Unraveled Wednesday | 4.29.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.29.20

Greetings Unravelers! There was NO unraveling for me this week – and I am almost done with Clue Three of Romi’s Mystery shawl – although it still looks  like the green blob in the photo! Trust me that I am very happy with it and I am even happier to be back on track! I don’t think I will get Clue Four done before the next clue drops Friday but that is okay!

Larissa Brown’s Lunar Mystery Shawl is less taxing to knit, but I love the start! I have sort of bound off the first few clues and am eagerly waiting to see what the next step will be!

I am still slowly working on my crochet circles – not every evening, but most evenings. I always thought crochet was faster than knitting, but apparently that is all relative to your skill level! No photo update this week, but I do have something I have been oogling on Instagram. I am enthralled with all the lovely circles! This especially makes my heart sing!

The reading this week was unexpected and so.good! No bingo yet, but I have filled in two more squares!

Eye of the Red Tsar (Inspector Pekkala #1)Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I almost didn’t borrow this book from my library! I loved it! The writing is good, the characters are intriguing and I loved how Eastland worked in Pekkala’s background to the story. If you are looking for a new mystery series, this one delivers! I have already borrowed the second book of this series! I highly recommend!

Victim 2117 (Department Q, #8)Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this Department Q installment because of Assad. Adler-Olsen spends a good bit of time sharing Assad with us, and there is so much to love! I won’t give anything away, but this novel is brilliantly crafted with two separate but somehow connected crimes. They are tied together brilliantly. This is the first book in this series that I listened to, and it while it was not my favorite way to consume Carl and his team it was not horrible. The narrator was good, but I prefer to read these stories, I think I can read them faster than it too me to listen to it! Sadly, the wait list for the Kindle version was months long, so audio it was! I highly recommend this entire series!

That is all I have for this week! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below! Thank you for joining us!


Unraveled Wednesday | 4.22.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.22.20

I am plugging along on making. The knitting is going well (as expected) however, the crochet…

I do like the “end result” but boy. Who knew my very agile knitting hands could suddenly be all thumbs with crochet. Things I am struggling with: Holding the yarn in the “other” hand (I did not think this would be such a challenge since when I knit color work I use both hands), counting (this is not intuitive – and I have miscounted a number of times which means… RIPPPP! lol) where to “insert” the hook (some instructions say “the back of the loop” but others instructions leave it up to me… oy.) I am following the instructions for leaving a short tail, but how do you “weave in the ends” ??? That looks like it should be tons of fun… NOT! Hahaha! On a brighter note… I only have about 50 more “circles” to go!!

Mary asked on IG “when do we get to see the whole thing??!!!” Okay, I present the whole thing… or at least the start of the “whole thing” I have lots more days to go and lots more stitching to do! You are only seeing about a third of the linen to be stitched.

In the best possible making department…My oldest daughter announced on Monday that they are expecting!

So that means TWO new grandbabies this year! Heidi and Christian are expecting in early July and Rachel and Erik will welcome their little one in September!

It was a mixed bag of reading this week. One book I abandoned at about the halfway point, Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel just was “not for me” at all. I enjoyed Station Eleven, but this was very disappointing. And, Staying At Home does not mean reading bad books.

Smilla's Sense of SnowSmilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved so much about this book, but the ending. Smilla was divine – really a brilliantly written character. She is moody, brash, and questioning…everything. This is just really a book I want to tell everyone to read, but the ending… So, if you like the journey better than the destination, you will enjoy this book.

 

The Ten Thousand Doors of JanuaryThe Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book pulled me in from the first chapter and it was an incredibly exciting journey! This book made me think of so many “what if’s”!! I loved January Scaller! There is a tiny part of me that would love to discover that there are doors in my world leading to so many possibilities! I highly recommend this book!

Hot MilkHot Milk by Deborah Levy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book crossed my radar via an IG post from a librarian – it was one of many books available via Hoopla. So I tried! This book had potential and I really hoped about half way through that Sofia would grow up and become likable. Sadly, for me, she did not.

