sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 14, 2018

mid-june unraveling
posted by soe 1:28 am

Mid-June Unraveling

I’m nearly done with my azalea stripey socks and needed something to tide me over to the start of the Tour de France knit along, so I decided to pull out the Posey socks and get back to work on them. The grey skein will be the heels.

I’m two-thirds of the way through listening to A Conspiracy in Belgravia, the second of the gender-flipped Lady Sherlock novels by Sherry Thomas, and enjoying it quite a bit. The reader fits well, so I’d heartily endorse listening to it. In fact, I might go back and listen to the first one, I’m enjoying this one so much.

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly won the Newbery Medal this year. It’s about four sixth-graders at the start of summer break, and 80 pages in, that’s still all I can tell you. It’s easy reading and not unenjoyable, but it’s taking a meandering route to the story and I’m feeling impatient to be into it already. I have a pile of books out from the library, so there are options for what will come next, but Children of Blood and Bone is a likely contender.

Head over to As Kat Knits if you’re looking for more of what folks are reading and crafting.

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June 7, 2018

early june unraveling
posted by soe 1:29 am

Early June Unraveling

Because I was having a mopey weekend, I did not finish knitting my sock. However, as you can see, I’m past the heel turn, so it’s all fast knitting from here. I’m going to an author talk tomorrow, so hope to be able to bang out several inches then. Then it’ll just be a question of whether I start something new before the Tour de France knit along or work on something unfinished. We have a trip during that time, so there will definitely need to be some portable projects.

On the reading front, I’m nearly done with The Hazel Wood (so close I can practically taste the ending — as it will include some perilous acts, I probably won’t want to taste it, though). It is excellent, and I recommend it to all who love YA fantasy novels. Murder at Brightwell was the mystery I took with me to New York; light paperbacks travel well. Plus, rain was predicted and I thought my book might get wet, so better it be something I owned, rather than a library book. In the ears, I’ve had the second Lady Sherlock novel by Sherry Thomas, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, going and I am enjoying it immensely so far.

Finally, I need to return to Little Fires Everywhere, which is overdue and which has a very long wait list resenting my cavalier approach to deadlines. I plan to give it back to the library this weekend.

If you’d like to see what other people are reading and knitting, head over to As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday.

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May 24, 2018

pre-long weekend unraveling
posted by soe 1:40 am

The Hazel Wood

This is The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, which is a really most excellent modern fairy tale that I am trying my very best to pace out over several days and not read through in a single sitting, but it’s really hard because it’s SOOOO good. Plus, look at that cover! (The end papers match, with a black background, silver flowers, and golden branches.) It’s designed by Jim Tierney, who has designed a lot of other cool covers, including Frogkisser!

I’m also still reading Killers of the Flower Moon, which is very good, despite my slow read of it; Little Fires Everywhere, which is a stressful slow burn (pun intended); Norse Mythology, which is a fun dishwashing listen and for which it is virtually impossible not to imagine the Marvel movie actors as Neil Gaiman reads about the gods’ adventures (although Lady Sif is way off from her actress); and Solo, which is interesting because I don’t fully know where it’s going to end up.

I suspect all five of these will be done by the end of the long weekend. And then on to new literary adventures!

On the needles I’m working on sock #2 of my In the Wildwood socks, which might also wrap up this weekend, depending on how much sitting time I get. I’m enjoying them, which means another stripey pair is likely to follow.

Check out As Kat Knits for more knitting and reading!

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May 17, 2018

mid-may unraveling
posted by soe 2:14 am

Birthday Unraveling

This past week, I started three books: Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Refugees, a short story collection that’s been chosen as a D.C. Reads book for everyone in the city to read; The Folded Clock, by Heidi Julavits, a diary/collection of essays relating to time; and A Treacherous Curse, the latest in the Veronica Speedwell Victorian mystery series by Deanna Raybourn.

I’m also listening to Solo, a YA verse novel by Kwame Brown with Mary Rand Hess about the son of a rock legend/hot mess who finds out a family secret, and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, which I can’t help but populate with faces from the Marvel movies.

My sock is pretty much to the toe decreases. I really thought I’d get it finished tonight, but instead I dozed off (after a fun-filled day off for Rudi’s birthday), so obviously I should go to bed instead.

Hit up As Kat Knits for more posts about reading and knitting.

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May 9, 2018

early may unraveling
posted by soe 1:44 am

Early May Unraveling

I’m up to the heel on my cheery In the Wildwood socks, which I should be able to put a good dent in during a meeting tomorrow. Should that go fine (with the striping), it will have been a good decision to move to these socks. If not, they will join a list of projects that I need to deal with. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

As for the reading, it’s been Killers of the Flower Moon and Little Fires Everywhere, which is now the second “literary book with surprise twist” that everyone’s been talking about that I’m pretty sure I have figured out from near the get-go. I don’t know if this comes from a background of reading mysteries or if literary writers just really aren’t that good at writing plot twists. Or maybe Celeste Ng is and I will be totally shocked that what I think has happened in the past didn’t actually happen.

I’ve also been listening to The Bear and the Nightingale, but that’s expiring tomorrow without my having finished it, so I’ll have to wait for my turn to come around again. Hopefully it won’t be terribly long, but luckily it’s YA Sync season, so I have new audiobook downloads to listen to every week for free and Norse Mythology came back around for download tonight.

Head over to As Kat Knits for more books and knitting.

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May 7, 2018

2018 sheep & wool
posted by soe 1:56 am

This weekend was the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and today I drove myself north to have some fun.

I arrived earlier than I have in years, just after 2, which gave me slightly under 3 hours to soak up the whole festival. Even with that, I still didn’t have enough time to see the last section of vendors, so I’m thinking next year I should aim for an hour earlier.

The first thing I did was head inside the animal barns. While some are quieter than others, generally these are busy, loud places. Farmers are shearing sheep. Sheep are bleating. Announcers are calling for animals and their handlers to get into place for judging.

They want to make sure everyone looks their best:

From Sheep to ... Sheep

There were adult sheep:

You Lookin' at Me?

Blissed Out

Barbados Blackbelly

And there were lambs:

Baby Jacobs

Woolly Mom & Babies

Baby Clun

I was able to catch the final sheepdog demonstration of the day. The shepherd who runs it has brought a new partner on and the two women had six dogs to help with the task, ranging in age from one year old to 14. Each of them felt that they should be the dog to keep those sheep in check and were quick to judge their compatriots’ work.



Then, it was off to look at yarn. There was a lot of yarn. I didn’t take pictures of most them. I also didn’t take photos of the plant vendors, where I bought tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, potatoes, and basil.

Finally, as I promised, I didn’t go looking for yarn, but my plan was to remain open to a skein or two speaking to me. Well, here’s the one that shot straight to my heart:

Soot Sprites 💜 Rainbows

This is Coquette Sock Yarn from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm. It’s a Corriedale/nylon blend. And the obvious reason this yarn was able to call out to me? The colorway is Soot Sprites 💜 Rainbows.

It’s like they knew me, don’t you think?

Rainbow Sprinkles

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