Unraveled Wednesday | 5.31.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.31.23

Greetings Unravelers and Farewell May… sigh. I don’t want May to end, it is the loveliest month and I have tried to  savor every moment.

However, June waits for no one and June does bring a bit of a treat. I have my yarn ready and I am setting aside some time tomorrow afternoon to begin a new gnome journey!

Meanwhile, the Skirt Marches On! I have about 3-ish inches to go before I begin the waistband. The big try on happened and IT FITS! Woo! I had hoped to have this finished over the weekend but instead I sat on the porch and read. It was delightful but I am back to trying to get 10 rows in a day so I should have this done soon!

Every year brings a plethora of inspiration with #MeMadeMay I did see some things that I have put on a “wish list” for making. However, I have gotten to the point in my wardrobe that every day is a Me Made Day for me. It is a huge thing for me to put on clothing that I have made… a big thing of self-love for sure! I have one huge hole though… jeans. I really need to face the enormous challenge of sewing myself a pair of jeans. I have the fabric, I just need to get something and make a bit of a muslin so I can get the rise, waistband, fly all worked out. I am a confident sewist, but I have all.the.fears. about sewing jeans. However, I need to get past this fear so a trek to JoAnns to get something I can use for a muslin is in order! Stay tuned!

This week was all about the reading though… oh my goodness. I read some simply delightful books: Hello Comfort of Crows, Sara de Vos, and Queen of Dirt Island! And one sort of “meh” book… sigh. Yes, Trespasses just was not a hit for me. (but, I think that makes it a much more interesting to discuss book and I very much look forward to that!)

I bailed entirely on Cursed Bread it just was not for me and I had a wealth of better books to read!

Currently, I am listening to the long awaited How High We Go in the Dark. (and I have Milkman queued again to listen to again before the Read With Us Discussion!) And at night, I am immersed in mystery solving with Matthew Venn in Ann Cleeves latest, The Raging Storm.

Whew… that is one heck of an ending to May – I read 12 books! A banner month of reading for sure!

What about you? How did your May end?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.24.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.24.23

Greetings Unravelers!

I hinted on Monday about organizing my in-process knitting and starting a bit of a Summer KAL… you are welcome to join if you wish! I had an overflowing knitting bag, full of in process knits. Some, sadly, have been lingering around for too long.

As you can see above, I have one skirt that is flying along… big ass rows and all! I am halfway through the decreases and after the next few sets of decreases, I will put it on waste yarn and try it on! I am very eager to get it done because I think it is going to be an awesome addition to my summer wardrobe!

However, I also need to work on this lingering pile of knits…  some of which will make great additions to my wardrobe as well! Here is my List of Lingerer’s that need to get done!

  1. Hermoine Everyday Socks – practically done… just a foot and a toe to go. I’d like to get these tucked away for November, when it will be delightful to pull out a new pair of socks to keep my toes warm!
  2. Ooh La La – I am in the “body straightway” and though the lace looks complicated, it really is not. A single strand of Coast will make this the perfect summer sweater. I am debating with myself on sleeve length… but they will go quickly once I get the body done! And once I get my skirt done, this moves to the top of the list!
  3. Pressed Flower Wrap – oof… I really let this drop off the radar but this will be the perfect lap of knitting in the AC Deep Freeze that is my Living Room…sigh. I am just over the halfway mark, and I know that once I get back to this, it is a mindless but thoroughly enjoyable knit!
  4. Handspun Musselburgh Hat – I am tight on yarn so this knit is all about how many grams of yarn are left to start the “second half.” I am no where near that, so right now it is just mindless round and round knitting but I need to get to it!
  5. Whitethistle Wrap – I don’t expect to get this done this summer, but I’d like it to be well on its way to finished! This one needs attention, the pattern is not one I can memorize… so Thinking Knitting!

Add to all of this the June 1 start of a Gnome MKAL and I have my summer making all set!

Which leads me into One Amazing and Excellent Reading Week! I have read such amazing books… more Sarah Winman… oh, Sarah Winman… how I love you! I have one more Winman book to dig into and it sounds amazing! But first… When God Was A Rabbit… loved it. Every word. Every character. This book was her debut novel, and it does not read like a debut novel… at all. If you are looking for a book to add to your summer reading list… add any of Winman’s books!

I raced through Robert Bryndza’s latest novel. I got an advanced copy from Netgalley and devoured it. It is a thrilling mystery with a good dose of government corruption, and the ending was not what I expected…at all. Fear the Silence is a stand alone novel (Mr. Bryndza also writes the Detective Erika Foster and the Kate Marshall series.) Looking for a thriller you cannot put down… this is it! It will be out in July… so not a long wait at all!

