An Unraveled Review | 12.28.22

An Unraveled Review | 12.28.22

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

I have been stumbling around trying to figure out how to share the books that I have read this year. And then, yesterday, dear Bonny lit the path with her brilliant post of her reading! Thank you so very much, Bonny!

This year, I set my “reading goal” at 60 books and while I have read many more than 60 books… the number is not a thing for me at all. Rather, I am looking to spend a year with books that “knock me out” as it were… thank you Mr. Salinger for that. And yes, books that make me wish the author was a friend… oh gosh, I wish this so often. I had a year of those kinds of books… knock out books that left me wishing that the authors were all my friends!

The other “big thing” for me this year was the fact that there were so few 5-star books. I tried to set myself on a better path for book ratings… and this year most of the books I deeply loved, the “knock outs” were 4-star books. I think this is a very good thing… because it elevated those 5-star books a bit higher… which a 5-star book should be!

And so let’s begin with some of the best of the best, shall we?

Knock Out’s, most certainly (and I absolutely do wish I was friends with listed!!)
Books to warm your heart for days on end
Books that Changed My Life, Opened My Mind, and Educated Me in all The Very Best Ways

I am currently reading an ARC of Maggie Smith’s memoir that will be out early next year. It is incredible and, if I finish it this week… it will be the best book memoir I read all year. It is so insanely good… I don’t want it to end, so I am rationing the reading to make it last! Do yourself a favor… pre-order it ASAP!

There you have my 2022 reading… it was such a very good year!

Now, a tiny post script for the Year of Gnomes. Gnoelle has made it very clear that she is but one of three siblings. Yes, triplets. And I need to get knitting PRONTO to bring her siblings to life. I am on it, Gnoelle! I am not sure I can get them done before the New Year…it would be something to Knit Three Gnomes in December! All I can do is try, hahaha!

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

I think I will be back on Friday…but if I am not, it simply means that the knitting has overtaken the blogging! Haha!

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.21.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.21.22

After the longest night, tomorrow we sing up the dawn. There is a rejoicing that, even in the darkest time, the sun is not vanquished. As of tomorrow, the days begin to get longer as the light of day grows. While the gentle winter sun slowly opens its eyes, let us all bring more light and compassion into the world.  ― Dacha Avelin

Greetings, Gentle Unravelers! Happy Winter Solstice! Welcome to the return of the light!

My plan with this post is to do a bit of a Making Review for 2022. I am likely to finish just one more project this year… Gnoelle is inching ever closer to finish and by the time Saturday arrives, I think she  will be close to completion! (I think the last clue will arrive that day!) Let’s begin my Twelve Months of Making shall we?

  • In the first month of ’22 I knit a cowl for me and a Gnome who is named Nutmeg.
  • The second month of ’22 was lacking any finishes but, yes there was a Gnome! Whoa Gnellie!
  • In the third month of ’22 I knit a pair of socks, a test knit for the awesome Ms. Mucklestone, a Handspun Hitchhiker, and Gneville the Gnome! I also turned a set of sheets into some very retro pjs for me!
  • In the fourth month of ’22 my Gnome Family grew to FOUR with the addition of sweet Gnocchi!
  • In the fifth month of ’22 I knit a slightly too large Tegna for me and wee Gnorwen for my mantle!
  • In the sixth month of ’22 I knit some Socks for Sam… and Gnombleberry and his wee brother, Gnewt, joined the Gnome Gang!
  • The seventh month of ’22 I knit another Gnome… dear Gnigel who has knitted carrots!
  • In the eighth month of ’22 I reached Knitting Knirvana with my Calamus Pullover. The.Best.Sweater.Ever!! And Gnarly Marly rounded out the making month!
  • In the ninth month of ’22 I dusted my sewing machine off and cranked out two sweatshirts and a pair of denim pants. And Gnorton Smokes a Pipe joined the Gnome Gang!
  • The tenth month of ’22 saw the completion of an eons old project… Ye Olde Pheasant Pullover. (The Pheasant Sweater reminds me that I really want to make this lovely sweater so perhaps I need to add it to my 2023 knitting plans!) And the most adorable Gnutkin came to be! AND… one too big, but wearable muslin jumper/tunic.
  • The eleventh month of ’22 and the making is slowing down, but Gnaomi joined the Gnome Gang!
  • The twelfth month of ’22 still has some days to go, but I have two knitted trees, one stack of packages, and a soon-to-be-finished Gnoelle!

