Unraveled Wednesday, September 6

Unraveled Wednesday, September 6

September, oh boy. And, the weather here has been incredibly fall-like. It is almost as if someone flipped the switch on summer. Boo hoo! And, all this cool weather means I have sweaters on the brain and that’s all I really want to knit!

But, I have these projects I need to get done! I am working on clue #4 for Laura Aylor’s end of summer MKAL though. It is a very intriguing construction, but there is lots of row counting. Which is not my favorite thing to do.

I am also working away on my charity knitting which has more row counting, but this is a bit easier…because garter ridges.

My goal is to get both things done asap so I can go back to knitting a sweater (or two)!!

On the reading front:

I finished Ragnar Jonasson’s Snow Blind. This is the first book in the “Dark Iceland” series, I gave it 3 stars but I will try another book to see how the characters are developed. I did not figure out who did it until almost the end, but I think this was more because the author talked very little about this character during the book.

I have about 10 chapters or so to go in Beach Music and it is just so good! I am laughing lots, curiously, at this wonderfully dysfunctional family!

I also picked up More Home Cooking from the library and have begun reading it. Laurie Colwin writes in a very approachable and easy manner – which is how cooking should be.

Outside of knitting and reading, my time has been consumed with the garden – and really, preserving what I am harvesting! I made 4 more pints of raspberry jam this week and have pickled some tomatoes. I will let you know how they are later this week!

What about you? What is consuming your week?

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Unraveled Wednesday, August 30

Unraveled Wednesday, August 30

And, with a finished object!

Yes, Nekia is off the needles! She does need a little Soak™ wash and some ends woven in, but she is completed! I did have to do a bit of unraveling at the neckline to get the stitches to lay nicely, but I figured it out and they went much better on the sleeves. I love this piece and predict it will get lots of wear this upcoming season.

What am I working on now? Well, I am trying to get myself caught up on Laura Aylor’s End of Summer MKAL. I have to tell you, I am so intrigued by this MKAL. It was a unique start and I read ahead to clue 3 and wow! This is going to be an interesting shawl!

Now, on to the reading – I have a good bit to catch you up with!

I have some starts, some finishes, some almost done, and a start and finish to share with you!

I started Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking and I have about 50 pages or so go to, so I should have this one done this week! I picked this up at the recommendation of 2 blogger friends,: Bonny and Vicki. A most excellent recommendation!

I also started Ragnar Jonasson’s Snowblind. I am only a few chapters in, but so far, so good.

I also started the Essays of E.B. White (again at Bonny’s recommendation) and I will be done with this either today or tomorrow. SO GOOD!

I finished A Room with a View and loved it. Really loved it! The detail of the book is incredible and I listened to it on LibriVox, which Mary told me about. Oh man, if you want to listen to some classics – I highly recommend this app!

I also finished (earlier in the month, but I don’t think I have shared this here on the blog) The Invention of Wings. Again, excellent listening and I gave this book 4 stars. I especially loved the authors note at the end. I wish I had listened to that first, but it still made the history of the book even more fascinating.

I started and finished B. A. Paris’ The Break Down. This is her second novel (her first novel Behind Closed Doors was a gripping sit down and don’t stop reading read). This book is a psychological thriller and although I suspected someone, I was shocked at who it was in the end. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads, although unlike Behind Closed Doors I could put it down, it still was a great book that I finished in 2 days.

I have about 2 hours of listening time in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – and I will be finishing that up this morning to close out my bingo card cover all!

What are you knitting and reading this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday, August 23

Unraveled Wednesday, August 23

The time crunch has begun to get my coverall in Book Bingo…and I am feeling it! I have 2 squares to go and I am listening to both books.

I did finish Still Waters by Viveca Sten. It was an excellent book and I gave it 4 stars! I would have given it 5 stars, but for some of the tiny bits of rambling that I felt were unnecessary to the story line. I had no clue who “did it” until the very end. I will read another book in her series and see how she develops the characters. All in all, great writing!

