Unraveled Wednesday | 6.14.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.14.23

Greetings Unravelers and Happy Wednesday!

It’s that time in the week when we all gather together and share what we are making and (perhaps more importantly!) what we are reading!

I have an almost finished Mystery Gnome… that I won’t share this week because there are several “bits” that are not yet finished and my Gnome… well, he remains a mystery to me! I did stuff him yesterday so I am hoping that he speaks to me soon about the direction he wants to go! Stay tuned!

I made some headway on my Summer Knitting List… I have a finished pair of Hermoine’s Everyday Socks! I liked this pattern (especially the heel with the garter edges!) very much and I will be knitting it again! These socks are now tucked away for October or November when socks are once again needed!

My Summer Knitting List has decreased by two projects this week! I have frogged the Ooh La La sweater… I was not in love and began to ask myself were would I wear it. It was quick work to rip it out… and I have already repurposed the yarn! Yep, I have another Shakerag Skirt underway!

After seeing this… I got a crochet hook out and gave Ye Olde Crochet Bucket Hat a try… I used a skein of Euroflax I had in my stash to see how it went… and by George, I think I got it! Ha!

It is a bit “stiff” I think the linen yarn was on the heavier end of worsted weight… but it works! I have begun a second with some leftover Hempathy in my stash. Yes, I know it is a dk yarn, but I like the fabric I am getting, so I will forge on. It is fun counting and single-crocheting… ha!

And if that was not enough ‘making’ for the week. I finished a do-over of the flower pot lesson from my last watercolor class. This one I did on a quarter sheet (so much bigger!) and I ordered a frame yesterday because this one is heading off as a “congrats on your elopement” to my son and new daughter-in-law in Wisconsin!

So how’s my reading been this week, you ask? Well… I have just one finish… The Colony by Audrey Magee. I loved it! (There is painting in it! Ha!)

I have been savoring Fresh Water for Flowers… I really don’t want to leave Violette and her little cemetery… however, even though I have been savoring it, I should finish it today (I have about 50 pages to go.)

In my ears, I have been enjoying Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem. It is a collection of short stories and I am very much enjoying them!

What about you all? What have you been up to this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.7.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.7.23

Fat bottomed girlsYou make the rocking world go ’round — Brian May, Queen

Greetings Unravelers!

First… this post needs a sound track… so here you go:

I have one, grand, glorious “sweatskirt” finished… and yes, this fat bottom girl will be living in it for the foreseeable future!

It checks all the boxes:

  • Comfortable
  • Well-fitting
  • The perfect length
  • Yes, I’d make it again!

Even with some long big-ass rows, I got it done in record time! I cast on on mid-May and finished the elastic/waistband on the 5th. If you are on the fence about this skirt working for you, don’t be. It is such smart designing. There are incredible pattern notes for fit. I did the short rows to lengthen the back after I completed the lace work and did not do the second set of short rows before I began the waistband. I tried it on twice during my knit…the first time when I was almost done with the pattern’s suggested decreases. I saw that I would need a few more (4 to be exact) sets of decreases to my waist… the second time when I thought I was close to where I’d need to start the waistband. The pattern suggested adding length at the bottom, which seemed iffy to me… I wanted my skirt to be well below my knees, so I guessed at an additional 4 inches of knitting before I started my decreases, but I still needed to do about 4 more inches at the top once I was done with the decreases. I had 1.5″ waistband elastic, so I modified the waistband knitting to accommodate the wider elastic.

And I don’t want to take it off… it is my new favorite thing… ever! Oh… and there is no worries about my underwear showing… it is a nice dense fabric!

And yes…casting on another ASAP! (and I am working out a different “lace” pattern for the bottom for the next one!)

The reading this week. Oh my! I have been immersed in Ann Cleeve’s latest Matthew Venn mystery – The Raging Storm. It was deliciously good! A compelling mystery that I had no clue who “did it” until the last pages. We got to know Matthew, Jen, and Ross better as well… they are an interesting team! It will be published in early September… and I highly recommend!

The book in my ears was How High We Go In The Dark. It is a collection of short stories all around the same topic… plagues and death… but don’t let that put you off! The stories are fascinating, well written, and they kept my attention! I listened and found it difficult to stop before a story was done! If you liked Station Eleven… I think you’ll like this!

My current reads include The Colony (in my ears) and Fresh Water for Flowers (which sucked me in from the first brilliant chapter) on my Kindle!

What about you? What is making your rocking world go ’round this week?

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below.

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.31.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.31.23

Greetings Unravelers and Farewell May… sigh. I don’t want May to end, it is the loveliest month and I have tried to  savor every moment.

However, June waits for no one and June does bring a bit of a treat. I have my yarn ready and I am setting aside some time tomorrow afternoon to begin a new gnome journey!

