Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Unraveled Wednesday, May 17

Summer has abruptly arrived here in the Pittsburgh area. Temps climbed into the 80’s yesterday and are slated to climb into the 90’s today. This has created a sense of urgency for the garden, but I won’t be transplanting young plants in that heat. They can wait shaded on the porch until later in the week when the temperatures are more moderate.

On the reading front, I finished The Lake and I loved it! Look for a full review next week! I am back to The Girl in Green by Derek Miller and I am enjoying it. I also have printed out my Summer Book Bingo Card. If you want to join in, you can get all the details here from Mary.

I was so excited to learn that my local Knit Night group is no longer meeting at the world’s worst knitting shop! The shop owner for unknown reasons has cancelled knit night at the shop so they are now meeting at my favorite library on Tuesday nights. Last night was my first night back at the new location. I am still working away on the Air Soft Shawl but I am at the point of repeating rows and staggered increases – it is not a “mindless knit” right now. So, knitting it seemed like an exercise in futility (or frogging…) so I knit on the KAL since my kit arrived on Monday. I was unsure how I’d like knitting with such big needles (you cast on with a US17 and then knit with a US15 for a good bit) but it seems okay, if albeit a bit awkward managing those needles until the fabric grows a bit. However, I love the texture of the knitting and I learned a new stitch K1-rb (Knit 1, row below) This stitch creates an elongated stitch and has a lovely texture. I have a bit more to go until I switch to a smaller needle.

That is all I have for this Wednesday. What are you making and reading?

Unraveled Wednesday, May 10

Unraveled Wednesday, May 10

Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday! Today, I am happy to say, there has been no unraveling and I even have a finished object!

First up, Settler Shawl – okay, I don’t think I would actually classify this a shawl – more like a scarf or a shawlette perhaps, due to the yardage of my yarn choice. But, I only had one skein – I received Sterling Silk and Silver yarn from Kraemer Yarns and I have never knit with “sparkly” yarn because, well, sparkles are not my thing. However, this is not super sparkly, it has a very subtle sparkly-ness to it! But the hand of the yarn is really what I want to talk about – it feels very cottony, and in a very good way! There is zero itch factor at all with this yarn – so if you have someone who struggles with wool, this might be the yarn for them! However, the blend is not cotton – but rather silk. Because of the silk content (20%) I was a bit worried about how to wash and block the shawl. I did give it a good bath in tepid water (not hot and not cold) with a little bit of Soak Wash™, letting it rest in the water about 15 minutes. I then squeezed out the excess water and ran it through the spin only cycle on my washer. I did not pin this out to block it at all – I did not want to lose any of the garter squishy-ness! I just laid it flat to dry and gave it a little tug here and there to open up the crossed stitch sections. I would love to knit this again with the same yarn (this time with 2 skeins to make it be a shawl). And, yes – I would absolutely knit with this yarn again!

Now, I am back to cruising along on my “Air Soft Shawl” and I am to the point in the pattern where the repeats begin. So, the knitting is with pencil and paper to keep track of everything!

On the finished book list – nothing yet! I had hoped to finish The Lake yesterday, but it did not happen! But, oh my gosh I love this book! It is gripping from the beginning. And, I am adding Konrad Simonsen to the company of Carl Morck and Armand Gamache! He is wonderful! This is the first book I have read by Lotte and Soren Hammer, but it won’t be the last. I should be able to finish this up today, and then back to The Girl in Green.

There you have my knitting and reading for the week. What are you making and reading? Or is it an unravel week for you? Please share!

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Unraveled Wednesday, May 3

Unraveled Wednesday, May 3

Hello and Welcome Unravelers! Happy Wednesday!

I have lots to share with you today!

First up, a book review:

I finished my first book for NetGalley and, sadly, I did not choose well. I selected The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech because the title intrigued me but, for me, the book did not live up to its name! This book is set in England and it is supposed to be a mystery. I made sure I did not read any reviews before I began reading the book. However, in reading reviews upon finishing the book, I am left wondering if I somehow read a different. While I only gave it 2 stars, it has an average rating of 4.26 on Goodreads. The book starts out with a woman who is packing to leave her abusive husband – in her packing, she discovers that a book is missing. Her husband, who is never late, is late arriving home from work, and she gets a call from a friend who shares that a boy (Conor) is missing. Perhaps, it is just me – but at this point in the reading, I figured that the husband had the book and the boy. The remainder of the book is divided between “the book” (which gives background on Conor who is in foster care), the woman (Bernadette), and the husband (Richard). Outside of Conor, I found the characters extremely shallow and they did little to endear themselves to me. I wish I could say that the ending surprised me, but it did not at all. I found it a slow and difficult read as it never really engaged me.

My next book from NetGalley is a much better choice: The Lake by Lotte and Soren Hammer. Okay, I am about half way through this, and from the first chapter it has been riveting! Nordic Noir FTW! (I think you can see here the pattern of what I like to read – I do not like being able to figure out the story until the end, if I can I am so disappointed in the writer!)

Now on to knitting!

I am almost done with the Settler Shawl and I really love it. The crossed stitches are an interesting detail (which I goofed up on the second set, but I like the goof up I made, so I will repeat that error! My error? I crossed the stitches on the wrong side the second time as I miscounted the garter repeats, but I like how they go different ways – so I am going with this mistake!)

