“ I will continue to freak out my children by knitting in public. It’s good for them.”
―At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
Thinking back, I do not think my kids ever freaked out over my knitting in public, but Steve on the other hand absolutely does! Ha! Fortunately, I have done no knitting in public this week (and Zoom knitting does not count!)
Speaking of this week…oy! Let’s talk about how freaky it is to “knit while watching an insurrection” at The Capital takes place. End results: one finished pair of socks, and started one cowl! (Justyna Lorkowski’s Heart Warmer) I also found treadling helped with the stress and I finished one braid of fiber!
Spinning might be the perfect thing to do while “stress watching” television! This is some of the oldest fiber I have. It is BFL from Spunky Eclectic and was a bit compacted from storage, but opening it up a bit made spinning it a dream. I can spin BFL so thin and I have some Hitchhiker plans for this beautiful gradient yarn… One braid to go and then some plying and I can’t wait to be knitting it!
The reading was so varied this week! And despite the chaos, I was able to finish two books. And they were two very different books!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a curious tale of a girl who makes a “deal with the devil” and so begins her journey over the centuries, until one day she meets someone different. The story jumps around a bit and it leaves some logical questions unanswered. The strangest conversations take place between her and the darkness. The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for! (I think this would be a GREAT book for a book club to read and discuss!)
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A short introduction to The Murderbot Diaries. (Very short, it was only about 3 hours of listening!) However, in 3 hours my interest has been piqued! I look forward to the second installment! If you like futuristic novels, I think you will like this!
As always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below! Thank you!
“I recognize that knitting can improve my mood in trying circumstances” ― At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
Today, of all days, is a day to keep your knitting at hand to help your mood for what certainly will be some trying circumstances. But, as Kamala said on Monday night, “We are going to be inaugurated. Period!” So keep her voice echoing in your head as you knit today!
A New Year and some new knitting perhaps? Did any of you cast on a new project to start the New Year? I did not cast on anything new but…
I did some spinning! First, after letting my singles rest a good long time, I plied my last skein of Prose from Hipstrings. It needed two “run through’s” to get enough twist, but it has had a nice bath and it poofed up beautifully! I love how all of this turned out. It is a little heavier than fingering weight and I think I have about 1100 yards of yarn, though I have not calculated the final yardage since washing, but I should have enough to do a cropped-ish sweater with 3/4 length sleeves.
AND!! I I spun up this beauty as well! It is a very interesting blend of fiber! I erroneously thought this was the same blend as Buoy, but I was wrong… however, I really like this yarn and I might have ordered some more of it. It would make a wonderfully cozy hat and a pair of mitts!
I also have been knitting a few rounds on my socks, as you can see, and I might be done but after I completed the heel I just started knitting the leg… sans the pattern. Sigh. I was about 20 rows in when I realized it, but rather than rip it all out I tried something new. I just unraveled the 4 stitches on each side and reknit with the pattern this time! Yes, I shocked myself! Yes, it was a bit fiddly, but I did it!!
Remember that Twitter Sock KAL I did with Kate Atherley last year? Well, she has released the pattern (you no longer have to thread the tweets together to knit!) It is a great sock construction, a different toe (no grafting!) and they are so comfy!
Now, how about a little reading? I have managed to finish ONE book to start the new year (although I am close on a couple of others…) It was a lovely book to start the year with!
History of the Rain by Niall Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“We tell stories. We tell stories to pass the time, to leave the world for a while, or go more deeply into it. We tell stories to heal the pain of living.”
This book. Oh my goodness. The writing. The words. They gathered my hands and drew me gently in to the most wonderous story! I laughed, I cried… a lot, and just did not want it to end. I want to be Ruth Swain! I want to have Niall Williams gift of writing! I want to live in a place where…It started raining here in the sixteenth century and hasn’t stopped.
But more than anything, this:
I am plain Ruth Swain. See me, nineteen, narrow face, MacCarroll eyes, thin lips, dull hazelnut hair, gleamy Swain skin, pale untannable oddment, bony, book-lover, reader of so many nineteen-century novels before the age of fifteen that I became too clever by half, sufferer of Smart Girl Syndrome, possessor of opinions and good marks, student of pure English, Fresher, Trinity College Dublin, the poet’s daughter.
If this brilliant book is not on your must read list, put it there immediately. But better than that, get it, open it and start reading!
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We have finally arrived at the last Wednesday of the longest year ever. No updates with this post, but rather reviews… The best of 2020 in making and reading.
This was the Year of Making (although not all of it has been captured on Ravelry, thanks to them being tone deaf about people having issues with their site) However, I checked and on Ravelry, I had completed 12 things (no Rav Links) this year, starting with a sweater that is a true favorite… Amy Christoffer’s Felix Cardigan. I wear it often… and have the yarn to make another one. Perhaps it can be a “start out 2021” sweater!
