sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 24, 2017

serenade, fluffy face, & unexpected double-header
posted by soe 1:45 am

February Flowers

Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. As Dad and I are chatting on the phone Sunday evening, a dozen or so women walk by me outside singing “This Land Is Your Land.”

2. An adorable 6-month-old tawny terrier named General Grant is at the park with his owner. No one is immune to his charms.

3. Volleyball resumed this week after an unintentional three-month respite. My team was expected to provide someone to ref the match following ours (a normal part of our league), and since Rudi was out on a bike ride, I volunteered to be that person. Except that those teams ended up being a player short of being allowed to play, so I was asked to keep score while playing. (The team I was on did win, but I swear it was legit.) It ended up being a fast-paced, good-natured game of four-on-four.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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

February 18, 2017

chandelier shawl
posted by soe 4:36 pm

Chandelier Shawl

Behold! It’s a finished object!

This is the Chandelier Shawl (pattern by Emma Welford), a tardy Christmas present to my mother.


It’s made with ~3 2/3 skeins of Valley Yarns Sheffield (merino/silk/angora blend) in Stone Blue (31), which is actually closer to greyish teal, and ~3/4 skein of Blue Sky Suri Merino (baby alpaca/merino blend) in Mystic, which is purple leaning blue-grey. The top photo is probably the closest, but I took the shots in the office conference room at work and the light was apparently appalling. I tried color-correcting the other shots to being closer to the real color with varying degrees of success. But you get the idea…

I knit it on US 7 needles.

Lace Detail

Mum bought both the pattern and the number of skeins of the Sheffield yarn called for and asked me to make it for her. I started it in fall 2015, but read comments that suggested I was going to run out of the yarn, which had been discontinued (and of which there were no skeins in the needed colorway for sale on Ravelry), so it went into the time-out pile. Clearly I didn’t pull it back out early enough this fall, but when I did, I realized I was, in fact, going to be being short.

I settled on a contrast yarn roughly the same dimensions and fuzziness as the Sheffield and shifted to it for the lace detail at the bottom, hoping that would make it look the least weird, which I think was a success. Because the purl side of the project is the main side, I fudged the switch to the yarn and purled every stitch on the wrong side, which puts all those two-color bumps on the the “inside” of the shawl, rather than the outside. You can see that a bit on the detail shots, but I don’t think it’s too distracting.

Lace and Cable Detail

All in all, a relatively painless pattern, but buy more yarn than called for if you’re going to make it as written.

Category: knitting. There is/are 3 Comments.

February 16, 2017

destination: me, leftovers, and first flowers
posted by soe 7:24 pm

I’m heading over to help our friends pack before their movers arrive tomorrow, so I thought I’d post this before leaving:

Three beautiful things from my birthday week:

1. My parents drove 8 hours down to visit me, spent 3 hours here, and then drove 8 hours home, just to bring me birthday presents and a chair. Hard not to feel loved when people will spend 16 hours in a car just to spend a little time with you.

2. My coworker had a dinner party on Valentine’s Day and made such a sumptuous feast that her guests had no appetite for the seasonal candy she’d put out. I arrived at work yesterday to find a bag filled with probably a pound of M&M’s and Reese’s hearts waiting on my desk.

3. I spied crocuses on Saturday, a year to the day I saw the first bulbs of the season last year.

First Crocuses of the Season

Neighborhood Crocuses

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 3 Comments.

birthday photos and mid-february yarn along
posted by soe 1:35 am

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday was my birthday, and, as is my wont, I took the day off to do fun things. First, I slept in. On a weekday. Very luxurious. Then after a late breakfast, Rudi and I headed over the river to catch a showing of Sing, which we’ve been looking forward to since seeing a preview last summer.

Since we were already in Virginia, I suggested to Rudi that the new hat I’m going to make for myself might benefit from one of the faux fur pom poms that are very hip right now and I thought I should buy one for myself as a birthday present. It’s blue. You’ll have to wait for the hat to see how it looks, though.

Sweets with My Sweetie

We stopped by a local coffeehouse for some hot beverages and to enjoy a late-afternoon sunbeam, picked up cupcakes and doughnuts for dessert and breakfast respectively, and played some ping pong at a park we walked past on the way back to the car.

Alexandria Ping Pong

We supper with our friends John and Nicole and their baby, all of whom are moving away on Saturday, at our favorite pizzeria. We went back to their place to talk and collect some of the food goods they aren’t moving, before bidding them a tearful farewell.


We timed the bus wrong, so walked home, which let me enjoy the new purple coat my parents gave me for my birthday.

Birthday 'Cakes

We finished up the night with our cupcakes, hot tea, and some presents. All in all, a lovely way to mark turning 43!

A quick Yarn Along, since today is Wednesday:

Mid-February Yarning Along

I have put my Very Important Books on hiatus in favor of reading lighter romances this week: Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments (her first novel, which I’d put off reading until she stopped being quite so prolific), Stephanie Perkins’ Isla and the Happily Ever After (the final book in a loosely linked series of teen romances), and Gemina, the much anticipated sequel to Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s space opera, Illuminae.

The knitting du jour is the Violet Waffles hat (previously seen balled up here) and the Partridgefield Cowl, which gets knit on when I don’t want to pay attention to my project (tonight it was while we were watching Minions).

Make sure you stop back on Friday, because I have my first FO of the year to share.

February 10, 2017

support, topped, and west coast jurists
posted by soe 1:37 am

Paper Trees

Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. A new (lavender) bra on our first day out together.

2. I hand my travel mug to the Starbucks employee to fill with cocoa and, because I’ve ordered a smaller size than fits in my cup, they hand it back topped with several inches of whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

3. In a week of disappointing decisions, a Washington judge and the West Coast appellate judges who ruled against the Muslim ban.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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

February 9, 2017

february yarning along
posted by soe 1:40 am

February Yarning Along

What we have here are two things at opposite ends: Just before its beginning: the Violet Waffles hat. Just after its conclusion: the middle-grade novel Furthermore, a delightful story about a girl from a magical land who goes on a quest to help find her missing father.

Also being read and knit: Swing Time (still), Grief Is the Thing with Feathers (still), The Boy from Abaton (on audio, still), The Sellout, and the Partridgefield Cowl (still).

Yarning along with Ginny.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 1 Comment.