Let me just say that knitting something for 34-ish inches in stockinette can be quite boring…except when you have 5 seasons of DCI Banks to binge. And, that is partially how I got those 34-ish inches knit quickly! I have now moved on to the sleeves, which I am knitting at.the.same.time and it is moving along nicely. Thus far, I am really loving the start of Reagan!
Pie wrapped in wax-paper freezes beautifully and one little square is the most lovely afternoon treat!
But!! It has not been all knitting, all the time around here! Impending autumn, cooler weather, and an abundance of amazing fruits at the local market are just the thing to get me back into the kitchen! I have been feverishly baking to fill the freezer with some goodies. Sunday, I made an Apple Slab Pie, which turned out stunningly and I highly recommend the recipe. And I also made my tried and oh-so-delicious Bottom Crust Plum Pie from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts cookbook. On Monday, I made a batch of Pati’s Salsa Verde and Tuesday I made a double batch of Bourbon Peach Hand Pies (with this pie crust). The freezer is on its way to being replenished, and I still have some apples that I am thinking about what to do with. Perhaps something with puff pastry… hmmm.
Peach Hand Pies… all ready for the oven!
Now, on to the reads!
I managed to finish A Bridge of Clay, Suite Françoise, and The Crossing Places.
I had been on the wait list at the library for A Bridge of Clay for a very long time, and then I saw it was going to be available right about the time that I started War and Peace – so I moved myself back in the queue and I am so glad I did that. This book was one that I did not need to rush though. The story is all about the Dunbar family – and really the Dunbar brothers, especially Clay. I laughed, I cried and cried some more. It was truly an amazing story – and I listened to the audio version, that Markus Zusak read. I highly recommend – 4 stars.
Suite Françoise appeared on my radar thanks again to Carole. I was in luck that it was available at the library. It was a book that I savored – reading a little bit every night. It is a story about the WWII occupation of France. I want to say the story is wonderful, but that might lead you to believe that war occupation is idyllic – which is hardly the case. The writing is wonderful and it kept me wondering what might happen next and how it would unfold. The characters are beautifully developed and the story weaves perfectly between them all. But, for me the most amazing part of this story was the ‘back story’ on the writer – this novel was published 64 years after her death in Auschwitz…and I also highly recommend this book as well – 4 stars. (The movie version is available on Netflix that I might settle in with this week to knit those sleeves!)
Finally – one of you Unraveler’s mentioned The Ruth Galloway Mysteries and I pleasantly raced through The Crossing Places. I enjoyed it and loved how the author lead me along with Ruth as she figured out “who did it” and I have queued up a few more of the mysteries in this series! 4-stars for this first novel!
As always, if you wrote a post to share this week, please leave your link below and thank you!
Today, I am going to talk about languishing projects… sometimes they languish for a reason, amirite?
This one has been languishing for a L-O-N-G time.
For the longest time I tried and tried to get back to knitting it. Why, I even put it in the basket next to my bed thinking that might spur me to work on it.
It didn’t. And, then it dawns on you why this is a languishing project…. You just don’t want the sweater at all – you won’t wear it, it no longer (or perhaps never) was what you were looking for.
But you bought the yarn – so you must knit it, right?
Nope! You don’t. And, today I am frogging it – guilt free!
Oh, and all that Einband is about to become Reagan – and I could not be happier about it!
Now, my reads this week:
First – after Carole’s review of Days Without End, I was so happy to see it was available from the library. Wow – I loved it! Every single word. It is a painfully poignant story and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. Just go read it! (And, the audio version had a marvelous narrator!) 5-stars
Up next, Big Sky – the fifth book in the Jackson Brodie series. I enjoyed it – tremendously (although it took me a bit to get into it, but once I did, I devoured it!) 4-stars.
What about you? Do you have a languishing project you just need to frog?
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I confess, I laughed at the comments about “making jam in this heat” from Monday’s post. So, true confession time…. I do not go to a Raspberry Farm and pick buckets of berries. I head to my back yard and pick berries from 6-ish plants. I am lucky if I get a cup of berries a day. This translates to “uber small batch jam making” and I am going to let you all in on a HUGE secret…I use the easiest raspberry jam recipe on earth. No standing at the stove cooking berries, no pectin (yes, really… no pectin at all), and no water bath steaming up the house. And, before 8 AM, I my day of “jam making” is done. The jam has been transferred to jars and waiting to head to the freezer. It will keep beautifully for a year (maybe longer, but it honestly does not last that long around here!)
Other making this week included a seersucker, pocketless Uniform Tunic and an Esme Tunic! (Today’s sewing will include another uniform top!) One might think that remaking the same few things over and over and over again gets boring but, in reality, it is quite the opposite! I find that I must think less about the “how” and can think more about the subtle changes! This time the Esme pockets have merged into the side seam completely and I love this little change! It gives the pocket and the garment a little more structure if you are going to use the pockets! Also, the Grainline Studio sleeve hack worked well on this Esme Tunic! In the Uniform Tunic as I began to work with the very lightweight seersucker fabric, I realized that pockets would not work at all and would add weight to the top and change the drape of the fabric. So… no pockets. If I had never made either of these patterns before I don’t think I would have felt okay with making these changes! I will try and get pictures to share on Friday.
My Romi-is-a-freaking-genius sweater has departed the “puzzle stage” and has suddenly morphed into a sweater! It still does not look like much, but I hope to have something to show you on Friday as well!
