sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 22, 2009

favorite things swap
posted by soe 12:50 pm

Part of the fun of the knitting community is that periodically swaps pop up where people send each other fun packages. The most recent one I joined was the Favorite Things Swap, where people send you things they particularly like. We were instructed to send at least three items — one handmade, one store-bought, and one that could be either.

Swappy Fun

Lisa in South Carolina sent me this lovely assortment of presents.

There’s new sock yarn that will make fun, self-striping socks in a brand I’d never heard of. Don’t they just demand to be knit up in time for Halloween?

There’s vanilla soap. We all know that’s my favorite scent, right?

Handmade Stitch Markers

These are stitch markers handmade by Lisa. Look how she made one different to mark the start of a round. And they’ve got smaller rings than many stitch markers I own, which make them perfect for knitting socks! Lisa actually sent me nine markers, but one’s already been put to use in a project.

Yarn Bowl

And this is a yarn bowl (made by LASdesigns). See that little curl in the side of the bowl? You thread your yarn through it and it feeds the yarn to you as you knit along. It’s particularly perfect for yarn that is a bit slippery, such as the lilac hemp currently residing in the bowl. The cats find the yarn bowl fascinating, because in addition to giving them a view of my yarn (which is usually tucked away in a project bag), it also gives a fun zippy noise when I pull a strand out. They’ve all taken turns watching it in the last week.

Thank you, Lisa! These were absolutely fantastic gifts and receiving them was such a blast!

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August 20, 2009

pool party, pride, and peachy keen
posted by soe 11:49 pm

It’s Thursday. Really? I mean, I know the calendar says it’s Thursday… But that isn’t right… is it?

Oh, all right, fine.

But if it’s Thursday, that means it’s time for Three Beautiful Things from the past week:

1. Monday evening after work, I’m tired and grumpy and have decided to pass on a planned trip to the pool. But when I call Rudi to tell him so, he raves about how nice it is. I head down for a quick dip. The water is cool and refreshing — and exactly what I needed.

2. I borrow Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austen’s famed novel, from the library. It’s amazing how well an 18th-century author’s work holds up to the addition of saris and song-and-dance numbers. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to identify each character as they appear on screen.

3. Peaches are at the height of their season right now. I eat them in the mid-afternoon. The juice draws lines around my fingers and drips onto my desk.

What’s been beautiful in your world?

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August 19, 2009

posted by soe 11:50 am

It will tell you a great deal about how I was raised that when I read the headline, “Buffett: Beware the Quiet Withering of the American Dollar,” my first thought was, “Jimmy wrote a song about the economy?”

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August 18, 2009

tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…
posted by soe 11:16 pm

Except that they’re not so much creeping along. Or maybe those are my yesterdays, now. I’m not sure anymore.

Anyway, I forgot that I had a deadline for a knitting project, so my hands have been pretty busy the last few days. Actually, I forgot there was a knitting component to that particular project, so I really was scrambling. But I can’t talk about the finished object yet, although I was tickled … lilac … by how it turned out. Until it arrives in Quebec, sometime probably early next week, that’s about all I can say.

And as for saying anything else, that’ll have to wait until the proverbial tomorrow. I was finishing that aforementioned project into the wee hours and found myself nodding at the computer a few minutes ago. I’ll take that as a sign that I should find it a pillow, rather than a keyboard upon which to rest.

Yarny goodness tomorrow… And maybe a book report!

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August 15, 2009

sock summit: day 2
posted by soe 11:54 pm

Calf IncreasesFriday promised exciting new learning opportunities as I had a three-hour class from Joan Schrouder scheduled that promised to teach me different ways to shape knee socks. Many of you may remember back when we were kids (when we wore knee socks) that inevitably they ended up in a pool around your ankles and you were forever tugging them to keep them in place. That would be because they were manufactured socks made around some set measurements that would fit what some fashion designer deemed to be an average leg. If your leg differed from those measurements at all — by being too shapely or not shapely enough or being taller or shorter than specified — your socks were predestined to fall down. (more…)

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August 13, 2009

early hours, extreme kindness, and easy people
posted by soe 1:26 am

I missed writing Three Beautiful Things entirely last week for the first time ever, I believe, during its run on my blog. While travels may have gotten in the way of my posting schedule, it did not slow down beautiful things from happening. Here are three beautiful things from two weeks ago:

1. The Starbucks in Union Station is open early enough to permit me a tea and fritter to take aboard my 4 a.m. train ride.

2. Kate, one of the dyers of Woolarina Yarns, answers my email tale of woe of a second sock without enough yarn to finish. She doesn’t have an exact match, but has something she thinks maye work — which she generously mails to me for free.

3. Shelley and Mike are our easy friends from back in Connecticut. They’re very laid back and everything you suggest is almost always good. They and their kids, Daschel and Irisa, passed through D.C. two Saturdays ago and came into the city to spend the day. We walked and played a lot — on a very hot August day — and I introduced them to a couple of my favorite Asian restaurants (Teaism and Saigon Bistro) as well as to our awesome ice cream shop. Their go-with-the-flow attitude was refreshing in a region that’s not noted for that kind of relaxed approach to life.

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