Unraveled Wednesday, April 12

Unraveled Wednesday, April 12

Hello, Unraveler’s!

Well, it is a week where lots of unraveling is happening here. My sweater that was so close to having the body finished, has been ripped back again – good thing my yarn can take all this knitting and ripping back!

So, why am I ripping back? Simple aesthetics – I don’t like how it looks! The problem is centered around the very thing I liked about the sweater… the line of increases and decreases on the sides. The pattern for my size calls for completing them every 4 rows. However, imo, this was too rapid because I began to worry that the sides would be too big and the front would be too small. (Does this make sense?) So, I tried doing no more increases and decreases but that did not look right… at all. So, I ripped back and tried doing the increases/decreases every 8 rows (and I forgot to do them on one round and did not catch it until 5 or 6 rounds later – so that meant more ripping back.) So here I am ready to do the band at the bottom of the sweater and I look at my knitting and I am really not happy with how it looks. So, I am ripping back, again…all the way back to the point of picking up the stitches at the armholes. Yeah, that far back! It has taken me all week to get to this point, ripping out hours of work is never something to take lightly.

But, this time I have a plan. I will do the decreases less frequently, which I think will give me enough movement on the lines that I like but in a more gradual pace and hopefully the front will still be the front and the sides having some movement forward, but not too much. Does this make me happy? Honestly, no. But, I would be less happy with a sweater that I did not like (which would translate to something I would not wear). It is silly to put so much time into a project and not be happy with it. That is why, sometimes, unraveling is the best solution. It is not painless, but the finished product will be better.

My reading has been usurped by a new book, which I found via Bonny and her suggestion of Netgalley. I am reading The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech. I have a deadline but I am about a third of the way though. I hope to have the book finished by the weekend (well in advance of the deadline!) I will be sharing my thoughts on the book when I have finished it – however, I can tell you this; it’s a mystery and I have no clue who “did it” yet… (which is usually a good thing!)

Some weeks the unraveling is painful – but somehow starting again never is. With determination I am moving forward, even if I had to take some pretty big steps backwards!

I hope your Wednesday will have nothing to unravel but your blog post! And, as always, I am so happy that you are joining us!

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The Wonder of Reading

The Wonder of Reading

This week’s Think Write Thursday topic is to tell you about a book I wish I could read again for the first time.

Well…. really? Where do I begin. Perhaps at the very beginning of my reading life. I would love to go back and experience anew that incredible sensation of the words on the pages making their way into your brain, making sense, and drawing you into the story. For me it happened in first grade – we moved from the City of Holland (and Holland Public Schools) to the “suburbs” (and West Ottawa Public Schools). In Holland, they were using a phonetic reading approach – sounding out the words, which did not work at all for me. I struggled mightily with the process (as curiously did my Heidi as well as many other children around the world).

So, new school and all my class mates are reading and me??? Not so much. Enter Mrs. Hayward – she gathered me up each day and off we went to a little room by the gym and together we would sit and read. I believe the method West Ottawa was using at that time was the “look and say” approach. Where phonic did not work, having someone tell me what a word was did. Soon my reading memory held dozens and dozens and dozens of words. But, I would love to go back in time to feel that excitement that first time reading Fun with Dick and Jane became a story I read that made sense!

Maybe Dick and Jane was not the best book I have ever read even if it was first! Perhaps, the best book would be to go back to Little House in the Big Woods – my first introduction to Pa, Ma, Laura and Mary (and Jack the dog!). The Little House books most certainly hold a special place in my heart. They filled an entire summer reading program’s worth of reading! I devoured them voraciously and read each more than once.

Perhaps, the best book would be Night by Elie Wiesel. I read this in high school and was horrified by man’s inhumanity to man. And, as painful as the reading of this book was – I could not put the book down. Elie’s words made an incredible impact on me and through the reading, I understood that being silent is not always the best thing. Making the right decision is not always the easy one. Powerful lessons for a hopeful teenager…

Perhaps, the book I would like to go back and read for the first time is Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. This was a passage book for me – the first truly adult novel I had ever read. I had graduated from Harlequin Romance novels and moved in the world of meaty reading. It was gritty and descriptive and evocative. It opened my eyes (and mind) to reading that grabbed you and carried you along to the end and left you wanting more!

Or maybe it would be any of the dozens of Dr. Seuss books I read to my children – books they loved so much and were part of our daily lives. Were they my favorite reads? Perhaps not on the millionth time, but the words on the page brought reading alive for my children.

