sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 19, 2018


unraveling
posted by soe 1:28 am

April Reading & Knitting

I am stalled on several knitting projects, having not yet bought the beads I need to move on with the hat and having found a fatal flaw in the green stripey socks that will require ripping back to before the heel flap. So here I show you the knitting project I’ve already done the ripping on that’s ready to move forward. I bought some grey yarn to make heels from, so now I can get knitting on my Posey socks once more.

I spent the weekend reading Obsidio, so that’s one 600+-page book down and now I can finish Strange the Dreamer, which will let me check off the second one on my list. Both Sing, Unburied, Sing and We Were Eight Years in Power are both overdue, so I need to wrap them both up and get them back to the library. I’ve enjoyed listening to Norse Mythology, but it’s going to expire from my Overdrive app before I finish it, so I’ll need to wait to conclude my audiobook experience, but Crocodile on the Sandbank, Flat Broke with Two Goats, and The Bear and the Nightingale are all checked out to me for faunal listening. Finally, I’m reading my friend’s book, Kidnapped! Abductions in Space, Time, and Fantasy by Danny Atwood et al, on my laptop because that’s what you do when loved ones publish ebooks. I don’t particularly love short story collections and find they work best for me if I space the stories out with a couple days in between them, so that’s what I’m doing. So far, I’m liking it and recommend it if you do like short stories, particularly in the fantasy/sci fi vein.

Head over to As Kat Knits to read what else people are reading and knitting.

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April 11, 2018


mid-april unraveling
posted by soe 1:53 am

Mid-April Unraveling

The knitting this week looks much the same. I have turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches on the sock, so that’s ready to turn back into purse knitting. The hat, on the other hand, has reached the point where I’ll need to add that second ball of yarn (which it took me two hours to find over the weekend!) and beads (which I need to buy — I’ve resigned myself that cherry blossoms really are not red and that the red beads I have will not do), so now I’ll need to be home and able to follow a chart to move forward with that.

Luckily, I’ve just started Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology on audiobook, so that’s 6 1/2 hours of swoon-worthy listening during which I should be able to get a chunk of knitting done.

In paper, as I mentioned over the weekend, I’ve been reading #NotYourPrincess, a collection of poetry and short prose pieces by Indigenous North American women, and just have a couple pages left, having dozed off trying to finish it the other night. I’m down to my final 100 pages of Strange the Dreamer, and as all the characters are currently in relative safety, I have to leave it until such a point as I can tear through them all in a single go. So I’ve picked up Obsidio, the final book in the Illuminae Files trilogy, which I asked the library to buy (and which they obligingly did quite quickly). It’s written in an epistolary style with the short chunks of text comprised of video logs, email conversations, and philosophical musings from a sentient and formerly murderous AI currently housed in a tablet, all of which are evidence in a court trial (in space). Finally, in my bag, I’m only a few pages into Sing, Unburied, Sing, but nothing really sets the tone of your day like reading about the killing of livestock while on your way to work. I’m hoping it gets less graphic as it goes along, or we’re in for a bit of a slog through a book that’s already overdue back to the library.

What are you reading or crafting? If you’d like to see what others are up to, stop by As Kat Knits.

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April 9, 2018


music on monday: cry cry cry
posted by soe 1:07 am

As I mentioned on Friday, back in February Rudi gave me concert tickets for a reunion show of Cry Cry Cry today at the historic Sixth and I Synagogue here in D.C.

Cry Cry Cry, 2018

Cry Cry Cry was the name that folk singers Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, and Lucy Kaplansky went by when they performed together 20 years ago, covering a dozen songs or so on their eponymous album including James Keelaghan’s “Cold Missouri Water”, REM’s “Fall on Me,” and Buddy Mondlock’s “The Kid.”

We found seats in the front row of the side balcony, which was a pleasant surprise given we hadn’t arrived especially early for a show without assigned seats, and we had a great view for the whole show. They broke up the concert into roughly equal parts of songs off their original album (which I recommend), solo songs they’ve each written (including Dar’s “Iowa,” which is always great in a crowd), and new covers they liked.

Cry Cry Cry at Sixth & I

I decided to include here one of the new songs they’re performing on tour, “Cathedrals,” a Jay Clifford song written for Jump Little Children.

