Cover All!

Cover All!

Happy Friday, Gentle Readers! And, Welcome September – okay, maybe not welcome – it is just 50 degrees out this morning and decidedly fall like. Brrrr!

Blue = 5 star books; Orange = 4 star books

August closed out my summer reading on an incredible high point. I finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay on Wednesday and what a way to finish my book bingo! To say I loved Kavalier and Clay is an understatement – it is one of the best books I have read this year. I gave it 5 stars and if you have not yet read any of Michael Chabon’s books, this is the place to start! I deeply loved Rose, Joe, and Sammy.

This summer had an incredible number of good reads (thanks to so many of you for sharing such incredible titles with me!!) Of the 25 books I read for my cover all there were 14 books I gave 4 stars and 9 that I gave 5 stars. IMO that is just amazing. I discovered some new (to me) authors that I was fortunate to be able to read more of their great writing and I even spent some time with authors I already love.

Staying on books for a moment – I began listening to Pat Conroy’s Beach Music on Wednesday and I am completely enthralled. I mean what is not to love about someone who writes about more dysfunctional families than I had!

And the knitting! I am on clue 3 of Laura Aylor’s Sand Ripples MKAL – and wow! Just wow! I have bound off stitches on 2 sides of the square and now am knitting out from the sides that were not bound off. It is a fascinating construction and I hope to be caught up and start today’s clue this weekend!

Now, how about some knitting inspiration?

First up, some interesting shawls: Touchstone (and it’s a free download!), Balvraid Hap, and Sketch Shawl (I especially like this knit with Zitron Filigran)

Interesting construction with Wood Warbler Cowl and Warrior Cowl

If this weather keeps up you will need a sweater: Steampunk Pullover, New Berlin Gansey, Intrigue, and Brookings Crew

PSA: There are just 115 days to Christmas…if you plan on doing any gift knitting you better get started! Here are some easy gift knits to get you started: Elska, Ruschia Hat, Transitus, and Soft Washed Herringbone Mitts

That is all I have for this week! I will see you back here on Monday!

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A Summer Count Down Friday

A Summer Count Down Friday

Hullo, Friday!!

Who else besides me, looked at the calendar and got excited that next weekend is Memorial Day weekend?

This weekend is the kick off to so many good things!

  1. Summer
  2. Book Bingo
  3. My Summer Knit Along

In preparation for Book Bingo I spent a good bit of time yesterday on Goodreads and on my library website looking for books for my squares and I have most of them plotted out. One book has a mile-long waiting list – so that moves to the “purchase” category. Two books have a short waiting list and I got on the list now so I know I will be able to get it before Labor Day! All the others, I am golden on and this is a very good start, don’t you think? I still am pondering a few categories: A Banned Book (outside of the US), a Biography of a royal (which royal will I pick?), About art/artist(s), and recommended by a family member (I am hoping my Blogging Family will chime in and give me a recommendation!!)

Today, the real prep work for Summer Knit-Along begins. I will be going through my projects I want to get done and put them in some kind of order. Unlike last year, where I had lots of things with little bits to finish, this year I have things that are either barely begun or not begun at all to finish! I am hoping that the pairing of knitting with Audiobooks will help kick the knitting into overdrive! And, as you can see above, the KAL knitting is moving along smoothly – I love the fabric this stitch pattern is making! This is not my usual yarns to knit with either, but I love them all stranded together and I am ready to wind another ball of the bamboo yarn.

And, that brings us to summer. We got the rest of the vegetable garden planted yesterday and we had a few surprises…we thought we got zucchini and summer squash, but we got an “unknown squash” and bush cucumbers. Yeah, bravo on my reading skills…NOT! Our neighbor gave us a dozen tomato plants – some of which got in the “deer proof garden” and a few will be testers in a couple of new beds that are not deer proof. This will either be wildly successful (okay, I know I am fooling myself here!) or the deer will get some treats of heirloom tomatoes, but can they possibly eat them all? Perhaps a bit of sharing is an okay thing to do…amirite?

I also have some perennials to add to the bed we did last year. Some things did not make it over the winter, but as you can see – the Foxglove certainly did! It is just loaded with blooms! I probably should have divided it earlier this spring…but, I can’t wait. I also moved a yarrow plant from the front beds that was just not thriving at all. I am hoping this move will be good for it and it is happy in its new home!

So, with lots of things to do today, I think it is time for some links:

That is all I have for this week! See you back here on Monday – have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. Please don’t forget to share your book recommendations! XOXO

Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Summer has abruptly arrived here in the Pittsburgh area. Temps climbed into the 80’s yesterday and are slated to climb into the 90’s today. This has created a sense of urgency for the garden, but I won’t be transplanting young plants in that heat. They can wait shaded on the porch until later in the week when the temperatures are more moderate.

On the reading front, I finished The Lake and I loved it! Look for a full review next week! I am back to The Girl in Green by Derek Miller and I am enjoying it. I also have printed out my Summer Book Bingo Card. If you want to join in, you can get all the details here from Mary.

