Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Unraveled Wednesday: 3/8/23

I'm happy to join Kat and fellow Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday, with something new and springy. I'm still knitting on the Sophie shawl, but to be honest, it's becoming a bit of a slog. There was my initial excitement when I got my yarn scale, but so far it has not yet told me that I've reached the halfway/decrease portion. I'll spare you another photo of an off-white shawl that looks fairly similar to what I showed you last week. 

But my fingers have been almost itching to work on a Hitchhiker, so I looked through my stash, found a couple of skeins that I liked, and cast on.

I meant to do a row of yarn overs every couple of teeth but kept forgetting until I had done six teeth. Now I'm doing them every six rows and calling it a design element. Many of you may be too young to remember when they used to sell pastel-dyed chicks at Easter, but that's what these colors remind me of. Hedgehog Fibers calls this colorway Foam, but I'm calling it Spring Chickens. My sister and I used to hope that the Easter Bunny would bring us cute little chicks, but thankfully he never did. This is close enough for me. 

I finished three books this week. The first was an advance reader copy of a lovely WWI story, Beyond That, the Sea by Laura Spence-Ash. In 1940, 11-year-old Beatrix Thompson's parents send her from London to the United States in hopes that she'll be safe from Hitler's bombings. Bea is lucky enough to end up in Boston with the Gregory family. She misses her family terribly and they miss her, but she quickly fits in with 13-year-old William and nine-year-old Gerald. Bea learns how to swim at the Gregory's island summer home, excels academically, and grows into a teenager. When the war ends, she is unsure about where she belongs and fearful about returning home to a different London and a much different family than the one she left. It was a wonderful four-star read told from a unique and different perspective. The book will be published on March 21. 

I loved Wintering by Katherine May but I'm afraid I didn't quite get the point of the author's newest, Enchantment. She begins this short book with a good description of how I feel post-covid, and how I think many others feel - exhausted, disconnected, and isolated. The author then goes on to try and define and search for enchantment: “small wonder magnified through meaning, fascination caught in the web of fable and memory.” This book didn't speak to me, so it was 2.5 stars, rounded up.

But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Maame by Jessica George. Maddie Wright is a 20-something young woman who lives in London, the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, has a father with Parkinson's Disease, a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana, and a brother who is no help at all. Maddie is struggling, emotionally and financially, but she is dutiful and intelligent, doing the best she can working and caring for her father, all while receiving criticism from her mother. Maddie has been forced to be a responsible woman throughout much of her life, but when her mother returns from Ghana, Maddie moves out of her father's home and begins to live her own life. She experiences plenty of pitfalls but Jessica George has written an engaging character that the reader is always rooting for. The book also deals with racism, family duty, grief, and depression, with both humor and pain. I was struck by how a seemingly simple nickname can sometimes be a cruel thing.

Now I'm re-reading The Shipping News to get ready for our Read With Us blog and Zoom book discussion on Tuesday, March 21st. I do hope you'll join us!

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. I just bought the new Katherine May book, and I'm hoping I like it more than you do! I'll keep an eye out for Beyond That, the Sea; that sounds right up my alley. I am still reading The Shipping News (less than 100 pages to go), and it's my top priority because I finished War and Peace last night!

  2. What a Springy and beautiful new Hitchhiker! Love the pastel colors and that will be so nice - even when the weather warms and you need something when you step into an air conditioned coffee shop or some other place. I've added "Beyond That, The Sea" to my TBR list (which is steadily growing). I'm still readling "Love Songs" and "The Shipping News" and still knitting on the Trekking sock. Longing to cast on something new and start a new book!

  3. I like your Peep's Inspired new Hitchhiker! It is wonderfully spring-y! You had a great reading week! Wow! (and my TBR list has grown a bit... so thank you!)

  4. What perfect yarn to be knitting with as spring begins (or at least thinks about?) showing up. It makes me happy and hopeful just to look at it through the computer! (I'll be it's even more effective when you're actually working with it.) Thanks - as always - for your thoughtful book reviews, Bonny. XO

  5. wow does that shout spring from the rooftops, I love it!!

  6. Oh boy, that really says "SPRING," doesn't it?? Perfect time of year to be knitting a Spring Chicken Hitchhiker!

  7. Those pastel colors are perfect for spring! I wish I could see some of them outside my window today, instead it looks and feels like we are back in winter. I always appreciate your great book reviews. Beyond That, The Sea and Maame both sound like books I would like.

    1. After knitting what feels like too much off-white (with more to go) I was definitely in the mood for spring color! Beyond That, the Sea and Maame were both very enjoyable for me. They were both written by debut authors but I hope to be reading more from both of them in the future.

  8. My sister and I got pastel chicks one Easter. I hope they really did "go to the farm".

    I love the color of your new Hitchhiker.

  9. That yarn reminds me of Easter eggs! And yes, I remember those chicks, too. The reading sounds like a mixed bag and I'm bummed to hear that Enchantment wasn't that great.

  10. I love the Spring hitchhiker. I like to rotate among several projects. It keeps the boredom blues at bay. I looked at Enchantment in a bookstore yesterday and left it on the shelf. Admittedly, I only browsed through a few pages but it didn't strike me as something I'd like as well as Wintering. I do remember those pastel chicks. In our little town, the hatchery/feed store also sold pastel dyed rabbits. I shudder to think what those animals must have gone through. We never wanted either animal but I do recall wanting to go look at them in the store window. The hatchery/feed store is long gone.


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