sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 2, 2020


first of july unraveling
posted by soe 1:38 am

First of July Unraveling

I really need to get to the park before dusk, because then I would actually be able to spend some time knitting on my heel flap. Once you get past the gusset decreases of a top-down sock, you’re practically home free, because even if, as with this sock, there will be patterning on the top of the foot, it’s stockinette on the bottom and therefore takes less time to knit.

I am eager to reach that point on these socks, but before I can decrease, I have to increase and I’m not quite there yet.

After enjoying the last Rick Riordan imprint I read, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, I decided pick up another, Carlos Hernandez’s Sal and Gabi Break the Universe. This was highly recommended by my friend Rebs, and she rarely steers me wrong. It’s about two younger teens who attend an arts school. One of the two is an aspiring magician, who, after his mom dies, discovers he can perform real magic, and the other is a would-be journalist and lawyer. I’m still in early days, so am eager to find out how the story evolves after the author finishes introducing the characters and setting the scene.

Head over to As Kat Knits for what others are reading and crafting.

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June 11, 2020


unraveled in early june
posted by soe 1:07 am

Unraveled in June

I’m about a third of the way into Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, about a grieving Chicago boy spending his summer on his grandparents’ farm who discovers the Black and African folktales his grandmother has raised him on actually exist in a parallel universe and that he, as the latest in a line of powerful storytellers, may be needed to save both worlds. So far I’m really enjoying it and recommend it to anyone, like me, who is woefully versed in this folk tradition or whose tenuous knowledge comes largely from a certain Disney film.

I continue to be an unmotivated knitter. I finished the leg of my second Smock Madness, which means I have about eight hours of knitting left before this becomes a wearable pair of socks. And yet…

Normally, I’d be considering a couple new projects right about now, in advance of the Summer Olympics and the Tour de France, but it feels like I should trudge through some of these older projects and get them crossed off. Sadly, that’s also the story of my work life, which may be contributing to my reluctance to pick up my knitting. Finishing anything at this point would probably go a long way toward making me feel more productive on all fronts, so hopefully I will power through.

Head to As Kat Knits to see projects and books from people who do not have this frustrating lack of ambition in their work.

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May 21, 2020


pre-memorial day unraveling
posted by soe 1:49 am

Pre-Memorial Day Unraveling

I’m feeling a little bored these days, as one rolls into another with little interruption. If my life were a body of water, it would be a cow pond. (This is fine. I will take a cow pond over the ocean during a tsunami any day.)

But I decided the way to spice things up was to finish a couple lingering projects. I started Chasing Vermeer over the winter at some point, back when we were still allowed to linger in cafes with other patrons. I hadn’t quite made it to the 50-page mark when I put it aside, probably for work travel, and it got buffeted to the edge of my attention span for a while. I decided to restart it tonight, in part because I could make up the read pages pretty quickly, and also because while I remembered the broad strokes of the set-up, I didn’t recall the details with the accuracy needed to solve a heist mystery. I’m enjoying this second take at the novel and expect to speed through it quickly.

The knitting is my lightning shawl, which I pull out every year, swearing this will be the time I finish it. But this time I mean it. When I last worked on it, I remember I’d reached a point where the transition between yarn scraps stood out too much. I’ll need to look at it more carefully in the morning to see whether I ripped it back and went with a different transition (which is what I think will have happened) or if I still need to pull out a few rows and carry on. But either way, there is probably a good amount of indoor time during this three-day weekend, and I have several audio books I’m working through, and I don’t think it’s out of the realm of the possible if I commit to knitting instead of napping that I could bind this project off before June rolls around.

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what others are reading and crafting as we head into the traditional start to summer.

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May 14, 2020


mid-may unraveling
posted by soe 1:25 am

Mid-May Unraveling

The leg of my second Smock Madness is nearly done. It suffered a bit earlier in the week from my tiredness when I blithely knit along in what I thought was the right smocking pattern until I looked at it and thought, that doesn’t look right. Luckily it was only a half dozen rows, plus some tinking a little while later when I forgot to wrap some stitches. But I have a listening work call at the end of the day tomorrow, at which point I expect to be ready for moving on to the heel. Exciting, right?

I finished the print book I was reading last week, so am now cycling back to another book I started at the beginning of the pandemic, when I didn’t have the fortitude to read, A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn. I’m also listening to a mystery, The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny, but it’s a contemporary, so it feels okay to dive into a second, since it’s set at the turn of the last century. Plus, the Veronica Speedwell novels are part mystery, part romance, and part adventure tale, so it’s really not the same as a straight-up police procedural, no matter how literary it is.

Head over to As Kat Knits for more knitting and reading progress from around the world!

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May 7, 2020


early may unraveling
posted by soe 1:56 am

Early May Unraveling

I’m up finally halfway through the leg of my Smock Madness sock. I definitely feel like I could be through the heel this weekend, unless I’m actually so productive that I come away with a clean apartment instead of half a sock. Seems unlikely…

I’m about halfway through The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman and am finally mostly enjoying it. I’m about a quarter of the way through listening to Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed’s Yes, No, Maybe So, which seems especially enjoyable right now since portions of our living space has been turned into a satellite campaign office for the candidate Rudi is working for. And tonight Rudi and I started listening to the Stephen Fry rendition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on Audible. It’s free to listen to for the next while, and Fry’s Hermione is far less annoying than Jim Dale’s. Rudi listened to several hours, but I napped through it intermittently, so I’ve been relistening since he went to bed. I think I can get caught up tomorrow night.

Want to see what other people are reading and crafting? Head to As Kat Knits for the roundup.

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April 30, 2020


end of april unraveling
posted by soe 1:24 am

End of April Unraveling

I have just one more evening of reading The Flatshare. I reached a moment of peace, where everyone was still relatively okay, and decided to put the book down for the night. I looked at the chunk of pages left, then ticked off five separate story elements left to be resolved, and decided that was too many for 50 pages and that it must be 75. Turns out it was 80, including the acknowledgements. I look forward to the fast resolution.

I’m also nearing the end on my audiobook, Size 12 Is Not Fat, by Meg Cabot. Former pop star turned assistant residence hall director Heather has figured out who the murderer must be, but she has to convince Cooper still, not to mention, the N.Y.C. police.

I’m not quite as close to finished with my second Smock Madness sock, but I have memorized the pattern, so that has to be something, right?

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what others are crafting and reading.

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