Wednesday's are for Unraveling

Around here, the puppy takes precedence, but there has been the occasional knitting and/or stitching going on. If the grocery shopping is done, the laundry is in progress (or finished), no other chores or errands have reared their heads, AND Mylo is sleeping, I'll pull out my embroidery or knitting and take a few stitches. I must be aware each time I'm interrupted and, at the drop of a hat, put it away. Puppies are wily and they will find your weak spot. 

The stitching has a lot of threads dangling from a color card and a very tiny needle is always attached to the fabric either by a thread or in the cloth. If puppy awakens, or I have reason to walk away, EVERY item must be tucked away and the carry bag put in a puppy-safe spot. One MUST think through their escape plan. If not, a puppy could end up at the emergency vet with a needle stuck in an unwanted spot or, at the very least, there could be a ruined piece of embroidery. I have learned this with my puppies of the past. Mylo is NOT an angel.

I bought this kit from Cozyblue on Etsy. The hoop, linen with a printed design, all threads, and instructions were included. (The design is also available as a PDF download in lieu of a kit.) Instruction is minimal so it might be helpful to know a little something about embroidery, but all stitches are standard to any embroidery book. I've had fun reliving my days with sharp needle in hand, but my eyesight is not as good as it once was and I admit to struggling. If I caved and used a magnifier there would be no problem. (I have also been knitting but, at this point, it's a boring sea of blue stockinette.)


Reading has been going well. Walking puppies, knitting, stitching, doing laundry, shopping, cooking, gardening, they are all made for audio books and I am taking full advantage. I will have at least four Bingos and possibly more before the summer is over. I didn't have to work at finding books for the subjects of each square. The books I wanted to read just seemed to fit into the squares I had. It was a very lucky summer of reading, as I've only read a couple of duds, although, they were still worth the time. 

Once the Man Booker longlist came out, it filled my TBR and I have been on a reading binge. Many of the authors were known to me because I'd read their previous works. If you've given up on reading Man Booker listed titles, due to unreadable tomes, this is the list for you (and me!). I have already read a number of books and found them worthy (and readable) choices.  

I'm coming undone with Kat and Friends

Well, Look At That!

I've finished a pair of socks!! This pair of socks has taken the whole of 2018 to complete. I've stated my intention was to have a pair done every two months but, as it turned out, that was a pipe dream. If I'm lucky I'll have two new pair of socks by the end of the year. In any case--


They are done! AND, I'm so pleased! The yarn came from Cara (January One) in one of her destash extravaganzas. I'd never knit with, or even heard of White Birch Fiber Arts, but I enjoyed knitting with the perfectly striped yarn. The socks are very matchy, matchy, which is the point, right? The yarn is high quality and the dyeing suburb. 


The pattern I knit is the tried and true Carole's Picot Edged Sock pattern (yes, THAT Carole), which is available FOR FREE on Ravelry. The pattern is straight forward, easily understood, with perfect pictures of how to create the picot stitch cuff. You can't beat it. 


I'm pleased as punch. Here's the Ravelry link. 

My reading has been going well and I'm pages away from my second Bingo and working on my third.  I didn't have a chance to take a picture of my card, but here's a picture of what a little mazik can do when you turn your back for 30 seconds. 


Mylo pulled the bookmark out of my current read, The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander, and chewed up the end. I am very grateful he only wanted the free bookstore bookmark. The coaster was a casualty of the same variety a few hours later. Puppies will be puppies, do not take your eyes off him or you'll be paying for it. Next week I'll give you the lowdown on the books I've read this week.


And, just so you know, Mylo does not like to be taken for a walk when it is near 100 degrees, nor does he like to be told to "sit" and "look at me" while on said walk. (Training never ends around here.) As you can tell by his look, he was less than thrilled to "performing" in the heat of the day. Poor Mylo. (Poor me.)

