While I would love to say that it is all knitting and reading – all the time here, sometimes life interrupts that scheme. This is one of those weeks with lots of busy-ness with Easter prep. Shopping to do, things to ship, meals to plan…in all days of very full lists!
And, sadly, there also has been the tiniest bits of unraveling this week – thanks to my not color-coding a pattern. But, the first clue of the Lunar Phase MKAL is complete and I am eagerly awaiting clue two! Not that I will get to it this week, but it will be my Easter afternoon treat!
I also have been doing a tiny bit of knitting on my Cluaranach, although these dark rainy days make light a premium for knitting with dark purple yarn!
But, fortunately I have a good book or three to keep me company while I prep and knit!
I finished The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. I enjoyed this first book in the Sheriff Longmire series and found it a very enjoyable listen! I am late to the Longmire books, but not to the television series and I liked getting to know the familiar characters better in the story. This won’t be my last Longmire book! I gave it 4-stars and recommend.
I also finished Wave, which was a very quick listen. I gave this book 4-stars – I don’t recall how this book came on my radar, but I am so glad it did. How do you go on in the face of unbelievable tragedy? How do you move forward? How do you not give up when everything inside you is telling you that is just what you should do… Sonali Deraniyagala shares her painful journey in the most beautiful and eloquent way. She shares the ugliness, the wrenching despair, and the journey back to the land of the living. I highly recommend.
But, my stand out this week was a NetGalley ARC of Paula McLain’s Love and Ruin. This book did not at all unfold in a way I expected it to but trust me when I tell you that that was a very good thing! The story is about Martha Gellhorn’s life and relationship with Ernest Hemingway. It is a sad, but very compelling story. I gave this book 5-stars and I highly recommend reading it! The writing is truly wonderful, and it was a book I did not want to end!
I am currently about halfway through the audio-book of All the Light We Cannot See and reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and I am enjoying both tremendously!
If you are joining us this week, please leave your link in the comments. What is on your radar this week!
Now that we have that taken care of, on to the knitting which has been very focused this week!! I began the second half of my Cluaranach yesterday! Once I get through the tricky bits of the border lace charts and on to the body charts, I can get a little more than a pattern repeat done each day. I am going to say it and hopefully not jinx this, but I am feeling hopeful that I will get this done before Easter! I need to do some research on how best to kitchner lace and how to kitchner garter stitch. (If you have a link to instructions that you use, please share them!) True confession: I am surprised at how lacking the instructions are on how to do this. The only other complaint I had about the pattern was the lack of direction on the right side decreases in the border charts – how it is written does not mirror the wrong side decreases – meaning right side and wrong side decreases don’t lay the same way if done as the pattern is written. It took some figuring on my part on how to do the right side decrease so that they line up nicely. A note to knit wear designers… please do not assume that the knitter will “just know” how to do what you do. More detail is always better. Those issues outstanding, the lace charts in the body of the wrap are easy to read and memorize – and thankfully are quick to knit!
The reading this week has been good as well:
I finished The Power and wow. This one easily got 5-stars from me. Without giving anything away, it is a chilling novel of “what if”, it is though provoking and yes, a bit scary.
I also finished A Boy in Winter, which is on the long list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. This was so good, and I gave it 4-stars and I highly recommend this book.
Sometimes, the urge to knit something new is so over powering it defies common sense. That happened this week, I cast on for Anne Hanson’s Cluaranach. I am slowly working my way through the first chart repeats and not doing much knitting on anything else. For a brief second, I pondered being able to finish this before Easter, but then reality set it. I do not think that is at all humanly possible, although the fleeting thought was nice for a second!
However, my reading has been off the charts good!
Sometimes, life needs to stop so one can read all the things, especially when you have a flurry of holds become available at the library. That happened to me in the past week, so I had to get moving on reading!
Make Your Bed which was a nice little palate cleanser, and at 4-stars, I also recommend it!
I did something unusual this week, in that I read actual books: Brianna Wolfson’s Rosie Colored Glasses, which is a stop everything and read this book recommendation. It is Brianna’s debut novel and it is fantastic. It fills the “One-sitting Book” slot on my Read Harder Challenge, that’s right, I started reading it at about 8PM on Monday night and finished it shortly before midnight. It is so good, but be warned, I cried for probably the last 45 minutes or so of the story. It gets 5-stars from me and again, this is a MUST-READ book!
I also read Where the Dead Sit Talking, this was a tough read but well written. 4-stars and I highly recommend.
