Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Unraveled, Week 13/2023

I could easily forget what day of the week it is here (apparently my Fitbit did on Monday, because it neglected to wake me up with my normal alarm), but work has given me an extra reminder that it's Wednesday in the form of a four-hour diversity, equity, and inclusion workshop this morning. I'm sure the content will be worthwhile, but four hours straight? At least I will be able to knit my way through it (I'm attending via Zoom), and that big block on my schedule is helping me to get my priorities straight this morning. The first priority -- well, at least the first one after coffee! -- is my weekly link-up with Kat and the Unravelers.

I brought along a crochet hook and a ball of kitchen cotton just in case, but as it turns out, I was in the mood for a little crochet and I'm headed home with two completed dishcloths:

I believe that the one on the left is the second one I did, though I can't be certain; I think this particular stitch pattern leads to some inherent wonkiness, especially in combination with my relative inexperience with crochet, but I did notice that the work was a little easier the second time around. I think my tension was a little more relaxed, as I had a much easier time getting my hook into stitches. I used all but about a yard of the skein of yarn, yet somehow the two finished cloths weighed only 96 g, so I guess I had a light skein to start with. The yarn is Knit Picks Dishie in a light gray colorway called Clarity, and despite the fact that the skein was light, I would absolutely recommend this yarn (and oh hey, it's on sale right now!). I find it to be much easier to work with than the cotton you can find in big box stores, and there's more yardage in a skein to boot. I used a 4 mm/G hook.

Now I'm really trying to focus on my Birch Pullover, and I'm halfway through the yoke increases. I have increased enough that the stitches now comfortably fill the full length of my 40-inch circular needle.

I do know what I'm doing now with the stitch pattern and when to increase, but it's not quite something I can do without looking, so I can only work on it while reading if I read with my ears. I'll be interested to see how much I can get done during that four-hour workshop.

Speaking of reading, I have been doing a lot! My mother almost always has books waiting for me when I come down, and I've gotten through two of them this week, both excellent reads

I have read all but one of Geraldine Brooks' books, and I was very much looking forward to her latest, Horse. If you haven't heard of this book and don't think it sounds that great from the description, let me tell you that it's about a heck of a lot more than horses. There are several story lines followed in this book that all converge on a horse, and those stories deal with topics as serious and diverse as race and racism, politics, art, friendship, and love. There's even a very good dog (and no, the dog doesn't die). Once I got into this book, I could not put it down, and I have to tell you that I cried a bit at the end. I highly recommend it and gave it 5 stars.

I'd been on a (very long) wait list for Spare on audio from the library, but my mother had bought a hard copy and finished it herself just a few days ago, so she passed it on to me. This was a quick read and, I think, worth it. There is much more that Prince Harry talks about than the more recent issues within the royal family, and I'm not sure I ever realized just how traumatizing it must be to lose your mother at a young age and be under constant scrutiny for your entire life. I fully understand why the Sussexes wanted to step away from royal life, and I think the book even makes a good case for abolishing the monarchy. I gave it 4 stars.

Finally, I listened to another Maisie Dobbs book early this week. I discovered that the audiobooks after the first in the series are no longer available to me on Hoopla, but luckily there was no wait for the one I wanted on Libby. To Die but Once sees Maisie investigating the death of a young painter working in the war effort, though the case often takes a back seat to other concerns in her life. I believe I have only three books left in this series, and as much as I've enjoyed them, I'm actually feeling a bit glad they won't go on forever. I feel like I know where Maisie's story is going in general, and I think I'll be satisfied when I finish the series up. I gave this installment 3 stars.

I'm still reading the big Outlander book (and will be for some time, I expect), but last night I started No Two Persons, which I requested from NetGalley after Kat raved about it. I've only just started it (I think I'm 3% in), but I think it's possible I'll finish it before we leave to head home.


  1. Four hours straight is a long time for any workshop, but I'm glad you have that rich-looking sweater to keep your hands and mind occupied! I wasn't going to read Spare but I ended up buying it on Audible and it was good to listen to Harry telling his own sad story. Everyone has some sort of family drama but I can't quite imagine having to play yours out in public with little to no loving support.

  2. Ugh to a 4 hour long workshop. I don't envy you at all! Our diversity training (and other training) is pretty much done on line and is pretty quick. Love your newest sweater - the color looks so rich to me. Glad you liked Horse - I'm keeping it on my TBR list!!

  3. I think that a 4 hour block of uninterrupted knitting time sounds not all bad (and I bet you make some dramatic headway on your sweater!)

    I have Horse on my TBR list, but I am off to put myself on the waitlist for it at the library! Thank you!

  4. Oh my gosh, a four-hour zoom workshop sounds exhausting! Hopefully your sweater will keep you occupied and alert.

  5. You have my sympathy about the four hour zoom workshop. I remember those days. I am glad you can knit on that sweater. The color of that yarn is so beautiful, very rich looking. You have lots of good reading going on.

  6. Four hours is far too long for both a workshop and zoom. I love that you plan on knitting your way through it. Like the yarn colour.

    1. I knit (or crochet or spin) during all my meetings now, unless my hands need to be free to take notes!

  7. LOVE the color of your Birch pullover!

  8. Horse is just waiting for me to finish my Womens Prize reading. I wonder if it might make the Booker list in July? I think the Maisie stories picked back up once WWII started, but I'm in complete agreement that Winspear ended the series at a good time. I just bought The White Lady (I think that's the title) and look forward to seeing what her next series is about!

  9. Your Birch pullover is looking amazing! And I'm with you - I have to look at my Inclinational Cowl, which is also done up in Fisherman's rib. It's lovely but time consuming!

    And what a great week of reading! I have such mixed feelings about the Sussexes but fully support them doing whatever makes them happiest. I haven't read Spare and don't plant to, but I love how many people ARE reading it. I find the royal family fascinating in so many ways -- mostly for their place in history -- and agree that there's a very good case for abolishing the monarchy these days.