sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 21, 2017

end of summer unraveling
posted by soe 1:00 am

End of Summer Unraveling

This week, there’s more of the same in my reading and knitting, but further along in both. Still reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, but nearing the two-thirds point where everyone in the story is doing stupid stuff, but you care about them remarkably. It Becomes You is a poetry collection by Dobby Gibson, a fellow alum from Connecticut College. I’m only a few poems in, but so far am enjoying it.

On audio, I continue to listen to Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, which has an excellent cast (and will likely do remarkably well at the Audie Awards this year). Because I tend to listen to audio books late at night, though, I find myself drifting off and needing to go back and find where I was, which is hard. I must experiment with the bookmarking option in Overdrive and see if that cuts down on the time spent trying to relocate myself.

Little Pumpkins continue apace. I need one more repeat on the leg, or as it currently appears, umbrella cozy, and then will move onto the heel. I need to decide if I should reorient the pattern to have a single column of pumpkins parade down the center of my foot, as some others have done, or knit it as written, with the wide column of centered knits separating two columns of pumpkins. We’ll see. I’ll go back into the finished projects on Ravelry and see which I prefer. Either way, I’m really liking this combination of yarn and pattern, which I’d paired in my head years ago, and am eager to have the socks on my feet. I’m not positive that the yarn won’t bleed (since I seem to occasionally end up with dark patches on my fingers) and I won’t eventually have brown socks, but I’ll enjoy the “pumpkins and sky” colorway for as long as they last.

Unraveling along with Kat.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 2 Comments.

September 7, 2017

early september unraveling
posted by soe 2:22 am

Early September Unraveling

Look! Knitting! And reading! (Okay, so the books aren’t all that surprising, but, active yarny projects might be!)

The socks are, on the left, Slip Stripe Spiral, my Sock Madness exit round socks from 2016. The first one is all done, and the second is up to the heel. On the right are a new pair of socks I started on Saturday. They’re the Little Pumpkins pattern, which I’ve been wanting to knit since 2008, according to my Ravelry queue. No time like the present, in which they also qualify for a Sock Knitters Anonymous cable challenge! I’m also hoping to spend a little time this weekend working the edging on the shawl I knit last summer. The cool air has me eager to break it out!

On the print book front, we have the first volume (of three) of The Runaways, which Rainbow Rowell is writing a sequel to; The Mothers, which I only began today and so don’t yet have a firm opinion of; and, still, The Tyranny of Petticoats. Oh, and The Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook. Coming up, I’ve got a mystery for the RIP Challenge, and I may work on finishing my Book Bingo card, or I may not worry about it. It’s hard to say.

In the ears, I’m working on The Scam, which is the fourth book in the Fox and O’Hare heist series, and Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living, in which he talks about some of the books that matter to him and the life lessons he’s taken away from them. He has a broad taste in books, ranging from self-help books, mysteries, and kid lit to philosophy, classics, and cookbooks. Since both books expire this weekend, I’ll next be turning to one of the three audiobooks that came off the hold list this week (isn’t that always the way?): Lincoln in the Bardo (which is the audiobook I’ve been looking forward to most this year), Sherman Alexie’s memoir, and Purple Hibiscus, which I’m worried will be too intense in audiobook format.

How about you? Have you been reading anything you recommend? Are you working on any crafty projects, now that we’re into the fall months (only 109 days until Christmas…)?

Unraveling along with As Kat Knits.

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August 30, 2017

fo … tuesday
posted by soe 1:07 am

Finished Socks for Rudi

So, here’s the thing: I did, in fact, finish these socks late Friday. I wove in the ends and was planning to take a photo and write a post, when I saw a weird discrepancy in the knitting. How had I managed to knit in a section of purls in this stockinette sock?

And then I realized I hadn’t. These never-worn-before socks had a hole in them.


As I’ve mentioned before, I really didn’t enjoy knitting with this yarn, as it had a habit of splitting the ply while I was working. So I don’t know if I did that and accidentally weakened the fiber enough that it snapped while I was knitting further down. Or maybe there was a weak spot in the yarn I ignored. Or maybe a moth got to it — either here or at a warehouse (it was a second, after all). Who really knows? And, really, the why is far less important than the question of how do I fix this problem at this point.

So, I followed a couple of tutorials, followed one well enough, and came up with this:

No Hole

Not bad, eh? I mean, particularly because it’s a short color section variable yarn, so I couldn’t get it to match each stitch exactly. Hopefully a bath will make the yarn less scratchy in general and in that patched bit in particular, because I’d hate to give Rudi socks he doesn’t like to wear (even if he did pick out the yarn himself), particularly as a belated Christmas gift.

The stats:

Started in January 2016
Finished August 25

Yarn: Schachenmayr Regia Design Line Garden Effects in colorway 3310

Needles: 1s for the legs and 0s for the heel flaps to the toes

Category: knitting. There is/are 2 Comments.

August 16, 2017

mid-august unraveling
posted by soe 11:18 pm

Mid-August Unraveling

Wednesdays during the spring and summer are home to Rudi’s evening bike ride and happy hour, which means I can take myself out someplace and do what I like, which in this week’s case means knitting and reading.