However, it was a year of socks for me… I knit more socks than I ever have in my knitting life with a whopping 6 pairs of adult size socks (and one Winston size pair, but those barely count, lol) And in fact, the final project I completed in 2020 were a pair of Socks for Steve. As you can see above, I don’t think I will get sock 2 completed before the midnight tomorrow so that brings my grand total for things knit this year was a whopping 22 projects! I guess Pandemic Knitting should be a thing!
On the sewing front, I was a lot less productive… only 4 projects completed this year. Sigh. My goal is to do a bit more sewing in 2021.
Now, on to the reading, which was so good this year. Although, I read less books than last year… by a significant amount. However, I think the reading I did this year has included so many books that have stayed with me. Books that I am still thinking about! Those, my friends, are signs of good books!
Of the 107 books I read this year, I classified 39 of them as 5-star reads! There were 45 4-star reads, just 14 3-star reads, 6 2-star, and 1 book got a 1-star rating. There were 3 books this year that were just not for me. I have looked at the 7 books that rated below 3-stars, and in hind sight I should have moved into the “did not finish” category. In essence, how I rate books… 3-stars means I finished it and it was okay. 4-stars, I liked it…lots, but I did not love it. And 5-stars is a book that I love, can’t stop thinking about, and want everyone to read it so I can talk to them about it!
I listened to 50 audiobooks this year. It is a format I love and it makes me happy that listening to a book is an option at my library because 99% of my reading for the year was made possible by my library! 2020 was a year that I wanted to read one book of “new to me” poetry every month. I did slightly better than that with 14 books of poetry!
The poetry was truly moving for me this year and 4 of those 14 books have really stayed with me. I think about them often, they introduced me to a new voice and each introduced a new way to look at things:
My best books of 2020:
I highly recommend any of these books to you, if you have not read them already!
Finally, though I have been debating on the continuance of Unraveled Wednesday, I am happy to share that Unraveled Wednesday’s will continue in 2021 – at least for a while! I am truly thankful for all of you each week… your posts inspire me, increase my reading list, as well as my make list!
As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and Happy New Year!
The week of selfish knitting has begun and my heart is singing with the joy of it! I have cast on a new sock in a new way of knitting for me…toe up. And so far so good. I am not yet to the heel, but I am in no rush. I am savoring each selfish stitch!
I finished those darling dinosaurs! And I can’t wait to see Winston playing with them! (FaceTime for now, but hopefully I will see him in person before they become passé!)
I also finished some very late (but extremely large) socks. I have enough left over yarn though to make a pair of Han Solo Socks for Winston! (Smart me to knit the heels and toes in a complimentary color!)
The reading this week though… I could have lingered longer with Obama’s book, but it was due back to the library and the waitlist is exceedingly long, so getting back quickly was not an option. Mary asked what speed I listened at… I listened at 1.25 and laughed hilariously at some of the daughter comments about how he speaks slowly. Yes, yes he does!
The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History by Thomas Harding
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One house…almost. One piece of land, for sure. What a fascinating story, excellently woven together. The connections, the “wait, what?” moments kept me engaged. The only thing that keeps me from giving this 5-stars is that it needed some editing, I think. It had parts that just dragged a bit, but still, this is a great story. If you like history… read this book. If you like stories about complex families…read this book. I recommend it highly!
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This might be the best memoir I have ever listened to. Read by President Obama, he shares incredible detail from his campaign, election, and his first four years. I laughed, I cried, and I was just enthralled listening to Obama. No drama Obama? Perhaps, but boy is this book is full of rich, smart, engaging stories. It made me long for the days of then… badly. I highly recommend the audio version of this book. Hearing Obama read makes this book.
Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent by Amy-Jill Levine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sometimes, the thing you need most is a new voice talking about a very familiar time. Amy-Jill Levine is that voice, and her thoughts and input are most welcome. She brought new light to my Advent and for that I am deeply appreciative. If you are looking for a new voice, I highly suggest AJ Levine.
Next week, I will be sharing my best books of the year and I might even do a bit of a review of my year of making.
As always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below! And thank you!
Is the rapidly approaching Christmas adding stress to your season? I am progressing nicely on my few Christmas makes, so my stress level is low! On Monday, I had the most curious dream and so in-between laundry, I started going through my scrap fabric bin to see what I might find. Tuesday I sat down at the sewing machine and voilà!
This antique doll cradle has been in my home since before my girls! They used it for years, but for some time now it has just sat collecting dust in my home and it is time that a new generation plays with it! So I made a new bed and a wee pillow, and a linen sheet, because why not! The best part? The tiny quilt! I had made this piece in 1992 and entered it in the Tulip Time Quilt Show were it won second place. It is paper-piecing, and hand quilted and although the red fabrics have bled a bit over the years with washing, I don’t think it detracts too much. It was well used – the girls used it for their dolls and now it will warm Vivi’s!
On my list today is to finish a pair of Little Dino’s for Winston! I have one started, so they are “underway”!!
Sadly, I do not have any reading updates this week, but I am deeply immersed in A Promised Land! It is so good! Although, I am quite sure I’d listen to Obama read me the telephone book! It is fascinating hearing him talk about all the things!
That is all I have for today, as always – if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!