In the waning days of winter, I have a seriously urge to knit different things! (i.e. NEW things!) I have this urge to cast on all the things and last night at knitting I brought a ball of yarn to do some swatching for a new project. I should have brought a smaller needle too, but I did not and I did not get gauge, but I am certain I will a different size needle.
I must wind some yarn to do another swatch for the Moon Phases MKAL and then decide which color sets I like best. I loved all your votes for the blue/grey with the pop of green-yellow and I am excited to see how this knits up.
See how I am ignoring those mystery socks and the sleeves on my Strokkur? Yeah, I see that too! LOL
I did get Genevieve’s little bear in a bunny suit done! And, I am seriously in love with her (so is Sherman btw! LOL) I need to steam the hood a bit, but she is all ready to be tucked in the Easter basket of one very amazing little girl!
I also finished Grand Central Scarf and I just love how it turned out. I used a skein of Rifton from Jill Draper Makes Stuff. It needs a good soak and a little blocking, but some planned unraveling makes this an easy and fun knit!
March reading is off to a dubious start. I finished Fire and Fury and A Stash of Ones Own. Both fell flat for me and for me they each were 2-star books. There were essays I enjoyed in Clara Parkes book, but most I did not. And, Fire and Fury… what can I say – I liked the book about as much as I like the characters in the book. I pushed aside a Net Galley book to read these library books, but I am glad to be settling back into Paula McLain’s Love and Ruin. I spent a few moments letting her words push out all the disappointment from the other books and I was quickly sucked in and read longer than I intended! I love when a book makes me do that!
I am about half way through the audiobook of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I love it!
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I must confess, I am loving the extra moments of daylight this month brought as well as the bit of spring weather we have had for the past week or so.
This week, there was some unraveling – I ripped out the neck on my Carbeth and am in the process of re-knitting it. I hope that this “theory” works.
I also have had a great deal of fun swatching for the Lunar Phase MKAL. I am undecided with my “dark” yarn. I sent some photos to Vicki yesterday and will wind more yarn today for more swatching! I have narrowed things down a bit:
I have one sleeve almost done on my Strokkur, and I hope to get sleeve two done this week, which ushers in the color work knitting which seems to me to be the “fast” portion of lopapeysa knitting. We have snow in the forecast this weekend, so that might give me some incentive to get it done! Ha!
I also got back to work on my MKAL sock. I am to the heel on Sock One. I am listening to The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels on Audible, so I have 25 hours of listening time! More than enough to get these socks caught up (and done as the last clue is out tomorrow!)
Speaking of reading, February was a very good month for books and I finished 11 books!
I loved Winter by Ali Smith, The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie, and Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingale. However, as the month ends, The Woman Who Smashed Codes remains the best book I have read by far!
I have some good books in the queue for March as well! I am especially excited to start reading Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson and Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson.
What did you read this month that you loved?
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I have lots to unravel today, so let’s get right down to it!
First up, today is my 1,111th post here on As Kat Knits! I had planned on acknowledging that momentous occasion on the 1,000th post, but yeah… it blew by with little notice from me! When I realized it, I thought it would be best to then wait for a nice uniform number… and today is that day! I had no idea that when I started this back in 2006 that I would have this much to say! But, what I love most about this blog is all of you, Gentle Readers! I have met a few of you and have found the nicest community of people anywhere on the internet! Thank you for stopping by here to read what I have to say!
My Olympic Knitting has come to a finish and my Carbeth is s-l-o-w-l-y drying! I had hoped for some photos today, but she is no where near dry enough and since I am using Ann’s plate technique… I am not moving her until she is completely dry! I am also having a bit of an internal debate on the collar, but I am waiting to see how it blocks out.
However, I have moved back to my “regularly scheduled knitting” … that’s right my Mystery Socks are moving through clue two and I will start on the sleeves of my Strokkur today. Yesterday it seemed quite odd to be knitting sweaters and socks with the temperatures soaring into the upper 70’s! I am not ready for warm weather yet, so slow down there winter!
The good reading streak continues with my finish of When We Were Yours – I really loved this book! It is heart wrenching but beautifully told. I gave it 5-stars and highly recommend it!
I also finished God of Howl Mountain, which is an ARC from Net Galley. It was good and shares the way of life in the mountains of South Carolina in the 50’s. I gave it 3-stars because some of the things that happened seemed a little unrealistic and could have been left out, in my opinion. But, all in all, a good read.
I am listening to a bit of a palate cleanser with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. So far, so good – but this is truly light reading for me.
I finally picked up and really got into Ali Smith’s Winter and wow… I love how it is progressing!
And last night I started Paula McLain’s new novel Love and Ruin which I got an ARC from Net Galley.
What is occupying your time this week?
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