My Unraveled posts have been on a too-long hiatus because reasons, not because I haven’t been knitting.
Reason 1. I became dissatisfied with the colors of my Boxy. It is being knitted from all the different fingering weight red yarns I had in the stash, but once they were knitted together I realized there was a fair amount of pink in them. For the record, I despise pink, plus it is not a particularly flattering color on me due to my skin tone, which tends toward gold rather than rosy. So the Boxy went into time out while I pondered my choices.
The obvious choice was to overdye the worst offenders in the remaining yarns using something that would counteract the pink. Rit Dye to the rescue! I tried using half a bottle of true red with a couple tablespoons of wine. That helped some but still didn’t get me to the color I realized I wanted — a brick red similar to these.
I think my next step is to over-dye again using brown and/or orange. I will need to over-dye the existing knitting, too. Already have a bottle of brown dye, need to acquire some orange. Or possibly yellow. Edited to add: Done!
Reason 2. We are going to New Mexico to spend Thanksgiving with Elder Son and GF; Younger Son is going along. It will be the whole fam-damily together, yay! I suggested we pretend that T’giving also be Christmas, which means I need to get GF’s socks* done.
* Oops. I haven’t blogged these socks. GF’s birthday was back in June; when I asked ES what she might like/need, he suggested hand-knit socks. He and I thought it would spoil the surprise if he tried to measure her feet, but he was able to give me her shoe size. Armed with that knowledge, I cast on for the socks pictured below. They turned out to be too tight. I had only knit the foot, so only a minimal amount of knitting was wasted.
When ES and GF were here earlier this fall I had her peruse my sock yarn stash and pick out a couple different skeins that appealed to her. Clever Me also had her try on some of my own hand-knit socks when she was here. It turns out my socks fit her perfectly; her feet are shorter than mine, but wider, and the wonderfully forgiving nature of stockinette means that I can simply knit her socks using the same needles and stitch counts I use for my own.
Pair #1A has been a shamefully long slog for me, but I finished the first sock a couple nights ago. The second sock should go better now that I have all the [self-imposed and too long and boring to enumerate] kinks worked out.
Pair #2 are my own invention. She was telling us how she gets flak from the nursing instructors and supervisors when she does her clinicals (she is in her penultimate semester of nursing school) because her socks are not white — she wears hiking socks because her feet get cold. Pondering this situation I came upon the idea to knit her a double-stranded pair of white socks from KnitPicks Bare fingering… and knit the toes striped with several different bright colors. She can satisfy the Powers That Be while chuckling to herself about the level of color-ific-ness inside her shoes. Since that pair will be double-stranded, they will be a fast project. I may even be able to start and finish them in the car on the way to New Mexico. Note to self: knit the colorful toes for both socks before the trip to avoid having to drag along multiple balls of yarn.
Reason 3. My Fairfield sweater was coming along nicely when the Boxy Bug struck. No problems there, just hiatus due to startitis.
Reason 4. When I was avoiding working on GF’s socks I made a couple potholders for our kitchen. The multi-striped one is crocheted, the other is garter stitch felted. Clearly, I overshot the size on the latter. Maybe I should run it through the washer and dryer again, then cut it down to size; that would mean removing and reattaching the hanging ring. Thoughts?
Here is everything I have read since my last post.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. A young adult book, but still a fun read. Since I generally do not enjoy reading YA books, this is high praise indeed.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I had listened to this years ago, but decided to read it in analog form before I read The Testament, its sequel. Chilling, relevant, and highly recommended, of course.
The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert. I had a wild hair — startitis, anyone? — to knit a granny square afghan. Happily, the urge passed, but should it strike again there are books available to help me pick a square.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. Chilling, relevant, and highly recommended.
Stolen Things by our own knitter/author, Rachel Herron. This is by far my favorite book by her. Anybody else remember when she was an Oakland 911 operator, blogger, and aspiring writer? She no longer works for 911 and earns a six-figure income through her writing and teaching. Go, Rachel!
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. I love character-driven stories. This is one, a really good one. Highly recommend.
The Institute by Stephen King. No one writes a suspense novel like Stephen King. Highly recommend if you like that sort of thing. (I do.)
The Guest Book by Sarah Blake. I have long been fascinated by the WASPishness of the right coast and the automatic bestowing of various mantles on those right-coast dwellers with the *proper* background. This book does an insightful job of portraying both those folks and those who are not those folks (at least one of whom actually is one of those folks). This is a book that has stayed with me. Although as a Midwesterner I can never be one of those folks, the book made me more aware of my white privilege than books that specifically try to do that. Highly recommend.
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. This book is of a genre — a feel-good, [elder]chick-lit sort of thing — that I avoid like the plague. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it (mostly; it was too long and kept me from my TBR pile longer than I would have liked). Basically, I recommended it if you like that sort of thing.
The Break by Katherena Vermette. I am currently reading this one, but it is a hard book for me to pick up — I have been avoiding it for several days. Portraying injustice in a Native community in Canada, it could easily be set in the US. When I moved from Minnesota to Wisconsin in 1999 and became familiar with my new home, it seemed to me, from my position of white privilege, that the Tribe got more consideration — at least institutionally — than I had seen elsewhere. For example, when my county, at the behest of the state, created its Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), the three local entities that created it were my county, the county to the north, and the St Croix Band of Chippewa (Ojibwe, Anishinaabe). That being said, there is no shortage of racism and disparagement of Natives among local individuals.
Check out what others are knitting (and unraveling) and reading over at Kat’s.