I'm Unraveling with Kat and friends

Unraveled with a Bit of Mylo


Teaching (as in dog training), learning (as in dog training), reading (dog training books as well as, my own choice of books), knitting (mine, all mine!), trying to keep up with my old life and my's easy to become unraveled. Don't take your eye off that dog! Yesterday Mylo was doing something behind the couch and I went to investigate. When I returned to the front side of the couch he had moved, like a flash of light, carrying my sock all the way across the room. He was just deciding where to chomp down, and SO delighted with himself. I laughed out loud, but moved like a flash of light to rescue my beautiful second sock. 


A Bingo looks likely in the next couple of weeks and I also have the chance of a second one. I have been listening none stop to books as I can do that while playing with puppy, walking puppy, and watching puppy sleep. Here are a few of my thought on a couple of the books I read. 

Less by Andrew Sean Greer, is this years Pulitzer Prize winner. I believe it is one of the first comedies given the prize, and it is certainly great fun. Less travels the world trying to assuage a broken heart. He travels to exotic locations, always the worst of luck, but learning lessons along they way. While you know the story is in modern times I felt like I was watching an old movie with farcical moments and jun comedic sketches. 4 Stars

Educated by Tara Westover was for my Outside Your Comfort Zone square. I highly recommend this book about a Tara's growing up in a family with a father who may have been mentally ill and who thinks education is a plot against them (as is every other government institution) and who uses his children to run the family business at cost of their safety, health, and education. Tara is able to get herself into BYU (by hook and by crook) against her father's will and educate herself. It is quite a story of a families sway and how Tara broke away to become a Cambridge scholar. 5 Stars!

I am currently reading Warlight by Michael Ondaatje and have the next book in line, The Cross by Sigrid Undset, the third book in the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy. I have have thoroughly enjoyed rereading this trilogy over the last year, as the first time I read them was in the 80s.  I believe that will give me my first Bingo. I pulled a card (by refreshing the page over and over) with subjects I knew I could live with. I don't read books to fill Bingo squares, I read books I want to read and fit them into the squares. Happily my first Bingo came without much work or finagling. 


Mylo has had a busy social schedule. Yesterday he met Daisy, my long time friend Camille's Havanese one year old. They had a fun playdate running, running, running through the back yard and wearing themselves out to the point Camille and I were able to get away for lunch. Mylo slept the rest of the day!

Today he meets my needlepoint class, tomorrow we have puppy training, and Friday we top the week off with a trip to the groomer. I'm not ready to give up the puppy curls so he will just get a trim and spiff up. My handsome boy grows so quickly!

I'm Unraveling along with Kat and the Gang. What's everyone else up to? What's the last book you read and are you playing along with Summer Book Bingo

Knitting & Reading - Unraveled Edition

I have been tried and true to two projects, a sock and a sweater, or perhaps a sock and a shawl, for as long as I can remember. When I've strayed and ended up working on three projects I quickly find myself turing towards monogamy. I'll eschew two projects and focus on one until that project has been finished. So, for that reason I've been working on two and only two.  Slowly I've been motoring along on my Electric Sock facing the knowledge that I will not make my goal of 6 pair of socks this year. The goalpost has been changed to 2 pair (or maybe 3), which will be better than nothing.  The plan is to have this pair finished by the end of May. 


I've also been working on my Sunday Morning sweater (even more slowly than the sock) and now have two sleeves finished. Yesterday I cast on for the back and have a good start.  The yarn is so very lovely and knitting this sweater has been smooth and easy, perfect for social knitting, as well as mindfully meditative stitching. This yarn and pattern are why sock knitting has diminished the last few months. 


But as happens when we say never, I knew I was sunk when Mary showed her Caylx. I tried to put thoughts of starting another sweater out of mind, but that just didn't work. Caylx worked her way back into my thoughts over and over. The Shibui yarns called for in the pattern were way out of my price range, so I took a looked at the colors of Berroco Remix on offer from Webs (the same yarn Mary's using) but I wasn't inspired because its soft neutral shades. Still Caylx stayed on my mind, and Monday I took a second look at the colors and decided Old Jeans (a deep blue), would be just the thing. I was even more thrilled to see the cost and yardage made the sweater around $24. That's unheard of in my knitting world, so I took the leap, bought the yarn and now I'm waiting by the mailbox. Caylx could be on my needles soon! 

