Unraveled Wednesday, 4/26/23.

Joining Kat and her merry band of Unravelers. Go see what the others are up to.


I am in a hat-knitting mood. The two at left are for the #hatnothate project, the one on the right is for the #hatsforsailors project. All three are Knit Picks Swish Worsted (I think. Parts of them may be Valley Yarns Superwash worsted.) The two on the left are my go-to generic hat pattern, slightly modified, and the one on the right is the Bankhead pattern.

Hat knitting — mindless! — continues. The one at left is actually a true ruby red, but we all know how hard it is to get any red to photograph accurately. The yarn is some unidentified single-ply wool, heavier than worsted Patons Classic Wool Roving, a bulky yarn that never made it into my stash on Ravelry. I’m knitting it on US#9s. It will probably go to the warm clothing drive next December. The hat at right is for the #hatnothate project. Yarn is two colors of Knit Picks Swish Worsted, knit on US#7s. Both hats are based on the generic hat pattern linked above.


Shrines of Gaiety / Kate Atkinson is a collection of interconnected short stories that offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of individuals connected to the world of theater in 1920s England. Atkinson’s writing is vivid and evocative, transporting the reader to a bygone era with rich detail and vibrant characters.

Each story in the collection is linked by the presence of the titular “shrines of gaiety,” which are the music halls and theaters that were popular entertainment venues in the early 20th century. Atkinson’s use of these shrines as a unifying element provides a cohesive structure to the collection and underscores the importance of the arts in the lives of her characters.

One of the standout elements of “Shrines of Gaiety” is Atkinson’s ability to capture the voices of her characters with authenticity and nuance. From struggling actresses to successful producers, each character is given a unique voice and perspective, making them feel like fully-realized individuals rather than mere archetypes.

Atkinson’s writing is also notable for its subtle humor and wit, which add levity to what could be a very bleak collection of stories. Her descriptions of the eccentricities and quirks of her characters are both charming and endearing, making it easy for the reader to become invested in their fates.

Overall, “Shrines of Gaiety” is a delightful collection of stories that showcases Atkinson’s talent as a writer. Her ability to evoke a sense of time and place, coupled with her skill at creating nuanced characters, make this a book that will be appreciated by anyone with an interest in theater, history, or simply good storytelling.

Did you notice that the review of the above book is a lot longer than I usually write? That is because I used ChatGPT to write it. In the immortal words of Arte Johnson on Laugh In back in the day, Verrry interesting! Here is a NYTimes article listing 35 ideas of how people are using artificial intelligence.


The Death of Vivek Oji / Akwaeke Emezi. I like a book with fully developed characters, and this one fills the bill. It is set in Nigeria and exposes the cultural antipathy toward anyone different, in particular with respect to gender and sexuality. 4✭





I Swear: Politics is Messier Than My Minivan / Katie Porter. Smokey and I both admire Rep. Katie Porter tremendously for her values, her intelligence, and her ability to take on lesser mortals in the US House using white boards and facts when they bluff and bloviate instead of doing the job for America. The book is is a witty, down-to-earth exploration of what it’s really like to serve in Congress, particularly as a single mom. 5✭





Local Woman Missing / Mary Kubica. Nearly done with this one (finally). It is a suspense tale about a disappeared woman and her daughter with new bits of information that keep dropping into the plot. 3.5✭




Ted Lasso. I probably will not cancel my free subscription to Apple TV when it runs out in a couple weeks, not least because I am hooked on this show. 5✭





Slow Horses Gayle turned me on to this show about MI5 spies on Apple TV. From Wikipedia: “Slough House is an administrative purgatory for MI5 service rejects who have bungled their job but have not been sacked. Those consigned there are known as “Slow Horses”. They are expected to endure dull, paper-pushing tasks, along with occasional mental abuse from their miserable boss, Jackson Lamb, who expects them to quit out of boredom or frustration. Life in Slough House is defined by drudgery. Yet the Slow Horses somehow get involved investigating schemes endangering Britain.” I have only watched 2 or 3 episodes, but the show is another reason not to cancel my free subscription.

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8 Responses to Unraveled Wednesday, 4/26/23.

  1. Kat says:

    Great hats! (I have one on my needles too, but I still have miles to go!

    I love Gary Oldman… and he is utterly delightful (in the most sarcastic of ways) in Slow Horses!

  2. Vera says:

    Great hats and I just received an email from my library that “Shrines” is ready for me to pick up – will be going out shortly!

  3. handeyecrafts8306 says:

    I didn’t know about Katie Porter’s book. Thank you!

  4. gayle says:

    I just ran and bought Katie Porter’s book – I adore her and her whiteboard! Thanks for letting me know it existed!
    I knew you’d love Ted Lasso, and I hoped you’d love Slow Horses. Severance is also very good – there should be a new season of that coming up in the not too distant future. (I’ll have to go back and re-watch from the start in order to prepare. Holy Moly, does it get twisty!)

  5. highlyreasonable says:

    Those are all great hats, and I did find your review of Shrines of Gaiety quite interesting! There are just times when I want to write something (like a blog post or book review) but I don’t know exactly how to get started or to put my thoughts into words. Soon Chat GPT may be doing some writing for me! 🙂

  6. Jane says:

    What great hats. Hat knitting is a nice diversion to the crazy world – you know predictable. Interesting review of Shrines of Gaiety, particularly as it isn’t a collection of short stories – at least in my mind it was a novel.

  7. Kym says:

    I knew you’d be a Ted Lasso fan. 😉

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