Unraveled Wednesday | 11.16.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.16.22

Sweet dreams are made of this…The Eurythmics

**If you want to listen, click the text above**

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try a yarn just fights you every stitch of the way. This is the story of such a yarn…I spun this really gorgeous, buttery soft fiber. I worked hard at consistency… and it is beautifully consistent. I paid attention when plying so that my twist would be the same throughout the skein… a better than usual achievement! And I had dreams to knit this yarn into a sweater because I had spun more.than.enough to knit a sweater.

But the thing I absolutely hate is yarn pooling… handspun striping, I don’t mind… but this yarn was pooling at every gauge I tried… in other words… it was not going to work by itself in a sweater. Sigh.

Some months ago (and by some I mean more than a year ago) I drew up a sketch of Pressed Flowers as a rectangle rather than a triangle that I would not wear as often. I even swatched a bit… but my colors did not inspire me. Meanwhile, a brilliant knitter knit one rather quickly. But even with that inspiration, I procrastinated long enough to forget all about it.

Until I had a dream one night a couple of weeks ago. I had vision of Handspun Yarn dancing in my head… holding hands with the yarn from this failed sweater and I sat bolt upright in bed! Okay…I did not actually sit upright, but I did grab my iPad and open a note and write down what I dreamed about for fear I would forget come morning!

Last week I began the swatching process again with that handspun yarn and the failed sweater yarn.

And my dream? A nightmare.

They both would be GREAT in a Pressed Flowers wrap… just not together. So I frogged the swatch and thought about what that handspun yarn needed to shine. And wouldn’t you know… the yarn I had originally planned to use as the “background” yarn was PERFECT for the handspun yarn. I knit another swatch, measured my gauge, did some knitter maths, and cast on while the excitement was high!

And I am so in love! Deeply… profoundly… just knit one more repeat… okay, I promise to stop after this next repeat love! Kirsten Kapur knit 1/3 of her wrap in the close patterning before switching over to the wider apart pattern…but my plan is a bit different. I want each end to have a border… one side a little deeper than the other. And so I knit… happily… gleefully… the knitting that dreams are made of!

…who am I to disagree. — The Eurythmics

Details: My gauge in pattern:  Stitches 21 = 4″ and I wanted the wrap to be about 20″ wide so I cast on 107 stitches. I used the German twisted cast on (because it gives a nice edge to garter stitch) and then knit three rows. And then began the mosaic patterning… getting started took a bit of attention! I made some mistakes and had to do some negative knitting (thanks Jane for this AWESOME term!) to get back on track, but soon the patterning becomes intuitive… just one step up from mindless knitting. And ZERO pooling is happening! Woo!

How about a bit of my reading this week…I continue to be immersed in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Susanna Clarke is a master story-teller! I really love her writing style – which is a good thing because this is a LONG listen… 32+ hours! I am roughly 12 hours in with miles to go and I think I will be sad for this book to end!

At night I am *almost done* (I will be done by the time you read this post!) with Mouth to Mouth. This book… goodness. It is making me think about so many things! It is curious, a book with few redeeming characters, and yet I can’t stop reading it! I want it done though because I have The Marriage Portrait waiting in the wings!

I also picked up a fun stack of books from the library this week. Stay tuned tomorrow when I share a poem from Carter Revard… it is fitting I share something from an Osage poet for Native American Heritage Month! I hope you will enjoy my selection!

That is all I have for today… The next repeat is calling! What about you? Are you dreaming about knitting!?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.9.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.9.22

Greetings Unravelers!

Happy Post Election Day and I hope to provide you with some things to distract you while all the ballots are tallied. So… turn off the news alerts and settle in!

First up… The Eleventh Gnome, she is DONE! An extra hour over the weekend (plus a good series on Netflix) provided more than enough time to get the bulk of her on Sunday. On Monday I just had the small bits to finish up and it took no time at all.

Meet Gnaomi! She is an avid spinner!

I made several “tweaks” to the pattern. I used handspun to knit the sweater. I knit the sweater a bit longer than the pattern called for which meant I also needed to knit the body a little longer to allow the color work at the bottom of her “dress” to show… so she is roughly 15 rows taller, but I think her long stocking cap balances the bit of extra height out. The other change I made to the pattern was to knit the beard as her hair… I knit the start of the beard as written but then knit the “center” curl 5 times and then finished the beard as written. This was enough to go from ear flap to ear flap… giving her the loveliest curly locks. The final change was to make her arms longer so I could knot the ends to make it look like she was holding the spindle and fiber. I think I did 8 more rows of I-cord. Anyways, I think she is wonderful and she might be my favorite Gnome yet! Her spindle? It is a toothpick and a button… around which I would a bit of spun fiber.

As you can see above, I have also picked the five colors for the December Mystery Gnome. Yes, I am excited for December knitting! And a five color gnome is intriguing!

