Unraveled Wednesday | 5.4.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.4.22

I wish I could be perky and cheerful today… but I am not. The leaked news this week was a gut punch… although I was expecting that very outcome, reading the leaked brief made it a reality that I don’t want to accept. In my life, I never imagined that I would lose rights… and it is just so damned wrong and it makes me mad as hell that the SCOTUS and the GOP believe women are not capable of making their own decisions about their own bodies. It feels very… dystopian … and so effing wrong…sigh.

Anyways, I did finish last month’s Gnome and I thought I should show Bonny that her arms are now attached!! Meet Gnorwen! I made one last year for Steve’s mom and I really liked her so I am thrilled now to have my own Gnorwen sitting on my mantle now. I do not have plans to make ice cream cones for her to hold… rather I think she is perfect as she is! (although, to be completely honest, I am contemplating knitting a tiny uterus for her to hold)

Apparently a bit of angst is apparently good for knitting… because I am one very short sleeve away from a finished Tegna! Woo! I should have the stitches picked up today and a completed sweater shortly after that! I need to weave the ends in and give it a nice bath and then I am ready for summer! (now if spring would just stay here! ha!)

On the reading front, things are moving slowly. I am still making my way through The Books of Jacob. I have about 200 pages to go and I really don’t want it to end! I did have one finish this week… I raced through another Allon book… they are hard to put down!

The Other Woman (Gabriel Allon, #18)The Other Woman by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whatever hiccup happened in book #17, The Other Woman is back on track. It was full of intrigue…someone’s service has a mole and people are paying with their lives.

It is fast paced and Allon is back in excellent form!

I highly recommend this series!

That is all I have today, what about you? What are you lingering over?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.27.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.27.22

I did practically no knitting on vacation, although I took two projects…sigh.

But!! I came home to find three blooms on the  new lilac shoots that have sprung up from the dying bush Steve trimmed back last fall. (I began the discussion of digging the lilac bush out, but have made no headway… yet, lol) I brought those three blooms inside for me to enjoy…and I wish you could experience how lovely they smell!

Since our return on Sunday I have managed to get some inches done on my Summer Tegna, in fact I have about an inch and a half to go to the “great divide”! Woo! I am extremely happy with my yarn choice for this Tegna…Hempathy. It is such a work horse yarn, I have a sweater I knit over 8 years ago that I still wear regularly…and it is a toss in the washing machine and dryer knit!

We had a little burst of warm weather, however bitterly cold temps are on their way… grrrr. I am really over the freezing temps, just saying.

The reading was as slim as the knitting this week. Vacationing with a “non-reader” means not much reading time for me. However, I did have one finish. Not the best book I have ever read, but at least a finish! Ha! But I should finish The Books of Jacob today, if I can carve out some reading minutes today. It has been a true reading commitment and I am really enjoying the writing and the story!

OutsideOutside by Ragnar Jónasson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have read other Ragnar Jónasson books before and I enjoyed them but, sadly, this book was a real miss for me.

The story is told from the viewpoints of the four “suspects” and unfolds slowly as each character reveals a bit more. You begin to see that each character has probable cause and I began to settle in to allow the mystery to unfold in this manner…. and then suddenly it ended. I mean the book ended… not the story. I am wondering if the ARC does not have the actual ending… because I am left feeling very confused.

I would encourage you to read any other Jónasson book and give this one a pass.

I would like to thank Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Minotaur for the ARC.

What about you? What are you making and reading this week?

I will see you all back here on Friday with a  bit of a “What I Did On My Spring-ish Vacation” post!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.20.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.20.22

Very little knitting has happened since last week but that is not necessarily a bad thing! Instead we have been braving the windy cold weather and trekking all over Presque Isle in Erie PA! Yesterday we even “enjoyed” the lake effect flurries that joined us on a very brisk walk, lol.

However, even though I am spitting in the eye of Mother Nature on the weather this week, I would love to see an end to anything that could be remotely described as wintry anything and am really ready for some actual spring-like weather. But!! We have had some incredible sunny moments… and I will take the sunshine even if the temps are only in the 20’s!

I do have some reading updates to share with you all! I had one book I did not finish: The Paper Palace was just not a book for me. I tried, but bailed on it fairly quickly.

I did have some very interesting finishes this week – not all were great – and I continue to work through The Books of Jacob… I am about 2/3’s through it and loving every moment!

MigrationsMigrations by Charlotte McConaghy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Franny Stone… the character you love to hate… or at least I did. Or is it the story that is so uncomfortable? Perhaps a mix of both.

This story is set in the future but there is lots of focus on what happened in the past… and things you think are true, might just not be true at all.

