Unraveled Wednesday | 3.17.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.17.21

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is the holiday when you should try and knit with some green yarn (and absolutely not try to drink any green beer!) Sadly, I am doing neither but I am knitting! Ha!

I thought if a knitter had written the Irish blessing it might look something like this:

May the stash yarns finally whisper to you.
May your patterns never curse you.
May yarn chicken never beat you.
May the wisdom of EZ always surround you.
~ An Irish-ish Knitter’s Blessing

The making this week finds me still on Sleeve Island although I am close to departure! I also am in the slog of sock knitting for my evening television watching knitting… just round and round and round and round. It is a wee bit taller today as I knit quite a bit last night, but there are still miles to go before I start heel construction!

I started another Hitchhiker but it is in time out right now while I ponder the beads on the points. I am not sure they are worth the effort as they don’t seem very visible to me. What are your thoughts?

I also began contemplating banging out a Daytripper Cardigan. The pull to do so is strong! And I might have enough yarn in my stash to do so… I know, so it is likely I will do some swatching as soon as I make my departure from Sleeve Island!

The reading has been varied this week. I have just two finishes, (but I am so close on a third!)

Klara and the SunKlara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh boy. This story. This story unfolds with in a department store and Klara being selected as a companion for Josie. Klara is fascinating to me… her perception of all around her, and her manners being far superior to the “real people” around her. We discover that Josie is ill and there is an undercurrent to push Josie’s mother and Klara closer together. And soon we discover why and that is where the book kind of derails for me. I felt very uncomfortable thinking about where Kazuo takes us. The writing is good, but the story is unnerving.

84, Charing Cross Road84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is just darling, really… darling is the perfect word to describe it! It is a collection of letters written between a book collector and a book seller and the relationship they forge over the years. It is funny, poignant, and easy to follow (I listened to it). The banter is fun as is thinking about a time when everything wasn’t instant…


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Unraveled Wednesday | 3.10.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.10.21

When confronted with a birthday in a week I will remember that a book can be a really good present, too. — Stephanie Pearl McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

I finally began those socks again… and this time I decided to use a toe up sock pattern… sort of. I will do increases until they are wide enough for Steve’s feet and then knit on. Fortunately he does not like tall socks, so once I get to the heel all the hard work will be done! That is if I get through the fiddly bit of the toe! Ha! I need to get them done because a birthday book would not be at all appreciated, lol!

However, what I am focused on is a sweater! Yes, I am back on Sleeve Island again this week. This time I am knitting away on Purl String sleeves. This sweater will be the perfect thing for spring so the urge to get it done is strong. However complicated the knitting of the sleeves are… there are decreases every X rounds, and something else happening every Y rounds. Which means there is lots of counting… sigh.

And who besides me has been drooling over the latest MDK Field Guide? I want to knit all.the.things!

It was a most excellent reading week!

SnowSnow by John Banville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A priest has been murdered and, of course, there are a collection of suspects. DI Strafford (Sinjin) begins the task of unwinding the lies and alibis… but does that lead to the killer? An excellent and well-told story.

 

A Confederacy of DuncesA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t remember what directed me to read this book but I am so glad I did! If you need something to take your mind off Pandemic Times… this.is.the.book! The Life and Times of Ignatius J. Reilly are something to behold. I laughed… lots. The characters in the book are just magnificent – I loved the fallibility of them! I hate to say this, but boy… I have one or two of these characters in my life! I highly recommend this glorious book!

The Queen's GambitThe Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book after I watched the Netflix series, but that did not diminish this story at all. It is brilliantly crafted, it pulls you in from the opening sentence and carries you along to the very last page. I know less than nothing about chess but that did not diminish the story either. I loved all the bits with Beth strategizing. I fell in love with Beth and all her faults! If you have not read this book, you should…now!

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand AloneBraving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yet another Brown book that I need to purchase so I can re-read parts as needed. I especially loved the parts on allowing oneself to be happy… to find joy… to live. I highly recommend this book!

 


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Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

“SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

This week I present my new favorite sweater! It was a long time in the making, but wow do I like it! I like it so much that I have plans to make another.

