sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 8, 2010

visitor, patriotic explosions, and our neighbors to the south
posted by soe 11:11 pm

A short week which means that I am a bit behind on the correct day of the week. It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Last night there was a weird thunk in the window well, which we assumed was a neighborhood rat. This morning, when screeching awoke us, come to find out that it was a fledgling blue jay who might have left the nest a day or two early. After Rudi’s attempts to lift it up to street level were met with vicious attacks by blue jay parents, we spent the day worrying about the baby’s fate. And this evening, when we returned to find it still alive, if a bit groggy, we tried to figure out a way to get it out of the window well without starring in our own version of The Birds. But, come to find out, fledglings often spend quite a bit of time on the ground before they learn to fly. And the Internets suggest that we just leave it be and it will eventually fly out on its own. Yay for learning things — and for education literally in front of our noses!

2. The Fourth of July in the U.S. means fireworks. We took ours with a serving of national monuments and patriotic music. This year’s display was the best we’ve seen in the seven years we’ve been here and Rudi has the photos to prove it.

3. We caught the final hours of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Monday afternoon, where the highlight of the three exhibits was definitely Mexico. We learned about tequila. We watched a craftsman casually insert tiny inlays of cedar along the body of a guitar he’d built, hardly even needing to look at what he was doing. And, at the end of the day, we watched four men climb to the top of a hundred foot pole. One of them stood atop the pole, playing his flute, dancing, and jumping to pay respect to the four cardinal directions and then the four, with their festive pink plumed headgear, attached themselves to ropes and spiralled down to the ground in the Danza del Bixom Tíiw, the Dance of the Hawk, which honors the Lord of the Corn. Hillary got photos of the ceremony earlier in the day. The Smithsonian has a video.

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stranded in mount pleasant
posted by soe 2:48 am

I never told you about the last pair of socks I finished way back at the end of May:

Stranded in Mount Pleasant

These are my Stranded in Mount Pleasant Socks. They were knit in the Crusoe pattern from the Spring 2003 issue of Knitty. I used my entire skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sport yarn in the Mount Pleasant colorway and then had to resort to leftover Woolarina yarn from socks I knit in 2006. I like that a) I recognized before I began the toes of sock #1 that I was likely to run out of yarn and so waited to knit the toes for both socks until the end and b) I was able to find another local yarn dyer to use for the toes, keeping these socks truly D.C. based. (Interestingly, I first encountered Woolarina yarn at the Mount Pleasant Festival. I had forgotten that fact until just now… Eerily appropriate, no?)

The pattern was well-written, but there was some well-documented disconnect between the needle size and the number of stitches you were instructed to cast on. Ultimately, I worked my socks on 52 stitches using 3.5mm needles.


Just last week I was wearing an outfit (neon blue skirt and black tshirt with pink hair elastics) that, had it not been 95 degrees outside would have gone great with these socks. As it was, though, I opted to go with flip-flops and save these for cooler weather.

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