Unraveled Wednesday | 8.8.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.8.18

Greetings, Unravelers!

I have a finished object to share with you all today! That’s right…Kirsten Kapur’s Summer Mystery Shawl is finished, and she is gorgeous! I really love how it turned out, and I knit the extended version of the shawl. Six weeks of clues, and yes… six different lace motifs that merged beautifully into the completed shawl. There was no boredom knitting this, each clue brought new “ooh’s and aah’s” as I knit. It is masterful how well the designs “grow” together! I think this will become a well-worn piece once shawl weather arrives! You can see all the details (and more pictures) here.

My knitting this week has been consumed with my Rock the Lobster… two sleeves are done, and I have about 7 inches of the body completed. I have been sort of obsessed with getting it done since I pulled it out and started knitting it again last weekend. I am debating about trying to install a zipper, rather than knit button bands…but I have never done this with a knit garment. Do any of you have any experience with this? If yes, please share all your tips – good and bad!

My reading has been just as obsessive as my knitting! Ha!

Finishes for me since we last talked:

I flew through The Remains of the Day, and I simply loved it. What a brilliantly written novel and I gave it 5-stars!

Likewise, Paris in the Present Tense was phenomenal listen. I laughed, I cried, I could not stop listening! This too was a 5-star read. This was my first Mark Helprin novel and it won’t be my last!

Brave New World… oh boy. Where does one begin? Honestly, I have read better dystopian novels, but this was a banned book that I had not read. I hope none of this ever comes true and I gave it 3-stars.

Sleeper Novel: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. Really… wow. I loved this book and had no idea where it was going to go! It easily gets 5-stars and I highly recommend! It is well written and a wonderfully told story.

My Current Reads/Listens:

I am listening to Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential read by the author. Bittersweet and brilliant, and I am just about halfway though.

And, The House at the Edge of Night, which I just started on my iPad. No thoughts formulated yet.

My second bingo card is filling nicely, and I have several good things in my queue. I am hoping some holds come through, and if they do – I could see a second cover all for the summer.

That’s all I have for today! What about you? What are you reading and making this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 8.1.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.1.18

Hello, Unravelers!

Knitting marches on and I am to the amazing and incredible bind-off of KK’s MKAL. I love it, but it is the epitome of slow however, there is a lovely rhythm to it. I should have a photo to share of the finished and blocked shawl next week sometime. Yay!

Meanwhile at my sewing machine…

I have re-positioned darts for an improved fit for the Esme top/tunic. I believe I have now perfected the fit of the pattern and feel ready to forge ahead to fall with some more sewing. I also solved the conundrum of the cap sleeve fit with a bit of bias tape, and the fit and ease of the armscye are greatly improved! All these adjustments consumed my brain and significantly slowed my progress, but the results are so very good, it was worth it! The second Esme top with the bodice adjustments will have three-quarter sleeves and my stack of too-big clothes has almost all been re-purposed into better fitting clothing.

July reading was especially wonderful! I finished three books this week (and 14 books for the month!)

Ready Player One: 4-stars. I enjoyed this book and it held my attention, but it seemed a bit staged to me. If you are a gamer, however, I believe that you would absolutely love this book.

So Long, See You Tomorrow: 3-stars. This book was from Michael Ondaatje’s favorite reads list. It was thus far one of my least favorites… Honestly, I do not at all enjoy any story where “cheating spouses” are the theme. However, how he told the tale from a variety of perspectives was most interesting.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: 3-stars. I had much higher hopes for this book but, for me it fell flat. However, hearing Maya Angelou read it was a high point.

Current reads:

I will finish A Great Reckoning today, and this twelfth book of the series did not disappoint at all. Louise Penny has only improved this series with each successive novel. I highly recommend!

On my iPad I am reading The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, I am not far into it, but so far…so good!

My listening queue has blown up a bit… I am buckled in and ready for all of it and have found audio books the perfect partner for sewing!

