sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 30, 2009

lovely additions to the collection
posted by soe 11:50 pm

As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, Mia had cajoled me to come out to Berryville earlier this fall. Unfortunately, it looked like there would be conflicts (an out-of-town friend in town for the marathon and a bike weekend away for Rudi), so I told her I probably wouldn’t be able to make it. Clearly, those two situations ultimately did not prove to be a sticking point, and when she heard I thought I’d be coming, Mia offered to give — yes, give — me a skein of her handspun yarn.

I’ve been watching Mia’s evolution as a spinner with interest for the last two years because we share a fondness for similar colors. So when she asked if I wanted some of the yarn she’d spun from Karida’s Neighborhood Fibers dyeing or something else, I told her that I trusted her implicitly and left it up to the will of the dyer.

And this — this! — is what she thought I’d like:

Mia's Sprite Yarn

Does the girl know what colors I might like or what?!

Sprite Yarn Close Up

The yarn is 144 yards of worsted weight yarn spun of merino and tencel. The tencel is what gives it that gorgeous sheen. It is eminently pettable, as both Sarah and Mia can attest to, since I walked around holding it like a cat so I could keep stroking it. I am nearly positive that it will become a cowl, because I’d like to keep it close to my skin, and because I think it will go fantastically with my pink corduroy jacket. If you have a favorite cowl pattern, please feel free to leave a note in the comments, as I haven’t yet decided on a design…


Check it out! Mia even was so sweet as to name the yarn for me!

Soft handspun yarn in greens and pinks and purples (and blues and yellows and whites) named Sprite. I just don’t think it gets better than that.

If you, too, think you might like the sorts of things Mia spins, she has an Etsy shop where, I believe, you can also buy her photos and hand-sewn aprons.

Thank you, Mia! I’ll be sure to share what your lovely yarn becomes!

The HaulThese would be the yarns I bought. The Christmassy skeins are Stripey Sock from Beyond Basic Knits. The top one is the Vintage Holiday colorway. I can’t remember what the bottom colorway is and mine isn’t labeled because they were short skeins that she was selling at a discount. If I figure it out (or decide to bug Bette and ask her), I’ll let you know. But suffice it to say, I see some striped socks (or mitts or mittens) in my future.

The middle skein is from Crabapple Yarns, a merino-silk blend in the colorway Virginia Greening. (Crabapple names many of their colors after Virginia apples — and this was a new one to me. Apparently, though, it’s an old apple dating back to the 18th century.) The girls who run the company were very sweet and put up with Sarah’s and my indecision about which skeins needed to come home with us, even after the four o’clock bell tolled the end of the festival. In the end, this skein just cried out to come home with me, surprising all of us, since I’d been leaning toward the brighter colors all along. I’m not sure of how the silk will affect the longevity and fit of socks, so these may be destined for handwear.

(It didn’t occur to me until after Sarah and I were driving home that every skein I came home with had green in it. Different shades, but, still, green.

Prize YarnRemember how I said I’d donated hats to charity at the drive at the Beyond Basic Knits booth? There was also a drawing associated with that to win a skein of her yarn. I swear I wasn’t thinking of that when I entered Jenny’s hats, but merely of how nice it would be for someone to finally get to wear them. Yet I was excited to hear Monday night that I’d won a skein and doubly excited when it arrived on my doorstep Wednesday! (Great job, Post Office!)

This is her superwash merino/nylon blend in the colorway Bees in My Garden, which was a colorway she dyed up specially for her sock club.

Thank you, Bette. I love it!

Category: knitting. There is/are 4 Comments.

1, 81, and 60
posted by soe 12:13 am

It’s Thursday night in Connecticut and the living is easy. Plus, it’s time for three beautiful things:

1. My friend Laura was honored tonight as a finalist for Connecticut’s State Teacher of the Year award. The committee ultimately may have picked some kindergarten teacher to honor, but I know who’s number one in my book (and in those of all the students whose lives she’s touched in the past 13 years).

2. At the hearing on the bill for marriage equality in D.C., 81 of 96 people who provided testimony spoke out in favor of extending civil marriage to same sex couples. That’s more than four-fifths. When I first started attending hearings on making domestic partnerships legal in Connecticut the crowds (and the speakers) were probably equal in number. What a wonderful change in the last decade!

3. Mum turned 60 today and I was able to come home to help her celebrate. Mum, really you’re all three beautiful things this week and every week. I love you!

What beautiful things have been happening around your world?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are Comments Off on 1, 81, and 60.

October 29, 2009

fall fiber fest fun
posted by soe 2:56 am

After several days of grey skies and rainy weather, Sunday dawned clear and crisp — perfect autumn weather for a road trip. Sarah and I hopped in the car and pointed it westward to the border between Virginia and West Virginia, to a little town called Berryville, population 3,000. Our destination? The Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.

Category: knitting. There is/are 1 Comment.

October 26, 2009

update forthcoming
posted by soe 11:22 pm

I just want to let everyone know that I haven’t disappeared and I’ll be back with posts tomorrow. But it’s after midnight, Rudi and I just got home, and we haven’t had supper, so I’d prefer to eat than type.

I will say that the initial hearing for the civil marriage law was, in fact, quite civil for such a thing. Of course, when it’s sponsored by 10 of 13 council members and the mayor has promised to sign it, maybe the crazy, bigoted folk opt to stay home and get in touch with members of Congress who might be persuaded to overturn District laws instead…

Category: dc life,gay rights. There is/are Comments Off on update forthcoming.

October 23, 2009

my d.c.: riverby books
posted by soe 11:43 pm

My dentist lives and works on the other side of town in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. After my appointments, I like to stop in the shops I don’t visit terribly often. Sometimes it’s Eastern Market, but other times, like this week, it’s Riverby Books.

Riverby Books

Riverby might be the nicest bookstore in town these days. I mean, sure, Capitol Hill Books is a book lover’s dream with its piles of books everywhere, including the tiny bathroom, and Second Story and Idle Times are both perfectly lovely shops. But when you walk into Riverby, you feel like people are glad you’ve come in and are excited you want to buy these books, some of which they’ve loved, too.

First, they lure you to their gate with the colorful balloons.

Books for Sale!

Then they invite you to walk into the yard with their tables of $1 charity books.

Used Bookstore

And, then, once you’re inside, snap! You’re theirs. You are going to give them your money because they have books you want, books you need. Even if you’ve never heard of the titles, you’ll find yourself with an armful of books after just a few minutes waving around a pile of money, pleading with someone to take it so you can stop finding more.


Not that that happened to me this week. No, not at all…

Category: books,dc life. There is/are 2 Comments.

October 22, 2009

relaxation, sneaky veg, and funny faces
posted by soe 11:39 pm

It’s Thursday! Time for three beautiful things from the last week:

1. A rainy Saturday means pajama time on the couch, hot tea, books, and knitting.

2. Warm zucchini bread spread with butter. (And Rudi pointing out that grating zucchini is a lot faster with the food processor than with the cheese grater…)

3. A bulldog stares out the window, standing on top of what I hope is a ceramic jack o’lantern.

What’s been beautiful in your neck of the woods recently?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.