Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Unraveled, Week 51/2021

It's the penultimate Wednesday of the year, and I am sorry to say that as a result of trying not to bring too much yarn on vacation, the knitting I am sharing will not be very exciting for the remainder of the year, so I hope you don't mind! As per usual, I'm joining up with Kat and the Unravelers this week.

Over the past couple of days, I've mainly been focused on my May(be) Queen. I said in an earlier post that this sweater is perhaps the most complicated I've ever knit, or at least that I could remember knitting, but it definitely seems less so as I've actually sat down to knit. The pattern starts at the neck with a few rounds of twisted ribbing and then moves into some short rows to lift the back of the neck. That adds a little bit of trickiness in working the ribbing from both sides, but it's not a huge deal. Where it gets complicated is the raglan shaping, and that's because the shaping occurs at different rates for the sleeves, front, and back. The pattern has a full-page chart to tell you what to do on every single round of the yoke before the body/sleeve separation. Showing you this page isn't giving away the secret sauce of the pattern, I think, because there are no numbers or definitions for all these abbreviations. But I think you'll get a sense of what I mean -- and see why I am glad to be knitting the smallest size!

As you can see, I'm about halfway through, and I do feel like I've gotten the hang of what to do where by this point, which means it's a little faster even if the rounds are getting longer. And it's starting to look more like a sweater now:


Back (notice the longer ribbing from the short rows)

At some point I'll reach a point where I can actually try it on to take photos, but I was lazy this morning and employed the chair!

Reading was a little slower in the past week, first due to being busy at work and then due to getting ready for the trip, but I've managed to finish three books.

The Guide is Peter Heller's most recent book, and while it's not exactly a sequel to The River, it does feature the same main character and references the earlier book (and it also contains a major spoiler for The River, so if that's something that matters to you, you'll want to read the earlier book first). I think I read this book in less than 24 hours in total, starting it one day and finishing it the next. It's less than 300 pages in length but is also extremely propulsive. I know some people have described this as a pandemic book, but it's not really; there are references to viruses and face masks, but those are only passing references. There is something creepy going on at the remote lodge where Jack has just started working as a fishing guide, and I was on the edge of my seat to find out what it was and how it would resolve. I gave it 4 stars.

On Sunday, I finished listening to The Leavenworth Case via Craftlit. It took me a good four months to finish because I was listening as the episodes came out, but I wasn't in rush. I'd never heard of this book before, but apparently it's seen as an influence to Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. I really enjoyed listening to it and getting Heather's insights. It's definitely an intriguing book given that it was written by a woman in the 1800s and is convincing as far as a crime novel is concerned. I gave it 3 stars.

Finally, I sat down on Monday afternoon to finish A Gentleman in Moscow. I know this book is familiar to and loved by many of you, and it had long been on my TBR list. When I finally decided to start it, I was expecting to love it right away but found that even 100 pages in, I was waiting for something to happen. I think Mary probably got a little tired of me asking whether or not there was a plot, because it definitely seemed to me like just a series of vignettes about the main character and how he spent his days in a Moscow hotel, but she assured me that there was a plot and that things would really pick up in the last quarter or so of the book. And she was right -- when I got to the last part of the book, I could see how everything that preceded it was setting the stage. I can't say I loved this book, but I very much enjoyed it. I gave it 4 stars.

I've now got two books in progress: Love Medicine, which I am reading on paper for the start of the Erdrich-along, and Pardonable Lies, the third book in the Maisie Dobbs series, which I am listening to on audio on my long walks. My mother also finished State of Terror last night and will be passing it off to me, so I expect I'll be adding it to the mix soon.

What are you working on and reading this week?


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading The Guide, thanks for your excellent review. And I agree that your sweater is definitely looking like a sweater and I really like how it's progressing.

  2. oh that sweater is VERY COOL! I actually wove in all the ends and blocked my Shifty today ... and cast on something new. It's supposed to be 70 degrees here on Saturday and I think Shifty will be perfect (in spite of its FALL colors). I finished the latest Maisie this morning and loved it ... Winspear is a genius for keeping Maisie GOOD for all these years!

  3. That sweater has such an interesting construction and putting it on the chair was a great idea. I have enjoyed listening all of the Maisie Dobbs books. I listened to The Leavenworth Case also. Heather does such a great job with her commentary. That said, I found it a little tedious in the middle.

  4. That sweater is so cool! And I love your yarn choice!!

    I just started State of Terror and it certainly pulls you in from the start!