Mary also mentioned TTL Mystery is coming up, but I've already got my next shawl waiting in the wings. When I tried on Monica's Bay's Edge shawl and saw its unique construction, and the way it sat on my shoulders, I knew it would next in my queue. And, how about that? SIX bluetiful blues! I hope to get started soon. The yarn is Marianated Scrumptious HT Gradient Set "Tangled Up in Blues". Check out the names of the blues.


As you might have seen in the photo of Sunday Morning, I'm rereading Exit West, which is the Book Group choice for May. I've been doing quiet a bit of reading lately and have been listening to one book after another. Between the library and Audible I've had a great selection for my listening pleasure. At the moment I'm listening to 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster which Mary and Carole both liked. I'm swept up in the story and find it hard to break away, but it's a long book and it will take me some time to make it through. 

The day Mary announced Summer Bingo I pulled a card fully expecting a card with dozens of subjects I'd never read.  But, as it turned out my Bingo Card was fairly benign. I made a short list of books from my TBR I saw a place for each one. I knew I could, would be able to play Summer Bingo. 

I've been reading up a storm and have a few good books under my belt.  Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston, is a short book which told the story of the last slave sold in America, who happened to be brought into the country illegally. I found the most interesting part of the book was the introduction which told more about Zora Neale Hurston's life than I previously known. I also enjoyed Jon McGregor's Reservoir 13 and Home Fires by Kamila Shamsie. My favorite book of April was Circe by Madeline Miller. Miller makes mythology (about which I know little) easy to understand. She explains each god as they appear and has a cheat sheet, as well. But Circe's story, the story of her exile and life alone, how she broke free and made her own decisions was fascinating on every level. At the moment I'm reading 4 3 2 1, by Paul Aster, which Mary and Carole both recommended and I am so wrapped up in the story I can hardly stop reading. 

Are you playing Bingo? Have you an action plan? 

My Unraveled Mess


The photo may show a little bit of over-committing. Ever since I finished my last sweater I have had delusions of grandeur, as I once again feel as if I can be called a real knitter again! Fugue in Mosiac Miner is buried by the swatch for Sunday Morning, by the Electric sock, and by my stitching (almost too dark to see). AND there are three books; Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ties, by Domenico Starnone (husband of Elena Ferrrante), plus under all that, is A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucy Berlin. I've already read it once, loved it, but my book group picked Lucy's book to read in February and I am happy to reread. 

I guess it's no wonder I'm feeling like I have a lot on my plate even without my watercolour class or a Month of Letters, which starts Thursday. How lucky I am that it's all stuff I WANT to do, love to do, and can do two at a time. I love to read (audio format) and knit. I love to socialize and knit (easy knits like socks). And I love to just sit and read, book (or Kindle) in hand, quietly turning the pages, totally absorb by a story I can only imagine. And, I like to sit and knit, quietly watching as the stitches form, and relax into the rhythms of the movement. 

I wonder if I should go tackle the dusting or vacuum the floor? NOT REALLY! 

Do you over commit to projects (not WIPs) and books? I have a feeling I know the answer to that question! 

As always, I am Unraveling with Kat and friends. 

Imagining Unraveled


A couple of years ago I bought an Alabama Chanin Lata T-shirt, which has languished off and on. The last few months I have stitched the outlines of each leaf on all four pieces; front, back and both sleeves. That adds up to A LOT of leaves. When Vicki and Kym took their epic journey to Florence  Alabama for a an AC workshop I found myself inspired by their posts. Vicki showed several pictures of the sample books she found exciting and Kym's post here had a picture of a stitched leaf that sent off all sorts of ideas in my head. The possibilities of what I could do to embellish all those leaves was suddenly endless. I have all the AC books and they are also full of inspiration. It may take me the whole year, but I would like to have a finished T-shirt on December 31st. My T may well have to be a project on which I stitch on every day of the year. 

