Unraveled Wednesday | 2.8.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.8.23

Greetings Unravelers!

It is Wednesday and I don’t have my painting homework done (which is due by noon today… so guess what I am doing this morning! LOL) It has been a week that I feel “behind” … terribly behind! I begin each day with a plan of action but then a hiccup happens and my plan is aborted and I am left playing catch up!

So I don’t have much to share today! I have joined my sweater in the round and am making my way through the sleeve increases. I have a good bit to go before the Great Sleeve Divide… so you just have a bit of a blob to show for my knitting this week!

This means that next week I will have all manner of fun things to share with you… so I won’t spoil my surprise! Ha!

The reading this week has been so very good though! I found myself “between books”  and although the Hold Avalanche is bearing down on me…I picked up a book that Kym had mentioned some months ago. Which turns out to be just the thing to read when you have to abort all plans… yes I am in sync with Sully currently. So reading about his foibles is exactly the levity I need right now! Although, Sully is keeping me up later than I normally stay up… so that might be part of my problem!

As you can see… not much means not much! But what about you all… inspire me with your creativity!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.1.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.1.23

Greetings Unravelers and Welcome February!

January was such a good month for me! I knit one gnome… and have a healthy start on another. I have his arms to finish… and you will note that Vera is my Gnome Whisperer! Dear Gnorton has a beard and braids! Now I need to collect some materials from my backyard and see if I can’t do a bit of weaving…basket weaving, that is! Ha! What better for a delightfully soft Gnorton to be contrasted with twigs! Anyways, I have a small basket in my minds eye, now if I can just get it from there to Gnorton’s arms, I will be all set! Haha!

There was also some yardage calculation of all the “sweater skeins” once they were dry and I am happy to report that they topped 1400 yds of yarn! More than enough for a sweater and so I began my swatching… and I felt a bit like Goldi-Knits as I did it. The first swatch (with US5 needles) was too stiff! The second swatch (with the orange locking marker, knit on US6’s) appeared to be just right but what would a bit of a bath do to it? One more swatch was needed so I ripped out the first swatch and knit that yarn into a new swatch bu I feared that just might be a bit too loose on US7’s.

But things often change in the wash… not dramatically, but each swatch changed a bit once they were dry. Either swatch could work, IMO…but which one would work best?

  • US6: Pre and Post washing – 20sts/28 rows = 4″ no gauge difference, but the fabric feels denser post wash, as the stitches have snuggled tightly up together (which I think you can see because the stitches don’t lay flat)
  • US7: Pre and Post washing – 18sts/26 rows = 4″ again, no gauge difference… but the “gaps” between the stitches are no longer visible… with no change to the drape, feel, or wear of the fabric!

Now for the important part… are there any patterns that match my gauge? I am happy to report that I did have several choices for each swatch! In the end I chose the US7 swatch gauge for a top down sweater with some new techniques by a new-to-me designer. She actually had a couple of patterns in the running… but in the end I selected one (Ravelry link) that has a bit of a hybrid sleeve (a saddle/raglan cross!) My gauge matches in stitches (but I am over a bit on row gauge, but Ms. McLochlainn has some great tips in the pattern for mismatching gauges.)

Even better… you knit the neckband/collar last! So I can try on and see what works best for me! I have started and am loving the attention to details. (Also, a huge thank you to Sarah for her help on a “firm cast on” cry I put out on Twitter on Monday! Cable Cast On is a winner!)

But in case all that excitement was NOT ENOUGH! I cast on one more project for good measure! Hahaha! Yes, I finished my Base12 Spin and immediately cast on for another Hitchhiker! (I am sorry you can’t see the color changes … but there are some very dramatic ones coming.) I spun the yarn in order (no mixing things up this year) and I spun them incredibly fine… it is a very light fingering weight/heavy lace weight yarn. And in my attempt to use up stash, I am knitting it with a strand of KSH… in a deep navy. I am also doing yarn overs on my “tooth rows” to make it a bit different. There is more than enough handspun for this Hitchhiker (there will likely be leftovers of it) so I am knitting it until I am happy with the size. This is my Truly Mindless Knit (yes, even with the YO bits!) and it is perfect for nighttime television watching with Steve!

(and yes, I am still plodding along with my Pressed Flowers Wrap… never fear!)

