I feel like I have fallen into the black hole of knitting….
It feels like I have been knitting lace forever yet I still have 7-ish inches to go. Grrrr!!!
So, yesterday I took a lace knitting sanity break and started Halloween Legging Swatching! After a few trials and errors, I found the stitch combination sweet spot and am now moving along nicely! I should have the leggings done in short order. Can I just say that knitting for a pint-sized 4-year-old is quick, gratifying, and fun?
Thankfully, reading is going better than lace knitting and I have finished books this week to prove it!
First up, I picked up another Henning Mankell book from Overdrive. The Shadow Girls is about refugees in Sweden and their compelling stories – all re-told by a failing writer who is so moved by their haunting tales that he encourages them to write their stories down, 4-stars and I highly recommend this book. Mankell’s writing is simply brilliant!
I followed this up with the audiobook, The Leavers – which is another refugee story, but this one is quite different…at times it is painful to listen to. The story is told from two different perspectives – a mother and her child. About mid-way though the book I really was wondering where the author was going with this story, but Lisa Ko manages to bring all those wandering lines together to a masterful ending. 4-stars and again, I highly recommend!
That is all I have for this week, but what about you? How is your making and reading this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!
September Unraveling is going well… and with no unraveling to date! I have indeed finished Reagan’s sleeves and have begun the lace work, although the sweater looks like a great grey blob right now! As I write this, I am completed the first repeat of the pattern and am well into another repeat with approximately 12 inches more to go! I am really happy with this sweater and think that this will absolutely be a much better use of the yarn. The lace pattern seems like it will be easy to memorize and once I have gotten through another repeat, I hope that I will not have to look at the pattern for each row.
I am *this*close* to finishing my Rose pants, and they would be done already but I could not find elastic for the waistband anywhere.in.this.house! I know I bought elastic but who knows where I put it…so I need to head to JoAnn’s to pick up some more. (Which means I am guaranteed to find that missing elastic no later than Friday! LOL)
The reads this week were varied and so interesting!
I wanted to re-read The Handmaid’s Tale before The Testaments was released and I did! Last time I listened to Claire Danes read it, this time I read it. It is curious that different things stood out to me in the re-reading of the story. I enjoyed it more than the first time and found that sometimes a re-read is the best thing ever!
I also listened to Madeline Albright’s Fascism: A Warning. Wow. Brilliant! Simply brilliant. I wrote a more detailed review here, but I highly recommend this book!
I found myself with a bit of a gap in my library wait list, so I did some digging to see what was available and found two fascinating books by random chance!
First, I found Paul Auster’s Report from the Interior, read by the him. This book was unexpected, brilliant, I felt some crazy connections and *being of a certain age* I loved it. I need more Paul Auster books in my queue, so I have plugged a few more titles of his!
Next in my searching I found Mitz, The Marmoset of Bloomsbury by Sigrid Nunez – I had read The Friend by the same author and thought the concept of this very short book was worth a try. It is a small slice of the life of Leonard and Virginia Woolf and their marmoset, Mitz. Funny, sad, quite interesting, and not at all a bad way to spend a few hours.
That’s all I have for this week – what about you? What are you making and reading this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave you link below and thank you!
Let me just say that knitting something for 34-ish inches in stockinette can be quite boring…except when you have 5 seasons of DCI Banks to binge. And, that is partially how I got those 34-ish inches knit quickly! I have now moved on to the sleeves, which I am knitting at.the.same.time and it is moving along nicely. Thus far, I am really loving the start of Reagan!
Pie wrapped in wax-paper freezes beautifully and one little square is the most lovely afternoon treat!
But!! It has not been all knitting, all the time around here! Impending autumn, cooler weather, and an abundance of amazing fruits at the local market are just the thing to get me back into the kitchen! I have been feverishly baking to fill the freezer with some goodies. Sunday, I made an Apple Slab Pie, which turned out stunningly and I highly recommend the recipe. And I also made my tried and oh-so-delicious Bottom Crust Plum Pie from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts cookbook. On Monday, I made a batch of Pati’s Salsa Verde and Tuesday I made a double batch of Bourbon Peach Hand Pies (with this pie crust). The freezer is on its way to being replenished, and I still have some apples that I am thinking about what to do with. Perhaps something with puff pastry… hmmm.
