Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Unraveled, Week 9/2024

Happy Hump Day, friends! It's the last Wednesday in February, and we woke up to lightning and thunder. By this evening, we may have snow. And we had some surprise snow over the weekend as well, after which it was in the mid-60s the past couple of days. I know we often have False Springs in Western Pennsylvania, but it feels like we've had half a dozen of them already this year. I don't love winter but would accept its sticking around, but I have to say that this constant up and down is wreaking havoc on my sinuses!

But enough about the weather -- it's time to join up with Kat and the Unravelers! I'm happy to share that my STRIPES! sweater is done! But as I just blocked it yesterday afternoon, there hasn't yet been an opportunity to take modeled photos, so you'll have to wait until Friday to see it. I'm very happy with how it turned out, and Mo has admired it so much that she's asked me to knit her one using two skeins of yarn I bought for her at SSK last summer. I told her I'd be happy to do so, but I need a little break from knitting stripes for the moment. In the meantime, I am working on her socks:

I'm making this pair to be a little large on her at the moment, with the anticipation that her feet will grow a bit more. Conveniently, if they end up being too small for her at some point, they just happen to be my size! I've just started the second sock so I'll have it to take to my board meeting tonight.

I've also returned to my spinning, though with less sense of urgency. I learned on Monday that David of Southern Cross Fibre is retiring, and March's shipment will be the last from the club. So the shipments I have in my stash, plus the two that will soon be on their way to me, will be the last. It's sad news for sure, but I cannot begrudge anyone their retirement, and I know David has had some health struggles in the last several years that have made keeping up with his dyeing more difficult. Although I will miss his fiber quite a lot, there is still plenty of fiber to spin in my stash. What I'm currently working on is the August 2023 club shipment, Island Sunset on grey Merino. It's nearly impossible to capture in the darkness of the storm we're having right now, but the grey base makes for such amazing depth of color.

Reading has again been quite good this past week. I've finished three books.

After exploring, in depth, the works of Louise Erdrich and Barbara Kingsolver, the little group hosted by Mary is moving on this year to back list winners of the Women's Prize for Fiction. First up is the 1998 winner, Larry's Party by Carol Shields. This is an interesting book because there's not really a plot. Instead, it's almost like a series of stories about the main character at different points in his life. I had some feelings about the fact that a book about a white man was awarded the Women's Prize (and I'm sure it will be a prime topic of discussion when we meet this Saturday), but I did really enjoy the writing, and now I am interested to read more of Carol Shields's work. There are some truly laugh-out-loud moments in this book and some heartwarming parts, too. I gave it 4 stars.

I was in need of an audiobook to listen to over the weekend and Hoopla is giving me grief again (it's not recognizing my account), so I went to Libby and borrowed the first audiobook in my "to read" list that was available. I'd heard of Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory from Sara Hildreth of Fiction Matters, I believe. It's a collection of essays that I'd put in the category of memoir. You may or may not be familiar with Sarah Polley, who I first knew from the series Road to Avonlea. She's also an award-winning director and screenwriter and a political activist. Her essays deal with a lot of trauma, from the difficulties in being a child actor and the death of her mother when she was young to dealing with sexual assault and the long-term consequences of a concussion. They're well written and thoughtful, though certainly not for everyone. I gave the book 4 stars.

Finally, last night before bed, I finished The Custom of the Country, just in time to listen to the Novel Pairings episode on it that dropped yesterday. This novel follows the ambitious Undine Spragg, who is unfailing in her desire and determination to move up in society but who finds herself wanting more each time she achieves what she believes to be her aim. The book takes aim at American society of the time and, I think, provides a pretty convincing case that money can buy many things but can't guarantee happiness. This was an excellent book to be reading as I've been watching The Gilded Age on HBO. I enjoyed it, and I'm really looking forward to hearing what Sara and Chelsea have to say about it. I gave it 4 stars.

I now find myself reading ... nothing! I've got to pick my next book to read, which I expect I'll be doing later today.

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. Stripes looked lovely in its bath on IG, and I'm glad to hear you'll be knitting another one in the future. Those socks look perfect to get through all the false springs. I'm sorry to hear that David is retiring, but it's selfish of me because I always enjoy seeing the wonderful colors and fibers he combines on the SCF you spin. I'm sure there will be more wonderful spinning here even after you've spun all of your SCF shipments!

  2. I am nodding along with Bonny's thoughts on your sweater in the spa from IG... it did look so lovely! (And those stripey socks... I love those bright and cheerful colors!)

    But that news about David is so sad. His color sense is just brilliant. I am not sure there will ever be another like him!

  3. It's nice that you have some backlog of David's fiber to spin. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to seeing your stripes sweater - I'm sure it is gorgeous. Mo's socks remind me of Smarties - LOL - fun colors. To read the end of your post and see that you are not reading anything currently was a real shocker!! I need to find my next "real" book. I'm in queue for The Berry Pickers, but I don't think I will get that very quickly. If our rain eases up some, I may run out to our library to return "The Eyes and the Impossible" and see if I can find something else.

  4. I'll bet David's retirement feels like the end of an era, of sorts. What a gift he's given to so many!
    I'm not expecting to finish Larry's Party in time for the discussion, but I'm looking forward to sitting in on it, however far I get. As I told Mary directly, Carol Shields's narrative voice is a style I haven't read in a while -- but is so familiar to me. It's kind of a going-back-in-time feel with this read. (Suitable for the theme!)

  5. I can't believe how quickly you knit up that Stripes sweater! (Well. Actually I can. Because you are a very focused, very fast knitter -- AND, of course, stripes always seem to knit themselves quicker than "plain" yarn.) I love Mo's new colorful socks! They look like fun to knit - and fun to wear (no matter who ends up wearing them. . . ).

  6. Striped socks are much easier than a striped sweater and those are looking awesome! Glad you had some good reading time and I know you'll enjoy your spinning more than ever now that David is retiring.

  7. Those socks sure are happy colors.

    Seems to me Mo is probably ready to knit her own sweater. LOL But, then maybe school work takes up a lot of her time. I know it did when I was her age. Maybe you better knit the sweater. ;-)

  8. What bright pretty Spring colors in those socks. Lisa is so good with color. I look forward to seeing your newest sweater in all of it's blue goodness. I imagine you will miss the fiber from Southern Cross. Spinning these last few shipments might be a little bittersweet.

  9. That is awesome Mo wants a sweater and love those socks, they are so bright and cheery. I did not know David was retiring from dying fiber but it doesn’t surprise me, he seems to be in love with quilting and he does beautiful work. I’m still working on my pullover, cardigan and socks, and reading Outlander. Enjoy the rest of your week.

    1. David's been running the club for 15 years, and in the past few he's been having some health struggles and some physical limitations that I'm sure played a part in the decision. But I'm glad to know the SCF community will still be around!

  10. Guess you will have time to catch up on that fiber stash and I’m sure you will find another beautiful source. Perfect waiting for spring socks. Still knitting my Little Bousta and reading Hagitude to pair with socks for Earthtones Girl’s KAL

  11. I had to laugh at taking a break from stripes to knit socks with stripes but I also understand the difference between stripes of different yarns vs. self striping yarn. Oh, and your poor face, and body! I didn't know about your accident and went back to read that post. I'm so sorry! I'm still carrying a bit of gravel in one knee and an elbow from a running accident I had years ago. I managed to scrape every single body part except my face and one shoulder falling down a steep gravel hill. I'm sorry for your injuries but so happy you weren't hurt worse.

  12. I gasped when I read that David is retiring ... and my next thought was "what will Sarah be spinning now?" I've enjoyed following along as you've made beautiful yarn from his lovely dyed fiber. Can't wait to see your modeled Stripes! and talk about CotC.