Well, we've arrived at the final Wednesday in March -- can you believe we're almost a quarter of the way through this new year already? As per usual, I'm linking up with Kat and the Unravelers today to talk crafting and reading.
My May(be) Queen is continuing to grow at a surprising pace. I think I have about 30 rounds (give or take, considering they include short rows) of the body left to knit before I get to the ribbing at the bottom. I've decided that instead of the called-for split hem at the bottom, I'm going to keep working in the round and take advantage of the short rows for a high-low hem at the bottom.
I'm still using the two original skeins of yarn, and I'm waiting to see if I'll get the entire body out of them or if I'll have to join a third skein. (One of them is smaller than the other because I didn't alternate skeins on the collar or for the original short-row shaping that raised the back of the neck; I thought that section was complicated enough without having to wrangle multiple strands on top of it.)
Although I thought I'd make quick work of Rainbow's socks on this trip, I've really only been working on them when we've gone out for dinner. Last night we went out with some friends of my parents' and sat outside in a garden patio area that was really lovely. I only knit on the first sock a little, but I've started the toe, so it should be finished up soon.
I've also taken a little break from these projects to make some practical items. My mother has a habit (a bad one, in my opinion) of using paper towels to wipe up water splashes on her kitchen counters. I use dishcloths for this at home, so I thought I make her some while we're here. On one of our first evenings here last week, we went out for a early dinner at a restaurant that's right next to a Michaels, and we walked over after we were finished eating because Rainbow wanted to find some fancy coloring books. I had my mother pick out some kitchen cotton and grabbed a pair of straight needles (because they were the only option in metal -- I could not fathom knitting cotton on wood needles!), and so far I've knit up two cloths for her, with plans to knit another pair.
There's something so comforting about knitting a simple dishcloth, isn't there?
Reading has been good as well. I've finished two books this past week.
I had heard of The Blue Castle when it was the subject of an episode of the Novel Pairings podcast last summer, but I have to thank Katie for tipping me off when it was a Kindle deal last month for about 30 cents. It was an easy, light read that was just perfect after finishing some harder books. Valancy Stirling is no Anne Shirley, but I did enjoy her determination to live her life to the fullest when she learns that her life may not last much longer. I thought that the ending wrapped up a little too perfectly, but sometimes a predictable, happy ending is what we all need. I gave this one 3 stars -- it was enjoyable, but I like Anne much better as a main character.
It's a good thing I had a fluffy read last week because just as I was approaching the end of it, I got notice from the library that The Five Wounds was ready for me. I know many of you have already read it, and it was the last book I needed to read to have gotten through all the books on the Aspen Words Literature Prize short list. I have to say that this is not the sort of book I'd normally pick, and I found a lot of it to be really depressing. I don't normally mind books about families with issues, but I find it really hard to read about people who can't seem to get their lives together. I did feel invested in the family at the center of the book and was fairly satisfied at where they ended up in the end, but much of the book left me feeling uncomfortable. I gave it 3.5 stars.
While I'm continuing to dip into Braiding Sweetgrass while we're here, I'm also listening to My Life in Middlemarch while I walk as a way to revisit the book without having to read it again, and yesterday I started A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I'm waiting for my next library hold, which I expect to be a major project.
How about you -- what are you making and reading this week?