The Burning Question


I'll admit it.


I jumped on the Carbeth bandwagon.

(But not without a lot of measuring, calculating, thinking, and swatching.) 

The burning question remains, though:  Can an almost-59-year-old woman (who does not own a charming, plaid kilt by the way) pull off wearing a cropped pullover???

(Tune in next week to find out.)  (Because this sweater really does fly off the needles.)

Unraveling on a Wednesday

No actual unraveling around here this week . . . just lots of nitty-picky, fiddly knitting that I can't blog about because Gift.  (Tune in next week, and I'll show you.)

I did finish something I CAN show you, though . . . 


It's a very heavy cowl (free pattern courtesy of Churchmouse Yarn & Teas).  At first, I thought it was maybe too heavy for me to wear, but I gave it a spin yesterday while running errands.  It was perfectly comfortable and kept me warm on a very cold, snowy day.  

(You can find all the details here - on my Ravely page.)

Now, I'm looking forward to knitting my way through the Olympics.  I joined . . . 

Team rules schmules

(Because who needs rules when it comes to knitting?)  

I think I'll knit a sleeve.

How about you?  Are you planning to knit through the Olympics?

Cleansing the Palate

In high school, I was in French Club.  Each year, we had a big outing to a French restaurant down in Colorado.  We got really dressed up.  We could only speak en fran├žais.  We ate French cuisine ordered from French menus.  We always tried escargot.  It was a Big Deal.

I remember being so surprised, my first time at the French restaurant, when they brought out a citrus sorbet between the first and second courses.

To cleanse the palate, they said.  (In French, of course.)

Huh? I said.  (Also in French.)

Because, yeah.  Palate cleansers weren't A Thing in my casserole-eating family.

Let's just say . . . I've come a long way since then.  Not that I typically serve palate cleansers on a regular basis or anything.  But at least I know what they are now -- and the purpose they serve in preparing one for . . . the next course.


I guess you could say I'm knitting the equivalent of a palate cleanser right now.

I finished my sweater on Sunday (but haven't had a chance to weave in the ends or block it), and I'm not ready to jump in to another big project quite yet.  So I'm . . . cleansing my knitting palate . . . with a simple little project.  (This one.)  Quick.  Satisfying.  Different.  By the time I'm finished knitting it, maybe I should be ready for my next big project.

My reading is tending toward the palate cleansing as well, it seems.  Feeling rather weighed down by the books I was reading, I decided I needed a little break. . . and gobbled up the sixth book in Ann Cleeves' Shetland series, Thin Air.  It turned out to be just what I needed.

Sometimes a little palate cleanser really does the trick!


Determined to Finish

In knitting news . . . 


we have progress!

I took this photo sometime last weekend to check the length of that sleeve.  Since then, I finished that sleeve, and I'm well on my way with the next.

I'm determined!  I'm going to finish soon.  (Mostly because every time I try this sweater on, I just want to keep wearing it.  Very comfortable.  I think I'm going to love it.) (But also because I'm ready to knit something else.)

As far as reading goes, I just finished two duds that I really can't recommend.  So I'll just leave it right there.  (If you want more details, you can check out my Goodreads reviews.)  I've just started reading Reservoir 13, which is much more promising from the start, although reviews are mixed . . . so we'll see.

How about you?  What are you knitting and/or reading this week?


Be sure to hop on over to Kat's to read other Unraveled Wednesday posts.

Knitting as Meditation

Lately, when I wake up, I grab a cup of coffee and I sit down with my knitting.


I don't check my email.

I don't look at the news.

I don't even refer to my plan for the day.

Or my to-do list.

I just sit and knit.

(I do feed the dogs first, though.  Because that's how we roll here.)


I find that knitting in the morning is a perfect way to center myself and prepare for the day ahead.

