Unraveled Wednesday | 2.17.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.17.21

As I get ready to embark on my Lenten Poetry Journey, I thought some words of wisdom from Ferlinghetti’s Poetry As Insurgent Art would be the perfect thing to start me on my journey!

Be a songbird, not a parrot.

Be a canary in the coal mine. (A dead canary is not just an ornithological problem.)

Be also a rooster, waking up the world.

Write short poems in the voice of birds.

Birdsong is not made by machine. Give your poem wings to fly to the treetops.

Compared to last week, it’s been a slow making week. One sleeve finished, one sleeve begun, but I still have miles to go before I bind off. But, I am closer than I was last week… and so I knit on!

Looks impressive from this angle…

Until you see how far I have yet to go…sigh.

I cast on a pair of socks for Steve with some Miss Babs 2-ply Yummy, color way… Coffee Break. I am a bit concerned about how it’s pooling but I am knitting on. It’s a bit of a “make it up as you go pattern” top down, with a long-tail tubular cast on, a reinforced heel, and then I am hoping for a toe that is better fitting for Steve’s foot. Stay tuned!

It was a slower reading week as well with just two finishes (and one was super short!)

Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was pure fun. Lots of reminiscing…music, movies, games. The story picks up somewhat seamlessly from Player One’s close and there it takes you on an unexpected journey. Player One was so brilliant, it was a hard act to follow. I liked Player Two quite a bit, but I think the first book was just ever so better. The ending in Player Two though… crazy. And it leaves you with so much to think about! I highly recommend this book!

Poetry as Insurgent ArtPoetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life lived with poetry in mind is itself an art.

Just 90 pages long, but wow is this little book jam-packed with wisdom! I have read through it several times and am thankful that my library had this book! I first learned of Ferlinghetti several weeks ago on an episode of The Writer’s Almanac and it was even better than I anticipated!

There are three kinds of poetry:
Supine poetry accepts the status quo. Sitting poetry written by the sitting establishment has a bottom line dictated by its day job. Standing poetry is the poetry of commitment, sometimes great, sometimes dreadful.

Ferlinghetti encourages one to release their inner poet in the most amazing way! I highly recommend this book!


What about you? What has inspired you this week? Or are you like me knitting in slow motion?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 2.10.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.10.21

If you have time to knit, if you’ve taken up knitting, it means you’re not worried about the essential stuff.

— Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

That quote defines my life this week…Laundry? Dusting? Meh…I have been consumed with knitting this week!

This week I have finished two infinitely wearable knits and I will take at least 6 more weeks of winter to get the maximum wearing opportunities possible for both items!

Yes, I finished my Heart Warmer Cowl, which when I saw Karen knitting hers I needed to cast on immediately! And…it is everything I wanted it to be! Warm, not tight around my neck, and it was fun to knit! (okay, outside of those bobbles… oh boy, lol) And though those bobbles were a bit of a pain to knit, wow do I like the texture they bring!

Details, if you are interested:

  • Cast on in January, cast off February 3
  • Yarn: Jill Draper Makes Stuff Ansel in Forget Me Not color 2 (which is sadly out of stock.) I used almost the entire skein. This yarn is a joy to knit with, it is sheep-y and light as air. This is my second project with this yarn and I wish I had more of it!
  • Mods: I only did two rounds of the bobbles – instead of three. I did four repeats of the broken rib pattern, two repeats of smocking, and one and a half repeats of the grapes. I used a German Twisted cast on, and the recommended tubular bind off.

Next is my handspun Hitchhiker! Oh.my.gosh! I am absolutely in love with it! It might be my favorite thing I ever made! The fiber I used was from Amy at Spunky Eclectic and I bought it probably 5 or 6 years ago. I had 2-4 oz. braids. I can spin  BFL so thin, so my goal was to get a consistent fingering weight yarn. It bloomed a bit when I finished it, so I’d say it ended up a fairly consistent heavy fingering weight yarn. (Amy sadly doesn’t have any gradient braids right now, but she does have some fiber sets that I think would work!) I love to knit, but knitting with handspun yarn just takes my love of knitting to a new level. If you don’t spin, I am sorry for you, because knitting with yarn you made is just incredible. (And when the yarn you made is practically perfect in every way… Zen Knitting FTW!)

