sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 25, 2006

look what i did!
posted by soe 11:49 pm

my first sock

I made a sock!

Last night, I finally managed to finish the sock I started more than a year ago when I was last in Boston. Our knitting group had decided we would make socks using a pattern one member had found.

The project got put on hold last February to work on squares for a coworker’s quilt. It stayed on hold through Sam and Alexis’ wedding quilt and then through the Christmas knitting season.

But I swore to myself that the first thing I finished after Christmas would be the project sitting half-done in my knitting basket.

And I did.

Admittedly, there are some mistakes. As you can see in the second picture, the most major mistake is that somewhere as I was working the heel I screwed up the ribbing on the top of the sock. But I decided I could live with that. And since it occurs at the turn of the sock, I don’t think it will be obvious unless I point it out to everyone.

my first sock

I’m surprised by how proud I am of my little sock. It was easily half an hour that I stared giddily at my own foot last night. I mean, it’s nothing fancy and it’s hardly perfect. And it’s not the first project — or the largest — that I’ve finished. But it is the first thing I’ve intentionally knit for me — from picking out the yarn to weaving in that last end — and the ability to hold onto it after finishing it is a terrific feeling.

(Hear that, everyone? You might not get any more knit presents from me. I might just knit for myself from now on… Okay, probably not. But I may try to strike a more even balance.)

The next challenge will be to finish Sock #2 by the end of February so I have all of March to wear the socks before it gets too warm for wool. But with the extensive notes I’ve taken and the 2×2 ribbing pattern ingrained into my fingers’ memory, I don’t think that will be a problem. And if I need any motivation, I’ll just take out Sock #1 and wear it while I’m knitting. That should be the only incentive I need.

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January 24, 2006

sick day
posted by soe 5:46 pm

Today I took a sick day.

I was pretty sure yesterday that I would need to, as I woke up feeling under the weather in San Antonio and still had five hours in the booth plus two flights to get through before I could tumble into bed. I mean, ibuprofen is good — but not that good.

But this morning, I thought, I might be able to go in. Let me call in late and see how I feel when I wake up the second time.

When I woke up mid-morning, I felt a little better. Not 100 percent, but 75 or 80. I got dressed. Brushed my hair. Packed my bag.

And yet I just couldn’t get myself out the door. The mind was willing, but the feet refused to comply.

So I returned to my original plan and called in sick.

And it’s a good thing, too.

Because I’m pretty sure my office manager would have had something to say about the hour-long nap I took mid-afternoon.

But I’m feeling a lot better and have spent the later part of the afternoon listening to podcasts, curling up with cats, and knitting. Nothing taxing, but that’s the whole point of a sick day.

Yes, I’m sorry I missed getting out on such a nice winter day. And, yes, there were things at the office I would have liked to have gotten done. But better to give the body the time it demands to recuperate than to push it along and have it rebel later on.

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January 23, 2006

heading home
posted by soe 3:11 pm

I look forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight (provided the weather in Chicago — don’t ask — permits my plane through without difficulty.

I’ll update you all on the rest of the trip tomorrow. I know you’re eagerly awaiting reports on the Alamo and on the Hootersesque pub I ate dinner at last night…

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January 22, 2006

san antonio
posted by soe 1:07 pm

My first impressions of San Antonio are mixed. On the one hand, the city is surprisingly small and has very little diversity in its cuisine and shopping. On the other hand, the River Walk incorporates nature in interesting ways into the city’s personality.

I’m stuck on the other side of the Interstate from Downtown, next to a tiny University of Texas-San Antonio campus. Downtown is walkable, but it’s not necessarily the most comfortable walk to make from a pedestrian’s point of view. Periodically the sidewalk disappears and crosswalks are at some intersections, but not all. There were stretches of blocks where I was the only pedestrian in sight, and honking cars are frequent. It was a great relief yesterday morning to escape to the River Walk, where if there were still few others out strolling, at least there was no one making lewd comments or gestures.

This afternoon I hope to take in the Alamo (which I saw the outside of last night), La Villita arts and crafts “village,” and maybe O. Henry’s house, which I saw on a map.

While I wouldn’t cry with disappointment if I ever had to come back to San Antonio, I wouldn’t opt to come on my own again. There just doesn’t seem to be enough here to merit it.

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January 21, 2006

sunrise at elevation, warmth, and free lunch
posted by soe 12:45 pm

A special three beautiful things from my first 24 hours in San Antonio:

1. I woke up briefly on the flight from D.C. to Dallas and happened to look over my shoulder to see the sun rising behind me on the other side of the plane. If you think sunrises are pretty on the ground, you should definitely try them at 30,000 feet.

2. The temperature yesterday in San Antonio was in the mid-70s. I was able to walk around in a t-shirt.

3. We were accidentally refunded our payment on the booth we ordered for the conference we’re attending. After Heather and I set the booth up, she went to go back to her hotel, and I, who had the company credit card info, went to repay for our space. When I arrived at the right spot, it turned out they’d ordered lunch for the exhibitors. So Heather and I managed to get a free lunch out of the deal.

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January 19, 2006

cards from friends, early buds, and self-striping yarn
posted by soe 1:16 pm

Today is the last day before I head to San Antonio for a conference. Here are three beautiful things from the last week:

1. Our friend Brian sent us a Christmas card this week. I had lamented to Rudi that a number of our college-era friends seemed to have fallen off the communication wagon this year — and then his card arrived to let us know that he was alive and well (and reading our blogs).

2. We went out Monday night to a popular local coffee house and found it packed — so we moved on to another, newer spot. The restaurant itself was merely okay (although it holds a lot of potential), but along the way we passed a tree whose buds had popped out because of the warm January weather we’ve had recently. The branches offered a beautifully lacy silhouette against the night sky.

3. I’m hard at work on my sock and am pleased with my progress, despite the mistakes I’ve made. Several other women in my knitting group are working on socks as well and they’re all impressed with the yarn I’m using because it stripes up in a lovely way. Some yarns that purport to be self-striping tend to make the colors pool (bunch up in odd ways) once you start knitting with it, but this yarn gives me a variety of blue stripes up and down my sock.

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