Unraveled Wednesday | 5.23.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.23.18

Summer knitting marches on. I am working through the increases of Eavesdrop and I am pleasantly surprised that this experience knitting with linen is not as painful as I imagined it to be. Sparrow is a lovely yarn. But, knitting on size 3 needles is slow going as you would expect. However, I managed to start my second skein last night.

Yes, it was Knit Night last night where a huge discussion happened around swatching. Do you “waste your time” swatching or do you swatch. I was surprised that not everyone swatched! In fact, only half of us there last night did this “phenomenon”. Why this big discussion? Well, one of the knitters was starting a sweater sans swatching. The swatchers in the group wondered how she knew what size to knit. It was quite a lively discussion. What about you? Which camp do you fall in?

On a less controversial note, my yarn from Denmark arrived yesterday as well! Thank you, Holst Garn, from your amazing customer service and speedy shipping! I ordered the yarn on May 12 and it arrived here in 10 days! I highly recommend their customer service – I got emails every step of the way. Maybe I can even manage to do some swatching for a Uniform sweater over the long weekend.

My reading is in sort of a holding pattern right now. I did manage a couple of finishes this week, Caroline Kennedy’s poetry compilation She Walks in Beauty (which I really enjoyed) and The Death and Life of the Great Lakes (which I also loved!).

I have two books that I want to use for Summer Book Bingo, so I can’t finish them until Saturday. So, I have set aside The Baron in the Trees as well as Snow Falling on Cedars, which are both likely be finished Sunday.

But, I have started Lev Grossman’s The Magicians which I will listen to in the interim!

What are you making and reading? And, as always, if you are joining us today – please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 5.16.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.16.18

My sweater qualifies for the close but no cigar prize but if all goes well, it should be done today. I am really hoping that a bit of a soak and some blocking evens out these stitches because I am really worried, especially about the sleeve ribbing and I might have to redo it if blocking does not help as much as I need it to! But, we shall see. My knitting kryptonite is ribbing – I have excessive yarn between my knits and purls and no amount of pulling or tugging helps. They are just sloppy. Where wool is my friend and more forgiving in ribbing, the silk content of this yarn is making the ribbing a real issue for me. However, I will forge ahead and see if soaking helps at all. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I did finish The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and really loved it! I was a little worried after reading Kym’s review, but I am glad I forged ahead and listened to Arundhati read the book. I found those bits in the middle that she found tedious more conversational as the author regaled me with the story. I really enjoyed it and gave it 4-stars!

I also finished The Long Way Home with Armand Gamache. I am simply in love with this series and this book got 5-stars.

I read a post from Michael Ondaatje on Goodread’s earlier this month and in it he shared his favorite books that he would read over and over. I love his writing and just got his new book, Warlight, from the library. But, I also picked a couple of books from his list to start with and I began listening to Rafael Sabatini’s Scaramouche and I am really enjoying it. It is funny, interesting, and it is filled with wonderful characters! I also have The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino that I just put on my iPad to read after I finish The Sparrow, which I am about half way through!

If you missed it, remember Mary’s Summer Book Bingo stars May 26 and you can find all the details here!

That is all I have for this week! What about you? What are you making and/or reading?

And, if you wrote a post today, please leave your link!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 5.9.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.9.18

Houston…we have sleeve divide!! Yes, at long last I have divided for the sleeves in my Lucinda sweater! That’s lotsa knitting! Although, it was kind of nice to just knit without having to pay much attention being closer to a completed sweater feels so very good!

I am pondering my next project (I know… what on earth is wrong with me!!), and I think it will be a new Vodka Lemonade for me…interspersed with a plethora of socks. Yes, that is right. I am going to work on finishing up the mates for several single socks that have been languishing around my knitting bag!

Now, how about some reading updates:

The reading has slowed down a bit, thankfully!

I sadly finished Amor Towles Rules of Civility. I really loved it and did not want to end! His writing does not disappoint, and the way he uses words can take me away from what I am doing, and I get completely immersed in the story. This book got 5-stars from me and I highly recommend!

