Unraveled Wednesday | 4.21.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.21.21

My favorite place to vacation is anyplace by the ocean [lake]. — Nina Arianda

I am pretty sure that if Nina Arianda had see any of the Great Lakes she would absolutely wanted to vacation there. This week I have a “change of scenery” as we are visiting Erie and more specifically, Presque Isle – which just might be my favorite place on earth and even on a grey day the views are just glorious!

If only letting go of COVID fears was as easy as changing the scenery. I am two weeks past my second vaccine, but the idea of immersing myself back into “pre-COVID life” is still such a scary thought. I read this article in the NYTimes and I am working on rethinking risks and overcoming my COVID fears, but it is not easy. What about you? How are you doing post vaccine? How are you re-entering life? Do you have a plan? I really want to know… I think a good discussion around this would be a wonderful start – so please tell me your thoughts!

While I have no knitting photos this week, you are not missing anything. There is hardly any change from last week’s images, lol. I am at the slow going portion of Purl Strings. Lots of counting, seed stitching, and so much more increasing to do. I have knit about 3 inches of the cuff of Sock One, but I have a good bit of knitting yet before I get to the heel.

However, there is so much to do outdoors here (with practically no COVID fears!) I have been walking and walking and walking and watching all the birds. So.many.birds! We have discovered new trails and have seen so many new things. Each day is just a bit greener than the day before! It is crazy but today there is snow in the forecast so I just might get some knitting time in!

While the reading was minimal this week, I did have one finish.

The Cold MillionsThe Cold Millions by Jess Walter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fascinating story about a part of history that I knew nothing about. The writing style very much reminded me of Leif Anger or Kent Haruf. I listened and the cast of narrators were wonderful. I loved how the characters each were woven into the story… together but separately. If you want to learn more about labor in the early 1900’s in America, this book is an excellent place to start. I highly recommend it!


That is all I have for today, as always – if you wrote a post to share please leave you link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 4.14.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.14.21

Cut and secure the front steek. — Mary Jane Mucklestone, Modern Daily Knitting Field Guide No. 17, Lopi

The fear is real!

I don’t think it matters how many times you have knit a sweater that requires steeking, it always is a nerve-racking experience. I mean, take a scissors and cut your knitting? Seriously?

A pullover becomes a cardigan… snip, snip, snip!

And despite the nerves… it is like magic. My previous favored mode for steeking was Ysolda’s method described here. But I am having some fears about having enough yarn to knit the two button bands so I was not willing to waste any on crocheting. And you know what? It just might have won me over! It worked very well!

But those floats! Gah, I just love them!

Said sweater had a little spa treatment after steeking and is drying… sigh. I am hopeful that I will be able to start the button bands today!

But let’s talk about that ribbon, shall we?

Winston’s mom has been sending me links to Etsy shops that had fabric that she thought might be perfect for hats! AND!! One of those shops had ribbon! The ribbon is just luscious! It is not stiff at all, and the colors!! Once I have those button bands done I will be carefully stitching it over the steeked edges. I almost want to wear the sweater inside out so everyone sees this ribbon! LOL

Soon to be hats for Winston!

I tried to patiently wait for my Daytripper to dry, really I did! But I gave in and cast on my Marled Purl Strings! I love how this sweater starts out! Last week Jane asked what my yarn was… it is Holst Garn Coast. If you have not tried knitting with Coast… you should immediately remedy that! It is lovely and it wears beautifully! Just enough cotton to be a summer sweater and just enough wool to hold its shape incredibly well!

Purl Strings No. 2 is underway!

I also want to wind up a skein of Miss Babs Deep Sea Jellyfish sock yarn  so I can cast on Carole’s Picot Edge Socks. (Ravelry link, sorry about that!) Anyways, I am in need of a “semi-mindless” knit and these socks are so much fun! Enough to keep your attention but a sock that you don’t have to be focused on every stitch!

The reading this week though!

