sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 25, 2018

priority unraveling
posted by soe 1:53 am

With a rainy weekend ahead of us, here’s the book and knitting I’ll be prioritizing:

Priority Unraveling

That’s this year’s Halloween sock and Barbara Kingsolver’s new book, Unsheltered, which I just picked up at the library tonight. She is one of my favorite storytellers, so I expect the book to speed by.

Have you been to Kat’s for more reading and knitting updates?

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October 24, 2018

into the stacks 2018: may
posted by soe 1:07 am

A catch-up post:

Testing the Ice: A True Story about Jackie Robinson, by Sharon Robinson, with illustrations by Kadir Nelson

In this charming historical picture book, baseball great Jackie Robinson’s daughter, Sharon, shares her memories of growing up in Connecticut and ice skating on the pond by her house the first winter she lived there. Internationally acclaimed illustrator Kadir Nelson provides nostalgia-tinged drawings for the book that help to immerse you in the story. This was the Connecticut title on the NYPL’s Read Across America: Young Readers’ Edition list from this spring. And as I’d never known that Jackie Robinson had retired to Connecticut, the book served the dual purpose of amusing and informing.

Pages: 40. Library copy.

Brick by Brick, by Charles R. Smith, Jr., with illustrations by Flyod Cooper

Written in verse that gets a little sing-song-y, the picture book has beautiful illustrations demonstrating the who and how of the construction of the White House. I hadn’t known that slave labor had contributed to the building of the White House until a few years ago, so I recommend it to everyone so they aren’t equally surprised by this overlooked piece of information. This was the D.C. title on that Read Across America list.

Pages: 32. Library copy.

Goldie Vance: Vol. 1, by Hope Larson, with illustrations by Brittney Williams

In this historical fiction comic collection, savvy 16-year-old Goldie Vance lives in a Florida hotel with her father, who is its manager. While her job is technically to park the guests’ cars, she also spends a lot of time shadowing the in-house detective, hoping to find a case to crack. With the help of her best friends, Rob and Cheryl, and Diane, the girl from the record shop, on whom she has a crush, Goldie manages to get into plenty of hijinks, but also to solve some pretty outlandish 1960s crimes, including the case of the stolen necklace. A charming addition to the MG/YA teen sleuth genre featuring a diverse cast and an intersectional title character.

Pages: 112. Personal copy.

A Treacherous Curse, by Deanna Raybourn

In the third book in the Veronica Speedwell series, Veronica must solve the mystery of the disappearance of a wealthy Egyptologist’s lead archaeologist — who just happens to be Stoker’s ex-partner and the man who ran off with his wife, leaving him for dead, years ago. When the man goes missing from his dig with a valuable but “cursed” diadem, Stoker is the lead suspect, and Veronica will stop at nothing to clear her friend’s name — and to impress her estranged father. We know no man is a match for Veronica, but can she beat Anubis, who’s been sighted wandering the nighttime streets of London intent on exacting revenge for the diadem’s theft, to finding the man? A well-paced sleuthing series set in Victorian England, iconoclastic Veronica Speedwell is a joy to read.

Pages: 308. Library copy.

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman

This collection of stories about the Norse gods and goddesses are original Gaiman takes on classic Scandinavian mythology. Covering their complete timeline, from origin stories to Ragnorak, when the time of the gods and goddesses in Asgard is said to come to an end, each story both stands on its own and interlocks with what has come before and what is yet to come. Thanks to the Marvel films, and supplemented by Gaiman’s accent reading his own work, listening to the book was an enjoyable experience, with the ability to envision many of the characters as portrayed by their cinematic counterparts. I didn’t know a lot about Norse mythology outside of what’s referenced in the Marvel films and didn’t fully follow all that’s included in the movies, so these tales felt both familiar and illuminating, which is exactly what one would hope for in a modern collection of mythology. Highly recommended.

Pages: 304. Library audiobook.

Total Pages for May: 796

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October 23, 2018

posted by soe 1:23 am

Remember how last week I discovered my shawl looked like this?


I theorized that instead of ripping back the eight or so long rows that I’d misknit, that since it was only that center pattern that was affected, I could just drop down the misknit stitches and then pick them back up correctly.

The challenge to this is that the fancy hole in the middle of the row is a make-7 stitch (where you turn one stitch into seven), which was going to be more difficult that just your normal use a crochet hook to pick up a row of stitches…

But as of tonight, the shawl now looks like this:


And now I’m back knitting the final few full-length rows before I start to bind off.

It wasn’t fun or easy and I’m not actually certain I saved any time in the process over ripping back (or, at least, over an ideal ripping back scenario where I get all the stitches on the needle to begin with.

But I was able to do it and the little bit of wonkiness you can see should block out when I’m done, since it’s just a matter of tension on those stitches.

The end is definitely in sight for this project!

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October 22, 2018

homecoming weekending
posted by soe 1:44 am

Apple Picking

I returned home from Connecticut midday on Saturday after spending one final morning with my folks. After a joyful reunification with the cats in which Jeremiah was quite convinced he could lick all that other animal smell off my hand, I biked up to the Cleveland Park neighborhood to visit their library and get a snack. Rudi joined me after he was done with work and since the movie theater up there wasn’t playing anything we wanted to see, we bought some pizza dough from the Italian shop up there and came home to spend the evening in, reading and knitting (I finished two books and zero knitting projects) and watching Netflix.

Today, I hit the farmers market (where the quince are starting to come in), ran by the garden to pick the tomatoes because of tonight’s frost warning (I suspect I’ll have over-reacted, but after you’ve nursed plants along all summer, it’s painful to lose your crop because you bet wrong on Mother Nature), and then met up with Sarah, who drove us out to Virginia for an afternoon of apple picking and cider doughnut acquisition. Rudi made a tasty supper of squash tajine and we ate what I’m guessing will be our final smoothie bowl (peach ginger) from the farmers market this season to wrap up the weekend.

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October 21, 2018

ceiling shot
posted by soe 2:38 am

I’d never noticed this before today:

National Ceiling

It’s the ceiling in the public section of the main terminal at National Airport.

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October 20, 2018

weekend plans
posted by soe 1:17 am

This weekend, I’ve got quite a few plans:

  • Spend one more morning with my folks (which does necessitate getting this post finished soon so I can get the packing out of the way).
  • Fly home.
  • Visit the library.
  • Get to the farmers market. (It’s been two weeks. I’m excited to see what’s new!)
  • Take part in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. (I will not be reading 24 hours. But I would like to finish a couple of the books I have on the go and that seems perfectly accomplishable. Also, it’s not too late to sign up if you have some time you can read on Saturday.)
  • Do a Coffeeneuring ride. (Hot drinks! Exercise! New-to-me library branches! Also not too late to sign up if you have access to a bicycle!)
  • Stop at the garden and probably pick a few tomatoes and a few peppers.
  • Go apple picking with Sarah. (Our annual foray!)
  • Eat cider doughnuts (from our annual foray)!
  • Watch a film — maybe on dvd, maybe at the movie theater. There are several we’d like to see and my volleyball is getting in the way of seeing them with Rudi on cheap Tuesdays.
  • Finish a knitting project. (Good god. This one is on here like every week…)
  • Hang out with Rudi and the cats, all of whom I’ve missed tremendously this past week.

How about you? What are you hoping your weekend includes?

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