Unraveled Wednesday | 5.22.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.22.19

Greetings, Unravelers!

I am writing this post on Monday while sipping my second iced coffee of the day. Tuesday will find me working the poll for PA Local Primary Voting Day. And, despite my thinking that it will not be at all busy for us – I still don’t think I will be able to get a blog post done on my phone. (Because, you know for certain if I was planning on that, it would be busy! Lol)

Anyways, I am taking the shawl to knit, and I have high hopes of finishing it! Once that is done, I can get back to my Marsa Alam. I did find one glaring error in my pickup of stitches for the neckband so I will have a tiny bit of unraveling to do. But it will be quick to rip out the neckband and redo it and then get started on the sleeves.

Juliann asked me on Monday if my weekend included any sewing. Sadly, it did not (nor did Monday!) I did get the pattern jigsaw puzzle put together and the pattern traced out, but then the reorganization of my sewing/craft room preempted any actual sewing. I hope to spend today cutting out the pattern and sewing up my muslin. I will update you how that all goes later this week!

As for reading, I have had no finishes this week and I am feeling a bit a drift in my reading – usually about now I am planning out my “Summer Book Bingo” books and I am definitely feeling like something is missing because of it! But I do have a plan for my summer reading – which includes reading some classics, and some authors I have never read before. New things can mean new reading excitement! My first book is by Eleanor Roosevelt – It’s Up to the Women – I thought this title was most timely for all the nonsense that is going on right now and a good place to start!

I have no set number of books I want to read but, my over-achiever success from last year is niggling in my brain…although I am not sure I want to repeat that feat! I would rather read more challenging books versus speed reading through a summer. Super long books – fine by me! Books that make me think – bring it on! The summer is all about expanding my reading horizons!

Last summer I read Anna Karenina and it was good, but I did not think it great – Carole suggested that I read War and Peace so that will be up soon in my listening queue. I also have Joe Wilkins novel in the above stack of books that I think I saw on Kwizgiver’s blog, which I am eager to get started!

I am listening to The Great Believer’s – all 1,097 minutes of it. I am almost 1/3rd into it and I hope to have it finished for next week’s post. (fingers crossed!)

I am also reading The Widows of Malabar Hill on my Kindle™ and I will bring that with me to work the polls on Tuesday, so that might be in the finished column by the time you are reading this!

That is all I have for today – a whole lotta not much, amirite? So, inspire me Unraveler’s – what are you making and reading this week?!

Oh, and what classic do you think I should add to my list?

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Post Script: As I said, I wrote this post on Monday morning and by Monday night the Reading Gods had pity on this Summer Reading Fanatic. Mary will be hosting Summer Book Bingo! You can find all the deets here and you will find the rules here and can print your bingo card here! And, yes… I still want you to tell me what Classics I should add to my summer reading!

A huge thank you to Mary for putting this together! XO

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.15.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.15.19

Do you think May is moving at warp speed, or is it just me? It feels like it is flying by and its going too darned fast! I need to find the brake and slow this month down!

However, I do have a Finished Object to share – The TRAVEL Socks are done! That’s right – the socks I started for Steve last October are now on his feet. Good thing the weather has been decidedly sock-ish the past few days. I got a thumbs up on them – despite them not matching perfectly. Now, some notes from the knitter – I used this pattern, but I cast on 72 stitches instead of the what the pattern called for. Steve does not like “tall socks” so I knit to a height of 4 inches on the leg… and then that foot. Size 14 feet take forever to knit, just saying. The bonus to these socks is that they have been knit on in almost all the drinking establishments in Northern Michigan, including the Empire Hops Festival, much to Steve’s dismay – he actually thinks that I am the only person who knits in public. I know – I think that is so hilarious.

This week I should have been hanging out on Sleeve Island with my Marsa Alam – but I have not knit one stitch on it. I was advised on Sunday by the person who asked me to do some charity knitting that she told me the wrong date – it is not the end of June, but the end of May that they need the shawl I am knitting. So, in my brief moments to myself on Sunday – I got just past the halfway point. I should be able to get further tomorrow thanks to some stunningly amazing news we got on Monday during our “Annual AC Check Up” on Monday. The electric panel has become “unraveled” and will be replaced Tuesday (fingers crossed it just just Tuesday!!)

Thus – I will spend a good bit of Tuesday without power. (I am writing this post on Monday as insurance just in case their 10-hour estimate is somehow extended – because that would be just our luck! LOL)

Thank goodness for reading for always being the best escape ever and I have some amazing finishes this week!

