Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Friday, July 04, 2003  

Happy Birthday USA

The Little Barn brown merino arrived yesterday too, so there is nothing more for this gal to desire except, perhaps, a north wind. Since that’s definitely not on the way no point in pining. I’ll just enjoy the next 3 days.

Cousins are coming over this afternoon for swimming and picnic and fireworks. This has wrung a promise from BigDarling to fix the screens in the porch door. (believe me, I’ll be satisfied with cardboard.) What’s left of Bill has been falling on us for 24 hours but I believe I will tackle the rest of the porch myself - with brush and bucket and cleaner. How wonderful to have that space again. In summer my preference is to shut all the windows on the south side of the house and leave all the doors and windows open onto the porch, which faces the north and looks out over the river. Due to the neglect by the both of us, we haven’t had that spacious feeling we get when we add that extra room to the house. Porch clean-up is usually done by mid-May but this year we just haven’t had the stimuli to prompt us - rain and rain and rain and a trip away and more rain and more rain and then, a little rain.

I haven’t made the second ply of the boucle on my wheel but I’ve just about decided to break it off, go ahead and make the test yarn, then give the rest of that mohair a second spinning. I have the address of the place who sold me the stuff at Md. Sheep & Wool and the spinning technique I’m using, spinning a few locks at a time in the different colors, would allow me to work with locks in different dyelots, so I am not too worried about making a large test run with what I have. My worry about this is that the loops will be so loosely twisted the jacket will get hairier than I want it to be. I want it plenty hairy, but I don’t want it to get ratty looking. Of course, if I am wrong, I’ll just keep on plying what I have - but instinct is warning me I’ll be sorry. Not just instinct, either, since I’ve carried around the swatch in my purse all week. It’s getting pretty fuzzy - not horribly so, and it’s true, I don’t plan to store my jacket in my purse!! - but my fingers seem to remember that I spun the bobbin full in question a little more loosely than the sample. I spun it while working with L last Sunday, on making spinnable single yarn - and it’s funny but I think I began to work in the same mode and ended up spinning my mohair looser than I want.

I’m fascinated with how the body does that; how it will adapt to it’s surroundings, how subconscious things that direct you in one part of your brain will spill over into some other part. Not always pleased, mind you, but fascinated. More examples of that un-chosen life. Unconcious thoughts have so much power over concious actions! Some poor slob is always told he is no good at one thing, so he ends up being nervous about trying not only that thing, but all sorts of other things as well! And who says the person who claimed he was no good at X was even right!!? So - not just the un-chosen life, but the un-tried.

I worked very hard at not telling LittleDarling “you can’t do that”. Most of the time, I tried to remember to say, “try it, and see”. Oh. Yes. I’m reminded of the radio controlled car. He came to me at 12 wanting one and when I heard it cost $125 I told him I wouldn’t buy a $125 toy - I still feel that way - but if he wanted one he could save his money for it. In my mind, though, I thought “good lord, where would he ever play with it? we live on a dirt road! What a stupid toy. I hope he forgets about it”. His allowance was $1 a week and from that moment on he began not only saving every penny but hunting up work he could do around town. Grandma and her friends were extremely supportive and he cleaned up a mighty lot of garages and porches. When BigDarling heard what he was up to (little did I know that RC Cars are really old guy toys anyway) he offered to match LD dollar for dollar. It took a couple of months - I seem to remember he started in the summer and he got his car before Thanksgiving - but at last they brought that baby home - in a box - in 2,500 pieces!! My lord! there were even 4 little shocks that had to be assembled from 4 plastic cylinders, 8 little caps, 4 springs and a bottle of oil! The dang thing was a nightmare. The two of them worked on that car for weeks and finally gave up, took it back to the shop, where the owner said “hey, fantastic. That model always has to be put together by professional RC car assemblers.” Sheesh! Who woulda thought? There was a whole world of RC Cars, complete with indoor racetracks where you’d go race your car with fellow impassioned racers. It was a cult, sort of like knitters - only, of course, we are more like upholders of the long fiber tradition.

But I have to say, that was the best $62.50 we ever spent because LittleDarling did play with it on our dirt lane, had to rip it apart to get the grit out of the engine, rebuilt the thing, modified it, broke it several times and fixed it each time. He still has it. It still sort of runs, 15 years later. What he got for his $62.50 was confidence, fine motor skills, mechanical skills, some understanding of both electrical systems and automobile construction plus goal setting and money management skills. He told me that was the last year he ever bought bubble gum cards. That was the year he realized that if he wanted something he better not waste his $. I am awfully glad I didn’t just say “No. You live in the country. You can’t have that kind of toy.”

Hope nobody has to get in cars today - and everybody has a wondeful 4th.

posted by Bess | 8:28 AM