Books,  Knitting

Unraveling a Week.

It’s been an unsettling week here in Georgia. Our governor has taken his crazy coronavirus tactics (remember when we were the first state to reopen and even the president said it was too soon) to a new level, suing the mayor of Atlanta (a current hotspot) for implementing a mask mandate. Y’all. I can’t even.

In between reading news updates, listening to podcasts, talking (and walking 🙂 ) with Marc, calling at risk seniors to ask about Angel Tree wish list items, participating (mostly on mute! PRAISE!) in a women’s ministry leadership team meeting, and having a few sanity saving discussions (not at all on mute!) with friends and family … I knitted, crocheted, and read. and let’s be honest here, I also thought a lot about what I might knit, crochet, and read … and that doing and daydreaming kept me grounded. Y’all. thinking about my queue(s), wanting to use the yarn I have/read books already on my shelves (or borrowed), maybe pressing purchase for an on-line order (for the record, I bought NO yarn, and just two books), it felt good.

and I’m glad I get to share some of that good stuff with you.

First up, knitting. I spent six days monogamously knitting the baby blanket and I finished it!It’s a great pattern (provided you check the errata link before you cast on – gah! I had to re-start on Saturday) and I love the FO (ravelry link). I think the ladies in my mom’s community who commissioned it will be pleased and I’m sure the new-momma will be too.

I’m sure you remember – last week I asked for input about what to knit next and y’all were almost evenly divided in preference for the Malaga Tank and topolino. Obviously there were no bad choices! I did a little more research into Malaga and decided the pattern sizing might need tweaking (I think I’m in between sizes – if any of y’all have the pattern and could send me a schematic, I’d be grateful). That left topolino at the top – and even in linen, long-ish sleeves aren’t my thing right now. Today I cast on a third Notice (ravelry link). I love that I’m familiar with the pattern (no swatching and limited  thinking – once I start! – see below) and I’m using up left over skeins from other projects.

Yeah, so I might’ve started yesterday, but I was over-thinking the color placement. I really wanted my colors to follow the dark to light to not-so-light progression in Anke’s sample, but ultimately, I followed my gut and landed here.

Topolino is next, and I’m going to use the pale blue Lindy Chain I’d planned for another sweater. I might make shorter sleeves, but not so short I can’t show off that beautiful lace detail. Then I added Whippet(long) (ravelry link) to my queue, also in Holst Coast. So … three sweaters! (I also battled FOMO for Andrea Mowry’s latest Spice and Spark and y’all. it was hard!)

Meanwhile, the crocheted blankets continue. Day 100, when I hoped to have two finished afghans, was Wednesday. I actually finished afghan #2 on Tuesday, but I gave it a full day to rest before I trimmed all the ends.I’m really happy with how it turned out … only wish it didn’t read quite so red, white, and blue?! The orange is a lot more orange in real life, but still.

That little peek of purple in the left frame is the beginning of Afghan #3. for my niece who’s getting married next month. Marc thinks I should have the afghan finished for the wedding … and I’m going to do my best. It’s doable, I think, but three weeks to finish an afghan is a lot of crocheting every day!These colors are really fun and I’m still loving the rhythm of the stitches (even though I ended up ripping out all of that green and most of that blue after I took the photo last night – gah! stupid mistake!) and mostly I just love seeing how the colors come together.

On the reading front, I finished two books:

Salvage the BonesSalvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summer Bingo – Borrowed.

I finished this two days ago and I’m still torn apart. The writing is amazing. The characters are so real. and the story is both heartbreaking and hopeful, in a brutal kind of way.

I would love to discuss it with someone, but I don’t think I can recommend it to any of my in real life reading friends right now. Maybe someday.

(I see that Goodreads remembers I started this on July 3 … that’s probably right, but I read about 90% of it in two afternoons.)

Notes of a Native SonNotes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summer Bingo – Collection of essays.

I listened to this collection (Ron Butler does an excellent job with the narration) in a day and honestly, it was probably not the right follow-up to Salvage the Bones. I loved Baldwin’s perspective and commentary about Black life and how it fits in (or doesn’t) in both the US and Europe. My favorite essays were the title piece (I loved how he acknowledged his changing perceptions of his father’s life and choices) and the entire Part Three about being Black in Europe. He makes it clear what is so different about the American experience for Blacks and whites and I am grateful for the lessons.

… and I didn’t get any Bingos, but I’m getting close to a cover-all on card #1! My last square for that card is “more than one author listed on the cover.” I would welcome suggestions. especially if it’s something fun.