I also finished Russian Roulette. It is well-written and offers a clear and concise timeline for all that led up to the election and includes the first months of the Trump presidency. I gave this book 3-stars.

The Sparrow came through from the library, so I started reading that before bed. I am still trying to figure out exactly what is going on, but what I can ascertain is most curious!

I should be done today or tomorrow with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which I am enjoying. Listening to the author read this story gets high marks from me, and for me, makes this story more interesting. If I was reading it, I might have glossed over some bits – but listening to Arundhati tell me the story is almost conversational.

That is all I have for this week! What’s on your plate today?

And, if you have prepared a post, please be sure to leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 5.2.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.2.18

Greetings Unravelers!

The sewing is going well! Uniform top #1 is done! I do need to make some alterations to the pattern when I make another one, but I think they will be easy alterations. I love how clear and concise the instructions are! I did do some modifications – I did flat felled seams, and made a slight adjustment to the tunic pieces in how they are hemmed. There will be more of this top in my future!

The knitting grows on my Lucinda sweater, as you can see in the above photo!

Things I discovered: I much prefer knitting with 100% wool yarn. I am finding it hard to keep an even tension with the silk-wool combination of this yarn. There are some spots where my stitches are quite different (read looser!) but I am not unraveling to fix them. I also had to do some “pre-planning” about weaving in ends. Silk-wool does not full together, so spit splicing was not an option. Also, this sweater is knit wrong-side-out…so weaving in ends on the purl side (or the right side) is not an option either. My solution? I am knitting about 6-8 stitches with the old ball and the new ball held together. I will leave a bit of a tail on the inside, and I think this will work. I can’t see the areas held double when I look at the fabric, so I hope I am good!

Now, let’s do a bit of a reading review, shall we? All in all, it was a very good month. I finished 16 books! Yikes! That was not planned, but rather I had a “it poured” moment from the library with holds that came through. I don’t think May will end with that volume of books read, but we shall see – and the end of the month brings Summer Book Bingo! Out of the 16, there were 4 books I gave 5-star reviews to, 8 books got 4-star reviews and I’d say that makes a darn good month of reading!

My finishes:

Home Fires by Kamila Shamsie. I liked this book very much and gave it 4-stars. There is so much to think about in this book and Kamila does a great job of sharing the story of Muslim immigrants. I highly recommend.

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian was, imo, horrid. At 1-star, and I found it to be a colossal waste of reading time. You can read my review here, but be warned, it has spoilers. A blog friend felt bad about my review and suggested I try another Bohjalian novel (she suggested The Double Bind). Surprisingly there is a long wait list at the library, and the reviews are very mixed on it on Goodreads, so I am having a bit of a debate about reading this with myself.

Bring Me Back is B.A. Paris’ latest novel and I received a copy from NetGalley for review. I was disappointed in this, her third novel, and I gave it just 2-stars and I do not recommend. You can read my review here, and again – it contains spoilers.

On a brighter note, I also finished Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, which I loved! 4-stars and I highly recommend this short but lovely novel!

And, finally I listened to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. This year is the 60th anniversary of the book and somehow, I had managed to avoid reading this until now. I loved it, it is brilliantly written. If you have not read this, I recommend listening to it. It is short, but riveting!

I have 2 long audiobooks that will close out the Library Waiting List Bonanza: Amor Towles Rules of Civility and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. I am over half way through listening to The Rules of Civility and so far, so very good!

I am reading another Net Galley book: Ohio a novel, by Stephen Markley. I have just begun reading it and don’t really have a feel for it yet.

And, finally, I started Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn as well. This is due back to the library next week, so I need to get going on it!

There you have it… my entirely Unraveled Wednesday!

What was good in your April and what are you hoping May holds for you?

If you are joining along, please leave your link and thank you!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.25.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.25.18

Greetings, Unravelers!

