Unraveled Wednesday, June 7

Unraveled Wednesday, June 7

Sometimes life gets in the way of knitting and that happened to me this week in the form of a delivery of 7 yards of mulch on Monday. So, for the past two days, Steve and I have been moving the mountain of mulch from the driveway to all the garden beds.

FYI: 7 yds of mulch is over 3′ tall and 10′ wide…

Let me tell you, that’s a lot of moving!

While this was not so great for knitting productivity, it is excellent for audiobook listening! I am now more than half way through Marie Antoinette: The Journey and I am quite enthralled with her. The narration is also excellent (FYI, it’s Donada Peters). I have been laughing and have generally fallen in love with Marie. I have not gotten to the “rough parts” yet, but I fear that I will shed a tear or two. If your Summer Book Bingo has the “biography of a royal” I highly recommend this audiobook!

Last night, I collapsed on the couch after a long hot shower and I pulled out a simple sock to knit. You know… something mindless to just knit on. Following a pattern did not sound appealing so I did not work on the cloche I am knitting with the Year of Techniques crew – but if you have not started this month’s pattern, you should. It is a Romy Hill pattern and it is beautiful. I am about half way through the first repeat section, so no quite half way. I also did not want to count rounds on my dear little trial mouse. I am on leg one. Which means I have a leg, 2 arms, and a tail to knit before completion. Oy. I think I better start on Genevieve’s mouse sooner than later.

Also… next week (the 15th) begins Kirsten Kapur’s Summer MKAL – you will find the details here. The pattern is being offered at a reduced price before the MKAL begins, just saying. However, I did get those gold singles plied. I am quite happy with both yarns.

I am itching to cast on, so I am really happy that the mulch moving is in essence done (there is a wee bit of spreading to finish up)! What is your “Go To Mindless Knit”?

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 31

Unraveled Wednesday, May 31

Greetings Dear Unravelers!

I have good things to share with you today – it seems as if I have found my “sense of urgency” and have this dire need to finish up some lingering projects.

That means I have kitchnered some sock toes and I am cruising down the foot to a toe of a second sock, which will give me a completed pair! I also have begun Steve’s second helical sock which is my “travel sock” so hopefully this will mean it is done sooner than later!

Sometimes, the “feel good” of finishing something gives you some motivation to finish more, amirite?

This has also kicked in with reading…I have my first square completed on my Summer Book Bingo card!

My first finish: Moby Dick, which I gave 5 stars on Goodreads. If you have not read this classic, might I suggest you download the Moby Dick Big Read podcast and settle in for a good listen. Now, some people might be put off by 136 different narrators, but I truly loved it! I am embarrassed to say I should have read this in high school but “faked it” for class. However, I can honestly say my appreciation of this incredible work of art would have been lost on my 17-year-old self. Melville brilliantly builds the cast of characters that are aboard the Pequod and I found each one quite endearing for entirely different reasons. And, while I enjoyed Ismael’s narration, my favorites were Queequeg, Tashtego, and Dagoo. I simply loved them. If you need a classic for Book Bingo, look no further and give this a listen!

I have lots of books in progress currently, and I am giving priority to library books that are due back this month. So, even though I have no square for it (although perhaps my “any book” space?) I am reading Tana French The Likeness. And, I have been reading selectively from Alabama Studios Sewing Patterns – so much to take in!

What are you reading and making this week!

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 24

Unraveled Wednesday, May 24

Hello Dear Unravelers!

This is it, the post where I reveal the list of what I hope to accomplish this summer. Get ready, because it is long!

In the finish category… (as in I have started and I need to finish)

  1. My Air Soft Shawl (AKA Brambling Shawl)
  2. Montadale Socks
  3. Daelyn pullover
  4. Steve’s Socks
  5. Spring Dream KAL (for Rachel)
  6. Test Mouse (because I have never knit stuffed animals and practice makes perfect – or at least allows you to work out the problems?)
  7. TTL MKAL Socks (I have less than a half a sock to go)
  8. Rock the Lobster (1/2 a sleeve to go and the body of the sweater, so a good bit of knitting)
  9. February Lady Sweater, perhaps (this is iffy, but maybe)

Yes, there is LOTS of knitting here, I am not sure I even need a second category, but go big or go home, amirite?

