges… and for me Lexi becomes the shining star. (I had really not liked her much prior to the ending… but boy, was I wrong!)

If you like O’Farrell’s writing, you will enjoy this tale. I highly recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: That you want to read because of the cover

That is all I have for today. I hope you had a more productive making week than I did!

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave you link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 6.30.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.30.21

Gentle Readers… we have arrived at the final day of June…sigh. It gives me a tiny pang in my heart to say that and despite a week of 90+ degree days…life is just so good!

On the making side of my life… I am progressing on my Test Knit… this week the three tubes shall merge into a sweater! I am loving the fabric of this sweater so much that I am contemplating knitting another one… perhaps pale grey and pinks this time! This will be the perfect layer for fall/winter/spring weather! (and fall will be about the time I can reveal it to you all!)

But never fear! I do have a little something to share with you all today, I just eased into the third clue of Anne Hanson’s mystery shawl. I had forgotten how much I love to knit Anne’s patterns. They are truly a wonder… and it has certainly been magical to see the “honeycomb” come to life in the knits, purls, and twisted stitches! I was looking for a “neutral” shawl and I could not have picked a more perfect pattern! It is a joy to knit!

But let’s close out the month with a bit of a Summer Bingo update, shall we? I read 17 books in June!! (which is just insane!) No new bingos this week, but I just have seven squares left to fill my card… and it is not July yet! (at least not quite July yet!!) I have some excellent finishes this week though! And a couple of books that will be with me for a very long time and one of which will quite possibly be the best book I have read all year.

PiranesiPiranesi by Susanna Clarke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I realised that the search for the Knowledge has encouraged us to think of the House as if it were a sort of riddle to be unravelled, a text to be interpreted, and that if ever we discover the Knowledge, then it will be as if the Value has been wrested from the House and all that remains will be mere scenery.” ― Susanna Clarke, Piranesi

This book. Oh.My.Gosh! I don’t even know where to begin to describe to you this story, but it is incredible! A book that is a labyrinth about a labyrinth… reading it was like working peeling an onion layer by layer…And just when you think X is happening, you discover that it is really Y and there is not one second of disappointment! But rather joy at the brilliance of the writing! If you read no other book this summer, read this book! I highly recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Originally published in the 21st century

Anxious PeopleAnxious People by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots. So it needs saying from the outset that it’s always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is.” ― Fredrik Backman, Anxious People

I did not think it was possible for a Backman book to surpass my love for Ove, but Backman has made the impossible possible! This book is just so good… no one does character development like Backman does! And then when he weaves these tiny threads to connect the characters to each other, and then reveals the connections with each page of the story.. it is just a joy to read. But I warn you… this is a book that requires a box of tissues and involves some ugly crying (I cried for the last hour of listening!) This just might be my favorite book of the year thus far. I cannot stop thinking about it! I highly recommend it!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Translation

The Pull of the StarsThe Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you think this book is just about a pandemic, you’d be wrong. It is full of so much more and has incredibly beautiful twists and turns. The ending was beautiful, but getting there had me in stages of disbelief… but still the ending made up for that.

Summer Book Bingo Square: An author from a country you’ve never visited


I am going to take a wee break from Book Bingo next week (and probably the week after as well!) because I just got Beach Music from the library and I want to settle in, listen, and not feel any pressure to rush through it! (It is 31 hours of listening!) I was inspired by Bonny to find something to re-read this summer and I think Beach Music will be the perfect thing to listen to in July! (so I might not have many book updates next month! Be warned! lol) I have one book to finish before I can start it, but it is a good bit shorter than 31 hours! Ha!

That is all I have this week… how about you? What made your June sing?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 6.23.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.23.21

Greetings Gentle Readers!

Apparently sofa’s have a great desire for AirPods…and yes, I found them deep inside in a place I did not know my sofa had. I also found one pen and, curiously, just one stitch marker. The Single Stitch Marker surprises me because I am very confident that I have lost more than one stitch marker in the sofa. And so this morning my ears are happy, the pen is put away, and the stitch marker is back with its pals. All is good in the world and with my list…if you don’t count “finding a new physician” that is!

