November 15 - Plugging Along

Patty reminds me there are 15 days left of NaBlo.  I am trying to summon my inner blogging spirit to help me through. I am losing steam. Have I blogged every day? I wonder. Check to make sure. See I have and know I must go on! I can do this (can't I?)! 

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I heard a movie is coming out next year based on A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, and I thought reading the book might be a good idea. Then I heard there was a version in graphic novel form, so I bought it just for the fun of it. My enjoyment of manga/graphic form books came about a couple of years ago. A graphic AWiT will be a kick! 

Perhaps the main reason I wonder if I can make it though this blogging challenge is my enjoyment of Brickyard and my TTL shawl has waned. I've made errors on both and lost momentum trying to get back on track. It's the process, but my thoughts (due to Kym and Vicki's most excellent adventure) have been turned to my AC project and I've another in the wings that I'm excited about, too. 

I truly feel unraveled, but tomorrow is another day and we'll see where that takes me. Check out Kat's blog for more Unraveled feelings. 


November 8 - To Knit is to Be

With a bum knee keeping me down, I've been able to spend a little more time knitting. I am no longer a fast knitter, but with the advent of leisurely time, I'm getting back into the swing of a regular knitting routine. Over the last 3-4 years my knitting production has consisted of one or two shawls per year, plus a few small projects to fill in the gaps. I feel as if my real knitting mojo has returned and I am fully involved in the process. 

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Sweaters have not been of interest, as nothing in recent years caught my eye, but then, I wasn't really looking. I have been uninspired and not drawn to sweater knitting, but, when Kim of The Woolen Rabbit and Elizabeth of  Blue Bee Studio decided to co-host a KAL the right sweater materialized. Brickyard had a gauge that my hands could handle, a construction process that looked doable, and Kim had a beautiful DK weight yarn. Everything came together in a way I could envision and I jumped in. 

Elizabeth writes very clear instructions, with creative and easy to follow techniques. The sweater has come together in a unique and interesting way. When I first read through the pattern I felt a little daunted and worried about its difficulty, but that has not the case. Step by step I've knit each section and kept the faith through each stitch. The yoke came together like magic in my hands. I have been pleasantly surprised over and over again at the ease and I became completely enchanted in the process of knitting this yoke.

That isn't to say I haven't had to reknit sections, that's just part of knitting, but I've always realized MY errors and been able to backtrack and fix the problem easily. I am now into the smooth sailing zone of a stockinette body. Round and round I go. Happy as a clam. 

The real book in my hands is Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. Last year I read Another Brooklyn when it was first published and I'm rereading because it's the book groups choice for November. Woodson is an excellent author with a rhythm to her writing and a realness to her story that grab the readers emotions. The book in my ears is two-fold, We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehsi Coates and Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. If you haven't read one of Ta-Nehsi's books I highly recommend every one of them. He is a brilliant writer, who will make you think about who you really are. Kristin Lavransdatter has been on my bookshelf for years and, finally, I bought the Audible edition with all three books in the series. I have enjoyed a look into life in the Middle Ages Norway. 

Take a wander over to Kat's and see what other Unravelers are upto today. 


November 1 - Will She or Won't She?

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Since I've retired a few things about my crafting time and place have changed. We bought new furniture, the lighting changed, and the number of projects begging for time grew. I worried about not being able to fill a day with meaningful tasks, ideas, and goals, but that has proved to be a silly worry. There has been no problem filling the hours of the day. I don't know when I had time to work, which is not something I thought I would ever say. I LOVE being retired.

Back to the subject at hand. I've taken over one end of the new couch where I can spread out my projects and all can be within view. I bought a new light with multiple bulbs, which lights the room to varied degrees based on need, and I've given myself permission to sew, knit, and/or read based on my desire. Sometimes I do both as I listen to so many books. I've got 2 projects on the needles, plus an Alabama Chanin T in progress. You may have noticed they are all in the same color family. Truly, I'm not sure why I get myself into such ruts, but I need to shake up my world of color. 

Today is Unraveled day with Kat and gang. Head on over and see what everyone else is doing, too. 


Not (Yet) Unraveled

Last February (I think it was), I took my first stitches on this eternally long project. Spice Market has been a little more than I bargained for, but I have been slowly moving forward. There were times I thought On the Spice Market not to my fancy, but as I worked I grew more fond of her colors, patterns, and overall design. As she nears the end of the line, we have made friends and I expect we'll have a very happy winter together. 

