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


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Wednesday, July 09, 2003  

Pictures at the end, sentiment at the start

Pardon me while I get weepy. I just love my girlfriends. Yesterday I had the joy of being with 2 of my favorite women and once again I am reminded of the enormous beauty in a girlfriend.

Sometimes I feel as if I am a solitary pod moving through space, time, and crowds of people. I feel as if I’m a sort of robot shell functioning with courtesy and ease, friendly, pleasant, useful, but bent on my own curiosities, desires and projects with an agenda known only to me that alone, gets all my genuine interest and attention. Then, I’ll get around my closest friends and this flower of love blossoms inside me - an opening up of self to the sensation of connectedness and life and rightful purpose.

This happens mostly with women friends and I believe that is because I grew up in a house of women. Poor Dad; every T-shirt he owned was commandeered and pinkified - I know part of the reason he stayed in the Army Reserves was so that he could be around guys at least once in a while, put on combat boots and get away from the Land of Barbie. Through good times and bad, I always felt this sense of sisterhood - of the world of women - the most perfect, sensible and practically functioning world there was. Introduce a man into that world and chaos would occur - or, if you wished to avoid chaos, you would need to practice extreme compromise. My gut feelings are still the same. I enjoy men most from the audience’s seat.

These are feelings, mind you, not knowledge based truths. But feelings do lie beneath so many of the choices we make. It is no surprise to me that I am a librarian, say, and not a chemical engineer. Nor is it any surprise that there are plenty of male librarians and female chemical engineers. It’s not really a comment on other people. It is a comment about me and in spite of all my prejudices, any individual, male or female, can smash through that shell and walk into my heart.

Last night I was with 2 women who have permanent homes in my heart. We share many things, but one of them is knitting. C and K and I cut the steeks on Sigvaldi. It was such fun to watch their shivers and horrors as I sewed down the center steek stitch. They were fascinated at how the sewn stitches were so much easier to see on the underside of the sewing. The were numb as I took scissors and made that first SNIP into my knitting. And they were both ready to go home and start cutting up sweaters and making them into cardigans! C had just bought a South American sweater at Goodwill for $4, knowing it was too hot to wear as a pullover but unable to resist the price. Alpaca yarn is easy to find these days - she has a sewing machine - what is she out if she screws up? $4?!? Who cares? K has an old aran she bought in high school (yes, she’s one of those women who still wears the same size she wore back then) that she never wears and plans to sew and snip away. I felt like the magician pulling rabbits out of empty hats or pouring milk down a newspaper cone. Oh it was fun.

Another loving thing we shared last night was the moment when C tried on her Lopi sweater - the one she was afraid to finish because it looked like it wasn’t going to fit - the one that was becoming a guilty reprimand oozing blame and shame from its basket in the corner of the livingroom. I have suffered that sensation every time I knit a sweater - and know that the only cure is to try it on. And well did K remember the day I urged her to try on her nearly finished sweater - the one she already hated, was afraid to try on; the one she dreaded because she was sure it wasn’t going to fit after it had sucked up all those dollars and hours of her time. It was so good to have both of us there for C. I had confidence, and K was glad to reinforce it. She corroborated all my encouraging. And oh what joy spread across C’s face when she saw that the sleeves were the exact perfect length and the body stopped where she preferred sweater bodies to stop, instead of where some style maven or production manager had decided it should. There was that moment of deep, utter relief when we led her to the mirror and she could see that she had knit the sweater of her dreams. Or at least - she had almost finished it and knew she had only one more decrease round to go.

Lord that was fun.

But that was not all the GirlfriendJoy I had yesterday, since Tuesday is WeightWatchers night for beloved H and me and we both took off 1.6 lbs - happy day. She is now at 20 lbs and I am down into the next level of points. And we were both wearing clothes from our attics, pre-pregnancy stuff for her, 3 year old dresses for me.

But my cup of joy still had room for more and there was a long newsy letter from J in my e-mail box last night when I got home.

Sometimes, life is just perfectly sweet.

And here are the promised photos of the dyed roving from Sunday. This first picture is all of the rovings - with the stormy blue one, the one I knit into a swatch, first and one of the warm ones that was spun into the sweet-gum-in-autumn colored yarn.

This one is a closeup of the blue, purple, red and yellows that I dyed to match the wrapping paper. I've clipped a piece of the paper between the two rovings. I am pleased as punch with this colorway but I plan to try again this weekend and go with lighter shades of all the same colors.

posted by Bess | 8:01 AM