Unraveled Wednesday | 6.16.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.16.21

“LSD stands out for learning to slow down.”
Santosh Kalwar

Yes, this is my mantra for the remainder of the summer. Life in the slow lane… just feels good. In pre-slow times, I would have slammed this tunic out (with a mistake or ten because speed) and moved on to the next thing. This time I took my time… partially because I had to. I made some adjustments to the arm scythe and that meant there were two sleeves to baste in to see if they fit. They didn’t… but those basting stitches were so easy to remove that reworking the sleeves was not the headache I envisioned at all. End result… to lovely fitting sleeves! All that remains on this Esme/Uniform Tunic are a hem and some pockets. Things that will be easy to work on over the next few days.

This sleeve is perfection!

One tiny pucker in one sleeve… sigh.

However, not everything can be at a snails pace because I was picked to do a bit of a test knit for MaryJane Mucklestone! And… my excitement level is OFF THE CHARTS!! This morning I am pulling together colors for the sweater and then some swatching!

So while I am purposely slowing down… this sweater will be the one exception! Woo!

This week’s reading brought more good reading…and still no bingos!

A Thousand ShipsA Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I know many of my friends really loved this book but for me it missed the mark a bit. It is the retelling of the Trojan War…the never-ending Trojan War and Haynes imagines what that must have been like from the women’s perspectives. (And can we just talk about what an ass Odysseus was? Yeah… this book changed my thoughts on him a bit, lol) If you are looking for a book to fill the “Retelling” square on your Summer Book Bingo card… this might be the book for you.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Retelling

On Speaking TermsOn Speaking Terms by Connie Wanek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have heard several of Wanek’s poems on Garrison Keilor’s The Writers Almanac and I really wanted to read more of her poetry. On Speaking Terms did not disappoint. She writes about everyday life in the most direct and beautiful way. Her poems are relatable, at times humorous, and poignant. This excerpt from Scrabble has stayed with me and gosh, it is so true!

I need a t to give me time
a p and I’d have help.
It’s the story of my life,
rearranging assets and coming up shor.

I am eager to read more of her work. If you are looking for a very readable poet, try Connie Wanek… she won’t disappoint!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Any Book

Turtle IslandTurtle Island by Gary Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can you “rediscover” something that is very familiar? If you think not… you need to settle in with Turtle Island and let Gary Snyder show you the very familiar in an entirely new light. The poems felt sacred and almost prayer-like as I read them. This book also gives you a pretty big gut punch with his words on the colonization of North America, yet the poems also give us hope, direction, and a new sense of wonder. I highly recommend.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Pulitzer Prize winner

That is all I have for today… what about you? Are you trying to slow down your summer?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.9.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.9.21

Winston provided me with my Hat Review… and I am going to make those brims just a wee bit narrower so he can see, but still be shaded from the sunshine! But… did you ever see anything cuter than Winston in hats? Me either! LOL

This second half of the week I will be trimming back the brims a bit and finishing up the remaining hats for Win.

Continuing in the Shameless Nana Praises…I have an amazing Vivi update. This girl was in a Barrel Race at.age.five. last weekend and she did so well! I am so proud of her! With luck we will be there in August to spend some time… and I cannot wait!

This week the reading was unbelievable! So.Much.AMAZING.Reading!! I am one square away from my first bingo and it is not even mid-June! It just goes to show you what can happen when you spend hours on end outside in the garden with your ear-buds in!

My Name Is Lucy BartonMy Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.

This line from Lucy Barton stayed with me as I listened to this curious story. What is loneliness? Strout does an excellent job of sharing Lucy’s very lonely life. But, if you look back on your life… is it as lonely as you thought it was? Are the people now, exactly what you thought of them then?

An engaging story that I recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Written in the first person

The Messenger (Gabriel Allon, #6)The Messenger by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh boy, this is my favorite (thus far) of the Allon series. It is a fast-paced story that I had a hard time putting down! This story finds Allon back to help his friend in Rome and it takes off with a bang (literally!) and races on as Allon and his team work to unravel this mystery. If you have not read any of these books, you should… they are wonderfully written and the perfect “summer escape”!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Set in a country you’ve never visited

The Office of Historical CorrectionsThe Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

She thought the insistence on victims without wrongdoers was at the base of the whole American problem, the lie that supported all the others.