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On the reading front I've been doing quite well in the Bingo department. Over the next week I should have my fourth Bingo. Only a few of the books I read were out of my comfort zone, or not to my liking. I know what I like and what I can get through and, while I didn't pick books just to get a Bingo, I read what I liked and found places for them.  

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I've listed favorites at the bottom of my page. I would also add the last book I read, All the Pretty Horses to that list. The plan is to read Pride and Prejudice in order to finish up my card. Four Bingos will do it for me, which is more than I thought I'd have in the end. No "Coverall" for me and I'm good with that. 

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I made a trip to my favorite local book seller and picked up a small stack of books for future reading. (In the foreground you can see a few postcards that arrived that same day.)  I've started Celine (the green cover) and I'm hook on the story and the character.  

I don't read as much as I thought I would (winter will change that-methinks) nor do I knit as much as I'd like. Life has a way of keeping one busy and the calendar I thought would be empty day after day has not proved so. As I said yesterday, I am very grateful life can be this way. 


Nothing is Better

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Few things are better than having time to do as one wishes and I am learning there is nothing wrong with sitting to knit and/or read for awhile. I have a favorite spot on the couch and I hunker in with pillows at my back and a pile of knitting at my feet. Of course I have a pile of  books and periodicals at my side and often a book in my ear.  I spent an hour or two indulging my love of the word and the feel of yarn flowing through my fingers.

As it turns out I've hit my first Bingo and should have another before the end of the week. After that I expect to move to the bottom of the page and work on getting a third Bingo before the month is over. In a perfect world, I'd make the fourth Bingo, but I don't think I'll be able to read the whole row (with the Magpie Murders at the center) before Labor Day weekend ends. I will not, however, give up hope!

The project is On the Spice Market, which I though I'd be knitting forever, but as it turns out, I'm nearing the end of the color spot rows and will soon start the sequence of end stripes. This shawl gone much faster than I thought it would. Since my knitting is usually just about the process, I don't remember much about a project if all goes well, I only remember if things go badly. I've had a few bumps and a few rows unraveled, but over all the knitting of OtSM has gone well. 

Make sure you visit Kat to catch up with everyone else who's coming Unraveled on Wednesday


Piled High & Unraveled

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This beautiful pile of knitting (3 projects) and sewing (Alabama Chanin T-shirt), plus oodles more great crafting ideas, are awaiting my attention. I have stacks and stacks (shelves and shelves, too) of books to read and explore, plus tons and tons of other things ways I'd rather do than sit in front of a computer screen wishing my life away. Friday is my last day in the office and I hope to have more time to spend attending to my projects and ideas. I'm rather stoked about that!

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I'm closing in on a Bingo and might even have one by Friday! I'm nearing the end of Home by Marilynne Robinson, which is the middle book of the Gilead Trilogy. I loved Gilead and Lila, but have not found Home quite as compelling. However, it's still good reading. Maybe if I'd read them as they were published I would have been more receptive, but I don't think Home has as strong a story as the other two. 

Kat has a listing of all the other participants with Unraveled Wednesday posts, so head on over!


Beginning

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Last Friday my yarn arrived from The Woolen Rabbit, a beautifully Blush (the lightest color) with the perfect compliment of Sweet Cheeks. So pretty, so lovely! I am ready! For the last four summers I've joined Kirsten's TTL Mystery shawl KAL.  Of all the shawls I've knit, three of my most worn are shawls from Kirsten's TTL Mysteries. I am a user of shawls of all colors, sizes, and styles. Winter's chill is kept off with the extra layer of lace and summer's artificially cool air conditioning about drives me wild. Knitting is a slow process any more and I take a long to finish a project. In between beginnings I forget how wonderful it feels when starting something new, something mysterious, something lacy. Kim's Opal might be my favorite yarn ever.

I am beginning the count down to July 14th. It hadn't crossed my mind to check how many days were left in my worklife, but yesterday Bonny reminded me I had only 23 days to go! How did that happen? I am thrilled! The company can't extend my stay as I'm heading out on a road trip July 17th!  I see knitting, reading, and lots of time with friends (among other things) in my future. Yay, summer! Yay, me! The countdown begins!