I have been dividing my listening time between The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and A Room with a View – talk about divergent writing! Anyways, I still have a good bit of listening to do but, my hope is that they are both done by Labor Day! A Room with a View should be done later today… then just about 12 hours left in Kavalier and Clay. I am hopeful that I will make it!

Now, on the knitting front, I am happy to share that there has been NO unraveling here this week, and even though I did not have quantity knitting time, it was quality time!

I have about 6 more inches to knit on my Angelina Pullover to get to the bottom ribbing and I am just about to add in my 4th skein of yarn. I am most pleased with how this is turning out and my hope is that I will have this done before Labor Day!

I also began clue #2 of Laura Aylor’s Sand Ripples and I am really enjoying this knit! So far, so good!

That is all I have for this week… what is good in your knitting and reading?

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Unraveled Wednesday, August 16

Unraveled Wednesday, August 16

I spent some time swatching over the past couple of weeks and while one swatch was not successful for what I intended it for, it did match perfectly the gauge of the Angelina Pullover. I know. It was a sign from the Knitty gods that I needed to knit that sweater! So, I am! And, really quite happily. Top down sweaters might be my favorite to knit, but really Interweave Knits – your directions are sorely lacking. Apparently, they think everyone knows what an Old Norwegian Cast on is (I did not know, but when I Googled it all suggestions came up for the German Twisted Cast on, so that is what I did.) Also, the charts… perhaps you could make them just a tiny bit smaller so that they are even less readable, especially for that segment of the population that is over 50…even with bi-focals I cannot see the charts! I am thankful for the library where I checked this magazine out on my iPad so I can “zoom in” to read them. The only other issue I have is that “key” to the stitches is there for the cables, but not for anything else and you must go to a website to see the key. If I paid for this magazine, I would be less than happy. Other than all that it is an easily memorize-able cable chart. Thank goodness for that small favor… also, sizing starts at 47 (I am not quite sure if that is with the 14 inches of ease or not…but again, top down is easy to modify!)

However, still wanting to knit Nekia I was back at the drawing board on a yarn. I pulled out some yarns and remembered that I had swatched most of them for an Amy Herzog class I took and would you believe that I had a swatch that was almost the exact gauge!! The Knitty gods are really loving me this week! So, I will cast on Nekia on Friday and hopefully will have it done on Monday. I am knitting with Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb Sports weight yarn that is EONS old in my stash. But, I think the color will be better and – almost spot on gauge is just crazy! I have tried a bunch of times to knit this yarn into something, but it just never quite right, so it was nice to have it finally work for something!

On Friday, I started Laura Aylor’s Sand Ripples and finished clue #1. So far, so good… I have a curious little square and I am anxiously awaiting clue #2 this week!

AND… because I don’t have enough to knit right now, I also started Close to You for a charity auction in October, easy peasy pattern and I should have this done quickly.

Now, how about a book update! No cover all yet… I did finish a book this week (but it is not for a Bingo square) I had been on a LONG waiting list at the library for Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings. I gave it 4-stars and I really enjoyed it tremendously.

I am a little more than halfway through Still Waters and I still don’t know who “did it” and I am still enjoying it tremendously!

I am back to listening to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and have about 18 hours to go (yes, it is LONG, but I am thoroughly enjoying it!) and then I will finish my card out with A Room with a View. It has indeed been an amazing summer of reading.

There you have it… no unraveling, lots of knitting, and even some good reading! But, what about you?

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Unraveled Wednesday, August 9

Unraveled Wednesday, August 9

Oh my! The reading has been so very good! So very, very, very good! Really, this might be the second-best summer of reading ever! (What was first? Well, nothing can quite compete with the summer I discovered The Little House books…)

This week I finished 3 books:

  1. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. LOVED! Through and through! I listened to this (excellent narration, btw) and I am so glad I did. The book contains so much detail that I would have skimmed over if reading, but listening – oh my. What an amazing picture Ondaatje paints in this post-WWII story. It is a 5-star book, all the way, filled with the incredible story of Caravaggio, Kip, The English Patient, and Hana – they are all damaged by the war – in visible and invisible ways. If you love WWII history, you will also love this book!
  2. Nutshell: A Novel by Ian McEwan. Fascinating concept and very well written. I gave this book 4-stars.
  3. Dawn by Elie Wiesel. While the writing is excellent, this book was incredibly sad. I was left with one overwhelming thought: Man’s inhumanity to man seems to be a vicious circle. Are we doomed to keep making the same mistakes over and over? I gave this book 4-stars.

