Unraveled Wednesday | 10.13.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.13.21

There was barely a stitch knit during my time away. It is the longest I have gone without knitting that I can remember… well, since before I became a knitter!

I attempted to remedy that knitting void upon my return but things like laundry and groceries jumped to the top of the list… however, I did manage to get a wee start on All Work, Gnome Play (which seems like the most appropriate name for a Gnome-Along and I finagled an afternoon for some Gnome Play yesterday and managed to get to “clue 4” and a million miles of I-cord!)

Despite the lack of knitting there was LOTS and LOTS of making in my time away! Making of the most marvelous sort… memory making! My brain and my heart are just so full of all that happened. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite memories from our visit to Michigan!

  1. Knock-knock jokes with Vivi… I need to find a Christmas Joke book for her. I am happy to report she is a voracious reader!
  2. Learning that there was Nana Egg Pricing… $1 for a dozen eggs from Vivi’s chickens. (Price for all others… at least $175 a dozen…LOL)
  3. That first moment that Winston first put his arms up to get some Nana Snuggles… it took 2 days, but once the dam broke it was such a sweet joy!
  4. Wrangling Kitties with Vivi… what fun! (This was a daily occurrence that happened before dinner!)
  5. Answering all the “wats’at’s” from Winston! (I think Heidi especially liked that he found a new person to ask! lol)
  6. Checking on Vivi’s wiggly tooth each day… boy that sucker just is hanging on for dear life!
  7. Playing games… practically, non-stop… with Vivi. Whew, each night I’d practically collapse into bed!
  8. My daughters very finicky 15 year old cat, Hippo, falling in love with Steve shocked us all… Hippo does not like anyone but Heidi (and now Steve, lol)

It was just an amazing time away… I did not look at my laptop, my calendar… anything! It was great but I am desperately trying to “get back to real life” this week. I am doing okay at the laptop reintroduction… but the calendar? Hoo boy… the struggle is real, but I am trying!

I know I have a little bit of a book update to give you all but I just have not been able to organize my thoughts (past doing this blog post that is! lol) to write a review of the few things I have finished reading… they are coming! I promise!

That is all I have for today! What about you? How have you all been?

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

See you all back here on Friday!

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.29.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.29.21

Hello, Unravelers!

Last week there was little to no making because we were gone for 10-ish days. (There was some sewing and the elastic waist band insertion and hemming of said sewing is on my list for today!)

This week there has been little to no making because we leave Friday for Michigan for 10-ish days. So there are all the things to get ready to go again… plus some extras for the grands!

So what do I have to share with you all this week? Just a passel of freshly laundered hand-knits! Monday was just glorious here in Pittsburgh and I took full advantage of the day. I washed 10 sweaters and one Clapotis and the best part… I dried them all outside. The winds really helped and by the time I was ready to cook dinner, they were all dried!

Maintaining making is more important than the making, right? This week that’s my story! LOL

The reading this week was just so good!

The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #17)The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyone is back in Three Pines and life could not be better! Or can it? This installment takes us places Gamache and crew have never gone. It was fascinating watching everyone work out the moral dilemma…for some it seemed easy, for others… well, it was some work.

Timely (although I wish we, like Three Pines, were done with COVID!) and thought provoking.

The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon, #12)The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was much happier with this installment of the Allon escapades! He is working on restoring some artwork for The Vatican… and of course someone dies. And that leads Gabriel and his team on a twisting, turning mission. But are they all connected? You must read to find out.

I liked the ending very much and it appears that Gabriel and Chiara are heading back to Israel for good!

I highly recommend this series!

That is all I have for this week… and sadly next week there will be no Unraveled Wednesday. I will be in Michigan making up for lost time with my family.

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave you link below and thank you! See you all back here on  Wednesday, October 13th!

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.22.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.22.21

Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. — George Eliot

Greetings AUTUMN!! (And, Greetings, Unravelers!) My most favorite season officially arrives this afternoon… despite the plethora of pumpkin spice things that have been in coffee shops near us all. I love fall and I am hoping that its arrival brings my Knitting Mojo with it.

Yes, my Knitting Mojo seems to have up and departed and I am a trifle worried about how long it has been gone! I did not do much knitting in the week before we headed to Erie because I had a long-assed list of “to-do’s” that needed to be “all-done” before we left. I did bring knitting on the trip, but the only knitting I did was a few rounds on Sunday when Steve watched the Steeler’s game. Other than that, I did not pick up any knitting at all during vacation.

Yesterday afternoon, when the last load of laundry was in the washer I made myself a nice cuppa and got my knitting…. and nothing. I struggled to settle in with the rhythm of the mindless stockinette and I started to have some worries about having enough yarn…so I started a sleeve to see how much yarn that would take but I only lasted until my coffee was done and I have not picked up my knitting since. I am not sure what the issue is because I have no burning desire to cast on a new project, which is curious because FALL! It is Knitting Season… right? Anyways, if you have any spare Knitting Mojo you can send my way… I’ll gladly take it! (so you get another golden blob photo, yet again!) And today I am chaining myself to my sewing machine to do some mending that desperately needs to be done. And if I can convince myself to stay put, I hope to sew another pair of pants, which hopefully will be wildly successful because of the alterations I made! It should be a much faster sew this time as I have the pattern all cut out and ready to go and I think I will be more familiar with the pattern directions this time around!

It was a slower reading week as well (as I explained last week…vacationing with a non-reader, sigh):

Portrait Of A Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)Portrait Of A Spy by Daniel Silva
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had originally given this 5-stars, but in contemplating the book over several days… I down graded my rating to 3-stars. Book 11 in the ongoing saga of Gabriel Allon seemed to hit a bit of a hurdle (or maybe it is more like a distance runner slowing the pace a bit to be able to finish the race).

