Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Unraveled, Week 15/2021

Wednesday again, eh? This month seems to be going by at a pretty fast clip. As per usual, I am joining Kat and the Unravelers to chat about knitting and reading this Wednesday.

I am still working on my Aldous, though I'm in that long straight section of the body that can get a little monotonous, hence the little break to knit the two hats I shared yesterday. I tried it on yesterday afternoon to do a check-in on the fit and all is still well (Rainbow is the photographer of this shot, if you're wondering why the angle seems a little odd -- she's growing but is still significantly shorter than I am!):

I measured the body last night before packing it up, and I'm at 7.5 inches under the underarm, so that means three more inches to knit before I get to the next exciting part.

Even though I know I should really focus on this sweater if I want to get it done soon, I worked on another diversion yesterday:

This sweet little fellow is Jabby the Friendly Syringe from Mochimochi Land. The original is obviously much cuter than mine; I think I executed the knitting part okay, but my face embroidery needs a little work (why do my faces always seem to come out looking angry?). It was a quick if fiddly project using tiny scraps from my big bag. The pattern is very easy to follow, but there are a lot of ends to deal with and knitting with a small number of stitches on DPNs isn't my favorite. I had pulled out a set of Clover DPNs that I'd gotten from a friend when he was destashing and managed to lose two of them. One just split on its own as I was knitting, and another I accidentally snapped in two when I sat on it by mistake. Luckily the original set had six DPNs in the package, so I still have a usable set should I want to use them! The project only took a couple of hours, including all the finishing, so now I have a little mascot to take with me for my second shot on Saturday. If you're thinking ahead to the holidays, I think Jabby would make an excellent Christmas ornament to remember a good part of 2021!

Reading has been really excellent this past week. I have finished three good books.


I think I may be the last person to read Summerwater among the group of my blog friends, but my library had only one copy of it and I had a bit of a wait. It was worth it, though -- as promised, it was an expertly written and absorbing read. I would have liked to have been able to sit down and read it in one go, but work wasn't cooperating. It was still a quick read, and I'm definitely interested in reading more of Sarah Moss's books now. I gave it 4 stars.

The Death of Vivek Oji has been talked about quite a bit in my Sunday Zoom group, and it was also on the Aspen Prize long list (I've read everything on the short list, so apparently I'm now working my way backwards!). It's a beautiful book. You know from the outset that the title character is dead, but the narrative moves back and forth in time and between characters to tell the story of how they got to that death. It's set in Nigeria, a country and culture I don't know much about, but all the same it felt relevant to me. It's also a relatively short novel, so one that can be read in a short amount of time -- though I recommend taking your time with it to fully appreciate it. I gave it 4 stars as well.

My final finish in the past week was a real surprise. I don't read a lot of science fiction (though I suppose you could call speculative fiction a subsection of the genre, and I've read my fair share of that). But Mary read Stories of Your Life, a collection of short stories, and raved about it so much that I had to give it a try, and I'm so glad I did. There are two stories in this collection that I could have done without, but the vast majority are fascinating and absorbing. Really, most of these stories could qualify as novellas -- they're not really short! My favorite was probably "The Story of Your Life," which felt incredibly familiar to me until I realized that it was the basis of the screenplay for the movie Arrival. Much of the more scientific content of these stories was completely over my head, but they made me really think hard about so many things, even after I was finished reading. I gave this collection (you guessed it!) 4 stars.

I am still reading The Giver (and Rainbow told me just before she left for school that they'll likely be reading a few more chapters in class today; so far I've been keeping up with her), and yesterday I started Writers & Lovers, which I've been keeping an eye on at the library and happen to catch with no wait. I'm hoping that today will be calm enough to let me finish it, because last night before bed I got a notification that my next hold, Aftershocks, is ready for me.

I'll be back tomorrow with more poetry, but in the meantime, I'd love to hear what you're knitting and reading this week!


  1. Your sweater looks great, and it's nice to see a Jabby in real life! He looks so cute in the photos, but I'm not sure I'll knit him (fiddly is not my type of knitting). I need to put Vivek on hold. I'm knitting my Nervous Breakdown and reading Woodswoman and Shuggie Bain (two very different but very good books).

  2. I am also reading Writers and Lovers - I started it some time ago and I cannot remember why I put it down. That little Jabby is very fun.

  3. What spectacular reading you have been doing! I just started a new book - The Cold Millions and so far, so good! (I love how your sweater is looking!)

  4. I agree that this month is flying by! Your Aldous looks great - I love that color on you! And you're not the last to read Summerwater - I'm still on the waitlist for it!! 8 more weeks... And thanks for the recommendation for the Death of Vivek Oji - I'm getting on the list!!

    I love Jabby! How fun :)

  5. You're making quick progress on your sweater, Sarah (or at least it seems so for me, at my distant vantage point). I'm also working on a sweater, and I'm just about to an "exciting part!" Jabby is adorable and worth the fuss. :-)

  6. Your sweater is looking great! and I'm so glad you enjoyed Ted Chiang (I still haven't seen Arrival - do you think I should try to watch it?)

  7. The sweater is coming along. I do like the color on you. Jabby looks like a great mascot. Your reading is inspiring. So many good books.

  8. The colour looks great on you, and the fit is really good, too! (I haven't tried sattle shoulders yet, to be honest, I don't know if it would look good on me).

    I really love the Christmas ornament - much better than the virus amigurumi! ;)