Test Sweater Knitting is moving right along… I like knitting a sleeve as a gauge swatch and that is what I did for this sweater. I did have to rip back my swatch and reknit to get gauge… which I would not have had to do if I had listened to my head and started with a bigger needle. Oh well… one sleeve is done and the other is well under way. I should be starting the body no later than Friday! This sweater is one of the most fun knits… you get the sleeves out of the way early because this is a bottom up sweater so you have that magical moment when you join the three tubes and suddenly, you are almost done with you sweater! This is a steeked sweater and I am leaning toward doing crochet steaks and I think I am going to knit the button bands pre-steeking to try something new! Steeking is a long way off though, I will wait to join in the Zoom Steek Party next month. What fun… I mean only knitters would be excited about that, and I am very excited about it! Ha!

I do have one HUGE thing coming very soon. For months now I have watched with interest the progression of Daedalus Spinning Wheels… they are a hot commodity in the fiber world. HOT! I have tried, with no success, to purchase one when they do a drop of product but they are literally sold out in minutes from the time they open sales up. However, this month Daedalus tried something different…a lottery. I signed up and hoped for success… and I was successful!! I will have one Yellow and Black Sparrow making its way to me… and I can’t wait! I have never spun on an electric wheel so I am expecting a fairly large learning curve… but maybe not? One can hope! LOL I am not a person who names my wheel, but this somehow seems different… more car-like almost and cars always had a name when I was little. So I think this motorized wheel needs a name… and I think the perfect one is Wiz the Sparrow! After all… I hoped that I would have some Steeler luck with my color choices and obviously it worked!

Now let’s get on to the reading, shall we? It was a most excellent week for reading! And, thanks to The Dark Vineyard, I have my first bingo! I am close on a couple more bingo’s and it feels like I am standing at the apex of my card and one or two more reads and it will all fall into place. Feels like being the operative term there…Reality is that I have some hard squares left open so I need to do some serious work (or some outlandishly creative thinking) and find some books to fill the squares!

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making SpaceDisfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book, but I did not. I wanted to learn from this book, but I could not get past the fairy tales. I am not a fan of fairy tales and this book is heavy on the fairy tales. I might have liked it more if I had not just listened to Ibram X. Kendi’s new podcast and a conversation with Rebecca Cokley (https://www.pushkin.fm/episode/ableis…) on ableism, disability rights, and advocacy. It was much better with no fairy tales. Skip this book and listen to the podcast instead.

Summer Book Bingo Square: With a beautiful cover

The Dark Vineyard (Bruno, Chief of Police #2)The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A series that grabs you by the second installment is good… and this is that series! I want to move to France and settle into Bruno’s little village, Saint-Denis. I want to eat his truffle omelets, sip his wine, eat the local cheeses, and join everyone for a Ricard at the day’s end. An added bonus would be to help him solve the mystery. If you want to spend your summer in France… get started on this series. It is wonderful!

Summer Book Bing Square: Set in a place you’d like to vacation live

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt: A MemoirBecoming Duchess Goldblatt: A Memoir by Duchess Goldblatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Any asshole can make a mean joke. It’s harder work to reach out further for the joke that’s funny and can’t hurt anybody.”
― Duchess Goldblatt, Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

One of the greater finds on the Twitterverse is Duchess Goldblatt’s account… and this quote is the exact reason why she was such a great find. She is witty, funny, and kind… something that is quite lacking in the Twitterverse.

This is a quick listen and it is just as fun as her twitter account… but it is more, it also has a bit of a memoir woven though. It makes you see the Duchess in a new light… a very lovely new light.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Inspired to read because of a TV show Twitter account

The DublinersThe Dubliners by James Joyce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If one is in doubt at the sheer genius and brilliance of Joyce’s writing, they but need to read The Dubliners. Fifteen stories… glimpses into the some of the lives of the residents of Dublin. A collection of short stories…who am I? I thought that short stories were my least favorite thing, but that is obviously not true! Although the last story is the longest of the 15, and the most poignant, and perhaps my favorite! Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that how this collection of stories, published in 1914… is so relevant today. If you have read no Joyce… start here! I highly recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Originally published in the 20th century

Good Talk: A Memoir in ConversationsGood Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“There’s a particular kind of close you get when you find someone you can trust in a space you don’t.”
― Mira Jacob, Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

This book! AMAZING! Fun! Hard! EXCELLENT!! I think the best space for learning is by listening when it matters. This book is full of things that matter that you need to listen to! Conversations you likely won’t hear unless you read it! I laughed, I cried…lots, I cringed at reading things I have done, and this book will make me better. It will make you better too… read this book!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Protagonist with a different ethnicity from your own

That is what my week looks like, what about you? What are you excited about?

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


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