Unraveled Wednesday | 11.29.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.29.23

Greetings Unravelers!

It felt so odd to type the November date because my brain is firmly in December already! But it is still November and I still have a bit of holiday making to do… so I should be glad for these November days!

It has been a banner week of making… really!!

Sorry for the Dark-Thirty photo… but the levain did not mind the light!

Carole kindly reminded me about Tartine Bread, a copy of which I purchased back when Carole started baking sourdough. So last Friday, I made my levain and set it aside thinking that it would take some time. Silly me, it was ready and raring to go very early Saturday morning, and so I began my sourdough baking journey! The “Basic Country Bread” recipe is for two loaves of bread… this worried me a bit but I jumped in the sourdough pool with both feet and started. I did not plan well because I was baking bread until 11PM Saturday night (with lots of complaints from Steve about the hunger pangs the smell of baking bread was giving him! lol) Two very edible loaves were the result of my efforts because more carbs was just what Thanksgiving week needs, right? I feel a bit more confident about the process… and more importantly the timing of the process having one batch under my belt. Next time, I am going to halve the recipe… one loaf is a LOT of bread… two loaves feels a bit over indulgent! My starter is perking along in the refrigerator… as is some sourdough discard which I will be putting to use this week in a batch of soft pretzels!

It seems entirely miraculous to me that this bread did its bread-y thing with no added yeast!

As you can see above, I departed Cable Sleeve Island and immediately set off for the Back Seas… so I am making good progress on my Sweater!

I also reminded myself that Gnomes do not knit themselves! And so I have one more to add to the Ornament Brigade. The first girl joined the ranks… with a slight adjustment to the pattern. I bound off upon finishing the hat and picked up stitches under the brim to begin the body. I did a simple nose for her… and she has two pigtails!

Fancy Gnancy!

Meet Fancy Gnancy… who is not fancy currently. I need to figure out a beaded necklace for her so yesterday I googled crocheting with beads… stay tuned!

The reading last week had some highs… and lows. I finished Black AF History… and loved it! I think Michael Harriot would be the BEST history teacher… ever. He combines history, wit, and a good measure of sarcasm in a brilliant look at the history of America. And that reading low… well, evidently I am just not smart enough to “get” Daniel Mason’s North Woods. Bonny’s review of it being a bit “impenetrable” was spot on. It all sort of lost me in the Bug Procreation Portion. A collection of short stories that are interconnected seems like it should work, but for me in this setting… it all just did not. (However, ymmv – especially if you are smarter than me!)

I did hit the Wait List Jackpot yesterday when The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store came up for me! Woo! (I have started it but have no thoughts yet!) I also have Katherine May’s Wintering waiting in the wings!

And there you have my end of November making and reading! What about you? What are you trying to finish November with?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.22.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.22.23

Greetings Fellow Unravelers!

If your house is like mine this week… well, our making might be of the food-to-eat variety. I have a pie to make today and I have a tiny bit of prep work for the “feast” tomorrow. I hope your “making list” is manageable and that you will have time to knit tomorrow!

I did have one very fun finish this week… some weeks ago I got a little kit from Stitched Modern. It was so fun to put together to sit and stitch! I had such fun putting my own spin on each coaster. These will be a delightful fall staple on my table for years to come!

Since I completed the coasters I have been very monogamously knitting my second sleeve. I did have about 12 rows of unraveling to do… sigh. I skipped over the instruction that reminded me to change needle size after I knit the ribbing. So I ripped back and started the first chart again… a wise decision in a sweater that I am very much loving the process of knitting! I have made good progress since that bit of unraveling… I am over halfway through sleeve two and if I get all my things done today, I will have the evening free to knit a bit! My hope is that I will be starting THE BACK over the long weekend!

It has been a slow reading week. I bailed on Straight Man and started and finished a Netgalley book, Held by Anne Michaels. I was generous with my rating of 3-stars, but the writing was beautiful… sadly the story fell flat for me. And it seems my disjointed reading has not finished… I have started Daniel Mason’s North Woods… I am not far in, but I am not sure I will finish this one either. Good thing I have Michael Harriot’s Black AF History to keep me company… I am enjoying it so much!

That is all I have for today… I will be back on Friday! I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving… whether you have a full table, or it is just a few!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.15.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.15.23

Greetings Unravelers!

It is mid-November and I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe that next week is Thanksgiving! This month is just flying by.

I did not plan on disappearing on Monday, but Sherman was not feeling his normal perky self. He has      another ear infection and was very out of sorts. But we have seen the vet and he is on some new medications which seems to be working… so fingers crossed for him, please!

What one can do when one has an under the weather pup is sit (with said pup) and knit… which I did! I have been on The Island of Cabled Sleeves… and it is delightful! I have one sleeve done and I have cast on its mate! Although Sleeve One will likely go faster, I don’t think Sleeve Two will take much more time. And my measurements… well, they are in the “good to go” category! I love a sweater with a good measurement schematic! It makes knitting a garment that will fit a much better prospect!

And I am not thinking about easing that sleeve cap in to the shoulder… yet. For now, I am just basking in the joy of knitting! The pattern + the yarn = Knitting Nirvana!

I also began spinning a bit of fun fiber… although this is a super wash and it is so slippery to draft! I don’t prefer to spin with super wash fibers because of that, but these colors are just so vibrant! I am advance planning for a January knit (socks if I have enough yardage… a hat otherwise!) Something bright for the time of the year when everything is dull and colorless!

The reading this week has been good as well. I finished the latest in The Thursday Murder Club Mystery… The Last Devil to Die. It was so good! This installment allowed us to get to know the Club characters a bit more… and the more I learn the more I like them! (My new favorite is Ibrahim!)

