sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 21, 2021


still plugging away
posted by soe 1:53 am

Progress

I’d really hoped to have a finished shawl to show you this week. I’d planned to finish the final mosaic section on the plane and then to get through the dreaded two-color ribbing while I was out here. I even brought a ball of sock yarn so I’d be able to cast on a project for the flight home. But none of that ended up materializing and I am still 12 rows from the end of the mosaic. It’s fine. I’ll get to it. It’s just that I’m really ready to be knitting something else after all these months.

Mishap

Where I did have success with the shawl this week was in not having to rip back when the needle separated from the cable and a third of my active stitches found themselves flopping around freely. Luckily, Rudi found a needle the right size amongst his mom’s stuff, so I didn’t have to buy one (although we still went to the local yarn shop anyway). I admit that getting the final stitch of the rolled edging back on the needle gave me a couple minutes’ pause, but eventually I figured out what I needed to do. (You can see the needle-less end curled up next to the new needle once all the stitches were back on one cable or the other.)

As for reading, I’ve been making steady progress through Ally Carter’s Heist Society, a #GiftmasInJuly present, and enjoying it quite a bit. It’s about a teen girl who’s walked away from a family legacy of crime, only to be dragged back in when her father’s life is threatened by an evil art collector who’s been robbed. (Mum, remind me to pack it to share with you at Thanksgiving.)

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what others are crafting and reading this week.

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October 19, 2021


top ten online resources for book lovers
posted by soe 2:06 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share our favorite online resources for book lovers:

  1. Goodreads (I know they’re now owned by Amazon and that there are other sites that do the same thing of helping you organize what you’ve read and what you want to read. But until the former fact gets too obnoxious, I’m not likely to seek out the latter.)
  2. Book Riot (Lots of good articles about book-related topics)
  3. Out of Print (Lots of bookish clothing options)
  4. Etsy (Again, you can find lots of bookish tchotchkes here.)
  5. Book Series in Order (Because a lot of times, it matters, plotwise)
  6. Does the Dog Die? (Do books with certain tropes stress you out? Do you ever get to a point in a novel where you’re worried that X is going to happen — and you’d rather not keep reading if it does? If that’s the case, this is the site for you.)
  7. Library Extension (Install this extension on your web browser and it will automatically tell you if your library (or libraries) has a book that’s mentioned on a page.)
  8. Overdrive (Access to lots of audiobooks and e-books with your library card.
  9. largehearted boy (If you love books and music, this is a great site for you. The guy who runs it invites authors to share playlists for their books, provides daily links on the two topics, and, between November and January, exhaustively links to best-of lists.)
  10. IndieBound (Want to find a local bookstore to where you live or where you’ll be visiting? Then this is the site for you!)

And while it’s pretty likely she’s already on your radar if you’ve arrived here from her link-up, I’d be remiss not to include That Artsy Reader Girl on my list, for the best weekly book meme, her continuation of #TBTBSanta and her #GiftmasinJuly exchanges, and her daily review of books.

Do you have any favorite bookish sites you’d like to share? Add them in the comments!

Category: books. There is/are 6 Comments.

October 12, 2021


top ten favorite bookish settings
posted by soe 1:51 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday at That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share our favorite bookish settings:

  1. The beach (It’s not enough on it’s own to make me bring a book home, but it’s always enough to make me read the blurb.)
  2. Christmastime (Ditto. And, actually, it’s usually enough to make me take the book out from the library.)
  3. London (In pretty much any era.)
  4. D.C. (Unless they do a terrible job of it. I stopped reading a book once because of the way they described the fountain in Dupont Circle.)
  5. Victorian England (The setting of many of my favorite cozy detective series.)
  6. New England (Again, unless they do a terrible job of it. I gave up on a book recently because she used a real Connecticut town in the entirely wrong part of the state.)
  7. Autumn (Everyone’s just happier in fall.)
  8. The 1920s (It always seems such a glamorous time…)
  9. Modern Paris (I’m less interested in it as historic setting, but I’d be delighted to follow cat burglars up the Eiffel Tower or into the Louvre.)
  10. The 1980s (Many of my school years were in this decade, which means I have a nostalgic fondness novels (particularly y.a./kidlit) sprinkled with banana clips and Trapper Keepers.)

How about you? What places or times immediately make you give a book a second look?

Category: books. There is/are 6 Comments.

October 7, 2021


first unraveling of october
posted by soe 1:39 am

First Unraveling of October

We’re into the final mosaic chart of the shawl. There’s still a final ribbing section before the bind-off row, so that could take a month, because apparently I hate two-color ribbing. But I’d like to think that I’m about a week away from wrapping this thing up, which will still give me weeks before it’s actually cool enough to want to wear woolen neckwear. (Bring on the highs in the 60s!)

It’s been a quiet week reading-wise. I read a chapter of Beth & Amy, which was actually the sample chapter they included at the end of Meg & Jo, but that’s okay. And I have listened to more of Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which has now gotten past the 2008 Iowa Caucus. I suspect Rudi won’t mind listening to some of that on our drive north this weekend, but I also have Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens for us to return to now that it’s been a few months since we watched the show. I’ll probably save finishing off Farah Heron’s Accidentally Engaged for my flight to Salt Lake next week, since that’s also come back to me on audio.

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October 6, 2021


in america: remember
posted by soe 1:28 am

In America: Remember

We passed 700,000 dead from COVID over the weekend. And “In America: Remember,” an art installation on the Mall from Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg recorded each one with a white flag.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

I visited twice: once while they were setting up and then Saturday night. You can see in the daytime shots the expanse of space that was still needed to be filled.

In America: Remember

Each time I was struck by the sheer waste.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

It didn’t have to be like this. No, we probably couldn’t have saved everyone. But just this volume. This many people.

Those who’d lost loved ones to COVID were invited to personalize a flag in their memory. Because each one of these flags represents a person who had a life — friends and family, pets, jobs … Holes in the fabric of our country.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

If you haven’t been to D.C. recently, it’s hard to impress on you the sheer size of this installation. It takes up at least two square city blocks. It’s enormous.

In America: Remember

It’s devastating.

In America: Remember

And more than 30,000 dead in just the two weeks the exhibition was open.

In America: Remember

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October 5, 2021


top ten bookish pet peeves
posted by soe 1:56 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl is all about the things that annoy us about books:

  1. Bad editing
  2. Unhappy endings, particularly ones that sneak up on me (This is often what nets books a single star on Goodreads.)
  3. Surprise sequels (I’m looking at you, Miss Peregrine.)
  4. A lack of description anywhere on a cover (It’s great that other people love it; I’ll need to know what it’s about first.)
  5. Bad descriptions of D.C. (I stopped reading a book once based on its description of the fountain in Dupont Circle.)
  6. Mysteries where the bad guy is obvious from the start.
  7. Mysteries where the person dies of an accident and the person who witnessed it left town (I stopped reading the Aunt Dimity books after that.)
  8. Endings that seem rushed (See #1.)
  9. Self-help books (The only ones I’ve tried have focused on creativity, and usually it’s the author’s tone that makes me want to throw the book into traffic.)
  10. Traditional gender roles reinforced in sneaky ways (The ones that are overbearing I’ve usually abandoned early on, so it’s usually a stupid remark after a couple has gotten together that makes me resent having spent any time with them at all.)

How about you? What pisses you off about books?

Category: books. There is/are 4 Comments.