Knits & Purls

Ready-Aim-Fire: An Unraveled Post

I'm happily knitting away on my "arrows" project . . . 

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After a summer of knitting that included lace and mosaic and beads and all the attention and counting that kind of knitting entails, I'm just thrilled to be working on a projet that is free-form and open-ended and not restricted in any way at all.  (It's kind of like knitting dishcloths, but with much nicer yarn.)

I love just being able to follow a basic recipe . . . while just riffing with color and texture.  This kind of project is very forgiving.  If I don't like what I see, I can just . . . end it.  Try something else.  Grab a different color instead.  Throw in a garter ridge or two.  And if I make a mistake of some sort?  Well, I can just work it into the project and no one will ever be the wiser.

I also like creating such a colorful, bold accessory for myself.  Because I love looking at the bright and the wild . . . but I don't really like wearing it.  Unless it's an accessory!  So perfect, non?

Finally, though, I have always love the symbolism of arrows.  Movement.  Direction.  Strength.  Grace.  Power.  Give me an arrow anytime!

So, basically . . . this is just what I need to knit right now.

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As for the reading, I've just started Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (one of my favorite authors) (this one was on the Man Booker long list).  Over the weekend, I finished Autumn by Ali Smith (another of my favorite authors) (this one made the Man Booker short list).  I loved Autumn, although I'll readily admit that it won't be to many readers' tastes (so be warned if you like your books strong on plot with few holes by the end of the book) (just sayin').

How about you?  What are you knitting and reading?

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This post is part of Kat's Unraveled Wednesdays.  To read more knitting and reading posts, click here.


Back in Business

After a summer of rather uninspired knitting, I picked up my needles again last weekend. . .

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and started making arrows!

For many reasons, this seems to be the Perfect Knit for me right now.  Mainly, it allows me to wander.  Following a basic recipe, I can just dabble.  And do what I want.  With any colors; any stitch patterns.

It's wonderful.

And freeing.

And meditative.

(I'm also considering sweater patterns and doing a bit of swatching.  More on that another day.)

As for reading . . . well.  I'm suffering slogging through another of my book group's selections - Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden.  I know many people who consider this a beloved novel, but it's just . . . not me.  (Too long, too dramatic, too predictable.)  It's particularly sloggish right now when there are so many great books (books that I am so excited to read) being released this month!   Oh, well.  Only 3 hours left to listen (thank goodness for 2X narration speed. . . ).

How about YOU?  What are you knitting and reading?

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Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled Wednesday.  Click here to read what other bloggers are knitting and reading.

 


Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things

(Click here for today's soundtrack -- and a throwback video.)

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Way back in June, I cast on for Kirsten Kapur's 2017 Mystery Shawl . . .

a shawl with no name

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Knitting just hasn't been much of a priority for me this summer. This was the only project I worked on all summer,* finally finishing about a month ago -- and blocking just this week.

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain

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I kind of love it!  And . . . just in time, too.  Because it is suddenly feeling very fall-ish here.

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In the desert you can remember your name
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain
La, la, la la la la, la la la, la la...

(Ravelry details here.)

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*  Except for that disaster-wedding-shawl.  But we're just going to let that one go.


Sometimes Mondays

Oh, man.  Sometimes Mondays look like . . . 

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letting go.

You can convince yourself that . . . it's just the laceweight.  (Because things always look wonky with laceweight.

But then it becomes all too obvious on the last row.  (That satisfying last row, y'know . . .  that really pulls everything together.)  
That there is Something Very Wrong.
Something you really should have caught (and done something about) 8 or 10 rows ago.

Because half-way through the final row, you can see that . . . everything is not pulling together anymore.

You apparently lost the plot.  Right there in the middle of a row.  8 or 10 rows back.
(Turns out it wasn't the laceweight.)

And so. . . it is not to be.
Not now.  Probably not ever.
Because you don't have the time.  
Or the energy.  
Or the mindset.  
To fix this.

I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

But I'm not going to find it now.

Sometimes Mondays . . . show you that letting go is the only way.
(And it's going to be just fine.)


No Regrets

I said I wasn't going to, but I did.

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Last Friday afternoon, I drove over to check out the Michigan Fiber Festival.

My strategy lately . . .  is to go on Friday afternoon.  The vendors are set up and ready, but the Fiber Festival isn't officially open.  (The workshops and competitive events are going on, though.)  It's perfect for me . . . no crowds, first pick of the yarn, nice time to chat with unhurried vendors, parking is a breeze, and you don't have to pay the entrance fee.  (The downside?  I miss the excitement of being with so many other knitters.  Plus ... the animals are just coming in and getting settled, so seeing them is not an option.)

I haven't been terribly inspired about my knitting lately, so I almost didn't go.  And god knows I don't need any yarn. . . 

But.

I bought yarn.  

I found some really lovely yarn that I am inspired to knit with.  So Win-Win!  (Just need to finish that beaded shawl for Erin first.)  

What I like best about going to the Fiber Festival is finding yarn-dyers and spinners that I'd never hear about otherwise.  This year, I found a spinner/dyer from Cincinnati who works with very unconventional fiber bases and creates absolutely beautiful color combinations.  (I nearly had a serious "falling down" in that booth.  I wanted every skein I touched -- and that doesn't happen much to me anymore.)  And another from Ohio that puts interesting and unexpected "bits" in her yarn (also some very unexpected color combinations).  I found a small Traverse City (Michigan) company that locally-sources every aspect of their yarn production:  local alpaca and sheep, local dyes, local everything.  Their colors are to die for -- and all inspired by Northern Michigan landmarks and Traverse City hot spots.  (Bought some of that, too.)  (I love their "farm-to-needles" approach.)

