Unraveled Wednesday | 6.19.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.19.19

We have been gently easing into summer and until this week it has been a semi-dry month! This week, however, the sun has been hidden behind a plethora of rain clouds. I enjoy summer rains and it is nice to have Mother Nature water the gardens – the downside to all this rain means that the grass is growing at an exponential rate and it’s too wet to mow. If this keeps up, Sherman will think he is in the jungle when he goes out to do his business!

The other downside of the rain is having to have the windows all closed and the AC on. I am not winning in the AC temperature wars, so I finished my Trap A Zoid socks this week. I think they are adorable, and I see more of these in my future! I love the little colorwork section – it makes it so easy to knit two identical socks!

The other knitting project I have an urgency to finish is my Screen Door, I am on the decrease side and so the rows seem to be going much faster and I have roughly 15 pattern repeats to another finished object!

The reading had highs and lows this week and I am hovering around my first bingo!

The highs included The Tiger’s Wife (which was not a bingo read) and The Boy in Striped Pajamas (which was a bingo read.) I loved both of these stories deeply and highly recommend each of them!

The low was really bad. I finished Black Leopard, Red Wolf – barely. 1 star and I do not recommend.

I also know which Modern Mrs. Darcy Book I will read – I am Anastasia came through this week; I hope to start it soon as I only have about a third left of my second Inspector Lynley novel!

And, there you have my making and reading this week!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 6.12.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.12.19

The days have been truly glorious and we even had a light sweater weather bonus yesterday! Sunny, breezy, and mild temperatures meant my Marsa Alam got some wear-time! Sorry for the truly pathetic photo – I am not sure if that is the fault of the photographer or the fault of the photographee (I will be kind and take the blame) but trust me when I tell you, this sweater is a winner! I shared my notes and things I would slightly alter here, if you are interested!

I can’t seem to stop with the Coast though and my Screen Door is just flying along! It is the perfect little palate cleanser before diving into a more substantial project. I am at the “half-way” point as the pattern suggests, but it feels a bit short to me, so I am doing 5 more pattern repeats and see how it feels then. Stay tuned!

Now for the reading!!

No bingos yet, but I managed to cross off three more books on my card! And, these were three wonderful reads! I loved them all – The Night Circus and The Ninth Hour each got 4-stars.  The Road Back To You had quite an impact and I gave it 5-stars, but I feel like I have just started down the Enneagram Rabbit Hole! I have queued up several podcasts to listen to as I delve deeper into the subject. It is really quite a fascinating way to look at personality.

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Unraveled Wednesday | 6.5.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.5.19

I had lost my knitting mojo for some weeks in May and really did not want to knit anything but an inspiring blog post and thoughts of a new project have reinvigorated my desire to pull out my knitting and finish things!

I have unraveled and redone the neckband and raced through a sleeve on Marsa Alam and sleeve two is well underway! I am *almost* done and have begun to think about buttons. I have pulled together some buttons from my Nana’s button box – what do you think?

Silver or Pearl buttons? I don’t know why the pearl buttons don’t looks like they are all the same color, they are – and the silver buttons could do with a little polishing! I think either will work, but I need your help – please let me know which you think I should use in the comments! (and thank you!)

Meanwhile…I have been trying to get gauge on a cardigan but have not yet had success – perhaps that is the knitting gods telling me don’t knit this sweater, but I thought it would be a great addition to my sweater wardrobe if I can make gauge work (and I won’t be knitting it in 4-days)! I have one final yarn that might work so stay tuned…

Now on to books! Oh boy, all.the.books! I am really not much fun to be around lately because I either have a book in my hand or a book in my ears! Ha! But!!! I am off to a very good start on my Bingo Card!

I am doing my card a bit differently this year – as you can see I have almost filled in all the books I intend to read (with a couple of exceptions as I have several holds for the Modern Mrs. Darcy square – whatever comes through first will be filled in there. And that Classic you should’ve read square – I will make my decision as the summer progresses. I have several classics filled in and perhaps reading one of them will stir me to read something else by the same author.)

You can see my square requirements and I feel that I have done well in pairing up a book to a category without too much ‘making a book fit’ that does not. You might say there is some of that going on, but I think I managed to make most of the squares work. I am not reading “outside of my comfort zone” much this summer, but I think these books will make for the perfect summer!

