July One Word

Hello to an amazing reading month!

I have been thinking about this post for weeks and it isn’t exactly what I was planning. But, I could not let July fade into August without posting a one word reflection.

This month I have been saying Hello to the reading life I want. What does that mean? Well, I am easily influenced by new titles, recommendations, and all the shiny books that show up in my IG feed. I have a TBR. I make a plan. And then I get distracted. This has always been true (in my reading, my knitting, my quilting) so it isn’t a revelation. What I have realized is that I know (to quote Anne Bogel’s question to her podcast guests) what I want to be different in my reading life. And right now, I want to read, and even reread, some older titles. Some of you know that I was an English lit major in college. But I have recently realized that my program left off too many important writers – namely women. So, as we head into the second half of the year, I am building a different TBR.

As I was looking for books for a few of my bingo squares (under 200 pages and a retelling) I remembered Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours. I read both of them and I don’t usually reread, but they are perfect for those two squares. The connection between these titles got me thinking about reading and connections. This idea actually started a few months ago, before Book Bingo. I watched some PBS shows about Flannery O’Connor and Ernest Hemingway. That sent me looking for books by those authors (one of which has my notes from college in the margins). I listened in to the Novel Pairings podcast and was pulled in by Edith Wharton (a female author I did read in college). Before I knew it, I was looking up classics on the library site and hunting down a few on my own shelves.

All of this to help me say Hello to continuing to build a better reading life.

Thanks to Carolyn for hosting us each month.

Coffee three ways

I have been starting blog posts all week but I think I can pull off a Thursday Three so here goes. I love coffee. It is always on my gratitude list. I am trying to cut back on caffeine (working on better sleep habits) so I have begun adding a bit of decaf to my day. Here are three coffee moments from this week.

Morning coffee on the deck with some good books. I actually finished The Hours yesterday and I am getting closer to a Bingo!

For a mid-morning boost I usually have a half decaf but today I tried this new to me coffee. It is very good. I am not sure about the caffeine but it has other good-for-you things.

As the day warms up, I made an iced, decaf, oat milk latte and settled in to finish this post and do a bit of knitting.

Practicing

Remember all that sock knitting? Well, I took a break and guess what? I lost the rhythm. For two weeks I kept casting on and unraveling. Was it the yarn? The pattern? Nope. I had to do some relearning, to reboot that muscle memory. I was motivated by this beautiful yarn from Farmer’s Daughter’s Fibers. So, after four false starts, my hands found their way back. The first sock took eight days to complete. I am pretty sure sock number two will be done in slightly less time. And I am already thinking about the next pair and making myself a promise – always have a pair of socks on the needles so I don’t lose that rhythm.

Fiber Friday

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on a yarn called Our Solar System. Our ever growing little person loves all things solar system so I thought it would make a great yarn for a new hat. If you visit the site, you will see how the stripes are based on the distance between the planets. Very cool.

It was a good week to get such a lovely skein of yarn because it offset a bit of unraveling I had to do on a shawl this morning. I guess I should always have more lights on when I knit textured sections because this morning, I found a glaring mistake about four rows back (300+ stitch rows). It was not possible to fix it and I knew I would end up being very disappointed if I kept going forward. So, I took a deep breath and pulled out those four rows. Fortunately the yarn is sticky enough to hold its shape so I was able to pick up the stitches and very happy to find that it matched the stitch count on the pattern. Crisis averted.

And now it is Friday afternoon. A berry crumble is cooling in the kitchen and it is time for some more knitting and reading and easing into the weekend.