sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 30, 2007

the first of a dozen
posted by soe 11:56 am

moonrise over dc

The winter can be hard for me. Between work, subterranean dwelling, and late-moving habits, I don’t see enough sunlight. Instead I tend to skulk through the first few months of the year in the dark (both literally and metaphorically), a child of the moonlight.

It was a rare weekday early in the month where I found myself with a day off and time to head out on the town to wander around during a sunny, 70 degree afternoon. But walking home from Georgetown at twilight, I was reminded of the proper scheme of things when I sighted this moonrise over the eastern bank of Rock Creek.

But even as the moon reminds me of nocturnal habits and melancholy, a full moon also seems full of promise and potential, representative of the first month of the year when everything seems new and possible again.

This is appropriate in a couple of ways because it marks an opportunity to set up my new Flickr account (which contains just the one photo right now) and to take part in a new photo-along that Stephanie and Margene decided to launch — 007: Snap a Dozen Days. Stephanie explains the concept:

You post one or more pictures once a month, any time during the month. The pictures should express the meaning of the month to you. You can post about a person, a place, a thing – whatever you want. Then you write a blog post in conjunction with the pictures to explain the meaning of the month.

I look forward to breaking out (but not breaking) the camera more in 2007 and continuing to play along over the year.

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January 29, 2007

food+friends=great afternoon
posted by soe 12:02 am

This afternoon marked the first meeting of The Ladies who Lunch. Okay, perhaps the moniker is all mine, but nonetheless, some female friends and I gathered in the Burrow this afternoon for a midday meal, so it seems appropriate pending a better name…

Unfortunately, we started the afternoon down a quarter of the group. Julia is in Texas where her mom is in the hospital recuperating from surgery on her brain. But since we couldn’t make her mom better by postponing our lunch, we decided to carry on with our plans anyway.

So Sarah and Susan came over to share some food with me, which meant Rudi and I had to do a winter cleaning of the apartment, which is always a good thing.

I whipped up a broccoli quiche (one of two or three entrées I’m capable of making) and a salad and bought some sourdough bread, which combined nicely with Susan’s French mushrooms. Sarah is noted for her yummy desserts, so when she volunteered to make one for lunch, I jumped at the opportunity. She made fantastic chocolate cupcakes based on her grandmother’s recipe (and was generous enough to bring two for each of us!). (Thanks, Sarah!)

We ate, we laughed, we talked books and politics, we traded doctors’ and dentists’ names… (I explained to Rudi this is why he wasn’t allowed to stay; he had no uterus and therefore was unable to contribute to the discussion on pelvic exams…) In general, it was a lovely afternoon, darkened only by Julia’s absence.

Julia, we missed you and hope your mom is on the road to recovery. I know she is all the better for having you in Texas, rather than here. (Btw, Susan ate your slice of quiche and I had your cupcake. They were delicious, if we do say so ourselves.)

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January 28, 2007

new yarn and other saturday things
posted by soe 12:50 am

My local yarn shop had a sale this weekend and I took advantage of the nice weather to walk down to Georgetown.

I came away with some lovely things:

  • Mission Falls Superwash Wool in a lovely teal to make the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch and Bitch and one skein in purple for some charity knitting squares;
  • Karabella Marble (an alpaca-merino blend) — two skeins in blues and greys for a hat or something else for Rudi and two in teals for a hat for me; and
  • those fancy safety-pin style stitch markers, which already came in handy tonight when Rudi broke his handknit socks. (Btw, if anyone has any suggestions for fixing the top of a top-down sock, we’d be grateful for the tips.)

My walk along the Georgetown canal was nice. Except it made me terribly hungry, so I stopped by Snap for a chocolate chip crepe and a rose-flavored lassi. The lassi was a little weird, but Snap is more known for its bubble tea than its lassis. And while I can justify $4 for a lassi, I refuse to pay $4 for a cup of hot tea. It’s tea, people! I know how much a bag of tea sells for! But the crepe was excellent, so I would definitely go back, but just to eat.

