A big question for me right now is garden or no garden? Last year the only thing that did well were the beans. Tomatoes and peppers were epic failures with very low production and really not worth the effort. Also, another question I am contemplating is do I want to maintain a vegetable garden by myself? When I add in all the flower beds which I currently care for solo – it all seems a bit much and Steve’s gardening interest has waned to a negative number. Perhaps a good work around would be to have a couple of tomato plants in containers that I could easily manage by myself.
I am also thinking about a Michigan trip! I think this will be another solo visit as well. I am that a mid-March visit will soon be in the works!
Listening and Watching and Reading
I recently finished Conversations with RBG and then I noted that On the Basis of Sex was streaming on television. I think the two work well together – some of the conversations RBG had with Jeffrey Rosen included a couple of the cases in the movie. I highly recommend both the book and the movie!
In my ears right now is the Pulitzer prize winning The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman, narrated by Wanda McCaddon. Wanda is a favorite narrator of mine and this book is so fascinating!
I have a lovely stack of books from the library to get through – however, I cannot read and do color work or do cables, so perhaps I need to start something with miles of stockinette! (**Perhaps the sock below is just the ticket!)
The Miles of Stockinette Pile
I also discovered that listening to NPR’s Up First is a wonderful way to start my day. I have not found success with any other podcast listening – but maybe this is enough.
On my “want to read list” is A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (which will be released tomorrow) and I heard this interview on Sunday and my desire for this book increased. This one I might need to buy as the library has one copy with a very long wait list!
Speaking of knitting, I have a plethora of projects in various stages – my current fascination though is my Pheasant Pullover which I started on Saturday! There is no greater joy than stranded color work – truly, if you have not tried, you should! I am almost finished with the first chart!
I love this colorwork – the colors are just brilliant together!
Even the inside looks beautiful!
I also finished a sock and… wait for it… I have started its mate**! What??? I know, it is a true cause for celebration! I LOVE how the heel fits in this sock! And, I love how it allows the striping to continue down the foot in a more harmonious way – especially if you are a clog wearer like I am! I need to figure out a better fitting toe though…
I *almost* managed to start Sock Two in the same place as Sock One
Sewing and Learning and Wearing
Today is the day I am going to attempt to lay out an Esme Tunic in which the plaids match! I have watched and rewatched this video a number of times and am mentally ready to tackle the tricky bits. Fingers crossed that this is successful, because an Esme Tunic is my “go to” thing to wear right now. Warm, comfortable, works with or without a sweater, with leggings or jeans! I would like a couple more in my wardrobe, so I need to figure this out!
I need to make a Pietra muslin so I can adjust the rise and fit if need be so that I can make a pair of black corduroy pants!
These things are on my list for this week and I am talking about them here to make sure they get started!
Finding a Rhythm
I have spent a good bit of time this month figuring out how to transition from focus to intentional – and as I did last January, I am looking at all aspects of my life. It has been eye-opening, to say the least. It is amazing what is percolating to the top as I review my daily and weekly routines.
That’s what my world looks like right now, but what about you? What is your favorite current thing?
The weather forecast seems to be attempting to put the kibosh on a glorious welcome to summer:
But I am not going to let the weather stop me from having a good weekend!
In the plus column – I did indeed get my Charity Shawl completed and blocked! Which means I can ease back into my regularly scheduled knitting – which includes my Marsa Alam and a pair of toe-up socks! I have never knit a pair of socks toe-up so this is an entirely new experience for me. I am not sure how I feel about the process compared to my usual sock knitting method, but I will have a better idea once I have gotten to the heel. I am also a bit concerned about the cast off, but hopefully my typical stretchy bind-off will not fail me!
Sewing! I finished my Rose muslin yesterday. I had made some alterations to the pattern – I shortened the length and I knew I would need to shorten the rise but I was unsure exactly how much to shorten it. And even though I did not quite shorten it enough, it is still a wearable muslin! I used some fabric I got at IKEA a couple of years ago. My original plan was to sew a cushion for the window seat at the top of our stairs, but that never happened and so I thought it would work well for a muslin and it did! The pattern directions are well written and very clear. I tried the pleat option and it was surprisingly easy! I think the gathered front looks nice as well so I will get some fabric this weekend to make another pair. I think these would work with fun prints, linen, and even a lightweight denim! AND!! They are super comfortable and I predict these will be the Pants of the Summer!
