Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Unraveled, Week 1/2022

Good morning, friends, and happy first Unraveled Wednesday of 2022! I have to admit that I started off the day feeling a bit unraveled myself, as we could not seem to get the internet to work (and that meant some minor panicking by Rainbow, who is online for school this week). But we have unplugged and rebooted, and -- fingers crossed -- everything seems to be working as it should now!

As in 2021, my plan is to blog every Wednesday this year and link up with Kat and the Unravelers. It's been very reassuring to always have this day once a week to check in with my making and my reading, so barring any unforeseen circumstances, this will continue to be a weekly practice here.

This week, as I expect will be the case for much of January, I am working on making progress on my WIPs. Before work got busy yesterday, I was spinning on my combo spin, and last night I added a few rounds to my May(be) Queen. I am already starting to think about what I'll cast on next after all these WIPs become FOs, though, and it occurred to me that I never shared all the mini skeins from my Fibernymph Dye Works holiday minis set -- so here you go!

I'd originally thought about doing a big shawl/wrap with my minis, but then I realized that the pattern I was thinking of required about twice as much as I had, so that plan was scrapped. Now I am thinking about using most of these minis in a Recalibrate, perhaps with a coordinating neutral. There are a couple of minis in this group that I don't think really go with the rest (the fourth from the left and second from the right), but the ten that remain give me 800 yards of yarn, and that's quite enough for the size I'd probably make and more than enough if I use some additional contrast yarn.

Reading this past week has been a mixed bag.

My last finished book of 2021 was Libertie, which I listened to on audio while going on my extra-long walks in Florida. At first I thought that maybe I was missing things because I was listening with my ears or because I was listening at a fast speed (1.5x), but others have since commented that they had a similar opinion. I found myself frequently confused about what was going on and couldn't really find a point to the book. The description had made it sound like a book I'd really enjoy, but in addition to the difficulties already mentioned, I was often annoyed with the main character and her mother and couldn't understand why their relationship was so fraught. I gave it 2 stars.

Fortunately, my first finish of 2022 was much better. Several of you had already raved about Still Life, and after a long wait for it from the library, I finally got it in the last days of the year. And I loved it. It opens toward the end of WWII, when a young British soldier, Ulysses Temper, meets a middle-aged art historian, Evelyn Skinner, outside Florence and they both are present when a priceless piece of Renaissance artwork is discovered in the cellar of a building recently abandoned by the Germans. What follows is the story of these two and a handful of other wonderfully written characters over the decades and how their lives revolve around their love for each other, their love for Italy (and Florence specifically), and their love for things like art and food that make life more vibrant. My only criticism of this book is that the dialogue doesn't use quotation marks at all, making it occasionally a bit difficult to know whether something is being spoken, thought about, or just described, but the writing is otherwise gorgeous and I adjusted. I gave it 5 stars.

I still need to start something to read with my eyes, but yesterday I started listening to Eloquent Rage, and I suspect it's one I'm going to need to read again with my eyes so that I can highlight and make notes.

What are you making and reading this week? Have you set a reading goal for this year? (I decided on an even 100 books.)


  1. I also look forward to Wednesdays and am quite often inspired by others' knitting and reading. I started The Sentence but was having trouble getting into it, so I think I will read Still Life next. It sounds like the perfect book to listen to while I knit round and round on Musselburgh!

  2. Lovely little minis, Sarah! Can't wait to see what they become. As for your reading, I'm right there with you on both books. Loved Still Life (I don't ever get too hung up over punctuation - or lack thereof - in novels, so I didn't even notice), and found Libertie to be a disappointing muddle.

    I set a reading goal (the same every year) but ONLY because I like to see the progress bar on my Goodreads page. For me, it's never about the number of books I read. It's all about finding books I'm interested in reading - no matter the number.

  3. Count me as another one who enjoyes the Unraveled posts on Wednesdays so much. I have gotten such inspiration from others - both making and reading inspiration. Your minis are gorgeous! How about a cowl? I have a bunch of minis that I'm thinking of making into a "Land of Sweets" cowl by Helen Stewart.

  4. I'm almost half way through Still Life and I love it so much. I'm reading more slowly than I usually do and really enjoying it. I notice the lack of quotation marks but I have to say that doesn't really bother me. Your mini skeins are very cool!

  5. I often wonder why/how editors choose that style--the no quotes thing... In the book department, I'm still reading, and loving, Matrix. And still listening to the Burgess Boys because I've had lots of company on my walks, which is the only listening time I have! I've also been enjoying a book on mending, which I'll probably share in a post when I finish. It's inspiring me to finally address the holes in my favorite thrifted wool sweater :)
    And I love your minis!

  6. Those mini's are too cute! :)

    After reading your review re: Still Life... yes, I am nodding my head on the "quotes" issue. It slowed down the reading for me, but I am back on the wait list and hopefully will have the book back and reading it again soon because I very much felt like it is an incredible story!

  7. I also look forward to the Wednesday posts on knitting and reading. I tried to listen to Libertie and gave up. I found the narrator to be overly dramatic. The idea of the story has so much potential but it wasn't very well written (in my opinion.) I'm waiting on Still Life.

  8. Recalibrate looks like a good choice! I finished Matrix this morning - as a Catholic it clicked but I really could only give it three stars. The writing was beautiful but the story was meh to me. I'm heading into Love Medicine and finishing Oh William for another book group. And it seems like Still Life is a must! :-)

  9. What a gorgeous collection of minis! I gasped when I saw your header picture in my reader :) Glad you recovered from Libertie and enjoyed Still Life. I'm totally the minority on that one :p

  10. I managed to read 108 books last year (humble brag). Kinda doubt I will ever read that many again. I want to thank all the knitbloggers who are also readers; many of those books were praised by them.

    1. That's an amazing number! I really do appreciate all the recommendations, as so many books I've read and loved in the past few years have been recommended by others.

  11. I felt the same way about Libertie and wondered if it was just me. The story was such a dud and I was confused by all the hype it got. Still it SO much! Your Fibernymph yarns are so pretty!!