After finishing my last book, Nutshell, it took me a few days to decide on the next book to read. In the end, it was  an audio I'd purchased a long time ago, but that had not read made it to the top of the pile. Half of a Yellow Sun has been on my TBR list for too long, so it was time to dive in. 

I am all but Unraveled with Kat and friends

Unraveled - As Usual

Dear Friends- 

Unraveled Wednesday is one of my favorite meme days, as I not only get to see your beautiful knitting projects, but also, hear about  the books you're reading, which introduces me to many new books and grows my TBR list. As we prove every week, reading is knittings greatest companion. All around the world I connect with knitters through Postcrossing and we are all readers. This is one thing I know for sure. 

As with any good letter, let me tell you about the weather. Yesterday the sky was clear blue! The temperature was in the low 50s and I think we could be in the high 50s by Friday. After that, they say winter will return. With snow. Inches of snow, which would be amazing. I don't even mind, as one cannot complain much when there really hasn't been much of the white stuff in January. 

So, let me talk about knitting and reading, two of our shared passions. Here it is a year later and I am finally working on Fugue in Mosaic Miner, which was Kirsten Kapur's latest TTL Mystery Shawl. I find I am a monogamous knitter, and when I have a large project, like Brickyard, I must be true. The yarn for Fugue is Kim's Opal in two colors, Blossom and Blush (I think). In any case, I'm moving right along while I contemplate my next sweater. Also on the needles, is a self-striping sock, because that just seems the right thing to do. I rather love Carole's Picot Sock pattern and the way it pairs so nicely with a yarn that does all the work. The yarn is White Birch Fiber Arts color Electric Slide. Electric it is! 


So far this year I've read some really fantastic books. I'm still blown away by The Power by Naomi Alderman and was disturbed by the crux of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.  I just listened to Winter by Ali Smith, which comes on the heels of her first in a quartet of seasons, Autumn. I can tell it would be best to read each book as close together as possible and they will be worth rereading when all have been published. However, they do stand very well on their own. I found Winter hit close to home, as I am an older woman and could empathize with Sophia, who is struggling through her own later years. Ali Smith demands you read every word, slowly and with intent.  

On my iPod I'm enjoying, Nutshell by Ian McEwan, one of my favorite authors. This is a very witty story written in the style of Shakespeare. I'm enjoying its humor laced drama very much. On a serious note, I'm also reading a book my niece gave to me, A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming. I am learning how the civil war in Syria began and the story of one of its many refugees, a young woman named Doaa Al Zamel, survived. I am only a few chapters in and I feel the story is very important for me to know and understand.  

So tell me, friends, what are you reading and knitting this week? 

Brickyard and Books


Brickyard is only a couple of inches from the finish line. I've enjoyed knitting this pattern and have high hopes of having a beautiful sweater in the near future. Kim's yarn is has been a joy (as usual), plus I don't remember ever knitting a pattern that was so well written. 

I've been reading well outside my usual genre, as the last few books would be classified as sci-fi or dystopian. I went right through the His Dark Material's series lickity-split! I LOVE The Golden Compass, but think it's worth reading all three books (back to back). Then I read Ready Player One which was just a kick as it took me back through the 1980s via 2045. I didn't understand some of the gaming references, but who doesn't remember Pac-Man?

Then on a whim, I listened to The Power by Naomi Alderman. I was BLOWN away! I couldn't stop listening it was, well, SO powerful! I highly recommend this book even if you think you don't like sci-fi, because it isn't aliens or UFOs, it's current day problems and politics, but with a big twist. This book had as much impact on me as Handmaid's Tale did when I read it in the 80s. And, just to push my case, President Obama picked it as one of his Top Books of 2017. (I also like many of his Song of the Year choices.)