How is it even possible that this is the last Wednesday of April?? What is usually the loveliest of spring months here has been hardly spring like at all, but it seems in the ‘weather battle’ spring is finally gaining some ground. I have a lilac bush that is filled with blooms waiting to burst open and I am so excited for that to happen! This lilac bush came by way of salvaging her from a neighbor’s yard trash after they did some serious ‘pruning’ of their massive bush. But, she took root and this year she is showing signs of truly flourishing, with lots of new growth and blooms-to-be galore!

One would think that with all the wintry weather we have had, I would have finished another wool sweater – but something inside me just rebelled at the idea. And, so I knit other things (and gladly!) Now, with hints of spring increasing – I have started what I hope will be a transition piece. I thought it would be slow going, but I have managed to get a good bit done as I had to be some place yesterday and wait for an installation technician to work his magic. Sometimes, volunteer work has its benefits and 4+ hours of knitting time is a good benefit! (And, actually I was trapped for over nine hours with a good 4 hours of the time trying to help troubleshoot! This might have outweighed the benefits of knitting time, just sayin’)

My reading has been at a fevered pitch as I have gotten an onslaught of books off hold at the library and I had a Net Galley finish as well! This week I can share the following finishes:

My one Net Galley selection for the month was Jo Nesbø’s Macbeth, which was one of the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I am a fan of Nesbø so I jumped at the opportunity to request this book. Macbeth did not disappoint at all, despite a bit of a slow start…and I don’t mean a slow start in what is going on in the story, but rather slow in my reading as there is lots going on and lots of characters to remember! Nesbø hits a homerun with his adaptation of Macbeth. Throughout the book, as the characters unfold, I questioned whether absolute power corrupts or does a corrupt person take advantage of absolute power? All the characters are flawed, yet some rise above their flaws and find the inner strength to make the right decisions. If you are a fan of Nesbø, Macbeth will not disappoint! I gave it 5-stars and highly recommend this book!

I also finished Louise Penny’s How the Light Gets In, and wow! This book ties up some of the loose ends from previous novels and Penny does the tie up’s in a wonderful way. I cried, I laughed, and I grew to love even more the characters in Penny’s novels. 5-stars and a must-read series!

I also listened to The Death of Ivan Ilych as I dipped my toes into Tolstoy. I must say, for a short story, this one is packed full of thought-provoking things! It is short, the narration was wonderful, and I highly recommend!

I am currently reading The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian and listening to Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie – although I am not sure I will continue with Home Fire but, I am giving it a try.

AND, I got a book from the library that I have been waiting for that I am excited to read!

And, what about you? What are you making and/or reading today?

If you are joining us today, please leave you link below, and thank you!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.18.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.18.18

No unraveling here this week, just long rows of knitting as I have joined all the sections of my Lunar Phases together. These rows require counting and keeping track of where you are, but it is rhythmic and fun knitting as I see it growing, albeit slowly!

I am a little antsy about what project to start next and not at all sure what I want to do. I want to knit a cardigan from Uniform, but I am uncertain what style to knit, or what material to knit with. However, I have some lingering projects that I should be disciplined and finish. Or perhaps, I should do a bit of sewing or at the very least, I should make the muslin to determine the alterations necessary on a sleeveless Uniform Top. It seems I am as unsettled as the weather has been!

Fortunately, the reading has been not unsettled at all, although not all the reading has been great!

I devoured Jason Matthews Red Sparrow. It was fantastic! I loved the story and the recipes. And, I am eagerly awaiting the second book of the trilogy. This is a 5-star book and I highly recommend!

Thanks to long hours of yard work over the weekend, I also finished listening to The Idiot. I am not sure what was the greater punishment – the yard work or the book. I am surprised, as The Idiot made the long list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. I was not impressed at all and gave it 2-stars. I do not recommend it at all.

I “cleansed my palate” with the quick listen of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men – read by Gary Sinise. Short, sweet, and, more importantly, it reminded me how much I love Steinbeck.

I just started listening to Flat Broke with Two Goats, which is The Big Library Read choice for spring. It is not at all what I expected, but I am enjoying it tremendously.

What are you making or reading (or both!) this week? If you wrote a post today, please leave the link to the post in your comment! And, thank you!

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