What are you making or reading today? If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 7.25.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.25.18

Greetings Unravelers!

I have a FO to share with you all today! Yes, my Beekeeper Cardigan is done! I love how it turned out, and especially the hack of knitting the sleeves flat and seaming them! Thank you, Mary for being the encouragement I needed to step out of the box and try something different! With all the adjustments, this sweater took me 8 days to knit, including the unraveling of the first sleeve and reknitting it. Yes, 8 days to a finished sweater! You can see all the details here.

And, I am back to plugging away at my Vodka Lemonade and making headway through mystery knitting clues. All in all, a very good knitting week!

Did you all see that the Man Booker Longlist was out yesterday? I got very excited to see Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight on the list! Of course, my “want to read” list has expanded but in a very good way!

Now, ready for something really exciting??

I have my Cover All for Book Bingo! That’s right… Bingo Card One is DONE!

I had a good week for finishes:

The Weight of Ink: 4-stars. I really enjoyed this novel, very much! It is well written, and I loved how it posed the two time periods and the two remarkable women, Ester and Helen. If you like history, you’ll love this novel.

Anna Karenina: 4 stars. While it was long (and wordy), but it was an interesting look into life in Russia. If you have not read this classic, you should!

Hillbilly Elegy: 5-stars. This is a well written, and at times, painful look into life for a forgotten segment of society. It is narrated by the author and I highly recommend.

Out Chasing Horses: 4-stars. I have had this book on my “to read” list ever since I finished Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes. This novel did not disappoint at all.

The Long Winter: 4-stars. I have read this book dozens of times and each time something new speaks to me. Also, I am profoundly grateful that we don’t get winters like they did in Nebraska!

Six of Crows: 2-stars. I had higher hopes for this YA novel. I thought it might be a bit like the Magicians, but for me it fell flat.

Ariel: 4-stars. Honestly, I picked this because it was short and really, I knew nothing about Sylvia Plath’s writing (outside of The Bell Curve) and I did not know she was a poet. Some of the poems in Ariel blew me away and I will be looking for more of her poetry to read!

Now, for the current reads: I just started listening to Ready Player One and started reading So Long, See You Tomorrow – both of which I was able to fit in to my second bingo card!

There you have my week! What about you? What are you making and reading this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 7.18.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.18.18

Into all lives some unraveling must fall…

Yes, there was some significant unraveling in this house in the past week…and there is a bit more unraveling to do before the week is over! Yes, the Beekeeper Cardigan is still in process, but I am moving forward with flat knit sleeves, but I will still have to rip back the left sleeve and then re-knit it flat. Seaming is much easier than purling in the round!

I am almost finished with Clue Three of KK’s MKAL and Clue Four is printed out and ready to go! I am really loving how this is working up and no unraveling at all once I got my sk2p’s and k3tog’s figured out! It brings me great joy that my ball of yarn is smaller, but I am experiencing none of the I am worried I don’t have enough yarn angst that others did.

I also began the Button Hole Refresher… even though this is a “semi-automatic” process per my machine, it is still not intuitive to me. Vicki is way smarter than me in doing snaps, just saying! I am going to make a stop at Joann’s to see if I can find some red buttons and then I will be ready to do some real buttonholes!

Reading is feeling a bit slog-like this week. I am immersed in Anna Karenina and while it is beautifully written – it is long. Tolstoy’s attention to detail is stunning… or perhaps it is his ability to use way more words to explain things other authors do with less words – I don’t know, but I am enjoying the story. However, for a long book with insane details? My vote is with Pat Conroy and, in my opinion, his writing is better. He is equally attentive to detail yet he managed to never make any of the stories feel slog-like.

Thus… I have NOT finished ONE book this week. I know!! But!! I have less than 15 hours to go in Anna Karenina (so maybe 3 more days to go!) I am so focused to get this done, because I just got Hillbilly Elegy from the library and it is also for a square on my bingo card. I am eager to move on.

I am close to being done with The Weight of Ink… I have about 25% left to read.