Whew! That’s how you make not a lot of making look like way more than it is! Hahaha!

I also perfected my bread baking skills… I baked lots of bread in ’22. I also perfected poofy pitas!

My most inspiring making is all the watercolor painting I have done this year. I started in earnest in July with a beginning watercolor class and I have not looked back. I took 3 classes this year and have no plans to stop… my next class begins in January and it has rapidly moved into the favored making category.

Rocks and “moving water” was a true challenge and the perfect way to end this class on making the ordinary extraordinary!

Although Gnome Knitting will forever hold a special place in my making… I do so love those little Gnomes! My Year of Gnomes was! Steve thinks I need to make all the gnomes for his mom in ’23.


But I also think my Gnome Gang needs some more trees and a house or two. However, I am certain that I will continue to knit Gnomes as new patterns are released. There is Gno Making Like Gnome Making! Haha!

Next week I will Unravel my reading for you all and share my Most Loved Books of the Year!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.14.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.14.22

Greetings Unravelers!

This week, I might have entirely jumped the Knitting Shark… I am knitting the actual packages not just the gifts! LOL Yes, our “surprise” this week was a Stack of Presents to knit and stitch! And what do presents need?

A tree of course. So I have one completed and have cast on another – which is likely all I will get done for this year! Haha!

The Gnome Knitting is progressing…with lots of pieces. And I still have no idea how this will all come together!

Lots of bits, no big ‘parts’ yet…

Speaking of Gnomes, you all have asked for a group shot…which is a bit challenging given they are all on my mantel. But I am sharing some photos of them as they sit on the mantle, thanks to a. beautifully sunny day yesterday! And my fun addition to my Gnome Village? I picked up a strand of felted woolen balls garland from Trader Joe’s… it is so colorful and fun!

Left to right: Gnocchi (Mr. April), Gnellie (Miss February), and Gnutmeg (Mr. January)

Gnewt and Gnobleberry, the Gnome Poem writer (June)

Gnaomi, the spinning gnome (Miss November) and Gnorton Smokes a Pipe (September) and Tree #1 tucked in between them!

Gnutkin, the acorn keeper (October) and Gnigel the Gardening Gnome (July)

Gnarly Marly (Mr. August), Gneville (Mr. March), and Gnorwen (Miss May)

The other making that has been occupying my time is painting…! Last week’s lesson was perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it was chocked full of interesting techniques and I learned lots… and am making friends with my “fine line masking fluid bottle” lol.

An ordinary Tree Trunk as an extraordinary subject… maybe not, but still so fun to paint!

The final lesson of this session dropped yesterday but I am hardly “done” painting. I picked up a couple of single painting lessons and I will begin working on them as soon as I have turned in my final “homework!” And, I have another class starting in the New Year. Painting has become such an integral part of my week… I think about painting, I practice painting, I talk about painting, and I enjoy it all so very much! I am proof that you are never too old to learn something new… and in fact, you just might be better at learning later in life!

On the reading front, I finished (boo!) Winter Solstice… and I had one “gasp” moment when one of the character’s recites a line from my favorite winter poem/hymn: In the Bleak Midwinter. This was a book I did not want to end… I could happily stay tucked away in Scotland with Elfrida, Oscar, Sam, Carrie and Lucy. It was utterly delightful.

