Unraveled Wednesday | 5.2.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.2.18

Greetings Unravelers!

The sewing is going well! Uniform top #1 is done! I do need to make some alterations to the pattern when I make another one, but I think they will be easy alterations. I love how clear and concise the instructions are! I did do some modifications – I did flat felled seams, and made a slight adjustment to the tunic pieces in how they are hemmed. There will be more of this top in my future!

The knitting grows on my Lucinda sweater, as you can see in the above photo!

Things I discovered: I much prefer knitting with 100% wool yarn. I am finding it hard to keep an even tension with the silk-wool combination of this yarn. There are some spots where my stitches are quite different (read looser!) but I am not unraveling to fix them. I also had to do some “pre-planning” about weaving in ends. Silk-wool does not full together, so spit splicing was not an option. Also, this sweater is knit wrong-side-out…so weaving in ends on the purl side (or the right side) is not an option either. My solution? I am knitting about 6-8 stitches with the old ball and the new ball held together. I will leave a bit of a tail on the inside, and I think this will work. I can’t see the areas held double when I look at the fabric, so I hope I am good!

Now, let’s do a bit of a reading review, shall we? All in all, it was a very good month. I finished 16 books! Yikes! That was not planned, but rather I had a “it poured” moment from the library with holds that came through. I don’t think May will end with that volume of books read, but we shall see – and the end of the month brings Summer Book Bingo! Out of the 16, there were 4 books I gave 5-star reviews to, 8 books got 4-star reviews and I’d say that makes a darn good month of reading!

My finishes:

Home Fires by Kamila Shamsie. I liked this book very much and gave it 4-stars. There is so much to think about in this book and Kamila does a great job of sharing the story of Muslim immigrants. I highly recommend.

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian was, imo, horrid. At 1-star, and I found it to be a colossal waste of reading time. You can read my review here, but be warned, it has spoilers. A blog friend felt bad about my review and suggested I try another Bohjalian novel (she suggested The Double Bind). Surprisingly there is a long wait list at the library, and the reviews are very mixed on it on Goodreads, so I am having a bit of a debate about reading this with myself.

Bring Me Back is B.A. Paris’ latest novel and I received a copy from NetGalley for review. I was disappointed in this, her third novel, and I gave it just 2-stars and I do not recommend. You can read my review here, and again – it contains spoilers.

On a brighter note, I also finished Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, which I loved! 4-stars and I highly recommend this short but lovely novel!

And, finally I listened to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. This year is the 60th anniversary of the book and somehow, I had managed to avoid reading this until now. I loved it, it is brilliantly written. If you have not read this, I recommend listening to it. It is short, but riveting!

I have 2 long audiobooks that will close out the Library Waiting List Bonanza: Amor Towles Rules of Civility and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. I am over half way through listening to The Rules of Civility and so far, so very good!

I am reading another Net Galley book: Ohio a novel, by Stephen Markley. I have just begun reading it and don’t really have a feel for it yet.

And, finally, I started Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn as well. This is due back to the library next week, so I need to get going on it!

There you have it… my entirely Unraveled Wednesday!

What was good in your April and what are you hoping May holds for you?

If you are joining along, please leave your link and thank you!

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.25.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.25.18

Greetings, Unravelers!

How is it even possible that this is the last Wednesday of April?? What is usually the loveliest of spring months here has been hardly spring like at all, but it seems in the ‘weather battle’ spring is finally gaining some ground. I have a lilac bush that is filled with blooms waiting to burst open and I am so excited for that to happen! This lilac bush came by way of salvaging her from a neighbor’s yard trash after they did some serious ‘pruning’ of their massive bush. But, she took root and this year she is showing signs of truly flourishing, with lots of new growth and blooms-to-be galore!

