Unraveled Wednesday | 8.1.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 8.1.18

Hello, Unravelers!

Knitting marches on and I am to the amazing and incredible bind-off of KK’s MKAL. I love it, but it is the epitome of slow however, there is a lovely rhythm to it. I should have a photo to share of the finished and blocked shawl next week sometime. Yay!

Meanwhile at my sewing machine…

I have re-positioned darts for an improved fit for the Esme top/tunic. I believe I have now perfected the fit of the pattern and feel ready to forge ahead to fall with some more sewing. I also solved the conundrum of the cap sleeve fit with a bit of bias tape, and the fit and ease of the armscye are greatly improved! All these adjustments consumed my brain and significantly slowed my progress, but the results are so very good, it was worth it! The second Esme top with the bodice adjustments will have three-quarter sleeves and my stack of too-big clothes has almost all been re-purposed into better fitting clothing.

July reading was especially wonderful! I finished three books this week (and 14 books for the month!)

Ready Player One: 4-stars. I enjoyed this book and it held my attention, but it seemed a bit staged to me. If you are a gamer, however, I believe that you would absolutely love this book.

So Long, See You Tomorrow: 3-stars. This book was from Michael Ondaatje’s favorite reads list. It was thus far one of my least favorites… Honestly, I do not at all enjoy any story where “cheating spouses” are the theme. However, how he told the tale from a variety of perspectives was most interesting.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: 3-stars. I had much higher hopes for this book but, for me it fell flat. However, hearing Maya Angelou read it was a high point.

Current reads:

I will finish A Great Reckoning today, and this twelfth book of the series did not disappoint at all. Louise Penny has only improved this series with each successive novel. I highly recommend!

On my iPad I am reading The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, I am not far into it, but so far…so good!

My listening queue has blown up a bit… I am buckled in and ready for all of it and have found audio books the perfect partner for sewing!

What are you making or reading today? If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

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Monday? Already?

Monday? Already?

The weekend seems like a blur of activity, and looking back I am wondering what the heck I got done! Lots of “stuff” not much accomplished.

One thing is for certain, dark and cold Monday mornings are not the best way to start a week and, this morning seemed extra dark and oh so chilly! It would have been so easy to stay in bed.

But, I somehow have an extra-long list today so, sadly, staying in bed was not an option.

I pondered the preservation of diced tomatoes last week, but Bonny’s kind reminder of the uncertainty of canning tomatoes was enough to dispel that idea. So today, I am giving Vicki’s Roasted Tomato Sauce a whirl. I am looking forward to the smell of those tomatoes roasting away and as an added bonus, the oven will heat the house up a bit!

Oh, and those pickled tomatoes? Divine! The list of things I want to put them on has grown exponentially: avocado toast, chicken salad sandwiches, tuna melts, poached eggs…I mean these little jewels are incredible!

Then, I am sitting down to cut out my first AC shirt. I am going to keep it simple for my first try with an A-Line top (no flowers, this time…) Oh, and bonus points are awarded for figuring out how to print the pattern on a Monday morning! (Pro-tip… select “poster” from printing options!)

That’s all I have for a Monday – hope your weekend was great!

Every Day Good

Every Day Good

There is so much going on every day and not all of it good. So, every day I try very hard to have something good to focus on, I thought I’d share a bit of that with you!

Watching: The eclipse! Even though in Pittsburgh we only got a partial eclipse – it was spectacular even with some cloud cover. The changes to the light were stunning. You will be happy to know that our household listened to the directions of not looking at the sun to prevent retinal damage. This was not the case for everyone… Perhaps this should be a test for competency? And, as for the digital watching: Game of Thrones (of course!) and Endeavor! I also watched the finale of Broadchurch and honestly, I was a little disappointed. But, I won’t say any more than that for all those who have yet to watch it.

Stitching: Every single day and I am really pleased with how August is unfolding. Really pleased! I also went and got some button craft thread and my hope is that I will soon turn this pile of tee shirts into my first AC garment.

Reading: and listening like a maniac as I chase down my cover all! I am just 2 squares away and have about 18 hours of listening to do. I am eager to get them done because Beach Music by Pat Conroy just came off hold for me at the library! I am also reading the Essays of E.B. White on my Kindle and I have both books by Laurie Colwin (Home Cooking and More Home Cooking). I am almost done with Home Cooking – I should have it completed this week. This has really been the most spectacular summer for reading. Ever.

