Unraveled Wednesday, 6/1/22.

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


Now I have a big brown blog in addition to the Big Red Blob.

This bag, after me having picked up about a gajillion stitches around the edge, will be clear sailing, mindless knitting, and pure stockinette until the cows come home. I do not normally have any problem with picking up stitches on an edge, but these — actually, the yarn — kicked my butt. Seriously, it took me five (5!) days to pick up 50 stitches on each of the three sides. (Fourth side is the live stitches.) I would seize the blasted thing and pick up, oh, let’s say, six (6!) stitches. Then I would hurl it onto the tray table in front of my knitting chair and pout until the next day. Let’s just say that picking up stitches with a loosely spun single ply yarn is no day at the beach. Plus, the pattern had me knit it on US#7/4.5mm needles. Hey, this thing is gonna be felted! It should be more loosely knit than that! So I am continuing on US#9/5.5mm needles. If the first phase had been done on US#9s, picking up stitches would have been much easier.

Anyhow, finally on Monday night I finished picking up the stitches, which task was accomplished during episode 2 of China Beach, the series we are watching on DVD. Smokey says it has three (3!) hooks for him: Vietnam, nursing, and something else I don’t remember the sound track — music from the late 1960s.

My new recliner has a built-in yarn holder.



Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Imagine my delight when I saw this book in the NYTimes newsletter of books to read this summer — I had just started it the night before. Generally I do not like books that are self-consciously funny like this one. Sly humor, even unintentional humor, is preferable to me. But this book grew on me (weird mental image with that one) and I am enjoying it. 3★ right now, but it could go to 4 by the time I am done.



Conviction by Denise Mina. I am not sure what to say about this book. Yes, it is mystery-ish; yes, there were a multiple murders; yes, it is well-written. But I found the plot… lumpy. Not smooth. But I suspect that that may be this author’s style. I had to force myself to pick up the book and resume reading. YMMV. 3★




Uncaged by John Sandford & Michele Cook. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this book, the first of a previously unknown to me three-book series by my favorite mystery/crime/thriller author, John Sandford. The plot features a mysterious and evil corporation doing tortuous things to animals in their labs, formerly homeless teenagers now living in a *hotel* run by a generous artist, and secrets on highly encrypted flash drives. 4★

Edited to add: When I picked up this book to finish it, I realized that nearly all the characters were teenagers, there was only one trustworthy adult, and all the other adults were Bad Guys. Yup, this is a YA book. But the writing is not simplistic as many YA books are. The book is as violent and bloody as other Sandford books, but I would have loved it as a teenager.

Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson. Set in the redwood forests of northern California in the 1970s, this is a story about the conflict between loggers and environmentalists. The conflict is personified by the central characters: Rich is a tree-topper and his wife, Colleen, is an amateur midwife who is aware of the unusual number of miscarriages suffered by local women. The defoliant the logging company uses to knock down the brambles that grow among the trees has virtually the same chemical makeup as Agent Orange, but this story is set before the horrific effects of that chemical were widely known*. 4★




Still listening to Pretty Things. I think I may need to change my audiobook buying habits — I have been on this one for weeks and weeks. It is decent listening, but I have nine (9!) other audiobooks from Audible that I haven’t listened to. I used to select really long audiobooks because I felt like I was getting more for my money that way; 20+ hours length was preferred. (Example: The Gulag Archipelago, 73 hours.) Now I go for nothing longer than 12 hours.




China Beach, season 1. When this series aired in the late 1980s it won a lot of awards — it was really well-done but was canceled after three (3!) seasons because of low viewership. Apparently there weren’t enough people who could tolerate being reminded of the horrors of Vietnam. 4★




* Smokey was recently declared 100% disabled by the Veterans Administration (he had previously been classified as 10% disabled because of his plaque psoriasis, later upgraded in the early 2000s to 40% for his psoriatic arthritis. His ship, the aircraft carrier USS Hancock, sailed within 12 miles of the coast of Vietnam, and therefore the sailors on board were presumed to have been affected by Agent Orange; his Type 2 diabetes and kidney disease could have been caused by that exposure. Legislation passed in 2020 expanded VA coverage to include, among other things, prostate cancer and ischemic heart disease**. Smoke could be upgraded (downgraded?) to well over 100% according to the VA’s rules.

* * I am a master at denial. Smokey has several conditions that could kill him at any minute. Meanwhile, I go merrily onward, tra la, life is good, yada yada.

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7 Responses to Unraveled Wednesday, 6/1/22.

  1. Kym says:

    Keep picking up those stitches, Kat. The bag will be worth it in the end. (And aren’t we ALL in denial???? Yada yada yada . . . ) XO

  2. Carol Waudby says:

    Denial can help in many things. Thank him for his service. I loved China Beach.

  3. gayle says:

    Nothing wrong with a little denial – it lets us enjoy the Now instead of just mourning the Future.

  4. That bag is going to be lovely! And I love the way gayle phrased it… enjoy the now instead of mourning the future. I have to remember that one.

  5. Kat says:

    Denial is my middle name!

    But those stitches… little buggers… good thing the yarn is pretty!

  6. Mary Jo says:

    The last 2 years my husband and I binge watched some TV programs. Our eldest gave us a Bose speaker for Christmas and we started listening to audio books together. We usually did that in the car over long distances, but we have really gotten our money’s worth from the library property tax and Audible with the new speaker. Also, for us, living a boring life with some denial is a good thing.

  7. Pingback: Unraveled Wednesday, 6/8/22. | kmkat & her kneedles

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