sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 16, 2018

mid-august unraveling
posted by soe 1:47 am

Mid-August Unraveling

I started reading Spinning Silver this week. It’s a reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, set in Russia and featuring a young Jewish money lender, Miryem; her hired girl, Wanda; and deadly, otherworldly beings, who set her the impossible task of turning silver into gold. I loved author Naomi Novik’s earlier novel, Uprooted, and am finding the start to this novel has the same feeling as the beginning of that one. I’m hoping for good things.

On my phone I’m listening to a middle grade contemporary novel, See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng, and Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon for White America by local professor and minister Michael Eric Dyson. The latter is shaped as a church service and deals with being Black in contemporary America and what white people repeatedly fail to understand about that experience and need to learn.

The former is about a rocket-crazy young boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, who are recording sounds of the world on a Golden iPod in preparation for launching it into space to travel on the heels of Voyager’s Golden Record, put together by human astronomer Carl Sagan in 1977. In the process, he’ll learn what it means and takes to pursue the truth, both personal and universal.

I am still working on my shawl (I had a two-hour conference call to knit through today), but progress is slow and the color changes are slower and I’m impatient for it to be done. So of course, I put it down and picked up my Posey socks. As I was picking up a stitch that had dropped off the edge of the needle while stored in the bag, I noticed some loose stitches earlier in the toe. Since the toe is not one of those places where you can just let that go, I ripped back most of the way to where I’d started the grey yarn and will finish the toe in the morning. Self-striping sock yarn changes colors much more quickly than two gradient shawl balls, so I hope that keeps me moving forward much more quickly.

Should I finish my Posey socks, I’ll have to look at my other sock UFOs from Sock Madness to see which pair is furthest along and/or will take the least effort to finish. This year’s pair, Fee Dragée, may be a contender, since that’s halfway done. Or Slip Stripe Spiral, the pair I went out on two years ago, is already into the leg of the second sock, although I think I messed it up someplace and it’s waiting for me to figure out how to fix it. Or Rainbow Pipes, which was a Sock Madness pair from 4(!) years ago, which are complete except for i-cord that needs to be created for the cuffs and buttons that have to be (found and) sewn on. My oldest unfinished pair of socks is from nine years ago and is color work. One sock is completely done, but I’m betting my tension will be different than it was nearly a decade ago and that a needle adjustment will be necessary.

If you’d like to see what other folks are knitting and reading, head over to As Kat Knits for the weekly roundup.

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August 9, 2018

heatwave unraveling
posted by soe 12:15 am

I took my shawl with me to knit during the concert last night, but after volleyball tonight I dug out the two pairs of socks I’d like to finish this month and carried the Into the Wild Wood pair with me to the coffeehouse for some late evening outdoor time. (Because, you know, a volleyball game in the park isn’t enough…)

Heatwave Unraveling

After my adventure with Joe Biden and Barack Obama, I’m back hanging out with plucky orphan Audacity Jones in 1910 D.C. She’s about to embark upon the mission she was brought here for, but it’s not what she’s been told. Luckily, she has a local boy and his grandfather and her stowaway cat to help her out of any scrapes…

I’m still listening to Murder Games. We’ve finally met Julian, whom I was worried would turn out to be a concoction of the tv show. He has lost his beard for Hollywood, and I’m not convinced certain characters on paper are going to hook up like they have on the small screen, but we’ll see… Either way, it’s been entertaining and I’d listen to another one.

You can see more reading/crafting combos at As Kat Knits.

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August 2, 2018

hope never unravels
posted by soe 12:32 am

August 1 Unraveling

As you can see here, my Tour de France shawl is not done, even though the bike race is. Alas. It is now the length of the hypotenuse of this table, which is on the local coffee shop patio, where I went after volleyball this evening, because it was too nice to come inside.

I will not be knitting on this exclusively anymore, since my Augusts are supposed to be dedicated to finishing up socks that have been lingering on my needles. I have two pairs in particular that I’d like to see finished — my Azalea socks (which I think are a single toe away from being done) and my Posey socks. I think both are doable, plus possibly another pair or two. We’ll see.