Peach Hand Pies… all ready for the oven!
Now, on to the reads!
I managed to finish A Bridge of Clay, Suite Françoise, and The Crossing Places.
I had been on the wait list at the library for A Bridge of Clay for a very long time, and then I saw it was going to be available right about the time that I started War and Peace – so I moved myself back in the queue and I am so glad I did that. This book was one that I did not need to rush though. The story is all about the Dunbar family – and really the Dunbar brothers, especially Clay. I laughed, I cried and cried some more. It was truly an amazing story – and I listened to the audio version, that Markus Zusak read. I highly recommend – 4 stars.
Suite Françoise appeared on my radar thanks again to Carole. I was in luck that it was available at the library. It was a book that I savored – reading a little bit every night. It is a story about the WWII occupation of France. I want to say the story is wonderful, but that might lead you to believe that war occupation is idyllic – which is hardly the case. The writing is wonderful and it kept me wondering what might happen next and how it would unfold. The characters are beautifully developed and the story weaves perfectly between them all. But, for me the most amazing part of this story was the ‘back story’ on the writer – this novel was published 64 years after her death in Auschwitz…and I also highly recommend this book as well – 4 stars. (The movie version is available on Netflix that I might settle in with this week to knit those sleeves!)
Finally – one of you Unraveler’s mentioned The Ruth Galloway Mysteries and I pleasantly raced through The Crossing Places. I enjoyed it and loved how the author lead me along with Ruth as she figured out “who did it” and I have queued up a few more of the mysteries in this series! 4-stars for this first novel!
As always, if you wrote a post to share this week, please leave your link below and thank you!
Today, I am going to talk about languishing projects… sometimes they languish for a reason, amirite?
This one has been languishing for a L-O-N-G time.
For the longest time I tried and tried to get back to knitting it. Why, I even put it in the basket next to my bed thinking that might spur me to work on it.
It didn’t. And, then it dawns on you why this is a languishing project…. You just don’t want the sweater at all – you won’t wear it, it no longer (or perhaps never) was what you were looking for.
But you bought the yarn – so you must knit it, right?
Nope! You don’t. And, today I am frogging it – guilt free!
Oh, and all that Einband is about to become Reagan – and I could not be happier about it!
Now, my reads this week:
First – after Carole’s review of Days Without End, I was so happy to see it was available from the library. Wow – I loved it! Every single word. It is a painfully poignant story and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. Just go read it! (And, the audio version had a marvelous narrator!) 5-stars
Up next, Big Sky – the fifth book in the Jackson Brodie series. I enjoyed it – tremendously (although it took me a bit to get into it, but once I did, I devoured it!) 4-stars.
What about you? Do you have a languishing project you just need to frog?
If you wrote a post to share today, please leave your link below and thank you!
I confess, I laughed at the comments about “making jam in this heat” from Monday’s post. So, true confession time…. I do not go to a Raspberry Farm and pick buckets of berries. I head to my back yard and pick berries from 6-ish plants. I am lucky if I get a cup of berries a day. This translates to “uber small batch jam making” and I am going to let you all in on a HUGE secret…I use the easiest raspberry jam recipe on earth. No standing at the stove cooking berries, no pectin (yes, really… no pectin at all), and no water bath steaming up the house. And, before 8 AM, I my day of “jam making” is done. The jam has been transferred to jars and waiting to head to the freezer. It will keep beautifully for a year (maybe longer, but it honestly does not last that long around here!)
