Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Unraveled, Week 14/2024

Is it really already Wednesday? Yesterday was so busy that it passed in a blink, so I feel like I'm a bit behind. But I'm here in time to join Kat and the Unravelers for our weekly update on making and reading.

Now that the socks are finished, I find myself a monogamous knitter (don't worry friends; I don't anticipate the situation to stay this way for long). Coming back home to cooler temperatures has made me want to finish my Bereket in time to wear it once or twice before it's packed away for the summer, so I've been giving it a fair amount of attention. I can officially say now that I've passed the halfway mark because I have completed the front and back short-rowed section and have just joined the two pieces again to begin working on the textured portion for the left side.

The short rows are really quite clever in shaping this triangular middle section of the sweater, and even though I goofed up somewhere and ended up with an extra stitch on the front, I made it work by skipping one increase called for in the joining row. I hope that now that I'm repeating the stitches I've already done and also will be decreasing that this side of the sweater will go a bit faster. And I'm still only on my second ball of yarn, so I'm pretty confident there will be no game of yarn chicken at the end of this project.

I've done quite a lot of reading in the last week, thanks in large part to travel. I have finished three books, one of them the length of at least two!

We had a little delay on our flight home, and frankly there's not much to do at the Ft. Myers airport, so Mo and I parked ourselves at the gate, where she played around on her phone and I read. I had maybe 50 pages left in Iron Flame by the time we got on the plane, so I made quick work of finishing it up. Although the second book in the series was compelling, I didn't like it as well as the first one, probably mostly because it was just too darn long and felt like it needed some judicious editing. I reached a point in the middle where I was pretty much done with it, but I'd gotten far enough that I was committed to finishing. Fortunately, even though it's long, it's not the kind of book that requires deep thought or slow reading. I really couldn't keep track of the military organization or even all of the characters, and I found that I didn't really care. It was an okay diversion; I gave it 3 stars.

Once I finished the first book, I still had about an hour and a half of the flight left, so I got out one of the physical books I'd brought with me on the trip. I have slowly been working on growing my poetry library, and I treated myself to Ross Gay's Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude as a birthday present. I read the entire collection in one sitting -- something that's very easy to do with poetry! I am sure I'm going to need to go back and reread to more fully appreciate this collection, but there was one poem that particularly touched me in which Gay is planting a plum tree and pours some of his late father's ashes in among the roots. The imagery of the tree and the fruit it bears becoming a way for his father to live on is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I gave this collection 3 stars.

Finally, I read a much-anticipated new release. The Libby app has a feature that allows you to add books the library does not have to a list and it will notify you when a title becomes available. I'd done that a couple of weeks ago with James, Percival Everett's take on Huck Finn, and I put it on hold about five seconds after I saw the notification pop up. I was fourth in line and it's a relatively quick read (only about 300 pages, with short chapters), so I only had to wait a few days. Friends, if you don't already have this book on hold, put it on hold now -- it's a fabulous read! Everett is known for his satire and for flipping the script, and he does some really amazing things here with both Jim (or James, as he prefers to be called) and enslaved people in general. He tweaks the story just enough to give an entirely different perspective on the story. You do not have to have read (or reread) Mark Twain's original to appreciate this book; I hadn't read it since high school and only remembered the basic plot line, but I didn't feel I even needed that. I think this book should either replace or be taught alongside Huck Finn in high schools (though I have a feeling some people would immediately try to ban it). I gave it 4 stars.

I'm now back to reading an ARC from NetGalley that I am very much enjoying, and I just started Martyr! on Monday night. I expect there will be more poetry soon, too, as April is National Poetry Month!

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. I had to look at Bereket on Ravelry to better understand where you are in the sweater, but now I get it! I know that Ross Gay poem and it is lovely. You've answered my question about James as I only remember a bit about Huck Finn, so I am going to go place my hold now. Thank you!

  2. That sweater is so interesting, Sarah! I'm going to enjoy watching it progress as you knit on! I'm looking forward to reading James, and I'm in the middle of Martyr right now myself.

  3. I re-read The Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude over the weekend... my gosh, it is one of my favorite books. Poignant, moving, and such tender poems! I also headed over to Ravelry to see finished versions of your sweater... and wow... what a genius way to knit a sweater!

  4. I'm glad I went over to Ravelry to look at Bereket because I was having a hard time figuring it all out. I'm still in love with those oblong bobbles!! LOL. I've requested "James" and I am #133 in the queue!!

  5. That sweater construction looks really cook and different. I think I might not read Iron Flame? Or maybe I will wait until the 3rd book is published and decide then. I'm anxious to read James!

  6. Your Bereket is looking so good! I definitely think you can manage to finish and get a couple of wears out of it before the warm weather is here to stay.

  7. That sweater looks great. I bet you will get to wear it once or twice. It seems like March and April weather have reversed themselves here - warmer in March. James is on my reading list. I also need to find a copy of Ross Gay's poetry.