Again, details if you are interested:

  • I started spinning the yarn in December and finished the spinning in January. I spun roughly 760 yards.
  • I cast on on January 23, and cast off on February 7.
  • I used almost every bit of my yarn (just 7 yards left over) and managed to get 50 “teeth” a really lovely size for me!

As you can see, I am spinning a fun set of merino from HipStrings and have plans to make another Hitchhiker…this time with beads! Yes, I’d say I have caught the Hitchhiker Bug! I am about halfway through the fiber and look forward to finishing soon so I can cast on this month!

My nighttime knitting project is sleeves on my resurrected Evening Dew Cardigan. I have about a sleeve and a half to go. It might be done sooner than I imagined! Ha! Hopefully, I have a finished sweater next week!

Finally, a friend sent me the loveliest little present this week… it was a complete surprise and I stopped everything and cast on on Monday and in short order had one heart done! This, my friends, is potato chip knitting at its finest! I might have more hearts in process! lol

The reading this week, though…

The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been stumbling around looking for another good mystery series and I think I have found it! Gabriel Allon is a fascinating character. He is unexpected and incredibly likable. The writing is good, bits of information but not so much as you solve it too early!

 

The Gifts of ImperfectionThe Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the “little book I did not know I needed”!! I listened to it, twice. Yes… twice. And when I considered listening a third time – I knew I needed to buy it, asap! I originally rated this book 4-stars, but have changed that rating to 5-stars. It is the perfect guide to help you learn how to embrace your life.


But what about you, Gentle Readers, what are you excited about making or reading this week?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 2.3.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.3.21

“A half finished shawl left on the coffee table isn’t a mess; it’s an object of art.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

There was a similar discussion in my house recently, this quote works for spinning as well… because that wheel in the living room? Why yes, it is an object of art! lol

But the making this week! I am 35 teeth in to my Handspun Hitchhiker and it remains my “evening with television” knit. But the rows are getting longer and so not as many teeth are completed each night. I am inching into the next color though, and I am still so in love with this knit!

My Heart Warmer Cowl is almost done…just the ribbing to go! And just in the nick of time – it should be done today – the weather people are warning us that Pittsburgh will have bitterly cold weather next week!

Finally, my *pseudo* glamor shots of my blocked Autumn Forest. I love everything about this, but most especially the yarn! It is Baa Ram Ewe’s Titus (a blend of Wensleydale, Alpaca, and BFL) there is a hint of a halo, it is soft and so drape-y, and it is so warm! A part of me wishes it was just a tiny bit longer… I probably should have stretched it out a bit in my blocking.

The reading this week, though! Two very different stories that I wanted so badly to love, but 3-star reads are not a bad thing, right?

The Night TigerThe Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book. There is so much going on in this story – coming of age, class, folklore, first love, and a mystery within a mystery. I listened to the story – read by the author – which helped, I think. But really, I think this story just had too much going on – it was a distraction.

Leave the World BehindLeave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book left me feeling this: wait, what?

It gripped me from the beginning, kept me not wanting to put it down… but then, out of no where, it ended. Throughout the book there are such great hints as to what might have happened, but the ending left so many loose ends. I look forward to discussing this book… it really left me feeling very uncomfortable.


That is all for me today, if you wrote a post to share – please leave your link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 1.27.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.27.21

…I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. — Stephanie Pearl-McFee

Greetings Unravelers! Welcome to the final Wednesday in January. Was it me, or did this month just fly by?

I managed to have a finish this month though! Autumn Forest is off the needles, but in need of a soak and a bit of blocking. I did not get that done this week because I have been preoccupied with doing a bit of decluttering. I hope to have this blocked and ready for its big reveal next week! I am wondering about this though… I used one entire hank of Titus to knit half of this scarf but not an entire hank for the second half. I did not weigh the hanks before I wound them, but scarf and remaining ball weigh 200g-ish, so I am not sure what happened.

However, the joy of my life right now is my Handspun Hitchhiker! Oh my goodness, I am so in love! I am surprised at how evenly I spun this yarn. Really, quite surprised…that is not usually the case. One single will inevitably be a bit heavier than the other single and it really shows up in plying. There are spots where it is not perfect, but for the most part it really is wonderful! I have just gotten to my first gradient change and, wow… it eases in to the icy blue so wonderfully! Anyways, this has been my evening knitting while watching TV companion, and it shows!