I have been trying to listening to Meacham’s His Truth Is Marching On, John Lewis and the Power of Hope. It is good, but I am having a hard time staying “tuned in” to listen to it. So I returned it to the library… I will request it again next year when I am not so scatterbrained! LOL

I tried French Braid, yet again… and bailed yet again. No third time for me on this one. It is not a book for me. Instead, I have been finding myself drawn to listen to John Banville’s Time Pieces. It is utterly delightful and exactly what I need (apparently) right now.

I also have The Burgess Boys waiting in the wings after I finish Time Pieces (which will likely happen today!)

What about you all, how’s your making and reading going this week? I will be back tomorrow for our Monthly Gathering of Poetry!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.7.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.7.22

Greetings Unravelers!

This week brought the return of embroidery to my days and I am loving every stitch! My project is loosely based on these Snowflake ornaments. I picked three snowflakes, enlarged them and traced them onto Sulky Solvy and began stitching. I will use just 3 colors and once the “outline” part is done, I will do some stitching around them. So. Much. Fun!

The second project I began this week was a pair of Hermoine’s Everyday Mitts! Yep, I went to my Ravelry Library and looked at the mitt patterns I had there and these were the ones with the closest gauge to my yarn. I spun the yarn from a lovely tweedy batt that I got eons ago from a tiny shop in Beulah, Michigan. This yarn has been waiting a long time to become something and I think it is a perfect fit!

And I have some Gnoelle  pieces to share, as of yesterday (there is a new clue out today) I have three parts of Noelle done… a scarf, a hat, and a messenger bag. Each has been so fun to make and I love the slow reveal of the gnome in December and coupled with some a fun story and some other surprises (yesterday was some Gnome Gift Tags… which yes, I have traced onto some watercolor paper to play around with!

My reading this week has been simply wonderful. I am reading Winter Solstice with Katie and I am enjoying this book very much. It has a really wonderful cast of characters, it is in a beautiful setting (Scotland), and in the most perfect time of year (Christmas). I am just a bit more than half way though but I am not rushing to get it done at all. It is such a lovely companion to my daily activities!

At night, I am reading the latest Kate Marshall mystery for Netgalley and it is the perfect light mystery to read before bed.

I also picked up the latest book of poetry from Billy Collins, Musical Tables. It is incredibly enjoyable and the perfect way to start my morning quiet time! The poems are short but meaty… Collins likes to make you think beyond the words on the page.

So there you have my early December making and reading. I hope you are taking time to find things you enjoy about this season!

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

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.30.22

Unraveled Wednesday | 11.30.22

Gentle Unravelers!

Welcome to the last day of November… and tomorrow begins December! And I am so ready for it!

Why? Well, tomorrow the first Holiday Christmas Gnome clue comes out! I have my yarn all set to go… and I am eager to begin!

And my Welcome December list? Well, it has so few things on it, I am kind of worried I am forgetting something!

  • Finish the tree.
  • Finish the watercolor cards!
  • Pick out some good somethings from the grandkids “Amazon Wish Lists”  (really… Genevieve says this should be #1 on my list based on the number of times she has mentioned it in the last week! Hahaha!)

And that is it!

Okay and maybe finish Steve’s sock… in between Gnome Knitting and doing some Pressed Flower repeats!

Speaking of Pressed Flowers, I have 28 inches knit… I am still not done with the first “plate” of plötulopi but I am still wildly in love with this knit!

However, my reading this week has been… curious! I am roughly halfway through A Marriage Portrait and while I don’t dislike it; it certainly is not Hamnet. My struggle is the rather abrupt switching back and forth in the time line. I need to look at the date and then figure out where “this” falls in the non-linear story line. I better get a move on and finish it though, it is due this week!

I also started listening to Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir by John Banville. Oh my. It is delightful (and the perfect thing to ease into after Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell!)

And there you have my making this week. What about you? Are you experiencing any Holiday Crunch Time Knitting?

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

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