It has been a good week for reading as well. I am still listening to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I have about an hour to go and will likely finish it this morning. Waiting in the wings is The Colony. This will be my second attempt with it, so I have my fingers crossed!

At night I am trying to get into The Sea, the Sea. But I am not loving it… and was easily distracted from it to read Women Talking (which I had very mixed feelings about… no review written yet.)

Whew! That’s quite the update for you all! LOL What about you? What is exciting you this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.25.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.25.23

Greetings Unravelers!

This week is truly a week for unraveling… issues. So let’s get started!

First, I thought I’d give you all a very brief update on my experiences at the new doctor yesterday. No… there were no C3PO-style staff. Whew, right? But I am still “digesting” my visit and whether the doctor is a keeper or…not. However, I am having bloodwork done on Friday morning, because of course, right?

But The Big Issue that I need help with is my Temperature Embroidery project!! I have completed 19 days but I have run into a bit of a hiccup and I have been at a bit of a standstill until I can figure out a solution to my problem! I am doing woven wheels for each day and, honestly… I just love how they look and I don’t want to switch to something else! But here is my issue, those little wheels don’t play nicely with an embroider hoop and I wrecked a couple of them as I moved along the line of days …in the first row. I posted an image on IG and the pattern designer suggested a frame contraption that I hand turn. And since I could see that the hoop issue was just going to continue to be an enormous problem, so I bought one but boy… is this the most awkward thing ever created?!? I have not found a rhythm for how to use this monstrosity but stitching a woven wheel with no frame or hoop is a no go…because a lack of tension makes for sloppy woven wheels! So… if any of you have any tips or tricks on how to use the wooden frame… I’d appreciate them so I can happily return to stitching!

There has been the tiniest bit of making this week!! I have a completed pair of mitts just in time for the return of some wintry mix-style weather! They have been a welcome addition to my morning outings with Sherman!

I also cast on a new gnome. This gnome has yet to whisper any advice to me, but perhaps I am just not listening. I will forge ahead with the arms today… and maybe then we shall see if this gnome needs a beard… or some braids!

The reading this week has been good – I finished The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams (with mixed feelings) and have started listening to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I am just settling in with it and have no thoughts at all about it yet but I love the title!

I finished reading the soon-to-be-published Allende book, The Wind Knows My Name. I know that last week I was not sure if the book would fall into the “so very good or not so good at all” categories but, as it turns out, I ended up liking it very much! It is not a typical Allende book, but that does not make it bad… imo. Anyways, it is a book that I have not stopped thinking about – which is what I think Ms. Allende wanted…a book that will niggle at you, and this book is that!

As such I have found it hard to settle in with a new book so I started reading an essay or two from Ross Gay’s Book of Delight’s before bed and it is so delightful!

I also started the most appropriate post-doctor appointment book: The Swedish Art of Aging Exuberantly by Margareta Magnusson (of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning) After Monday’s appointment, I needed a healthy dose of levity… and thank you, dear Margareta for starting with gin! (Yes, chapter one is about drinking with friends!)

I want to thank all of you in advance for any tips for using that embroidery frame… and I want to know what’s on your mind today!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.18.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.18.23

Greetings dear Unravelers!

We are racing through January… yikes! As I am typing this I cannot believe that the month is more than half over.

Big hint… Thus far, I don’t have much to show for the month!

I have reached the halfway point in my Pressed Flowers Wrap…I think five more “repeats” of flowers and I will be at the point where I will go back to the closely mingled flower pattern, which for me was a bit tricky to keep track of, but for now it remains super simple knitting!

Last year, I determined I needed a new pair of fingerless mitts. Well… I finally have one done! I have done some modifications to the pattern (it is Hermoine’s Mitt’s and it is free on Ravelry) I knit 8 rows of ribbing on the cuff and at the finger-side I really changed it up. I knit enough ribbing to have a fold over cuff, which I think will be very lovely if it ever gets cold again here in Pittsburgh! LOL I cast on for the second mitt last night, but it was too dark to get a photo. Hopefully, mitt two will be done sooner than it’s mate was!

But I have really been jonesing to cast on a sweater or two!

First Ann, of Ann and Kay, reminded me how much I really love her Destination Pullover. Then Vera mentioned it. And then I went to look for yarn in colors that are dark and moody like Ann’s… I might have a cart full at some online retailer.