I have this vintage skein of yarn from Briar Rose Fibers (thanks to being a premier SABLE member) and once I find some mohair to go with it, I will be knitting a second sweater! (if you all have color suggestions for me, I will gladly take them!)

Anyways, back to my sweater…the fit is really lovely, but next time I will knit 2 more repeats of the “pine cones” before beginning the bottom ribbing as I’d like an option with a bit more length.  The sleeves are long and I am surprised how much I like them this length! I only did 7 sets of sleeve decreases (versus the 10 the pattern called for) and for me that was just perfect. I worried about how it would fit at the shoulders, but it sits perfectly and there is no slipping or sliding off! The pattern is incredibly well written and it is easy to follow. I highly recommend Ririko’s Evening Dew Cardigan.

On top of all of that, I managed to spin up a bit of fiber and I finished the yarn from last week. Sarah was right…a soak helped, but some bits still need a bit more twist, so I will run this through my wheel again. The other skein is Warm Woolen Mittens I (sorry, no longer available on their site) from HipStrings and I just love how it turned out!

I have yet to re-cast on those socks… and I need to get going on that pronto! But….

This lovely little diversion arrived this week from Lisa at Fibernymph Dye Works… my first installment in the Backyard Birdwatchers Club! This is chickadee (with a small bit of contrasting fiber dyed to match their speckled eggs!) and it is just gorgeous. It is BFL and I can’t wait to spin this up!

The reading was so good this week… and there was so much of it! Insomnia is good for something…oy.

Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-free Life by Francine Jay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think this book is a simplified version of Marie Kondo – minus the joy. The author immediately suggests not reading the book cover to cover (perhaps her best suggestion, lol) but rather pick and choose the areas you want to work on. I did not find many useful suggestions, but she does make some suggestions that are helpful (perhaps not so much helpful, but insightful.)

Archive 17 (Inspector Pekkala #3)Archive 17 by Sam Eastland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It felt good to get back to Inspector Pekkala and this book takes him back to Siberia to uncover a mystery and find the Tsar’s hidden gold stash for Stalin. There are some unexpected twists and turns, but Pekkala prevails… sort of. I won’t give any of the story away, but it is a fun read!

 

The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9)The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vera and a murder…what’s not to love? This latest installment in the Vera series does not disappoint. I have so enjoyed watching the development of characters as this series has progressed. I highly recommend this series!

 


Whew… that was a lot of stuff for a post! What about you? How was your week? 

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 2.17.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.17.21

As I get ready to embark on my Lenten Poetry Journey, I thought some words of wisdom from Ferlinghetti’s Poetry As Insurgent Art would be the perfect thing to start me on my journey!

Be a songbird, not a parrot.

Be a canary in the coal mine. (A dead canary is not just an ornithological problem.)

Be also a rooster, waking up the world.

Write short poems in the voice of birds.

Birdsong is not made by machine. Give your poem wings to fly to the treetops.

Compared to last week, it’s been a slow making week. One sleeve finished, one sleeve begun, but I still have miles to go before I bind off. But, I am closer than I was last week… and so I knit on!

Looks impressive from this angle…

Until you see how far I have yet to go…sigh.

I cast on a pair of socks for Steve with some Miss Babs 2-ply Yummy, color way… Coffee Break. I am a bit concerned about how it’s pooling but I am knitting on. It’s a bit of a “make it up as you go pattern” top down, with a long-tail tubular cast on, a reinforced heel, and then I am hoping for a toe that is better fitting for Steve’s foot. Stay tuned!

It was a slower reading week as well with just two finishes (and one was super short!)

Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was pure fun. Lots of reminiscing…music, movies, games. The story picks up somewhat seamlessly from Player One’s close and there it takes you on an unexpected journey. Player One was so brilliant, it was a hard act to follow. I liked Player Two quite a bit, but I think the first book was just ever so better. The ending in Player Two though… crazy. And it leaves you with so much to think about! I highly recommend this book!

Poetry as Insurgent ArtPoetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life lived with poetry in mind is itself an art.

