Unraveled Wednesday | 8.29.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.29.18

Greetings Unravelers!

I have the tiniest twinge of sadness that this is the last Wednesday of August, but my knitters’ heart is happy that soon the Season of Wool will be returning. My favorite time of the year is the Season of Wool and after taking a summer break from knitting things that feel “wooly” and picking up my languishing Strokkur again felt like the return of an old friend. My hands are so happy with the gentle scratchiness of the Lopi yarn. I realize that not everyone likes wooly wool, but it is one of my very favorite things!

And, here is the level of my happiness… I have one sleeve joined and have sleeve two well underway! I see colorwork in the coming days! Ahhhh! Now, I realize that it will be a good number of days before I can wear wool, or at least wear it all day… but those days are coming!

My reading is truly at a fevered pace…

First up, I would like to thank Mary for making the brilliant suggestion of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd which I listened to on Saturday… it was only an hour and a half long! PERFECT!! I enjoyed it, and yes… it had a very unreliable narrator. It was like listening to an old-time radio program, with multiple characters! I enjoyed it tremendously and it got 3-stars.

I finished reading The House at the Edge of Night. This was for my “set in a place you’d like to know more about” and Castellamare was the perfect place to spend some time on! I laughed, I cried, I mourned, and I loved the Esposito Family. I really want to spend some time sitting in the bougainvillea covered café in the House at the Edge of Night. I want to sip coffee and eat rice balls and just listen to the conversation around me! I gave this book 5-stars and I highly recommend it!

There was great sadness that I finished the third book of The Magician’s Trilogy: The Magician’s Land. This was perhaps the best book of the trio. This book tied up many things for Quentin, Fillory, and Brakebills. 5-stars all the way!

Finally, I finished The Wasteland and other poems by T.S. Eliot. I enjoyed this but had no idea that it would be so religious. I will be thinking about many of these poems for a long time.

The above books gave me a few more bingo’s which leaves me with my final two squares for the summer: Louise Penny’s Glass Houses (which I am just over half way through) and James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty.

This might be the best summer ever for reading! But, this morning – no reading for me! I will be helping a friend figure out how to put together her “Swancho” so that I can then pick up the stitches for her sleeves… wish me luck! Haha!

What about you? What are you making and reading this week? If you have a post to share with us, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 8.22.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.22.18

The knitting is moving along nicely, and I should have a blocked and finished object to share with you later this week. Because: High humidity + wet wool = slow drying! Yes!! I have finished Laura Aylor’s 2017 Summer’s End MKAL and I love it! Stay tuned for glamor shots coming soon!

My making this week has moved to the Alabama Chanin A-line tee shirt. I have cut out the insides of the stars creating some lovely texture. I have appliqued a few stars to the very plain back. I also stitched the seams with a modified flat-felled seam. All that is left to do is to bind the arms and neck, I did some Cretan stitch practice yesterday and after several failed tries, I think I finally have it down! With each stitch, I grow more confident in the process and this was a very good piece to practice on!

Now, how about some reading updates!

I have another bingo to share! This week’s finishes include The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Album… I absolutely loved this darling little book! I laughed, I cried, I am in awe of how masterfully Mitch told this beautiful story. This was easily a 5-star book and I highly recommend it!

I also finished Pachinko, which was the PBS Book Club choice for July. I enjoyed this book and it contained some very surprising events. This is a book that I will be thinking about for a long time to come and it got 4-stars from me.

My current read list still has The House at the Edge of Night – I am about half way through reading this on my iPad. And, in my ears is Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. It is read by Maggie Gyllenhaal and she is a wonderful reader!

What are you making and reading this week? If you wrote a post to share today, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 8.15.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.15.18

Greetings, Unravelers!

I scratched the cast-on itch yesterday when I started Tegna. I am not quite out of the danger zone yet though! I don’t think I twisted my cast on, but I am not certain yet… And, honestly?? I might cry if I did, because you cast on 10 million stitches to start. Okay, maybe not 10 million, but if I twisted the cast on, it might as well be that many! Ha! This is the perfect fall color and I do not have one thing in my wardrobe in this color so hopefully this knit goes quickly!