This book just fell flat for me. (which might have been the fault of Cutting for Stone… because it is just so much better)

I do not recommend this book, but your mileage might vary.

ChouetteChouette by Claire Oshetsky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is truly one crazy book! It is thoroughly unexpected (but not always in a good way) The heroine (?) – Tiny – finds herself pregnant yet the baby is not her husband’s… nope, she is having an Owl-Baby… dear little Chouette. The relationship between Chouette and Tiny begins shortly after conception… and so begins the reader’s wild ride on this fable. The story is very disconcerting and it made me think of how those who are not “normal” (whatever your normal is) are treated and how much effort is made on changing the “not normal” to be normal rather than accepting them for who and what they are… in all their unique beauty!

The ending…I did so not see that coming. If you would like a little time in an alternate reality, read this book!

Small Things Like TheseSmall Things Like These by Claire Keegan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my, this small story packs an enormous punch! And it made me stop and think… for a very long time after I finished listening to it.

The story unfolds in a curious way… and it poses the question…. what do you do if you see something that is wrong… do you look away? Do you try to blow up the entire system? Or do you just do what you can?

Good questions for us any day, but especially today. This is a story that I want to read again with my eyes… it was just that good. I highly recommend.

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

I will be back to share some poetry tomorrow! 

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.13.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.13.22

This week a knitting milestone… I have reached Cruising Altitude on my Tegna. Yep. I am cruising along with miles of stockinette… which makes it the perfect pick up and put down knit! So I have gotten lots of minutes of knitting in!

Washing machine going…pick up and knit. Dishwasher loaded… pick up and knit. Catch up on Call the Midwives… of course pick up and knit!

The pattern calls for 16 inches to the arm divide. If I have the yarn, and I think I will, I am going to do a bit more than that…maybe 18 inches and then I will do a “mock try on” although trying on a bottom up sweater is lots of guess work… my plan is to measure it against my previous Tegna because I would like it to be a bit longer than that one. Anyways, I very much like the fabric and think it will be the perfect summer sweater!

It’s April, so of course there is a “new” Gnome. I have just the bits and bobs to finish her up. AND!!! It appears that I will be knitting a mystery Gnome for May!

One might think it was a slim reading week…but nothing could be further from the truth. Reality is that nothing else quite feels right after reading such a magnificent book…and if you have not read Cutting for Stone, fix that promptly. And yes, it is that good!

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book. Just wow!

This book had never been on my radar until a friend mentioned that she was rereading it. It was available from my library and so began my journey with Marion and Shiva Stone.

It is epic… truly a magnificent epic story. I laughed, I gasped out loud, I cried and cried some more.

But what I most did not want was for it to end…so I rationed my “listening time” with Marion to savor the story, the writing, the beautiful places, and especially the incredible characters.

I am happy to confess that this book has given me a bit of a “Book Hangover” and nothing else is quite satisfying me right now. I just want to stay with Marion Stone a little bit longer.

I highly recommend this beautiful story!

That is all I have for today! I will be back tomorrow with a bit of poetry to share with you all.

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.6.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.6.22

I did not plan on being ‘absent’ on Monday… but the news out of Ukraine put a damper on my planned post for the day. For me, it seemed that sharing something in light of the news out of Bucha just seemed… wrong. And while it does not seem any better to share such trivial things as making and reading today… here I am.

The making this week has sort of been over-taken by the news and my “escape reality reading.” I am only listening to one book… and so I managed… at least… to get through the lace work on my Summer Tegna. Evening socks have been slow going, but I think I have a plan in my mind’s eye that I think will be interesting. Onward to the heel turn we go!

Some weeks are for reading finishes and some weeks are for reading-in-progress and this week is all about that! I only have one  finish… though it was lovely. However, in the ‘reading in progress‘ list… there are so many amazing books. Books so good I want to prolong the reading of them…. and luckily there are some very lengthy books! So there is lots of time to enjoy them. Imagine my surprise when I was contemplating having to return The Books of Jacob on Friday…and I am only half way through… only to find somehow, miraculously, was automatically renewed for another 21 days. The Library Gods are so good! I am dividing my day into three time frames… mornings with Cutting for Stone, afternoons with The Books of Jacob, and night-time reading of a lighter variety… I started Chouette… a very curious tale indeed!

But my finish for the week was a lovely eye-opener… and one I recommend if you are like nature, or want to be a better ally. This one checks both boxes… in the most beautiful way.

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with NatureThe Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Never before did I ever think about racism being a deterrent to appreciating nature. Thank you, Drew Lanham for showing me the foolish errors of my ways. And as I read this book… and eased into Lanham’s love of nature… I realized that what is an activity that is not harmful to me… is not that for everyone.

