Unraveled Wednesday | 4.17.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.17.19

Greetings Unravelers! The weather here has been decidedly fickle and we went from warm, breezy days to freezing rains mixed with a sprinkling of snow and back to warm breezy days. It was a great reminder that it is not quite time to put away the woolens. I was thankful to have a warm woolly sweater on Monday because I really did not want to turn the furnace on again – but I lost that battle in the early afternoon, despite my sweater. Thankfully the windows were back open on Tuesday with no need for woolens!

The weather has afforded me some nice bits of knitting time though and I am making good progress on Marsa Alam! Yes, I have been monogamously knitting away on it and am just over the half way point of the body. I should be working on my donation shawl, but I have a mistake and I need to do a bit of ripping back to get it on track  and so I have been avoiding it.

The reading this week was really good!

My Sister, the Serial Killer finally came through from the library and it was a quick listen! It is a curious story and the book pulls you in from the beginning and keeps your attention as it draws you into this dark, yet at times humorous story. I enjoyed it and gave it 4-stars.

I was really in need of something on my Kindle to read at night and Henning Mankell came to the rescue with Italian Shoes. How is it possible that this is my first Mankell read?? The writing is wonderful and the unconventional story unfolds in a most lovely way. I fell in love with Fredrik Werlin despite himself, his self-deprecating humor is brilliant, ” I keep a diary of a life that has lost its way.” The story tells about how Fredrik begins to make amends for his lost life, and eventually find his way again. I loved it so much, that I got the second Werlin story immediately and am half way through it! 5-stars and I highly recommend!

This weeks reading rounds out with The Light Between the Oceans. This was such a melancholy story – but it is so beautifully written. It is a tale of love and loss – and through the loss, the duration of that love. I wished it had ended as I was hoping it would, but the ending was still hauntingly beautiful. This is a book I will be thinking about for a long time.

That is all I have for this week, and as always:

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.10.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.10.19

My Marsa Alam is moving right along! I have passed the sleeve divide and now it is just “mindless knitting” which makes it the perfect companion for all the meetings I have this week! This is the first pattern I have every done that utilizes seamless set in sleeves and I am truly wowed by the ingenuity of the design! I was worried about how it would all come together, but I followed the pattern and voilà at the end of the increases you have this genius sweater start! I am not doing the body shaping (and no stripes, obviously!!) so I expect this now “mindless” knit to move right along!

I have exactly zero sweaters in my wardrobe this color and I think it will be a welcome addition and look how nicely it will go with my new Willow Top! I am in love with this pattern and I have completed a Willow Dress as well, which I hope to share photos of later this week! If you are a brand new sewist or have been sewing a long time – this pattern is wonderful! It is easy but has really lovely details and the fit is fabulous!

Now, how about some reading? Which, honestly, has not been all that great this week.

I finished three books:

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Oh boy. I wish I had some good things to say about this book, but sadly I think the entire premise did not work for me. This is not anywhere near the caliber of The Goldfinch or The Secret History – both of which I really loved. This story does not work for me in a number of ways. It seemed rather convoluted and, for me, fell into the “not believable” realm. And, it was a LONG listen – it just seemed to be never-ending! And, when I got to the end – it felt rather rushed (which is odd after more than 20 hours of listening!) I originally gave this book 3-stars but have since downgraded my review to 2-stars and I sadly do not recommend.

Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley. I do not remember where I saw this book, but wow – I wish I hadn’t! This really fell flat for me and the thing I kept thinking about while listening was she is no David Sedaris. At.All! I don’t know whether I am too old to get her humor, or she is just really not funny at all – in fact for me she just screamed “I am the epitome of white privilege and I know it!” and in all the bad ways. She makes doing mundane housework feel like the drudgery it is – fortunately the torture was short. 1-star and I do not recommend.

I also finished reading Robert Bryndza’s third Detective Erika Foster novel – Dark Water. This was a quick read with quirky Erika Foster. There is more character development in this story, and it is a page turner! Bryndza leads you down some twists and turns before you figure out “who did it” and I changed my mind numerous times throughout the novel before he unrolls the ending in a dramatic way! 4-stars and I can’t wait for the next book to be available – I am on a not too long waitlist for it with the library!

That is all I have for this week, and as always:

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Unraveled Wednesday | 4.3.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.3.19

While I am still working on Tegna – it has moved down the list. Instead I am reaching for a new sweater that I started on Monday afternoon. I have not gotten very far, and I am very curious to see how the start of this sweater will all come together! I know it eventually does – but exactly how is a bit mysterious to me! One thing about the yarn – Holst Coast – wow, what a dramatic change after giving it a bath! If I did not know better, I would not say it was the same yarn!

There was also some sewing with some sewing fixes this week! I made a muslin of this top and even though I measured and lengthened it a bit – it sadly was not enough. But Steve had the great idea of adding a similar ruffle to the bottom of the shirt to add some length, which I did on Monday and I love how it turned out! I need to do the tiniest bust adjustment for the next one but other than that this was a lovely and easy little pattern. If you have never attempted French seams – give this pattern a try. It has clear and easy-to-follow instructions for all seams! The only other adjustment I made was to alter the front and back facings – my fabric did not require the top be lined to the sleeves – so I just cut out a “normal” front and back facing instead. However, the full lining would be wonderful on a less structured and more drape-y fabric.