I also finished book two in the Max Tudor series… it was very good I just burned right through it! (It was a marvelous companion for planting bulbs, just saying!)

I feel like I am plodding along in Russo’s Straight Man… but it is just not clicking for me. I am about halfway through and contemplating giving it up. While it is excellent at putting me right to sleep at night, I have a couple of new Netgalley books that I am itching to start… and I think I just talked myself into bailing on Straight Man.

What about you all… what are you reading that is keeping you up at night?!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.8.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.8.23

Greetings Unravelers!

On Monday, I promised a tale of some swatches… and a tale it is! I have four different swatches and all tell an entirely different story. (because, of course they do… right? LOL)

Swatch One

Swatch One… my plain old stockinette swatch…. I am off on stitch gauge by 1/2 a stitch and row gauge by 1 row. I might be worried about this except for I am *between sizes* and suggested ease – which means that I should knit the next size up…but more on this in the next swatch.

Swatch Two

Swatch Two… my first cable swatch. I knit one entire repeat of the chart and I am off significantly. Like an inch and a half off… as in my swatch is 1.5 inches larger than hers. This kind of horrified me. I washed the swatch and did not stretch it, I did not push it together, I just laid it flat and let it dry.

But… I think my problem is that I knit some garter rows to start, on each side, and before I bound off. I wondered if those garter stitches were preventing the purl stitches from snugging up nicely with their neighboring knits… as Swatch Three did (see below). So I spent Monday afternoon knitting another cable swatch, gave it a good soak, and let it try to measure again on Tuesday.

Swatch Three

Swatch Three… my ribbing swatch. I matched the pattern gauge PERFECTLY. (Okay, this is good because gaping ribbing is not what I am hoping for!) Note that I knit no garter borders… Yeah. My thought process on this was that ribbing won’t curl and likes to lay flat.

Swatch Four… on the bottom!

Swatch Four… Houston, we almost have lift off! I never imagined that some plain old garter could *eff* things up so drastically! As you can see… one of these things is not like the other! But my all important measurement tells me that I am closer to Emily’s gauge of 6.5 inches, but not exact. My swatch measures 6.75 inches. Sigh.

So after doing some monumental amounts of Knitty Maths on Tuesday… I have picked my cast on size… and with a good bit of trepidation, I cast on. I wish I felt more confident, but there you have it… I don’t think you are ever completely confident knitting a sweater in pieces that you hope will fit! I started a sleeve and will be verifying measurements as I go… fingers crossed!

Gnoah, on the right and Gnicodemus on the left!

But… despite all this Sweater Angst… I do have a wee little Gnoah, who similar to another Noah of Biblical fame, will be gathering up a few more wee little gnomes this month. Gnoah has been pestering me for a friend, so I present Gnicodemus! And not to worry, there will be some wee little girl gnomes as well… I have some brilliant ideas for new hair styles! Thankfully, I have this glorious pile of “yarn crayons” that I am going to use. And… there is no angst in gnome knitting ever!

The Choir can sing all the Christmas Gnome Songs around their Gnome Tree!

Also… The Choir has a TREE! Woo! I love it so much that I think I need a couple of smaller trees adorned with the same bright garland! FYI… Gnome Trees are also Angst-Free Knitting!

The reading this week has been so very good. I finished Horse and Téa Obreht’s new book, The Morningside. Two very different novels, each of which I really enjoyed! I have been listening to the next book in the Max Tudor Mystery series while I plant bulbs… it is a nice gardening companion! And at night I am settling in with Richard Russo’s Straight Man.

But! What about you all? What are you making and reading?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.1.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.1.23

Greetings Gentle Unravelers and Happy November!

If you are planning on any holiday gift knitting… the clock is ticking!

I have a tiny bit of gift knitting that I will kick off on Friday with a class with the Queen of Gnomery… the one and only Sarah Schira! I am excited to do a bit of Gnome Knitting with her. My plan for the lovely little bundle of skeins above is to make a few Gnome Ornaments to hang! I have not yet knit worsted weight gnomes, so I am looking forward to it!

Because I put the kibosh on starting any new projects last week, of course… I cast on something new! Ha! Yes, I began the tree for my Gnome Choir! This new project happened when I really looked at my socks and realized I have made a rather glaring error. Yes… the socks are two different lengths. Sigh. I am not unraveling the sock only to begin again… and currently I am debating to just wear them this way or do a little surgery and knit the missing repeats, the border, and the cuff… Sigh. Last week I was very much feeling like mosaic knitting was my nemesis and I was down for the count… so my wrap has been in a bit of time out while I find my Mosaic Mojo once again.

Each of these things is not like the other…

Thanks to those odious socks, I indulged in a bit of self-pity and ordered the yarn for this sweater… I am eagerly awaiting its arrival!

I also have gotten a couple more appliqué squares done… I found the meditation of hand stitching the perfect balm… bonus points for having better lighting at home so night time stitching could happen!

The reading this week has been so delightful! I finished The Running Grave… book 7 in the Cormoran Strike series. It was good… so good! And it did not feel like a 34+ hour listen… at all! So yeah… so good!

I also, thankfully, finished The Underground Library… no where near as good and I am glad to be done with it. It was not my worst book all year, but it is in the running!

My current reads though are making up for that… I am just over half way in Geraldine Brooks’ novel: Horse and I had forgotten what a delightful writer she is!

At night I am reading a new novel by Téa Obreht, The Morningside. It started out a bit slowly as I settled in, but once I did the reading has been so good! I am about halfway through this as well!

But, what about you? Are you on the Gift Knitting Bandwagon? If you are let me know so we can cheer ourselves on!

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

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