sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 24, 2022

pick your own, good combination, and unstained
posted by soe 1:53 am

Rainy Day Blueberry Picking

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Blueberry picking the day after a substantial rainfall is a very satisfying thing because it’s usually a relatively easy harvest. Apparently not many people want to go out in the mud.

2. I started listening to Aristotle and Dante Dive into the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz while driving out to the farm today. It’s read by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also read the first book.

3. I wore a pair of red wicking underwear under my oatmeal-colored shorts to play volleyball in and discovered that they turned significant patches of my shorts pink. Rudi took to them with some Oxiclean yesterday morning, and got the stains out for me.

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

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June 23, 2022

fo reveal: fully charged
posted by soe 1:50 am

Fully Charged

I gave you a preview of my Fully Charged shawl, designed by Cally Monster, while it was blocking a few weeks ago. This weekend I took it to Connecticut to get a few glamour shots.

Fully Charged

I’m pleased with the result, although ended up being reminded once again that colors play weird tricks.

The combination, super bright on their own, have the effect of toning each of them down. The pink yarn is Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors in Hot Mama and the green is Kelbourne Woolens Perennial in Neon Lime. But without the contrast of the yellow shirt, I think it looks more red and yellow than neon pink and green.

Fully Charged Detail

It’s good to have last year’s Tour de France knitalong project done and dusted before this year’s race begins on July 1.

Fully Charged

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June 22, 2022

into the stacks: march & april (plus one)
posted by soe 1:16 am

First off, I forgot a title when sharing my January and February reads:

Beth and Amy by Virginia Kantra
In this follow-up to Meg and Jo, we get the modernized stories of the two youngest March sisters. Beth (in this version, Beth is named after Marmee’s sister, who died young) is traveling with a country superstar who, despite her crippling anxiety, brings her on stage every night to sing the hit she wrote for him. And Amy is struggling to raise the capital to expand her bespoke handbag business and with some guilt over a night she spent in Paris a few years back. They’ve both returned home to South Carolina for Jo’s wedding and to spend a few weeks sorting out their respective lives. This is a solid modernization and reinterpretation of how Beth and Amy’s stories might have turned out. If either was your favorite in the original Little Women or if you like retellings, this duology should be on your radar.
Pages: 352. Library copy.

In March and April I finished five historical fiction titles (Fortune Favors the Dead, A Rogue of One’s Own, and A Marvellous Light in March and The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes and God of Jade and Shadow in April), recorded here.

I also finished these titles in April:

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
A trans teen runs away from her parents’ home only to face additional abuse from the friend she sought for refuge. But when she plays her beloved violin in the park, she is discovered by one of the most successful teachers of the last century, who also happens to be one soul away from paying off a debt to the devil. Meanwhile, across town, a mother manages her family in the running of a doughnut shop by day and commands their interplanetary exploration by night. When these three women’s paths cross, none of them will ever be the same again. Highly recommended for those who enjoy alternative reality stories.
Pages: 372. Library copy.

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Lenni is 17 and dying. Margot is 83 and dealing with a heart issue. When they both find themselves in the same therapeutic art class, Lenni points out that together they’ve lived a hundred years. As they set out to document a painting from each of their years, they build a little family in their hospital community. You all know what a stickler I am for found family stories. If you are, too, I recommend checking this title out. It’s sweet and sad without being cloying, sentimental, or melodramatic.
Pages: 352. Library copy.

Shelf Respect by Annie Austen
Honestly, this tiny book is the sort of thing that you give book lovers when you don’t know what to give them. And it will make you think, well, I could have written this. But it’s cute and sometimes funny and will require next to none of your attention, making it perfect for times when you’re distracted and just want an eight-page essay or a two-page list about reading and books.
Pages: 192. Library copy.

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
When a recently graduated Miami senior loses her grandmother and gets dumped by her boyfriend and then has her best friend only give her hours before leaving for Africa for a year, she has a bit of a meltdown, causing her family to send her the English countryside for the summer. There, she finds herself baking for her cousin’s b&b (her family owns a bakery that she and her sister intend on taking over) and falling for the boy down the lane, who sells tea. Cute international YA romance.
Pages: 320. Library copy.

Yours Cruelly, Elvia: Memoirs from the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson
In this engaging memoir, Cassandra Peterson gives a self-aware recounting of her life, from her early teen years as a gogo dancer and rock star groupie in Colorado to being a 17-year-old showgirl in Vegas who meets the like of Penn and Teller, Elvis, and the Osmond family to her years with the legendary comedy troupe, The Groundlings, to being cast as the queen of horror, Elvira. She recounts her assorted romances, including a year living in a tree house, doesn’t mince words about which celebrities are crap human beings (or which ones were utter sweethearts), displays a ton of business acumen about her brand, and maintains a sense of humor throughout. I’m not a fan of the macabre, but Elvira was a tv fixture of my childhood, and it was truly entertaining to hear her read her stories.
Pages: 304. Library audio copy.

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June 21, 2022

connecticut weekending
posted by soe 1:39 am

Annual Trip to Dairy Queen

Rudi and I spent a pleasant long Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend in Connecticut, where we got to visit with my folks, spend time outside, and bask in not being at home for a few days.

Mum and I checked out plants for the garden (I foisted seven seedlings off on her of the flat I bought) and spent time in the kitchen.

Dad and I played pool and listened to music.

Rudi and I ate ice cream.

I baked and read and knit.

Strawberry Brita Cake

It was a good weekend.

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June 17, 2022

alight, righting the ship, and film
posted by soe 1:01 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The grove next to the District of Columbia War Memorial was filled with fireflies.

2. Our volleyball team made significant improvements as the season went on and ended up making the semi-finals. Then, after some snacks, we went on to win our opening match of the summer season.

3. We got the chance to preview Brian and Charles, a sweet movie about an awkward British tinkerer who invents a sentient robot. If you like stories about friendship and letting relationships grow, please track this one down.

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

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June 16, 2022

seeking suggestions
posted by soe 1:13 am

Knitters, I’m considering options for my Tour de France Knitalong project for this year. The goal is to finish the project in three weeks, but I often end up going longer.

I’m looking for a shawl that can be knit up with fingering weight yarn, which is the bulk of my stash, either a single skein, like Noora Backlund’s Reyna, or several different colors. Or maybe a sweater, although my track record is way worse at finishing those. If it’s a sweater, I’d like it to be something I could make out of a single color of DK weight or something that could be pieced together out of different skeins, such as Andrea Mowry’s Stripes! or Wool & Pine’s Sea Glass Tee.

Do you have any suggestions that you’ve made or seen that you want to recommend?.

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