Resisting Monday

Resisting Monday

It was a fly by weekend here, and the proof of that is that it is Monday already!

Saturday morning, we scored a flat of strawberries which made for lots of berry cleaning, macerating, cooking and finally roasting to make some jam! Pro-tip – you do not need perfect berries for jam, go for the seconds! The price is much more attractive and these berries are well, the berries for jam!

This made for some excellent listening time and I made some good progress on my “biography of a royal” bingo square. I am listening to Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser and I am finding it fascinating. What I know about Marie Antoinette can be summed up with cake and guillotine’s – but there is so much more to her than that!

During the “macerating” of the berries, I also managed to sit under the pergola and read a bit of The Likeness. I like how Tana French writes and I hope to have this book done today, which is a good thing because I have another book bingo read waiting in the wings. There was a waiting list for some items and I managed to somehow move up on the list! Go figure, right? I might need to dust off my junior high “speed reading” class skills.

I have a couple of links for your Monday – first up a huge thanks to Mary for reminding me that today kicks off Negroni Week! One of the best drinks of the summer, imo! I even made some “pre-Negroni Week” Negroni’s…which were so delicious!

Up next is something that I think will warm your heart. I love the Come Together Blanket! I think this is the perfect idea and will be participating! Thank you, Kat Coyle for continuing to inspire us in positive ways!

There you go, Gentle Readers – a beverage to sip while you plan your “Welcome to the United States” blanket. It just proves that love trumps hate. Every.single.time!

Have a fantastic Monday!

P.S. If you, like me, do not have any bulky yarn in your stash… there are some options here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Unraveled Wednesday, May 31

Unraveled Wednesday, May 31

Greetings Dear Unravelers!

I have good things to share with you today – it seems as if I have found my “sense of urgency” and have this dire need to finish up some lingering projects.

That means I have kitchnered some sock toes and I am cruising down the foot to a toe of a second sock, which will give me a completed pair! I also have begun Steve’s second helical sock which is my “travel sock” so hopefully this will mean it is done sooner than later!

Sometimes, the “feel good” of finishing something gives you some motivation to finish more, amirite?

This has also kicked in with reading…I have my first square completed on my Summer Book Bingo card!

My first finish: Moby Dick, which I gave 5 stars on Goodreads. If you have not read this classic, might I suggest you download the Moby Dick Big Read podcast and settle in for a good listen. Now, some people might be put off by 136 different narrators, but I truly loved it! I am embarrassed to say I should have read this in high school but “faked it” for class. However, I can honestly say my appreciation of this incredible work of art would have been lost on my 17-year-old self. Melville brilliantly builds the cast of characters that are aboard the Pequod and I found each one quite endearing for entirely different reasons. And, while I enjoyed Ismael’s narration, my favorites were Queequeg, Tashtego, and Dagoo. I simply loved them. If you need a classic for Book Bingo, look no further and give this a listen!

I have lots of books in progress currently, and I am giving priority to library books that are due back this month. So, even though I have no square for it (although perhaps my “any book” space?) I am reading Tana French The Likeness. And, I have been reading selectively from Alabama Studios Sewing Patterns – so much to take in!

What are you reading and making this week!

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 24

Unraveled Wednesday, May 24

Hello Dear Unravelers!

This is it, the post where I reveal the list of what I hope to accomplish this summer. Get ready, because it is long!

In the finish category… (as in I have started and I need to finish)

  1. My Air Soft Shawl (AKA Brambling Shawl)
  2. Montadale Socks
  3. Daelyn pullover
  4. Steve’s Socks
  5. Spring Dream KAL (for Rachel)
  6. Test Mouse (because I have never knit stuffed animals and practice makes perfect – or at least allows you to work out the problems?)
  7. TTL MKAL Socks (I have less than a half a sock to go)
  8. Rock the Lobster (1/2 a sleeve to go and the body of the sweater, so a good bit of knitting)
  9. February Lady Sweater, perhaps (this is iffy, but maybe)

Yes, there is LOTS of knitting here, I am not sure I even need a second category, but go big or go home, amirite?

In the Start and finish Category:

  1. I have the yarn to knit a lopapeysa or two. But, having knit 2 of them, I know they are quick knits! So, I am kind of excited about this! But if these bump a little into the fall, that would be fine by me. After all I am not wearing them until then!
  2. Calliopsis with Sheepspot Yarn
  3. Kraemer Yarns Cowl
  4. Bijou Basin Mitts
  5. Genevieve’s Mouse
  6. TTL Summer Shawl MKAL

Yes, these are daunting lists. Good thing I have an entire summer to work on all that.