One would think that with all the wintry weather we have had, I would have finished another wool sweater – but something inside me just rebelled at the idea. And, so I knit other things (and gladly!) Now, with hints of spring increasing – I have started what I hope will be a transition piece. I thought it would be slow going, but I have managed to get a good bit done as I had to be some place yesterday and wait for an installation technician to work his magic. Sometimes, volunteer work has its benefits and 4+ hours of knitting time is a good benefit! (And, actually I was trapped for over nine hours with a good 4 hours of the time trying to help troubleshoot! This might have outweighed the benefits of knitting time, just sayin’)

My reading has been at a fevered pitch as I have gotten an onslaught of books off hold at the library and I had a Net Galley finish as well! This week I can share the following finishes:

My one Net Galley selection for the month was Jo Nesbø’s Macbeth, which was one of the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I am a fan of Nesbø so I jumped at the opportunity to request this book. Macbeth did not disappoint at all, despite a bit of a slow start…and I don’t mean a slow start in what is going on in the story, but rather slow in my reading as there is lots going on and lots of characters to remember! Nesbø hits a homerun with his adaptation of Macbeth. Throughout the book, as the characters unfold, I questioned whether absolute power corrupts or does a corrupt person take advantage of absolute power? All the characters are flawed, yet some rise above their flaws and find the inner strength to make the right decisions. If you are a fan of Nesbø, Macbeth will not disappoint! I gave it 5-stars and highly recommend this book!

I also finished Louise Penny’s How the Light Gets In, and wow! This book ties up some of the loose ends from previous novels and Penny does the tie up’s in a wonderful way. I cried, I laughed, and I grew to love even more the characters in Penny’s novels. 5-stars and a must-read series!

I also listened to The Death of Ivan Ilych as I dipped my toes into Tolstoy. I must say, for a short story, this one is packed full of thought-provoking things! It is short, the narration was wonderful, and I highly recommend!

I am currently reading The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian and listening to Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie – although I am not sure I will continue with Home Fire but, I am giving it a try.

AND, I got a book from the library that I have been waiting for that I am excited to read!

And, what about you? What are you making and/or reading today?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.18.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.18.18

No unraveling here this week, just long rows of knitting as I have joined all the sections of my Lunar Phases together. These rows require counting and keeping track of where you are, but it is rhythmic and fun knitting as I see it growing, albeit slowly!

I am a little antsy about what project to start next and not at all sure what I want to do. I want to knit a cardigan from Uniform, but I am uncertain what style to knit, or what material to knit with. However, I have some lingering projects that I should be disciplined and finish. Or perhaps, I should do a bit of sewing or at the very least, I should make the muslin to determine the alterations necessary on a sleeveless Uniform Top. It seems I am as unsettled as the weather has been!

Fortunately, the reading has been not unsettled at all, although not all the reading has been great!

I devoured Jason Matthews Red Sparrow. It was fantastic! I loved the story and the recipes. And, I am eagerly awaiting the second book of the trilogy. This is a 5-star book and I highly recommend!

Thanks to long hours of yard work over the weekend, I also finished listening to The Idiot. I am not sure what was the greater punishment – the yard work or the book. I am surprised, as The Idiot made the long list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. I was not impressed at all and gave it 2-stars. I do not recommend it at all.

I “cleansed my palate” with the quick listen of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men – read by Gary Sinise. Short, sweet, and, more importantly, it reminded me how much I love Steinbeck.

I just started listening to Flat Broke with Two Goats, which is The Big Library Read choice for spring. It is not at all what I expected, but I am enjoying it tremendously.

What are you making or reading (or both!) this week? If you wrote a post today, please leave the link to the post in your comment! And, thank you!

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.11.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.11.18

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 engrossed in listening to Jason Matthews Red Sparrow. I am more than half way through this riveting novel.

What are you making or reading (or both!) this week? If you wrote a post today, please leave the link to the post in your comment! And, thank you!

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.4.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.4.18

The knitting continues, steady and slow. I have enough yarn to do one more repeat on each side and then the joining begins!

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…

The Big Library Read is going on again with Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha. My library is not participating this time, so I am on a surprisingly short wait list.

The PBS Newshour/NYTimes BookReview’s Now Read This has picked their book for April: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan and again, I am on a very short wait list at my local library!

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?

If you are joining us this week, please leave the link to your post with your comment so we can visit you!

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.28.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.28.18

Greetings, Unravelers!

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!

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