Gearing up for:
The start of Summer Book Bingo! That’s right – any book finishes beginning tomorrow can count for a square! I am ON the “Made into a TV series” square with the first book of Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley series – A Great Deliverance. I have high hopes for this book as the reviews on Goodreads are stellar! I started it Wednesday night and should easily have it finished this weekend! It is not to late for you to join in as well! Book Bingo makes summer so much more fun!
PatternScout! I love this idea of remaking things and giving them a new life. Also, I really love her pattern suggestions – especially the Burda Knot Front Blouse! And, I truly love her “Monologue” especially this: “This hobby has given me so much confidence…creatively and about my body.” YES, so much yes!!
Fun, fun, fun:
I am going to harvest some rhubarb today and have plans to make a batch of Rhubarb-Thyme Syrup. This will come in handy as an addition to some beginning-of-summer-inspired cocktails this weekend – I am thinking about something new with gin. Stay tuned – I will share the recipe next week!
That’s all I have for this week – have an amazing Memorial Day Weekend and I will see you all back here next week!
The Happiest of Hours
Corned Beef Cooking
Really delicious baking!
and lots of reading!
Notes on a weekend: I do not consider myself a pie baker, but this recipe intrigued me and 8 cups of frozen raspberries from our garden that I had done absolutely nothing with glaring at me every time I opened the freezer. So, out came the raspberries to thaw a bit while I put mixed the pie crust ingredients together on Sunday morning. My raspberry modifications: 4 C raspberries – slightly thawed. 3 Tbsp corn starch (next time I will only use 2 Tbsp), 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla paste, the juice and zest of one lemon. I needed to bake it about 8 minutes longer than the recipe called for.
Oh, and that corned beef… omgosh, it was hands down the best corned beef I have ever made – or eaten! If you have always felt sort of ho-hum about corned beef… try Andrew Z’s recipe. It will turn you into a corned beef fan!!
My quilt top is almost done! As is the back of Deschain – so you know that means I simply had to cast on a new project, lol. This will be the shawl I am donating to and Close to You won the great pattern debate. I wound the yarn while I watched the NCAA selection show (there were cheers for Michigan pulling a #2 seed despite losing the Big Ten Tournament to Michigan State) and the winding continued while we watched the Circus. But, cast on was achieved before I finally turned off the lights and headed to bed.
And, with that – the weekend is just a warm memory and the mundanity of Monday awaits me! How about you? How was your weekend?
Bonny stirred my interest last week with her review of Fox 8 – luckily my library had it and on Saturday I picked it up with a few other books, including a volume of Ted Kooser’s poetry (Thanks, Honoré!!)
I have been reading and rereading the poems in Delights & Shadows… and they are wonderful! This is a book I have added to my “need to buy” list!
I share some words for thought today from Delights & Shadows:
A Jar of Buttons
by Ted Kooser
This is a core sample
from the floor of the Sea of Mending,
a cylinder packed with shells
that over many years
sank through fathoms of shirts —
pearl buttons, blue buttons —
and settled together
beneath waves of perseverance,
an ocean upon which
generations of women set forth,
under the sails of gingham curtains,
and, seated side by side
on decks sometimes salted by tears,
made small but important repairs.
P.S. The Google Doodle is most appropriate – today would be Nelly Sachs’ 127th Birthday. You can read a sampling of her poetry here!
Greetings, Unravelers and Happy September!
I have a finished Strokkur to share with you today however, I think it will be some time before I am wearing this sweater! I loved the construction of this sweater – it had two segments of short rows before and after the colorwork. They raise the back neckline the perfect amount! There is some very subtle shaping in the body of the sweater as well. Ysolda writes a lovely, easy to follow, easy to understand pattern and I look forward to wearing this sweater for a very long time!
August reading ended on a high note and September seems to be following suit!
I finished Glass Houses and A Higher Loyalty. Both were excellent books – each getting 5-stars!
I finished Three Things About Elsie. Oh boy…where to begin with this book? It was at times so very sad. It beautifully addresses aging and memory loss, but it also is about the love and beauty of friendship – friendship that has grown over a lifetime. I recommend this book and I gave it 4 stars.
And, I also finished Donal Ryan’s From a Low and Quiet Sea. This was my first Donal Ryan book, but it won’t be my last! What spectacular writing!! This book starts our feeling like a collection of 3 separate stories and then, almost miraculously, those stories are knit together into one amazing story. This is on the Man Booker Long List and I highly recommend reading it… NOW! 5-stars!
Currently I am listening to The Miniaturist in preparation for the PBS series which will be airing soon! And, I am reading The Master Butchers Singing Club.
What are you making and reading today? If you wrote a post, please leave your link below!
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