It feels like I have not done one of these posts in ages and so I thought that it would be a wonderful way to end the week:
(bookish) Thinking —
I managed to print out not one, but two Summer Book Bingo cards. I know… what is wrong with me! But there is a method to my madness, I like the squares for the most part of both cards so I have been thinking about potential books that would work. The winning card will be the one that has the most books “pre-filled” before Memorial Day Weekend arrives! I have not felt any urgency to get this done because it barely feels like May outside… it feels more like March! But, I digress…one thing I think would be riotously fun is the idea that Mary suggested of “square swapping”! She asked me earlier in the week if I had my card printed out (I didn’t then, but I do now!) and I have been pondering what square I might like to swap with her. I am thinking that it might make sense to trade her my “Modern Mrs. Darcy” square from Card One… but I don’t know what she might like to get rid of. Mary!! I am hoping you will weigh in here and we can do a bit of swapping! If you want to swap a square with me… let me know what you are offering!
(friendly) Goodwill —
Over the past couple of weeks, the kindness of “strangers” has really been the tide that is lifting my boat. Small things that were so unexpected and yet they made such an impact on me. A little book of poetry from Kym to thank me for participating in Poetry Month with her. I have been reading a poem or two a day with my morning meditation time and it has quickly become the bright spot of my morning! A little knitting “kit” from Jane (that she made!) really was the perfect thing… I had been contemplating getting something so when this arrived it just seemed like Jane had read my mind and put together exactly what I had been thinking about. A couple of weeks ago Vera was doing a bit of a “destash” of her amazing stitching patterns so imagine my surprise with the plethora that arrived this week! Plus some bits of lovely linen and threads! Ladies, your little gifts have truly wowed me! Your kindness and generosity are incredible and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
(ducks) In a row —
My first step in sewing a few new pieces (from new patterns) for my wardrobe is to make muslins. But!! Before even that can happen I need to trace off the patterns onto tracing paper, and get everything ready to cut out the pieces. Recently, someone told me that tracing patterns was their least favorite thing, but I want to tell you all that it is the most important step of the entire process. Is it fun? Yes, I think so! It is the first place that I make alterations even before I start sewing. I can alter inseam length, rise, and sleeve length – things I know I always make adjustments on. Tracing patterns off also allows you to blend sizes! All those steps takes some time, but it also means a much better outcome (even for a lowly muslin!) So I hope to carve out some time today to begin the the tracing process. Hopefully I will get everything traced off so I can sit down and begin the “great cut out” later today. On a side note, I saw a color blocked version of this and I am also tossing the fabric stash to see if I have any fabrics that might coordinate together to try one!
(al) Fresco —
It has been such an incredibly shitty spring… cold (I mean we had frost three times this week, for crying out loud), rainy, cloudy… just really miserable weather. My furnace still is running in the mornings that is how cold it is has been! But today we are supposed to get almost to 70° and the sun is shining!! We are going to head out for a little outside dining on the lovely patio at our local brewery… pizza and beer for lunch sounds like the perfect way to begin the weekend! I might have to wear a sweater, but the sun is shining and there is not a single cloud in the sky!
Our cat lies across the stove’s front burners,
right leg hanging over the oven door. He
is looking into the pantry where his bowl
sits full on the counter. His smaller dish,
the one for his splash of cream, sits empty.
Say yes to wanting to be this cat. Say
yes to wanting to lie across the leftover
warmth, letting it rise into your soft belly,
spreading into every twitch of whisker, twist
of fur and cell, through the Mobius strip
of your bloodstream. You won’t know
you will die. You won’t know the mice
do not exist for you. If a lap is empty and
warm, you will land on it, feel an unsteady
hand along your back, fingers scratching
behind your ear. You will purr.
That is all I have for this week! I hope you all have an amazing Friday and an even better weekend! I will see you all back here on Monday!
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!
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!
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:
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?
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.
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!