Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Unraveled, Week 16/2021

Wednesday again! It feels like it's been a very long week, even though we're not officially halfway through. Obviously work has kept me very busy, and then there was the verdict yesterday, which had me in knots until it will announced. I'm still feeling the tension, however, because tomorrow I have to go back for a follow-up mammogram after some "nodules" were found on my previous scan. I've been assured that I shouldn't worry too much and that this is not uncommon, but try telling a naturally anxious person not to worry and see how well that goes!

In any case, it is Wednesday, despite the fact that it's snowing right now and feels more like February than late April. As per usually, I'm linking up today with Kat and the Unravelers to talk about knitting and reading.

Last night, because I was feeling so wrung out by work stress and verdict anxiety, I decided not to pick up the first sleeve of my Aldous and instead finished up this brioche cowl for the charity pile. It's nothing terribly exciting, but it used all but 6 grams of the yarn leftover from the two charity hats that I just knit (the yarn is Fibernymph Dye Works Cozy, a worsted weight superwash merino).

I had a little more of the blue colorway than the yellow/green, so I did a few rounds of 1x1 rib at the top and bottom in just the blue (which you can see better on the inside). I don't remember how many stitches I cast on for this -- I just cast on until it more or less filled my 16 in. circular needle and then made sure I had an even number -- but I did plain-old two-color brioche until I didn't have enough of the yellow/green to work another round and then finished off with the blue. I ended up using 42 grams of each color or about 185 yards in total. It feels really good to have used up just about every last bit of those two skeins of yarn.

Very little reading has been happening this week, but I did quite a bit since last Wednesday that was excellent.

I'd had Writers & Lovers tagged "to read" on my Libby app since hearing it recommended on the What Should I Read Next? podcast, and when I was ready for a new book and saw it had no wait, I thought I'd give it a try. This book grabbed me and pulled me in from the first chapter. I can't put my finger on exactly why this book had such a hold on me, but it felt familiar and comfortable and I just could not put it down. I suppose I identified with the main character -- a woman in her early 30s struggling with the recent death of her mother, the writing of her first novel, her love life, and trying to work off huge student debt -- despite the fact we seem to have nothing in common besides our gender, but I felt so at ease in her thoughts. I gave this book 5 stars and highly recommend it.

Nadia Owusu's debut memoir Aftershocks was another phenomenal read that I couldn't put down. The daughter of a Ghanaian father and an Armenian American mother, Owusu beautifully and lyrically writes about her parents' split, her mother's abandonment of her, her complicated relationship with her stepmother, her struggles with mental illness, the death of her father (who she saw as the one stable constant in her life), and her ongoing difficulty in understanding her identity and a search for her home. This isn't an easy read, but it is extremely well done. I certainly hope that we hear more from Owusu, as it's clear that she is an extremely talented voice. I gave it 5 stars.

Finally, I rounded out my week with a volume of poetry. I've recently started listening to the Novel Pairings podcast (following Mary's recommendation) and listening back from the beginning. One of the earlier episodes was about poetry, and one of the hosts mentioned a new-to-me poet, Carol Ann Duffy, and specifically this collection of her poems, The World's Wife. I couldn't find it from the library so ended up buying a Kindle copy, and I'm delighted I did. All the poems in this collection are told from the point of view of women in myth and history. Some are sad, some are saucy, some are laugh-out-loud funny. It's a quick read (I started reading one night at bedtime and finished the next morning) and one I'm sure to go back to. I gave it 4 stars.

I am still reading The Giver, which I really could finish in an afternoon if I wanted to, but I have chosen to read it at the same pace as Rainbow so I don't inadvertently spoil anything, and on Monday I started reading The God of Small Things, though with my work schedule this week I haven't gotten very far. I hope to spend some time getting lost in it toward the end of the week.

How are your knitting and reading going this week? I hope you have more time for both than I have so far!

See you back here tomorrow for some more poetry!


  1. Sorry about the mammo issue - been there, done that. Always unsettling to have to go back...I'm always nervous since both my Mom and my Grandfather (yes - Grandfather) had breast cancer. Wishing you well with your further look-see. Your charity cowl is so pretty!

  2. I admire your ability to do that two-color brioche cowl without a pattern. It looks like it will be nice and warm. I've just put Writers & Lovers on hold and I hope it's available sooner than Overdrive has told me. I hope to read some of Carol Ann Duffy's poetry soon (maybe even tomorrow!) and I hope you soon have more time for reading and knitting.

    1. I'm also sending you the very best repeat mammogram thoughts.

  3. Sending good mammo thoughts! and delighted to read that you enjoyed Writes & Lovers AND Aftershocks ... and are enjoying Novel Pairings (given the mythology references in that poetry collection, I'm guess Sara recommended it).

  4. Good luck with your follow-up, I've been there, too, and it's always a bit concerning... fingers crossed for you!! I love your little brioche cowl!

  5. Sarah, I'm sending you all the positive energy that I possibly can and am hoping for a clean result on your mammogram. With everything else going on - your roof, the Chauvin verdict, busy at work, and of course, Covid - this is totally not the time for the added worry and stress!!

    Your cowl is gorgeous. I can't believe you're willing to give it away! But it will keep someone nice and toasty next winter, so brava to you.

    Writers & Lovers is on my TBR. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it so much and can't wait to get to it myself!!

    Keep breathing tonight!

  6. I am impressed that a brioche cowl is your auto-pilot knitting. It looks warm and someone will be glad to have it. I have also had a callback or two on mammograms. I am also a worrier. Take good care of yourself.

  7. Sending all the relaxing juju your way, Sarah. XOXO Your cowl is so lovely -- it will be such a squishy, warm treat for someone next winter.

  8. Sarah, I'm thinking of you. I can appreciate what being called back for a mammo can do to your nervous system. I was SO confident that my first one would be normal that I didn't even open the follow-up letter til the end of the day when it arrived in the mail! Sure enough, I had to go back...3 times, and have a biopsy. ALL WAS NORMAL--but because it was my first mammo, they needed an accurate baseline. They were being very thorough, which is good. Come to find out, MY NORMAL is a goofy normal. Sigh. I wish I'd known that first mammograms OFTEN come back needing follow-ups. Why don't they tell us that? (I'm assuming this is your first since you just had a big birthday?) I will keep you in my thoughts. Love, Carolyn

  9. OMG, I'm so sorry and I hope the checkup went well!! I'm sending you lots and lots of love and hope that it was okay.

    The cowl is beautiful!! Definitely goes well with the hats! (And I really have to check out King's book!)

  10. I hope that all was well at your follow up mammo. I just hate getting that "can you come back for a few more images" call. It is the worst.