sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 28, 2010

spooky, strands, and commute
posted by soe 10:49 pm

As I write this Thursday night, a cool breeze is plucking yellowing leaves from our tree and sending them swirling into our brick window well. The cats are all very excited: Della is sitting in the upper window, staring down over the a/c unit. Jer is parked on the speaker, not quite wanting to get into the window itself. Corey is having the crazies, throwing himself around the living room — up into the window, then over to Rudi’s chair, then into the cat carrier, then back to the window. Posey, last I looked, was having some supper, only recently having emerged from her beauty sleep in the hallway closet, but Rudi notes that particularly loud drops of leaves cause even our most placid cat to look up.

Here are three beautiful things from the last full week of October:

1. Halloween decorations are out in full force. I have a strand of jack o’lantern lights above my desk. The neighbors have a neon green spider atop cottony strands on a bush. And when I arrive at work today, a sparkly green skeleton was lounging on the couch in our lounge with a container of chocolate for those brave enough to approach him.

2. I finally remember that in order to execute a spit splice in your knitting you have to part the strands of each end of yarn. It’s handy that my memory has finally recalled this piece of information as Corey has chewed through two spots in my stripey yarn. On the socks, you’d only notice the affected stitches now if you looked hard, and I didn’t waste a ton of yarn by having to find the equivalent spot in the next sequence.

3. On my ride west, a toddler warrior queen crosses my path in front of the White House and the spires of Georgetown stand before me framed in the fading colors of a fall sunset.

What beautiful things have you noticed this week?

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dear giants
posted by soe 2:34 am

Dear San Francisco Giants,

Congratulations on pulling out tonight’s win. I appreciate that you wanted to keep things interesting for your fans and so heightened the drama by allowing the Rangers to pull within winning range in the final inning.

Honestly, when you were winning by eight runs, a normal fan would have felt confident that you had business taken care of. However, I am a Mets fan, and, as such, I have learned that it’s really never over until that final out has been called and no lead is so great that it can’t be overcome by iffy pitching (and questionable fielding, although that didn’t seem to be the case tonight so much). So I was not surprised (although disappointed would be a fair description) when you allowed Texas back in the game.

Cliff Lee had had two great division series, but his sub-1.0 ERA was doomed to rise. Tim Lincecum, who had a great many strike-outs but two losses during the NLCS, was due to finally get a win.

The Rangers helped by making a large number of mind-boggling errors, both in the field and on the base paths, but they’re a good team. You can’t count on them to hand you a win (even one you attempt to fritter away) again.

As a lifelong National League fan, I was delighted to see us claim home field advantage after the All-Star Game for the first time since the ’90s. I was thrilled when you beat Philadelphia in the NLCS (even though the Yankees loss would not allow a cross-country reenactment of the borough battles of 1921, ’22, ’23, ’36, ’37, and ’51 [1962 saw a California-ized Giants lose to the Yanks]). As a girl from the Northeast, I would have loved that. (Okay, I would have preferred the Mets to you, but I’m not that unrealistic!) But my loyalty would have been torn, so it was just as well that you ended up playing a team from Texas (who used to play in D.C., but I’m okay with that…).

Please don’t squander a 1-0 start to the Series. The Rangers are no hacks and they will not make it easy for you. It would be helpful if you didn’t make it difficult for yourselves, as well.

Good luck with a quick return to the spunky, superior playing ability you demonstrated in the division championship series. We’ll be rooting for you!

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October 25, 2010

yarn choices
posted by soe 12:52 am

Each time I think I have it figured out which colors I’d like to pair for my Neptune High knee socks, I flip flop.

Current dilemma:

Hey, you think that’s bad? I ruled out a whole chair’s worth of other color combinations earlier tonight.

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October 22, 2010

posted by soe 11:36 pm

Hat tip to Jenn for this meme:

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and [who] will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

Here’s what popped into my head at the end of the workday:

  1. Richard Scarry
  2. Dr. Seuss
  3. Louisa May Alcott
  4. L.M. Montgomery
  5. Emily Dickinson
  6. William Shakespeare
  7. “Carolyn Keene”
  8. Barbara Kingsolver
  9. J.K. Rowling
  10. Jane Austen
  11. Jasper Fforde
  12. C.S. Lewis
  13. Mary Oliver
  14. Beatrix Potter
  15. J.D. Salinger

Play along in the comments if you’re so motivated.

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improvement, going postal, and buried treasure
posted by soe 7:46 am

[Written Thursday night] Our sites are down right now, so I’m writing this Thursday night (after a pleasant evening of knitting, baseball, and tacos with Rudi) and will paste it in when our service provider figures out what’s going on:

1. Della is clearly feeling better. She is not quite her old self, but if this is the new norm, we’ll be okay with that. She has energy, has felt up to jumping up to the upper window in the living room, and has been interested in food — both when it’s time for medicine and in between.

2. A trip to mail my swap package after work last week could have derailed due to a splitting, nausea-inducing migraine. But the postal clerk working the floor just before closing time is cheerful, the girls behind me in the snake-like line hold my space while I find a customs form, and the clerk at the desk suggests I switch my shipping method to save money and waits for me to fill out the new form.

3. We dig up the back corner of the garden, where we harvest about a dozen potatoes and a dozen peanuts. Sifting through the dirt makes me wonder if we’ll also find some gold dubloons.

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October 20, 2010

knitting for others
posted by soe 11:18 pm

As noted earlier in the week, I’m taking part in a swap on Ravelry. Before I could send my package off to Germany, though, I had to make something for my recipient.

I debated between a hat or a cowl and eventually settled on a hat out of the new Knitty that came out at the end of last month:


This is Brambles, knit in the Violet colorway of Shepherd’s Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill, a yarn grown, spun, and dyed here in the U.S. I hadn’t heard of this yarn when Rudi and I stopped by Fibre Space a few weeks ago, but the store’s owner really sold it on me and I’m so glad she did. The yarn is quite delightful to work with and at $10 a skein, it’s actually an affordable worsted weight yarn worth looking at if you were considering a sweater.

The pattern also was lovely, and I would knit it again. In fact, since I really want one of my own, it’s all but certain that I will.

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