Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Unraveled, Week 20/2023

It's that time again -- time to link up with Kat and the Unravelers and talk all things making and reading! I am once again getting this post ready ahead of time because I have a very long day ahead (I'm scheduled to donate blood before lunch, then have a work Zoom after lunch, then a work reception at 3, then something at the synagogue at 6:30). There may be some extra coffee for me today to keep me going!

I am currently focused on just one project because it's a baby gift that needs to be done and delivered before the baby is. This is the Newborn Vertebrae, one of my old stand-bys, in Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce. I'm in the seemingly interminable part, the 1x1 ribbed collar and front bands.

Is it a baby sweater or a hat with ears?

I think the sleeves should be very easy to whip up once I'm done with all the ribbing, and then I can get back to my sweater knitting.

Meanwhile, I've been having fun with a fractal spin and have nearly finished up the second bobbin of singles, the one with more frequent color changes:

I'm really excited to see this plied!

My Women's Prize reading has been moving right along this week, with two more titles from the shortlist finished.

Fire Rush is set in the late '70s and early '80s in London's dub music scene (something I knew nothing about and am still not really familiar with) in a housing project mainly inhabited by Afro-Caribbean expats. In addition to dealing with the racism of Margaret Thatcher's UK, main character Yamaye, who dreams of being a DJ and performer, is also struggling with the mysterious disappearance of her mother. When her boyfriend is killed by the police and her friend is arrested for a violent assault, a riot erupts in her neighborhood and she is forced to go into hiding, where she soon finds herself under the protection and also the control of another man. That's a pretty general synopsis, but the music itself is a big part of the story, as is the cultural identity of the main character and her friends. The writing heavily uses a Caribbean patois, which I got used to but also had a lot of trouble understanding, so I felt that I wasn't getting the full picture of what was going on in the story. I think that if I hadn't been reading this in order to read all the titles on the shortlist, I likely would not have finished it. I don't think it's a bad book, it's just not a book for me. I gave it 2 stars.

My most recent finish, Trespasses, which I read both because it's on the shortlist and because it's the next Read With Us selection, was a much better experience for me. This novel is set in Northern Ireland at the height of The Troubles. Cushla, a 20-something Catholic elementary school teacher, begins an affair with a married Protestant lawyer. Given the time and the setting, you can imagine that such an affair would be extremely dangerous for all parties and have serious repercussions. I will note for those who are bothered by such things that there are no quotation marks used in the dialogue (I don't love that, but I adjusted just fine). I really enjoyed this one and only took as long as I did to read it because I was reading primarily before bed. I'll also note that I ordered a paperback copy from Blackwell's that was very reasonably priced (and they don't charge for shipping)! I gave it 4 stars.

I'm currently reading an ARC of Margaret Renkl's forthcoming The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year, which will be published this fall, and am thoroughly enjoying it. On deck I have the last two titles for the shortlist and The Bean Trees (a reread, I believe, though I have no recollection of reading it the first time).


  1. The tiny sweater is so very sweet, Sarah. What a wonderful gift! XO

  2. Oh yikes! You have a very busy day today. Extra coffee is on order for you. Hope all goes well. That tiny, tiny baby sweater is simply adorable. I'm glad you liked Trespasses - I really did too. I loved Margaret Renkle's Late Migrations (not so much Graceland, At Last), so I'm hoping The Comfort of Crows is more like Late Migrations. And I love early Kingsolver (not so much her more recent works).

  3. Gos , a busy lady indeed. Love the little garment. So in awe of all who tackle the book award lists. I prefer to read only the ones people say are good.

    1. I've generally enjoyed the Women's Prize selections, and I'm always up for reading more books written by women!

  4. That baby sweater is coming along so quickly! I'm loving your spinning project too, I also can't wait to see how it plies up!

  5. The Baby Vertebrae is adorable.

  6. Love that little sweater!

  7. That sweater is just so cute! What a lovely gift!

  8. oh that adorable little (tiny!!) sweater! I never thought to use self-striping yarn for a baby sweater, but it looks so cute! I finished Bean Trees this morning and like you, I know I read it, but the only thing I remembered was Turtle. the name. I recalled nothing else about the story, the characters, or the setting. I hope the memories stick with me this time!

  9. Your newborn vertebrae is turning out perfectly! And your spin looks awesome too! So glad you enjoyed Trespasses. I really liked Cushla and was rooting for her!

  10. Oh, that little sweater! So cute!

  11. The little sweater looks so sweet and look forward to seeing how the singles ply together into yarn. I hope you found that extra coffee. I'm looking forward to The Comfort of Crows. I do love Renkl's work.