The rest of the evening was spent cleaning and watching Witness for the Prosecution, WETA‘s classic movie of the week. I really enjoy seeing classic movies, and WETA makes it remarkably easy to catch up on those I haven’t seen as well as favorites.

Tomorrow, I’m having a couple of friends over for lunch. Rudi’s clearing out and we girls are just going to hang out for the afternoon. Should be great!

Category: knitting. There is/are 4 Comments.

January 25, 2007

disorientation, surprise, and teatime snack
posted by soe 6:35 pm

It’s already Thursday, but I want it to be Friday. (Working five days a week is hard after a month of working fewer!)

But if it were Friday, it would mean that we’d missed chatting about beautiful things, and that would be disappointing. I really enjoy telling you about the lovely things I encounter and I enjoy hearing about those in your lives.

So, without further ado, three beautiful things from the past week:

1. It flurried during the middle of the day today and the closest windows to my sixth-floor office overlook a courtyard. Because of the strange wind currents created by the location, the snow looked like it was flying up instead of down.

2. The double-take John did when I walked into the meeting on Saturday. I’m noted for my outspoken dislike of meetings, so I was clearly not expected.

3. My dentist is located near Eastern Market, where there’s a bakery. (No, the irony of this is not lost on me.) To celebrate a clean bill of dental health, I bought myself an almond croissant. (It was as big as my head!) I had half at teatime yesterday and half at teatime today. I only recently had my first almond croissant, so I never knew they were filled with gooey almond goodness. I just thought there was almond extract (which, did you know, is generally made from apricot pits) in the batter and almonds on top. How wrong I was…

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January 24, 2007

posted by soe 11:58 pm

I went to the dentist today. Let’s face it; few people like going to the dentist.

But I have bad teeth and a mouth full of fillings to prove it.

So I was particularly nervous to hear what my x-rays and cleaning would discover.

But good news — nothing new to worry about! I have a loose filling that I’ve made an appointment to repair, but that’s it until the six-month cleaning check-up.

What a relief!

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yarn choice
posted by soe 12:48 am

Isn’t it amazing the difference the right yarn can make?

When I was knitting Mum’s scarf prior to Christmas, the yarn I ultimately knit it out of was a beautiful, green baby alpaca. It was so soft, and every time I picked it up, I immediately wanted to snuggle into my project. It helped me bond with the project, which was good, because we spent several late nights together. The same thing when I knit a hat for a friend last winter out of Blue Sky alpaca/merino.

This week, I’m working on a charity knitting project for Food and Friends, a D.C. organization that makes sure people with HIV and cancer and other serious and potentially fatal diseases get nutritious food to eat. Every year at Valentine’s Day, they also deliver hand-knitted items to each of their clients, who number around 1,200. This year the woman organizing the drive is desperately behind her target number, particularly for male clients, so I went stash-diving and set to work.

The yarn I’m using is a hand-me-down from my friend Cynthia, who sent me yarn one spring after her basement (where she stored her yarn stash) flooded. After she dried it all out, she filled up two boxes with yarns that she could part with and mailed them to me, a newbie knitter.

This yarn is not cheap. It’s Noro Lily, which is a cotton-silk blend, so it has nice drape and flows smoothly over my needles.

But I hate the colors. It’s the Multi colorway, which combines black, several shades of brown and gray, a silvery-blue, and fluorescent green. Yes, it makes a nice pattern (both skeins match, which I understand can be unusual with some Noro yarns). But still… Luckily, Rudi likes the colors, so I’m hopeful that a male client of Food and Friends will, too.

I just have no interest in knitting this scarf. I desperately want to be knitting something — anything — else. And I feel bad. Because I sort of feel like when one is doing charity knitting that one ought to be infusing each stitch (or, at least, most stitches, when your pattern, needles, and yarn are playing nicely together) with thoughts of love and healing for its intended recipient. And here I am thinking, “When is this skein going to end?” and “I can’t wait to be done with this stupid thing!”

Here’s hoping that’s not what I’m infusing into this scarf….

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