I think this book kind of “jumped the shark” a bit… Allon has been taking more of a leadership role… directing from a somewhat safe(r) place, but then suddenly… he ditches all that and the book ends up in a bit of a jumble. Previous books felt more realistic than this one did. If you are reading the Allon series… I think you could safely skip this one and move on to #12.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of PlantsBraiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this book slowly… over the course of almost 3 weeks… and still, I wished it had not ended. It is, hands-down, the best book I have had the privilege of reading this year. I listened to Kimmerer read it to me and it was excellent! I very much felt like I was listening to a dear friend share her wisdom, history, stories, and yes, her sacred world.

This book tugged at my heartstrings. It made me gasp with wonder and joy, and groan in frustration. As I listened, I could not help but be more in awe of my surroundings (I highly recommend listening to this while hiking in Presque Isle State Park… it really deepens the experience!) I have not been able to stop thinking about her writing and the things she magnificently shared.

If you read nothing else this year, read this book. If you want to better understand our relationship with the world around us, read this book. If you want to set your feet on a path to being a better steward of this world, read this book. I highly recommend it, even if you do not think you need any of those things!

What about you? How’s your Making Mojo doing these days?

That’s all I have for today, I will see you all back here on Friday!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.15.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.15.21

Dear Unravelers…I have barely knit an inch of the Vanilla Sweater since we last talked, but I have spent endless hours walking in, listening to, and soaking up the beauty that is Presque Isle. I have been trying to share a few “postcards” of my day on IG, if you are interested!

One thing I did listen to this week that really made an impact on me was the On Being episode with Suzanne Simard. I wholeheartedly concur with her theory that trees communicate (and I am now on the waitlist for her new book!) There is no way to stand in the midst of a forest and not believe it. Perhaps my favorite moment this week thus far has been the wind encouraging the poplars to sing. Their wind-inspired chorus was just magnificent!

The other highpoint was watching a bald eagle effortlessly soaring over the lake… I could watch them make lazy circles in the sky for hours on end.

Steve is not a reader… at all, so I have done little to no reading this week. Sigh. But, I do have one finish to share. It is the new MED book, Entertaining Race. It was wonderful and if you have previously read any Dyson, you will enjoy enjoy his latest book. If you have not read any Dyson… this is a lovely introduction to his brilliant writing.

Entertaining Race: Performing Blackness in AmericaEntertaining Race: Performing Blackness in America by Michael Eric Dyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“…a teacher who preaches, a preacher who teaches and an activist who cannot rest until all are set free.”―Senator Raphael Warnock

It is impossible to read this book and not hear Dyson speaking in your ear. This book is a collection of essays and letters, or perhaps a better description would be sermons. They are powerful, moving, and thought-provoking. Dyson doing what he does best… preaching, teaching, and putting the reader firmly on the path of activism, because you cannot read and not be motivated to do something. I simply loved the essays on Rev Al Sharpton and Dr Kendi… they filled me with such joy and my love for these two amazing gentlemen grew significantly. Dyson also introduced me to some voices that were lesser known to me – a white woman who is a bit clueless – to the phenomena that is Beyoncé.

If you desire to challenge yourself to view the world from a different perspective, this is an excellent starting point. If you feel like you have a broader perspective… this book will widen that perspective in a profound way. I highly recommend Entertaining Race.

I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC.

That is it for me this week… short and sweet! I will be back next Monday! Have a great week everyone!

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.8.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.8.21

The making this week had a bit of “unraveling” of the sewing version… perhaps “ripping out” is a better term. I removed the waistband and removed a bit of fabric, but I could not remove as much as I needed to… so a good wash helped tremendously! Hot water and a tumble dry have made these pants a wearable muslin (albeit I still have to roll the front band a bit! lol)

I have made some adjustments to the pattern and have cut out another pair of pants… stay tuned! Things I love about the pattern... the details (the pockets, side panels, and waistband are just genius), the fit (outside of the rise, I love the wide legs… they are unbelievably comfortable… it’s like wearing pj’s!), and the fabric… (who knew that IKEA linen would be so yummy? It is a heavier weight, but perfect for pants!)

On the knitting front… no unraveling, but it does not look much changed from last week… I am still just going round and round. Thank goodness for meditative knitting!

Roughly 3-ish inches to go on the body…

I kind of fell off the ‘art wagon’ but I have not put it out of my mind. I have a picture of one of my favorite spots on Lake Erie that I have been working on. I am happy with it… my colors especially!

My inspiration…

My interpretation…

Oh… and a special someone started FIRST grade yesterday! (and I don’t think the cats went with her to school…but she tried!! lol)

Vivi… expert cat wrangler! lol

The reading this week… I bailed on a book that just was not working at all for me…The Illness Lesson. Try as I might, I could just not get into the story. Oh well, it was an easy pass as Braiding Sweet Grass became available at the library! However, the finishes I had were amazing!

The Vanishing HalfThe Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an incredible – emotional – story. I have not been able to stop thinking about it. The writing is just fantastic!

What happens when the lie becomes your reality? That is the crux of this story. Two sisters, two very separate paths, two very different outcomes.

But what about the other people living in your distorted reality?

And that is where this story leads us. I highly recommend this book!

The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel Allon, #10)The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when you think you know where every Allon story is going, Silva throws the most marvelous loop!

Artwork, WWII, and Swiss Banking… a painfully entwined business. But a story emerges… can the wrong be repaired?

Maybe, but not on the way you might imagine. This series is just incredible!

That is all I am going to have for this week. I am taking a little “vacation” from blogging but I will have a post next Wednesday! See you all next week!

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

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