sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 30, 2017

fo … tuesday
posted by soe 1:07 am

Finished Socks for Rudi

So, here’s the thing: I did, in fact, finish these socks late Friday. I wove in the ends and was planning to take a photo and write a post, when I saw a weird discrepancy in the knitting. How had I managed to knit in a section of purls in this stockinette sock?

And then I realized I hadn’t. These never-worn-before socks had a hole in them.


As I’ve mentioned before, I really didn’t enjoy knitting with this yarn, as it had a habit of splitting the ply while I was working. So I don’t know if I did that and accidentally weakened the fiber enough that it snapped while I was knitting further down. Or maybe there was a weak spot in the yarn I ignored. Or maybe a moth got to it — either here or at a warehouse (it was a second, after all). Who really knows? And, really, the why is far less important than the question of how do I fix this problem at this point.

So, I followed a couple of tutorials, followed one well enough, and came up with this:

No Hole

Not bad, eh? I mean, particularly because it’s a short color section variable yarn, so I couldn’t get it to match each stitch exactly. Hopefully a bath will make the yarn less scratchy in general and in that patched bit in particular, because I’d hate to give Rudi socks he doesn’t like to wear (even if he did pick out the yarn himself), particularly as a belated Christmas gift.

The stats:

Started in January 2016
Finished August 25

Yarn: Schachenmayr Regia Design Line Garden Effects in colorway 3310

Needles: 1s for the legs and 0s for the heel flaps to the toes

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August 29, 2017

weekending (a little late)
posted by soe 1:54 am

Sunset -- Final Friday in August

This past weekend was desperately needed, so of course I packed it jam full, and now I need another weekend in which to recuperate. On Friday, I got out of work early enough to see the sun set and to do some reading in the park. On quieter evenings, you can hear “Taps” played from the Naval Observatory (where the vice president lives) a mile or so up the road, so I stayed past that point and to where the brilliant cotton candy clouds began to fade into darkness. Rudi and I spend the evening watching The Grand Budapest Hotel and both enjoyed it quite a bit. Should you have missed it back in 2014, it’s a Wes Anderson-directed, star-studded gem of a film about the relationship between a concierge and his latest hire, a young immigrant lobby boy, at a luxury hotel in a fictitious country at the beginning of World War II. While its tongue is planted firmly in its cheek, it also has a surprising amount of heart and, while it doesn’t take itself seriously, it does take seriously the situations and relationships of its characters. There’s a heist, some social commentary, and a delicious dessert I’m eager to make, and generally I just recommend it, even if you don’t always like Wes Anderson’s movies (I often don’t).

Unusual Uniforms

Saturday morning I slept in, then got up, read some over breakfast, and did some chores. In the late afternoon, Rudi and I got to see the second of four Mets-Nationals baseball games happening over the weekend. While the Mets did not win, they narrowed the gap enough you thought they might, if only they’d had another couple innings in which to play. We spend the afternoon at a friend’s 40th birthday party, which featured far less drinking than his 30th. Ah, age! Our friends had rented out a local clubhouse for the party, and it was a gorgeous evening to spend relaxing on the porch.

A Sunday Night at the Ballpark

On Sunday, Rudi awoke with a cold, so I headed to the farmers market alone to buy breakfast and some produce. We ate muffins and raspberries and watched the end of the Vuelta bike race (it’s the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France). I ventured out to the garden and pool for a while, but had to return early to make dinner (since Rudi was under the weather) before heading out with Sarah for the final baseball game of the matchup. It was actually a make-up game from July — when Sarah and I spent three hours at the ballpark waiting for a game that never came — so it was perhaps understandable that there weren’t a ton of people in attendance. Unfortunately, the Mets had used up all their winning earlier in the day, but I got to eat fried dough and cotton candy for dessert and enjoy the uniforms and nicknames everyone was sporting for the weekend. The game began late and the new metro schedule cuts off service at 11:30 on Sunday nights, which means that the final train pulls through the nearby station 45 minutes before that. So, I was prepared for the game to run late and me to have to get back across town on my own. Luckily, D.C. has a bikeshare system, so after Sarah and I walked back to her neck of the woods, I put on my helmet and hopped on a bike and took a populated route back to mine (the advantage of a city is that there is often a populated route). There was time for a cup of tea and some audiobook listening and then I went off to dreamland to prepare for another workweek.

How was your weekend?

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August 25, 2017

disappearing act, afternoon out, and summer treat
posted by soe 1:10 am

Thursday, so it’s time to look back on three beautiful things from my past week:

1. D.C. was in the area of 85% or so coverage during Monday’s solar eclipse. While Rudi traveled with friends down to the path of totality, I took my chances by staying in D.C. Pleasantly, my office got enough eclipse glasses for the staff, so shortly before the time of maximum coverage, my coworkers and I trekked over to the pocket park where we assemble for fire drills, put on our glasses, and were quite impressed:

Eclipse Downtown D.C.

