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!


Unraveled Wednesday | 6.16.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.16.21

“LSD stands out for learning to slow down.”
Santosh Kalwar

Yes, this is my mantra for the remainder of the summer. Life in the slow lane… just feels good. In pre-slow times, I would have slammed this tunic out (with a mistake or ten because speed) and moved on to the next thing. This time I took my time… partially because I had to. I made some adjustments to the arm scythe and that meant there were two sleeves to baste in to see if they fit. They didn’t… but those basting stitches were so easy to remove that reworking the sleeves was not the headache I envisioned at all. End result… to lovely fitting sleeves! All that remains on this Esme/Uniform Tunic are a hem and some pockets. Things that will be easy to work on over the next few days.

This sleeve is perfection!

One tiny pucker in one sleeve… sigh.

However, not everything can be at a snails pace because I was picked to do a bit of a test knit for MaryJane Mucklestone! And… my excitement level is OFF THE CHARTS!! This morning I am pulling together colors for the sweater and then some swatching!

So while I am purposely slowing down… this sweater will be the one exception! Woo!

This week’s reading brought more good reading…and still no bingos!

A Thousand ShipsA Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I know many of my friends really loved this book but for me it missed the mark a bit. It is the retelling of the Trojan War…the never-ending Trojan War and Haynes imagines what that must have been like from the women’s perspectives. (And can we just talk about what an ass Odysseus was? Yeah… this book changed my thoughts on him a bit, lol) If you are looking for a book to fill the “Retelling” square on your Summer Book Bingo card… this might be the book for you.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Retelling

On Speaking TermsOn Speaking Terms by Connie Wanek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have heard several of Wanek’s poems on Garrison Keilor’s The Writers Almanac and I really wanted to read more of her poetry. On Speaking Terms did not disappoint. She writes about everyday life in the most direct and beautiful way. Her poems are relatable, at times humorous, and poignant. This excerpt from Scrabble has stayed with me and gosh, it is so true!

I need a t to give me time
a p and I’d have help.
It’s the story of my life,
rearranging assets and coming up shor.

I am eager to read more of her work. If you are looking for a very readable poet, try Connie Wanek… she won’t disappoint!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Any Book

Turtle IslandTurtle Island by Gary Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can you “rediscover” something that is very familiar? If you think not… you need to settle in with Turtle Island and let Gary Snyder show you the very familiar in an entirely new light. The poems felt sacred and almost prayer-like as I read them. This book also gives you a pretty big gut punch with his words on the colonization of North America, yet the poems also give us hope, direction, and a new sense of wonder. I highly recommend.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Pulitzer Prize winner

That is all I have for today… what about you? Are you trying to slow down your summer?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 6.9.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.9.21

Winston provided me with my Hat Review… and I am going to make those brims just a wee bit narrower so he can see, but still be shaded from the sunshine! But… did you ever see anything cuter than Winston in hats? Me either! LOL

This second half of the week I will be trimming back the brims a bit and finishing up the remaining hats for Win.

Continuing in the Shameless Nana Praises…I have an amazing Vivi update. This girl was in a Barrel Race at.age.five. last weekend and she did so well! I am so proud of her! With luck we will be there in August to spend some time… and I cannot wait!

This week the reading was unbelievable! So.Much.AMAZING.Reading!! I am one square away from my first bingo and it is not even mid-June! It just goes to show you what can happen when you spend hours on end outside in the garden with your ear-buds in!

My Name Is Lucy BartonMy Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.

This line from Lucy Barton stayed with me as I listened to this curious story. What is loneliness? Strout does an excellent job of sharing Lucy’s very lonely life. But, if you look back on your life… is it as lonely as you thought it was? Are the people now, exactly what you thought of them then?

An engaging story that I recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Written in the first person

The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6)The Messenger by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh boy, this is my favorite (thus far) of the Allon series. It is a fast-paced story that I had a hard time putting down! This story finds Allon back to help his friend in Rome and it takes off with a bang (literally!) and races on as Allon and his team work to unravel this mystery. If you have not read any of these books, you should… they are wonderfully written and the perfect “summer escape”!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Set in a country you’ve never visited

The Office of Historical CorrectionsThe Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She thought the insistence on victims without wrongdoers was at the base of the whole American problem, the lie that supported all the others.