The sock is the second in a pair, which I hope to have done early this weekend, so there can still be time to finish another in-progress pair before month’s end. I have at least one more that’s languishing on the second sock. I hate the yarn, which explains why they sat so long. It simultaneously feels cheap and insubstantial (in that it requires me to go down to 0s on the foot to get a fabric I feel will hold up to wear), which I hope means it’ll last forever. Whichever pair I pick up next will definitely be one that’s more pleasing to the touch.

The book, Murder on the Ballarat Train, is one I picked up at the library Monday, having remembered last week when I moaned about needing a book that had been turned into a tv series that I was not restricted to American broadcasts. If you enjoy the show, I highly recommend these quick novellas by Kerry Greenwood. You’ll find all your favorite characters from the small screen, as well as a Mrs. Butler to provide delectable meals. If you’ve neither seen the show nor read the books, what are you waiting for? They’re set in 1920s Melbourne and feature a well-off flapper detective and the misfits she befriends (lesbian doctor, Communist cab drivers, savvy police detective). Lots of fun!

I finished Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body on audiobook earlier this week and haven’t yet figured out my next listen. It may be Shadowshaper, which was this week’s YA AudioSYNC download, or maybe something will come off my holds list on Overdrive.

Elsewhere, I’m reading A Tyranny of Petticoats (a collection of multicultural short historical stories), Bronze & Sunflower (a middle-grade novel translated from Chinese), Sleeping Giants (epistolary sci fi), and the illustrated version of Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Check out Kat’s blog for links to what other folks are reading and knitting.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 4 Comments.

August 3, 2017

high summer fo and reading
posted by soe 2:09 am

Joining Kat’s Unraveled Wednesdays:

Early August Reading

I’ll be finishing both these books in the next couple of days. In A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I’ve got 100 pages left, which means the stupid thing they’re about to do is likely the climax moment, so I will need to finish it all in one chunk of time. In The Book Jumpers, the monster is getting closer to being revealed, which means it’s become more stressful to read that, as well. After this, I’m reading a stress-free book about kittens. Or maybe just petting my kittens.

On Sunday night, I wrapped up the knitting on my fourth finished object of the year. This is the Points of Light Baby Blanket, by Jean Clement (it’s just a smidge bigger than my mom’s sweater drying rack, which is why it looks a little weird in this picture):

Points of Light for Ayinde

I bought the cotton-acrylic blend yarn, Plymouth Yarn’s Jeannee, ages ago, at a yarn shop that no longer exists in Hyattsville one afternoon with Sarah. I bought it as an option for a gift for a baby-to-be who is now 8, but almost immediately ran into trouble with the pattern. I put it down, knit something else, and didn’t give it another thought until my friend Amani informed me she was pregnant last winter. Then I dug it out, picked up where I’d left off, and knit a couple repeats on it.

Something was wrong. My tension had changed over the years. But maybe it was only obvious to me. Enter Rudi, who knows enough to be useful in these situations. Could he see where things went awry. When he pointed to the eight-year gap, I knew it was necessary to rip.

The project re-commenced in May. I used nearly all of both skeins of the turquoise yarn (33), a good chunk (somewhere between half and two-thirds) of the second ball of the mint (the edging color) (28), and only a few dozen yards of the second balls of the yellow (17), spring green (16), and powder blue (21).

Some additional thoughts, were I to knit this again:

  1. I made this using the pattern as it was originally written, but would probably have caught on faster to the pattern if I’d looked at the updated version before I began. As it was, I needed to draw myself a chart and color it in to help it stick.
  2. I carried the yarn up the side and would do it again. By and large, I was happy with how that turned out, and would know for next time that the side border and edging will help even out any inconsistencies in the tension that results from doing so. Loosening those first few stitches as much as I did every other row definitely slowed me down.
  3. The border is written for log cabin style, so each one is done separately. This resulted in way more ends than I would have believed possible for the project (and hours of weaving them in). Were I to make it again, I’d at least look into what’s involved with just knitting the border in the round. I assume the concern is having square corners… But I’d be okay with some rounding if it reduced the ends by 3/4.
  4. The single reverse crochet stitch edging is nice, but I’m not a crochet person, so it took a ton of time while I tried to figure out how to do a yarn over on a crochet hook and watched various videos of how to execute the stitch properly. I’m not sure the end result is so much more spectacular than a straight single crochet stitch edging would’ve been that it made it worth that effort and the hours of work that ensued, although, again, maybe the corner thing comes into play.

Overall, I’m pleased with the blanket, as were Amani and Marcus when I presented it to them on Monday. I hope Ayinde, who’s now a month old, sleeps well beneath it.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 1 Comment.

July 13, 2017

into the stacks 2017: february
posted by soe 1:41 am

Half-Finished Blanket and Finished Novel

Instead of telling you what I’m still reading and knitting now (Book: finished tonight; excellent. Knitting: just past the halfway done point before the borders; baby arrived last week) for Kat’s Unraveled Wednesday, I’ll show you a photo and move on to reviews of the four books I read way back in February: (more…)

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 4 Comments.