Unraveled Wednesday – Week 39 of 2020

It’s Wednesday – so I’m linking up with Kat at As Kat Knits to share what I’ve been reading and knitting this week. Kat hosts Unraveled Wednesday each week and it’s a great opportunity to find lots of inspiration and recommendations. Please visit her blog and the other bloggers participating! This week, I’m sharing two finished books, one reluctantly abandoned book, and several stitching projects.

Finished Reading This Week:

All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
The 16th book in the Armand Gamache series did not disappoint me! Set almost entirely in Paris, it’s exactly what you’d expect: lush food descriptions and a love of French culture. We spend time high on (in?) the Eiffel Tower (to avoid being eavesdropped on by murderers), in the National French Archives for research, in modest and cozy city apartments, and in decadent hotel suites. It was perfect.


Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
I know next to nothing about Shakespeare, so I was hesitant to read this. But many of you have raved about it and it won the Women’s Prize for fiction, so I used an audible credit and was sucked in almost immediately. 5 stars! This is a fictionalized story about the death of Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet. This is a story of grief and despair, so be warned if you’re currently experiencing acute grief. And I loved Agnes, Hamnet’s mother. She is just the type of witchy character that I adore.


Abandoned This Week:

Jack by Marilynne Robinson
I was so excited to learn that the Gilead Trilogy was becoming the Gilead Quartet. And when I learned that the new novel was from the perspective of Jack, possibly one of the most tragic characters in American Literature (in my opinion), I was over the moon. I received an advanced copy from Netgalley and almost immediately began reading it.

Friends, this is slow. I thought I’d be able to push through and finish it once I found my bearings because all of the Gilead books are slow. But I started this on August 31 and I’m 39% of the way through a 320 page book. I’m reluctant to walk away from it because there’s so much tucked away in this novel — I’ve written down a ton of quotes from it. But I have to force myself to read it, which tells me that I’m not enjoying it. I hope that my difficulty reading it is because of my mood and not because this is simply a difficult book. I also hope that you one of you read it, love it, and inspire me to try again!

Stitching

I’ve spent some time in the basement with my Scrappy Crossroads Quilt. I’ve decided to quilt it diagonally along the crossroads, which has presented a challenge. It’s hard to roll it up neatly and pull the entire length through my machine. It stresses my shoulders and back and I feel like it shouldn’t? But luckily I have a Juki sewing machine and she is a workhorse. I can finish this project. I know I can. I just have to prioritize it! I can’t wait to be able to give its official measurements because it is a beast.

Sitting with my machine and seeing all of these seams aligned, the pieces neatly pressed, and the sheer magic of putting small shapes together to make something amazing has re-lit my quilting fire. I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but I’m not fighting it. The challenge is that my sewing machine and supplies are all in the basement and it’s hard to “escape” for just a few minutes at a time. Unlike knitting and reading, which I can easily pull out and put away quickly if necessary. I’m brainstorming different ways to fit it in.

Last night I finished a Jubilee Hat (Ravelry link) for Baby Birdie (almost finished. I still need to weave in the ends). I’m trying to use up the bits and bobs left over from my last couple of sweaters because the yarn is too heavy for the scrap blanket I’m working on. This is some of the leftover rosa rugosa from my Spark Cardigan. I think I still have enough to make her a pair of mittens. Of course, I did the pointy version because what other option is there for a 2 year old?!

After finishing Birdie’s hat, I almost immediately cast on one for Bug. I’ll do the rounded version for him. I’m hoping that the stitch pattern will be more visible in this leftover Cascade charcoal, also leftover from my Spark. This pattern is so clever and I love the ear flaps!

And now for the big reveal: I finished my Spark Cardigan! No, I didn’t knit the full 74″ on the belt. I made it to about 60″, tried it on, said good enough, and wrapped myself in the lovely goodness of a new cardigan! Most of you know that I hated knitting that belt but I loved knitting the cardigan. It came together really quickly and I highly recommend it. And guess what? I’ve already ditched the belt. So if you decide to knit it, you might consider giving yourself permission to skip the belt entirely (which I will do if I reknit this project) or knit the belt first as Sarah suggested in a comment a few weeks ago.