Meanwhile, the Skirt Marches On! I have about 3-ish inches to go before I begin the waistband. The big try on happened and IT FITS! Woo! I had hoped to have this finished over the weekend but instead I sat on the porch and read. It was delightful but I am back to trying to get 10 rows in a day so I should have this done soon!

Every year brings a plethora of inspiration with #MeMadeMay I did see some things that I have put on a “wish list” for making. However, I have gotten to the point in my wardrobe that every day is a Me Made Day for me. It is a huge thing for me to put on clothing that I have made… a big thing of self-love for sure! I have one huge hole though… jeans. I really need to face the enormous challenge of sewing myself a pair of jeans. I have the fabric, I just need to get something and make a bit of a muslin so I can get the rise, waistband, fly all worked out. I am a confident sewist, but I have all.the.fears. about sewing jeans. However, I need to get past this fear so a trek to JoAnns to get something I can use for a muslin is in order! Stay tuned!

This week was all about the reading though… oh my goodness. I read some simply delightful books: Hello Comfort of Crows, Sara de Vos, and Queen of Dirt Island! And one sort of “meh” book… sigh. Yes, Trespasses just was not a hit for me. (but, I think that makes it a much more interesting to discuss book and I very much look forward to that!)

I bailed entirely on Cursed Bread it just was not for me and I had a wealth of better books to read!

Currently, I am listening to the long awaited How High We Go in the Dark. (and I have Milkman queued again to listen to again before the Read With Us Discussion!) And at night, I am immersed in mystery solving with Matthew Venn in Ann Cleeves latest, The Raging Storm.

Whew… that is one heck of an ending to May – I read 12 books! A banner month of reading for sure!

What about you? How did your May end?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.24.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.24.23

Greetings Unravelers!

I hinted on Monday about organizing my in-process knitting and starting a bit of a Summer KAL… you are welcome to join if you wish! I had an overflowing knitting bag, full of in process knits. Some, sadly, have been lingering around for too long.

As you can see above, I have one skirt that is flying along… big ass rows and all! I am halfway through the decreases and after the next few sets of decreases, I will put it on waste yarn and try it on! I am very eager to get it done because I think it is going to be an awesome addition to my summer wardrobe!

However, I also need to work on this lingering pile of knits…  some of which will make great additions to my wardrobe as well! Here is my List of Lingerer’s that need to get done!

  1. Hermoine Everyday Socks – practically done… just a foot and a toe to go. I’d like to get these tucked away for November, when it will be delightful to pull out a new pair of socks to keep my toes warm!
  2. Ooh La La – I am in the “body straightway” and though the lace looks complicated, it really is not. A single strand of Coast will make this the perfect summer sweater. I am debating with myself on sleeve length… but they will go quickly once I get the body done! And once I get my skirt done, this moves to the top of the list!
  3. Pressed Flower Wrap – oof… I really let this drop off the radar but this will be the perfect lap of knitting in the AC Deep Freeze that is my Living Room…sigh. I am just over the halfway mark, and I know that once I get back to this, it is a mindless but thoroughly enjoyable knit!
  4. Handspun Musselburgh Hat – I am tight on yarn so this knit is all about how many grams of yarn are left to start the “second half.” I am no where near that, so right now it is just mindless round and round knitting but I need to get to it!
  5. Whitethistle Wrap – I don’t expect to get this done this summer, but I’d like it to be well on its way to finished! This one needs attention, the pattern is not one I can memorize… so Thinking Knitting!

Add to all of this the June 1 start of a Gnome MKAL and I have my summer making all set!

Which leads me into One Amazing and Excellent Reading Week! I have read such amazing books… more Sarah Winman… oh, Sarah Winman… how I love you! I have one more Winman book to dig into and it sounds amazing! But first… When God Was A Rabbit… loved it. Every word. Every character. This book was her debut novel, and it does not read like a debut novel… at all. If you are looking for a book to add to your summer reading list… add any of Winman’s books!

I raced through Robert Bryndza’s latest novel. I got an advanced copy from Netgalley and devoured it. It is a thrilling mystery with a good dose of government corruption, and the ending was not what I expected…at all. Fear the Silence is a stand alone novel (Mr. Bryndza also writes the Detective Erika Foster and the Kate Marshall series.) Looking for a thriller you cannot put down… this is it! It will be out in July… so not a long wait at all!

I also listened to Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety and loved it. The narrator is the brilliant Jason Watkins (imo, he made the book!) This is a book about The Roaring 20’s in London… a time period I know little about, but Atkinson makes you feel like you can see/hear/smell the grittiness of it all. I enjoyed it (although I did need to make a character cheat sheet… it is very character heavy!)

My current reads are as follows:

Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses… I am about halfway through (at this writing) and expect to finish it later today. I know a bunch of us are reading it for our next Read With Us gathering on June 6th and I found it fascinating that PBS is showing a series on The Troubles – Once Upon A Time in Northern Ireland. There are 5 episodes which give a really brilliant synopsis of The Troubles, what they were about, and why they happened.

