Unraveled Wednesday | 5.12.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.12.21

Try new things, step out of your comfort zone, take risks, do things in ways you’ve never done them before, ask for help, surround yourself with self-actualized people, become obsessed with the fact that you have one go–round on this planet as the you that is you, and realize how precious and important it is not to squander that. — Jen Sincero

Lots has happened in the making department since last week. I have become a bit obsessed with spinning and practicing the things I learned in my spinning classes. I have taken classes before but have never really just sat down and kept doing the things I learned… it was helpful that the classes were recorded so I could go back and watch parts of them over. It was helpful to rewatch techniques to reinforce them in my head and in my hands and feet!

But, lest you think I am a slacker…I am happy to report that I almost have everything crossed off of my Monday List and I have carved out a bit of “making time” as well! I have done a wee bit of knitting on the Marled Purl Strings, not much… but some! I have 5 repeats of the body to go to bind off… and then Sleeve Island! I am contemplating shorter sleeves on this Purl Strings…we shall see. Yarn amounts might dictate that is all that can happen and I am just preparing myself for the likelihood, lol.

My big finish this week though is handspun yarn!

This is the “Chickadee Mixed BFL” from Fibernymph Dye Works. Gosh, I am so excited about this yarn! I spun the red contrast before my spinning classes and the brown yarn after, and boy… the difference is striking! The red yarn is a bit heavier than the brown… a true 3-ply light fingering weight sock yarn! My yardage is excellent as well, pre-washing I have 470-ish yards. I expect it to bloom slightly when finished, so I will loose a tiny bit of yardage, but I will have more than enough to knit a pair of socks!

I am working on spinning some new yarn from fiber from another local source, HipStrings. It is one of their special blends (Shetland, Manx Loaghton, Flax, and Silk) and the color way is “Housefinch” – I am thinking this will have some amazing drape once knit up and I am hoping to have enough for a small shawl. Stay tuned!

Also… I may have jumped on a mystery KAL Bandwagon. Okay, I did…lol. I really feel like doing some “timed” knitting! This should be the incentive I need to get my Purl Strings finished before June 9th! Ha!

There was so much good reading again this week! Yay for audiobooks as a most excellent companion for unpleasant tasks! Ha!

The Book of Lost NamesThe Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another book about WWII, the Holocaust, and the French resistance. The story is engaging even if the ending is somewhat predictable. I liked the Resistance story, I don’t know how factual that portion of the story was, but I hope it was.

 

How the Penguins Saved VeronicaHow the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The unwrapping of one very crotchety octogenarian, Veronica McReedy. What a fun, brilliant, unexpected little book! I laughed, I cried, and I hoped that Mrs. McReedy would find what she did not know she was looking for! A heart-warming story and I highly recommend!

Writers & LoversWriters & Lovers by Lily King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you think that this book just about writers and finding love… you’d be so wrong. It’s so much more. It’s about discovery. It’s about letting go. It’s about persistence. It’s about friendship. And, it’s about life… with all the messy bits. The writing is so good… so very good! I did not want it to end!


That is all I have to share today… what about you? What is your latest obsession??

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 5.5.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.5.21

If you’re not making some mistakes, it probably means you’re not trying hard enough. — Evan Davis

Greetings, Gentle Unravelers!

May is unfurling like the leaves on the trees in my yard and it feels so good! Me Made May is underway and it is off to a good start! My usual is to mix together things I have. made with things I have purchased. Jeans are my making hurdle and I have not attempted them…yet. I think about making them a lot, but the fear of making a glorified mess of them is holding me back. I am afraid to make a mistake.

I have so much other inspiration though, I might not need to tackle my jeans fears this month! The latest issue of Making is full of things I want to make! From some adorable quilted coasters to an incredible linen tunic…

And have you seen Sonya Philips new book, The Act of Sewing? I was lucky and nabbed a signed copy from Kay and Ann (sorry, they are sold out right now.) Sonya was the reason I started sewing again after a very long hiatus – her designs are comfortable, easy to wear, and so much fun to make! I love her encouragement to “make it your own”! I have paged through it and have started reading and my mind is full of new ideas! I am excited to carve out some sewing time!