There was more John Boyne, and each was so incredible: First up – Noah Barleywater Runs Away. This is an amazing, yet poignant tale. The story revolves around the title character – who has run away from home. He ends up in a simply magical place where he is able to unpack what has caused him to run away (no spoilers here). Boyne is a master of bringing you into the story and he delivers things in such an incredible way that you gasp as you take in the words. He is hands down my favorite writer – ever.

My second Boyne finish is Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. This is another WWI story – and delightedly it has some of the same characters as The Absolutist. This story, however, is told from the perspective of a boy whose father goes off to war. I would suggest reading this before you read The Absolutist – I think the flow will be a bit better. Both books got 5-stars from me and I highly recommend each of them!

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: This book was everything I hoped it would be and more. It is the story of Lale Sokolov, the Tätowierer of Auschwitz and Birkenau. The humanity that is miraculously maintained by the prisoners in the midst of the sea of hatred surrounding them is incredible. I highly recommend this beautifully retold story – 5-stars.

Ghost Wall: A Novel: this was a short, gritty read. Down and dirty with no wasted words – the ending… oh man…it was so unexpected!! 4-stars and I enjoyed this on a very visceral reading level!

Finally, The Girl with Seven Names: I started this Tuesday and finished it Tuesday! (I am updating this at 8:30 PM, yes that would be 12 hours after the power was shut off!! AND, it is back on and they are finished!! YAY!!!) This book grabbed me from the beginning sentence: “My name is Hyeonseo Lee. It is not the name I was born with, nor one of the names forced on me, at different times, by different circumstances. But it is the one I gave myself, once I’d reached freedom.” This is an amazing story of one woman’s escape from North Korea. I was moved, I was on pins and needles for Hyeonseo in her journey, and I was elated with the ending. 5-stars and I highly recommend! (P.S. Thanks to Hyeonseo, I did not knit a single stitch on Tuesday… I am correcting that problem today! Ha!!)

That is all I have this week! And, the weather is supposed to be sort of nice – and at least not raining! And maybe even with a bit of sunshine!

What about you? What are you reading this week?

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As always, thank you all so much! 

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.8.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.8.19

Greetings, Gentle Readers! It’s a travel day and as you read this we will be packed up and on our way home. However, I do have some vacation knitting to share with you! Yes, it’s true! I have finished the body and the button bands and neckband of my Marsa Alam!! Woo Hoo! Sleeve’s won’t happen until I am back home and draining the DVR of all the things and that is okay. I am not sure how long I want the sleeves and trying things on while driving are not the best combination! Never fear, I do have travel knitting!! I am speeding along on a second sock – which has made the most lovely companion on this trip – I hope to have it finished on the trek home and there is a very good possibility that will happen! And, I might even be able to put some time in on my Tegna on the journey home if I  get that sock done early in the journey!

I am looking forward to being back home and back to my routine! Vacation is fun, but sometimes it is more fun for some than others.This said by the person who made the bed every day and did all the dishes and walked the dog 99% of the time. However these tasks are the perfect companion for audio books which means I got some reading in this week!

First, I finished Saints For All Occasions which is the penultimate dysfunctional family tale. There were times that I debated about stopping and moving on to something else, but I persevered. I was not greatly rewarded for this perseverance as I thought the ending was rather lame, but it was a book in the finish column – so there’s that. This book had great potential but never really took off, it was also excessively wordy – just 2-stars.

I also finished reading to the Museum of Modern Love. I really wanted to love this book and  while I enjoyed it, I did not love it. However, the writing earned 3-stars.

And finally, I finished another John Boyne novel – The Absolutist. Wow. Boyne again draws you into a story you cannot imagine ever being part of – yet he not only draws you in – he takes your hand and gently brings you along. This story took me for a journey and the ending was incredible. 4-stars (because it could have been LONGER!!)

What are you making and reading this week?

That is all I have for this week, and as always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 5.1.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.1.19

May brings another finished object… err, make that a pair of finished objects! I caught the obsession with knitting bunnies earlier last month and obsessively knit I did! Susan Anderson’s patterns are wonderfully written – and her method of knitting a bunny is genius.

My mods: Due to leftover yarn amounts, the boy bunny has a slightly shorter shirt because I wanted him to have long sleeves. This worked well because the girl bunny appears to have a slightly longer “frock” however, I only had enough yarn for her to have “short sleeves” which I think worked just fine. I also made much larger tails for each bunny. An aspect I loved (as did Genevieve!!) – Big pompoms FTW!

