sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 25, 2018

forsythia along the c&o canal in georgetown
posted by soe 1:09 am

Forsythia along the Canal

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February 24, 2018

final february weekend to-do list
posted by soe 2:41 am

Here’s what I’m hoping my final weekend in February might include:

  • Watch the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics.
  • Complete the edging on my shawl.
  • Finish listening to American Street.
  • Go to the farmers market.
  • Take down the Christmas cards.
  • Purchase our tea supply for the year.
  • Sign up for a different volleyball league. (The one that was supposed to start this weekend fell through due to lack of sign-ups.)
  • Pick up my holds at the library.
  • Wash my woolens.
  • Check out an interactive art installation.
  • Clean the kitchen.
  • Dance to ’80s music. (Because otherwise those cleaning chores just won’t get done.)
  • Catch up on some sleep.

How about you? What are you hoping to do this weekend?

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February 23, 2018

baby, date night, and blooms
posted by soe 1:41 am

First Daffodil

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. My friend Amani texted to say she and her baby are in town and would my work pal Sarah and I want to get together. Um, yes! Ayinde is seven months old, with chubby cheeks and stubby toes and four teeth and the most adorable pompadour of soft, auburn curls. I last saw him when he was a few weeks old and he’s grown a lot since then. He’s comfortable in public and happy to let strangers hold him. Amani is looking good, although she says she’s tired, which is understandable, given she only gets to sleep a couple hours at a time.

2. Rudi and I went to see Black Panther and it was so good. I was glad I’d read the Ta-Nehesi Coates reboot of the comic (although when I read it, I’d felt like it had dropped me into the story without sufficient back story), so I knew something about Wakanda and vibranium-based biotechnology and the Dora Milaje warriors. I got tired of the fight scenes toward the end, but otherwise I liked everything about it and would watch it a second time in the theater to take in the gorgeous scenery.

3. As expected the nearly 80-degree temperatures we had this week jump-started the daffodils. As we rode past Rose Park on the bike path below, we could see the clumps starting to emerge, and they’ve appeared in south-facing yards, as well. And I saw the pink tip of a hyacinth starting to poke out yesterday, too.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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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 21, 2018

‘if it were up to me’
posted by soe 1:10 am

Cheryl Wheeler’s been singing this for decades now:

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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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