Out of the books I finished this week, there is one that just was amazing – Anna Burns Milkman. Oh.my.gosh. LOVED! If I can make any suggestion to you, Gentle Reader, it would be to ignore all the “so-so” reviews and find an audio copy of the book. It is some of the most genius writing and has moved to the top spot for the best book I have read all year! I cannot stop thinking about it – it is just that good!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 5.29.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.29.19

Greetings Gentle Unravelers!

I would love to be able to tell you that I have made progress on finishing my Marsa Alam however, it remains untouched. I am beginning to feel twinges of guilt about this fact, but the guilt is not enough to have spurred me to pick it up and knit.

Rather I have knit on my Tegna and have done a surprising amount of knitting on it! I began the holiday weekend with the body at roughly 10 inches and I ended the weekend with the body growing to 14 inches and I started my third ball of yarn! It seems that an easy to pick up and put down project worked well over the long holiday weekend and my progress shows that. My plan is to knit the body to 16 inches and then begin the divide for the sleeves, so I still have some “mindless” knitting to go before I get to that point, but I am closer than I was last week!

My reading was not bad this week, thanks to a couple of good audiobooks and hours and hours of garden work!

I finished listening to The Great Believers which I thought was very good, incredibly moving but long! I think there were some parts that dragged a bit for me which could have been solved via better editing. Still, I gave the book 4-stars.

I also listened to The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. It was a very quick listen. Quick but full of things to think about and more than a bit scary. I found much of this book to be a wakeup call – or rather, the-alarm-is-now-screaming-at-us-to-wake-the-eff-up!! The book is read by the author, which I appreciated tremendously. If you don’t think global warming is real – don’t bother with this book. However, if you are concerned about climate change and its effects on our future – I highly recommend this book! 5-stars.

The Widow’s of Malabar Hill was also in the finish column. I really struggled to get “into” this book at the start. It did eventually pick up though – I like Perveen Mistry and enjoyed hearing about India in the 1920’s. 3-stars and I will try the second book in the series and hopefully it will not have such a slow start!

Finally, Ali Smith’s Spring… WOW. I mean just wow. This book grabbed me from the first sentence, and it carried me along barely letting me put it down before I finished it! 5-stars and I cannot wait for the final book of this series!

That is all I have for this week, but what about you? What’s on your radar this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 5.22.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.22.19

Greetings, Unravelers!

I am writing this post on Monday while sipping my second iced coffee of the day. Tuesday will find me working the poll for PA Local Primary Voting Day. And, despite my thinking that it will not be at all busy for us – I still don’t think I will be able to get a blog post done on my phone. (Because, you know for certain if I was planning on that, it would be busy! Lol)

Anyways, I am taking the shawl to knit, and I have high hopes of finishing it! Once that is done, I can get back to my Marsa Alam. I did find one glaring error in my pickup of stitches for the neckband so I will have a tiny bit of unraveling to do. But it will be quick to rip out the neckband and redo it and then get started on the sleeves.

Juliann asked me on Monday if my weekend included any sewing. Sadly, it did not (nor did Monday!) I did get the pattern jigsaw puzzle put together and the pattern traced out, but then the reorganization of my sewing/craft room preempted any actual sewing. I hope to spend today cutting out the pattern and sewing up my muslin. I will update you how that all goes later this week!

As for reading, I have had no finishes this week and I am feeling a bit a drift in my reading – usually about now I am planning out my “Summer Book Bingo” books and I am definitely feeling like something is missing because of it! But I do have a plan for my summer reading – which includes reading some classics, and some authors I have never read before. New things can mean new reading excitement! My first book is by Eleanor Roosevelt – It’s Up to the Women – I thought this title was most timely for all the nonsense that is going on right now and a good place to start!

I have no set number of books I want to read but, my over-achiever success from last year is niggling in my brain…although I am not sure I want to repeat that feat! I would rather read more challenging books versus speed reading through a summer. Super long books – fine by me! Books that make me think – bring it on! The summer is all about expanding my reading horizons!

Last summer I read Anna Karenina and it was good, but I did not think it great – Carole suggested that I read War and Peace so that will be up soon in my listening queue. I also have Joe Wilkins novel in the above stack of books that I think I saw on Kwizgiver’s blog, which I am eager to get started!

I am listening to The Great Believer’s – all 1,097 minutes of it. I am almost 1/3rd into it and I hope to have it finished for next week’s post. (fingers crossed!)