On the knitting front… I am making progress on my Marled Purl Strings. I have divided the sleeves and am just knitting round and round and round… punctuated by occasional k1, p1 rounds. It is knitting at its best!

The reading this week was just so amazing:

As It Is in HeavenAs It Is in Heaven by Niall Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are only three great puzzles in the world, the puzzle of love, the puzzle of death, and, between each of these and part of both of them, the puzzle of God. God is the greatest puzzle of all.

What an incredibly tender story told as only Niall Williams can. His gift of writing makes the story of Phillip and Stephen and life “after” – each has their own life and the two are not twined together but for a weekly gathering to play chess in silence. Together, yet very much apart. It is a story full of joy, sorrow, pain, death, and life… so much life.

I highly recommend.

The Boy with the Narwhal Tooth (Greenland Missing Persons #1)The Boy with the Narwhal Tooth by Christoffer Petersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think this book was an Amazon offering for a dollar or something… it is a novella and not long at all. It was okay. The characters are interesting as is the location in Greenland. Don’t expect any great depth though, it is exactly what you’d expect for a dollar book.

 

Transcendent KingdomTranscendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The truth is we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t even know the questions we need to ask in order to find out, but when we learn one tiny little thing, a dim light comes on in a dark hallway, and suddenly a new question appears. We spend decades, centuries, millennia, trying to answer that one question so that another dim light will come on. That’s science, but that’s also everything else, isn’t it? Try. Experiment. Ask a ton of questions.

This book was amazing, thought-provoking, and yes… it made me ask myself a ton of questions! It is the story of a family who immigrates to America – to Alabama, of all places – from Ghana. But more it is a story about life in America, it is about addiction, it is about religion, and it is about faith. It is brilliantly told and one that will stay with you for a very long time after you stop reading it!

I highly recommend you get this book today and start reading it!


If you wrote a post to share today, please leave your link below and thank you!


I will see you all back here on Friday with a bit of a spinning update!

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.28.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.28.21

100 years ago, buying something you could make was considered wasteful; now making something you could buy is considered wasteful. I am not convinced this is a step in the right direction. ― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I thought this quote was exactly the reminder I needed as I am about to embark on Me-Made May – minus the IG posting frenzy, that is! I am going to do my best to wear only things I have made during the month. But I have plans to do a wee bit of sewing for myself in May as well. My wardrobe is in need of a little refresh after 12 plus months of Pandemic Living! Re-entry is not easy but maybe a couple of new items will help!

On the knitting front, I am almost to the sleeve division on my Marled Purl Strings – just 6 rows to go! I kind of worried that the “purled” rows would not show very much in the marled fabric, and while they are not as dramatic as they are on the single color sweater, I love how it looks and hopefully the body goes as quickly as it did on my first sweater. (at least once I picked it up and actually knit on it!)

Today though is all about learning as I have a full day of classes for MDSW! I will spend the afternoon with Maggie Casey learning about twist and this evening with Dame Judith and some Columbia fiber! I will have a tiny break between the classes and I made a pot of chili on Sunday so I could have something to “zap” and eat! lol

The reading this week has been wonderful! I had FIVE finishes!

The Thunder Before the Storm: The Autobiography of Clyde BellecourtThe Thunder Before the Storm: The Autobiography of Clyde Bellecourt by Clyde Bellecourt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend described this book as having the feel of the author sitting at the dinner table with you, sharing their story. Yes!! That is an excellent way to describe this book. I kn0w little about the plight of Native American’s and this book is an excellent introduction. It is eye-opening and stirs the desire to learn more. I highly recommend!

The Dead and the LivingThe Dead and the Living by Sharon Olds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think writing poetry is hard (if not impossible for most of us) but writing good poetry about hard topics is just amazing. This collection of poems made me stop and think. At times it made me uncomfortable. But the way Olds puts together phrases and uses words to paint an image in the readers mind are brilliant. I highly recommend!