I am still moving along as well on my Air Soft Shawl and I am still loving it so much. I am not quite at the half way point, but I am close! My plan for the remainder of the week is to catch up on what is on the DVR and get some knitting done!

Oh, and I ordered the kit for the next AYOT project from those bad enablers over at MDK. But, I managed restraint until seeing what the project is! A certain special someone I know has a birthday coming up, and this is too cute! However, casting on won’t happen until both of these things are done! (famous last words!)

What are you knitting and reading? Or crafting and reading! Or just crafting? Or maybe only reading? Really, share whatever you are doing!

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Unraveled Wednesday, April 26

Unraveled Wednesday, April 26

Hello Unravelers! Happy Wednesday to you all!

I hope your week has brought lots of good reading and even more good crafting!

I am almost done with my book for the NetGalley review, I will give you the CliffsNotes next week. I do have a second NetGalley book to read, and thankfully, this one will go much quicker! And, perhaps even be more interesting!

On the knitting front – I have one project that I am knitting to review some yarn from Kraemer Yarns. This yarn is very unusual for me in that it has some sparkle to it! However, I really like it – it is wool, but it has an amazing cottony, soft feel! I am knitting Settler Shawl – and I love it! It is a great match for this yarn and will be a lovely summery shawl. The yarn is Kraemer’s Sterling Silk & Silver in Estate Green. The yarn is 63% SW Merino, 20% silk, 15% nylon, and 2% silver poly – an interesting mix of materials, but it is so soft and it is knitting up beautifully in this shawl. If you have someone who finds wool scratchy, this yarn might be a solution for them.

On top of this knitting I am plodding along on my Air Soft shawl… I really love this knit. It worries me that a new month is next week, therefore a new technique. However, my knitting basket filled with things that I have to finish – so I really need my summer knit along to begin… yesterday! LOL

And, perhaps at the same time, all necessary work can end so I can just sit and knit all day.

Someday in a perfect world…

What are you reading and making this week?

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Unraveled Wednesday, April 19

Unraveled Wednesday, April 19

Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday!

I hope you will join us today and share something that you are crafting and something you are reading!

For me this week, it has been a quiet week on the knitting front! I have a sweater that got unraveled and knitting has begun again – but just barely. I am making it slightly smaller and going with the increases/decreases every 6 rows. And, really, I am not ripping it out again! This will be a lovely sweater for the fall/winter but as that weather has departed from us – there is not a burning desire to finish it.

Really, I’d rather cast on all the things… wouldn’t you? I am cruising along on my Air Soft Shawl – I got another repeat done last night. And, later today I will wind the winning yarn combination (#1 if you are wondering!!) and get ready to cast on with those MDK girls (and Mary) on Friday! If you are joining in, please let me know! I would love for us to cheer each other on!

On the reading front… I am kind of in a “reading slog” and I am not sure what to do about it. (Okay, what I’d really like to do is read something else, but I think I need to finish the book I am reading for NetGalley…) However, if you are a Department Q devotee there is a new book available for pre-order, sadly it won’t be out until September, but I am so excited for it I almost can’t wait!!

But, what are you crafting or reading today?

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Unraveled Wednesday, April 12

Unraveled Wednesday, April 12

Hello, Unraveler’s!

Well, it is a week where lots of unraveling is happening here. My sweater that was so close to having the body finished, has been ripped back again – good thing my yarn can take all this knitting and ripping back!

So, why am I ripping back? Simple aesthetics – I don’t like how it looks! The problem is centered around the very thing I liked about the sweater… the line of increases and decreases on the sides. The pattern for my size calls for completing them every 4 rows. However, imo, this was too rapid because I began to worry that the sides would be too big and the front would be too small. (Does this make sense?) So, I tried doing no more increases and decreases but that did not look right… at all. So, I ripped back and tried doing the increases/decreases every 8 rows (and I forgot to do them on one round and did not catch it until 5 or 6 rounds later – so that meant more ripping back.) So here I am ready to do the band at the bottom of the sweater and I look at my knitting and I am really not happy with how it looks. So, I am ripping back, again…all the way back to the point of picking up the stitches at the armholes. Yeah, that far back! It has taken me all week to get to this point, ripping out hours of work is never something to take lightly.

But, this time I have a plan. I will do the decreases less frequently, which I think will give me enough movement on the lines that I like but in a more gradual pace and hopefully the front will still be the front and the sides having some movement forward, but not too much. Does this make me happy? Honestly, no. But, I would be less happy with a sweater that I did not like (which would translate to something I would not wear). It is silly to put so much time into a project and not be happy with it. That is why, sometimes, unraveling is the best solution. It is not painless, but the finished product will be better.

My reading has been usurped by a new book, which I found via Bonny and her suggestion of Netgalley. I am reading The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech. I have a deadline but I am about a third of the way though. I hope to have the book finished by the weekend (well in advance of the deadline!) I will be sharing my thoughts on the book when I have finished it – however, I can tell you this; it’s a mystery and I have no clue who “did it” yet… (which is usually a good thing!)

Some weeks the unraveling is painful – but somehow starting again never is. With determination I am moving forward, even if I had to take some pretty big steps backwards!

I hope your Wednesday will have nothing to unravel but your blog post! And, as always, I am so happy that you are joining us!

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