Waterlogged Unraveling

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Yesterday was chilly, rainy, dreary, which was bad enough, but a water main leak, added insult to injury. The leak had gone on for some time as the lawn was saturated and our neighbors tiny garden emulated a pond. The management dug a hole to find the pipe and diverted the water away from the houses. A contractor has been called to do the digging and replace the broken pipe. I don't think our home was ever in danger, but the lawn and sidewalk may not be as lucky. The repairs could happen Thursday, maybe Friday, or even into next week. At least the beautiful hostas in my little front door garden will not be troubled. 

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My reading is going as slowly as my knitting, but The Essex Serpent is in my ear and (so far) living up to expectations. I've enjoyed getting to know each character, in turn, and find the story entertaining and interesting. The mystery of the serpent has me wishing I had more time to listen. Going even more slowly is my rereading of LaRose. Last year I listened to this book, but reading has a way of taking me more deeply into the story. Roz Reads is a group that comes together to fully explore a book and immersing myself in the book makes the discussion more fulfilling and interesting. I love listening to books, but seeing words on paper can be very powerful.

34483594923_45a36d1da7_kTo end on a bright and colorful note, this past weekend I was able to plant our carport pots with brightly colored petunias. Petunias may not be a favored flower, but I've tried all sorts of pants and nothing holds up in excessive heat of summer (which, so far, hasn't made an appearance) nor to my usual neglect. The petunias are expected to thrive no matter the conditions (that's my expectation, in any case). 

Last week I forgot to link to Kat who is the friend who started this whole Unraveled Wednesday fun.


Unraveled By Stripes

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For the past year I've had a bit of a thing with stripes. This is my fourth (and final, for now) stripy pair of socks. In started this year long odyssey because I was inspired by Carole's colorful stripy socks, as well as, aided by her pattern Picot Edged Socks. Knitterly Things Vesper Sock yarn is also a big draw, as it create perfectly spaced stripes. I'm taken with the latest offering "Boardwalk Games" but think I need a break from my current run of stripes only sock knitting.

I'm far from a Bingo, but I have finished two books and started two more. Moonshine is a book I recommend to NO ONE! It was too vulgar and strange and I could only make it half way through. It's my Bingo and half way (in my book), with a tale this bad, is a win! I finished Midwinter, but found it a little too spare, even lackluster, but Melrose did a good job of framing the differing avenues grief can take. I'd rate it a 3 1/2. At least I know my next book is a great one!

I've started to reread LaRose, which is Roz Reads choice for June. I am just as brokenhearted the sec0nd time through and enchanted once again by Erdrich's prose and story telling acumen. This is a must read, imo.  I'm also starting another book I've wanted to read for months, The Essex Serpent. I'll keep you posted! A few of the books titles I had written on my card have changed and I expect a few more will over time. This card is a WIP and one that will be tweaked and bent over the course of the summer.

So, what's the last book your read and are you playing along with Summer Bingo?


Hello Friends

Truly, I was shocked to see my last post was on March 7th.  The intent, at that time, was to stick around and continue to post when I could, but life–I guess that's it–just got in the way.

BBingoI am totally incapable of capturing a digital version of my card.

To get back into the swing of things I'm planning to join in the fun of summer knitting and reading. Thank you to Mary for stepping up to keep Book Bingo alive! She's created new Bingo cards, adding some great genres, as well as, hosting the link on her side bar. I pulled a card, hit refresh until I got a card I was excited about and I'm thinking through possibilities. Reading away the summer–from Memorial Day to Labor Day–does not sound like a bad idea! I've a few ideas and I'm exploring a few more. Suggestion from friends are very welcome!

SpicyBad pictures abound!

My next plan of action is to join Kat's Summer Knit-Along for the sole purpose of finishing the two projects I have had on the needles forever! AND, perhaps starting something new (hopefully, a sweater).  My knitting mojo has been back and forth, strong and weak, certainly not at full steam, plus I've been distracted by reading and stitching an Alabama Chanin t-shirt.

I thought I'd stop in and say hello, tell you I'm planning to come back (if anyone is around to read) and catch you up with what's in my future (and past). That's the plan! I've missed you all!

I'm looking forward to more Unraveled Wednesday posts!