Steeked, blocking, and awaiting zipper installation!

I also steeked my Rock the Lobster! Zipper installation and weaving in ends stand between me and a finished sweater. One of these things is definitely easier than the other, but my plan is to use this zipper installation method (Thanks, Vicki!) But really – I am quite ashamed of myself for letting this sweater languish for almost 2 years unfinished! This sweater will be a great addition to my fall and winter wardrobe and I have another reason to anticipate cooler weather – or at least cooler nights!

Now, on to some amazing reads this week!

In the finish column:

Kitchen Confidential was spectacular. I loved it for its grittiness. Bourdain speaks from his heart and holds nothing back. It is frank, honest, and yes… uncensored. 5-stars… I highly recommend!

The Alchemist…this is one of PBS 100 Great American Books. I loved this story and it has given me much to think about. 5-stars and if you have not read it, do… it is short, sweet, and profound!

Homegoing… I don’t remember who or what directed me to his magnificent novel, but I am so glad I read it! This multi-generational story is absolutely excellent. I love how Gyasi tied all the strings together in the last chapters. I was sad for it to end,which is always a good indicator of the excellence of a novel! 5-stars and I highly recommend!

Artful… sometimes an author you love misses in a work and this novel did that for me. I love Ali Smith’s works, but this one left me flat. It’s a compilation of several talks Ali Smith had done, and I have a feeling that the talks were much more fascinating in person because in print, they missed for me big time. 2-stars and I do not recommend.

Currently reading:

The House at the Edge of Night is on my iPad and I am about a quarter of the way through it. So far… so good. And, I should not have put it aside to read Artful.

In my ears is The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto… I am thoroughly enthralled with this lovely tale and I should be done with it today! And, with this finish I will have my first bingo on my second card!

What about you? What are you making and reading today? If you wrote a post, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 8.8.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.8.18

Greetings, Unravelers!

I have a finished object to share with you all today! That’s right…Kirsten Kapur’s Summer Mystery Shawl is finished, and she is gorgeous! I really love how it turned out, and I knit the extended version of the shawl. Six weeks of clues, and yes… six different lace motifs that merged beautifully into the completed shawl. There was no boredom knitting this, each clue brought new “ooh’s and aah’s” as I knit. It is masterful how well the designs “grow” together! I think this will become a well-worn piece once shawl weather arrives! You can see all the details (and more pictures) here.

My knitting this week has been consumed with my Rock the Lobster… two sleeves are done, and I have about 7 inches of the body completed. I have been sort of obsessed with getting it done since I pulled it out and started knitting it again last weekend. I am debating about trying to install a zipper, rather than knit button bands…but I have never done this with a knit garment. Do any of you have any experience with this? If yes, please share all your tips – good and bad!

My reading has been just as obsessive as my knitting! Ha!

Finishes for me since we last talked:

I flew through The Remains of the Day, and I simply loved it. What a brilliantly written novel and I gave it 5-stars!

Likewise, Paris in the Present Tense was phenomenal listen. I laughed, I cried, I could not stop listening! This too was a 5-star read. This was my first Mark Helprin novel and it won’t be my last!

Brave New World… oh boy. Where does one begin? Honestly, I have read better dystopian novels, but this was a banned book that I had not read. I hope none of this ever comes true and I gave it 3-stars.

Sleeper Novel: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. Really… wow. I loved this book and had no idea where it was going to go! It easily gets 5-stars and I highly recommend! It is well written and a wonderfully told story.

My Current Reads/Listens:

I am listening to Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential read by the author. Bittersweet and brilliant, and I am just about halfway though.

And, The House at the Edge of Night, which I just started on my iPad. No thoughts formulated yet.

My second bingo card is filling nicely, and I have several good things in my queue. I am hoping some holds come through, and if they do – I could see a second cover all for the summer.

That’s all I have for today! What about you? What are you reading and making this week?

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

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Unraveled Wednesday | 8.1.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.1.18

Hello, Unravelers!

