sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 21, 2009

readalong: summer vacation
posted by soe 1:59 am

I’m making progress on the two readalongs I’m already signed up for, so thought I might add a third one for the summer.

Molly at My Cozy Book Nook is hosting a Summer Vacation Reading Challenge:

I love to travel, but with the economy the way it is, a get-away summer vacation is not in the budget this year. However, books are very affordable (and libraries add new meaning to the phrase “price is no object”). I anticipate taking many ‘literary’ vacations over the course of the next few months, and I hope you can join me as well.

… You may read any literary genre that you enjoy – provided it allows you to “travel” to a different locale that you would like to visit.

I will be participating in the Beach Bum category, which asks me to read three books by Labor Day.

I’m not sure about which books I’ll pick, but I’m hopeful that Shannon Hale’s adult novel, Austenland, will be amongst them. Other potential locales include a Midwestern dairy farm, a fancy Parisian apartment building, an Ottawa community of Scots, and outer space (DON’T PANIC!).

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July 18, 2009

or something
posted by soe 9:26 am

I like today’s Unshelved.

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July 17, 2009

portland, here i come
posted by soe 11:26 pm

So… you know how I like to knit socks? Well, come next month, I’m going to fly out to Portland, Oregon, to the first ever Sock Summit, a knitting extravaganza for those of us obsessed with creating clothing for feet.

When they opened up registration back at the end of May, the enthusiasm of knitters worldwide caused a system crash the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Iceland’s economy flat-lined. Thirty thousand simultaneous hits on a site, while flattering, do not do good things to its servers. The site crashed, took a long time to reboot, and then experienced some hiccups in showing what availability existed in classes.

I was one of the lucky knitters. I hopped back onto the site shortly after it came back up and, not finding any openings in the longer classes I was interested in, managed to enroll in four hour-long classes on Saturday and Sunday. I have two mini classes related to knitting socks from the toe up (I’m much more comfortable with knitting a sock from the top down), a lecture on Turkish colorwork (which includes the opportunity to try some techniques), and an hour devoted to ergonomically correct knitting (personally, I’m hoping some massage technique tips get worked into that one). None of those classes were originally on my radar, but I bet they’re going to be fascinating and that I will learn a lot.

I’d enrolled in those classes while at my folks’ and was on a plane heading home when the organizers realized that classes weren’t showing up properly on the schedule. When I got back to the Burrow to the message that additional classes had opened up, I was able to add a half-day class on knitting fancy cuffs on my socks — some to make my socks more girly and others to appeal to my more manly recipients. It was a class I’d been really interested in, so I was delighted. (And lucky. There were tons of knitters out there who got shut out altogether.)

I admit that while I reserved a hotel room back in April, long before registration opened, I had waited to book a flight until I knew that I had managed to secure a class or two. The price of flights had been high all spring, so I was sure that prices had to come down sooner or later.

I waited.

I compared travel discount sites and low-cost carriers.

To be frank, I started to stress.

I contemplated selling off my classes.

Earlier this week, the Sock Summit organizers wrote, saying they were going to hold a lottery to distribute the last returned slots. I decided this was do or die. If I got into an additional class, I’d suck it up and buy a plane ticket.

Tonight I got an email from one of the Sock Team 2 members, asking if I was still interested in the knee sock class.

I bought my plane ticket.

Pacific Northwest, watch out!

Category: knitting,travel. There is/are 5 Comments.

July 16, 2009

pink, pool, and potter
posted by soe 11:28 pm

Thursdays always bring three beautiful things from the past week:

1. Opening day for a movie (particularly a long anticipated one) is always cause for celebration — and sometimes a costume. I opted for a Tonksish appearance — skirt, sneakers, and t-shirt complemented by green striped socks, a black robe, and neon pink hair.

2. The deep end of the pool was uncrowded. I turned somersaults in the water to celebrate a warm Sunday evening.

3. There was a wee little movie that opened on Wednesday. Perhaps you’ve heard? I thought its ending lacked the emotional intensity of the book and, as always, too much was left out, but it may (just may; it’s too early for an official ruling) be my favorite of the bunch.

What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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July 14, 2009

booking through … tuesday
posted by soe 11:09 pm

From this week’s Booking Through Thursday challenge:

“So here today I present to you an Unread Books Challenge. Give me the list or take a picture of all the books you have stacked on your bedside table, hidden under the bed or standing in your shelf – the books you have not read, but keep meaning to. The books that begin to weigh on your mind. The books that make you cover your ears in conversation and say, ‘No! Don’t give me another book to read! I can’t finish the ones I have!’ “

I own lots of unread books. Long before I had a stash of yarn, I owned a stash of books, acquired as gifts, souvenirs, and library book sales. After moving to D.C., my job periodically required me to attend the American Library Association’s annual conference, where they give away books — for free. So each time I went, I’d come home with a suitcase full of novels and other books.

So for ease of writing tonight (and for future post fodder), I decided to consult only one shelf tonight. In the reading nook, the following books remain unread*:

The top shelf, which, admittedly, is a bit light on books compared to those below gave me false hope. Only two books hadn’t been read:

  • The Scotch by John Kenneth Galbraith
  • The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald

The second shelf down, which houses a large portion of my knitting book collection also didn’t look too bad, although only the last item has anything to do with knitting:

  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Into the Wild: Warriors 1 by Erin Hunter
  • The Last Dragon by Silvana de Mari
  • Subject to Debate by Katha Pollitt
  • A Woman’s Education by Jil Ker Conway
  • Thinking Out Loud by Anna Quindlen
  • No Idle Hands by Anne Macdonald

Third shelf down and we start to see the results of randomly shoving books onto the shelf in a frenzy of cleaning. This shelf is supposed to hold poetry, but now seems to equally hold fiction:

  • The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  • Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose
  • The Open Door by Steven Gilbar
  • The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
  • Rules by Cynthia Lord
  • The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (I’ve read a couple of the sequels, but not the original.)
  • The Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
  • Grace and Gravity: Fiction by Washington Area Women

Bottom shelf. This is supposed to hold literature compilations, as well as books from college. It seemingly also holds piles of fiction I couldn’t fit elsewhere:

  • Forgiveness by Jean Brashear (I entered a contest to win yarn on the author’s website and she sent me inscribed copies of four of her books)
  • Mercy by Jean Brashear
  • Coming Home by Jean Brashear
  • Live Is Lovelier by Jean Brashear
  • The Illustrated Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
  • The Bilingual Edge by Kendall King and Alison Mackey (Ummm… I have no idea why I picked this one up at the last ALA conference I went to…)
  • Foundling by D.M. Cornish
  • Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer
  • Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic (I started this one but it was depressing and I abandoned it in favor of less warlike reading.)
  • The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
  • Claiming Georgia Tate by Gigi Amateau
  • The Whole Sky Full of Stars by René Saldaña, Jr.
  • The Book of Time by Guillaume Prévost
  • The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
  • Making Money by Terry Pratchett (Can I tell you? I looked at the title of the book and thought, “Why in the world did I get a book on that?!?”)

Admit it: aren’t you glad I only tackled one shelf?

Any recommendation for books in the shelves that should shift toward the top of the to be read pile?

* Some of these books mentioned above were gifts from friends that I have yet to read. Please don’t feel that your present was unappreciated. I’m just savoring our connection for even longer than usual.

Category: books. There is/are 4 Comments.

July 13, 2009

what ever do you mean?
posted by soe 9:43 pm


Who actually thought their cat didn’t manipulate them?

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