That is all I have for today! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.15.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.15.20

This week there was a good bit of unraveling. Sigh. Yep, I almost gave up on Romi’s Mystery Shawl (the top green “blob” above). Clue two is a real challenge! (Or perhaps the challenge was that Pear Martini + intricate lace knitting = a colossally bad idea) However, I stayed the course, ripped back, picked up the correct number of stitches (which was a miracle in itself!) and tried again. I have completed the first repeat of chart one, and will continue working through the chart later today.

I have finished clue one of Larissa Brown’s Lunar Mystery knit (The stripey half-circle above) and I am in love! It was a joy to knit and she teased us with some hints for this week’s clue and I.can’t.wait!

I also finished a pair of socks (who on earth am I???) Yep, Coopknits Mystery Socks are done and I love them. The fit is great and there was just enough patterning to be more than just plain socks!

If you have been following my 100 Day Project on IG, you might be thinking, well that’s all kinds of boring. But I am happy to say that what is in my head is flowing nicely into my stitches. I have two corners almost completed and will begin on the other side shortly. Working from the “outside” of my linen to the inside seemed to make the most sense. So look for some more interesting bits coming up!

I am back to slow and steady with my reading, so only one (brilliant) finish this week. And while this might not be a book for everyone, it certainly made me stop and think.

On Earth We're Briefly GorgeousOn Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

They say nothing lasts forever but they’re just scared it will last longer than they can love it.

Haunting, poignant writing. I listened to the author read his story, and I think that helped me stay engaged with this, at times, very painful story. If you have read Vuong’s poetry, his writing will be very familiar. This felt more like poetry than it did a novel, and that is not a negative statement… the writing was just so beautiful.


I have to say, I love that Goodreads has been providing lots of reading inspiration! This curated list has oodles and oodles of things on it! And it is incredibly handy for SAH Book Bingo! As you can see, I am making some progress on my card. I managed to fill in a number of books from last week on this card! And I am doing it a bit differently this year. I have printed off my bingo card, and am using it in conjunction with my Travelers Notebook™ and if when I move on to another card (cards) I can just turn the page and keep going!

That’s all I have for this week, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below! Thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 4.8.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.8.20

Greetings Unravelers!

I forgot to share yesterday my temperature chart, but it deserves a mention. One stunning thing I noted… Pittsburgh only had 4 days in the first quarter where the high temperature was in the 20’s.

Let that sink in a minute. Yes, that is right in 3 months, we had just 4 days in the 20’s. Every month had some temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s… yes, January, February, and March had days that got that warm. If I had not been tracking temperatures, I might not believe it.

This week I blocked my Nymphaladia (which is not yet on Ravelry) and wove in the couple of ends. I love the dramatic change from Monday’s photo!

I also began work on the heel turns on my mystery socks! I don’t think there is one single thing in knitting that brings more wonder that the simple process of turning a heel, and suddenly that flat flap begins to take form and a sock is born from a tube and a flap! I was a bit shocked to see that the color matching sock yarns were dramatically off in matching. Yes, one skein had a significant bit less of the green dyed part. So, these will be off-kilter socks but perhaps that is just what I needed to remember this off-kilter time!

It seems I have finally broken through the Reading Dam with gusto! My read’s this week were all noteworthy! Also, in case you missed it Mary is leading us all in SAH Book Bingo which began April 1st! I wonder if I can fill three cards between now and Labor Day? Anyways, Book Bingo is one of my very favorite things and I hope you join us!

American DirtAmerican Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There has been lots of discussion about this book… and much of it revolved around “don’t read it.” However, I am a Rebel (aka Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies) and being such I felt compelled to read this book. I initially gave this book 4-stars but in thinking about the book for a few days, I really think this is a book deserving of a 5-star rating.

The story’s main characters, Lydia and her son Luca, survive a horrific event and must flee their home in Acapulco. This story revolves around that escape and the people (good and bad) that they meet in their journey.

I was moved by their journey, by their hope, by their determination, and especially by some of the people they interact with. The writing is wonderful – engaging – and it pulled me in from the first sentence. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was excellent.

Look past the hype and the naysayers and read this book! You will be glad you did!

The Unquiet Dead (Rachel Getty & Esa Khattak, #1)The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book one in a series always is a bit of a challenge as you figure out the characters, their backgrounds, and how they came to be together. Rachel and Esa have wonderful potential. This story tackles a devastating time in history (the Bosnian War Crimes) and did so incredibly well! I struggled at first to keep things straight, but thankfully reading on the kindle makes remembering details easy. I am eager to read more of this series.

Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy WeekEntering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by Amy-Jill Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book with my small group, and we watched Amy-Jill’s companion video series. If you want someone to give you a remarkable history lesson on Holy Week – this is the series for you! Levine’s insights and knowledge are wonderful. I learned so many things and my book is full of notes. I highly recommend it!

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and LossLate Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I did not think I was going to like this book at all, especially when I read a woman belongs in her husband’s church – yikes, that was cringe-worthy for me. But, I pressed on and am I glad I did!

Every day the world is teaching me what I need to know to be in the world. In the stir of too much motion: Hold still. Be quiet. Listen.

YES! I needed this reminder. I also needed to shed solidarity tears with Margaret as she sat in the pediatrician’s office with her newborn baby, tired – exhausted really, with a hungry, crying baby, trying her damnedest to breast feed with mastitis. Thank god for doctors that listen and remove the guilt and free you to be a better parent. “The best mother is a happy mother,” she said. “Give that baby a bottle.” AMEN!!

I loved her bird stories, her childhood stories, her parents stories, and how she looks at life. It is not perfect, but my gosh – it can be so beautiful.


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


Unraveled Wednesday | 4.1.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.1.20

Greetings Unravelers!

I am making small bits of progress in the making department. On Saturday, I jumped on the bandwagon to try making a sourdough starter. Starter Success Achieved! I loved having a tiny reminder to go and take care of it every day. And yesterday I had enough “discard” starter to make a batch of Blueberry Sourdough Muffins, which were so good. They are not too sweet, and that delicious tang of sourdough made for the perfect “second cup of coffee” companion!

I  picked up a big bunch of banana’s at Trader Joe’s on Friday and they are slated to become a loaf or two of Sourdough Banana Bread!

My knitting this week has been mainly focused on those mystery socks. The charted stitches are just what I needed…a simple pattern complete with some soothing repeats.

March reading saw a significant slow down…focusing on anything has been a challenge. I only read seven books this month, one of which was an audiobook. The best book of the month was Apeirogon, with 5-stars.

Felon: PoemsFelon: Poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Challenging poems that speak volumes, but the redacted poems… wow. Brilliant.

 

The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy, #1)The Blackhouse by Peter May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mystery within a mystery! The stories unfold slowly, intertwined together until the end when they are solved. I enjoyed the story tremendously and will be reading more in this series!

 

And that is all I have for today! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 3.25.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.25.20

Greetings Unravelers!!

I have finished my Nightshift and I am so smitten!! My ending was a bit sketchy but, I like how it turned out and I used up so much of my handspun yarn! You can read my pattern notes here where I explain my “recipe” for knitting. My goal was to have this completed before I start any of the “mystery” knits coming up (Yes, I am going to knit both Romi’s Mystery Shawl and the Lunar Phases Mystery! It’s Corona-Mystery-Knitting time because I **also** started a mystery sock on Sunday as well!)

The reading has been a challenge in this topsy turvy world. Focusing has been rather tricky, but at least I had 2 finishes this week!

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican DaughterI Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I do not typically read YA novels but this was the next selection in the Read With Us book club. I grew up in a city that had a very large Hispanic population and growing up I had neighbors/friends that I spent time with. I found Julia’s home to be very typical but her friends…not so much. I found that to be curious and it did not quite ring true (at least to me).

I also did not find it believable that Julia’s parents kept so many secrets about their lives “before they crossed the border.” But, it made me think about how tragic it is to be an undocumented worker, never feeling safe and never being able to travel to see family.

There are some significant gaps in the story line with little explanation of what happened. All in all, I do not recommend this book.

What Never Happens (Vik & Stubø, #2)What Never Happens by Anne Holt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started this book thinking there must be a book missing between the first book and this one but I could not find one! So suddenly Johanne and Adam are married and have a new baby. How they got there from book one is an unanswered mystery!

Gruesome murders are taking place and you are nicely drawn into the work to solve the crimes. Overall it is fairly fast-paced, although some parts parts drag a bit. BUT!! the ending is brilliant! No spoilers here, but it was genius and I did not see it coming!

That’s all I have this week! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!


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