I was so excited to learn that my local Knit Night group is no longer meeting at the world’s worst knitting shop! The shop owner for unknown reasons has cancelled knit night at the shop so they are now meeting at my favorite library on Tuesday nights. Last night was my first night back at the new location. I am still working away on the Air Soft Shawl but I am at the point of repeating rows and staggered increases – it is not a “mindless knit” right now. So, knitting it seemed like an exercise in futility (or frogging…) so I knit on the KAL since my kit arrived on Monday. I was unsure how I’d like knitting with such big needles (you cast on with a US17 and then knit with a US15 for a good bit) but it seems okay, if albeit a bit awkward managing those needles until the fabric grows a bit. However, I love the texture of the knitting and I learned a new stitch K1-rb (Knit 1, row below) This stitch creates an elongated stitch and has a lovely texture. I have a bit more to go until I switch to a smaller needle.

That is all I have for this Wednesday. What are you making and reading?

Oh, YAY! Friday!!

Oh, YAY! Friday!!

It has been a long week at Casa del KatKnits and I am so happy that Friday is here!

This week saw the completion of several lists, the completion of a project, and (if you read yesterday’s blog) the confidence that I really can’t remember shit! And, beyond that, I am so confident in my ability to not remember correctly that I believe myself! Yep, no second doubting here! Anyways, good thing I pointed out so clearly how imperfect I am! Now, in the ideal day category? Why – my ideal day is any day I can do whatever I want, whatever that might be! Those days are few and far between, sadly. Which I think directly correlates to the can remember shit problem.

Coming soon?

 

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Who is up for another round of Summer Knit Along-ing? I could use a good dose of knit what’s in the basket! And, I have some incentive – I want to knit another Lopi sweater for the fall/winter! There are some projects I need to get moving on – from cast on to finishing, so it is not all “old projects”! And, for me the Through the Loops Summer MKAL is the best part of summer, so I will be knitting along with that as well! Anyways, if you are interested in joining again, there is a Ravelry Group and I will share a weekly recipe for a delicious libation. If you are not a knitter – you are still welcome to join us, we are a multi-craft friendly group! Same rules as last summer, which is no rules. It is a “go at your own pace group” and I like it just that way the best, don’t you? Summer Knit-Along kick off on May 27th (Memorial Day weekend) and run through September 4th (Labor Day). Feel free to grab a button for your blog, if you so desire!

Not a knitter, or a crafter, but you are a reader? Well, then I hope you will join Mary’s Summer Book Bingo, which I think will be so much fun! I will be printing out my book bingo sheet soon and begin plotting my summer reading!

Now, how about some links?

That is all I have for today. Have a great weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

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Reading, reading, and more reading

Reading, reading, and more reading

Reading has sort of overtaken my time recently, well because GOOD BOOKS! I finished listening to The Book Thief yesterday, but truly – I did not want it to end. What an incredibly poignant and moving story. I sobbed considerably in the last chapters, but still – I did not want it to end.

In an attempt to lift myself from the funk that finishing a book that I did not want to end, I started reading Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year – and it was so delicious that I devoured it in one sitting. I borrowed it from the library, but I promise you, I will be buying it shortly. The recipes look simply incredible, and I think it will be a great thing to cook through the year with her. If you have not read it, you should!

Book Bingo Card

That makes my Summer Bingo Card looking pretty good! I am listening to David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, which will get me my first bingo! I started reading To Kill a Mockingbird on my Kindle last night, but I did not get very far. I have my squares all set, but one – and I am saving that for the very end. I will go down to my bookshelves and pick something fun for my final read. Now, will I get this done by the time that Labor Day rolls around, we shall see! I am also working through My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. It seems like it is not going to be 900 gazillion degrees out today nor is it raining, so I may be able to steal some time sitting under the pergola reading.

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On the knitting front, I am almost done with the first skein of yarn for Tales from the Isle of Purbeck and just over half way through the fourth chart. I have one chart to go, and I hope to have enough yarn to knit more than one repeat of it. I would like this to be a big, warm shawl (which it will be, but I’d like it bigger!) This is a fun pattern, and what can I say about Elsawool – this stuff is insanely soft. I have the woolen spun fingering weight dark brown Cormo. Light, fluffy, soft – and it is knitting into a fabric that is lovely. You cannot tell from the brown blob that it is right now, but this is going to be the thing to wrap myself in this fall and winter!

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Aside from that, I have been loving my Instant Pot – I made yogurt yesterday and oh.my.gosh. (Topped with homemade peach vanilla preserves it is divine!) And, last night I made beef with broccoli in no time at all (seriously, entire cooking time including resting time – less than 20 minutes). I love to cook, but sometimes standing in the kitchen at the end of the day does not send thrills of joy through my being.

Joining up with Ginny and her Yarn Along today, where you will find inspiration for knitting and reading!

What was the last book you read that you did not want to end?

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