sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 22, 2018

ravellenic unraveling
posted by soe 1:37 am

Joining in today with Kat for Unraveled Wednesdays:

Ravellenic Unraveling

In my print reading, these are the two books I have going. The Stars Beneath Our Feet is a YA contemporary and The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a novella (akin to Animal Farm) translated from Korean. (I figured I’d read a South Korean writer during the Olympics, and this was one of the few I found recommended that seemed like it might be a good fit. Apparently, it’s been adapted for both a comic book series and an animated film. I need to read Strange the Dreamer soon; it was due back to the library almost 10 days ago.

Finally, audiobooks. Having finished listening to Magpie Murders today at work (while cutting and pasting text from one website to another), I’m about to begin a new audiobook, American Street, which I have to polish off before the end of the weekend, when its expiration date is on Overdrive.

With my Ravellenic Games sweater not working out, I’ve moved on to WIPs. This is a shawl I started two years ago, which just needs to have a final border knit. I have a couple other projects I plan to move on to after this.

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February 20, 2018

presidents’ day weekending
posted by soe 1:20 am


It was a weird weekend. I woke up Saturday with a migraine, which refused to be placated by caffeine, food, ibuprofen, or sheer will, and so lost most of the day sleeping it off on the couch. I awoke in the evening feeling significantly better, which was good because the cats were out of wet food and there may have been a mutiny if I’d forced them to eat dry food for supper just because I wasn’t feeling up to going shopping for them. I finished knitting the first sleeve of my sweater and reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer, watched some Olympics, and called it a day.

Yesterday, I hit up the farmers market, caught the tail end of the Lunar New Year parade downtown, and attended an impromptu birthday dinner for a friend. I got in a lot of bike riding and walking, since the weather was so nice, and also spent some time sitting in the sun knitting and listening to my audiobook. I checked out a pop-up bookstore (one that pops up in another shop, as opposed to one selling only pop-up books, but I’d shop at that one, too), looked at picture frames, and had a nice phone conversation with my brother (who also celebrated a birthday last week). It was a full and lovely day. And then…

I wanted to cast on the second sleeve of the sweater, but to do that, I needed to move the first sleeve off that needle. So I went hunting for something to put it on. I couldn’t find a second 4.5 mm needle at first, so I pulled out a 5 mm needle, but that looked so big next to what I’d been knitting on. I knew I had another 4.5 mm needle hiding somewhere, so promptly tore through all my knitting bags (for the second time in four days; I’d needed more interlocking stitch markers and they’d been lurking in a bag, too) and came up with it. I could just cast the second sleeve on with it, I thought, but then I worried this needle might be more likely to catch on the fragile yarn and decided to just transfer it. It was a tight fit getting the stitches onto the new needle, but I made it work. The experienced knitters among you right now may be feeling slightly queasy right now, already sensing where this story is going…

Turns out I knit the first sleeve on a 3.5 mm needle (a US 5), rather than a 4.5 mm (US 7) needle. I had started this project six years ago, had swatched (and gotten gauge after washing it), had made notes in Ravelry, and then had put the needle and yarn aside. When I pulled the ribbing off the needles earlier this month, it hadn’t occurred to me to check to make sure everything was okay. Now, it should be noted that I had cast the sweater on twice. The first time, it was gigantically wide. The second time, which is what I’d found, it was with this needle, and that waist is more in common with my own. However, I don’t think I’d swatched with this needle and I have absolutely no idea how the yarn will behave once I’ve given it a soak. So I guess I’ll do that with the first sleeve and make sure it doesn’t do anything weird before continuing. But I do feel much better about how long that 20″ sleeve took me, given the needles were two sizes smaller than I thought I was knitting on!

(TL;DR: I will not finish a sweater by next weekend.)

Dragon in the Lunar New Year Parade

Today just got off on the wrong foot, having been awakened at my normal weekday hour by Jeremiah throwing up. I turned down friends’ invitation to go to a movie because I was going to the play at the library, but then I didn’t get there in time. My weather forecast assured me it would be a nice day, if cloudy, so the sweatshirt I was wearing proved inadequate for the afternoon of mist we had. I did get to the library and I took myself out for hot chocolate afterwards. I got dockblocked, I missed buses, there are no women’s volleyball sneakers to be tried on in the local area… Today, I just was Alexander. So I came home, thinking maybe to try salvaging the day by baking something, and fell asleep on the couch with a Jeremiah parked on me to make sure I stayed put, which was probably the right answer all along. I am still trying to decide whether I keep plodding away on the sweater for the next week (knowing it’s not going to give me a medal) or if I try knitting something small and new (likely my Valentine’s Day hat) or attempt to get a few lingering WIPs finished (probably the smartest decision, but really not a satisfying one) as I shift my Ravellenic hopes from one event to another.

