Unraveled Wednesday | 8.21.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.21.19

I confess, I laughed at the comments about “making jam in this heat” from Monday’s post. So, true confession time…. I do not go to a Raspberry Farm and pick buckets of berries. I head to my back yard and pick berries from 6-ish plants. I am lucky if I get a cup of berries a day. This translates to “uber small batch jam making” and I am going to let you all in on a HUGE secret…I use the easiest raspberry jam recipe on earth. No standing at the stove cooking berries, no pectin (yes, really… no pectin at all), and no water bath steaming up the house. And, before 8 AM, I my day of “jam making” is done. The jam has been transferred to jars and waiting to head to the freezer. It will keep beautifully for a year (maybe longer, but it honestly does not last that long around here!)

Other making this week included a seersucker, pocketless Uniform Tunic and an Esme Tunic! (Today’s sewing will include another uniform top!) One might think that remaking the same few things over and over and over again gets boring but, in reality, it is quite the opposite! I find that I must think less about the “how” and can think more about the subtle changes! This time the Esme pockets have merged into the side seam completely and I love this little change! It gives the pocket and the garment a little more structure if you are going to use the pockets! Also, the Grainline Studio sleeve hack worked well on this Esme Tunic! In the Uniform Tunic as I began to work with the very lightweight seersucker fabric, I realized that pockets would not work at all and would add weight to the top and change the drape of the fabric. So… no pockets. If I had never made either of these patterns before I don’t think I would have felt okay with making these changes! I will try and get pictures to share on Friday.

My Romi-is-a-freaking-genius sweater has departed the “puzzle stage” and has suddenly morphed into a sweater! It still does not look like much, but I hope to have something to show you on Friday as well!

AND!! I started the heel on my Non-Eucludian socks! Waahoo!

Now, how about some reading awesomeness?!?

My Cover All is Complete!

I finished strong with War and Peace and Purple Hibiscus!

I loved War and Peace. It was so good. The thing that struck me most profoundly was the dichotomy between the lives of those serving in the war and those not serving in the war. Life and Death versus Life of Frivolity – on steroids! Also, I had no clue that Freemasonry was a thing in Russia. There was not one moment in all the 60+ hours of listening that I was bored or wanted to listen to something else – it was truly a pleasure to be immersed in this book! If you want to up your classic game this fall, I highly recommend this one!

Purple Hibiscus filled the “book I own” square and as such I read it slowly. It is a beautiful written story – I dearly loved Kambili. It is a story of growing up, family, and freedom. I highly recommend!

I also listened to Ruth Reichl read Save Me the Plums… so so good. Ruth is a brilliant memoir writer and I devoured this book about her time at Gourmet magazine. I highly recommend listening to Ruth tell you her story!

Finally, I also devoured The Nickel Boys and loved it! Colson Whitehead is a brilliant writer and this story gripped me from the first sentence to the last. Colson again shows me how little I know… truly how pitifully little I know. If you have not read this book – you should! And, to make that easier – if you leave me a comment today saying that you’d like to read The Nickel Boys – I will “pay it forward” as Juliann sent me her copy so I could read sooner than the library waitlist. I will pick a name next Monday and get the book off in the mail to you!

And, there you have my unraveling, but I want to know… what are you excited about today?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.14.15

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.14.15

I must confess that I found this knit to be a real slog. It was slow going and tedious, unlike Screen Door which was so much fun and so easy! However, I am happy it is finished, and I even think it will get some use in the coming months.

I am still working away on my sweater puzzle… sorry, I don’t have pictures to share as yesterday was the greyest of days. There just was not enough light to get a good photo. However, I am further along than the last photos! I am well into the back section and still have not finished the first *partial* hank of yarn! This is a very rewarding knit – I love checking off each section and row as I complete them!

The reading this week has also been most rewarding!

I finished two books and *should* finish one more today!

My finishes:

Station Eleven – which is a curious novel set in North America following a flu pandemic that has killed almost the entire world population (how they know this is never explained.) Somehow there is no electricity or public utilities, but there are some settlements of people. The story revolves around an orchestra/theater troupe who is nomadic – traveling along the shores of Lake Michigan, of all places! At first, I had a hard time keeping track of things – as it jumped back in time frequently. I was tempted to stop reading the book until all of a sudden – I didn’t want to stop reading. It took the author some time – but about halfway though you begin to see where she is going and how things are connected. And the ending – wow! It leads me to think there will be another book… at least I hope so! 4-stars!

I also finished If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. This book had some very entertaining moments… but it also had some very disjointed moments. This was probably not a good book to read at the end of the day before I went to sleep. The opening sentences told me how I should read it and perhaps I should have heeded those instructions: “You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade.”  I am going to heed Calvino’s advice and read this book again. 3-stars!