If two avid reading friends of mine had not so highly recommended this book, I would have passed it by… why? Well… short-stories. I just never quite “get” the entire short-story thing. If that describes your experience with short stories… read this book. It is wonderful. It is eye-opening! Each story is beautifully crafted and each is so thought-provoking. I simply could not stop listening… and then, it was all too soon finished. I highly recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Audiobook with multiple narrators

WhereasWhereas by Layli Long Soldier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Dakota 38 refers to thirty-eight Dakota men who were executed by hanging, under orders from President Abraham Lincoln. To date, this is the largest “legal” mass execution in US history. The hanging took place on December 26, 1862—the day after Christmas. This was the same week that President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

These amended and broken treaties are often referred to as the Minnesota Treaties. The word Minnesota comes from mni, which means water; and sota, which means turbid. Synonyms for turbid include muddy, unclear, cloudy, confused, and smoky. Everything is in the language we use.

Without money, store credit, or rights to hunt beyond their ten-mile tract of land, Dakota people began to starve. The Dakota people were starving. The Dakota people starved. In the preceding sentence, the word “starved” does not need italics for emphasis.

Dakota warriors organized, struck out, and killed settlers and traders. This revolt is called the Sioux Uprising. Eventually, the US Cavalry came to Mnisota to confront the Uprising. More than one thousand Dakota people were sent to prison. As already mentioned,“Real” poems do not “really” require words.

I am a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship, I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.”
― Layli Long Soldier, Whereas

Powerful. Bold. Damning. These words could aptly describe Layli Long Soldier’s poetry… but so could Tender. Heartbreaking. Freeing.

I read this book slowly to savor her poems… I am happy that I own the book so I can revisit them again and again. This is not a book you can read once and “get”… rather, it is a book you need to be invited into and once there open your heart and mind to Layli. You will be glad you did!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Less than 200 pages.

Anything Is PossibleAnything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“They had grown up on shame; it was the nutrient of their soil.”
― Elizabeth Strout, Anything Is Possible

I don’t know about you, but I always have thought that other people did not have the same problems as I did… I know that is not exactly true, but still… it is a belief.

Anything is Possible opens the ALL the doors of a small town and shows how absolutely untrue that belief really is. The characters are sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, sometimes mean, sometimes nice…but what really happens in this book is that the truth rises to the top and sings the most incredible song.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Prize winner.


What about you? What are you singing the praises of this week?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 6.2.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.2.21

Greetings Unravelers! Welcome to June!

Excuse me while I continue doing the dance of joy over my Marled Very-Short-Sleeved Purl Strings. I am in love and think that the solution for “not enough yarn” was the best accident ever! I predict this will get oodles of use this summer (and if it had not been so damned cold this weekend, I’d have worn it non-stop!)

Details:

Entire Sweater: Knit with 2-strands of Holst Garn Coast, held together (Colors: Nimbus and Dark Navy)
Body: I knit 7 repeats of the rib pattern and then 8 rows of ribbing. Bind off used: Jeny’s Suprisingly Stretchy Bind Off
Sleeves: I knit the “plain rows” plus 1 and then began the ribbing (which I matched to the body ribbing…so 8 rows)
Neckline: I knit one extra round plain and then began the neckline decreases and the ribbing.

As for new starts… I did manage to do a bit of swatching coupled with achieving gauge, I have cast on a very dark Shakerag Top. I have not gotten far but I think I have figured out the rhythm with the “transparent” rows. This is just straight knitting for 12 inches so it is the perfect reading companion!

Finally… because the weather dictated an “indoor weekend” I did a bit of organizing and found an eons old knitting project that I had stashed in a drawer. (It is Ysolda’s Follow Your Arrow 2) I made the determination that if I could figure out where I was in less than 15 minutes, I would continue the project… I found exactly where I was in minutes (weird, I know!) and have begun the 3rd chart.

