sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 28, 2017

recharge, a tiny bouquet, and still open
posted by soe 12:57 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I take a long weekend and head to Connecticut for the first time since Christmas. I eat pizza, make scones, catch up on sleep, and visit with my folks and a couple friends. Completely worth the 20 hours of solo driving.

2. Rudi returns from a trip to the compost pile at our garden with the final half dozen violets of the spring and reports of flowering strawberry plants in our plot.

3. Although we’re terrible at remembering to go to art shows before they close, we make it to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at our neighborhood museum days before it goes. Somehow I didn’t take a photo of the ice skater, which was my favorite of his works, but I did capture the draft and final work for an ad for a brand of bike chain:

Rudi and Toulouse-Lautrec's Bicycle Works

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

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April 27, 2017

Late April Unraveling
posted by soe 1:15 am

I’m still working on the books I showed you in my last update, although I listened to a whole audiobook on this weekend’s road trip and started a new one, Zac and Mia, in an effort to finish one more of last year’s AudiobookSYNC books before this summer’s downloads begin today. Tonight I’ve read some more of Word by Word and The Girl from Everywhere. The former is due back soon to the library (where holds prevent me from renewing it) and the latter is the furthest along I am in any of the current selection of books, making it the best contender for returning to the library this weekend. The Hate U Give will also be due back to the library soon, with a long list of people waiting for it, so I’ll need to get moving on that one this weekend.

Jeremiah & Tonight's Reading

On the knitting front, I’m down to the ribbing before the bind off on my cowl and I’m looking forward to completing that imminently. A friend is coming to town for her baby shower at the end of May and I’d like to have some knit things to hand off to her. One will be a hat that she started many years ago and then left with me when she moved away. Her notes don’t match the pattern she gave me, so I’ll need to figure out what was going on in order to preserve her start — it seems like a nice thing to give the baby his mother’s knitting, right? And from me I’m hoping to resurrect/restart a blanket I began for a baby who’s now finishing kindergarten. (So many of my infant projects go that way. I have sleeves for a baby sweater for a different kindergartener…)

However, I do have some finished knitting to show off:

Dad in His Hat

This is the Violet Waffles Hat I owed Dad from Christmas this year. I bought skeins of yarn at A Great Yarn in Chatham, Mass., last summer on our family vacation with the intention of making gifts for Mum and Dad to commemorate our family trip. This is HauteknitYarn’s Superwash Merino in worsted weight in Chatham Yarn’s The Finest Hours colorway (the name references a book (and later film) about the 1952 rescue of the capsized SS Pendleton by the town’s Coast Guard). The yarn has a very nice hand. It’s very soft and squishy and played nicely with both wooden and metal needles. (Should Dad he decides he hates it, I’m totally taking it back and wearing it myself after adding a pom pom to it.)

I made a longer ribbing section so the bottom could be folded up for more warmth in the winter. I went up a needle size from what was recommended on the body of the hat because I had size 7s available and they seemed to work.

Dad's Hat

I finished the hat in the wee smalls before driving north and, thus, forgot to take a photo of it. I also nearly forgot to take one of Dad wearing it, so Mum literally popped it on his head as I was making lunch just before heading back home. Dad’s bemused look shows just how much he loves his daughter and her quirky need to document her knitting.

You can find more books and knitting at AsKatKnits’ Unraveled Wednesday.

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April 25, 2017

spring ninja book swap: still a mystery
posted by soe 1:55 am

I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in Bex‘s Ninja Book Swap once again this spring and got a great package at the start of April.

The box was bulging and after I pulled off the tape, a fun pillow sprang into my arms. This is what I found beneath it:

Ninja Book Swap Presents!

My swap partner sent me a ton of stuff, each carefully and decoratively wrapped. The cats really enjoyed getting to take part in the unwrapping as little balls of tissue paper were batted all over the apartment.

Eventually, though, nearly all was revealed:

Spring Ninja Book Swap Goodies

In addition to the pillow, there were two books off my to-be-read list, Radio Girls and The Brontës Go to Woolworths, both of which are historical fiction I’m really looking forward to! There were notepads galore, several of which have already been put to good use and have been tucked into my various bags, colorful pens, literary buttons, and chocolate.

