Unraveled Wednesday | 2.21.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.21.24

Greetings Dear Unravelers and Welcome!

There was some unraveling this week… remember that hat I shared last week? Well, it was just too big, which for a hat is not a good thing. I got gauge, but it was just huge. This yarn has “tried” to be a number of things so perhaps it is the yarn and not the knitter! Socks did not work (and I tried several patterns), and a hat was not it either! And so this skein is being consigned to the Gnome Bag! My goal today is to find a suitable skein to try Sarah’s hat pattern again…wish me luck! (with eleventy-zillion skeins of sock yarn in my stash this should be an easy thing to do!)

However, I did have success this week with a finished pair of socks! Pair #2 for 2024…The yarn is a “test color way” from Fibernymph Dyeworks — Grays/Pinks Test Colorway. I knit my favorite sock pattern, Carole’s Picot Socks and they just flew off the needles. A sock is the perfect nighttime knit… I can sit with Steve but not really pay too much attention to what is on television.

I also succeeded in the Italian Tubular Cast On… and I have the ribbing finished and have started the body of Steve’s vest. The color is kind of off-putting because really I want to keep knitting with pinks! But it will be the most excellent business attire color… so I knit on!

The thing that is saving my sanity these days is my daily stitching ritual…  you can see page six above on my 100 Day Journey. Such fun from literal scraps of fabric… things I probably should have thrown away, but my goodness, am I glad I did not do that!

My reading has definitely slowed dramatically down. I saw my doctor earlier this month and talked to him about my insomnia… he had some suggestions, which I have implemented over the month. The main thing was “no screen time” and I read books on my iPad at night. Or at least I had been… now, when the lights go off, I do not lay there and read in the dark… and stunningly, my sleep has improved. I have only had a couple of nights this month that sleep has been elusive. Thus it took me forever to finish a kindle book but I did! I got an advance copy of Mr. Comey’s latest mystery, Westport, from Netgalley. I am happy to report that the second book in this series was much better than the first! I made a guess early on in the reading of who I thought “did it” and I was right! (Although, I prefer being wrong… lol) Anyways, if you tried Central Park West and were disappointed, you might want to try again with Westport which will be out May 21, 2024.

I also have finished listening to The Poisonwood Bible. Oh my. Kym said there’d be so much to discuss with this one… and she is so right! Anyways, I loved it (and hated so many things in it…) but really, really loving how the story is told! I have laughed, cried, laughed some more, and even had some rather animated discussions with Steve about some aspects of it. (He is not even the least bit intrigued to read it… lol)

I have begun listening to The Eyes and The Impossible by Dave Eggers. So far… so very good. And my next Kindle read is one many of you have read… an advanced copy of Real Americans. I barely cracked it open… but those few “pages” have lured me in!

And there you have my week. What about you? What are you loving right now?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.14.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.14.24

Greetings Unravelers and Happy Valentine’s Day Ash Wednesday! (Or the opening of Fried Fish Season… IYKYK)

It is a day for all.the.things… especially the things we make!

I have some good… and some not so good to share with you today. I will start with the good..

Yesterday I began my sixth page for the 100 day project I am working on. Fifteen minutes a day over five days per page is the sweet spot of making… really. Less or more would not be good. Page five was inspired from Ann Wood’s “monthly creative spark” … vessel. I thought and thought about how to approach this… and I think I came up with a great interpretation! I present A Maker’s Vessel!

A knitting “bowl” filled with inspiration!

A bit of appliqué and then I just let my creativity flow with bits of scrap yarn, a wee pocket to fill with wee balls of yarn. It was so fun to watch this idea come to life on my “page.” This time might be my favorite 15 minutes of each day. And it is really making me think about how small blocks of time can really spark your creativity!

Pages 1 and 2 on top, 3 and 4 on the bottom.

As you can see in the header photo… there was a good bit of “safe knitting” done this week as well. Thanks to Super Sunday, I had an almost finished sock on Sunday night when I went to bed. I just had the toe decreases and grafting to a finished sock, which I did on Monday… and I immediately cast on its mate and have made great headway on it as well! I think that another pair of socks this month is very doable! I have also made some progress on a hat… I just love the “sunny-ness” of the yarn!

Now on to the Very Bad and Extremely Disappointing News of the Month. The Great Cabled Sweater is Enormous. E-Nor-Mous. And it weighs a ton…which I think does not help the fit at all. I have not purchased buttons yet… and I am at the point of such great disappointment that I am not sure I will. But, in my deep disappointment I have been thinking of how this colossal disaster might be salvaged… perhaps I could rework all.the.shoulders. and the sleeve caps of each sleeve. That’s an extremely daunting task and I am not sure it is worth all the additional effort that would take. (Or maybe Steve will wear a pink sweater?) Sigh. Also… that yarn… well it seemed nice and sturdy pre-washing… post washing, it is a super-shedder… as in it sheds more than Sherman does… if that is even possible! And, sans sunshine and an outdoor breeze… it takes FOR.EVER to dry! I washed it again on Saturday and it has been laying out to dry in the house since then and it is still.not.dry. (at this writing on Tuesday afternoon!) 