The reading was certainly better than the weekend weather! AND!! I managed to finagle two of these finishes into Summer Book Bingo squares! And my Bingo card… well this summer is all about “creative square interpretation” LOL!

Shuggie BainShuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I delayed and put off and delayed some more before I finally sat down and read this book. It was a very hard read. I cried…lots and I got so damned angry but Stuart gives you some targets for your anger. Very deserving ones. Yet in the midst of this heart wrenching book is wee Shuggie Bain… a child I wanted to scoop up and set down in a place where he could have a safe and happy childhood…one he desperately deserved. The writing is just brilliant (but if you are not from Glasgow you might need a Glaswegian dictionary!) Hard read? Yes, but I absolutely recommend it!

Bruno, Chief of Police (Bruno, Chief of Police #1)Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a charming summer series, this just might be it. There is a bit of a mystery but mostly there is utterly charming Chief of Police Benoît Courrèges (aka Bruno) and there is a lovely little French town with darling citizens. The writing is good (albeit a bit detailed, but it works well)

This book left me wanting to read another installment and open a good bottle of French wine.

Miss Benson's BeetleMiss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who knew the search for an obscure beetle would be such riotous fun? Miss Benson and me… most certainly. This is a book of discovery of so many things… beetles, yes… but so much more! Need a palate cleanser? Read this book. Lost your reading mojo? Read this book. Looking for character growth? Read this book. Want to just get lost in a fun story? Read this book!

That is all I have for today… what about you? What books or projects are grabbing your attention? I will be back on Friday with a sewing update!

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 5.26.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.26.21

I am not quite sure how it is the last Wednesday of May, but here we are.

Kym hoped that I would share my “list” and I think that is a very good idea for a couple of reasons! One: accountability (which is a very good thing for me! lol) and Two: if I have a list, I will be less likely to be distracted by something “new and shiny”!

So, here is my very short list:

  1. Finish Purl Strings. (see below!)
  2. Repair torn Esme Tunic (see below!!)
  3. Rehabilitate/re-work denim Esme Tunic
  4. Repair waistband on Rose pants (it needs to be removed and replaced)
  5. Knitting
    • Neutral Shawl
    • Black/dark sleeveless sweater (possibly MDK Shakerag Top?)
  6. Sewing
    • Comfy linen pants (From Sonya’s new book)
    • Dressier Esme Tunic
    • Two comfy tops to go with jeans (from Sonya’s book)

As you can see, I almost have a finish to share. I have just a few rows and a bind off to my Marled Purl Strings completion. It should be soaking later this morning and then a wee bit of blocking and I will be wearing it for the long weekend!

I have completed the “repair work” needed on a well-loved, well-worn tunic that had a bit of a tear. But by cutting off the sleeve caps and adding bit of bias tape – it is wearable tunic again! The rehab from my list, is going to require a bit of work. I know what I want it to look like, but I don’t exactly know how I am going to accomplish it. Stay tuned.

This weekend, however, I want to get ready for Anne Hanson’s MKAL which starts next month… this neutral yarn will soon fill a hole in my wardrobe… one “go with lots of things” neutral shawl. Purposeful making, FTW!

I also want to get the patterns I traced off from Sonya’s new book pinned onto fabric and cut out so that in case it is a rainy weekend, I will be able to get some sewing done!

Ambitious plans but I hope to stay motivated!

It has been a slow reading week with just one finish but it is an excellent book!

Prince Of Fire (Gabriel Allon, #5)Prince Of Fire by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think the Prince of Fire is the best Allon book yet. Realistic and timely, Allon has a new team and a new target. The story moves along quickly… or does it. The twists and turns are excellent and the ending is brilliant. I highly recommend this series!

That’s all I have for this week! I am taking a wee little break for the holiday weekend but I will be back next week Wednesday with some more making and reading. I hope you all have an amazing LONG weekend!

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


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