The reading this week included some amazing books! I ended the Month of March with 15 books. It was a very good month for reading!

I finished Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin and I really enjoyed Colum’s writing and was happy to see that Transatlantic was available! I added it to my listening queue, and it was so good I could not stop listening! It is a brilliantly intertwined story from Canada to Ireland to the USA and back to Ireland again telling the tales of a fascinating family over generations. This book got 5-stars and I highly recommend it!

I also listened to There Will Be No Miracles Here, which is Casey Gerald’s memoir. It is beautifully written, and his story is moving. It is amazing how little things can make such a big impact in your later life. He reads the book, which I always think adds more to any story. I gave this book 5-stars.

Every once in a while, I crack an actual book – and When All is Said did not disappoint and it begs you to consider a curious thought – who would you toast on the last night of your life? I read this book slowly – it is just 7 chapters long – but each chapter packs a huge punch. My inkling was to just devour the book in one sitting, but I made myself slow down and digest each chapter. I simply loved every word. I cried – lots. It is so beautifully moving. If I could encourage you to do one thing this week it would be to find this book and read it! 5-stars and I highly recommend!

That is all I have for this week, and as always:

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Unraveled Wednesday | 3.27.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.27.19

I love when I have a finished object to share on Unraveled Wednesday’s! And, I have one today – yes, Deschain is done! And, there were some significant alterations made to the pattern which resulted in a really lovely sweater!

I knit the front and the back longer, doing 6 repeats of the “lacework,” which was one more than the pattern called for. I also did some short rows on the back to balance out sweater a bit. Quite a few people who knit Deschain said they wished the back was a bit longer – and the short rows achieved that perfectly. I ended up knitting the sleeves flat and then seamed them into the sweater. This gives a much neater look and also the seaming prevents the sweater from just being a saggy mess. And, rather than pick up stitches to immediately bind them off – I just did a single crochet edge around the neckline and although that probably took me longer to do than suggested finish – it looks much better.

I think this sweater will get lots of wear (I already wore it yesterday!) and I am formulating some plans to knit a wool version to wear next fall/winter!

Now, on to the reading – first up I read a fantastic article on The Guardian this week which reinforces why I just love librarians!

My finished for the week:

I read another of Louise Erdrich’s books, this time: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Louise is a magnificent story teller – she has a wonderful way of drawing you into the story and then she unleashes her brilliant characters on you. The writing is masterful, and the story is just brilliant – and complicated – and I loved every little bit of it. This book easily gets 5-stars and I highly recommend this story.

I also finished Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. “It is white people’s responsibility to be less fragile; people of color don’t need to twist themselves into knots trying to navigate us as painlessly as possible.” I don’t think I have ever highlighted so many parts of a book, ever. It is very well written, insightful, and yes – eye opening to my own White Fragility. It gives some great things to think about regarding racism. This book is an excellent reminder to me – keep your mouth shut and listen, listen, listen! I highly recommend this book!

And, I finished a super quick read – Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini. The artwork is precious, as are the words. This book was inspired by the story of the three-year-old Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. I have heard it said we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortune elsewhere. But I hear your mother’s voice, over the tide. And she whispers in my ear, “Oh, but if they saw, my darling. Even half of what you have. If they only saw. They would say kinder things, surely.” If you are looking for something to remind you of the humanity of all, Sea Prayer will do just that. 5-stars and I highly recommend!

In the “did I like this book or not” category is Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. The story is fascinating and told in a very curious way. The thing I did not like — the number of narrators for the story and I do not recommend listening to the book for this reason. The book feels like a collection of short stories, but the stories are all intertwined together, and it circles back to finish stories from other perspectives, but not all the stories worked for me. Still, the writing is beautiful – very beautiful and I loved the ending! I gave the book 4-stars.

That is all I have for this week, and as always:

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Unraveled Wednesday | 3.20.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.20.19

A very short post this week… I seem to be at the “in between stage” at lots of things!

Yes, I spent some of yesterday seaming up Deschain. Thank you, Mary for the fantastic suggestion on how to make the yarn work – splitting it worked perfectly!! Today is all about doing a bit of an in-the-round gauge swatching to see what size needles I will need to use for the sleeves! (Just sleeves and the neckline and this baby is done!!)

In the not going to be done soon category – I did find some time yesterday afternoon to work on Tegna – and I worked on it more at Knitting last night! It is truly to the “easy knit” stage and it will get lots of attention during March Madness so maybe I can get this done sooner than I am thinking! But, still, I have miles and miles and miles of knitting ahead of me on this one, so I don’t think that even all of March Madness will see this finished – but who knows!

I finished just one book this week – but what a book it was! I think that Kym was the person who put The Heart’s Invisible Furies on my radar. Her review was so excellent that I immediately got on the wait list for it and fortunately, I did not have to wait long!! I realize that it is only March, but I predict this will be in the top five of the best books I read this year. The writing is just fantastic. The story is compelling – so compelling I could not stop listening! I laughed often, and cried hard more than once. It gets 5-stars and really – you need to read this book, it is just that good!

I have several books going right now, and hopefully by next week I will have at least a couple of them done!

That is all I have for this week, and as always:

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