I also listened to Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety and loved it. The narrator is the brilliant Jason Watkins (imo, he made the book!) This is a book about The Roaring 20’s in London… a time period I know little about, but Atkinson makes you feel like you can see/hear/smell the grittiness of it all. I enjoyed it (although I did need to make a character cheat sheet… it is very character heavy!)

My current reads are as follows:

Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses… I am about halfway through (at this writing) and expect to finish it later today. I know a bunch of us are reading it for our next Read With Us gathering on June 6th and I found it fascinating that PBS is showing a series on The Troubles – Once Upon A Time in Northern Ireland. There are 5 episodes which give a really brilliant synopsis of The Troubles, what they were about, and why they happened.

At night, I am reading an advance copy of Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows… I just started it and have no thoughts yet.

In my ears is a Dominic Smith book – The Last Painting of Sara de Vos. I think Bonny mentioned it and I scooped it up from my library. I am about a third of the way in and enjoying it!

Whew… that’s a lot of making and reading! What about you all… what is consuming your week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.17.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.17.23

Greetings Unravelers! Happy Wednesday!

I should be sock knitting, but my days have been a bit hectic. I am behind on my painting class, I am behind on garden chores, my closet is at the implode stage with winter/spring/summer all in a huge muddle…but what I have been doing instead of all that? Why knitting of. course… knitting round and round and round on my Shakerag Skirt!

I have gotten through the lace section, I did the short rows for the back and I am in the “plain knit” rounds before I start the decreases. And so far, I am loving this knit…but I have miles to go before I get to the “try on” point in this knit and so I am trying to knit a round or 10 each day. I am off on the row gauge, so I am knitting more rounds to get to the decrease point. My hope is I will have time today to get there… because less stitches every once in a while will be a good thing! These are long ass rows! Ha!

The reading this week has been delightful though… I was so fortunate to be approved for the latest Dominic Smith book: Return to Valetto. I loved it! It was so so so good! If you like Amor Towles or Sarah Winman… I think you will very much love this book! The writing is brilliant, the characters are well developed, and the story is one that keeps you moving along with it to the very end… and I really was not ready for the book to be over!

I also finished the third installment in the Thursday Murder Club mystery. Delightful, brilliant, and I loved it! I hope there will be another installment sooner than later!

So what am I reading this week? Well, my daytime listen is Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety. I have just started, but so far I am enjoying it. I just picked up two books from the library,
Donal Ryan’s Queen of Dirt Island, and Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses! I need to find a quiet afternoon where I can just sit and read!

My nighttime reading has been consumed by another Sarah Winman book, When God Was a Rabbit… and she might just be my new favorite author!

So there you have my week… what is consuming your time this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.10.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.10.23

Greetings Unravelers!

It felt good to have a bit of a break from all things electronic, although I did miss you all. I am trying to catch up on blog reading… a little bit each day. I should be all caught up soon!

My list for the week is looking good… all the laundry is done, so I feel caught up on some things but you know those damned weeds did not take a vacation, so I am still (always?) pulling weeds!

I think (fingers crossed) that I have my last PT session today. It has been so amazing how some simple, targeted things can make such a huge difference! Am I pain free? No, but it is so much better than it was and each week is a bit better than the one before.

Hermoine’s Everyday Socks in Miss Bab’s in Zombie Prom (I think!)

I mentioned that I did more knitting than ever on a vacation… I have a sock and just over a half to prove it! I have not given that second sock much “air time” since I got home because my “night time knitting” has been consumed with Gnome Housing (as you can see above!) Yes!! I have the house done… it now needs some embroidery to perfect it…think ivy covered cottage!) It is a good size! (and I am contemplating a two story version with more windows!!) But before any new housing plans, I have a Mystery Gnome that I am eagerly anticipating!

Before I left for Erie, I ordered some yarn from Holst Garn figuring it would be arriving this week… silly me! Helle Holst and crew swiftly packed up my yarn and it arrived while we were in Erie (7 days after ordering… from Denmark… just saying.) Sunday I began the swatching process… in the round… with a US4 and US5. Once I had knit a nice tube, I steeked it and then gave it a bath. Monday I began Swatch Measuring! (of course my gauge is my gauge and no where near Nell’s gauge… thank god for Knitty Maths!) I think a bottom up skirt might be a bit tricky for fitting (we shall see) but Nell has really great instructions (and even offers to help if you need it with gauge, math, and the fit you want!)  So I cast on on Monday night… a plethora of stitches. I love the start and her way of avoiding twisting your cast on… I feel like this will be a well worn piece in my wardrobe… and I love the color – Tides Nightshade! It feels like a LOT of knitting… but decreasing instead of increasing is a plus! Ha!