I am also reading The Widows of Malabar Hill on my Kindle™ and I will bring that with me to work the polls on Tuesday, so that might be in the finished column by the time you are reading this!

That is all I have for today – a whole lotta not much, amirite? So, inspire me Unraveler’s – what are you making and reading this week?!

Oh, and what classic do you think I should add to my list?

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Post Script: As I said, I wrote this post on Monday morning and by Monday night the Reading Gods had pity on this Summer Reading Fanatic. Mary will be hosting Summer Book Bingo! You can find all the deets here and you will find the rules here and can print your bingo card here! And, yes… I still want you to tell me what Classics I should add to my summer reading!

A huge thank you to Mary for putting this together! XO

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.15.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.15.19

Do you think May is moving at warp speed, or is it just me? It feels like it is flying by and its going too darned fast! I need to find the brake and slow this month down!

However, I do have a Finished Object to share – The TRAVEL Socks are done! That’s right – the socks I started for Steve last October are now on his feet. Good thing the weather has been decidedly sock-ish the past few days. I got a thumbs up on them – despite them not matching perfectly. Now, some notes from the knitter – I used this pattern, but I cast on 72 stitches instead of the what the pattern called for. Steve does not like “tall socks” so I knit to a height of 4 inches on the leg… and then that foot. Size 14 feet take forever to knit, just saying. The bonus to these socks is that they have been knit on in almost all the drinking establishments in Northern Michigan, including the Empire Hops Festival, much to Steve’s dismay – he actually thinks that I am the only person who knits in public. I know – I think that is so hilarious.

This week I should have been hanging out on Sleeve Island with my Marsa Alam – but I have not knit one stitch on it. I was advised on Sunday by the person who asked me to do some charity knitting that she told me the wrong date – it is not the end of June, but the end of May that they need the shawl I am knitting. So, in my brief moments to myself on Sunday – I got just past the halfway point. I should be able to get further tomorrow thanks to some stunningly amazing news we got on Monday during our “Annual AC Check Up” on Monday. The electric panel has become “unraveled” and will be replaced Tuesday (fingers crossed it just just Tuesday!!)

Thus – I will spend a good bit of Tuesday without power. (I am writing this post on Monday as insurance just in case their 10-hour estimate is somehow extended – because that would be just our luck! LOL)

Thank goodness for reading for always being the best escape ever and I have some amazing finishes this week!

There was more John Boyne, and each was so incredible: First up – Noah Barleywater Runs Away. This is an amazing, yet poignant tale. The story revolves around the title character – who has run away from home. He ends up in a simply magical place where he is able to unpack what has caused him to run away (no spoilers here). Boyne is a master of bringing you into the story and he delivers things in such an incredible way that you gasp as you take in the words. He is hands down my favorite writer – ever.

My second Boyne finish is Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. This is another WWI story – and delightedly it has some of the same characters as The Absolutist. This story, however, is told from the perspective of a boy whose father goes off to war. I would suggest reading this before you read The Absolutist – I think the flow will be a bit better. Both books got 5-stars from me and I highly recommend each of them!

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: This book was everything I hoped it would be and more. It is the story of Lale Sokolov, the Tätowierer of Auschwitz and Birkenau. The humanity that is miraculously maintained by the prisoners in the midst of the sea of hatred surrounding them is incredible. I highly recommend this beautifully retold story – 5-stars.

Ghost Wall: A Novel: this was a short, gritty read. Down and dirty with no wasted words – the ending… oh man…it was so unexpected!! 4-stars and I enjoyed this on a very visceral reading level!

Finally, The Girl with Seven Names: I started this Tuesday and finished it Tuesday! (I am updating this at 8:30 PM, yes that would be 12 hours after the power was shut off!! AND, it is back on and they are finished!! YAY!!!) This book grabbed me from the beginning sentence: “My name is Hyeonseo Lee. It is not the name I was born with, nor one of the names forced on me, at different times, by different circumstances. But it is the one I gave myself, once I’d reached freedom.” This is an amazing story of one woman’s escape from North Korea. I was moved, I was on pins and needles for Hyeonseo in her journey, and I was elated with the ending. 5-stars and I highly recommend! (P.S. Thanks to Hyeonseo, I did not knit a single stitch on Tuesday… I am correcting that problem today! Ha!!)

That is all I have this week! And, the weather is supposed to be sort of nice – and at least not raining! And maybe even with a bit of sunshine!

What about you? What are you reading this week?

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