Eclipse Just After Maximum Coverage

Eclipse Nearing Its Conclusion

Those shots — the first two around that maximum coverage point and the last one about an hour later — are taken through my glasses. I was especially pleased with our view after I stepped out an hour later to find it raining (although obviously it then cleared enough to catch that bottom shot). Rudi had a friend who traveled 500+ miles to catch the eclipse in totality only to have it obscured by clouds for exactly those three minutes.

2. Everyone else was away this weekend, so my friend Shawn came over to my side of town and we hung out for the latter part of Saturday.

3. After spending Sunday afternoon at the pool, I really wanted an ice cream cone. That pool is right next to the grocery store, so I decided to buy a box of cones to go with the ice cream we picked up Friday night. And then I decided we needed a container of rainbow sprinkles in which to dip the cones.

An Evening Snack

(Apologies for the blurriness. The cone was melting really fast!)

How about you? What was beautiful in your world this week?

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August 22, 2017

bout of books 20: signup & day 1 progress
posted by soe 8:48 pm
Bout of Books

It’s once again time for Bout of Books:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 a.m. Monday, August 21st, and runs through Sunday, August 27th, in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My goal is a low, but excellent, bar: read a little every day.

Yesterday, I took part in the Bout of Books opening day Twitter chat, and read from three books. I finished the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (book bingo challenge: re-read), read some of Bronze & Sunflower (book bingo challenge: by an author from a country I’ve never visited), and started listening to The Scam, the fourth book in the Fox and O’Hare heist series (no challenge; just wanted something light to listen to while washing dishes).

What are you reading this week?

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August 18, 2017

decoration, beauty & the beast, and le diplomate
posted by soe 1:04 am

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to look back on three beautiful things from my past week:


1. Downtown D.C. spends a lot of money on flowers, regularly replanting tree boxes and planters. Last week, these hibiscuses showed up on one block.

2. I’ve mentioned before that since the advent of the inflatable movie screen, outdoor film showings have really taken off. Tonight we headed across town to watch the live action version of Beauty and the Beast with several hundred other fans of Belle. While I don’t know that I loved it as much as the original cartoon, I still liked it quite a bit. And, yes, my heart fluttered a bit in the library scene.

3. We were walking home from a protest rally last Sunday when we discovered one of the fancy French restaurants in the next neighborhood was selling house-made ice cream out front. I might not be able to afford a whole dinner there, but I can definitely afford a couple cones. I mean, check out that weird wafer cone! Mine has a scoop of lemon verbena ice cream and a scoop of black currant sorbet. Both were delicious.

Double Scoop

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

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August 16, 2017

mid-august unraveling
posted by soe 11:18 pm

Mid-August Unraveling

Wednesdays during the spring and summer are home to Rudi’s evening bike ride and happy hour, which means I can take myself out someplace and do what I like, which in this week’s case means knitting and reading.

The sock is the second in a pair, which I hope to have done early this weekend, so there can still be time to finish another in-progress pair before month’s end. I have at least one more that’s languishing on the second sock. I hate the yarn, which explains why they sat so long. It simultaneously feels cheap and insubstantial (in that it requires me to go down to 0s on the foot to get a fabric I feel will hold up to wear), which I hope means it’ll last forever. Whichever pair I pick up next will definitely be one that’s more pleasing to the touch.

The book, Murder on the Ballarat Train, is one I picked up at the library Monday, having remembered last week when I moaned about needing a book that had been turned into a tv series that I was not restricted to American broadcasts. If you enjoy the show, I highly recommend these quick novellas by Kerry Greenwood. You’ll find all your favorite characters from the small screen, as well as a Mrs. Butler to provide delectable meals. If you’ve neither seen the show nor read the books, what are you waiting for? They’re set in 1920s Melbourne and feature a well-off flapper detective and the misfits she befriends (lesbian doctor, Communist cab drivers, savvy police detective). Lots of fun!

I finished Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body on audiobook earlier this week and haven’t yet figured out my next listen. It may be Shadowshaper, which was this week’s YA AudioSYNC download, or maybe something will come off my holds list on Overdrive.

Elsewhere, I’m reading A Tyranny of Petticoats (a collection of multicultural short historical stories), Bronze & Sunflower (a middle-grade novel translated from Chinese), Sleeping Giants (epistolary sci fi), and the illustrated version of Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Check out Kat’s blog for links to what other folks are reading and knitting.

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