If two avid reading friends of mine had not so highly recommended this book, I would have passed it by… why? Well… short-stories. I just never quite “get” the entire short-story thing. If that describes your experience with short stories… read this book. It is wonderful. It is eye-opening! Each story is beautifully crafted and each is so thought-provoking. I simply could not stop listening… and then, it was all too soon finished. I highly recommend!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Audiobook with multiple narrators

WhereasWhereas by Layli Long Soldier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Dakota 38 refers to thirty-eight Dakota men who were executed by hanging, under orders from President Abraham Lincoln. To date, this is the largest “legal” mass execution in US history. The hanging took place on December 26, 1862—the day after Christmas. This was the same week that President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

These amended and broken treaties are often referred to as the Minnesota Treaties. The word Minnesota comes from mni, which means water; and sota, which means turbid. Synonyms for turbid include muddy, unclear, cloudy, confused, and smoky. Everything is in the language we use.

Without money, store credit, or rights to hunt beyond their ten-mile tract of land, Dakota people began to starve. The Dakota people were starving. The Dakota people starved. In the preceding sentence, the word “starved” does not need italics for emphasis.

Dakota warriors organized, struck out, and killed settlers and traders. This revolt is called the Sioux Uprising. Eventually, the US Cavalry came to Mnisota to confront the Uprising. More than one thousand Dakota people were sent to prison. As already mentioned,“Real” poems do not “really” require words.

I am a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation—and in this dual citizenship, I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.”
― Layli Long Soldier, Whereas

Powerful. Bold. Damning. These words could aptly describe Layli Long Soldier’s poetry… but so could Tender. Heartbreaking. Freeing.

I read this book slowly to savor her poems… I am happy that I own the book so I can revisit them again and again. This is not a book you can read once and “get”… rather, it is a book you need to be invited into and once there open your heart and mind to Layli. You will be glad you did!

Summer Book Bingo Square: Less than 200 pages.

Anything Is PossibleAnything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“They had grown up on shame; it was the nutrient of their soil.”
― Elizabeth Strout, Anything Is Possible

I don’t know about you, but I always have thought that other people did not have the same problems as I did… I know that is not exactly true, but still… it is a belief.

Anything is Possible opens the ALL the doors of a small town and shows how absolutely untrue that belief really is. The characters are sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, sometimes mean, sometimes nice…but what really happens in this book is that the truth rises to the top and sings the most incredible song.

Summer Book Bingo Square: Prize winner.

What about you? What are you singing the praises of this week?

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.2.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.2.21

Greetings Unravelers! Welcome to June!

Excuse me while I continue doing the dance of joy over my Marled Very-Short-Sleeved Purl Strings. I am in love and think that the solution for “not enough yarn” was the best accident ever! I predict this will get oodles of use this summer (and if it had not been so damned cold this weekend, I’d have worn it non-stop!)


Entire Sweater: Knit with 2-strands of Holst Garn Coast, held together (Colors: Nimbus and Dark Navy)
Body: I knit 7 repeats of the rib pattern and then 8 rows of ribbing. Bind off used: Jeny’s Suprisingly Stretchy Bind Off
Sleeves: I knit the “plain rows” plus 1 and then began the ribbing (which I matched to the body ribbing…so 8 rows)
Neckline: I knit one extra round plain and then began the neckline decreases and the ribbing.

As for new starts… I did manage to do a bit of swatching coupled with achieving gauge, I have cast on a very dark Shakerag Top. I have not gotten far but I think I have figured out the rhythm with the “transparent” rows. This is just straight knitting for 12 inches so it is the perfect reading companion!

Finally… because the weather dictated an “indoor weekend” I did a bit of organizing and found an eons old knitting project that I had stashed in a drawer. (It is Ysolda’s Follow Your Arrow 2) I made the determination that if I could figure out where I was in less than 15 minutes, I would continue the project… I found exactly where I was in minutes (weird, I know!) and have begun the 3rd chart.

The reading was certainly better than the weekend weather! AND!! I managed to finagle two of these finishes into Summer Book Bingo squares! And my Bingo card… well this summer is all about “creative square interpretation” LOL!

Shuggie BainShuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I delayed and put off and delayed some more before I finally sat down and read this book. It was a very hard read. I cried…lots and I got so damned angry but Stuart gives you some targets for your anger. Very deserving ones. Yet in the midst of this heart wrenching book is wee Shuggie Bain… a child I wanted to scoop up and set down in a place where he could have a safe and happy childhood…one he desperately deserved. The writing is just brilliant (but if you are not from Glasgow you might need a Glaswegian dictionary!) Hard read? Yes, but I absolutely recommend it!