I have a plan for future gnome knitting as wellI! There are two gnomes from Sarah’s Gnome Family that I have yet to knit so I am planning a thirteenth Gnome in January to close out my Year of Gnomes! That will give me a baker’s dozen.  I contemplating which of the last two I will knit, but it will likely be her Never Not Gnoming pattern.

I also had great success with wheat bread baking this week! Vital wheat gluten might be my new favorite thing! I ended up with a loaf that had incredible crust, but the crumb was tender and airy! I am baking another loaf today!

The reading this week has been glorious. I am immersed in two books which I have divided into two categories:

  • Day Time Listening: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I am about an hour in and really enjoying the listening!
  • Before Bed Reading: Mouth To Mouth… a very curious tale. I am not quite sure how I feel about it, but I can’t stop reading!

But what I really want to talk about is something for you all to watch (instead of the never-ending election coverage) I discovered a limited series (there are just 4 episodes) with David Tennant and Stanley Tucci… Yes!! In.the.same.show!  The series is Inside Man and oh my, it was SO GOOD! It will be the perfect thing to take your mind off vote counting… so get some knitting, queue it up, and enjoy!

There you have my making this week! What about you… what are you working on!

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you! I will be back on Friday with a Museum of Me exhibit!

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.2.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.2.22

Greetings Unravelers! I have returned from my glorious vacation… one in which I barely knit a stitch and since returning home on Sunday I have still barely knit a stitch!

But!! I have a great excuse… I have been madly working on getting my last painting done for my watercolor class. It is done, turned in, and I am really quite happy with my results! Perfection? Nope. But it has so many things that turned out *how I wanted them to* which means some of the techniques are becoming familiar to me and that is a very good thing! I did feel like my masking was a bit out of control, but it worked for the most part! Tangle of branches.. yes! With snow… YES! My ice needs some more practice, but overall I am very happy with it!

Besides that I have been consumed with all the “You’ve been away for 10-days” catch up things! Yuck! The only thing left on that list are to wash rugs which will happen today! Then I can breathe a bit and might even do some knitting this afternoon!

My new watercolor class started yesterday, but I have not started yet because some new watercolor paper coming later today and I want to wait for that before I start….although I absolutely should do a value study or two for this painting.

I did have a banner reading week on vacation… I finished seven books! Now, granted, two of those books were books of poetry and I have been reading one or two each morning to start the day for most of October. But still… SEVEN books! And they were all so very good!

My current reads include the above stack of poetry books as well as the new David Sedaris book – Happy Go Lucky. I am listening to David read it to me and I am loving it! I also will be reading some of Joy Harjo’s Sunrise for National Native American Heritage Month.

And with that, you have my quick update for what I am (not, lol) making and reading. I hope you all have been more productive that I have! I will be back on Friday with a fun bit of a current post!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.26.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.26.22

Greetings Unravelers!

Not much making this week! I might have knit less than 8 rows on Close To You and that is alright with me! Instead I have been spending as many hours as possible outside in Presque Isle! It has been simply amazing… sunny, clear skies, and warm! We have a bit of rain in the forecast today but that is okay because that means I might get a bit a knitting time! Haha!

I do have a rather fun update from my daughter to share. Every year the halloween costumes are so fun, but this year was especially so!

Meet Little Red Riding Hood,  dear grandma, and the Big Bad Wolf! I laughed so hard at this one! Well done, Heidi!

This was the week that I realized that I am indeed a painter! Why you ask? Well because I brought (almost) everything I needed to do my “weekly watercolor homework” and spent a bit of time Sunday afternoon getting it done! Yes, I planned painting time and have done virtually no knitting!

Thanks to my AirPods, I have done some reading this week! Currently, I am stealing moments to read Jussi Adler-Olsen’s latest book, The Shadow Murders. So.Good! I really enjoy the Department Q Team, headed up by my beloved Carl Mørck. It is Scandinavian Noir at its best!

And with that, I am getting back to my out-of-doors enjoyment that is Presque Isle. See you all back here next Monday with my Word Update!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.19.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.19.22

Greetings Gentle Unravelers!

This week I am profoundly grateful for the diversions that making brings… I needed diversions this week! And so I am sharing the plethora of them that have been entertaining me! Buckle in!

The sewing. Oh my. Well, there is a very good reason I keep sewing the same things over and over again… I have made the muslin… done the adjustments… and all future garments fit absolutely perfectly – no guessing – no hoping – no worries. Thus was the story for my 4th pair of Free Range Slacks. They are glorious and I have fabric coming to make one more pair for the winter! (No images here, but you will absolutely see me modeling them in Erie… I plan on posting some #PostcardsFromPresqueIsle on IG while we are away!)