At night, I am reading an advance copy of Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows… I just started it and have no thoughts yet.

In my ears is a Dominic Smith book – The Last Painting of Sara de Vos. I think Bonny mentioned it and I scooped it up from my library. I am about a third of the way in and enjoying it!

Whew… that’s a lot of making and reading! What about you all… what is consuming your week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.17.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.17.23

Greetings Unravelers! Happy Wednesday!

I should be sock knitting, but my days have been a bit hectic. I am behind on my painting class, I am behind on garden chores, my closet is at the implode stage with winter/spring/summer all in a huge muddle…but what I have been doing instead of all that? Why knitting of. course… knitting round and round and round on my Shakerag Skirt!

I have gotten through the lace section, I did the short rows for the back and I am in the “plain knit” rounds before I start the decreases. And so far, I am loving this knit…but I have miles to go before I get to the “try on” point in this knit and so I am trying to knit a round or 10 each day. I am off on the row gauge, so I am knitting more rounds to get to the decrease point. My hope is I will have time today to get there… because less stitches every once in a while will be a good thing! These are long ass rows! Ha!

The reading this week has been delightful though… I was so fortunate to be approved for the latest Dominic Smith book: Return to Valetto. I loved it! It was so so so good! If you like Amor Towles or Sarah Winman… I think you will very much love this book! The writing is brilliant, the characters are well developed, and the story is one that keeps you moving along with it to the very end… and I really was not ready for the book to be over!

I also finished the third installment in the Thursday Murder Club mystery. Delightful, brilliant, and I loved it! I hope there will be another installment sooner than later!

So what am I reading this week? Well, my daytime listen is Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety. I have just started, but so far I am enjoying it. I just picked up two books from the library,
Donal Ryan’s Queen of Dirt Island, and Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses! I need to find a quiet afternoon where I can just sit and read!

My nighttime reading has been consumed by another Sarah Winman book, When God Was a Rabbit… and she might just be my new favorite author!

So there you have my week… what is consuming your time this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.10.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.10.23

Greetings Unravelers!

It felt good to have a bit of a break from all things electronic, although I did miss you all. I am trying to catch up on blog reading… a little bit each day. I should be all caught up soon!

My list for the week is looking good… all the laundry is done, so I feel caught up on some things but you know those damned weeds did not take a vacation, so I am still (always?) pulling weeds!

I think (fingers crossed) that I have my last PT session today. It has been so amazing how some simple, targeted things can make such a huge difference! Am I pain free? No, but it is so much better than it was and each week is a bit better than the one before.

Hermoine’s Everyday Socks in Miss Bab’s in Zombie Prom (I think!)

I mentioned that I did more knitting than ever on a vacation… I have a sock and just over a half to prove it! I have not given that second sock much “air time” since I got home because my “night time knitting” has been consumed with Gnome Housing (as you can see above!) Yes!! I have the house done… it now needs some embroidery to perfect it…think ivy covered cottage!) It is a good size! (and I am contemplating a two story version with more windows!!) But before any new housing plans, I have a Mystery Gnome that I am eagerly anticipating!

Before I left for Erie, I ordered some yarn from Holst Garn figuring it would be arriving this week… silly me! Helle Holst and crew swiftly packed up my yarn and it arrived while we were in Erie (7 days after ordering… from Denmark… just saying.) Sunday I began the swatching process… in the round… with a US4 and US5. Once I had knit a nice tube, I steeked it and then gave it a bath. Monday I began Swatch Measuring! (of course my gauge is my gauge and no where near Nell’s gauge… thank god for Knitty Maths!) I think a bottom up skirt might be a bit tricky for fitting (we shall see) but Nell has really great instructions (and even offers to help if you need it with gauge, math, and the fit you want!)  So I cast on on Monday night… a plethora of stitches. I love the start and her way of avoiding twisting your cast on… I feel like this will be a well worn piece in my wardrobe… and I love the color – Tides Nightshade! It feels like a LOT of knitting… but decreasing instead of increasing is a plus! Ha!

A newborn Shaker Rag Skirt…in the perfect denim-y blue!

Reading has been a bit of a mixed bag… some things I loved…Tin Man by Sarah Winman… stop everything and read this book now! As well as Beaverland… so so good! (they were both 5-star reads for me.) One I liked, but gosh does it need some editing: The Covenant of Water. Some things I did not love so much… The Boys and Babel… just did not work for me. But that is okay, because at night I am reading a new Netgalley book: Return to Valetto… I am about a third of the way in and so far, so good. And in my ears whilst weeding is Richard Osman’s latest Thursday Murder Club Mystery…I have just begun, but I have loved the previous installments so I have great expectations for The Bullet That Missed!

So there you have my update… what about you? What is at the top of your list for making this week?

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

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