My reading du jour is Andrew Shaffer’s Hope Never Dies, the Obama-Biden mystery that recently came out. Since the two of them were spotted at one of my favorite D.C. bakeries earlier this week, it seemed only fitting to start reading it immediately upon getting home from the library. It is an enjoyable potboiler, but no great work of literature. (I’m not clear on whether Shaffer himself has never met a metaphor he doesn’t want to use or whether he thinks that’s the case for Joe Biden, who narrates the story.) But unless something changes in the final hundred pages, I’d totally read a series based on these two.

I’m also still reading Audacity Jones to the Rescue, which is now taking place in D.C. in 1910 and making good use of local landmarks of the time, and The Wild Book. The Pink Carnation lingered about halfway done on my reading pile for a year, but I made some more progress when I took it with me to San Francisco.

I also made progress in American Street, which expired (again) from Overdrive before I could finish it. It looked like I was only a few chapters away from the end, but it doesn’t narratively feel close to being done, so who knows? Murder Games expires in three days, so I guess I’d better return to that one before the same thing happens there.

If you’d like to see what other people are reading or knitting, head over to As Kat Knits for the link-up.

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July 26, 2018

final july unraveling
posted by soe 1:15 am

Final July Unraveling

The final Unraveled Wednesday of the month finds me without having made much progress since last week on my Tour de France shawl, although I think the color changes (from pink and violet to salmon and a more reddish-violet) are more obvious now. I do have a lot of airplane knitting between now and Sunday when the cyclists reach Paris, but I am also really good at airplane sleeping, which seems a likely scenario, particularly since one of those flights is a red eye.

I started Audacity Jones to the Rescue on the metro this morning. She’s a plucky orphan whose philosophy is, “Everything will turn out splendid in the end. If it’s not splendid, it’s not the end,” which seems as good a life philosophy as any to me.

Apologies for the short post, but I have a plane to catch tomorrow and haven’t started packing…

Visit As Kat Knits if you’d like to see more knitting and reading posts.

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July 19, 2018

mid-july unraveling
posted by soe 1:09 am

Mid-July Unraveling

My Tour de France knitting continues apace. There has finally been some color shifting to salmon and a different hue of purple, which is exciting, and the shawl is now longer than my arm, which gives me hope it might someday be long enough to wear. I will need to pick up my pace, since we’re halfway through the Tour and I am not halfway through the knitting. I do have many hours of plane flight coming up next week, though, so it’s a possibility I’ll get caught up.

I’m reading and loving Julie Murphy’s Puddin’, the follow-up to her bestselling book (and soon-to-be feature film), Dumplin’, about two Texas girls who become friends. When I finish it, I’ll be heading back to Moxie, about a Texas girl who rallies other Texas girls to become feminists through her anonymous, Riot Grrrl-inspired zine. As I said to my book group today, apparently I’m all in for kick-ass Texas teen girl novels this summer.

I’ve been listening to a variety of things, but what’s stuck most is Murder Games, the book by James Patterson and Howard Roughan that inspired the tv show Instinct. I always find it interesting in tv shows/films that evolve from books what gratuitous things they choose to change. Here, for instance, one main character’s tv husband has a different name (Andy instead of Tracy) and aspiring career (bar owner instead of actor) and the other main character goes by the nickname (Lizzie) that she hates. The chapters are ridiculously short (which is probably partially what makes Patterson such a page-turner) and I remember from the tv pilot who the bad guy is going to be, even if that character has not yet been introduced in the book. (I suppose it’s a possibility that they changed that, too.) I am also listening to Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings, an #ownvoices memoir which was one of the free Audiobook Sync titles from this year. It’s fine so far, but nothing especially amazing.

You can visit As Kat Knits for additional book and knitting pairings.

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July 11, 2018

tour de france unraveling
posted by soe 1:38 am

Tour de France Unraveling

Here’s what I’ve knit so far on my Tour de France shawl. I opted for a different pattern than what I showed you last week. This is Around the Bend by Nim Teasdale.

The book is Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. I’ve also been listening to Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki.

Visit As Kat Knits for more book/knitting combos.

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