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


Those sheep puppets are so cute! I'll have to get that issue this week at TNK! Lawre says there's also an interesting sweater that one of her friends is knitting. Nice except it ends up witha a point aiming at your rear end with a button on it!! I've got to see that, too!

By Blogger jane, at 9:40 AM  

Beautifully written, Bess, as usual. I live just a few blocks from where you grew up, so I know the corners you mention quite well, although the businesses you frequented are long gone.

And isn't that funny? I've been reading another blogger who has knit that Spin-Off sweater with her own hand-spun. Read about it here:

By Blogger Mary, at 11:06 AM  

Aww, now you've got me crying in my coffee! I must reread your post, more than a few times, to make sure it settles in around my own little heart. You're marvelous (but you knew that, right?).

By Blogger Jane, at 6:45 AM  

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Sunday, June 11, 2006  

Do you want cute?
This is cute!

I’ve been meaning to post something about this for all weeks but other things crowded it out. I’ve been cooing and awwing and eye-mysting for days now. This is just flat out adorable and I hope my non-spinning but knitting viewers take themselves down to the magazine stand and get a copy of this issue. If you don't have handspun - you can use shetland wool.

This is how Interweave Press lured me into handspinning to begin with; a fabulous knitting pattern. It was this autumn 2001 anniversary issue:

I was absolutely smitten with the sweater design and though I didn’t spin, I wanted to make the sweater. Alas, I have yet to do so, but I have the instructions and now I actually have the spinning skill as well - and even the ab-fab Golding wheel!! I didn’t get my first wheel till the following summer but I’ve felt that I was a spinner since I saw that cover.

Anyway - I love SpinOff magazine. It’s different from knitting magazines. There are more articles and fewer projects. In some ways, there’s more information in SpinOff and it rewards frequent re-reading. In those early days - when I didn’t know where to buy fiber - the ads were a treasure trove of information. Now that I have a stash that is as likely to fall down onto your head when you’re sitting in the den, that is less important. I’ve never had any trouble being a consumer. It’s production that I have trouble with since I tend to wallow in sensations rather than march to completion.

I’ve been doing a good bit of another type of wallowing lately - maudlin sentimental nostalgia wallowing. I blame this all on the Olivers, the video industry and the Re-TV folk. You already know that BD has melted into 14 year old heartrending romance memories. I have joined him - not in the romance department, since I’ve always been more in love with myself than is good for me, never quite letting go of the question “Why am I here? What is my mission?”, no matter what else is on my mind. Another ENFP thing. But days-gone-by memories? I'm trapped in 'em.

How did this happen? Ahh well, the above mentioned lovely charming generous couple gave 3 boxes of Re-TV videos to the library the other week. We’ll keep a few of them and pass the rest on, but before they leave for their intended destinations, I’m watching some. Last night we watched the premier episode of Hawaii Five-0 and I have been floating in two worlds ever since. The evening was that delicious temperature when your skin sang with the joy of air. We’d had a grand dinner and C the lawnmower boy had just cut the grass. Its sweet scent poured through the open windows to perfume the entire house. Best of all, BD and I used to watch this TV show religiously - back in the days when we had television. The trip down memory lane was a shared journey.

I make no bones about how much I disliked being a child but that doesn’t mean I had a particularly miserable childhood. I was just born a grownup and those first few decades of childhood always grated on my patience. But there are scenes that float to the surface that remind me of that time of sweet promise and delicious anticipation. From 1968 - when the show premiered, I can remember an evening on the little front porch, all secret, behind it’s heavy shrubbery, even though it fronted a very busy city through street. Talking softly with Mama and Daddy, knowing that soon, soon, we’d be heading down to Ocracoke Island and a real live Anette Funicello Beach Vacation. Boys and bikinis and baking in the sun, slathered in baby oil. And the pretty way the light floated through the living room windows. And rain filling the patio out back with half an inch of water we could slip and slide on. How the kitchen smelled and the secret pantry that ment we always had enough shelves in the kitchen or a place to hide in. The doves that cooed outside my windows, and a bed that overlooked The Boulevard as it rose up from the river. The night sound of trains. The way the house felt at Christmas time, exactly like the song Christmas Time in the City, and how glad I was to live in a carol. The little grocery store at the corner of Forest Hill and The Blvd., where the owner worked the cash register and how sad we were when his son was murdered. The other, bigger grocery store and the time Daddy and I took the sled up to it in that enormous snow storm of 1966, to bring home supplies.

We moved into that house when I was 11 and all the memories from it have that hint of being grown up. There’s very little of toys and make-believe in those memories. Instead, they are all imbued with my first womanly steps. Even when I moved out, there are still memories of that house. There is a picture in my memor-eyes of a blouse I made, white with little red strawberries on it, from fabric I bought at the store up the street from That House. I remember going to lunch with Mama in that blouse. So many memories. So insignificant, but so precious. So... so ready step out into the Big World. Knowing that out there was a life that would be mine, to create, to live, to look back on one day.

And here it is. I am in it. Living in that life on my farm along the river, dogs at my feet, farty dogs who evidently ate rabbits yesterday, but my dogs. Around me are rooms that are mine, suffused with Bessedness and Edness - with little threads back to Mama and Daddy and Grandma and Pop - the pictures of General Lee and General Stuart, the scene of me running to Daddy at Datona Beach, the huge portrait Mama painted of me when I left home in 1970. I am now. I am then. I am both at the same time.

Of all the precious things I have, I love my memories the most. I like to pull them out and look at them. Touch them softly. Kiss them, taste them, croon to them. Then put them back into the little casket that is my heart and tell them to beat in there for me - to keep me real and part of it all - to make me strong.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter how many TTD lists point their scolding fingers at me. It isn't important that I manufacutre fears and doubts and dreads out of tomorrow. Or - yes it does matter, but they aren’t the only things that drive me. Faith and knowledge that all that history is filling up my soul - things done, things felt, things known and loved are also who I am. Logic tells me that with all that behind me, I’m not likely to fail too badly in what lies ahead, and logic is one of my favorite companions. I believe I’ll let it hold the rudder this week.

posted by Bess | 7:42 AM