Maybe it can become the most expensive bathrobe ever crafted….

There is really no place this sweater fits…

Although, I do love this collar and the 3-needle bind-off detail…but note, where the collar edge is on my shoulder… that is my shoulder. The shoulder seam is some two inches down my arm, making the sleeves even longer than they already were! 

Fortunately, the reading has been a balm this week! I finished The Color of Water by James McBride. If you have not read this… you should! It is balm reading at its finest!

I also started The Poisonwood Bible on Monday… and it sucked me right in and I can’t wait to talk about this book!

At night, thanks to Netgalley, I am working through James Comey’s second mystery… and it is MUCH better than his first mystery!

Now… I am going to attempt the Italian Tubular Cast On to start Steve’s vest and have one enormous fried fish sandwich for lunch!

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

See you back here tomorrow with some much needed poetry!

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.7.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.7.24

Greetings dear Unravelers and Happy First Wednesday in February!

Is it just me or are you all surprised to find yourself on the seventh day of this month?

I hit a HUGE milestone on Sunday afternoon… (I feel like I should insert a drumroll here… lol)

I finished the knitting portion of The Great Cabled Sweater! 

Done… with a skein to spare! All ready for a nice long soak!

Which ushered in a rush for the washing and blocking of all the pieces. Fortunately, the weather is cooperating delightfully here in the ‘Burgh… a week of warm sunny days to speed the drying. My yard looked quite hilarious…

Precise measurements… come on sun, dry these pieces!

Tuesday morning the pieces were mostly dry and so The Great Mattress Seaming began! I am nervous… as all get out! It’s A LOT of seaming, people. Seaming inside and outside… I made a more concise list of seaming order. Please send all the Seaming Juju you can muster my way. I hope to have a finished sweater THIS WEEK! (although, if this warm weather holds I might not get to wear it until next winter… sigh.) And I will begin my search for the Perfect Buttons (so any button retailer recommendations would be gratefully accepted!)

To celebrate, I whipped up two fuchsia “valentine” trees for the gnomes!

The Gnome Home is all set for the Valentine’s holiday!

And wound some yarn for another pair of socks… and cast on! (who am I?? lol)

The reading this week… slow as all get out. Just two finishes… The next Max Tudor Mystery, A Demon Summer. Perfect palette clearing listening! And Laurie Frankl’s latest book, Family Family. The premise is curious but I have strong thoughts about all of it.

And with that, I have some seaming to get back to! What about you all… what is demanding your attention this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.31.24

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.31.24

Greetings dear Unravelers!

At long last, we have arrived at the last day of January… it has been A. Month. (that felt like a month and a half… at least!)

We had “winter” for roughly ten days… ten glorious flannel sheet days. There was snow for less time, but for those brief days everything felt clean, bright, and hushed. I think snow makes the dark days of winter… well, less dark. But we are back to dark, dreary, with a yard that is like one giant squishy sponge. My game of “whack-a-mole” with the squirrels returns… because of course they STILL are trying to dig bulbs up! (more on those bulbs later this week… )

Happy Handspun Socks!

And yes, on this last day of January… I have a finely finished pair of socks that make me so happy! I have barely taken them off since finishing them last week. My love for them and the love of having a mindless sock to knit while watching television at night caused me to dig out an already wound ball of yarn (from a failed attempt at socks, I think) I tried again… but the yarn is just too fine and I am not going to knit on smaller needles. So I am going to frog this start and get a hat started. I think it will be miles and miles of mindless nighttime knitting once I get past the increase portion, that is. I was going to knit a Musselburgh, but I like the look of Sarah’s crown increases and decreases better… so I made the purchase yesterday. I will get it started later today.

Frogging in 3…2…

As you can see above, the BIGGEST NEWS of all is that I have just ONE button band to go on the Great Cabled Sweater! I have begun the shawl collar increases… which is really a great deal of knitting… and it is pay attention knitting, so it not exactly “mindless” knitting. But I have a method for this madness. My countdown is the row of markers on the completed collar. As I increase, I move one from the completed to the in process… and that countdown is a bit like a cheerleader! I also wanted to begin the “wash and pin out to the correct dimensions” portion of the making…but I woke Tuesday to no water (thanks to a water main break… sigh.) We still have no water at this writing so the sweater blocking will move to another day’s list… hopefully we have water soon!

The reading remains slow… just two finishes this week. I have struggled to “stay awake” to read at night… only to wake around midnight to toss and turn. No reading then, because I am hopeful of falling back asleep… grrr! But, my listens were delightful… The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo was lovely! (It will be published February 13th!) And I listened to Geraldine Brooks Year of Wonders… very different from The Fox Wife, but I liked it as well! Brooks does such a wonderful job on research… and I am so very thankful for vaccinations! Haha!