In the Start and finish Category:

  1. I have the yarn to knit a lopapeysa or two. But, having knit 2 of them, I know they are quick knits! So, I am kind of excited about this! But if these bump a little into the fall, that would be fine by me. After all I am not wearing them until then!
  2. Calliopsis with Sheepspot Yarn
  3. Kraemer Yarns Cowl
  4. Bijou Basin Mitts
  5. Genevieve’s Mouse
  6. TTL Summer Shawl MKAL

Yes, these are daunting lists. Good thing I have an entire summer to work on all that.

The basket is packed full!

And, speaking of the mouse – I have the head done! The cotton yarn is really lovely. It is not harsh on my hands, and knits up beautifully. I have started the body.

Now, how about a bit of a book review.

The Lake by Lotte and Soren Hammer. This is Book 4 in the Konrad Simonsen series and this book is my second book from NetGalley. If you like Scandinavian Noir, you will love this book! I liked it so much that I added Book 1 The Hanging to my summer reading list. It is well written and very captivating. The story unfolds with a crime and then it is off and running. The writers weave through the story the police working on figuring out the crime and the criminals and their corruption. It is gritty, and at times unsettling, but these things are not unwelcome in the story at all. I found in Konrad Simonsen another detective that I believe I will love as much as Karl Morck and Armand Gamache. Konrad is brilliantly intelligent and wonderfully human. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am giving it 4 stars on Goodreads.

I started a new book from the library last night, Tana French The Likeness. No thoughts yet, as I have just started reading. I hope to get further into this today if time allows! Summer Book Bingo starts this weekend, are you ready? What’s on your list this summer?

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Summer has abruptly arrived here in the Pittsburgh area. Temps climbed into the 80’s yesterday and are slated to climb into the 90’s today. This has created a sense of urgency for the garden, but I won’t be transplanting young plants in that heat. They can wait shaded on the porch until later in the week when the temperatures are more moderate.

On the reading front, I finished The Lake and I loved it! Look for a full review next week! I am back to The Girl in Green by Derek Miller and I am enjoying it. I also have printed out my Summer Book Bingo Card. If you want to join in, you can get all the details here from Mary.

I was so excited to learn that my local Knit Night group is no longer meeting at the world’s worst knitting shop! The shop owner for unknown reasons has cancelled knit night at the shop so they are now meeting at my favorite library on Tuesday nights. Last night was my first night back at the new location. I am still working away on the Air Soft Shawl but I am at the point of repeating rows and staggered increases – it is not a “mindless knit” right now. So, knitting it seemed like an exercise in futility (or frogging…) so I knit on the KAL since my kit arrived on Monday. I was unsure how I’d like knitting with such big needles (you cast on with a US17 and then knit with a US15 for a good bit) but it seems okay, if albeit a bit awkward managing those needles until the fabric grows a bit. However, I love the texture of the knitting and I learned a new stitch K1-rb (Knit 1, row below) This stitch creates an elongated stitch and has a lovely texture. I have a bit more to go until I switch to a smaller needle.

That is all I have for this Wednesday. What are you making and reading?

Unraveled Wednesday, May 10

Unraveled Wednesday, May 10

Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday! Today, I am happy to say, there has been no unraveling and I even have a finished object!