Vesper FlightsVesper Flights by Helen Macdonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It is a collection of essays about nature (and us, in a way) I enjoyed Macdonald’s storytelling but I did not always connect with her thoughts. However it is beautifully written and I recommend it!

 

In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the WorldIn the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World by Pádraig Ó Tuama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are some books that seem to have been written for you, this was that book for me. It was exactly what I needed and the words were a balm to my spirit. If you are in need of reassurance in a sea of doubt – read this book. If you are questioning life – read this book. If you are feeling lost – read this book. If you just want to get lost in the beauty of the writing – read this book.

I highly recommend!

The Duchess of Bloomsbury StreetThe Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really wanted to love this book like I loved 84, Charring Cross Road… but, sadly, I didn’t. I missed the dialog back and forth… though there were funny moments. This is a journal of Helene Hanff’s trip to London… some of which I find incredibly implausible! (I mean who has a hysterectomy and even feels like doing anything, much less a transatlantic trip!) It also made me wince a bit at the embarrassing Americanism in it. (give out my address and phone number because they will buy me dinner… so tacky.) My recommendation is to absolutely read 84, Charring Cross Road but skip this book.


That is all I have for today! What about you? Do you have any book recommendations this week?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 4.7.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 4.7.21

The knitting is slow going this week however, I did get through the yoke color work and have divided for the sleeves on my Daytripper cardigan! I thought things were progressing well and then yesterday happened! Yes, I had some side effects from my second injection…the worst of which was an unbelievable headache so not much of anything got accomplished. Just a lot of lazing on the couch willing the headache to depart. I hope to feel more like knitting today so maybe I can get through the body and onto the color work at the hem! Okay, so maybe that is a bit ambitious…but at least I hope to be knitting today!

Before I went to get my COVID vaccine, I did manage to get a marled swatch done and it is perfect! I love when my “minds-eye” and reality are the same.thing! So another Purl Strings is waiting in the wings! This one should be a snap to get done since I already know what size, what needle, and how many repeats I am doing!

The reading this week was so good! Hard, but good!

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A hard listen. Some things I knew, but so many more things I had no clue about. Compelling, well told stories. The variety of narrators worked well to portray the variety of writers. This should be a “must read” for every white person…

 

Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous!Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous! by Stéphane Hessel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To the men and women who will make the twenty-first century, we say with affection: TO CREATE IS TO RESIST. TO RESIST IS TO CREATE.

A small bit of advice from a life well-lived. I would hope that I will be so bold when and if I live to 93 years old! Hessel reflects on his work and he makes a call to arms to us today.

Antebellum Dream BookAntebellum Dream Book by Elizabeth Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first experience with Elizabeth Alexander’s poetry and it certainly won’t be my last! There were so many poems in this book that I just loved… 1968, Paul Says, The female seer will burn upon this pyre, and Postpartum Dream #12: Appointment to name a few. Such moving writing. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book and letting Alexander open your eyes to new things!


That is all I have for today! I hope your making is going well and your reading even better!

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 3.31.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.31.21

“Like thousands of others, we survived the storm and the many dark days that followed because of the kindness of strangers who brought food, water, and comfort’.” ― Vivek Murthy

To say I am profoundly grateful for all your kind words for my post on Monday would be an understatement. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of kindness. Though I have not “met” many of you, the kindness you shared made me feel very much a part of a community…this absolutely amazing Blogisphere we all participate in together. Thank you all for your hugs and your support!

Carole posted something I found incredibly profound on Monday and it is a very good reminder to me that doing is so much better than not doing. If you have not read her post, it is absolutely a must read! Thank you, Carole for this gentle reminder to be a “doer”!

Now, how about some knitting content?

I cast on a new project yesterday!! As you can see, I have started my Daytripper cardigan and I am so happy! I did not spend a great deal of time knitting, but it is going so fast! Yay for US 11 needles! (Also, the Knitting gods are sending snow this week to Pittsburgh so knitting with wool will be extra pleasant!)