Knitting marches on and I am to the amazing and incredible bind-off of KK’s MKAL. I love it, but it is the epitome of slow however, there is a lovely rhythm to it. I should have a photo to share of the finished and blocked shawl next week sometime. Yay!

Meanwhile at my sewing machine…

I have re-positioned darts for an improved fit for the Esme top/tunic. I believe I have now perfected the fit of the pattern and feel ready to forge ahead to fall with some more sewing. I also solved the conundrum of the cap sleeve fit with a bit of bias tape, and the fit and ease of the armscye are greatly improved! All these adjustments consumed my brain and significantly slowed my progress, but the results are so very good, it was worth it! The second Esme top with the bodice adjustments will have three-quarter sleeves and my stack of too-big clothes has almost all been re-purposed into better fitting clothing.

July reading was especially wonderful! I finished three books this week (and 14 books for the month!)

Ready Player One: 4-stars. I enjoyed this book and it held my attention, but it seemed a bit staged to me. If you are a gamer, however, I believe that you would absolutely love this book.

So Long, See You Tomorrow: 3-stars. This book was from Michael Ondaatje’s favorite reads list. It was thus far one of my least favorites… Honestly, I do not at all enjoy any story where “cheating spouses” are the theme. However, how he told the tale from a variety of perspectives was most interesting.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: 3-stars. I had much higher hopes for this book but, for me it fell flat. However, hearing Maya Angelou read it was a high point.

Current reads:

I will finish A Great Reckoning today, and this twelfth book of the series did not disappoint at all. Louise Penny has only improved this series with each successive novel. I highly recommend!

On my iPad I am reading The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, I am not far into it, but so far…so good!

My listening queue has blown up a bit… I am buckled in and ready for all of it and have found audio books the perfect partner for sewing!

What are you making or reading today? If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 7.25.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.25.18

Greetings Unravelers!

I have a FO to share with you all today! Yes, my Beekeeper Cardigan is done! I love how it turned out, and especially the hack of knitting the sleeves flat and seaming them! Thank you, Mary for being the encouragement I needed to step out of the box and try something different! With all the adjustments, this sweater took me 8 days to knit, including the unraveling of the first sleeve and reknitting it. Yes, 8 days to a finished sweater! You can see all the details here.

And, I am back to plugging away at my Vodka Lemonade and making headway through mystery knitting clues. All in all, a very good knitting week!

Did you all see that the Man Booker Longlist was out yesterday? I got very excited to see Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight on the list! Of course, my “want to read” list has expanded but in a very good way!

Now, ready for something really exciting??

I have my Cover All for Book Bingo! That’s right… Bingo Card One is DONE!

I had a good week for finishes:

The Weight of Ink: 4-stars. I really enjoyed this novel, very much! It is well written, and I loved how it posed the two time periods and the two remarkable women, Ester and Helen. If you like history, you’ll love this novel.

Anna Karenina: 4 stars. While it was long (and wordy), but it was an interesting look into life in Russia. If you have not read this classic, you should!

Hillbilly Elegy: 5-stars. This is a well written, and at times, painful look into life for a forgotten segment of society. It is narrated by the author and I highly recommend.

Out Chasing Horses: 4-stars. I have had this book on my “to read” list ever since I finished Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes. This novel did not disappoint at all.

The Long Winter: 4-stars. I have read this book dozens of times and each time something new speaks to me. Also, I am profoundly grateful that we don’t get winters like they did in Nebraska!

Six of Crows: 2-stars. I had higher hopes for this YA novel. I thought it might be a bit like the Magicians, but for me it fell flat.

Ariel: 4-stars. Honestly, I picked this because it was short and really, I knew nothing about Sylvia Plath’s writing (outside of The Bell Curve) and I did not know she was a poet. Some of the poems in Ariel blew me away and I will be looking for more of her poetry to read!

Now, for the current reads: I just started listening to Ready Player One and started reading So Long, See You Tomorrow – both of which I was able to fit in to my second bingo card!

There you have my week! What about you? What are you making and reading this week?

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