Other making this week included a seersucker, pocketless Uniform Tunic and an Esme Tunic! (Today’s sewing will include another uniform top!) One might think that remaking the same few things over and over and over again gets boring but, in reality, it is quite the opposite! I find that I must think less about the “how” and can think more about the subtle changes! This time the Esme pockets have merged into the side seam completely and I love this little change! It gives the pocket and the garment a little more structure if you are going to use the pockets! Also, the Grainline Studio sleeve hack worked well on this Esme Tunic! In the Uniform Tunic as I began to work with the very lightweight seersucker fabric, I realized that pockets would not work at all and would add weight to the top and change the drape of the fabric. So… no pockets. If I had never made either of these patterns before I don’t think I would have felt okay with making these changes! I will try and get pictures to share on Friday.
My Romi-is-a-freaking-genius sweater has departed the “puzzle stage” and has suddenly morphed into a sweater! It still does not look like much, but I hope to have something to show you on Friday as well!
AND!! I started the heel on my Non-Eucludian socks! Waahoo!
Now, how about some reading awesomeness?!?
My Cover All is Complete!
I finished strong with War and Peace and Purple Hibiscus!
I loved War and Peace. It was so good. The thing that struck me most profoundly was the dichotomy between the lives of those serving in the war and those not serving in the war. Life and Death versus Life of Frivolity – on steroids! Also, I had no clue that Freemasonry was a thing in Russia. There was not one moment in all the 60+ hours of listening that I was bored or wanted to listen to something else – it was truly a pleasure to be immersed in this book! If you want to up your classic game this fall, I highly recommend this one!
Purple Hibiscus filled the “book I own” square and as such I read it slowly. It is a beautiful written story – I dearly loved Kambili. It is a story of growing up, family, and freedom. I highly recommend!
I also listened to Ruth Reichl read Save Me the Plums… so so good. Ruth is a brilliant memoir writer and I devoured this book about her time at Gourmet magazine. I highly recommend listening to Ruth tell you her story!
Finally, I also devoured The Nickel Boys and loved it! Colson Whitehead is a brilliant writer and this story gripped me from the first sentence to the last. Colson again shows me how little I know… truly how pitifully little I know. If you have not read this book – you should! And, to make that easier – if you leave me a comment today saying that you’d like to read The Nickel Boys – I will “pay it forward” as Juliann sent me her copy so I could read sooner than the library waitlist. I will pick a name next Monday and get the book off in the mail to you!
And, there you have my unraveling, but I want to know… what are you excited about today?
As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!
I must confess that I found this knit to be a real slog. It was slow going and tedious, unlike Screen Door which was so much fun and so easy! However, I am happy it is finished, and I even think it will get some use in the coming months.
I am still working away on my sweater puzzle… sorry, I don’t have pictures to share as yesterday was the greyest of days. There just was not enough light to get a good photo. However, I am further along than the last photos! I am well into the back section and still have not finished the first *partial* hank of yarn! This is a very rewarding knit – I love checking off each section and row as I complete them!
The reading this week has also been most rewarding!
I finished two books and *should* finish one more today!
Station Eleven – which is a curious novel set in North America following a flu pandemic that has killed almost the entire world population (how they know this is never explained.) Somehow there is no electricity or public utilities, but there are some settlements of people. The story revolves around an orchestra/theater troupe who is nomadic – traveling along the shores of Lake Michigan, of all places! At first, I had a hard time keeping track of things – as it jumped back in time frequently. I was tempted to stop reading the book until all of a sudden – I didn’t want to stop reading. It took the author some time – but about halfway though you begin to see where she is going and how things are connected. And the ending – wow! It leads me to think there will be another book… at least I hope so! 4-stars!
I also finished If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. This book had some very entertaining moments… but it also had some very disjointed moments. This was probably not a good book to read at the end of the day before I went to sleep. The opening sentences told me how I should read it and perhaps I should have heeded those instructions: “You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade.” I am going to heed Calvino’s advice and read this book again. 3-stars!
That is all I have for this week! What about you? What is rewarding in your life today?
As always, if you wrote a post to share – please leave your link below and thank you!