The basket is packed full!

And, speaking of the mouse – I have the head done! The cotton yarn is really lovely. It is not harsh on my hands, and knits up beautifully. I have started the body.

Now, how about a bit of a book review.

The Lake by Lotte and Soren Hammer. This is Book 4 in the Konrad Simonsen series and this book is my second book from NetGalley. If you like Scandinavian Noir, you will love this book! I liked it so much that I added Book 1 The Hanging to my summer reading list. It is well written and very captivating. The story unfolds with a crime and then it is off and running. The writers weave through the story the police working on figuring out the crime and the criminals and their corruption. It is gritty, and at times unsettling, but these things are not unwelcome in the story at all. I found in Konrad Simonsen another detective that I believe I will love as much as Karl Morck and Armand Gamache. Konrad is brilliantly intelligent and wonderfully human. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am giving it 4 stars on Goodreads.

I started a new book from the library last night, Tana French The Likeness. No thoughts yet, as I have just started reading. I hope to get further into this today if time allows! Summer Book Bingo starts this weekend, are you ready? What’s on your list this summer?

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My World, Currently

My World, Currently

Reading: After being on the wait list for eons at the library for the second Tana French book, I got the loveliest email late yesterday that it is now available. So, I downloaded it this morning and will start reading it today! I also was stunned to get an email this morning that a book suggestion from Mary for my Book Bingo list came in also. Gah! I have not downloaded it yet… But I did add a few more books to my summer book bingo list. I basically have mapped out my summer reading and I could not be happier. I shared Book Bingo with some friends at church on Sunday and I was thrilled to get an email yesterday filled with excitement about book choices!

Watching: Not much, really. I finally caught up with Call the Midwife and Homefires on PBS. There are things I want to watch, but have no burning desire to sit down and watch them. I had been an avid watcher of The Leftovers on HBO, but this final season has been a huge disappointment. So much so, I am not certain I will finish watching it. Perhaps a plan of 60 minutes in the morning riding the stationary bike and watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime will accomplish two things at once? Stay tuned!

Listening: My audible book library is chocked full of good things to listen to and all of them are on my summer reading list. I am slowing down on Moby Dick to finish it on Memorial Weekend (and thus giving me my first square!)

Knitting: It seems like every year about this time, Knitting Ennui strikes. I am restless and not much interested in any of the projects I have going. It is indeed a sad state of affairs. However, last night I might have found the cure…I got some yarn to sample from Love Knitting – a lovely cotton from Sweden “MillaMia” and they sent three colors. Hmmm, a method to their madness? I have never knit any creatures so I was unsure how much I would like it. But, I cast on Alex the Mouse to test out the yarn and the pattern last night. So far, so good! I also have finally (almost) finished half of a pair of socks for Steve. I will be finalizing my summer knitting projects today and will share my list tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Eating: All the asparagus, really – all of it! Janoski’s shared yesterday that this is about the end of it. Will there be more next week? I do not know, but they can keep these amazing strawberries coming, please! They also had the most gorgeous Swiss Chard yesterday. The eating is so good in my neighborhood right now!

Loving: So many things!

  • To start out – the weather, although we had a couple of days in the 90’s, for the most part it has been the perfect spring.
  • Next up, the variety in my garden this year – we have 10 different varieties of tomatoes, 3 varieties of peppers, beans, some kind of squash (thanks to no plant labeling but they are either zucchini or summer squash) cucumbers (thanks to a happy accident at the greenhouse) and we added in a new variety of rhubarb this year! In the perennial beds, we added in some new plants this year as well; all of the deer resistant variety. So far, so good! Although the bunnies are making quick work of the cone flowers and they also love the leaves on the lilies! All this gardening makes me so happy!
  • Last, but certainly not least: my stitching! I could not be happier than I am in the few moments I spend each day stitching. I have also been watching Vicki and Kym stitch such beautiful Alabama Chanin garments. I am absolutely intrigued. Perhaps over the summer I will stitch up one of these and see how it turns out and I bet Steve has an old tee shirt I can use!

And, finally: Selling LipSense… and loving it. If there is something you’d like, message me and I will be glad to help you! (Also, I have been using their skin care for over a month now and if you want to hear about the changes it has made, I would be thrilled to share with you!)

That is what is currently my world. What’s in your world right now?

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?

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