A note on the fit: I probably could have made one size larger, but I do like the length and the close fit. If I’m not careful with my clothing, I can easily look like I have no shape, but that’s not the case with this size! But when I knit this again, I will definitely add an extra inch to the shawl collar to make it a bit more snuggly. And extra inch would ensure that I don’t need the stinking belt to wrap myself up with because I’m definitely not knitting that again.


The weather has activated the maker in me. I’m spending a fair amount of time on the Overdrive app and doing my best to make sure I always have a good audiobook nearby, but I’m okay if my reading rate goes down while my knitting/sewing/quilting rate goes up. Ebb and flow. I’m embracing it!

I hope you’ve managed to stay focused on the things that renew your soul lately. Things have been hard in a lot of ways. I wish you a peaceful end to your week.

16 thoughts on “Unraveled Wednesday – Week 39 of 2020

Add yours

  1. Your Spark is beautiful! And the belt looks to be the perfect length. I do agree with you about the fit on this Cardi. I chose to knit size 3 because it add 3ā€ of positive ease which usually is plenty for me. Yesterday I steeked and tried it on. It definitely was snugger than I thought it would be. I kept check my gauge as I knit the body as well. Iā€™m about half way through my belt but will check it to see how it fits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Geri! Yes, definitely try the belt on as you go.. I think I would have been VERY annoyed by a 74″ belt! Congratulations on getting so far with your cardigan — it will be finished soon!!

      Like

  2. Oh my , where to start. First your daughter looks so very cute in her new hat. You look very cute too in your new cardy- it looks very cosy and well done on the belt. Your quilt is lovely- as soon as I’m done outdoors I must get back to my three unfinished quilt- hangs head in shame. And so many books read- sometimes it just makes sense to give up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness – I hear you about all of the books in the world!! It’s amazing.

      Thanks for your kind words. I hope you’ll share some pictures of your quilts once you get back to them!

      Like

  3. Your Spark is just beautiful and so colorful! I wish you could have figured out that you might not like the belt before you persevered through 60″, but next time you’ll know. And your quilt is another lovely bunch of color. I’m looking forward to seeing the whole beast! So glad you enjoyed Hamnet!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE your sweater!! You are rocking it and it looks awesome on you! (but best quote ever is this: Iā€™m okay if my reading rate goes down while my knitting/sewing/quilting rate goes up) YES!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gah, I have Hamnet waiting on my nightstand (I have the hardcopy – with the gorgeous British cover! – thanks to Sara’s recent visit) and am so looking forward to sinking into it – maybe next month? I still have a book to finish for September bookclub and THREE(?!) to finish for October … not to mention the knitting šŸ™‚ I must say, your Spark turned out beautifully and I’m so impressed with how quickly you finished it (even the belt). Maybe that’s a November project for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So much to read!! It can get overwhelming to know that there are so many good books out there. You’ll get to Hamnet soon and I hope you love it šŸ™‚

      And I bet this would be the perfect project for November in GA. And it will fly off of your needles — enjoy!!

      Like

  6. First of all . . . Nicely Done on your sweater!!! It’s just beautiful — and perfect for fall. (And you know that belt will stretch out, so stopping short was a great strategy.) And I have heard much the same critique from other readers about Jack. Which is very disappointing to me as I was so looking forward to reading it. (And I’ve just received notice that my hold for it is has come available at the library. . . ) šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your sweater looks great. I also wonder if the belt might not stretch a bit. I love the little pointy hat for your daughter. Of course a pointy version is the best. I find I have to be in the right mood for Marilynne Robinson’s books. I agree that sometimes it is just best to move on. Now and then I come back to a book later and have a very different experience.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Backstage Knits (Kath) Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: