Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Unraveled, Week 11/2024

We are back into spring here in Western Pennsylvania, and this week is moving right along. My appointments went well on Monday (my doctor actually seemed surprised by how many miles I cover every week, so I suppose I'm not the average middle-aged woman in that respect at least?), and I've started to make lists for packing. The trip will be here before I know it! But before then, it's time to link up with Kat and the Unravelers.

I have continued to work on my sweater -- which doesn't look all that different, though I'm getting closer to starting the fun textured part -- and on my Hitchhiker, which has grown:

I'm still at that point in the shawl where it feels like it'll be done in no time, but I know the rows are soon going to start taking longer. I'm extremely pleased with how the colors are transitioning, and it's also rather exciting that a number of other spinners in the Southern Cross Fibre Ravelry group have started their own SCF handspun Hitchhikers (or other similar shawls). I've never considered myself a trendsetter before, but I suppose there's a first time for everything!

The shawl and the sweater will both be coming to Florida with me, and I also wound yarn yesterday for a new design project that will involve some stranded colorwork:

On the left is a very bright self-striping from Geektastic Fibers in a colorway called Dolly (as it Parton); it was the show colorway at SSK last year. On the right is a tonal from Marianated Yarns in the colorway Indigo Bunting. I don't know if I'll be able to cast on before we leave, but at least by next week you'll get a peek at what these are going to become.

Reading has been a bit of a mixed bag this week. I've finished three books.

When we left Florida after our December vacation, I came home with a paperback of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo courtesy of my mother, and I picked it up recently because I wanted something fluffier to read before bed. I'm sure some of you have read this already, as it's not a new release. It was entertaining, but just kind of meh for me. I wasn't terribly impressed by the writing, and I felt a bit like I'd already read parts of the book (Do Tell has a similar feel and better writing, in my opinion). This is a book that I would have read on the beach or next to a pool a couple of decades ago, and while it was entertaining, it wasn't great. I gave it 3 stars. I will say that my mother didn't want the book back, so I put it in one of the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood, and it was gone the same day. I hope that helped balance all the good FLL karma I've had a little!

I can't remember where I heard about Unorthodox Love, likely a podcast, but I'd had it bookmarked on Hoopla, and when over the weekend I again wanted something fluffy, I decided to give it a try and borrowed the audiobook. The premise -- a modern Orthodox woman, well past her prime in her community, trying to find her soulmate -- sounded promising, and while I'm not typically a romance reader, I occasionally enjoy the escapism of the genre. Unfortunately, this was a case of a so-so book getting absolutely ruined by a terrible narrator. I may be expecting too much, but I would hope that any audiobook reader worth their salt would make sure they're pronouncing unfamiliar words correctly, but this reader clearly didn't and completely botched a lot of Hebrew and Yiddish terms (like "moe hole" for "mohel" and "nish" for "knish"). What's worse, she also did it with English words (pronouncing "psalm" as "puh-salm," for example) and even with at least one character's name, pronouncing it two different ways over the course of just a couple of sentences! I try not to be a book snob, but this was so distracting that it pretty much destroyed any chance of enjoying this book. I gave it 2 stars.

The reason I needed fluffy reads was because of the last book I finished (just before bed last night), and I know those of you who have read it will understand. A Little Life is a long, emotional book about four college friends and where their lives take them after college. This is a book with all the content warnings, as the story of one of these friends becomes the focus and more and more of his past is revealed. There are sections about abuse and suffering that are incredibly hard to read -- but you are rewarded by many more sections about the incredible love the characters have for each other and how beautifully they take care of each other. This was a book I simultaneously wanted to finish to find out how it would end and never wanted to stop reading; the writing is beautiful and the characters so well developed. It's a book I'm going to be thinking about for a long time. I gave it 5 stars.

I'm once again in that rare situation where I have no books in progress, but that won't last long!

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. Your Hitchhiker is really lovely! It will be interesting to see how the colors work as the rows get longer. And I love the caked yarn you are taking along and will be anxious to see what it becomes. A narrator can really make or break an audiobook and unfortunately, you ran into the latter. Your review has given me the confidence to at least try A Little Life. I'm off to check the library; thank you!

  2. Anonymous8:21 AM

    That sure is a gorgeous Hitchhiker! And your newly caked yarn for your trip is bright!! Can't wait to see what your design idea is. Unlike Bonny, I think I will skip A Little Life - I feel it may be too intense for me.

  3. Sorry - Anonymous is me...forgot to add my name (again).

  4. I am absolutely in love with your Hitchhiker! (and I think you are an incredible trend starter! I had much the same feelings about A Little Life... the hard parts were so hard, but those friends... their love and care for each other. It was the most beautiful book... I loved it deeply!

  5. Starting a Hitchhiker: What a fun, quick little project!

    Finishing a Hitchhiker: :l

  6. Wow! Love your Hitchhiker.

  7. I wish I could go back and read A Little Life for the first time again. It was THAT good. But knowing everything that happens makes me feel like it's too sad to actually do that. Know what I mean?

  8. Just the name 'Indigo Bunting' would be enough for me to pick up that yarn :). Can't wait to see what design you have in the works!
    As for lousy narrators, I want to ask where's the director/producer/author? Seems like someone [who knows more] would have to sign off on the final cut. Good grief, sounds like that one was a distracting, disappointing mess.
    Enjoy your trip prep!

  9. oh my. pink and purple colorwork?!

  10. I love the hitchhiker. It is so pretty. As for the other two yarns, what a great combination. The colorwork will pop. Audio narrators can make or break the book, that is for sure. I was not a fan of Evelyn Hugo. Maybe I am just getting old and Hollywood is not one of my favorite settings or subjects.

  11. Love your Hitchhiker and intrigued to see what your colorwork project will be … pretty color choices.

    1. Thank you! I'm excited to see how the colorwork looks.