Hello friends – welcome to Wednesday. Today I’m joining up with Kat at As Kat Knits to share my knitting and reading this week. I’m having an uptick in both activities, which is a welcome change in my life!
I finished a pair of socks last week, knit up in KnitPicks Stroll in Tonal Conch. The pattern is DRK Everyday Socks (Ravelry link), which I adore. That 2×2 ribbing really helps keep the socks snug to your feet. It makes quite a difference!
I’m working on a pair of SOHCAHTOA (Ravelry link) socks, created by Sarah at PAKnitWit. This clever design makes it possible to use the same heel turn whether you’re knitting toe up or top down. I chose to turn the heel in garter stitch so that I didn’t need to worry about picking up the wraps. I’m very excited to knit this sock’s partner top down!
And this is my progress on my Ramble shawl (Ravelry link), which I cast on for last week. It is being knit up in Capra DK from KnitPicks and is so soft and lovely. You can see the little bauble of stitches right in the center there – that’s where half the stitches came off the needle after the kitten got her paw stuck in my cord! I am very lucky that it’s no worse. I have about 10 more repeats of the stripe pattern left before I start the brioche section. I’m looking forward to the herringbone taking shape (which look like petals to me!).
ON MY BOOKSHELVES:
One of our read alouds for the last couple of months (!!) has been the first Harry Potter. I’ve tried reading this a couple of times with my 8 year old, but his attention span hasn’t quite been ready until now. Of course, we’re dedicated Harry Potter viewers in this house so he’s seen the movies before, but I’m so happy he’s finally experienced the book. He loved it and we’re on to the second. I’ll catch you up on our progress again in another couple of months, ha!
I finished The Read Aloud Handbook, but admit that I skimmed the second half which contained all of the book lists. I did write a few down! This was an encouraging book on a lot of different levels. I’ve strengthened my resolve to continue reading aloud as long as anyone will let me. And it’s also given me a renewed hope for reining in their intake of technology – television, ipad, and that blasted YouTube. I have a new plan for replacing those activities that we started implementing this weekend. Everyone is relatively happy so far!
The Blue Castle was just lovely. Valancy Stirling is a 29 year old “old maid” with an overbearing and cruel family. She visits her doctor and receives a letter from him saying that she has a lethal heart condition and shouldn’t expect to live much longer. It’s in that moment that she realizes she hasn’t really lived at all. So she strikes out on her own despite the horror of her family and makes her own life. It is a sweet little romance with a very happy ending, which is exactly what we all need right now. Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me to pick this up over the last few years. I can’t believe it took me this long! (And the Kindle price is $.29 today!!)
Several of my blogging friends are aiming to become Maggie O’Farrell completists and I’ve only read one book by her: Hamnet, which I loved. So I decided to try something from her backlist and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox was immediately available on Libby. I listened on audio and found it a bit confusing because of how quickly the timeline changed throughout, but I was able to follow along more easily once I knew what to expect and allowed myself to go with the flow. I thought it was a 3 star book until about the last quarter, where it gained an extra star thanks to the complexity of the family story, the pain of family secrets, and the agony of long-ago decisions that we simply can’t take back. I’m looking forward to exploring more of O’Farrell’s backlist.
I was anxiously awaiting yesterday’s announcement from The Women’s Prize: the long list for 2022. There are so many exciting books listed and my library card is at the ready! Every year I set out to read the entire long list and then completely fizzle, but I miraculously managed to read the short list last year. We’ll see how much I can do in 2022!
I’ve taken a page from Mary’s book and created a Goodreads shelf for the 2022 Women’s Prize. I also have a shelf for the 2022 Aspen Voices short list, which I’m making my way through. I’m planning create one for the International Booker Prize when it’s announced tomorrow and will share the link here next week. Are we friends on Goodreads? If not, I’d love to connect with you. Here’s the link to my profile.
I’m still having a hard time concluding posts without acknowledging the horror in Ukraine. I continue to be astounded by the bravery of the Ukrainian people in the face of such a senseless act of violence. It makes absolutely no sense and is completely barbaric. I’m heartened by witnessing the way seemingly billions of people around the world can finally agree on something and so many people have done what they can to help. There’s no easy fix to this. Even when the invaders are finally pushed out of Ukraine, there’s going to be so much work to put it back together. I am heartbroken over such destruction.
I don’t want to leave on that note, so I’ll just say that my favorite charity continues to be World Central Kitchen. Here’s the update on their effort to help Ukraine. The last I heard, Chef José Andres was IN Ukraine, delivering flour to bakeries that were making fresh bread for the soldiers and citizens who remain in the country. There are countless organizations serving all sorts of niche populations doing great work. If you feel desperate to do something, please know that even a few dollars will go much further than you think it will. Here’s a list of agencies that have been vetted by CNN. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see the array of organizations that receive their donations. If you’d like to donate directly to a specific agency, you can visit their website and give there.
I hope to be back on Friday with some sort of update. Until then, let’s find ways to take care of ourselves. Tea is a good place to start! Stay safe and cozy.