sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 15, 2012


book poll: cybil vacation reading
posted by soe 11:44 pm

My life is pretty much work-read-sleep all the time right now, as I fight to keep our living room visible under my piles of Cybils nominees. The good thing is that nothing in the Burrow is going to go flying away should a strong breeze kick up in the apartment anytime soon.

However, we’re not going dark here. I might not be able to stay on top of vacation photo processing and sharing at the moment, but we can talk books. I mean, I’m going to talk books anyway, so you might as well get a bit of a say in it, right?

So, let’s run a couple polls. Today, I’m going to ask you which of the nominees currently littering my coffee table (and the ones I have to pick up at the library tomorrow) I should take with me to Louisiana when I head south on vacation later this week.*

But it’s no fun for you if you have to read summaries of all the books, so let’s forgo that. Instead, let’s break the books down and poll you based on each book’s Very Special Episode issue:

  • cancer
  • Nazis**
  • hmmm… this one is hard to tell from the book jacket. let’s guess it’s dying family member
  • murder
  • royal scandal
  • civil war (European)
  • teen death (possibly caused by the protagonist)
  • drug dealing and abusive parents
  • poverty and disability
  • orphans and homosexuality
  • homosexuality and snipers
  • hmmm… how’d this one get in the running. the worst we get from the jacket is “near tragedy.” ah, wait, now i remember: dyslexia.
  • drug-addicted parent
  • physical scarring
  • hmmm… this one also seems kinda upbeat. let’s say it’s about broken families.
  • amnesia
  • cancer (again)

To give you some perspective, recent reads have included such Afterschool Special topics as child abduction, Alzheimer’s, homosexuality, and madness.

Tell me in the comments what you’d recommend. Choose well (for me)!


*I reserve the right to make a substitution based on space (I read dead-tree books that take up serious physical space in my luggage) and, possibly, if I really, really hate your choices. I’ll try not to, but I am going on vacation and some of these topics are clearly going to be serious downers.

**Actually, don’t pick this one because it was due back to the library today and has holds on it, so I can’t renew it right now.

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olympic affection
posted by soe 2:03 am

I finished my Olympic Affection late last month just in time to take it with me to Salt Lake. We headed up into the Wasatch mountains one day and I brought it along, both for warmth on a cool, damp autumn day high above sea level and to capture a few shots for posterity.

We drove up amidst fiery scrub oaks and golden aspens, through a bit of sun and a smidgen of a shower until we paused in Sundance before a wooden gate just begging to be a photo backdrop. We disregarded the no trespassing sign (our apologies, Mr. Redford) and popped out of the car and into the field for a few pictures:

Color Affection with Aspens

I have worn the shawl nearly every day now since its completion. It ended up being less deep that I’d expected (I never did check the row gauge), so I can wear it like this or wrapped a few more times around my neck in a more scarf-like fashion.

Color Affection Modeled

I know some of you liked the more calming colors of the original Color Affection, but I wanted vibrant and eye-popping and the colors of the yarn I ultimately settled on (after much assistance from Rudi, Mum, and two Connecticut yarn store folk) make me so happy I can’t help but smile when I look at it, whether it’s in pictures, wrapped around me, or shoved in my bag (as it is during the warmer hours of the day).

Color Affection

The purple yarn is Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk (a merino-silk blend) in what some stores term Plum (5633), the red is Dye Dream Dream Socks (a merino-nylon blend) in Cranberry, and the orange is String Theory Hand-Dyed Caper Sock (a merino-cashmere-nylon blend) in Marmalade. The orange, which has hints of purple and red in it without ever fully switching colors, was a last-minute substitution after I discovered the hot pink I’d originally wanted to use shot the color combination over into Sunday funnies hues. The other colors came out of my stash, but the String Theory was purchased at Creative Fibers in Connecticut specifically for the shawl.

Color Affection on a Gate

I knit most of it on a 4mm needle, but cast on and bound off with larger sizes to keep it stretchy. I also switched the bind-off, given my earlier trouble keeping things stretchy, to a yarn-over bind-off. I blocked it minimally depthwise (I’d heard warnings not to overstretch the garter stitch) and more severely along the edges.

And, since I failed to give you a laid-out finished shot, you get one on the blocking mat, which measures 5’x3′ to give you some perspective:

Blocking Affection

I love it and would definitely make another one. Short of remembering to keep the floats looser along the edge than seemed wise at the time, it was a very simple pattern and makes a lovely addition to my wardrobe.

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