What about you all on this final day of January?

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

A Year of Unraveling | 2023

A Year of Unraveling | 2023

…To not be making things is to be dead. — Donna Druchunas, comment from Melanie Falick’s blog.

Greetings dear Unravelers and Happy New Year!

Welcome to a new year of unraveling… one which I plan to continue exactly as we have been… sharing peeks into our making and what we are reading (or have read!) I look forward to our posts… our community of making is the best part of my week! I love to see what you are making (you all inspire me!) and what you are reading (you all help me add to my TBR list as well!)

This week, I will be sharing some stats of my year of making! Some might say it was not the most productive year… but I am happy with my time spent making and I am excited to see what I will make this year! Right now, I don’t have much on my radar… I want to finish the Great Cabled Sweater that I started last November… I am close, I have begun the second “front” and after that I just have the collars to knit. Happily, I took excellent notes on how I accomplished Pocket #1 so Pocket #2 has been a breeze! Once that is completed (and it is!) the knitting is a breeze of ever shortening rows… the right front should be done SOON! Then the Great Seaming can begin… which I am a bit nervous about, to be honest! I don’t seam much… but I do know how and I know how to “set a sleeve” in for sewing… it can’t be that much different in knitting… right?

My first “finish” of 2024… the last circle was completed on the 1st!

I did some swatching in December… a bit of “gift” swatching! LOL Steve picked his favorite and I will soon cast on a vest for him! It is a vest with some new techniques as well. Learning something new is always a good thing!

Swatch #3 was the winner… a marled mix of the two above!

But my year of making was very good! And like my Best of Reading, this list will work up to my favorite make of the year! So let’s get started!

  • I finally finished a crochet scarf (and have not used it once.) This speaks volumes about crochet in my life.
  • I crocheted one Bucket Hat… I wore it once. I think that it is safe to say that I have moved beyond my crochet fad.
  • I did some sewing this year… I made 3 sweatshirts. I love them. They are in the rotation on the regular. I also sewed a “pencil’ skirt… it got some wear in the warmer months but I don’t think the skirt is a “good” style for my “bottom heavy” body type.
  • I took classes for painting… and I painted some. But this last class confirmed for me that I need to go in a different direction than classes. I am not sure if the path forward includes painting… maybe it does, I do not know. I do know that I need to jumpstart my own creativity…. find my inner artist and give her permission to fail… or succeed…
  • I did some “improv” quilting and sewed some Heart Coasters for us to use in February.
  • I knit 5 pairs of socks… not a great number, but perhaps just enough. Although, I am contemplating knitting 6 pairs this year (heaven knows I have MORE than enough sock yarn to easily accomplish this! And I might have even stumbled upon some inspiration to make it fun!)
  • I managed to do some spinning last year… and I KNIT with what I spun multiple times! I confess that my favorite handspun knit might just be a Hitchhiker! Or my Hitch On The Move knit with handspun *and* commercial yarn. I want to spin more this year but something might need to shift off my list to accomplish that with any regularity.
  • I did have an epic spinning/knitting project last year… I knit a Saglan with handspun yarn. I love this sweater so much. I wear it All.The.Time! It fits well! My yarn is wearing well! And it just makes me so happy to wear it!
  • There was LOTS of hand stitching last year as well! One Temperature Project and one set of hand stitched autumnal coasters. Honestly, the Temperature Project became a bit of a drag… There was no impromptu sitting and stitching with this thing. I needed to have written down the highs and lows for the day… iNotes FTW here! I am NOT doing another temperature project this year… but I really love the result I got after stitching diligently all year! My favorite stitching time though was the “do my own thing” stitching.
  • As the year began to wind down, I gave in to the lure of sourdough with success this time! (For me, the third time was the charm… as well as the sourdough “house” to regulate temperature!) Since my success, I have been baking weekly loaves and I love it! I love every part of it… the process is slow… and  I like that slowness. It has become a mindful practice… I love the intervals of being alone with the dough and the quiet!
  • Gnomes… there were so many gnomes this year! I also knit some trees for those gnomes, some birds, and a rabbit! The gnome count for the year ended in the double digits! I love the December Mystery Gnomes, yes plural! They are perfect additions to Gnome-Land! I sent a good number of gnomes out into the world (one for each of my grands!) And, then came Mean Gnome Greene! Knitting gnomes brings such delight… I expect there will be more gnomes this year.
  • My best knit of the year however, is a simple skirt (but such a smart pattern!) I wanted to knit another, but the yarn gods did not smile on my second attempt. I plan to rectify that this year… I need another in my wardrobe!

And there you have my year of making and here I am in a New Year… New Opportunities… and I am so excited!

Lord Gnapier, on the right, with his dear friend Mr. Gnettles. The 2023 Mystery Gnomes!

Mean Gnome Greene, with his trusty Terrible Towel, sporting his favorite jersey… #55! He is now living on Steve’s mom’s mantle!

What about you? What are you excited about as we begin a New Year?

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

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