Just 90 pages long, but wow is this little book jam-packed with wisdom! I have read through it several times and am thankful that my library had this book! I first learned of Ferlinghetti several weeks ago on an episode of The Writer’s Almanac and it was even better than I anticipated!

There are three kinds of poetry:
Supine poetry accepts the status quo. Sitting poetry written by the sitting establishment has a bottom line dictated by its day job. Standing poetry is the poetry of commitment, sometimes great, sometimes dreadful.

Ferlinghetti encourages one to release their inner poet in the most amazing way! I highly recommend this book!


What about you? What has inspired you this week? Or are you like me knitting in slow motion?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 2.10.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.10.21

If you have time to knit, if you’ve taken up knitting, it means you’re not worried about the essential stuff.

— Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

That quote defines my life this week…Laundry? Dusting? Meh…I have been consumed with knitting this week!

This week I have finished two infinitely wearable knits and I will take at least 6 more weeks of winter to get the maximum wearing opportunities possible for both items!

Yes, I finished my Heart Warmer Cowl, which when I saw Karen knitting hers I needed to cast on immediately! And…it is everything I wanted it to be! Warm, not tight around my neck, and it was fun to knit! (okay, outside of those bobbles… oh boy, lol) And though those bobbles were a bit of a pain to knit, wow do I like the texture they bring!

Details, if you are interested:

  • Cast on in January, cast off February 3
  • Yarn: Jill Draper Makes Stuff Ansel in Forget Me Not color 2 (which is sadly out of stock.) I used almost the entire skein. This yarn is a joy to knit with, it is sheep-y and light as air. This is my second project with this yarn and I wish I had more of it!
  • Mods: I only did two rounds of the bobbles – instead of three. I did four repeats of the broken rib pattern, two repeats of smocking, and one and a half repeats of the grapes. I used a German Twisted cast on, and the recommended tubular bind off.

Next is my handspun Hitchhiker! Oh.my.gosh! I am absolutely in love with it! It might be my favorite thing I ever made! The fiber I used was from Amy at Spunky Eclectic and I bought it probably 5 or 6 years ago. I had 2-4 oz. braids. I can spin  BFL so thin, so my goal was to get a consistent fingering weight yarn. It bloomed a bit when I finished it, so I’d say it ended up a fairly consistent heavy fingering weight yarn. (Amy sadly doesn’t have any gradient braids right now, but she does have some fiber sets that I think would work!) I love to knit, but knitting with handspun yarn just takes my love of knitting to a new level. If you don’t spin, I am sorry for you, because knitting with yarn you made is just incredible. (And when the yarn you made is practically perfect in every way… Zen Knitting FTW!)

Again, details if you are interested:

  • I started spinning the yarn in December and finished the spinning in January. I spun roughly 760 yards.
  • I cast on on January 23, and cast off on February 7.
  • I used almost every bit of my yarn (just 7 yards left over) and managed to get 50 “teeth” a really lovely size for me!

As you can see, I am spinning a fun set of merino from HipStrings and have plans to make another Hitchhiker…this time with beads! Yes, I’d say I have caught the Hitchhiker Bug! I am about halfway through the fiber and look forward to finishing soon so I can cast on this month!

My nighttime knitting project is sleeves on my resurrected Evening Dew Cardigan. I have about a sleeve and a half to go. It might be done sooner than I imagined! Ha! Hopefully, I have a finished sweater next week!

Finally, a friend sent me the loveliest little present this week… it was a complete surprise and I stopped everything and cast on on Monday and in short order had one heart done! This, my friends, is potato chip knitting at its finest! I might have more hearts in process! lol

The reading this week, though…

The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been stumbling around looking for another good mystery series and I think I have found it! Gabriel Allon is a fascinating character. He is unexpected and incredibly likable. The writing is good, bits of information but not so much as you solve it too early!

 

The Gifts of ImperfectionThe Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the “little book I did not know I needed”!! I listened to it, twice. Yes… twice. And when I considered listening a third time – I knew I needed to buy it, asap! I originally rated this book 4-stars, but have changed that rating to 5-stars. It is the perfect guide to help you learn how to embrace your life.


But what about you, Gentle Readers, what are you excited about making or reading this week?

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