sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 18, 2017


mid-may unraveling
posted by soe 1:33 am

Mid-May Unraveling

This week’s knitting is due for some literal unraveling. Here you see the beginnings of a baby blanket. Unfortunately, eight years happened between the first repeat and the second, and I knit far more loosely now than I did then. I’d hoped it was obvious only to me, but Rudi could pinpoint where the change in gauge occurs, so rip I shall. While I’m going to see the parents-to-be later this month, baby isn’t due to arrive himself until July, so there’s time to do it right.

I continue — still — with Word by Word, which I’m enjoying, but slowly. I also began Finding Wonders, a non-fiction, middle-grade book in verse about the lives of three female scientists, which I picked up after reading Raidergirl3’s review. I was familiar with two of the scientists and had even written about one of them for work, but the format of the book allows for different information to be conveyed. I finished my mystery novel and my audiobook expires tomorrow, so I really need a new piece of fiction. The Hate U Give is overdue, so it really ought to be that. We’ll see…


Unraveling with AsKatKnits.

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May 16, 2017


2017 maryland sheep & wool festival
posted by soe 10:22 am

This year’s Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival was just over a week ago, part of a a surprisingly damp and chilly first week in May. As usual, I went on Sunday, always less crowded and, this year, a far drier day than Saturday.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the weather was conducive to knitwear and finished weaving in and trimming the ends on my Partridgefield Cowl (you’ll get a better picture later in the week after I’ve blocked it) before heading out, so it could get its debut this spring, rather than having to wait until next fall.

Partridgefield Cowl Debut at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2017

This led me to get a later start than I would have liked (this seems to be a recurring refrain for me with this event), and I didn’t arrive until 2 p.m., giving me three hours until the festival closed.

I started with the sheep barns: (more…)

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May 4, 2017


unraveled in early may
posted by soe 1:38 am

Unraveled in Early May

What you see there is the Points of Light baby blanket I began making nearly a decade ago. Clearly the 8-year old no longer needs a baby blanket and a new baby is entering our greater collected family this year, so I’ve pulled it out of storage. I have the intention of putting it back on needles and getting moving on it in the hopes that it’s done before he is. (Obviously that did not work so well the last time.) The pattern has been rewritten since I last worked on it (thank you, Ravelry, for housing updates for me) and now has a chart, so I’m hoping that will make things faster/easier.

I finished The Girl from Everywhere tonight, so am about to begin The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I continue to read and enjoy Word by Word, but I’ve found it’s the sort of book I don’t want to power-read through; I want to consider her points and digest the information. In my ears, I’ve been listening to Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. Obviously I’m only part of the way through, but it has the feel of a book that Bridget or Nan would enjoy. (I actually assumed I’d found it through their recommendation, but instead it was through Largehearted Boy.) It’s about an 85-year-old woman who goes out for a walk on New Year’s Eve 1984 in New York City, where she reminisces about her life as an ad woman, poet, and flâneuse.


Unraveling with Kat.

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April 27, 2017


Late April Unraveling
posted by soe 1:15 am

I’m still working on the books I showed you in my last update, although I listened to a whole audiobook on this weekend’s road trip and started a new one, Zac and Mia, in an effort to finish one more of last year’s AudiobookSYNC books before this summer’s downloads begin today. Tonight I’ve read some more of Word by Word and The Girl from Everywhere. The former is due back soon to the library (where holds prevent me from renewing it) and the latter is the furthest along I am in any of the current selection of books, making it the best contender for returning to the library this weekend. The Hate U Give will also be due back to the library soon, with a long list of people waiting for it, so I’ll need to get moving on that one this weekend.

Jeremiah & Tonight's Reading

On the knitting front, I’m down to the ribbing before the bind off on my cowl and I’m looking forward to completing that imminently. A friend is coming to town for her baby shower at the end of May and I’d like to have some knit things to hand off to her. One will be a hat that she started many years ago and then left with me when she moved away. Her notes don’t match the pattern she gave me, so I’ll need to figure out what was going on in order to preserve her start — it seems like a nice thing to give the baby his mother’s knitting, right? And from me I’m hoping to resurrect/restart a blanket I began for a baby who’s now finishing kindergarten. (So many of my infant projects go that way. I have sleeves for a baby sweater for a different kindergartener…)

However, I do have some finished knitting to show off:

Dad in His Hat

This is the Violet Waffles Hat I owed Dad from Christmas this year. I bought skeins of yarn at A Great Yarn in Chatham, Mass., last summer on our family vacation with the intention of making gifts for Mum and Dad to commemorate our family trip. This is HauteknitYarn’s Superwash Merino in worsted weight in Chatham Yarn’s The Finest Hours colorway (the name references a book (and later film) about the 1952 rescue of the capsized SS Pendleton by the town’s Coast Guard). The yarn has a very nice hand. It’s very soft and squishy and played nicely with both wooden and metal needles. (Should Dad he decides he hates it, I’m totally taking it back and wearing it myself after adding a pom pom to it.)

