Each week I link up with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday – a weekly round-up for knitters and readers to share what they’ve been enjoying. Please visit Kat’s blog and the other Unravelers who are linking up today!
Finished Reading This Week
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson
I was in the midst of reading this when the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision was announced. What a way to put that moment into context! In this book, Wilkerson argues that America uses the caste system to help keep people in all of our little boxes. She looks at the caste system in India and compares it to the way our own country was set up. There are sections about how Hitler modeled his anti-Jew movement on America’s legal system, and even found some of our laws too harsh for his own Nazi government. This book is peppered with personal experiences from people facing the caste system firsthand. It is powerful and invaluable in this moment of US history.
The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase
I wasn’t sure about this one at first. I thought that this was going to be yet another Ruth Ware-type book, which I tend to strongly dislike. But about 1/3 of the way through, I found myself enraptured. This novel is told from multiple perspectives and with multiple timelines, the present and the summer of 1971. Something awful happened that summer, something that’s the source of family secrets. But no one is really telling Sylvie, the woman who all of the secrets revolve around. This novel is atmospheric and broody, probably rated R. I do wish it was a tiny bit more gothic, but I enjoyed visiting this manor in the woods.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
This was an excellent collection of essays by the author. She grew up in the midwest within a perfectly average family, yet she’s confronted racism throughout her entire life. These essays describe memories from her childhood, how she found her faith, and the challenges she confronts in the workplace. Peppered throughout is almost a survival guide for the professional world. It’s framed for people of color to maintain their dignity, but there are plenty of nuggets for white people to ensure fairness and equality in the workplace. Also – it’s narrated by the author, which I love while listening to nonfiction!
Stitching This Week
I finished a Jubilee hat (Ravelry link) for Bug. I used leftover Cascade 220 from my Spark cardigan and did a rounded top for him (as opposed to the pointed top that I did for Birdie last week). The pattern is much more visible in this solid yarn than Birdie’s was in the variegated yarn — it’s so plush and lovely. I’m planning to start another for Bear soon.
I’m still working on my Scrappy Crossroads Quilt. I finished quilting diagonally in one direction and I’ve flipped it around and am now working on the opposite diagonal. I can’t tell you how happy I am to know that I’m making progress on this quilt. I started the piecing in March 2015 and I sunk a lot of money and time into this… I’ll be so happy to have a finished quilt – it’s been over two years!
This hexies quilt is probably the project that has been lingering in my life the longest and I’ve made progress on it, too! All of the fabric is from the Scrumptious line by Bonnie and Camille (my favorite fabric designers!). I started cutting for it in January 2014 and it’s been my go-to project for handsewing since then. (Not that I’ve done a ton of handsewing in the last 6 years, clearly.) I’ve finished sewing on all of the flower units and now I need to fill in the edges with more white hexies. Once I finish with that, I’m going to see if I have enough aqua hexies prepared for a border.
I’ve been spending a lot of time organizing fabric this week. I watched this video by Lori Holt about organizing scraps and it’s inspired me. When I moved all of my sewing things down to the basement a couple of years ago, I unceremoniously dumped everything into giant totes that I haven’t had the courage to deal with. So I’m doing this in true Marie Kondo fashion – I’m looking at each piece of fabric and asking myself:
Does it spark joy?
No – it does not spark joy.
Is it a fat quarter or more? Donation bag.
Less than a fat quarter? Trash
Yes – it sparks joy!
Less than a fat quarter? Cut into strips as described in Lori’s video linked above.
Fat quarter to a yard? Put in a color coordinated basket.
A yard or more? Fold on comic books boards, similar to what’s described in this video.
Luckily I don’t have a massive stash like many quilters, but it’s still going to take quite a bit of time. I’m trying to break it down and work on it at least a half hour a day. Audiobooks have been a lovely companion for this activity!
Last Friday I briefly discussed my basement conundrum – how I’m trying to figure out how to work around the display cases along the two longest walls. I hope to be back tomorrow with pictures and a more detailed description of what’s going on down there! Until then, happy reading and stitching!