Except when I'm knitting a complicated pattern (lace or tricky cables, for example, or anything involving a lot of counting), I find knitting to be a form of meditation.  The stitches on the needle are much like . . . rosary beads or mala beads . . . one after the other after the other.  Matched with my breathing.  Letting my mind quiet.  Calling for a peaceful heart.

(With the added bonus of watching a sweater emerge right under my fingertips.)

I am participating in Project Peace again this year, although I've decided not to cast on for the actual project this time.  Instead, I'm continuing with my current sweater project.  I am following along with the daily peace prompts -- but knitting my own project instead.  Someday I may knit the actual pattern for this year's Project Peace (I did purchase it) -- but not right now.

What AM I knitting?


This sweater.  I'm much further along now than I was when I took this photo outside.  But it shows the actual color of my yarn - and the texture - much better.  Now that I've divided out the sleeves, the knitting is going much quicker.


Maybe I'll have a new sweater before spring . . . 

Whatever the timing, I'm enjoying my morning knitting-as-meditation!


See what other knitters are up to today over at Kat's!

Unraveled . . . in a big way


By the time you read this post, I'll be headed off . . .to a 3-day Alabama Chanin workshop in Florence, Alabama with Vicki.  (Plus a bonus visit to Nashville.  Stay tuned!)

I haven't knit a stitch this week, but I have been stitching.  I've been working hard to try to wrap up an Alabama Chanin project to take with me.


And while it's ALMOST done . . . it's not actually done.  (I still need to sew on the snaps down the front.)  So I'm planning to cram it in my suitcase and maybe work on the finishing touches while I'm down there. 

What is it, you ask?

Why, it's a new pattern from Alabama Chanin . . . the car coat.

I have some bad photos to show you.  Photos I took myself.  In the bathroom.  After the sun went down.  In a black garment.  (Just so you won't have high expectations here.)


I wanted to use a contrast lining - sort of like the one in the pattern link (above).  In fact, I wanted to use JUST that contrast lining - from Alabama Chanin.  Until I found out it sells for $50/yard.  And I needed 3 yards.  So.  No.  I visited my local fabric store instead and found the herringbone knit you see above.  Only $9/yard!  A bit wild - and definitely not of the same quality as AC - but sort of fun.


While the design is a basic boxy jacket (with intense bat wing action), the actual sewing was a bit more demanding than other AC things I've made.  Partly because there is a collar and a facing, which just ramps everything up a notch -- but also because the sewing instructions are a bit . . . vague.  (Let's just say it's a good thing I've done a lot of collars and facings before.)

For this project, I did some of the stitching (seams; hem) by machine, and did the topstitching by hand. 


The verdict is . . . I like it!  I'm planning to pack it - along with the snaps and my sewing supplies - to finish it up in Alabama.  Maybe I'll even talk Vicki into helping me take better photos (that don't have my toilet in the background) (just sayin').

As for reading?  Who's got time for reading!?? 


Today's post is part of Unraveled Wednesdays.  To read more Unraveled posts, hop over to Kat's!




Only the Beginning


(And I'm not talking about NaBloPoMo, which does, indeed, begin today.)

I almost hate to even post this photo, but here we go . . . 


You see, I've only just gotten past the short row section of the neckline of this sweater.  Which means . . . I've got a whole lot more knitting to do here.  (In other words, you're going to get really sick really soon of seeing this sweater-in-progress.)

So we'll just move on to books.  

(But first, I do want to just mention that this is a really fabulous harvest-gold-y color of yarn -- Joyful from Briar Rose Fibers -- as lovely to knit with as it is to look at.)

Okay.  Back to books.

I'm still listening to The Weight of Ink, although way past the half-way point of this quite long book.  It's excellent, and I wish I could listen to it all day long.  I did take a bit of a break from it over the weekend to listen to Sebastian Barry's latest - Days Without End.  (Because Overdrive will Wait for No Reader!)  I really loved Days Without End.  In fact, I pretty much DID listen to it all day long.  In print, I'm still reading Lisette's List (which, although quite good, just can't hold a candle to either of the other two).  I must pick up my pace, though.  Because Overdrive.  And that Waiting-for-No-Reader thing.  Y'know?

