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


Bess, my name is Mary, we met at the SFF on the 8th - my best friend and I were the ones who missed your drop spindle class (I was there with my new baby?) I would like to email you, but I can't seem to find an email address for you on your blog. Can you contact me at My friend is planning to visit me from MD next week, and we'd like to plan a trip to come down and visit you if possible. Please let us know if you are potentially available, and how to find you! Thank you!

To your reading community: I stayed for the Storytelling, and I can tell you first-hand that the new 20-minute fairy tale of the "Spinster Who was Worthy to Marry a Prince" is wonderful, very satisfying and well worth the length. Also, my 2.5 yr old loved the bracelet project, though of course she needed help with it. I thought it was a lovely day at the festival, despite the drizzle.

I've really enjoyed your blog.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:56 PM  

Glad you've resurfaced, Bess -- I missed you! Sounds like you had an absolutely Royal Weekend, as befitting a Queen! ;-)

Are you able to garden yet?

By Blogger Margaret, at 6:53 PM  

I was riding the train home today and thought to myself -- I need to email Bess and make sure she's okay - she hasn't blogged in a few days. Now I can sleep tonight, knowing you're alive! ;-)

Thanks for the warning on the short row heel. I think my sock pattern has a heel flap. I need to get that done this weekend so I can move on to the next thing and have Sherri help me at TNK.

By Blogger Mary, at 12:21 AM  

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006  

My. I didn’t mean to drop into silence so unexpectedly. Sometimes, though, life subsumes blogging as has been the case the past few days. Our trip down to the ARE was (dare I say it?) Enlightening. It was also quite good fun, very interesting and afforded us vast opportunities for conversation; then, now and on into the future. The library there is the second largest metaphysical library in the world, behind only the Vatican library.

My darling BD has a far different approach to life than I. He’s a Haile and all of them, even the poets among them, are engineers. And I venture to say that all the Scot Adams jokes about engineers are only funny because they so true. His approach to questions is always analytical, supported by a vast vocabulary, itself supplemented by the knowledge of half a dozen languages. It’s also stoked by a memory for all the sorts of details, numerical, especially, that my own famed memory releases the moment it comes into contact with a column, a number or a date.

I, in complimentary but contrasting step, feel my way through life with my intuition wide open and my antennae flickering in every direction. There is so much that I know which is unsupported by either mathematics or vocabulary, yet which empirical evidence eventually proves to be true. Happily, each of us admires the gifts of the other so that when I once explained to BD that the reason I hadn’t bought any steak lately was that it felt like the prices had gone up, he didn’t say “Why not just look at the price tag?” but instead said, with emphatic certainty “well, if you feel they have gone up, they have”.

I suppose that is what 3+ decades together will create.

So - Our Saturday was a delight. Our Sunday was spent lolling in bed and then ambling through the springtime fairyland of upper tidewater Virginia. I took my first walk out to Robert’s Landing in almost a year - for last August I had a bad fall and I’m only just now recovering the strength and energy to walk 3 miles. This is why you haven’t heard me say anything about T the PT - because I have not been able to Train Physically or Personally or in any other way for months and months. But I can now and that is one of the blessings of Spring 2006. We went on a cypress tree hunt and I discovered two new ones. Cypress are magical trees which grow to enormous heights and have the most distinctive color in spring and fall. BD planted hundreds of them over the years in successive sowings. They are little wips of twigs when they go in and they are tasty juicy treats for deer and other chewing wildlife. So each spring we like to scour the edges of the marsh to see if any undiscovered saplings have made it through the winter.

Monday, the weather gods gave us the most welcome anniversary gift of all - real rain. Pouring down, filling up, drenching soaking rain. Rain to make the trees leaf out. Rain to make the corn pop out of the ground. Rain to wash away pollen and enrich the soil. Rain all day long. Rain to keep you in bed with good books and fun knitting.



This is supposed to be a fiber blog. You probably are looking for the knitting content. Well then....

I will never ever ever again try to knit the short row heel. I hate it. It is evil. It is a wicked technique intended to wring tears from my frustrated eyes. Its purpose is to cause my fingers to cramp. It is a fierce bad bunny of a technique.

Which means that I could not, no matter how many times I ripped out that fragile sport weight woolease and tried again, successfully knit it without creating wide eyelet holes along the join. Woolease’s worst characteristic is that it frays as you fiddle with it. Finally I ripped it out for the last time, as well as the 10 rows of upper ankle stockinette. The yarn has been soaked to release the kinks and is dripping dry from the shower head in the downstairs bathroom. A heel flap will be inserted next weekend - after I finish the Cascade Fixation socks I’m knitting - with heel flaps, thank you.

I’ve never knit with Fixation before. I’m using a rather strong purple and it begged for texture. If I’d had more than one color I’d have done some fun knit and purl rows in different colors. I truly enjoy knitting with this springy yarn - about the only cotton yarn I would actively seek out. Mostly I don’t care for the lack of elasticity in cotton yarn that is not compensated for by silk’s delicious and sensuous texture. But this stuff is fun. Eventually I settled on a twisted lattice design for the cuff. The stitches rather disappear into the pull of the lycra, but the raised effect is still evident. And who knows? Maybe these will be the 2006th sock and I can corner all the goodies!

I will, though, try S’s toe up with short row heel instructions next time I start a new pair of socks - because I know her. I can corner her at MS&W or some other likely place and insist that she show me how to knit those stupid heels.

And today is Wednesday - and not only do we all know that Wednesday means Story Hour, but the 3rd Wednesday of April means a library board meeting. And tomorrow is not just Thursday, but off to the Library Director’s meeting at Graves Mt. - yep - of KRRetreat fame. I’m not staying there this time, though, because I want to see my old college roommate R, who lives only 5 miles from Graves Mt. And tomorrow I go by J’s to help her prepare for MS&W and whisper secrets in her ear.

posted by Bess | 7:48 AM