So… my final books for my bingo card: Sylvia Plath’s Ariel for the “Collection of poetry” square, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo for the “Number in the title” square, Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson for “Bird or animal on the cover” square, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter for “Set in a different season”. My cover all is in sight!

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

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Unraveled Wednesday | 7.11.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.11.18

No unraveling this week, but just barely!

I am making progress on my Beekeeper Cardigan, but I have had to tink back a few times when I was not paying attention and my bees got out of sync! However, today I have about 5 inches to go in the body, but I won’t get any knitting time on this project until Friday. My “days” of knitting on this have had to be adjusted because of pesky things like making meals as Steve is home so I have not had much uninterrupted time to knit. However, Steve is gone for a work function this weekend and I am selfishly looking forward to having the house to myself. And, with some luck – I will have a completed sweater before the weekend is over!

The reading had mixed reviews this week. I finished Backman’s Us Against You and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

After reading Bonny’s review of Us Against You, I was concerned but I forged ahead and began to read it. I, like Bonny, loved Beartown and it was a beautifully told story! However, Us Against You  fell short for me and I gave it just 3-stars. It is a bit of a disjointed story and it felt quite chopped up as I read it and I think it could have been better if it the writing had flowed better. But, it is a dysfunctional story about some very dysfunctional characters. It leaves you feeling very uncomfortable and the story feels very unfinished, but I am hoping that the final book of the Beartown trilogy fixes these issues and my suggestion is to wait to read Us Against You until the third book of the trilogy is released.

The Picture of Dorian Gray fills my “Classic you should have read” bingo square and wow… this story really blew me away. The writing is brilliant, and the premise of the story is fascinating – again, Dorian is an utterly dysfunctional character, but the story that plays out is thought provoking and, yes, disturbing. If you have not read this story, I don’t want to give anything away, but the concepts of vanity, youth, and the perceptions of how one looks make for great discussion and I think this would be an excellent book for a book club to read! I gave it 5-stars and highly recommend it!

I am more than half way through The Weight of Ink and loving it. And, I just started listening to Anna Karenina… and will be listening for a good bit of time yet (I have about 34 hours of listing time to go!) I have just 7 books to go for a coverall so perhaps August will see me get a bingo or two on my second card!

But, what about you? What are you making and reading today?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 7.4.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.4.18

Greetings Unravelers!

Summertime and the knitting is varied! That’s right…when the weather gets unbearable – vary your knitting projects! On Monday I started my Knit a Beekeeper Cardigan in 4 days (okay, for my size I can take 6 days… but I think 5 days will be my sweet spot!) I am 15-ish rows from my “try on” point…which will hopefully mean I have arrived at the Great Sleeve Divide! I am still working out my next day of knitting (which might not happen until next Monday!)

Vodka Lemonade is in a bit of a holding pattern this week as I finish up Clue Two of KK’s MKAL…Clue two is a lovely chart that must be repeated three times and I am almost done with the second repeat and Clue Three will be out on Friday!

However, all this knitting has meant some very good listening this week!

I finished June strong with my finish of This is How it Always Is (which I deeply loved, and it got 5-stars) and that means I read 13 books in June…13 very good books! By my count I read 6 5-star books and 7 4-star books, and I highly recommend every single one of these books!

My July is starting out with a bit less enthusiasm – I finished Ohio, which was an ARC from NetGalley. It only got 3-stars from me and you can read my review here. As you can see, it was a difficult read.

Fortunately, Gilead is not that at all and I have about 2 hours of listening time left! I am enthralled with this lovely novel. It very much reminds me of The Secret Scripture in how the tale is told. It is wonderful writing and I will have it finished today.

I also began The Weight of Ink and Us Against You.

Up Next: The Picture of Dorian Gray.

That’s all I’ve got to share today…what are you knitting or reading?

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P.S. One lucky person who comments today will get a free month of the Washington Post, I will use random.org to select that person! Good luck everyone!

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