The bunnies are perfect for using up odds and ends of yarn. The directions are super clear and not at all fiddly! My advice… make some bunnies! SOON!

Vacation knitting has consisted of a sock. I have not even picked up Marsa Alam – although I brought it along.

Vacation reading has also been a bit in the slow lane. I managed to finish A Ladder to the Sky before we left. I am at the point where I want to read all the John Boyne novels available. Yes, they are that good. Better, even! Like The Heart’s Invisible Furries this was a book that I could not stop listening to. Boyne somehow makes me want to listen despite the fact that my dislike for the main character (Maurice Swift) is off the charts. And, the ending… perfect, brilliant, and so fitting. 5-stars and if you have read no John Boyne I highly recommend him!

That is all I have for this week, and as always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.24.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.24.19

Post Easter unraveling means April is waning and I am eager for May! I did not do too much knitting over the weekend, but I did fix the problem in my donation shawl! I am back on track and even making some progress! I have 6 repeats done with about 12-ish more to go but it is not due until the end of June and it will be long done by then.

And Marsa Alam… I have reached the ribbing!! But, holy cow! Those last 3 or so inches seemed to take forever! I expect the body will be done sometime today. I think I will tackle the button bands and the neck band before I begin the sleeves as I am having a bit of a debate with myself on knitting them flat versus knitting them in the round.

After a very long wait, Circe finally was available for me! I enjoyed it however, I don’t think it lived up to the hype or the wait. I did enjoy it but I was hoping for more. I listened to it, and the narrator, Perdita Weeks, was wonderful!  3-stars.

After the Fire – book two of the Fredrik Werlin series. As with Italian Shoes, the writing is really wonderful. Werlin has a bit of a mystery going on – he wakes in the night to find his house on fire. He makes it out alive, but everything in the house is a loss. The story progresses as he figures out how to rebuild – and not just his house. The ending is so poignant and it makes me think that Mankell might have had one more story about dear Fredrik. I highly recommend this book and it got 5-stars.

As I read this post yesterday, I was struck by how much it reminded me of A Place in the Woods, which had been sitting on my bedside table for over a month! I finally picked it up Sunday afternoon and finished it on Monday – It was the perfect book to finish on Earth Day. But, oh boy – while I deeply loved this story I am not about to head off to the wilds of Northern Minnesota. The honesty with which this book is written makes you realize just how hard life without amenities is. The writing is beautiful. 4-stars and I highly recommend. Also, the blog post linked above is 5-stars and I urge you to go read it now!

That is all I have for this week, and as always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.17.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.17.19

Greetings Unravelers! The weather here has been decidedly fickle and we went from warm, breezy days to freezing rains mixed with a sprinkling of snow and back to warm breezy days. It was a great reminder that it is not quite time to put away the woolens. I was thankful to have a warm woolly sweater on Monday because I really did not want to turn the furnace on again – but I lost that battle in the early afternoon, despite my sweater. Thankfully the windows were back open on Tuesday with no need for woolens!

The weather has afforded me some nice bits of knitting time though and I am making good progress on Marsa Alam! Yes, I have been monogamously knitting away on it and am just over the half way point of the body. I should be working on my donation shawl, but I have a mistake and I need to do a bit of ripping back to get it on track  and so I have been avoiding it.

The reading this week was really good!

My Sister, the Serial Killer finally came through from the library and it was a quick listen! It is a curious story and the book pulls you in from the beginning and keeps your attention as it draws you into this dark, yet at times humorous story. I enjoyed it and gave it 4-stars.

I was really in need of something on my Kindle to read at night and Henning Mankell came to the rescue with Italian Shoes. How is it possible that this is my first Mankell read?? The writing is wonderful and the unconventional story unfolds in a most lovely way. I fell in love with Fredrik Werlin despite himself, his self-deprecating humor is brilliant, ” I keep a diary of a life that has lost its way.” The story tells about how Fredrik begins to make amends for his lost life, and eventually find his way again. I loved it so much, that I got the second Werlin story immediately and am half way through it! 5-stars and I highly recommend!

This weeks reading rounds out with The Light Between the Oceans. This was such a melancholy story – but it is so beautifully written. It is a tale of love and loss – and through the loss, the duration of that love. I wished it had ended as I was hoping it would, but the ending was still hauntingly beautiful. This is a book I will be thinking about for a long time.

That is all I have for this week, and as always:

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