Books,  Knitting

Unraveled Wednesday | Pockets and Do-overs.

Happy Wednesday, my friends. and cheers!My lovely friend Honoré and I celebrated TEN YEARS of retirement this morning with a two-hour FaceTime call and a champagne toast. We both worked our last day in our “career jobs” (caveat only on my part since I started working in my LYS and teaching classes the following Monday) on Friday, January 29, 2010. Retirement hasn’t turned out quite like we expected … all for the good.

While we chatted, I knitted on the Polar Coat and now have almost finished the body. I really wanted to share the bind-off with y’all today … and I’m close! Here’s a full view of the body just after the pockets and here’s a close-up of the pocket.I almost never knit pockets into my sweaters (I feel like they droop and ruin the line; also, they are a pain to knit) … until now. I decided the big old field of stockinette would look better with that detail. and I must admit, I’m smitten with these. The designer had us cast on stitches to knit the pocket fronts at the same time as the back. I had three sets of needles, three balls of yarn, a little frustration and a lot of knitting standing up at the kitchen counter to keep it all straight. It was worth it! The pockets are nearly invisible except for that ribbing at the top (satisfying my goal of something to break up all the stockinette) and there are only TWO ends to weave in when I’m done. Who knows, I might even use them!

So that’s pockets and now you might be wondering about the do-over? it’s not knitting, it’s a book.

Last week I shared that I’d finished The Stationery Shop (January’s Modern Mrs Darcy’s bookclub selection) and only liked it. Well, we had the author discussion on Monday – Marjan Kamali was on the video call and hearing her talk about all the where/how/why/ways behind the book made me realize what I’d missed on my initial read. I love being wrong about a book! Here’s what I added to my review on Goodreads: “Hearing the author talk in her own words about where she got the idea for the plot (from a conversation with an older gentleman in a senior living center), how writing the book brought her closer to her father, why she structured the book the way she did, and the research she conducted, especially around the 1953 coup in Iran resolved so many of my issues … I’m adding another star to my review!”

Another wonderful thing about these bookclub discussions is the chat thread among all the participants that accompanies Anne’s live discussion with Ginger (the bookclub community manager) and sometimes the author. It’s kind of hard to keep up with, but oh my goodness are these smart, compassionate and funny readers! I have such a better appreciation now of Kamali’s wonderfully complex characters, vivid scenes of love and loss, and fantastic villain in the “character” of untreated mental illness. This way of thinking about a villain as something other than a person has opened my eyes!

I did finish one more book, Act Like It by Lucy Parker (my Goodreads review) and I loved it. This is the first non-regency romance I’ve really loved … and it was such a nice companion when I’d finished all those podcasts and still had a sick dog to comfort and a big coat to knit.

Do you ever re-think your book reviews/star ratings after you’ve written them? do you change what you wrote the first time? (If you’re shocked that I did, and I did, no need to tell me 😉 )

Thank you to Kat for hosting our meetup!


  • Kym

    Lovely coat, Mary! And those pockets really make it, y’know??? I do sometimes change my “stars” after thinking about a book some more once I finish. Sometimes I add a start. Sometimes I take one away. It depends. When I’ve been in book groups, I often change my initial opinion of a book after the discussion. It’s interesting to hear what others have to say — and it really can change the way I understood a book! I hope Holly is feeling better! XO

  • Jane

    Wow – that is good progress with that sweater-coat. I love the lavender color. Sometimes I think lavender can almost function as a gray/neutral. Beautiful knitting.

  • Alexa

    Your coat is looking super with those pockets. I do love having some in a garment – though I hardly ever put anything in them (apart from a hand from time to time for coziness) in case it spoils the line! They are indeed practically invisible. It was a surprise to see Honoré’s face when I opened your post – how special to have that time together and enjoy a mutual celebration. And thank-you for the book recommendation of The Stationary Shop. The title alone has my skin tingling. I see our library has a copy but there are two people already waiting for it, so it is clearly one to put on the list. Hoping the rest of your knitting goes well this week.

  • Sarah

    Those pockets are perfection! I’ve usually had the same sort of trepidation about adding pockets to sweaters for the same reasons, but these are so perfectly suited that the sweater wouldn’t be the same without them.

    I haven’t changed a rating on a book since I started using Goodreads (only a few years ago), but I have changed my opinions of books upon rereading them. One I can think of is Catcher in the Rye. I had to read it in the 9th grade for school and hated it at the time, but when I reread it as a college freshman, I loved it. I think sometimes you need perspective that comes from maturity and/or experience to appreciate a book as it was meant to be read.

  • Kat

    Wow! I LOVE your sweater/coat! It looks fabulous! And, those pockets… brilliant! And, they do look like a necessary part of that garment! Well done!

    At times, I do change my rating – more thought and more digesting often changes the perspective of a book.

  • Carole

    As a librarian I’ve heard my fair share of authors speak about their books and I always find it eye opening and insightful. I’m glad you got to rethink your review of The Stationary Shop!

  • Vera

    Yup, I’ve changed my rating of books more than once. More thought and digestion often changes my view. Loving your polar coat – fabulous knit and such a great color. Congrats to you and Honore!!

  • Debbie

    I’ve changed my ratings on books and have updated my reviews from time to time. Unfortunately, the MMD author talk about The Stationery Shop has only reinforced my low rating. I did update my review on goodreads because I did gain more insight into what rubbed me the wrong way.

  • Patty

    I think I may have changed a rating or two. I think we all deserve time and the right to re-think things. I may have come around a bit to Educated after book group this week and become a little more open to how her journey has unfolded. (Though I knew the root of why I disliked it all along and that is my limitation!) Loving the flecks of color in that polar coat!

  • Margene

    How fun to spend time with a friend on Face Time and share a special moment together. Your sweater looks lovely and I love the color and the way the pockets work. Often I find it best to wait while the book “settles” in my mind before I give it a rating. Our book group discussions always deepens my understanding of a book and I value the ideas and insights my fellow readers share. I have changed a rating on Goodreads, sometimes years later, or often, when reading a second time. I can think of several others I would like to change because the reader I was then is not the reader I am now.

  • Karen

    Another gorgeous creations—LOVE the color! I’m a fan of pockets, but admit those in sweaters aren’t as functional as I want them for my phone. I’m quite sure the phone would stretch them out. So much fun to see Honoré pop up at the top of this post. I have her to thank for finding you!

  • karen

    congrats on your 10 year anniversary and to be able to share the celebration with H is amazing! I do love the coat and I hope your pockets are satisfying. I think they will be great.

  • Honore´

    Well, color me surprised! I shall share my pic next week!
    I don’t give stars to books I read but I do reconsider my initial “takes,” as time passes or different, relevant info comes into being…and I’ve even been known to reread a book to see if I can figure out what I missed. Those are rare occasions tho’.
    The coat looks great; you really did make a lot of progress! Enjoy the weekend!