That’s it … time to walk Holly and open a bottle of wine (FriYAY!). As always, thank you for being here. Have a good weekend!

13 Comments

  • Juliann

    I’m sorry about your unsettling week. My head has been so full of memorial service planning that I am not tuned in to the events outside. But I struggle with that choice too. Sigh

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    I feel my heart pounding when CNN starts talking about GA – I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I actually lived there. That lawsuit makes no sense – there should be more pressing things to focus on in the statehouse and what happened to giving authority to local governments??! Okay – it’s Saturday morning, I should be able to take a breath today!

    I love Jesmyn Ward and haven’t read this one yet. And could you believe that I haven’t read any James Baldwin yet, either? These are both going on The List.

    Congrats on the baby blanket – I am so impressed! It’s going to be well loved. I can’t wait to see how your Notice turns out. You’re so good at finding the coolest patterns!!

    Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

  • Sarah

    I keep shaking my head at the stupidity coming out of your state, and I am thankful that everyone I know who lives there is smart and staying safe. I really admire the mayor of Atlanta for her blunt honesty, and I can see why she’s being talked about as Biden’s potential running mate!

    I like your colors for your new Notice — subtle but harmonious. And given the speed with which you’ve been completing other blankets, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble at all completing that third afghan!

  • Eileen

    Wow, what a knitting and reading week you have had. I put Salvage the Bones on my reading list, but will need to read it after I read something fun, uplifting. I have been on a real long road of reading heart breaking novels, time to come up for a smile. Love the blanket and color, soft pink…lovely!

  • Geri

    I’m currently struggling with Andrea’s new design! I think I have yarn in my stash for the main color. I just need to check gauge when I return home from our house in Maine and make a decision. Three sweaters are waiting in my queue. Your choice of colors for Notice are lovely and the baby blanket looks so soft and cuddly. Good luck on your crochet blanket deadline!

  • Kat

    I love James Baldwins works. I have been contemplating purchasing Prof. Eddie Glaude’s new book about Baldwin! (and I bought yarn this week, lol… another Ranunculus is singing to me!) Yay you for that 100 project finish.

    And… Kemp…I have no words. But, my heart is aching today at the loss of John Lewis.

  • Vera

    Sorry your week has been unsettling. Things certainly seem to be going from bad to worse. Your crocheting is gorgeous! And, can’t wait to see your sweater(s) progress. Hope your weekend is going well.

  • Honore´

    I never managed to learn to crochet and don’t intend to start now but seeing your crocheted pieces emerge is tempting…since you now have two pieces under your belt, despite the fact that you had to rip out, I suspect the third one will go much faster…muscle memory and all that…Ah! James Baldwin. I remember reading him when I “became” a teenager. As with Kat, Eddie Glaude’s book is in my TBR queue.

    As for GA, thankfully there are people there who think…glad I know one… you!!! Keep the faith.

  • karen

    love the baby blanket!!! The world has gone mad these days and I worry I won’t be seeing my daughter any time soon. Also there is the January wedding…Oh well, I pray and hope for the best!

  • Karen

    I haven’t read any of the Jesmyn Ward books, but Sing, Unburied, Sing has been on my list for awhile. I’m quite sure I’m behind on my Unread Shelf Project. I’ve read at least one every month, one month I read five—but I’ve purchased as many books and keep borrowing books from the library, Your knitting projects always look so beautiful—my fave this time—that beautiful baby blanket!

  • Patty

    I’ve been watching the news about your state as well. It really is very troubling! (Along with the rest of the news!) I’m going to investigate that baby blanket – I may need to mix up my regular choice and am considering making one for a February baby. And that book…I looked and I can’t do it right now! I hope you enjoyed the wine and that the weekend was good!

  • Jane

    I think the news everywhere is troubling these days. I do best to focus on the present moment where the pandemic is concerned. I just can’t think about how long it has been and will be before we see our children and grandchildren in person. I do admire the mayor of Atlanta. We have a young progressive woman mayor who makes much more sense than our governor. Your crocheted afghans are lovely. The baby blanket is so pretty. Someday I’m going to try Holst Garn yarn. I know it is very affordable. I love the subtle colors you have chosen. Hang in there.

  • Eli

    I can recommend “Heads You Lose” by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. Very entertaining, mostly light. They took turns writing the chapters, if I recall correctly, and their ex-relationship status added to the progression of the story.