I am 3 squares away from a cover all – and it is only August 9!! This makes me insanely happy!!

My current reads are as follows:

  1. I am about halfway through reading Viveca Sten’s Still Waters. So far, so good. And, no…I don’t have a clue who “did it” yet.
  2. In my ears, I began listening to Michael Chabon’s The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay. I am about 2 hours into the 26 hour listen.
  3. Also, a library hold came through so I am also listening to Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings.

Really… so much good reading this summer!

Now, how about a knitting update?

  1. I started Bateau and much to my chagrin the yarn was pooling most impressively. Sooo…. I ripped back to my cast on (thankfully I had only knit about an inch and a half…) and now I am cruising along helical striping. Is the yarn still pooling? Yes, but not so impressively. And, being a bit “blendy” with these skeins is necessary as they are quite different!
  2. I am also working on fingerless mitt #2 – I did manage to get quite a bit done at knitting last night (but the darkness of the mornings now makes early photos a challenge!

What are you reading and making?

 

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Unraveled Wednesday, August 2

Unraveled Wednesday, August 2

Is it just me, or does it seem like the summer is just flying by? I mean really, how on earth is it August already?!?

My Instagram feed this week was full of fall sweater knitting plans…ummm, yeah. That was my reaction too, until I reminded myself that I knit not one but two fall sweaters this summer! But then again, I am so not ready for summer to be over so to counteract this madness – I have begun the cast on for Bateau. I have roughly 100 stitches to finish casting on. Summer sweaters FTW! And, no sleeves…ahhhh!

I do have a couple of finished objects this week! I finished the bind off yesterday afternoon for Kirsten Kapur’s MKAL shawl!! It is headed for a nice spa treatment and a good blocking. I will share the beauty shots next week!

I also finished Stillwater #1 (which took me WAY longer than 4 days, lol) This sweater had more than its share of unraveling. The front collar band was ripped back once to adjust stitches and I also ripped back a sleeve with some adjustments for fit. It also needs a good soak but my washer died on Monday so that will wait until the new washer arrives. However, I do really like how it turned out. I used Sheepspot CVM which is a new yarn they are carrying – and I have some mixed feelings about the yarn. I think the yarn will be wonderfully durable and very pill resistant, however, everyone who has touched the sweater has said it is scratchy. Now, this does not bother me at all and really it does not feel scratchy to me, but be warned – this is a sturdy yarn. I also had one skein that had lots of knots in one strand of the plies. I debated as to whether to just leave them (they were small) or to remove them. I decided to remove them because the yarn easily fulled back together (so I did not have any ends to weave in). The skeins have about 280 yards in them, so they are big skeins and they are not dyed but come in natural sheep colors. I also think they are a bit pricey at $26.00 per skein. The yarn weight is between a light worsted and DK weight and it blooms a bit in the bath. I knit this sweater on a size 6 needle which is not the recommended needle size, but I liked the fabric that I got on a 6 the most. You might recall that I originally planned on knitting Daelyn from this yarn, but, this yarn did not play well with that pattern (otherwise known as what happens when you ignore row gauge in a top down sweater).

Now, how about a book report? I have finished 2 more books this week!

I listened to Claire Danes read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and it was excellent listening! I gave this book 4 stars.

I also finished reading The Children Act by Ian McEwan – this was my first Ian McEwan novel and I really enjoyed it and I also gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

I started another Ian McEwan novel last night – I am reading Nutshell: A Novel. And, while I have just started I can tell you that it is a very curious start! I think this will be another quick read! Up next after that is Elie Wiesel’s Dawn.

I am listening to The English Patient as well and I am really loving it!

As you can see from my Bingo Card I have some open spaces yet and still all of August to fill them.

What about you? What are you excited about this week?

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