Stag's Leap: PoemsStag’s Leap: Poems by Sharon Olds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Intimate, poignant poems… Sharon Olds has a gift… the ability to write about hard things and she does so in the most incredible way. She draws you in, shares the raw emotion, and then carries you along – tenderly – with her. I find myself wanting to stop and read everything Olds has ever written. I highly recommend!

A Death In Vienna (Gabriel Allon, #4)A Death In Vienna by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Four in the Allon series, but Book Three in the trio of Holocaust series. In this story, the history of Allon unfolds and we learn more details about his past… and his parent’s history. Allon is an edgier, more turbulent version of Armande Gamache – and that is not a bad thing, he is complex – he has a sense of justice, and is brilliantly smart! I love watching him put together the puzzle and win! I highly recommend this series!

Homeland ElegiesHomeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Racism in America has to be the ugliest thing on earth. Like many others who have read this book, I had to remind myself it was not a memoir…but a novel. It sheds light on life as a Muslim in America post-911. It is a riveting story and I had a hard time putting it down. The writing is wonderful. I highly recommend!


That is all I have to share today, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!


See you all back here tomorrow with my choice for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.21.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.21.21

My favorite place to vacation is anyplace by the ocean [lake]. — Nina Arianda

I am pretty sure that if Nina Arianda had see any of the Great Lakes she would absolutely wanted to vacation there. This week I have a “change of scenery” as we are visiting Erie and more specifically, Presque Isle – which just might be my favorite place on earth and even on a grey day the views are just glorious!

If only letting go of COVID fears was as easy as changing the scenery. I am two weeks past my second vaccine, but the idea of immersing myself back into “pre-COVID life” is still such a scary thought. I read this article in the NYTimes and I am working on rethinking risks and overcoming my COVID fears, but it is not easy. What about you? How are you doing post vaccine? How are you re-entering life? Do you have a plan? I really want to know… I think a good discussion around this would be a wonderful start – so please tell me your thoughts!

While I have no knitting photos this week, you are not missing anything. There is hardly any change from last week’s images, lol. I am at the slow going portion of Purl Strings. Lots of counting, seed stitching, and so much more increasing to do. I have knit about 3 inches of the cuff of Sock One, but I have a good bit of knitting yet before I get to the heel.

However, there is so much to do outdoors here (with practically no COVID fears!) I have been walking and walking and walking and watching all the birds. So.many.birds! We have discovered new trails and have seen so many new things. Each day is just a bit greener than the day before! It is crazy but today there is snow in the forecast so I just might get some knitting time in!

While the reading was minimal this week, I did have one finish.

The Cold MillionsThe Cold Millions by Jess Walter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fascinating story about a part of history that I knew nothing about. The writing style very much reminded me of Leif Anger or Kent Haruf. I listened and the cast of narrators were wonderful. I loved how the characters each were woven into the story… together but separately. If you want to learn more about labor in the early 1900’s in America, this book is an excellent place to start. I highly recommend it!


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


Unraveled Wednesday | 4.14.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.14.21

Cut and secure the front steek. — Mary Jane Mucklestone, Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide No. 17, Lopi

The fear is real!

I don’t think it matters how many times you have knit a sweater that requires steeking, it always is a nerve-racking experience. I mean, take a scissors and cut your knitting? Seriously?

A pullover becomes a cardigan… snip, snip, snip!

And despite the nerves… it is like magic. My previous favored mode for steeking was Ysolda’s method described here. But I am having some fears about having enough yarn to knit the two button bands so I was not willing to waste any on crocheting. And you know what? It just might have won me over! It worked very well!

But those floats! Gah, I just love them!

Said sweater had a little spa treatment after steeking and is drying… sigh. I am hopeful that I will be able to start the button bands today!

But let’s talk about that ribbon, shall we?