AND!! I started the heel on my Non-Eucludian socks! Waahoo!
Now, how about some reading awesomeness?!?
My Cover All is Complete!
I finished strong with War and Peace and Purple Hibiscus!
I loved War and Peace. It was so good. The thing that struck me most profoundly was the dichotomy between the lives of those serving in the war and those not serving in the war. Life and Death versus Life of Frivolity – on steroids! Also, I had no clue that Freemasonry was a thing in Russia. There was not one moment in all the 60+ hours of listening that I was bored or wanted to listen to something else – it was truly a pleasure to be immersed in this book! If you want to up your classic game this fall, I highly recommend this one!
Purple Hibiscus filled the “book I own” square and as such I read it slowly. It is a beautiful written story – I dearly loved Kambili. It is a story of growing up, family, and freedom. I highly recommend!
I also listened to Ruth Reichl read Save Me the Plums… so so good. Ruth is a brilliant memoir writer and I devoured this book about her time at Gourmet magazine. I highly recommend listening to Ruth tell you her story!
Finally, I also devoured The Nickel Boys and loved it! Colson Whitehead is a brilliant writer and this story gripped me from the first sentence to the last. Colson again shows me how little I know… truly how pitifully little I know. If you have not read this book – you should! And, to make that easier – if you leave me a comment today saying that you’d like to read The Nickel Boys – I will “pay it forward” as Juliann sent me her copy so I could read sooner than the library waitlist. I will pick a name next Monday and get the book off in the mail to you!
And, there you have my unraveling, but I want to know… what are you excited about today?
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I must confess that I found this knit to be a real slog. It was slow going and tedious, unlike Screen Door which was so much fun and so easy! However, I am happy it is finished, and I even think it will get some use in the coming months.
I am still working away on my sweater puzzle… sorry, I don’t have pictures to share as yesterday was the greyest of days. There just was not enough light to get a good photo. However, I am further along than the last photos! I am well into the back section and still have not finished the first *partial* hank of yarn! This is a very rewarding knit – I love checking off each section and row as I complete them!
The reading this week has also been most rewarding!
I finished two books and *should* finish one more today!
Station Eleven – which is a curious novel set in North America following a flu pandemic that has killed almost the entire world population (how they know this is never explained.) Somehow there is no electricity or public utilities, but there are some settlements of people. The story revolves around an orchestra/theater troupe who is nomadic – traveling along the shores of Lake Michigan, of all places! At first, I had a hard time keeping track of things – as it jumped back in time frequently. I was tempted to stop reading the book until all of a sudden – I didn’t want to stop reading. It took the author some time – but about halfway though you begin to see where she is going and how things are connected. And the ending – wow! It leads me to think there will be another book… at least I hope so! 4-stars!
I also finished If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. This book had some very entertaining moments… but it also had some very disjointed moments. This was probably not a good book to read at the end of the day before I went to sleep. The opening sentences told me how I should read it and perhaps I should have heeded those instructions: “You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade.” I am going to heed Calvino’s advice and read this book again. 3-stars!
That is all I have for this week! What about you? What is rewarding in your life today?
As always, if you wrote a post to share – please leave your link below and thank you!
I almost have a finished object this week – I bound off this shawl late last night, but it still needs a bit of a spa treatment and a good blocking! Stay tuned for glamour shots next week!
But that means – I can cast on something new! And, cast on I did! – although I am not far, I have begun a new project! I also will be winding some yarn to cast on a pair of Non-Euclidean Stripey Socks!
Ahh, the joy of starting new knitting projects – is there anything better? Okay, maybe new sewing projects might be as good! And, I have some sewing projects that I hope to work on this week as well!
Now, how about some reading updates!
I did manage to finish one book this week. It was not a book for bingo, but it was a book that I could not put down once I started it! The River by Peter Heller did live up to the hype – it is well written and very fast-paced – 4 stars and I recommend if you are looking for a quick summer thriller!
I am more than halfway through War and Peace and, believe it or not, I am still loving this epic tome!
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I am back to patiently knitting my shawl and I am *almost* to the point where I get to do the little “flower” motif! Wooo!
As for Early Bloomer… I wore it on Monday and thought about the fit all day. Sadly, I have determined that I need to rip it back to the sleeve divide and re-knit the body… smaller. Yes, I am upset about this as well, so it is in a bit of a time out while I finish the shawl.
It might even stay in time out while I knit Romi’s new sweater.
This really caps off a very unfocused July and I have learned my lesson (or re-learned it – in my case!) No impulse knitting – it never turns out well…
The reading though…I am about a tenth of the way through War and Peace – 10-ish hours down…40-ish more to go. I am entirely engrossed with the story and the writing is very good – which is a very good thing when a book is so long!
I finished the third installment in the Inspector Lynley series – Well Schooled in Murder. I just love this series and am eagerly awaiting the next book – I am on the wait list at the library, and fortunately, I don’t think the wait will be long! It was another 5-star book and I highly recommend this series!
I also finished The Silent Patient… I am not sure where the recommendation for this one came, but oh boy. I thought it a bit contrived, I knew “who did it” almost immediately, and from there the remainder of the novel was quite predictable. I had originally given it 3-stars, but I downgraded it to 2-stars for the lack of originality. I do not recommend.
That is all I have this week! I hope your making has been much better than mine! What’s on your radar this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below – and thank you!