Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Unraveled, Week 40/2022

Despite my best intentions to get this written up ahead of time, it's now after 9 a.m. on Wednesday and I am just getting around to my weekly Unraveled Wednesday post! Thanks as always to Kat for hosting this weekly link-up.

Today is, of course, Yom Kippur, and I slept in until almost 8, so I'm feeling pretty good despite not having had my morning coffee. We'll be leaving soon for services, so I'm putting this together a bit quickly (so forgive me for that!).

I've mainly been working this week on the Newborn Vertebrae for my new nephew, and I'm just about finished with the first sleeve.

I know some of you might be surprised to see me working on DPNs, which I very rarely use. The reason is that the circular needle I was using for the body was too short to comfortably magic loop, and I was too lazy to go looking for a longer one. The DPNs were spotted in a few seconds, so I went with them. They're not my favorite, but I can deal with them for the very short amount of time it takes me to knit these sleeves.

I've also been doing some swatching for my next sweater, with mixed results.

The pattern is Recalibrate, which is designed to be knit at a loose gauge with fingering weight yarn. The swatch at the top was knit on size 7 (4.5 mm) needles and I still have too many stitches per inch. I find the fabric to be terribly sloppy, and I think a garment knit at this gauge would start to stretch out of shape the minute I put it on. The swatch at the bottom was knit on size 4 (3.5 mm) needles, and I like this fabric much better -- it has drape but still has some structure as well -- but the gauge is drastically different from the pattern. So I still have some pondering and maybe some math to do.

I've finished two books in the last week.

Glory was the last book on the Booker Prize short list I still had yet to read, and as my library didn't have it yet, I ended up ordering a copy. This book is an allegorical retelling of the fall of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in which all the characters are animals. It's an inventive way to tell the story, but I also found that it was completely clear exactly where and when the story was supposed to be set. I'll admit that my knowledge of the country and its political situation is not the greatest, but I did have a general awareness of it. Perhaps if I'd known more I would have enjoyed the book more, but I found it really repetitive and a slog at times. I gave it 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3.

After last week's success with Olive Kitteridge, I listened to the sequel, Olive, Again. Whereas in the first book I found Olive to be a bit of a curmudgeon, I found her endearing in the follow-up, and I loved that even as she was reaching the end of her life, she was finding it possible to examine who she was as a person and decide to change certain aspects of herself she found she didn't like. There were some stories in this collection I didn't care for as much, but overall I really enjoyed my return to Olive's world. I gave it 4 stars.

Currently I'm listening to Nightcrawling from the Booker long list (I'd had it on hold at the library for a long time and finally got it yesterday) and I've also pulled out Braiding Sweetgrass, which has been on my nightstand all year long and I've read a chapter or two here and there. I'd really like to finish it up now.

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. G’mar chatima tova to you and your family. Your Newborn Vertebrae is so bright and cheery and I love those stripes! The name of that sweater has always creeped me out a little but I guess it's because it keeps the wearer's back warm? I'm with you on the swatches. There is a fine line between loosely knit and sloppy and I also like the blue swatch much better. I'm glad you enjoyed Olive a bit more this time; she does mature and change even at her advanced age (and that's not an easy thing to do)!

  2. I love the colours in your jumper. You have convinced me to give read the second Olive book, as I too didn't warm to her first time round.

    1. I found that I liked Olive a lot better when I listened to the books as opposed to reading with my eyes. I think Elizabeth Strout's books are very well suited to audio because of her conversational style of writing.

  3. May you have an easy fast and be inscribed in the Book of Life for good!

  4. I've been thinking of you and your family today, Sarah. XO
    I just love the stripes of your baby sweater. Such a wee, tiny sweater for a wee, tiny babe. (And I really found Glory to be a slog. Just not my book, I guess.)

  5. The baby sweater is darling. I like the bright stripes. I'm with you on the gauge. I just can't knit a sweater in a very loose gauge. The stitches feel too sloppy to me or maybe that is the way I knit fingering weight yarn at a loose gauge.

  6. That is just the most darling baby sweater! Such fun cheery colors (and I love how baby things just fly off the needles!) And I hope you figure out an easy fix to that cute sweater!

    I hope your fast was easy, Sarah...

  7. Was thinking of you on Yom Kippur, Sarah!
    Oh, I love Olive. In a funny way, I feel like she's someone I've known forever. Surely every town has an Olive? For me, she is in her own Elizabeth Strout category. I'm so glad she knocked at the door to have her stories written down again!
    Lucy by the Sea just came in for me. At the exact same time as Marriage Portrait. So, what to do?!?

  8. I hope your Yom Kippur services were lovely and that everything was delicious when you broke your fast. I am impressed by people who can fast - I think I would say and do things that I'd regret.

    I bet you're finished with your nephew's sweater by now! I love it and it makes me all broody. Good luck deciding what to do with your swatches. I also like the look of the blue swatch more, but I'd be intimidated by the gauge issue! If anyone can figure it out, it's you.

    I think I was only able to finish Glory because I listened on audio, so kudos to you for sticking it out. And I hope to reread Olive and then get to Olive, Again next year!