Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday

It's time to join Kat and the Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday. I can't stand to show you yet another photo of my almost-completed Musselburgh (I'm doing the decreases and I think it should be done in another hour or two), and I've only knit two rows on my poor Antler cardigan in the last two weeks. So how about some comfort knitting that's keeping me company through house inspections, packing, unpacking, appointments with a notary for pension paperwork, discussions with our financial planner, and a visit to the ER? (John wrenched his back while lifting a chair that we were moving and he couldn't stand up. It doesn't look serious, but he's already had three back surgeries, so we wanted to get things checked.)

When the going gets tough, I turn to Hitchhiker knitting. It's easy to work on whenever I have a few moments, and this one has been on the needles a long, long time. When I'm done with all the details of selling the MD house, moving, and John retiring, I just might have a completed Hitchhiker and can return to some other projects that are languishing. 

I like to pair my knitting with a good beer when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, and this one went very well with my Hitchhiker. You may not be able to read the fine print, but it says "A beautifully aromatic milk stout with bold flavors of peanut butter, coffee, and dark chocolate." It may not be in a beer mug, but it's exactly what I needed. 

I haven't knit much this past week, but I've listened to two wonderful audiobooks. First up is Taste by Stanley Tucci. Many of you have read or listened to it, and it's as good as everyone says it is. With Tucci's stories about his childhood in Katonah, NY and what his Italian relatives grew, made, and served, to anecdotes about butter on Maine lobster, andouillette (a stinky sausage made with chitterlings), and roast potatoes made the British way, it's clear that he loves to eat and prepare food and drink, and appreciates the human connections that are made by sharing with others. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book, especially if you listen to it read by the author. Just don't listen while you are hungry because you certainly will be after you finish this book. 

The second book I listened to is The Final Case by David Guterson. All I knew about The Final Case when I requested it from the library was that it was a legal drama and I remembered loving Snow Falling on Cedars. That was enough because I'm fairly sure that this book will be among the best books I read this year. I can say that with some confidence even though it's only February because it's so much more - more than a legal drama, more than a story about an adopted Ethiopian child, and more than a story about what we do for work, leading a meaningful life, religion, justice, and the bonds between parents and children. 

This book might not be for everyone as some reviewers have complained that it was meandering and lacking in direction or intent. In an interview, Guterson said, "The reality of life isn't consistent with fictional conventions, with plot points and a finite story. Life meanders. But I didn't set out to meander. It's just that the plot of the novel might take a little work to discover because it's not necessarily on the surface." The fact that the plot wasn't on the surface is exactly what made me enjoy and appreciate the book as much as I did. Another reviewer spoke about trusting the author, and sticking with the book even when you're not sure of the journey. I think The Final Case is a book with ample rewards for the reader if they are willing to trust David Guterson. 

What are you making and reading this week? 


  1. Love your Hitchhiker Bonny! That pink is just so vivid. Sending the healing Juju over to John - hoping his back is feeling much, much better. I love your mug! And that beer - I have made a note of that one - I think it is one that both Fletch and I would enjoy. I'm in the Overdrive queue for "The Final Case" and now am adding Taste to my request list! Thanks for the recommendations.

  2. Hurrah for Hitchhiker Knitting! There is nothing like it when everything it just too much! :)

    I am off to look for that Gutterson book! Thank you!

  3. You know, I have never found any comfort knitting to speak of, something that I turn to when I need some meditative knitting. Maybe I need to start knitting HH's! I hope that all those loose ends, house, John's back, moving, etc. is resolved quickly. Meanwhile, you will have a lovely object when it does. I am often overwhelmed these days, so I need to get knitting, I suppose, and give the reading a rest for a while. Thanks for the Gutterson review. I loved Snow Falling on Cedars.

  4. Oh Bonny,I'm so glad you gave The Final Case such a good review. I got it out of the library when you mentioned it last week, started reading Sunday and finished Monday afternoon. I could not put it down! There are so many passages that I've gone back and read again, that I'm thinking of buying my own copy just to have those quotes with me.

    Good luck with the knitting. Your life is in "mindless knitting" territory right now. You'll get back to it.

  5. I loved Snow Falling On Cedars . . . so much that I keep picking up other books by David Guterson. I'm disappointed each time that it's not Snow Falling On Cedars! (I've got a hold on The Final Case at my library. Hope springs eternal.) You are, indeed, in that horrid liminal period . . . just before everything settles down and you can relax. Moving, selling, retirement-prep . . . all of it is just overwhelming! I'm so glad you've got a lovely Hitchhiker and good Milk Stout to keep you going! XO

  6. gorgeous hitchhiker and I wouldn't have minded another hat photo!!

  7. I love this particular Hitchhiker and am always happy when I see it come out for knitting time. Clearly it's a good thing to have on hand when you need something to keep your hands busy that doesn't require a lot of attention.

    I'm trying to finish up a sock today, and as I finished a library book right before bed last night, I'll have to decide what's up next.

  8. That beer sounds yummy! I'm listening to Taste right now and really enjoying it.

  9. Now I really want to read The Final Case. I love a book that meanders with a subtle plot line. I also loved Snow Falling on Cedars although I can't remember too much about it. You are in the middle of a big transition which is a perfect time for Hitchhiker knitting. This pink one looks like Spring. Knit on - Spring will come and the move will settle. I hope your husband's back heals well. Back injuries can be so troublesome.

  10. I read Snow Falling on Cedars so many years ago that I can barely remember much about it other than that I enjoyed it. I think The Final Case will go on my TBR. I love the spring colors in your Hitchhiker!

    1. The Final Case does have a trial in it but it's not a John Grisham kind of legal drama. I was so taken with it and have found myself thinking about it - the plot and the writing - for several days, and I'm sure I'll be thinking about it for a long time. I've tried to start a few other Guterson books but they just haven't felt right. I may need to just re-read Snow Falling on Cedars because I also remember very little about it except that I liked it.

  11. Those pinks are beautiful.

    Hope John is feeling better soon.

  12. Yikes - hope John is on the mend! I started Migrations yesterday and it's as good as I hoped. Now off to put The Final Case on hold - thank you!


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