That is all I have for this week! What about you? What is rewarding in your life today?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.7.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.7.19

I almost have a finished object this week – I bound off this shawl late last night, but it still needs a bit of a spa treatment and a good blocking! Stay tuned for glamour shots next week!

But that means – I can cast on something new! And, cast on I did! – although I am not far, I have begun a new project! I also will be winding some yarn to cast on a pair of Non-Euclidean Stripey Socks!

Ahh, the joy of starting new knitting projects – is there anything better? Okay, maybe new sewing projects might be as good! And, I have some sewing projects that I hope to work on this week as well!

Now, how about some reading updates!

I did manage to finish one book this week. It was not a book for bingo, but it was a book that I could not put down once I started it! The River by Peter Heller did live up to the hype – it is well written and very fast-paced – 4 stars and I recommend if you are looking for a quick summer thriller!

I am more than halfway through War and Peace and, believe it or not, I am still loving this epic tome!

If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below – and thank you!

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.31.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.31.19

Greetings Unravelers!

I am back to patiently knitting my shawl and I am *almost* to the point where I get to do the little “flower” motif! Wooo!

As for Early Bloomer… I wore it on Monday and thought about the fit all day. Sadly, I have determined that I need to rip it back to the sleeve divide and re-knit the body… smaller. Yes, I am upset about this as well, so it is in a bit of a time out while I finish the shawl.

It might even stay in time out while I knit Romi’s new sweater.

This really caps off a very unfocused July and I have learned my lesson (or re-learned it – in my case!) No impulse knitting – it never turns out well…

The reading though…I am about a tenth of the way through War and Peace – 10-ish hours down…40-ish more to go. I am entirely engrossed with the story and the writing is very good – which is a very good thing when a book is so long!

I finished the third installment in the Inspector Lynley series – Well Schooled in Murder. I just love this series and am eagerly awaiting the next book – I am on the wait list at the library, and fortunately, I don’t think the wait will be long! It was another 5-star book and I highly recommend this series!

I also finished The Silent Patient… I am not sure where the recommendation for this one came, but oh boy. I thought it a bit contrived, I knew “who did it” almost immediately, and from there the remainder of the novel was quite predictable. I had originally given it 3-stars, but I downgraded it to 2-stars for the lack of originality. I do not recommend.

That is all I have this week! I hope your making has been much better than mine! What’s on your radar this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday | 7.24.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 7.24.19

Last night, the temperatures dipped down into the 50’s! Sleeping with open windows is just the best and I am so happy that horrid heat stretch is over…at least for the time being. Meanwhile, I am reveling in the respite and enjoying time outside!

I spent time on “Sleeve Island” this week – a very different kind of Sleeve Island but, can I just say that it was entirely enjoyable?!

I finished the sleeves on the second Uniform Tunic Dress – this version with a more “AC-friendly” 3/4 length sleeve. I used the instructions posted here but cut out full length sleeves and used a 6- and 3/4-inch hem. I love how they turned out. This fabric has a bit more body to it (it feels a little like a cotton twill) and I love it! Bonus points that this white dress is not see-through! I think that my modifications to the Uniform pattern have been perfected – both the 2-inch bust adjustment and the “fat” quarter inch reduction to the bodice shoulders. This “white” dress is going to get some heavy rotation in the coming days – and that is something I could never imagine my overweight self ever saying!

The other “sleeves” I finished are those of Early Bloomer…Okay, so they aren’t really sleeves but they are done as is the neck and I have more than enough yarn to finish the body of the sweater which I did and will begin the ribbing today. This will be done soon and then I will be back to knitting the shawl I abandoned for Early Bloomer.

Some weeks ago, I started this sweater and as I mentioned here the shoulder increases did not work at all with my gauge – so the project was abandoned. I have had this pile of yarn sitting near my desk wondering what on earth I was going to do with it… and then Romi’s new sweater appeared and I began swatching. The yarn just screamed – YES, that is exactly what I want to be! I will be doing version #2 and will start once that shawl is finished!

Now, how about some reading updates?

If you can’t tell… I am just LOVING all the different colored “X’s” – it might be the best part of Summer Book Bingo!

I finished Bingo Books: Hunger and Song of Solomon, as well as non-bingo We Were Eight Years in Power.

Oh my. I loved them all for different reasons.

Hunger was hard to listen to at times. It stuck close to home with several things, but despite those hard to hear parts, this book is excellent! 4-stars.

Song of Solomon was incredible. I listened to Toni Morrison read it. It was powerful, moving, and incredibly beautiful. 5-stars and I highly recommend.

Finally, We Were Eight Years in Power – this book made incredibly clear to me how unfair life is for Black American’s in the United States. I thought I had an idea – but truly, I am so clueless. It brought tears to my eyes, it made me so mad at the blatant unfairness, and it showed me how much more work needs to be done for this ongoing unfairness to end. So.much.more.work. 5-stars and this is a must-read book.

That is all I have for this week, but I want to know – where did you find success this week? In making? In reading?

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