How about YOU?  What are you reading?  And what are you raveling/unraveling these days?


Today's post is part of Unraveled Wednesdays.  See what other bloggers are talking about over at Kat's.  
(And welcome to NaBloPoMo.)

A Re-Raveling Tale

Several years ago, I knit a cardigan (this one) using Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.  It wasn't fancy.  Just a regular old throw-it-on kind of cardigan.  As in . . . throw-it-on over your pajamas when it's chilly in the house in the morning.  Or throw-it-on to go wander in the garden on a fall afternoon.  Or to walk the dogs.  You know.  That kind of cardigan.

But, while Shelter is a lovely yarn -- rustic, light, warm, comfortable -- it breaks easily.  And I had made the mistake of seaming with it.  When I went to throw-it-on last fall, I noticed several holes in the seams where the Shelter had just given out.


So I did what I often do with mending projects:  I folded it up and stuck it on a chair in my guest room.

To fix.


(And let's just say there was no throwing-this-on last year at all.)  

As the weather started turning cooler last week, I decided I didn't want to go another season without this cardigan.  I broke down and got out my mending-tools.


And set to work.


And in less than 30 minutes . . . 


we were back in business!

Let the throwing-it-on commence.


(And just in time.  Because it is suddenly cardigan season.)

As for what I'm reading?  In print, I have Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland (my latest book group selection, and - surprise - I'm really enjoying it).  In my ears, I have The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish . . . and it is excellent!  It's quite long (almost 600 pages/24 hours), but well worth the investment of time.


Today's post is part of Unraveled Wednesdays.  Head over to Kat's to see what everyone else has to say!

Unraveling on a Wednesday

Knitting continues to be kind of sporadic around here.  I mean . . . I knit a little nearly every day, but most days it's very little.  There are so many other things to do!  

I'm still busy out in the garden, for example.  Because the weather still allows it -- and there really is no frost in sight at this point.  So, hey!  Let's do some transplanting, huh?  And let's use those "bonus rocks" (from the re-built retaining wall) to create the garden border I've always wanted.  And while we're at it, let's get a head start on moving the garden path before winter!  (So full of ideas. . . )


(I suppose someday winter will just . . . arrive.  And catch me off guard.  But for now?  Dig in!)

All of that . . . prelude . . . should serve as a warning that I've got nothin' much to share with you in the unraveled department this week.  Just another shot of my slightly-longer arrows project.


As for reading, I just finished listening to Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo.  (The audio version is wonderful because the narrator's Nigerian accent just adds to the reading experience.)  I'd been waiting for that one on Overdrive for months and months, so I had to put my current Audible read - Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss - on temporary hold (because I can listen anytime. . . ).  I'm not sure I'll get back to it anytime soon, though, because I can see I'm next-in-line for another Overdrive audiobook!  (Deadlines always win.)

And then this arrived yesterday . . . 


When I first heard that a new Mary Oliver poetry anthology would be available this fall, I thought I'd put it on my Christmas wish list this year.  But then, as summer progressed, I decided I need Mary Oliver and I need her NOW.  So I pre-ordered.  It arrived yesterday and I am thrilled!

How about YOU?  What are you knitting working on and reading?


Check in with the rest of the "unravelers" over at Kat's!

Rain Delay

Late last night I finished the first of my arrow "wings."  Since it was already dark, I planned to take a photo this morning to use in today's post.

But.  Oh my goodness.  It finally RAINED here!  (First time in months.)

So, after a bit of a rain delay, here you go.


As for reading, this week I'm sticking with poetry . . . a bit of Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry to settle my soul.

How about you?  What are you stitching and reading this week?


Check out what other bloggers are knitting and reading over at Kat's.