(My daytime knitting project is my Heart Warmer and you can tell that I haven’t been sitting and knitting much. Sorry for the poor photos, it was one extremely grey day here – this is actually a pale blue grey yarn, but getting an accurate photo yesterday was almost impossible!)

This week’s reading finishes were very mixed.

The Guest ListThe Guest List by Lucy Foley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This story had so much promise, but just failed to deliver on almost every level. A cast of characters with no redeeming qualities whatsoever coupled with so-so writing and you have a snore of a novel. Yes there were some twists and turns, but they did not add anything to the story… in fact, sometimes they detracted. I had to force myself to finish this book. Sadly, I do not recommend.

The Midnight LibraryThe Midnight Library by Matt Haig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to begin with this brilliant little story! If you could pick a different life, what would you choose? And if that didn’t work, would you choose another? And what happens to the life you did not pick? This is a story that made me think about choice we make in our every day life… choice and the consequences. The Midnight Library is between life and death… and there are always new books to check out! I could not stop listening to this story and highly recommend!


Finally, there was something I watched this week that was wonderful! The Wipers Times and it is available on Amazon Prime, Hoopla, and my library has a DVD available as well. This is a story that I knew nothing about and I am now wanting to get a copy of The Wipers Times book to read. If you like history – this is a story of a regiment during WWI, as told by Captain Fred Roberts. It is witty, brilliant, and must see!

 

And there you have my week of knitting, reading, and watching! As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 1.20.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.20.21

What we love to do we find time to do. — John L. Spalding

Welcome to Inauguration Day Unravelers!

This past week has been all about vacillating between wanting to watch the news and trying to avoid the news. I think I found a good balance and in the process did some yarn sorting and organizing. I also did some project sorting and organizing as well. I have some projects that the yarn was reclaimed and some projects that are sitting so I can think a bit more about reclaiming the yarn or finishing the project. And there are some projects that I asked myself why it was not done… one of those projects spent a bit of time with me when I watched the news and have made some significant progress to finishing!

This is the project (Rav Link) that has been in my hands the most this week. Before I picked it up, I was just about half way done with this scarf and today I have less than two sections to go!

I also finished the second braid of fiber and completed plying last week’s yarn. It turned out better than I hoped and although there are a couple of under-plied spots, I think it will be alright once it has had a nice soak! In fact, it will be hanging to dry soon and then, dare I hope, I will be casting on a Hitchhiker!!

The reading was good this week! I follow John Boyne on Twitter and some weeks ago he suggested The Thursday Murder Club and I am so glad he did!

The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up based on a recommendation by John Boyne and I am so glad I did! How fun would it be to have a Murder Club? Riotously fun, if you go by Osman’s version! I laughed, I loved the turns this story took, but I especially adored Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron… they were simply divine!

I highly recommend this witty book and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment!


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


Unraveled Wednesday | 1.13.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.13.21

“ I will continue to freak out my children by knitting in public. It’s good for them.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

Thinking back, I do not think my kids ever freaked out over my knitting in public, but Steve on the other hand absolutely does! Ha! Fortunately, I have done no knitting in public this week (and Zoom knitting does not count!)

Speaking of this week…oy! Let’s talk about how freaky it is to “knit while watching an insurrection” at The Capital takes place. End results: one finished pair of socks, and started one cowl! (Justyna Lorkowski’s Heart Warmer) I also found treadling helped with the stress and I finished one braid of fiber!

Spinning might be the perfect thing to do while “stress watching” television! This is some of the oldest fiber I have. It is BFL from Spunky Eclectic and was a bit compacted from storage, but opening it up a bit made spinning it a dream. I can spin BFL so thin and I have some Hitchhiker plans for this beautiful gradient yarn… One braid to go and then some plying and I can’t wait to be knitting it!

The reading was so varied this week! And despite the chaos, I was able to finish two books. And they were two very different books!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a curious tale of a girl who makes a “deal with the devil” and so begins her journey over the centuries, until one day she meets someone different. The story jumps around a bit and it leaves some logical questions unanswered. The strangest conversations take place between her and the darkness. The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for! (I think this would be a GREAT book for a book club to read and discuss!)

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)All Systems Red by Martha Wells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A short introduction to The Murderbot Diaries. (Very short, it was only about 3 hours of listening!) However, in 3 hours my interest has been piqued! I look forward to the second installment! If you like futuristic novels, I think you will like this!

 


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


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