Now comes the story of sewing a new-to-me pattern. With sketchy measurements (because deep arm scythes) here is my first try. It needed several adjustments. Sigh. While it is a wearable muslin, it feels very awkward on top… too loose… too much movement because it is so loose. (Good thing I have no shortage of sweaters to wear with it! Haha) I have made several adjustments to the pattern and think that my next attempt with corduroy will go much better. It calls for French Seams (which I did on the denim muslin) but I think that will be too bulky with the corduroy so I am going to give flat-felled seams a try and I think they should look and feel nice. AND!! I have plans for a fun little flannel inner pocket on the corduroy ones! The pluses though… I love the pockets, the details, and the style. Oh my are they all awesome! Stay tuned for the second go at this pattern.

Because packing my knitting is the first thing on my list for vacation…I pulled out the knitting bag that I used last year, and inside was a project I started on vacation in Erie and had not touched since! (Ravelry link) It looked easy but once I got through the “easy” lace portion and started on the “challenging” lace it became very clear that this was not vacation knitting. But I got it out and started again and made progress! I have completed the challenging lace and have started on the second (of 5) pattern repeat and things are going well. I am bringing this back to Erie and along with my in-process (but also forgotten) Close To You shawl. One of these projects is more likely to be finished than the other… if I do any knitting on vacation! Ha!

One would think a still life would be easy, but giving those stationary objects form and life is tricky!

Finally… there has been painting my friends! Pumpkins! Water! And FALL leaves! (I am also working on some grapes that Kym has challenged me with… stay tuned!) On Monday I bought a “travel palette” and yes… I am going to paint on vacation! Haha! (Honestly, my fear is falling behind in painting class and I won’t be able to get two paintings done in 2.5 days to meet the final class deadline for homework.) I am thinking about painting all.the.time. I am looking on YouTube at painting videos. I am looking on Pinterest at painting ideas. It has become a bit of an obsession and I am having so much fun!

I definitely think landscapes are my “sweet spot” and I so enjoyed painting this fall scene!

Whew… that’s a LOT of making! Hahaha!

How about a cool down with some reading?

I am currently still happily immersed in life with Ruth Galloway and I am loving it. So. Much. I also started Setsuko’s Secret and it is the perfect companion to the Sharon Says So podcast on the same topic. So much too unpack. These books are diversely different and that is a very good thing!

I had just one reading finish this week… and it left a very sour taste in my mouth. I should have listened to my inner voice that urged me to bail on this book early on in the listening. I know many of you loved Ozeki’s Book of Form and Emptiness… but me…not so much. I had hopes the Book Story would take over and I liked those parts of the book but ultimately it was an epic failure for me. But this is what makes reading so incredible… what I don’t care for, you might love! And there are so.many.books to read!

And there you have my very busy making week! As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

See you back here tomorrow with A Gathering of Poetry!

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.12.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.12.22

Greetings Unravelers!

Welcome to the weekly making/reading check-in!

October has a Gnome… and what a Gnome she is! Meet Gnutkin! She is all in for fall! She is based on this pattern from Imagined Landscapes… sans beard, but I made some Pippi Longstocking-esque Leicester Longwool braids… and these sweet acorns were the perfect adornment for her!

However… there has been some sewing! I have an almost completed pair of pants – they just need a waistband and hemming! Up next is a fill in denim tunic (thanks Kym for suggesting this one!) and one more Sew House Seven pattern made out of some challenging (slippery) fabric. I am still waiting on my corduroy from Blackbird Fabrics… sigh.

Several of you asked why all the procrastination on sewing. And honestly, it is 100% the set up of my sewing that is causing all the procrastination. Any amount of time sewing be it 5 minutes or an hour and I get a back ache. I have tried different chairs and nothing really works. I think the issue is the height of the table I sew on… so it is what it is. Anyways, that is the sticky-wicket in my sewing and the thing that causes all the procrastination. But I am gritting my teeth and powering through.

On the reading reviews… I am changing things up a bit here. Rather than posting the full review here (you can find the link to the review in the side bar to the right) I am just going to high-light my finishes and talk more about my current read. If you’d rather I’d go back to the “old way” of posting the full review here… please let me know in the comments!

It has been a very blah reading week for me. I have one finish: John Banville’s Ancient Light. I did not love it.

And my current read is not much better… I am listening to Ruth Ozeki’s The Book of Form and Emptiness. The narration is so incredibly horrible… this might be the most impossible narration ever. The contrived voices for so many of the characters in the book are so off-putting to me. My advice… read this one with your eyes because the story is fascinating. I am just half way through and should finish it up today, I hope!

With my eyes, I am reading The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths. It is the second book in the Ruth Galloway series… and I am loving it. I am reading this at night and I am about a quarter of the way in and so far… so very good! I needed a mystery and this one is a mystery and a bit of fascinating history!

I picked up a book from the library this week but I have not cracked it. I stumbled across it on Twitter of all places… Setsuko’s Secret by Shirley Ann Higuchi. It is her parents story of Heart Mountain and their experiences with Japanese American Incarceration during WWII. I am eager to sink into this book but I am waiting until I have all my sewing done! Ha!

And that is all I have for this week… as always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below!

Thank you and I will see you all back here on Friday!

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