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February 13, 2018

posted by soe 1:03 am

Today was a rather Mondayish Monday. It started shortly after Rudi departed for work as I was getting dressed, when I noticed a dark mark in the channel separating two tiles near the window. We live in a basement and it periodically floods when we get a lot of rain, which we did over the weekend. I’d checked the area yesterday and it had been dry, but apparently the rain we got overnight or early this morning tipped the balance. The water hadn’t spread far, but it required moving several things in order to get newspaper underneath the shelf the tv sits on, which I could see had water underneath it.

I had bought a birthday card last month for my brother, which I’d put aside for when it was closer to the date, but I needed to get it in the mail. I looked on the desk once, twice, and in various other spots where it shouldn’t have been, but could have been, before the card chose to reveal itself … right on the desk where I’d hunted.

Work included an email that was snide in tone, but I don’t think that was intentional. It also included a reminder about self-eevaluations and job descriptions, which is a pointless and frustrating experience at my office.

I forgot to do laundry earlier this evening, which means that the clothes I need for tomorrow’s volleyball game are not likely to be dry when I head to work in the morning.

And when I dug out my favorite sweater from the garment bag in the hall closet where I’d carefully placed it a couple years ago (I’d worn through the elbows and then worn through the patches and had put it away until I could figure out what to do with it), I discovered the bag had been damaged somehow and the hole breached by moths. I spent an hour with a lint roller removing worm casings and detritus. I can see several new holes, but I’m hopeful that the majority of the sweater can be salvaged after some mending.

The day was not all bad. I assuaged my frustrated feelings at the office by buying French fries from the deli next door, which I shared with my coworkers. Rudi made a delicious Tom Kha soup for supper, which we ate while watching the Olympics. There were gingerbread cookies for dessert and cocoa with Valentine’s Day sprinkles. And I knit several inches on the sleeve of my sweater, which felt very satisfying.

Ravellenic Games Sweater

Here’s to tomorrow being a Tuesday (volleyball!) and Mardi Gras and Pancake Day all in one package!

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February 7, 2018

early february unraveling
posted by soe 1:53 am

Reading and Knitting

I’m currently enthralled with three books: Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, which I’m listening to on audio and which is a mystery set inside a mystery; Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer, about the ill effects of an encounter between our favorite Amazon and a descendent of Helen of Troy; and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, about a young woman who survived a horrific event as a child and who is now looking for love. It took me a bit to get into, but it’s now occupying a good amount of my brain.

The knitting is the sock I cast on during the play on Saturday. It’s Marathon North Pole yarn, which I’ve knit from previously, and which is doing some interesting wavy things in the jacquard section of the sparkly self-striping yarn.

Visit As Kat Knits to see what other folks have been reading and knitting this Unraveled Wednesday.

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January 25, 2018

knitting is in timeout for unraveling — again
posted by soe 1:29 am

My Posey sock heel continues to be problematic, but this time because I picked up wraps on one side incorrectly, so they’re sitting on the wrong side of my knitting. I have put the project into timeout. First, so it can think about what it’s done (Posey would just look at me and purr an “Aren’t I cute? Doesn’t that make up for what I did?” She was. It didn’t … usually.) Second, so I can look at it in the clear light of day and see if it’s really that big of a deal or if I was just overreacting to one of several things that didn’t go as smoothly as I’d have liked.

Zamonia in Relation to the World

On the reading front, to tackle two of my resolutions, I pulled out The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moer (translated from German by Translated by John Brownjohn) off my shelf. So far it’s very cute and whimsical.

I’m also reading Jill Orr’s The Good Byline, but the main character keeps pissing me off. However, since I nearly quit the book within the first 10 pages because of the two grammatical errors I found, I guess it’s all good.

I abandoned Lincoln in the Bardo on audio and have requested it on paper. I kept falling asleep while listening to it. I’ve started Tom Hanks’ collection of short stories, Uncommon Type, instead. So far, so good, but I’m only in the first story.

Stop by Kat’s blog if you want to learn what other people are reading or knitting.

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January 18, 2018

mid-january unraveling
posted by soe 1:59 am

Current Reading and Next Knitting

I did a lot of reading and cleaning last weekend, which meant that I did not do a lot of knitting. However, I have been thinking about knitting, which meant I went hunting for the yarn I pulled out LAST February intending to make a Valentine’s Day-themed colorwork hat. I even bought a fancy pom pom for it, so I really do have to make it this year.

I finished John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down in print and Tricia Levenseller’s Pirate King’s Daughter on audio this past week, which means I’m on to some new things, including Stephanie Burgis’ The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, which is a Cybils finalist in the middle grade fantasy novels category. I also need to get back to Saints and Misfits, which is due back to the library early next week. Next up on audio: I desperately need to finish listening to Lincoln in the Bardo (I think I’ve got about 3 hours left, which I can hopefully get done before it’s due back) & starting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus & Tom Hanks’ short story collection, Uncommon Type.

What are you working your way through these days? Head over to Kat’s to see what others have going on right now.

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