Unraveled Wednesday, September 13

Unraveled Wednesday, September 13

I have been plugging away at my Ponchetta, but I have miles to go yet. Sigh. The rows are long but it is good “sit down and watch television” knitting. I have put aside Laura Aylor’s MKAL aside to get it done. Hopefully some focused knitting will have success!

AND… I began stitching on my first Alabama Chanin garment. So far, so good! Although, I have learned that screen printed t-shirts might not be the best thing to start with! But, I am forging ahead. I think the end result will be worth the effort. But, note to self: plain t-shirts might be a better choice! I am trying to get comfortable stitching without a embroidery hoop – it is a challenge!

Then, there is the reading… Oh, my! The reading has been SOOOO good!

I finished 3 books this week! First up, The River at Night by Erica Ferencik. This was an Overdrive suggestion, and while it was a quick read I thought the entire story was a bit of a “Deliverance-wanna-be” and not in a good way. It was a bit farfetched and I thought the characters were shallow and unbelievable. Why did I keep reading? Well, I hoped that it would improve.

Next, I finished Beach Music which is a 5-star book all the way! I did not think it was possible to like a book more than I did South of Broad, but then came Beach Music! This book made me laugh out loud and it made me cry as Jack collected the stories of family members and friends, sharing them so beautifully. Long live Chippy the Dog stories! GRRRRR! GRRRRRR! Pat Conroy’s tender brilliance and agility with the written word is a thing of wonder to read (and listen too!) I strongly recommend this book!

I also finished Viveca Sten’s Closed Circles. While it had a slow start, it picked up nicely and I am enjoying the character development. I gave this book 4-stars. I really felt like I was part of the detective team as they worked through the mystery. In fact, I am starting book 3 “Guiltless” today!

What are you making this week?

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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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