Unraveled Wednesday | 2.19.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.19.20

The making this week included a wee bit of sewing… one more flannel Esme Tunic, although with the weather we’ve been having a flannel tunic seems rather silly! However, it is my “go to wear” these days and having one more in the rotation is a good thing. I did a bit of a different sleeve finish (a modification of a modification?) with this one and I like it! I have plans to make a denim tunic with these sleeves as well – I figure that will carry me through spring and into the start of summer!

The reading this week was incredible with two 5-star books. I cannot stop thinking about The Living Fire or A Long Petal of the Sea. I almost want to stay in the place that each book brought me and not leave for awhile.

The Living FireThe Living Fire by Edward Hirsch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First, I never, ever imagined that insomnia could be brilliant. Hirsch had taken a misery and made it genius. This collection of poems was brought to my attention one morning while listening to The Writer’s Almanac. That tiny preview, while brilliant, did not even begin to hint at the poems I found in The Living Fire. A few of my favorites: Incandescence at Dusk, Four A.M., The Reader, Earthly Light, I am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic, The Widening Sky, and After a Long Insomniac Night.

This is a book I need to add to my library so I can return to these words again and again. I highly recommend!

A Long Petal of the SeaA Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My life has been a series of journeys. I’ve traveled from one side of the world to the other. I’ve been a foreigner without realizing I had deep roots…My spirit has sailed as well. [the] most important events, the ones that determine our fate, are almost always completely beyond our control. But do you know what I’m most grateful for? Love. That has marked me more than anything else.

This book grabbed me from the very first pages as Victor was treating the wounded in the Spanish Civil War. The lives of Victor and Roser took me on an emotional journey – one that was at times painful to read. I could not put this book down and I loved that each chapter started with the words of Pablo Neruda. I knew nothing at all of Neruda’s work to save thousands of refugees. I highly recommend this incredible story!

Words in Deep BlueWords in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We are the books we read and the things we love. Cal is the ocean and the letters he left. Our ghosts hide in the things we leave behind.

I really wanted to love this story, but it fell flat for me, perhaps because of the genre. However, the writing is poignant and if this book inspires YA to read some of the books quoted within the pages – that would be a very good thing.

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.12.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.12.20

Socks, hat pompoms, and increases every fourth row described my knitting this week! No actual finishes, but lots of progress none the less!

I went with a friend to see Knives Out! last Wednesday and I managed to get the leg of my second sock done. And, a few bits of time here and there since then have seen the heel done and I am now working “down” the foot to the toe!

Just ten stripes to the toe decreases!

I went to JoAnn’s on Saturday and found the perfect pompom for my new hat and I got lots of bonus points because it was super on sale and only cost me a whopping $2! It is not quite as convenient as the “snap on” version that my daughter’s hat got, but I managed to do a nice work around with a button and at that price I am not complaining!

Hat and hair matching is a thing, right?

Finally, as you can see above, I spent some time every evening being faithful to my recently found Cladonia! And, I am almost to the point where I will add in the second color!


Island Beneath the SeaIsland Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew nothing of Haiti, outside knowing of “Baby Doc” Duvalier. But, Allende starts this book in Haiti and she took me on a fascinating journey into the rich setting of Haiti and life there and on to life in New Orleans. I loved Zarité, or Tété, from the beginning when she is just a young child. The topics discussed are thought provoking and this story will stay with me for a long time.

The Ragged Edge of NightThe Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am really not sure what to rate this book, and about half way through when it started to drag a bit for me through to the end – I felt this is a solid 2.5 to 3-star book. But, then I read the authors note and was shocked to find this is a true story…and now I am toying with increasing a star. However, that fact does not change that the story dragged along a bit. This story is also very religious, almost too much for me. While I liked how the White Rose Society and the Red Orchestra were woven in, I felt this could have been done much better.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy WorldDigital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A small book packed with lots of ideas. Not that I needed any reinforcement, but I love how Newport stressed how important making things are! And, book clubs! I think the biggest thing I got from this little book, was to stay in the world, not in my phone.

That is all I have for this week, what about you? Do you have a project that is all-consuming?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.5.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.5.20

Greetings Unravelers!

How are we five days into February already?! Is it me or did time suddenly just speed up drastically? Sadly, my knitting has not taken the same turn and in fact it all feels quite January-like as I slough through these rows! Sorry for the miserable photo but we are back to grey days again! (and the great brown blob just really isn’t at all photogenic!)

My January making was really not bad at all! I completed two hats (one for me and one for my daughter), one Felix Cardigan, and two Esme Tunics! .

January reading in numbers was quite impressive! I finished 13 books, reading 1,913 pages and listening to just over 81 hours of audiobooks! Most of them were solid reads that I enjoyed tremendously. This year I am spending more time thinking about the rating I give a book (last year I gave LOTS of 5-stars, but some of those were so much better than others) but I did read two 5-star books this month (Conversations with RBG and Night Sky with Exit Wounds) I feel very good about giving them 5-stars because both books have stayed with me! This week’s finishes were as follows:

TranscriptionTranscription by Kate Atkinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. This is not Life after Life, but that is okay. I like Juliette – she is smart and I did not always quite know what she was up to. But, the book moves you along in a most pleasing way to the most delightful ending (Wow, I did not see that coming!) In the audio version I listened to, I really enjoyed Atkinson’s explanation of how she wrote this (un)historical fiction. I highly recommend!