There are preconceived notions – of where I should go, of what I should do, and even of who I should do it with – of who I am supposed to be as a black man. But my choice of career and my passion for wildness means that I will forever be the odd bird, the raven in a horde of white doves, the blackbird in a flock of snow buntings.

And yet… Lanham shares some of the most beautiful things I have ever read about nature… and especially about birds.

If you want to see things from a new perspective, this book is an excellent place to start.

And that is all I have for today. What about you… what is helping you be distracted this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.30.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.30.22

Greetings Unraveler’s and Happy Wednesday!

I have been very productive since we last talked! I spent some time going through my stash… and I culled quite a few things. So now when I look in my “Yarn Cupboard” I can clearly see what is there, and it has been separated (once again) into categories… sock, not sock, and lace weight… and in the sorting I had unearthed some yarns I completely forgot I had! Which was perfect because I needed to cast on something that would qualify as a “mindless knit” … and what is more mindless than a sock (at least before the heel flap portion! Ha!) Enter this discontinued Meilenweit Mega Boots yarn and I have started a sock for Steve. I cast on last night…I am using my own sock recipe, but have changed up the ribbing a bit. Hopefully it works! Ha! Anyways, I am still working my way through the cuff… so yes, I have miles to go.

I have a Tegna that I knit some years ago out of mohair-silk. I love the sweater and it is the perfect layering sweater. I can wear it over a tunic or with pants. It is just such a versatile sweater I wanted another one that I could wear in the warm weather months… and had been looking at yarns for it when I unearthed 11 skeins of Elsbeth Lavold Hempathy. I swatched… and got gauge! I know! I love Hempathy… it is the easiest care yarn for summer. It does not stretch out when you wear it, and it washes up beautifully in the washing machine. And, I test drove my swatch in the dryer and my gauge did not change! So I cast on a new Tegna as well. (This is currently not a mindless knit thanks to the tricky but oh so lovely lace edging at the bottom.)

Finally, I have a successful finish to my Agnes Pajamas… yes, the button holes are done! I watched several videos and made some good notes. I have a Bernina machine that is 30+ years old…. and it still is going strong. I have long since lost the manual, so button holes are kind of a nebulous thing. They are not entirely automatic, but they are semi-automatic… sort of… anyways, I did several test button holes to get the size right and, more importantly, to get all the steps that I needed to do coordinated. And then I did the button holes on my pjs and they were a success! Wooo! All I needed to add were 5 vintage buttons from my Nana’s button box and Voilà! My new favorite PJ’s!

On my agenda today is to get another set of pjs pinned out and cut so they are ready for me to sew… yes, they are that good!

The reading this week was a mixed bag. But they can’t all be 5-star books, right?

House of Spies (Gabriel Allon #17)House of Spies by Daniel Silva
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had originally marked this a 4-star read, but since have backed it down to 3… this was not my favorite Allon story and I am wondering if this series has outlived its life.

Gabriel is now “The Chief” of The Office… and I am not sure if this is a good fit for him. Gabriel is not even in the story until almost a third of the way into the book.

In previous books, the stories seemed to have a “reality” thread that ran through them… but this book just seemed to have ditched any thread of reality and headed off into the “this can never, ever happen” waters… and I had a hard time with that…so many things seemed so far fetched.

I will give this series another shot… but if that is more of this, then I am likely done with this series. Your milage may vary though!

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of MossesGathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read and loved Braiding Sweetgrass and could not imagine anything topping that, much less an entire book devoted to mosses… yet here I am telling you now that I am fascinated by mosses, I am suddenly seeing them everywhere I go, and I am wondering what else I can learn about them!

Yet, this book is not just a scientific tome about mosses… nope. RWK, in her amazing way, shares the story of mosses in a way that is so interesting. I feel like she has woven a little moss basket, tucked me in and carried me to a magical place. She is an amazing story teller, she brings the reader into her magical world… and honestly, I never want to leave that place.

If you want to learn about mosses, this book is a great place to start, but if you really just want to experience a(nother) slice of RWK’s life… read this book. She is a master. I highly recommend!

I Love You But I've Chosen DarknessI Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oof, this book! A friend described it as a mindf*ck, and is it ever. After reading it, I am not sure what is real and what is not… and I think that was Watkins intention.

I have one great take away though… she left me questioning if the better mother is the one who thinks she is failing… or the one who is the “perfect mother”… my gosh, it made me stop and think (for days now) and my feeling…well of course it is the mother who thinks she is a failure. Every.single.time.

The stories about her dad though… oh my, they made me wildly uncomfortable.

Sometimes though… you just have to read the wildly uncomfortable… (still, I could only give this 2-stars because of that wildly uncomfortable-ness… it was almost too much)

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

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