Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Unraveled, Week 12/2023

Happy hump day, friends and gentle readers! I'll confess that although I'm technically not on vacation, I've got a bit of a vacation mindset going and have lost track of what day it is a couple of times this week. My computer tells me it's Wednesday, which means it's my day to link up with Kat and the Unravelers and give you an update on my making and reading.

Work has been moderately busy the past two days, which means my hands have not been free to stitch much. But I have made some progress on my Birch Pullover, completing the short rows and starting the long work of the yoke rounds.

Specifically, I am working a six-round repeat with increases on the sixth round, and I have to work a total of 14 repeats of those six rounds. So far, I've completed two, I believe. This sweater is worked in half fisherman's rib, which is a cousin to brioche stitch; every other round, you work into the stitch below of every other stitch (and purl the other stitches). The fabric this creates is very squishy and attractive, but if you're someone who hates purling, you might want to avoid this pattern. I've accepted that this is a going to be a marathon of a knit, so my goal for while we're here is just to complete the yoke. Anything beyond that will be a bonus.

Last night during the Read With Us discussion on The Shipping News, I decided to try a little crochet and started a dishcloth:

I'm using a free pattern by one of the SSK teachers (we get extra raffle tickets for completing patterns by them), and it's a little wonky but, you know, it's a dishcloth. I haven't done any crocheting this year aside from some provisional cast-ons, so it feels good to stretch those muscles. I've got a board executive committee meeting this evening, so perhaps that will be enough time to finish this up.

I finished up two books late last week before we left.

First, I finished up my reread of the His Dark Materials trilogy with The Amber Spyglass. There is a lot going on in this book, as it culminates in big battle between the various forces in Pullman's imagined worlds, but the most important part of the story for me is the resolution of Lyra's story, especially the part of her story that involves Will. While much of Pullman's trilogy has a lot to say about religion and power, I think the heart of his message is about love and human kindness. I really enjoyed listening to all three books, and I'm slowly working my way through the HBO series based on them. I gave this final installment 4 stars.

I also finished up the final book for the Erdrich-along (though not my final Erdrich book -- I still have a small pile waiting to be read). The Bingo Palace is one of her older novels and returns to some of the characters featured in Love Medicine. The main character is Lipsha Morrissey, whose parentage was one of the big reveals of the first novel, and we follow him as he struggles with love and luck. As with all of Erdrich's novels, there is a wonderful mix of the heartbreaking and the hilarious. There's a small appearance by Fleur Pillager and even a mention of everyone's favorite, Nanapush. It really made me want to reread Love Medicine sooner rather than later. I gave it 4 stars as well.

I'm currently reading Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone and will be for quite a while; although it's nice to have a larger paperback than I had with the previous books in the series, it also means there are more words on the page and thus it takes me longer to read one. I may take a break from it while we're here because my mother left me the hardback of Horse, and I'd rather not carry it back home, but we'll see. So much depends on work, which I can't predict.

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. If I were in FL for a couple of weeks, even if still working (working remote is great, huh?), I would feel as though I were a bit in a vacation mode. Hope you and the girls have a great time! Love the color of your latest knit and it looks squishy and cozy. I keep saying I need to get back to my crocheted granny squares...and then I don't. But, my basket of left over sock yarn is overflowing! Horse is on my TBR list.

  2. I think it would be hard not to get into a vacation mindset if you're enjoying FL weather! Your sweater is lovely and growing, and I hope work is somewhat calm so you can actually feel like you're on a bit of a vacation!

  3. That book, Horse, keeps showing up in all the places. So good that you have that vacation vibe even though you are “working”.

  4. Making socks, socks, and more socks.

    Reading: Lessons in Chemistry

  5. I thought Horse was so good and it's not very long so I bet you could finish it easily while you're in Florida.

  6. I am so happy that you are in Florida! I hope you are enjoying lots of sunshine and warm air. Your Birch pullover looks amazing - that color looks so lovely. The cowl I'm working on is also knit in Fisherman's rib. It definitely takes more attention than simple knitting in the round, but the texture makes it seem worthwhile!

    I hope you're enjoying the newest Outlander. It seems like a series that I would love but I have struggled with the first book several times. I don't know if I could read the whole series! Horse is new to me - I can't wait to hear more about it!

  7. whew, you made quick work of Amber Spyglass! I borrowed it, but have yet to start. I'm glad to see that Lyra and Will's story gets resolved (I almost threw my phone across the room when Subtle Knife ended - whoa that as abrupt!)

  8. The sweater yoke looks great. I was actually thinking of trying my hand at crocheting a coaster pattern. I know little about crochet and so depend on you tube to get me through. It's good to learn new things. My local group is going to read Horse later on this year. Enjoy the vacation vibes of Florida with the girls. I hope work settles down so you have some calm moments.

  9. That sweater yoke start does look good, Sarah! And a crochet dishcloth sounds like an excellent way to improve crochet skills! Thanks for the link to the pattern!

    I contemplated reading Horse as well this week, but instead veered off to a Donal Ryan book I had yet to read.

  10. That's such a nice thing about dish cloths, I think--the chance to practice something on a small scale!