Bruno, Chief of Police (Bruno, Chief of Police #1)Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a charming summer series, this just might be it. There is a bit of a mystery but mostly there is utterly charming Chief of Police Benoît Courrèges (aka Bruno) and there is a lovely little French town with darling citizens. The writing is good (albeit a bit detailed, but it works well)

This book left me wanting to read another installment and open a good bottle of French wine.

Miss Benson's BeetleMiss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who knew the search for an obscure beetle would be such riotous fun? Miss Benson and me… most certainly. This is a book of discovery of so many things… beetles, yes… but so much more! Need a palate cleanser? Read this book. Lost your reading mojo? Read this book. Looking for character growth? Read this book. Want to just get lost in a fun story? Read this book!

That is all I have for today… what about you? What books or projects are grabbing your attention? I will be back on Friday with a sewing update!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.26.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.26.21

I am not quite sure how it is the last Wednesday of May, but here we are.

Kym hoped that I would share my “list” and I think that is a very good idea for a couple of reasons! One: accountability (which is a very good thing for me! lol) and Two: if I have a list, I will be less likely to be distracted by something “new and shiny”!

So, here is my very short list:

  1. Finish Purl Strings. (see below!)
  2. Repair torn Esme Tunic (see below!!)
  3. Rehabilitate/re-work denim Esme Tunic
  4. Repair waistband on Rose pants (it needs to be removed and replaced)
  5. Knitting
    • Neutral Shawl
    • Black/dark sleeveless sweater (possibly MDK Shakerag Top?)
  6. Sewing
    • Comfy linen pants (From Sonya’s new book)
    • Dressier Esme Tunic
    • Two comfy tops to go with jeans (from Sonya’s book)

As you can see, I almost have a finish to share. I have just a few rows and a bind off to my Marled Purl Strings completion. It should be soaking later this morning and then a wee bit of blocking and I will be wearing it for the long weekend!

I have completed the “repair work” needed on a well-loved, well-worn tunic that had a bit of a tear. But by cutting off the sleeve caps and adding bit of bias tape – it is wearable tunic again! The rehab from my list, is going to require a bit of work. I know what I want it to look like, but I don’t exactly know how I am going to accomplish it. Stay tuned.

This weekend, however, I want to get ready for Anne Hanson’s MKAL which starts next month… this neutral yarn will soon fill a hole in my wardrobe… one “go with lots of things” neutral shawl. Purposeful making, FTW!

I also want to get the patterns I traced off from Sonya’s new book pinned onto fabric and cut out so that in case it is a rainy weekend, I will be able to get some sewing done!

Ambitious plans but I hope to stay motivated!

It has been a slow reading week with just one finish but it is an excellent book!

Prince Of Fire (Gabriel Allon, #5)Prince Of Fire by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think the Prince of Fire is the best Allon book yet. Realistic and timely, Allon has a new team and a new target. The story moves along quickly… or does it. The twists and turns are excellent and the ending is brilliant. I highly recommend this series!

That’s all I have for this week! I am taking a wee little break for the holiday weekend but I will be back next week Wednesday with some more making and reading. I hope you all have an amazing LONG weekend!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.19.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 5.19.21

“Always listen to the warnings from your heart.”
Teresa Collins

Greetings Unravelers!

I hoped to have a finished sock, but I finally listened to that nagging voice in my head and ripped out the sock I had started a couple of weeks ago. Even though this is a pattern I have knit multiple times before, this sock was just not going to fit. Am I the only one who’s “normal” gauge has changed drastically in Pandemic Times? I never used to be a “tight knitter” but I sure am these days! So, I found a larger set of dpn’s and began again on Monday and had hoped to have plenty of time to work on it on yesterday while helping at the polls. Sigh. We were just busy enough that I only managed to knit about an inch. But I did get a good start on a new library book!

All other knitting (think Marled Purl Strings) has not gotten much more knitting time than when you last saw it. Hopefully this week that will not be the case!

The reading this week was curious… some good things in each book, some not so good things as well.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult TimesWhen Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What I thought this was going to be was not at all what it was. I did find some helpful things, but for the most part – this was not a book for me.


The Book of LongingsThe Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a curious book… a “what if” set in Biblical times. Yet, this is not a “religious” book, outside of the Biblical history that Kidd intersperses through the novel. The writing is just so beautiful and there is so much to contemplate as Kidd lays out Ana’s life for us. I loved Ana and I loved how she worked around all the “don’t do’s” that were her daily life. The entire “Jesus” story is really secondary to her. I very much recommend this well done story!

That is all I have for today, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below!

See you all back here on Friday!

Pin It on Pinterest