Said cart might also include the yarn to knit Vár as well. Yes… I might even have envisioned the subtle changes I would make to it if I knit it!

Anyways… in an attempt to really contemplate the making of two sweaters, I am letting the cart simmer a bit before clicking “check out”… and if the colors are gone before I get to that stage, then it was not meant to be. And I am very okay with that!

Because this year is the year of being entirely authentic… I am sharing my Moody Painting from this week’s lesson (thanks Kym for that GREAT adjective, lol) I have miles and miles to go on my watercolor journey and this painting reminded me of that. I am thankful for Steve for reminding me that laughter is a very good thing… and sometimes laughing at yourself is the best solution for doing a Moody Painting! I hope this week’s critique gives me some good tips for fixing all the issues I had, lol!

Let’s move on to reading, shall we? I am three weeks in to Pádraig Ó Team’s Poetry Unbound book.. and can I just say it might have been the best three weeks ever in a January that I can remember! I have spent time with Wonder Woman, Book of Genesis, and Phase One. The impact that spending time with these poems has been incredible… the perfect start to any January, but especially this January!

I am also more than halfway through Allende’s The Wind Knows My Name… this is a book that somehow does not feel like an Allende book. I thought it was going one place at the start, but then she headed off in a different direction… or did she? (at least that is what I am asking myself as I try and figure out how all these lines will converge and where they might go!) I am not disliking it, but I right now I am not loving it either… and yet… I can’t stop reading because I have to know where she is taking me!

My “Daytime Listen” is The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams. I am about 2 hours in and am enjoying the writing, the history, and the “characters”!

And, that is about enough… right? LOL Anyways, I want to know what are you itching to cast on! (in case I need to add anything else to my cart! LOL)

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

I will be back tomorrow with our monthly Gathering of Poetry! And remember, you are welcome to join us if you are so moved! 

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.11.23

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.11.23

Greetings Unravelers!

Welcome to the day that holds me accountable for what I am making… one of my favorite days! And this one has a fun play with numbering 1.11.23…

But, even better is that tonight is the Read With Us discussion on The Marriage Portrait… which I am eagerly looking forward to!

I began the making of the Third “Christmas Gnome” sibling and when I thought I had almost finished her, she let me know that NO, You are not done. Thank you, very much. And so, I scrapped the scrappy scarf and knit instead something every.single.knitter.has. A shawl…amirite? She wanted… no NEEDED a shawl. And a shawl she has! It needed to be wider than deeper, so I did simple increases (YO’s) at each edge RS and WS. I did a simple center spine to give it some direction. And have stitched it down so she does not lose it (wee gnomes have shoulder issues! haha) And she has her own set of pointy sticks with a project going… and a hand sewn project bag to hold her ball of yarn!

So meet the feisty Felicia Gnavidad! She rounds out the trio of gnomes and counts as the first project I have finished this year!

Felicia Navidad with her pointy sticks!

A bit of a “lighter” image of the siblings. But, as you can see up top, they have “Center Stage” of the mantel!

I have gathered *almost* all the necessary things for my Temperature Stitching Project. (I need 6 more skeins of DMC floss, sigh. Silly Stupid me, I found an online temperature chart but it was for Celsius and I did not even think to do the conversion from C° to F°. Sadly, the chart I used does not get “cold” enough for Pittsburgh winters… I’d have dozens of days all in the same color so I did some calculating, and picked some colors. I will head to JoAnn’s tomorrow to pick up the missing skeins.

The reading… well, I have traveled off to Three Pines to spend some time with Armand as he works through a curious mystery. I am savoring it… although the urge to just race through is strong, I am resisting! Three Pines is a lovely place to be and the perfect place to linger in January!

I just finished When Women Were Dragons and I simply loved it. I have not yet started a new night time read, but I have been approved to read Isabel Allende’s new book, The Wind Knows My Name and I will start it this evening!

One last bit of housecleaning… Anne of Little Skein is celebrating her 10 years of being a small business owner with a survey… and she is looking for any and all to help her with answers! If you’d like to help her, you will find her survey here. (And Thank you, Bonny for pointing her out to me!)

And there you have it for my making and reading for the week! How about you? What is on your shelf to read next?

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

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