Picking: Tomatoes…so many tomatoes. That picture above is from this morning! I know, you are all probably sick of hearing about tomatoes, but this year, the volume of large tomatoes has been really quite spectacular. In past years, I have been happy with the dozen we have picked, but this year has had a bumper crop with no signs of production slowing down! Also, raspberries… I picked enough again this morning to make a batch of jam. I know these are such awful problems to have. Spending time in my garden is really the best time, I would not trade it for anything – even with the bunnies decimating our beans! There should be a “not picking” category perhaps, because outside of the handful of zucchini we picked at the beginning of the season, it has not been a good year for them at all. We have picked a sum total of zero since then and it does not look like that will change. I am not sure why they are having such a bad year, but my neighbor is not having any success with his squash plants this year either.

Eating: Tomatoes from my garden! Every.single.day! And, for those things we aren’t growing: sweet corn, peaches, and an incredible variety of peppers! August is the month where I am quite certain I could become a vegetarian.

Looking forward to: Our trip to Michigan! We finalized the dates and have our Airbnb reservation all set. It is the one thing that is really giving me something to look forward to! Why? Because…

Dreading: The end of August. The arrival of Labor Day. The return of dark mornings. Having to turn lights on at night earlier. This summer I have really tried to not “wish ahead” but rather spend more time in the moment enjoying. This has been an eye-opening practice – I am much happier with each day and I am worrying less about tomorrow, or next month, or next year. September, you can just wait your turn – there is lots of August left!

Celebrating: Sherman’s 5th Birthday on Saturday! Every day I am so incredibly thankful for him. He is a bright spot in our day.

That is a slice of what is good in my life right now; how about you? What’s good in your life?

Be Still

Be Still

After a few very grey and cool days it appears that the sun is making a return today! (Which is very welcome even if it is not bringing the warm weather with it!) And, this morning the blog is decidedly lacking in subject matter so I thought about just writing in hopes that some brilliance would bubble to the surface.

But, sometimes, the brilliance is silent and I am struck by this month’s theme at The Balanced Sisterhood. It is all focused around meditation, stress relief, and rejuvenation. Meditation has been part of my life for a very long time now, but after all that time being still is not always easy.

I have this month’s print out at my desk where I meditate and write as a visual reminder that being still is okay and more than that, it is necessary. In those moments of stillness there is sometimes tension inside me as the external fights just being still. I am a “doer” – as in I must always be doing something… knitting, reading, stitching, writing, cooking, cleaning, doing. However, when I push those thoughts away and just focus on being still wonderful things can happen. I realize that being still is vital to being active – my thoughts are more ordered and less chaotic and I have less tension and stress in my body. Even just 5 or 10 minutes of stillness is enough to energize and organize my day.

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Deepak Chopra

As in all things, this is a work in progress but, there is progress and that encourages me to keep going! What about you? Do you have a meditation practice?

Knit-sanity

Knit-sanity

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. – Bruce Feirstein

The knitting continues, despite not making my “goal” yesterday. I wanted to be done with the body and ready to pick up stitches this morning however, I did get to the ribbing. Twenty-one rows to binding off, seems like a manageable number, doesn’t it?

Today I would like to sit under the pergola but the rain will keep me (and Sherman) in the house. I do have Pat Conroy’s South of Broad to keep me company. And, perhaps indoor knitting will offer fewer distractions than the pergola.

I do have a Brown Wren update! My persistent little wren won over a mate! She finished feathering the nest and now I think there are eggs in the nest! Mr. Wren’s songs are even more ebullient, if that is at all possible!

Also…I saw my first hummingbird on Wednesday! Yep, there she was sitting on the “deer-proof” netting on the garden. And, speaking of the garden…baby tomatoes are popping up all over and it looks like we will have a bumper crop this year!

Now, how about a few links?

First up we have all manner of shawl-y things!! Starting with Avian Melody which is just gorgeous!

To satisfy your inner super hero, you just might need a Wonder Woman Wrap (or perhaps we all do!!)

Sari, not Sari… too cute. And what is not to love about anything knit with Hedgehog yarns?

Rift is simple and so beautiful.

Aurora Borealis from Svetlana… oh.my.

In the somethings other than shawls category, first up Flexi… “MAXIMUM FREEDOM! Your yarn. Your gauge. Your size.” Yes, really.

Old Shale Cardigan for ladies is very cute!

And, finally – put a mitt on it with Wood Sorrel

That’s it for me this week, I am off to work on success and avoiding insanity! See you back here on Monday with a finished sweater! (Hopefully!!)

 

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