And there were three new nail polishes, because in the Twitter chat, someone had remarked you should remember your partner’s list when you go shopping or else you’ll only recall they like nail polish and then you’ll have to send them a package with just that. And I replied that that sounded like a very fun package!

Easter Nail Polish

The stickers were mine, but as you can see, they work really well with the other three! (Yes, it’s starting to chip, but it’s 10 days out from when I painted them, so, actually, it lasted a really long time undinged!)

This package was great, but one mystery remains: the identity of my swap partner! Usually a card or something contains a little note, but all I have are the return address details from the box. I had held off posting this, hoping my query on Twitter would reach my partner and she would reveal herself, but so far no further information has been forthcoming. I didn’t want to wait any longer in case she wasn’t on Twitter and was worried I either hadn’t received the box or wasn’t over the moon about its contents. Therefore, I’m hoping Em from California is reading today and can see how grateful I am for all the goodies she sent!

Category: books. There is/are 4 Comments.

April 21, 2017

spring, scent, and saturday downtime
posted by soe 1:11 am

Three beautiful things from this past week:

1. Last Thursday’s farmers market had asparagus and today’s had the first strawberries of the season. I shared some with my coworkers, and then Rudi and I followed a risotto supper with bowls of berries and cream.

Strawberries and Cream

2. Wisteria is blooming along the canal and honeysuckle doesn’t seem far behind. The air is tinged with their odor.

3. I sit on a bench at the waterfront and snack on Turkish bread products, sip hot tea, and read as the sun inches its way toward the horizon.

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

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April 20, 2017

unraveled in mid-april
posted by soe 2:06 am

As usual, I’ve got several books going at once:

Mid-April Reading

As noted the last time, I’m reading Kory Stamper’s Word by Word. She’s an editor for Merriam-Webster, which I now know is located only half an hour from my folks. If you love language, I’d recommend this book about how and by whom a dictionary gets made.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig is about a teen girl aboard a time-traveling (sailing) ship. She was born in Hawaii in the 1860s to a father born in New York City in the 1950s. Her mother died in childbirth, and now her father is looking to go back and save her. You’ve seen Back to the Future. How does this end?

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel was the the book I picked up at my office’s new give-a-book, take-a-book shelves. (Confession: I did not give a book, but I did reorganize the shelf area to make it more browser-friendly, so I’m not going to feel too guilty.) I’d been reading this during lunch breaks when I take them, but was feeling that horrible sinking feeling at the end of each chapter when it was time to put it down and go back to work. So I brought it home to spend larger chunks of time with it. It’s a science fiction novel written in an epistolary format with interview transcripts, news articles, and journals telling us the story. It opens with a young girl falling into a hole in the woods and landing in what turns out to be a gigantic hand. She will grow up to become a physicist investigating the hand and other body parts unearthed. Thus far the team includes the scientist, two military pilots, a teenage linguist, and a shadowy mystery man pulling the strings.

I’m tired, so I decided not to pull out the knitting I just put away just for the photo. Trust me that I’m nearly done with the cowl and with another project, which is good, since a pregnant friend will be in town at the end of next month for the final time before having her first child, so I should get on the ball with her gift.

Joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

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April 13, 2017

butterfly blooms, cover, and squirming
posted by soe 5:19 pm

Dogwood at the Moroccan Embassy

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I say this every year, but pink dogwoods always look like a flock of butterflies have paused for a nap in a tree. Cherries are beautiful, but dogwoods just give me that extra burst of joy.


2. Disturbed may have appeared more than a year ago on Conan, but I only came across their performance this week:

3. We had to take Jeremiah to the emergency vet on Sunday for what turned out to be a urinary tract infection (but that we feared was a blockage, which can be fatal). He has three medicines that we’re giving him and the first couple days he was a relatively docile patient. In the past 24 hours, though, he’s become a little feisty and has taken to squirming while we dose him. Clearly, my boy is feeling better.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 4 Comments.