I made a longer ribbing section so the bottom could be folded up for more warmth in the winter. I went up a needle size from what was recommended on the body of the hat because I had size 7s available and they seemed to work.

Dad's Hat

I finished the hat in the wee smalls before driving north and, thus, forgot to take a photo of it. I also nearly forgot to take one of Dad wearing it, so Mum literally popped it on his head as I was making lunch just before heading back home. Dad’s bemused look shows just how much he loves his daughter and her quirky need to document her knitting.


You can find more books and knitting at AsKatKnits’ Unraveled Wednesday.

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April 20, 2017


unraveled in mid-april
posted by soe 2:06 am

As usual, I’ve got several books going at once:

Mid-April Reading

As noted the last time, I’m reading Kory Stamper’s Word by Word. She’s an editor for Merriam-Webster, which I now know is located only half an hour from my folks. If you love language, I’d recommend this book about how and by whom a dictionary gets made.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig is about a teen girl aboard a time-traveling (sailing) ship. She was born in Hawaii in the 1860s to a father born in New York City in the 1950s. Her mother died in childbirth, and now her father is looking to go back and save her. You’ve seen Back to the Future. How does this end?

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel was the the book I picked up at my office’s new give-a-book, take-a-book shelves. (Confession: I did not give a book, but I did reorganize the shelf area to make it more browser-friendly, so I’m not going to feel too guilty.) I’d been reading this during lunch breaks when I take them, but was feeling that horrible sinking feeling at the end of each chapter when it was time to put it down and go back to work. So I brought it home to spend larger chunks of time with it. It’s a science fiction novel written in an epistolary format with interview transcripts, news articles, and journals telling us the story. It opens with a young girl falling into a hole in the woods and landing in what turns out to be a gigantic hand. She will grow up to become a physicist investigating the hand and other body parts unearthed. Thus far the team includes the scientist, two military pilots, a teenage linguist, and a shadowy mystery man pulling the strings.

I’m tired, so I decided not to pull out the knitting I just put away just for the photo. Trust me that I’m nearly done with the cowl and with another project, which is good, since a pregnant friend will be in town at the end of next month for the final time before having her first child, so I should get on the ball with her gift.


Joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

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April 5, 2017


unraveled on my grandfather’s 99th birthday
posted by soe 11:56 pm

Knitting and Reading

Today would have been my maternal grandfather’s 98th 99th birthday. (Mum has informed me that I’d made Grampa a year younger. I assured her that he would have appreciated it and would have asked me to shave off another 30 years.) He liked to play golf and pool, sleep in (after he retired from being a mechanic), eat my grandmother’s baking, mix beets and mac and cheese (so the latter turned pink), watch sports (but not basketball) on tv, and build things (including beautiful dollhouses and delicate furniture to fill them, desks, cabinets, and stools). He was opinionated (but held those opinions close to the chest when he ran his own business) and kind and curious and proud and getting deaf in his old age (Saturday lunches were loud!), and I’m surprised (but shouldn’t have been) by how much I still miss him, even after 18 years.

I’d hoped to have this cowl off the needles last weekend, but did relatively little sitting around, so it’s still on the go. I’m about to add the final set of red stripes, so potentially it’ll be done this weekend. I did finish off two books (a verse novel in honor of National Poetry Month and a gender-bending retelling of Sherlock Holmes), and while I still have several others in progress, Word by Word from Kory Stamper, is probably the next title I’ll add. She’s one of the people involved in the website and social media of Merriam-Webster. If you aren’t following this dictionary on Twitter, you’re missing out. They share trending look-ups (and what’s caused that trend) and vocabulary of the day (sometimes in direct response to what’s happening in current events) and are generally snarky and fun and smart — everything you’d look for in an online friend/entity. So, obviously I’m looking forward to spending a book’s worth of time with one of the people behind that.

Ginny has hung up her Yarn Along hat, but Kat has offered a home to those of us who like to knit and read at her blog with her weekly Unraveled Wednesday post.

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