Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Unraveled, Week 27/2022

One really nice thing about having Monday off is that on my second day of the week, it's already Wednesday, arguably my favorite blogging day, as it's the day I link up with Kat and the Unravelers to talk about what we're making and what we're reading.

What I'm making shouldn't come as a surprise -- until further notice, it's my brother's sweater.

I had a bit of a hiccup on Monday night in which I managed to forget to do the cables on one of the two sleeves, so I had to rip that one back and reknit a half dozen rows. Then I discovered that I crossed a cable where I shouldn't have on the other sleeve, so I had to fix that (fortunately I only had to drop those four stitches and pick them back up). Now, though, I seem to be on track. There are a lot of increases to do -- something like ten increases every four rows, then eight every six rows -- and the new stitches need to be incorporated into the stitch pattern, so this isn't something I can do while reading with my eyes, but that just means I've primarily been working on it while watching TV in the evenings.

Meanwhile, I'm also trying to squeeze in at least a little spinning every day for Tour de Fleece, and the bobbin is slowly filling.

The strip of fiber left to be spun is shrinking (it's maybe a couple of feet long now), so I'm hoping that these singles will be done before the week is out.

Reading has been continuing, though perhaps at a slightly slower pace this past week because life has just been busy. I've finished three things since last week.

Do you remember a couple of years ago when quite a lot of people read and loved The Murmur of Bees (me included)? Well when I saw that an Amazon First Reads offering last year was another book by the same author, I didn't even bother to read the synopsis before picking it. It turns out that was a good move. In Tears of Amber, we find ourselves following two families in East Prussia, the far eastern edge of Germany, as they struggle to survive World War II. I have read many books set in this era but none quite like this. These families are German and somewhat loyal to that identity but not necessarily supportive of the Nazi regime. They have lived for years with the neighbors who are suddenly enemies and are really more interested in farming their land than fighting. This book reminds us that while there were plenty of civilians who supported the regime's policies and believed in its principles, there were also those who simply wanted to live in peace, and it really brings home the devastation of war even to those who aren't on the front lines. I gave it 4 stars.

Over the weekend I found myself with not much to listen to in my podcast feeds, so that meant it was time to borrow on audiobook from the library. I have slowly been making my way through the Maisie Dobbs series and found the fourth book was available without a wait, so I started listening on Saturday and finished it up yesterday. In Messenger of Truth, Maisie is charged with investigating the death of an artist shortly before the opening of an exhibit of his work. The year is 1931, and while the horrors of WWI are still echoing, there are also some hints to what is coming in WWII. Maisie also wrestles with the very real consequences of what life is like for the haves versus the have nots. I enjoyed this book, though I figured out one storyline about halfway through. I gave it 3 stars.

Finally, I finished a short story from Kate Quinn that was another Amazon First Reads selection for this month. I've gotten pickier in what, if anything, I pick from this program, but I have enjoyed my previous reads from this author and thought I'd give it a try, especially as it's only about 50 pages long. Signal Moon is part historical fiction and part science fiction, with dual timelines set in 1943 and 2023. If you enjoyed The Rose Code, then you'll like the historical setting and be familiar with the women who listened for enemy radio transmissions that were then passed along to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park. But the science fiction element felt a bit out of place to me. As I said, it was a quick read, so I won't discourage you from reading it if you like Kate Quinn's books (especially if, like me, you can get it for free), but I don't think it was her best effort. I gave it 3 stars.

Last night I started the next selection for the Erdrich-along, The Painted Drum, and I am delighted to be back in Erdrich's world. Her writing is just exquisite. I haven't gotten very far because I have to read it slowly, but I hope I'll be able to get through the book in time for next weekend's discussion.

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. Your brother's sweater sleeves look lovely, and I'm sure the sweater will be also. I don't remember buying it, but somehow I have Tears of Amber in my Audible library. Maybe I'll listen after I'm done listening to the Kate Quinn books in my lineup.

  2. Thanks for the reminder of The Murmer of Bees...I have it on my Kindle, but have never read it!! The sweater looks great.

  3. Your brother's sweater is so pretty or should I say handsome. There is something very classic about the cables in that soft gray. I'm glad you got the pattern sorted out. Tears of Amber sounds very interesting to me. Thanks for writing about it.

  4. So glad you were able to rebound quickly from your hiccups! This has been quite the project and you are making such progress :) Your reading this week sounds so good. I've had the new Segovia on my TBR since it was released and just haven't gotten to it yet. You make it sound so enticing - thank you!

    I think we're in the same place in the Maisie Dobbs series. The fifth is on my TBR for the summer but I'm in no rush to get to it. Maybe after I finish The Books of Jacob?

  5. I have never tried knitting two sleeves at the same time. I think about it sometimes, but I've never actually done it. I'm glad you were able to find and fix your "issues" so quickly. I'll bet that's a bit of a challenge when there are two sleeves to deal with! Your sweater is just coming along so nicely. I can't wait to see it all put together. :-)

  6. Two sleeves at the same time are not easy, but add in cables and multiple increases... whew, that is not knitting for the faint of heart! Go you!

    I am off to find the Segovia book. Thank you :)

  7. Love seeing all those cables line up on the two sleeves! and glad to hear how much you enjoyed Tears of Amber, since I also picked it up from First Reads. I'm about halfway through Painted Drum and enjoying every sentence.