So, you see, I really cannot pick just one book I would like to go back and re-experience – there are far too many to choose from!

But, how about you, Gentle Reader – what book would you go back and read for the first time?

If you would like to see what others had to say about reading you will find them here. If you would like to join Carole and I on this fantastic writing journey, you can sign up here! We would love to have you!

Unraveled Wednesday, April 5

Unraveled Wednesday, April 5

Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday!

Spring is whirling around Pittsburgh – it has been windy and a bit rainy. My grass is about as high as an elephant’s eye… hopefully the rain stops and the winds help it dry out enough to get the mower out soon. I fear if it does not, next week’s post could include a machete…

The winds seem very March-like and not very April-like at all. But all this windiness has me thinking of Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice, which is one of my favorite books ever. I love when a book lives in your brain and that something as simple as the weather brings the words echoing in your head. There is something comforting in that process and I hope it never ends!

This week’s read finds me back to Menace in Malmö by Torquil MacLeod. There are two things happening simultaneously in the book right now and these things have not crossed paths yet. However, the story is getting very interesting and my initial thoughts have been proven wrong. (I love when that happens!) The series is very good and if you like Nordic Noir I think you will enjoy it tremendously.

On the knitting front, as you can see – the sweater is now too big to photograph! And, by the time you read this, I will have begun the short rows to make the back a bit longer than the front per the pattern. Then I am on to the ribbing and then I will be on Sleeve Island for a bit. I am going to do something differently this time – I am going to knit the sleeves at the same time, which I think will greatly improve the likelihood that they match!

If you have a post to share with reading or crafting, please feel free to leave your link here!
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Unraveled Wednesday

Unraveled Wednesday

I have been a faithful participant in Ginny’s Yarn Along, but all good things much come to an end. And, so it is with Yarn Along. So, what do you do when reading and knitting are major a major theme for your blog (and, quite frankly, your life?) Maybe you think creatively and determine to make a new spot for those who have the same theme in their life?

And, that is exactly what I did; Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday’s!

I think this is something we all do rather well – in both knitting and reading. And, while unraveling a book might be less painless than unraveling your knitting – it is necessary occasionally.

I hope you will join me on Wednesdays and unravel the stories you are reading and share your crafting inspiration – knitting, crochet, spinning, sewing, quilting, weaving, drawing, etc.

This week my reading was stellar – I finished A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny. This is the fourth Inspector Gamache novel I have read, and like others have said before me, this book did not disappoint at all. My love for Armande Gamache grows with each book. I gave it 5 stars and cannot wait to read book five. What’s next? Last year I read and loved Derek Miller’s Norwegian by Night and am looking forward to his new book – The Girl in Green. It is up next in my reading queue.

Knitting is progressing, albeit slowly. However, today I am sharing my stitching pieces from January and February, and March to date – they have yet to be washed or blocked (I don’t know if this is something I am supposed to do or not, research is in process…) I have just a few more days of stitching in March and I am pleased with how this turned out. I have some wonderful ideas for April as well as some lovely fabric swatches that I am going to incorporate. And, I am so excited to begin using lighter colors in my stitching!

January 2017 Stitching

February 2017 Stitching

March 2017 Stitching, thus far…

I am really pleased with how January and February have turned out. If you are interested in learning more about my stitching process, I post my daily stitching on Instagram, please feel free to follow me there! And, if you want to get started on your own stitching journey – I would be happy to share with you the process I am using, and I would encourage you to get a copy of Claire Wellesley-Smith’s Slow Stitch book. It is the best starting point and gives great ideas and inspiration!

That is all I have for today – if you would like to join me, please add your blog link below:

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Bits of Knitting and Reading

Bits of Knitting and Reading

Knitting and reading have been in a bit of a holding pattern.

I am almost done with A Rule Against Murder with Inspector Gamache. I should have it finished later today.

Up next is this gem from the library. I simply loved Norwegian by Night and I hope I love The Girl in Green as well.

I keep thinking I just have a few more inches to go, but I don’t seem to be getting there. After yesterday’s internal debate about ripping back, the ‘make it perfect’ voice inside me won out, I ripped back and added in the shaping…but!!! This allowed me to try the sweater on again and yep, I now have about 3 inches to go before I have some additional short row shaping and then the ribbing. So, the body is soooo close to being done! I am actually looking forward to getting to Sleeve Island!! Good thing there is a new season of The Bridge available.

Happy Wednesday!

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