My book group pick of the month is Never Let Me Go, which I read when it was first published. I don't remember the ending well, but it's another disturbing dystopian tale. After this, I think I'll read a classic. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 1.48.36 PM

Sadly, I missed capturing a screen shot of My Books of 2017 from Goodreads, but here's a shot of some of my favorites from the year. I'd recommend any and all of the books you see here. I'm joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday. Tell me what are your favorite books of 2017 is and if you've made a reading goal for 2018. 

Why I'm Unraveled


Monday, around 11:30, filtered by dense air, the sun peeked through the branches of the pine  outside my office window.  Usually the sun comes in and warms my room all day. I knew this could be the last day our mountain was visible. As I turn away a shadow flickered in the corner of my eye and I turn back to see a siskins, or a nuthatches, dancing through the limbs. Every surface was covered with frost and the air around me was chilly. 


That night, as we drove to dinner, it was foggy, as the cold thick air was filled with humidity. By morning many trees were covered with hoar frost, the sky was steel gray, and the mountain completely obscured. The inversion had clamped down over our valley. The temperature stays between 25 (for a low) and 30 (for a high) during inversion periods. 


No one enjoys inversion season, that is unless you head up to mountains, which are bereft of snow, but are a balmy 55+ degrees! That's why it's called an inversion. (get it?}  Smith and I spent part of his day off looking for furniture (gifts to ourselves) and as we were driving home (sans furniture) the sun decided to break through for awhile. This picture may give you some idea of what we're dealing with. The air is worse than the picture shows. The weather peoples tell us a storm could be coming through this weekend (maybe) and the winds could stir the air (big maybe) and bring some relief (maybe). They do not want to get our hopes up, but we have our fingers crossed. Today, we are socked in, again. 


But, in my other world, knitting and reading, things are going really well. I put the body on hold and have started a sleeve. The color in the photo is far from true. The actual color is deeper, more berry and red. I'm reading Eva Trout and while I had trouble getting used to the language, and the seemingly choppy style of her writing, I've grown used to the rhythm. I enjoyed Elizabeth Bowen's other books more, but I think I'll end up liking the story. I wouldn't stick with it otherwise. Life is too short to read bad books. I am also listening to the last in the series of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I have had more fun reading this series than anything I've read in a long time. I heartily recommend all three. 

I'm joining Kat and gang for Unraveled Wednesday

Tis Wednesday and I am Unraveled


Unexpectedly, my sweater growth! I am nearing the end of the body, about 5" more, then I'll put the body on waste yarn and knit the sleeves. Checking the fit and length will be more accurately figured if all pieces are as they should be. Monogamy has paid off and I expect to stick with this sweater (Brickyard) until it's finished. I am so very excited to be knitting a sweater and telling you about it, as well!

Also, I readeth. The book group I belong to, Roz Reads, has posted books for the first few months of 2018. I've read them all, but will reread, as I want to be ready for a discussion of each. In the meantime, I am reading my own choices, the first being Eva Trout by Elizabeth Bowen.  I read To the North a few months ago and just loved it. Eva Trout has been a little more difficult to get into, but about 4 chapters in (they're short) and I'm hooked. In my ear I have The God of Small Things, which is a reread, but since I read it in 2005, or so, I hardly remember a thing.

Two books the group discussed the last two weeks were, Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson and Hunger by Roxanne Gay. Hunger was an add-on group, as Roz thought it an important book. We all agreed and discussed it in depth for 2 hours. Both books come highly recommend by our whole group. I also read We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. You can read his essays in The Atlantic, but his commentary about each essay is well worth the time. All three authors are award winners and all three authors will make you think outside of your own world perspective. 

Two books I read for fun were Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (of Jessica Jones fame) and The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. Bonfire was okay, if you like whodunits, but The Golden Compass was marvelous. I will continue on with the series as I loved Lyra. 

Today I'm going to run by the library and pick up a copy of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. I've heard good things about the story and I'll let you know how it goes. 

I'm Unraveling along with Kat today.