A newborn Shaker Rag Skirt…in the perfect denim-y blue!

Reading has been a bit of a mixed bag… some things I loved…Tin Man by Sarah Winman… stop everything and read this book now! As well as Beaverland… so so good! (they were both 5-star reads for me.) One I liked, but gosh does it need some editing: The Covenant of Water. Some things I did not love so much… The Boys and Babel… just did not work for me. But that is okay, because at night I am reading a new Netgalley book: Return to Valetto… I am about a third of the way in and so far, so good. And in my ears whilst weeding is Richard Osman’s latest Thursday Murder Club Mystery…I have just begun, but I have loved the previous installments so I have great expectations for The Bullet That Missed!

So there you have my update… what about you? What is at the top of your list for making this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.26.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.26.23

Greetings Unravelers!

Is it just me, or did April just bolt past at record speed? Anyways, we find ourselves at our last Wednesday in April… boo! But, it has been a good month!

Recently, I have had some great questions and some even better discussions that all were not privy to all… so I thought since they are knitting related, I’d talk about my responses here!

First, the questions:

First, José asked some very good questions regarding last Friday’s post

I thought I’d break down her questions individually:

She worries that a skirt will wear more on the bottom (no, not that bottom, the sitting bottom…i.e. your butt…) and that is a great concern. Having knit a skirt that I wore the heck out of… I can happily say that that yarn (Elsbeth Lavold’s Silky Wool) wore extremely well! No sitting sags, ever. No wear on the backside… ever. Silk and wool… excellent choice. Next she asks would a merino/cotton blend hold… I think there would be more bagging on the backside with cotton/wool. I have knit 3 sweaters with Holst Garn Coast… all with the yarn held double… and eventually I get “elbow bags” in the sleeves. So, yes – I think it will eventually get a “saggy bottom” perhaps quicker than the sleeves get elbow bags. However, the plus for Coast is that with a wash, it is like a “just knit” garment! Sans bags and sags! And it wears well… Coast is a yarn that resists pilling but when it does, they are few and easy to remove!

Then Vera and I got to talking about yarns and the knitting of that skirt and the conversation went in a bit of a different direction… I began to think more about the “no saggy bottom” of the Silky Wool and started to think about Holst Garn’s Tides… their silk/wool blend. I have knit a sweater with this and I love it. (Granted, it has no sleeves so I am guessing at the sag factor) but I think it would work beautifully for a skirt! I would knit a denser fabric than I did on that first skirt eons ago (I had to be careful what color underwear I wore…just sayin’.) But I think Nell has knit her skirt at a denser gauge as well (worsted yarn knit on a US5, I believe)… I’d also recommend knitting a large swatch….like 40 or 50 stitches across large! I was recently reminded by the brilliant Julia Farwell-Clay here… Sometimes you need a BIG swatch so that you can really see and feel the fabric! (It makes a huge difference!)

After all that thought… I will be ordering some Tides to knit mine! (And yes, Vera… held double!) Who’s up for a bit of a KAL on this skirt? Anyone in?

Now about about a brief knitting update:

I completed another pair of socks! What? I know… it is a record for me! I have another pair of socks that I started eons ago but never finished (Hermoine’s Socks) and they are coming with me on vacation…starting May with a new pair of socks to tuck away for a chilly November seems like a delightful thing to do for future me!

I also have been fastidiously knitting away on a Gnome House! Theoretically, I’d like to have it done before we leave on Thursday afternoon… and then I can do some stitching on it! But, that is not likely… and that’s okay. But really, those socks will be more than enough! (I don’t knit much on vacation!)

It has been a (very) slow reading week for me. I am more than halfway through Babel and so far, so good! I know some of you thought the start was better than the middle, but I am staying engaged… it has an excellent narrator and I am enjoying it.

I have also circled back to thinking about Dani Shapiro’s Signal Fires when I got a copy of Edward Hirsch’s The Night Parade. I have been reading it… oh gosh. I am feeling all the “Ben Vibes” … and it is such a perfect place to be! (be thankful the poems in it are all too long for Poem in Your Pocket Day! LOL)

At night, I am still reading The Covenant of Water… yes, still. I am so close the the end that I just need to sit down and finish it (not at night when I instantly fall asleep!) I have some incentive to finish, I just got Sarah Winman’s Tin Man from the library and I want to read it… now! (and I just got approved for another Netgalley book… so I have my vacation reading plan!)

And I think that is enough for this final Wednesday in April! What about you? How did April feel for you all?

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

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