One of my absolute favorite things about any knitting project is the final step…blocking. From the yarn blooming, to the stitches evening out, to the wonder that happens when you pin out a garment – for me this is the magic of knitting.
I have been secretly working on my Lunar Phases MKAL – I have clues 1 and 2 done. Blocking of each piece was required before the final clue, so I thought it the perfect time to share the images of the first 2 parts. How this will all come together is still a complete mystery to me, but I must tell you – I just love how the colors I picked are working together. I achieved the exact water color effect I was hoping for, and my “pop” of color is so fun!
But, the pièce de résistance is my finished Cluaranach. Yes, I blocked it gently and I am entirely in love with her! She will be my new Clapotis, which I wore everywhere for years. I wish you could feel this yarn. Sadly, Lanas Puras Meloso Fingering is discontinued, but if you look on Ravelry there are some skeins available for trade or sale… just saying! You can see my modifications on Ravelry.
I am back to knitting sleeves for my Strokkur, and this freaking weather has had me wearing a warm sweater every day. While, I long for spring, Mother Nature seems to have different ideas. I am hoping that if I finish this blasted sweater I won’t be able to wear it until late next fall! Ha!
Now the reading… oh, my!
I finished The Beautiful Mystery. SO.Much.Good! 5-stars and I highly recommend it (and all of the Inspector Gamache series)!
I also finished Dan Smith’s The Child Thief. Dan Smith does not disappoint, and I highly recommend any of his books if you have not yet discovered him. The twists and turns in this book were unexpected and the ending has me wondering if there will be another book coming! I also finished I am, I am, I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, which I found interesting, but there are parts that are more than a bit unbelievable. Both of these books had a short due date from the library and I could not renew them, so they perked to the top of the list.
I am also knitting my Lunar Phases MKAL, but I am refraining from sharing “spoilers” until it is done. Confession time, I have absolutely no idea where this is going, but I am loving the knitting and how it is looking thus far!
And, I have been tracing patterns to make a couple of muslins…soon some sewing will begin!
This week, I have lots of reading to unravel for you…
March was a very good month for reading for me! I finished 13 books last month and 6 of them were 5-star reads! I recommend all but Fire and Fury and A Stash of One’s Own. Each fell very flat for me and, frankly, were not worth the time it took to read them.
Currently in my ears: Armand Gamache in The Beautiful Mystery and on my iPad: Jo Nesbo’s MacBeth.
What are you unraveling this week?
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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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