Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Unraveled, Week 16/2024

Phew, what a week it has been already! We have had two gorgeous days of above-normal temperatures and sunshine, but today the rain has returned. We're having the wettest April on record here, and I am thankful that we don't have any flooding issues where we live (that is one perk of having a ravine at the end of your street!). Yesterday I went for my normal walk and then had to walk in to campus to pick up my new ID (my old one expired two years ago, oops) and to meet a coworker for coffee, so I certainly got my dose of vitamin D. But I'm currently "detoxing" from long-term use of my allergy medication, so with the nicer weather there has also been a lot of sneezing and itchy eyes, so at least the rain will wash away some of the pollen.

It's Wednesday, which means it's time to join up with Kat and the Unravelers. I'd hoped to have an FO to share today, but all that walking yesterday meant less knitting time. I'm getting very close, though!

Please excuse the mess behind me, including the chicken.

If I were following the pattern exactly, my Bereket would already be done; it calls for seven rounds of twisted ribbing at the bottom hem before binding off. But that would also result in a very cropped sweater and an awkward length, and as I had (and still have) plenty of yarn remaining, I decided to just keep going with it. I've just joined another skein of yarn, my smallest one of the bunch, and plan to keep knitting until I've basically used it all up. I think that should get me to a length that's much more comfortable for me. Looking at the weather forecast for the week ahead, it's unlikely that I'll be really comfortable wearing a wool sweater of any length in the near future. I can't help but think that I've brought on the warm weather by nearly finishing it, though!

This is my only project of any kind at the moment -- I know! -- but I've got a board meeting tonight which requires some mindless knitting to help me stay engaged, so I will likely be starting a new pair of socks. I've pulled out this skein of self-striping from my SSK goodies from last year to wind up. It's a Targhee/nylon blend, which makes delightfully squishy socks.

Reading has been good but not as plentiful lately, and that's mainly because Mo has wanted to watch Downton Abbey every chance we get, so there's more TV than reading in the evenings. But I've finished two good books in the last week.

First, I listened to From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, which is read by the author (something I always enjoy when listening to a memoir). Tembi Locke tells how she met her husband, a Sicilian chef, while studying abroad; their struggles to have a child and, later, with his battle with a rare cancer; their complicated relationship with his family due to their interracial marriage; and, finally, her husband's death and how she, their daughter, and his mother created a new family for themselves. There is a lot of grief and sadness in this book, but there's also an immense amount of love and of personal growth -- not to mention a lot of food! I haven't yet watched it, but there's also now a Netflix series inspired by the book. I gave this one 4 stars.

Martyr! is a relatively new release that's fairly hard to classify. Its main character, Cyrus Shams, came to the United States with his father from Iran as a child after his mother was killed when a U.S. Navy ship mistook a commercial airliner for a fighter plane. After battling addiction and dealing with the loss of his father while in college, he is now sober and struggling to find some meaning in his life. So he turns to the stories of martyrs, those whose deaths have meaning or significance. And then he hears about an artist who has turned her terminal cancer diagnosis into an art exhibit in New York, and meeting her turns his world upside down. I can't help but think that this novel is probably quite a bit autobiographical; it's certainly informed by the author's background and experience (he, like Cyrus, is a poet, and that's readily apparent in how he writes). It's at turns sad, funny, and poignant. It's not a book that will appeal to everyone, but I really enjoyed it and found it to be really fresh and original. I gave it 4 stars.

Right now I've got a trio of books in progress: Long Island Compromise on Kindle, How to Say Babylon on audio, and When I Lived in Modern Times on paper.

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. That sweater is really a unique and fun design, Sarah! And I can't believe (but am actually not surprised) at how quickly you've knit it! I finished Martyr! over the weekend. Wow. It's one of those books that I can't stop thinking about -- and, really, I'm having trouble picking up any other books at the moment. Much to think about! So far, it's the best book I've read this year -- and will be hard to top. So many layers! (I listened to an interview with the author just yesterday, and it is very autobiographical. Yet still very fictional.)

  2. It's so nice to see Bereket being worn and it looks great! I think your decision to add some length is a good one and you get to use more of your handspun. Those String Theory socks will be good meeting knitting. Martyr! sounds quite intriguing and I'm going to check my libraries to see if there's a copy. Thanks for the review because I'm not sure I would have considered it otherwise!

  3. I recently finished Martyr! as well and I agree with Kym, it is a story that lingers for a very long time after finishing!

    Your sweater though! I love it! It is so, so cute! I love the lines of welts, and the construction, and the sleeves... and I think you are so smart to add some ribbing rows! That will make it perfect!

  4. Your Bereket is looking so good!

  5. I have had some Targhee minis. I haven't found any full skeins in any of the shops I go to. You are right. It's a nice squishy yarn.

  6. Your Bereket is looking fantastic! And just right for you. I can see how it could be a really cute cropped sweater (though it'd be TOO cropped for me). You model it beautifully!
    Sounds like an intense reading week there. And from the sounds of it here, Martyr! should go on my list.
    I love that Mo is in to period pieces. I want to come over and watch Downton with you two! It's mostly sports and horse TV here. :) (Guess I don't have any excuse to get behind on reading or making then...!!)

  7. Weather is so strange and allergies - ugh. I am loving this sweater. Such a great construction.

  8. Love your sweater and can’t wait to see it finished.

    1. Thank you! I finished it last night, save weaving in some ends and blocking.

  9. I'm so intrigued by your sweater - the design and the construction seem to be matching up perfectly with your yarn and you! (and I'm glad adding a bit of length to the body seems to be just knitting a bit more ribbing?!) and I'm totally delighted by Mo's obsession with DA. takes me back in some very good ways!

  10. Your sweater is so pretty! I can't wait to see the finished result! And I keep delaying my hold on Martyr! through Libby... I want to read it but can't quite leave the Maasverse yet! So glad to hear you enjoyed it so much.