Winston’s mom has been sending me links to Etsy shops that had fabric that she thought might be perfect for hats! AND!! One of those shops had ribbon! The ribbon is just luscious! It is not stiff at all, and the colors!! Once I have those button bands done I will be carefully stitching it over the steeked edges. I almost want to wear the sweater inside out so everyone sees this ribbon! LOL

Soon to be hats for Winston!

I tried to patiently wait for my Daytripper to dry, really I did! But I gave in and cast on my Marled Purl Strings! I love how this sweater starts out! Last week Jane asked what my yarn was… it is Holst Garn Coast. If you have not tried knitting with Coast… you should immediately remedy that! It is lovely and it wears beautifully! Just enough cotton to be a summer sweater and just enough wool to hold its shape incredibly well!

Purl Strings No. 2 is underway!

I also want to wind up a skein of Miss Babs Deep Sea Jellyfish sock yarn  so I can cast on Carole’s Picot Edge Socks. (Ravelry link, sorry about that!) Anyways, I am in need of a “semi-mindless” knit and these socks are so much fun! Enough to keep your attention but a sock that you don’t have to be focused on every stitch!

The reading this week though!

Vesper FlightsVesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It is a collection of essays about nature (and us, in a way) I enjoyed Macdonald’s storytelling but I did not always connect with her thoughts. However it is beautifully written and I recommend it!

 

In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the WorldIn the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World by Pádraig Ó Tuama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are some books that seem to have been written for you, this was that book for me. It was exactly what I needed and the words were a balm to my spirit. If you are in need of reassurance in a sea of doubt – read this book. If you are questioning life – read this book. If you are feeling lost – read this book. If you just want to get lost in the beauty of the writing – read this book.

I highly recommend!

The Duchess of Bloomsbury StreetThe Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really wanted to love this book like I loved 84, Charring Cross Road… but, sadly, I didn’t. I missed the dialog back and forth… though there were funny moments. This is a journal of Helene Hanff’s trip to London… some of which I find incredibly implausible! (I mean who has a hysterectomy and even feels like doing anything, much less a transatlantic trip!) It also made me wince a bit at the embarrassing Americanism in it. (give out my address and phone number because they will buy me dinner… so tacky.) My recommendation is to absolutely read 84, Charring Cross Road but skip this book.


That is all I have for today! What about you? Do you have any book recommendations this week?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 4.7.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.7.21

The knitting is slow going this week however, I did get through the yoke color work and have divided for the sleeves on my Daytripper cardigan! I thought things were progressing well and then yesterday happened! Yes, I had some side effects from my second injection…the worst of which was an unbelievable headache so not much of anything got accomplished. Just a lot of lazing on the couch willing the headache to depart. I hope to feel more like knitting today so maybe I can get through the body and onto the color work at the hem! Okay, so maybe that is a bit ambitious…but at least I hope to be knitting today!

Before I went to get my COVID vaccine, I did manage to get a marled swatch done and it is perfect! I love when my “minds-eye” and reality are the same.thing! So another Purl Strings is waiting in the wings! This one should be a snap to get done since I already know what size, what needle, and how many repeats I am doing!

The reading this week was so good! Hard, but good!

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A hard listen. Some things I knew, but so many more things I had no clue about. Compelling, well told stories. The variety of narrators worked well to portray the variety of writers. This should be a “must read” for every white person…

 

Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous!Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous! by Stéphane Hessel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To the men and women who will make the twenty-first century, we say with affection: TO CREATE IS TO RESIST. TO RESIST IS TO CREATE.

A small bit of advice from a life well-lived. I would hope that I will be so bold when and if I live to 93 years old! Hessel reflects on his work and he makes a call to arms to us today.

Antebellum Dream BookAntebellum Dream Book by Elizabeth Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first experience with Elizabeth Alexander’s poetry and it certainly won’t be my last! There were so many poems in this book that I just loved… 1968, Paul Says, The female seer will burn upon this pyre, and Postpartum Dream #12: Appointment to name a few. Such moving writing. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book and letting Alexander open your eyes to new things!


That is all I have for today! I hope your making is going well and your reading even better!

If you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!


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