sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 22, 2018

snow day unraveling
posted by soe 1:00 am

Cherry Blossom Hat

Despite having had a snow day today, I can’t really tell you how I spent it. I mean some of it I can account for. But the rest was just frittered away, not knitting, not reading, not doing much of anything.

Which accounts for this photo of a book you’ve already seen and of a new knitting project that’s not further along. I’m into the third part of A Gentleman in Moscow and I suspect the action will pick up soon. I can see the author laying the pieces in place for what is to come. I’m still listening to We Were Eight Years in Power and the print copy is also in my hands for referring back to. I’ve also started listening to the first Amelia Peabody novel, Crocodile on the Sandbank.

The yarn is the start to Yoshino Cherry Blossom Hat. I opted for cherry pink for the brim instead of brown the way the pattern calls for. And I might opt for regular rib instead of twisted rib, because I think that’s stretchier and the pattern repeat is 36 stitches long, making it hard to just add a couple to the cast-on the way I’d meant to.

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March 21, 2018

top ten tuesday: spring ’18 tbr
posted by soe 1:12 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a quarterly favorite of mine — what I’m hoping to read this season. Before I answer, I thought I’d look back at a few previous iterations of this list, as well as some of the lists for what I’d hoped to read in 2018, to see how I’ve fared previously.

In January, I wrote about 10 of the books I’d meant to read last year. I have since read (and enjoyed) two of them — Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Magpie Murders.

In December, I shared 10 2018 titles I intended to read this year. While, as of today, half of that list has been published, thus far I’ve not read any. I’ve bought Down and Across and it’s sitting in the pile in front of me.

I am doing better in terms of the books I wrote I planned to read this winter: I’ve read three — Teetotaled, Turtles All the Way Down, and Far from the Tree — and am on the hold list for a fourth.

Finally, I went all the way back to last spring to see what I’d hoped to read then. I’ve finished four of them and have a fifth on the go currently.

The lesson here is that no matter what I put on this list, I’m likely to only read, at best, half of them, which is really depressing, but in keeping with how fast I add new titles to my TBR list. Without further ado and for whatever it’s worth, here are the Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List:

  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff came out last week. It’s the final book in a chunky epistolary trilogy set in space that I’ve loved and I may have begged the library to hurry up and buy copies so I can read it. Maybe.
  • The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zig Zag Life, by Natalie Goldberg comes from my list last spring. I did start it and it induced severe eye rolling on my part, which is really too bad, since I own my copy. I’d like to give it one more try to see if it was just me or if I ought to send this one out into the wild.
  • I will read everything that Rainbow Rowell writes, but I draw the line at buying comic books that I’m pretty sure will later be collected into a book. (And, yes, I do understand how the comic book industry works and know that they’re not going to do that if enough people don’t read those flimsy little zines. I just don’t care to give in to that stupid system.) However, lots of people did buy her Runaways series of comics with Kris Anka, so it will be made into a book, The Runaways, Vol. 1, due out in April.
  • I got Me Before You by Jojo Moyes in my TBR Secret Santa package in December. Now that we’re moving into spring, I can read books that I know will make me cry again.
  • Ashley Weaver’s Murder at the Brightwell was part of my last Ninja Book Swap package. I’m in a mystery mood right now, particularly of a historical bent, and anticipate this being a fun new series.
  • I attended an author event last week for The Radical Element, a collection of 12 stories about “daredevils, debutantes, and other dauntless girls.” It contains stories from authors I like, authors whose longer works I haven’t yet gotten to, and an author who also works as a D.C. librarian.
  • David Grann’s true crime nonfiction Killers of the Flower Moon is outside my comfort zone, but it was a National Book Award finalist and he is a fellow Conn alum, so I feel like I should at least give it a short.
  • Speaking of the National Book Award, I have Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jessmyn Ward out of the library right now and intend to start it as soon as I’ve finished the overdue Towles book. Each of her books is on my TBR list, so I’m hoping to finally be able to cross one off.
  • Morgan Parker’s poetry collection There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonc√© was one of two books of verse I bought myself for my birthday. I’ve started one of them and am looking forward to beginning this one soon. I’m thinking of reading several poetry books during April.
  • Finally, the aforementioned Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi. It’s partially set in D.C. and Jenn really likes it, so I’m hopeful. (Also, he said nice things about Jenn when I met him last month, so that’s definitely a count in his favor.)

What are you looking forward to reading this spring?

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March 20, 2018

st. patrick’s day weekending
posted by soe 1:52 am

St. Patrick's Day Cocoa

I did not get to the mopping, nor to the movies, this weekend. But it was a really nice one, nonetheless.

I did the library shuffle, trading materials I’d previously borrowed for new ones at two branches.

I made it to the French pastry shop where the Hawaiian-style malasada (Portuguese doughnuts) will be popping up on weekends and brought home four for us to sample — jam-filled, lemon curd-filled, ube- (purple yam) glazed with coconut, and pandan- (screwpine) cream-filled. We were excited to finally get to try them.

Winter Gardening, Week 3

I stopped at the garden and turned soil in another section of my plot and planted seeds for lettuce and other greens.

I did some grocery shopping, drank tea at a cafe, and blocked my shawl (which requires going into the office after hours).

Shawl Blocking

We watched Despicable Me 3, which was cute, but not as good as the original.

Rudi had his first weekend day off since December, which was awesome. We went to the farmers market and then headed out to Savage, Maryland, where there was a local yarn market going on. It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to go, and I came home with a few skeins of yarn to mark the occasion, including a skein of blue to make a cherry blossom hat. (Now I just need to hit the bead store to buy the beads I’ll need.)

All in all a busy, but relaxing weekend! How was yours?

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March 19, 2018

posted by soe 1:19 am

I’d fully intended to give you a post highlighting the weekend’s activities, but then this month’s Hamildrops came out and I had to share that instead. It is rare that a song makes me cry on first listen, but this mashup of “Found” from Dear Evan Hanson and “Tonight” from Hamilton accomplished that task.

Additionally, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt are donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the song to this coming Saturday’s March for Our Lives, the anti-gun violence initiative being championed by the teenaged survivors of its damage. I hope you’ll join me in support of tougher gun regulations by buying the song.

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March 18, 2018

saturday contrasts
posted by soe 12:09 am

Rock Creek -- Still Winter

I thought since I keep posting pictures of green things growing that those of you in places still covered in inches and inches of snow might appreciate knowing that most of D.C. still looks like Rock Creek Park, where it’s clearly still winter.

But spring arrives this coming week, so I’ll leave you with this thought:

Cherry Blossoms

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March 17, 2018

st. patrick’s day weekend to-do list
posted by soe 12:52 am

Magnolias Downtown

I have lots of things I’d like this weekend to include. Here are some of them, in no particular order:

  • Paint my nails.
  • Finish A Gentleman in Moscow.
  • Block a shawl, as well as the sleeve of my sweater so I can figure out if I can keep knitting it as is.
  • Check out a new pop-up doughnut shop.
  • Attend a local yarn festival.
  • Plant some lettuce and other greens’ seeds.
  • Watch Love, Simon.
  • Pick up my holds at the library (which include Strange the Dreamer, so thank goodness I returned it last weekend).
  • Wash my handknits (and some other laundry).
  • Bake Irish soda bread (without raisins because yuck).
  • Buy flowers (and milk) at the farmers market.
  • Mop the kitchen floor.

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

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