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April 8, 2018


‘when i have a daughter’
posted by soe 1:48 am

April is National Poetry Month, so I thought I’d share some of the poems I’m reading throughout the month. This week’s is from one of the books I’m currently reading, #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale:

When I Have a Daughter
Ntawnis Piapot (Piapot Cree Nation)

When I have a daughter . . . I’ll tell her,
Don’t wait. Don’t whine. Don’t “pine.”
Go for it. Work for it. Earn it.
I’ll tell her stories of my younger years.
Spilt beers, unfounded fears.
I’ll hold her close as my mother did . . .
When her heart is broken, when her spirit is down.
When all the men have left and all the women have turned their backs.
And I’ll cry with her . . . knowing this won’t be the last time.
Knowing there’s more hurt in the world that I can’t protect her from.
I’ll hold her up when she succeeds and hold her more when she fails.
When I have a daughter . . . I’ll remind her of what happened.
Of why she never met her kokum. And what happened to our people.
I’ll tell her grand stories of her mushum . . . and how he made it rain.
How he fought and sacrificed and envisioned her in this moment . . .
I’ll dance with her in my arms late at night as a baby.
And imagine the beauty she’ll hold as a young woman.
When I have a daughter . . . I’ll tell her to never lower her standards.
That as women, our ambition and strong words scare weak-minded people.
That as much as you want to be an opinionated woman fighting for justice —
You’ll be shunned.
You’ll be ostracized.
You’ll be labeled an emotional rebel.
Troublemaker. Truth-teller.
And I hope I’ll instill enough courage for her to walk alone. And love wholeheartedly.
And laugh that Cree laugh and be proud of her features.
When I have a daughter . . . I’ll name her and hold her high.
And I’ll look at her as you looked at me.

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April 4, 2018


post-easter unraveling
posted by soe 1:21 am

Post-Easter Unraveling

My trip to Connecticut didn’t have a lot of downtime, which means a lot of what you see here is not new. I didn’t end up taking the hat with me, because I need to figure out where the brown skein of yarn is still, so it’s only a couple rows further along than last week. Also, I stopped at the bead shop and they didn’t have exactly what was called for, although they had some other pink beads (and I have some reddish ones here at home) that might work. I suppose the only way to figure that out is to try them. The sock is my meeting and event knitting, which is up to the heel turn, so it needs to stop being my public knitting until I’ve got the gusset stitches picked up.

I did finish (and enjoy) A Gentleman in Moscow and am looking forward to pulling out Sing, Unburied, Sing and picking up Obsidio at the library this week. But in the meantime, I’ve started the 19th-century-set mystery The Secrets of Wishtide and am carrying on with Strange the Dreamer. Crocodile on the Nile was renewable, so I’ve put that aside and have started listening to The Bookshop on the Corner. I also have Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology out on audiobook.

How about you? What are you currently reading?

Visit As Kat Knits to see what others are knitting and reading.

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March 29, 2018


into the stacks 2018: january, part 2
posted by soe 1:22 am

I thought we’d follow up Monday’s book reviews with the second of three posts about my January reads, this time with two YA novels:

Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green

In John Green’s latest, recommended to me by my dad, Aza and her best friend, Daisy, in order to collect the reward money associated with a useful tip, try to figure out the disappearance of a fugitive billionaire from their Midwestern city, who also happens to be the father of a boy, Davis, she used to be friends with. First step, get reacquainted with Davis. Second step, stop worrying about all the bacteria desperately trying to kill her, causing her to obsessively spiral into dangerous thoughts and behaviors. But when Aza gets sucked into Davis’ surreal life (his father’s will specifies their pet reptile will inherit his fortune, rather than his two sons, for instance), she’ll find it’s a lot harder to escape her thoughts than it used to be and that she’s teetering on a precipice. Green, who suffers from mental health issues himself, portrays Aza’s with sensitivity and thoughtfulness, giving his readers an insight into how tricky the brain can be. Recommended. (Also, if you like this book, you might consider Tamara Ireland Stone’s Every Last Word, which touches on similar issues.)

Pages: 288. Library copy.


Daughter of the Pirate King, by Tricia Levenseller

Alosa, the titular offspring of the pirate king and herself the captain of a mostly female pirate ship, allows herself to be captured by her father’s enemy, only to find out that he’s been killed and replaced by his two sons. But that doesn’t change her mission — to find and retrieve a map crucial to her father. She’ll start out trying to find the map with stealth and skill, but the first mate holding her captive is not wholly taken in by her demure act and proves an impediment (if only he’d stop distracting her with his good looks and kind manner), so she may have to resort to other tricks she has up her sleeve. But there are other pieces in play, and Alosa may not be up to the task after all. This was a fun romp and I look forward to reading the sequel (the title of which contains a spoiler for this book) sometime soon. Recommended for those who love their YA stories slightly historical, slightly fantastical, and more than slightly feminist.

Pages: 320. Library audio copy.

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