Unraveled Wednesday, 10/13/21.

Joining Kat and friends. Go see what the others are up to.

Knitting.

Instead of knitting in the evenings whilst watching TV, I am detangling this mess. This was prompted by my endeavoring to straighten the laundry/craft room. Shortly after I started the Big Red Blob, aka Boxy, I decided to overdye some of the too-pinkish tonal yarns with the darker dye, center above. The color came out fine; the problem was that I didn’t tie up the skeins in enough places. I now have three skeins that look like the one on the left. Detangling is very slow, but last night suddenly I seem to have gotten past the worst of it with this skein. One down, two to go! (There are two balls because I had to cut the yarn midway through. Detangler: lose 2 points.)

After the dyeing and the drying back in 2019 I was so discouraged by the three tangled messes that I just threw them in a basket and called it a day. But those were three that I had spent good money on (as opposed to things I spent bad money on; Smokey and I frequently chuckle over this nonsense saying) and I am not one to give up easily.

It probably will not work to use these now in Boxy, since it is well along and these yarns are darker and redder than the rest of the sweater. Last night before I fell asleep I thought about making another sweater using red fingering weight yarn, this time with each shade worked in a 1″ stripe. Perhaps I will do that — never mind the other sweater that has been languishing OTN for a couple years. Onward!

Reading.

A Dog’s Life by Peter Mayle. Mayle is also the author of A Year in Provence, so I knew this book would be light entertainment. Narrator is Boy, a largish dog of uncertain origins, and who can narrate his life with the best of memoirists. The prose style put me off initially, but I finally recognized it as resembling nineteenth-century writing. Think of Jane Austen or Conan Doyle. The book is short and utterly delightful. 4✭

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The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. I have posted about the Ruth Galloway series by this author and how I enjoyed them. They are mysteries with some blood and guts, but not much. This one is the first of the Harbinder Kaur mysteries. Kaur is a police detective of South Asian descent who still lives with her parents (happily!) I enjoy Griffiths’ writing and all of her books are entertaining reads with fully formed characters. For example, Harbinder has a partner she finds annoying, as he is Mr. Obvious. To mitigate her annoyance she thinks of him as an exuberant puppy, i.e., no deep thoughts, just enthusiasm. 3✭

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Billie Summers by Stephen King. Having read nearly every book published by Stephen King (I could not get into The Dark Tower series), of course I had to read this one. The plot differs considerably from his usual — horror, dystopia, just plain weird — in that this is more of a crime novel. Good story; we expect nothing less from King. 4✭

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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Read about it at Goodreads.com, linked above. It has a 4.10 rating on GR, but I didn’t like it that well. 3✭

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The English Assassin by Daniel Silva. #2 in the Gabriel Allon series) I liked this one a bit better than the first book in the series; maybe I am getting used to the author’s style. The plot was a bit convoluted, to the point where I sometimes couldn’t keep the characters straight. I may give this series one more chance; if I still have to keep flipping back to see who a character is or to clarify a plot point, I shall be done. 3✭

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All Our Darkest Secrets by Martyn Ford. First of all, do not read anything where the author has a twee spelling of his or her name, i.e., MartYn, above. I should have followed this advice. Protagonist, a DEA agent, firstly, helps his wife cover up her murder of her bass, and then is blackmailed into helping out a Big Pharma executive/opioid kingpin with his operations. Unrealistic plot, occasionally strange writing — what did the prologue and first few pages have to do with anything? That is what I thought while reading; when I went back after I finished, I could see the connections, sort of. 2✭

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A Day Like This by Kelley McNeill. The book directly above and this one were Amazon freebies. Secrets was worth exactly what I paid, while this one was surprisingly good. A woman wakes up in the hospital after her car is T-boned at an intersection . She suffered relatively minor injuries, but when she asks about her young daughter who was with her in the car, no one has heard of her. All traces of the life she remembers do not exist. She goes off in search of answers: why is her husband so cold, what happened to the daughter, how did she and her estranged sister become best friends, and why is she now living in NYC when all she remembers is that she and her family lived in a big house in upstate NY. 4✭

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Splintered Silence by Susan Furlong. This book about a female Marine with PTSD coming back to her Appalachian home was not great, but I learned two things I had never heard of: Irish travellers and blue-skinned people. Not enough to save the book from mediocrity, though. 2.5✭ Your mileage may vary, of course.

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The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. By sheer coincidence — or, more probably, the source from which I learned of these books — this one is also about an Appalachian blue-skinned person. And it is about the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky, the central plot of another book I listened to — The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes. Coincidence reigns supreme… (Just started, too soon to rate, but it has a 4.22 rating out of 5 on goodreads.com)

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Watching.

We continue on our Downton Abbey binge, one or two episodes most evenings. Smokey commented that watching it over a shorter period time makes it easier to keep track of all the plot lines and characters. I dread finishing it — we will have to find something else to watch, and that is always a challenge. Suggestions welcome

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6 Responses to Unraveled Wednesday, 10/13/21.

  1. Kat says:

    Oh boy… I think there is a Rav group of people that absolutely love to detangle yarn. They might be interested in that red squiggly blob!

    I hope that the Allon Series picks up for you! I have added A Dog’s Life to my list! Thank you!

  2. Gayle says:

    I used to untangle string for fun when I was a kid – still enjoy an occasional bout with yarn…

  3. Oh, man. That pile of tangled red yarn makes my fingers itch. I’m not sure I could say that I *like* detangling yarn, but it’s one of those things that I hate to leave undone. (Don’t worry. I procrastinate plenty of other things. Detangling yarn just isn’t one of them.)

  4. Jane says:

    I have to smile at the “good money” vs. “bad money” thing. The yarn is pretty though. Onward with knitting. I say it should be fun so if you want to start a new sweater – go for it. I could not get into The Midnight Library but I know others enjoyed it. Good thing we all like different things.

  5. Kym says:

    That tangled yarn just gives me a head cramp. . .

  6. k says:

    I’m reading! So excited. Two things: Frankenstein (I’m taking notes for some reason) and also How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan. I didn’t know anything about it going in. Surprise! Psychedelic drugs (entheogens) and spiritual experiences. I like Pollan’s style, so I might actually finish this book.
    Speaking of tangled yarn: there was that time I accidentally tossed my knitting into the washer. I think that’s the first and only time I laughed hysterically. And bamboo needles sometimes swell longitudinally.

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