First up, Settler Shawl – okay, I don’t think I would actually classify this a shawl – more like a scarf or a shawlette perhaps, due to the yardage of my yarn choice. But, I only had one skein – I received Sterling Silk and Silver yarn from Kraemer Yarns and I have never knit with “sparkly” yarn because, well, sparkles are not my thing. However, this is not super sparkly, it has a very subtle sparkly-ness to it! But the hand of the yarn is really what I want to talk about – it feels very cottony, and in a very good way! There is zero itch factor at all with this yarn – so if you have someone who struggles with wool, this might be the yarn for them! However, the blend is not cotton – but rather silk. Because of the silk content (20%) I was a bit worried about how to wash and block the shawl. I did give it a good bath in tepid water (not hot and not cold) with a little bit of Soak Wash™, letting it rest in the water about 15 minutes. I then squeezed out the excess water and ran it through the spin only cycle on my washer. I did not pin this out to block it at all – I did not want to lose any of the garter squishy-ness! I just laid it flat to dry and gave it a little tug here and there to open up the crossed stitch sections. I would love to knit this again with the same yarn (this time with 2 skeins to make it be a shawl). And, yes – I would absolutely knit with this yarn again!

Now, I am back to cruising along on my “Air Soft Shawl” and I am to the point in the pattern where the repeats begin. So, the knitting is with pencil and paper to keep track of everything!

On the finished book list – nothing yet! I had hoped to finish The Lake yesterday, but it did not happen! But, oh my gosh I love this book! It is gripping from the beginning. And, I am adding Konrad Simonsen to the company of Carl Morck and Armand Gamache! He is wonderful! This is the first book I have read by Lotte and Soren Hammer, but it won’t be the last. I should be able to finish this up today, and then back to The Girl in Green.

There you have my knitting and reading for the week. What are you making and reading? Or is it an unravel week for you? Please share!

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 3

Unraveled Wednesday, May 3

Hello and Welcome Unravelers! Happy Wednesday!

I have lots to share with you today!

First up, a book review:

I finished my first book for NetGalley and, sadly, I did not choose well. I selected The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech because the title intrigued me but, for me, the book did not live up to its name! This book is set in England and it is supposed to be a mystery. I made sure I did not read any reviews before I began reading the book. However, in reading reviews upon finishing the book, I am left wondering if I somehow read a different. While I only gave it 2 stars, it has an average rating of 4.26 on Goodreads. The book starts out with a woman who is packing to leave her abusive husband – in her packing, she discovers that a book is missing. Her husband, who is never late, is late arriving home from work, and she gets a call from a friend who shares that a boy (Conor) is missing. Perhaps, it is just me – but at this point in the reading, I figured that the husband had the book and the boy. The remainder of the book is divided between “the book” (which gives background on Conor who is in foster care), the woman (Bernadette), and the husband (Richard). Outside of Conor, I found the characters extremely shallow and they did little to endear themselves to me. I wish I could say that the ending surprised me, but it did not at all. I found it a slow and difficult read as it never really engaged me.

My next book from NetGalley is a much better choice: The Lake by Lotte and Soren Hammer. Okay, I am about half way through this, and from the first chapter it has been riveting! Nordic Noir FTW! (I think you can see here the pattern of what I like to read – I do not like being able to figure out the story until the end, if I can I am so disappointed in the writer!)

Now on to knitting!

I am almost done with the Settler Shawl and I really love it. The crossed stitches are an interesting detail (which I goofed up on the second set, but I like the goof up I made, so I will repeat that error! My error? I crossed the stitches on the wrong side the second time as I miscounted the garter repeats, but I like how they go different ways – so I am going with this mistake!)

I am still moving along as well on my Air Soft Shawl and I am still loving it so much. I am not quite at the half way point, but I am close! My plan for the remainder of the week is to catch up on what is on the DVR and get some knitting done!

Oh, and I ordered the kit for the next AYOT project from those bad enablers over at MDK. But, I managed restraint until seeing what the project is! A certain special someone I know has a birthday coming up, and this is too cute! However, casting on won’t happen until both of these things are done! (famous last words!)

What are you knitting and reading? Or crafting and reading! Or just crafting? Or maybe only reading? Really, share whatever you are doing!

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