Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Unraveled, Week 7/2021

A frosty good morning to you! I am posting a little later than usual today because I lucked into a last-minute dentist appointment first thing this morning. The last time I had a cleaning was sometime in fall 2019 (I was due for my next one just when things shut down last March), and the soonest I was able to schedule was May, but they told me they'd call if they had an earlier cancellation and it worked out perfectly! Everything looked good and it was easy to get in and out, but it also meant I was a bit rushed this morning (how easily I have settled into the more relaxed routine of working from home!).

It's Wednesday, so it's time to check in with Kat and the Unravelers on my knitting and reading.

Now that the crochet blanket is done, I've turned to my next WIP, and that happens to be Rainbow's Little Boxy (Ravelry link) sweater. Because I've been focusing on it, I now have about 7.5 inches of body done, and I think I need to get to 13 inches before I separate for the front and back.

The yarn I'm using for this is hand dyed (it's from Ex Libris Fibers) and I think you can tell that one of the two skeins I'm using right now is lighter than the other, so naturally I am alternating skein. There's a third skein in my project bag, and I'll work in all three at some point so that the colors are evenly distributed.

Reading the past week has been mostly good. I finished three books.

While I was between library holds, I decided to read something that was already in my Kindle account. Opium and Absinthe was an Amazon First Reads freebie from sometime last year, and it sounded like it would be right up my alley -- historical fiction with a female main character trying to solve a mystery. Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment. The author spent too much time describing the setting in an effort to make it convincing but didn't take the same care with her characters; they sounded like they were from the 21st century and doing an Gilded Age cosplay. I gave the book 2 stars, but really only because the author managed to do a decent job of keeping the ending a surprise.

If you've been a parent or caretaker to a small child at some point in your life, then you'll likely easily recognize the title of this biography, In the Great Green Room, as the opening lines of its subject's most favorite work. I knew nothing about the life of Margaret Wise Brown, but it turns out that she had a truly fascinating life! She was born in 1910 and died tragically early in 1952, but in her short life she was amazingly prolific as a writer and editor of children's literature -- and her personal life was as colorful as her professional life. My appreciation for her work has grown now that I know more about her (for instance, that Goodnight, Moon was heavily influenced by the style of Gertrude Stein!). I got this as an audiobook from the library, and it kept me company on my walks for several days. I gave it 4 stars.

Speaking of stars, my most recent finish, just yesterday afternoon, is Emma Donoghue's The Pull of the Stars. This book is set in Ireland during the 1918 flu pandemic, but the pandemic itself is almost secondary here. The book is set over a few days and follows nurse Julia Power as she cares for a small group of patients in the hospital who are in the Maternity/Fever ward (that is, they are maternity patients also suffering from the potentially deadly flu). The virus has left the hospital so short-staffed that Julia is left to care for her patients virtually single-handedly, and these few days are filled with life and death and everything in between. I truly loved this book. It's a fairly quick read (less than 300 pages and very fast moving), but it's beautifully written and so moving. 5 stars for this one!

I've got about three weeks until my next library hold comes up (maybe less), so today I get to look at what books I already have and decide what to read next. I hope you're keeping warm and that your knitting and reading are keeping you good company!


  1. Pretty knitting - I really like the color of Rainbow's Boxy. Sorry about Opium & Absinth - the title is so good!! but Thanks for the reminder of The Pull of the Stars (I had that on a list somewhere...) and the Great Green Room looks interesting too. Also thanks for the dentist reminder...I need to schedule a cleaning too - I usually go 3 times a year for cleanings and it has been a little over a year now...time to suck it up and go!

  2. Rainbow's Little Boxy reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream! I'm quite disappointed that none of my libraries have any copies of In the Great Green Room. We were enthralled by Goodnight, Moon, Runaway Bunny, and The Little Fur Family, so I would really love to find our more about Margaret Wise Brown. (I just might buy it!)

  3. Rainbow is going to love that Boxy sweater and the colors will be perfect for Spring...March is just around the corner. I too had a dentist app. last March and then the shut down. I have yet to reschedule, I admit I would rather see a gynecologist than a dentist. Im going to have to bite the bullet soon and get into the dentist office
    just wish they wouldn't always tell me 'something needs to be fixed.'

  4. Oh, that book! Isn't it funny how certain books spark memories. A few years ago we spent spring break in San Antonio, now one of our favorite places, and I read Great Green Room there. I remember sprawling on a delightful four-poster bed at the end of long touristy days, reveling in her fascinating life story! (Beautiful color in that sweater...speaking of greens!)

  5. I really enjoyed The Pull of the Stars, so I'm glad you liked it, too. :-) Love the Little Boxy. I bet your daughter will just love it! XO

  6. I enjoyed the The Pull of the Stars also. Rainbow will look darling in that little Boxy. Green for Spring?! I think I read another biography of MWBrown but I can't remember for sure. I'd like to read or listen to the one you list.

  7. yay for clean teeth and (mostly) lots of good books!! I can't wait to see what you decide to read next.

    That sweater is so lovely! Those greens are beautiful :)

    (Can you believe that I've never read Goodnight, Moon?)

  8. Rainbow's boxy is moving right along! I am off to find The Great Green Room and The Pull of the Stars! Thank you!

  9. I do love your Wednesday posts ... and my library app says my queue is full. 15 books is all we're allowed. The Great Green Room is available. would my bookclub love it? I think Pull of the Stars looks more promising ... and ... sigh ... (did you read Susan Meissner's As Bright as Heaven? how did it compare?)