Dangerous Melodies: Classical Music in America from the Great War through the Cold WarDangerous Melodies: Classical Music in America from the Great War through the Cold War by Jonathan Rosenberg
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book made me wish I knew more about classical music, but sadly, I don’t. I did make a list of the songs I did not know with plans to listen to them. I never thought about politics and music being linked. If you are a fan of classical music, you would enjoy this book tremendously.

FeverFever by Mary Beth Keane
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh boy, this book would not be one I would have finished if it was not for a book club. I struggled to like the characters and the book itself could have used some editing. Many things made me angry in this book – the treatment of Mary (vs. the treatment of males who were carriers of typhoid) for one.

There was so much that I did not know about this time period that I spent some time looking up to understand. I think the book could have done a better job with including some of those left out facts. All in all, I do not recommend this story.

I also set one book aside, Olive Kitteridge, I could not finish this book at this point in time. Perhaps I will try again some day, but at this space in life it was just not something I could ease into reading.

That is all I have for this week, what about you? What was good this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.29.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.29.20

Greetings Unravelers!

It has been a long, sad week. My Tuesday night knitting group lost a member last week and knitting last night was bittersweet – we were there, but a bit diminished. However, we made plans to pick up a special shawl that was in progress for a beloved niece. We will each take turns knitting until it is finished. Our stitches will be full of love and memories of Mary and having a path forward with some meaning felt so right.

I have not picked up my Evening Dew Cardigan in over a week, as my knitting attention has been distracted entirely by my Pheasant Pullover! I finished the colorwork portion over the weekend and have been working on the mindless knitting portion of the body but I am still not to the sleeve divide. I still have a little over an inch to go before I am to that point. However, I am so happy to be mindlessly knitting and reading!

The reading this week was outstanding, though!

Shade: A Tale of Two PresidentsShade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Early on, I had been directed to Pete Souza’s Instagram feed and I enjoyed that tremendously. However, seeing the feed here with the correlation to what he was responding to is simply brilliant. I laughed at many of these, and it also made me yearn for the days when we had a president we could be proud of.

Night Sky with Exit WoundsNight Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe we pray on our knees because god only listens when we’re this close…

This book is only 70 pages, but those 70 pages are packed full of such incredible words. Words I sometimes had to read over again because they were just so beautiful. This is not a book of poetry to miss.

Stars. Or rather, the drains of heaven—waiting. Little holes. Little centuries opening just long enough for us to slip through.

Slip through the words and settle yourself into the world of Ocean Vuong, it is a place you will want to linger in and enjoy. I highly recommend!

The Guns of AugustThe Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I add that has not already been said about Tuchman’s tome on WWI? Woefully little, but I will try. I listened to this book and it very much felt like I was sitting in the history class with the professor everyone said was wonderful – only to discover, they were wrong – she was more than wonderful, she was brilliant and made things clear and so understandable!

If you at all have any idea that you like history – this is a must read book. I highly recommend the audio version with Wanda McCaddon narrating, she is wonderful and very easy to listen to!

Peace Like a RiverPeace Like a River by Leif Enger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The answer it seems to me now, lies in the miracles.

Do you believe in miracles? You might after you read this book. I fell in love with Davy, Swede, and Reuben. This book makes you think about faith, poverty, justice (or rather injustice) all told from the wise perspective of Reuben. Read this book and be witness to the wonder of this family. I highly recommend!

That is all I have to share this week, but I want to know what is consuming your making time?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.22.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.22.20

Greetings, Unravelers!

The making this week has had some highs and some not so highs.

First, remember this sock? Once I got the heel flap done and started down the foot and that little voice in my head kept saying, “holy cow this sock is BIG” after I got through the decreases I finally listened to that voice. End result – I frogged the sock and began again with the smallest size and hopes that this will actually fit. Oh boy.

I completed Chart One of my Pheasant Pullover and I think I need a longer length circular needle before I begin Chart Two. So, it’s in a bit of a holding pattern until I can get that longer length.

It looks spot on from this angle, but trust me when I tell you that the match up is just a bit off from front to back.

But that’s okay because I have spent my time wisely with an Esme Tunic. Matching plaids is not for the faint of heart and while this attempt was better than my first try, there is still room for improvement. The darts are hanging me up and I am not certain how to correct it. I have done something different with the pockets in this tunic with this inseam template from 100 Acts of Sewing! I hoped to have this done, but that was not happening, but at least I have a start on a new tunic! Today my challenge will be setting in the sleeves and hoping my plaids are spot on! Wish me luck! Haha

The reading also had some highs and less than high books this week as well:

I finished Fates and Furries, but it was an effort.

Fates and FuriesFates and Furies by Lauren Groff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Could there be a book with two more horrid characters? I did not like Lotto or Mathilde. There was nothing redeeming about either of them. I do not recommend this book at all.

I finished Malice in Malmö, Inspector Anita Sundstrom #6 and I liked it – a lot!

Malice in Malmö (Inspector Anita Sundstrom #6)Malice in Malmö by Torquil MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mystery within a mystery. While I wondered from the beginning if they were connected – MacLeod keeps dangling hints before me. Anita’s growth in this novel is wonderful! I highly recommend this series.

I also finished Salt to the Sea and I really loved it!

Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four people, four very different stories, all running concurrently. This book will stay with me for a very long time. There are horrific moments that almost crush you. There are tender moments that make you believe there is goodness. And those tender moments are so moving. I cried and the ending was so unexpected. I highly recommend this book!

Finally, if you enjoyed Just Mercy, the first book that Read With Me Book Club selected, you might be interested in the interview Terry Gross did with Bryan Stevenson earlier this week!

That is all I have today and I hope your making and reading had more highs than lows! If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!

Pin It on Pinterest