No pictures.  Sorry.  You'll just have to wait until I knit with it.

And knit with it I will!

I wasn't planning to go to the Fiber Festival this year . . . but I'm awfully glad I did.

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In eclipse news . . . we're busy putting together our old-school viewing boxes this morning.  And my dad scored a pair of official eclipse glasses.  Sadly, we probably won't be using any of our devices.  We're expecting heavy cloud-cover here . . . just around eclipse time.  Oh, well.  We can watch it live on the Internet here at the NASA live-coverage site.


No Time for Unraveling

My knitting has been very slow this summer.  A row here; a row there.  Some days, not even a stitch.

I finally finished this earlier this week . . . 

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That's Kirsten Kapur's Mystery Shawl 2017 -- in all its unblocked glory.  (I don't have a good place to block up north, and the well water is just kind of . . . well, smelly.  I will block when I get home.)  

And now, I'm working on this blob of lace weight . . .

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Because, really.  With less than 3 weeks until a wedding, shouldn't every mother-of-the-bride be working on a lace shawl with beads for her daughter?  (Like the title says, no time for unraveling.)

(If you hear maniacal laughter in the background, just smile and look away.)

Reading continues apace.  I may get a Bingo coverall after all, but it's hard to tell at this point.  Right now, I'm slogging through John Irving's Last Night in Twisted River (we'll just say . . . this one is NOT A Prayer for Owen Meany* - although it's every bit as long -  and leave it at that).  I've also just started Beartown (Fredrik Backman) -- which is, so far, everything you've already heard it is.  (Watch for a Bingo update post tomorrow for a more detailed look at my recent reading.)

How about you?  What are you knitting and reading today?

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Today's post is part of Kat's Unravled Wednesdays.  See what everyone else has to say here.

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* One of my top-5 favorite books Of All Time.


You Really Know How to Dance

(Set the tone . . . click here for today's soundtrack.)

Hey!  Uh huh huh!
Hey!  Uh huh huh!

What I like about you, you hold me tight. . .

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Tell me I'm the only one, wanna come over tonight
YEAH

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Keep whispering in my ear,
Tell me all the things that I wanna hear, cuz that's true
It's what I like about you!

So.  Yeah.  I finished something -- and I really liked knitting it.  It was the perfect mix for me . . . great design, fun yarn, stripes, and an oh-so-easy rhythmic pattern.

That's what I like about you!

(Ravelry details here.)


Unraveled . . . Tales of Stitching and Reading

These days, most of my "creative time" is spent out in the garden (and my fingernails really show it . . .), but I still try to find time to stitch every day.

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No unraveling this week.  (At least, not of the knitting or stitching variety.  In the garden, though?  I have a MAJOR unraveling going on, but I'll save that for another blog post.)  

The Colorwash Scarf continues to be a joy to knit, and it's growing quickly.  I'm hoping to be finished before Kirsten Kapur releases the first clue (June 15) for this year's Through the Loops Mystery Shawl -- but I'll have to knit quickly.  Because . . . 

See that sort of mustard-y green pile of fabric underneath?  Well.  That's my basic Alabama Chanin Factory Dress . . . and it's hogging most of my stitching time these days.

As for reading, in the ears I've got David Sedaris' newest book, Theft by Finding (audiobook-read-by-the-author, if you're following along with Summer Book Bingo).  In print, I'm reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (biography).  Earlier this week I finished The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (borrowed).  

How about YOU?  What are you reading and unraveling this week?

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Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled group.  Click here to see more posts about stitching and reading.
 

 


Love Don't Come Easy

Here's a little soundtrack for today's post.

You can't hurry love;
No you just have to wait.

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You've got to trust it, give it time;
No matter how long it takes.

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Love don't come easy;
it's a game of give and take!

So, yeah.  Sometimes projects drag on for months . . . maybe even for a whole year.  It sure feels good when you finish them, though.  

You just can't hurry love!

(Ravelry details here.)

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Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled group. Click here to see what everyone else is knitting and reading!


Unraveling . . .

Here's what I started knitting yesterday . . . 

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It's Kirsten Kapur's Colorwash Scarf from Wild Yarns, the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 3.  I've been planning this knit for weeks -- but wanted to finish a few other things before casting on.  I had planned to only knit with the "wild" yarn" (some lovely stuff I picked up at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago), but after I saw Vicki's finished Colorwash Scarf, I decided to throw in a contrast color.

(And hoo boy . . . so glad I did!  Because for the first several rows, I kept forgetting to pass the slipped stitch over.  If I'd been using just the one color, I would have had to unravel constantly.  With two colors, well . . . there is immediate accountability.)  (And I only had to unravel twice.)  (Full disclosure.)

Anyway.  This design hits all my knitting-buttons:  rhythmic pattern, fun color changes, and stripes.  Those three features can keep my interest for hours at a time!

As for reading . . . right now I've got The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill, borrowed through Overdrive, on my iPad.  (This title was on the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction long list this year.)  I've only just read the first 75 pages, so I'm guessing this will be my first Bingo square (although I haven't quite figured out which one yet. . . ).

Speaking of bingo, don't forget that Summer Book Bingo begins this Saturday, May 27.  Check out the sidebar on Mary's blog to learn more.  Grab your card and read along!

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I'm joining along with Kat's Unraveled group today.  See what everyone else is . . . unraveling . . . here.