But this sweater…

It was just a bit windy…lol

I am in love! The fit is perfect… the amount of ease, the length of the body and sleeves, the neck band are all just right! And this deep inky blue! I have worn it several times already and I am contemplating a Marled Purl Strings… I don’t know how the yarns will work, but I hope to do some swatching tonight to see how it looks.

(I am really hoping the reality is a good as the vision in my minds eye!)

I also got those birthday socks done with days to spare!! Waahooo!

The reading was so very good this week! Oh my!

The Confessor (Gabriel Allon, #3)The Confessor by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series just keeps getting better with every book! Gabriel is again drawn in to help solve a murder. Intrigue at the Vatican makes for a fascinating mystery that you solve with Allon. The writing is good and the story is believable. Finally, I especially love the insights into art restoration… Allon’s “day job” and I highly recommend this series!

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult TimesWintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Wintering brings about some of the most profound and insightful moments of our human experience, and wisdom resides in those who have wintered.”

I had really hoped to read this book last year, but boy am I glad I read it when I did. May’s thoughts, ideas, and story-telling was exactly what I needed right now. This book is inspiring and comforting. If you are looking for a respite from a rough patch, I highly recommend Wintering.


That is all I have for today. I will be back tomorrow to usher in Poetry Month!

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 3.24.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.24.21

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett

This quote is my mantra for knitting this week. Yes, I have tried. Yes, I have failed. Yes, I tried again. Yes, I failed again. My attempts are not always better, but I still keep trying…as you can see from my foibles this week!

The foot looks long because it is!

This sock… sigh. I started once, but the pooling and looseness of the fabric meant I ripped it out and started over. Second start was fine until I got to the heel. Can I just say that counting really matters in knitting and if you are 3 stitches off on heel placement… well, it matters! lol So, that got ripped back and knit again. I kept wondering why it was “off center” but never sat down and counted. (Also, knitting while Zooming with the Exhuberant Jillian is a great way to make lots of mistakes, just saying.) Anyways, I ripped that back Monday morning and started the heel again… counting correctly this time! Then I got to the portion where I can start the cuff ribbing … and started until I realized that in order for this shortie sock to fit well, I will need some short rows on the heel side of the cuff, sigh. That meant a bit of tinking back the couple of rows of ribbing I had done to raise the back cuff. AND!! At long last sock ONE is done! Hopefully I took good notes so I can do the second one with no ripping back and just some speedy knitting! (That birthday is fast approaching!)

The faded blue sweater body with the charcoal grey button bands!

My initial color thoughts… I need 5 colors.

Although, maybe I did not pick great hues…

At some point today I am going to be doing some coloring to determine colors for my Daytripper Cardigan! I have the body and the collar/button band colors decided… I just have to figure out the remaining 5 colors… wish me luck! (Or at least lots of fun coloring!)

The reading this week was so good! (and I am almost finished with another Gabriel Allon mystery!! So, I mean it when I say SO GOOD!)

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed AmericaThe Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The tale of two stories, expertly woven together! I knew that Chicago had a World’s Fair but I knew little beyond that. I never knew that Chicago was called the White City nor all the fascinating details around the fair construction. This book is a history lover’s dream… I learned so many things I just had no clue about! Add to that this intertwined story of a string of disappearances and murders that happened and you have a mystery that unfolds with the fair. I highly recommend listening to this book… and the ending where the author shares how he went about gathering the information he used to write the story! Thank goodness for libraries!

SummerwaterSummerwater by Sarah Moss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The task of writing about the sometimes ugly side of humanity cannot be an easy task… however, Sarah Moss does so and she does so so well that you just can’t stop reading. I saw myself in her writing, and so many people I know there as well. This book made me stop and think. It made me nod my head in agreement and consider the way that people, by nature, just irritate each other! The writing is just so beautiful and the humanity so real. I highly recommend this brilliant little story!


That’s all I have for today… what about you? Is your knitting always successful? If not, do you keep trying?

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


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