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


Greetings from the equally cool and damp other side of the river...Stash whittling - what a great phrase - but then, if a librarian can't be a wordsmith, who can be? My late m-i-l, always fancied herself one - a wordsmith, not a librarian. Well. the stash whittling projects of all projects right beside me on the floor...A five strand, size 17 circular needle striped afghan!!! Maybe one for everyone I know. I think the 'just letting go' idea of alot of my stash yarn - feels good. Maybe, just maybe, I will use my wheel this year....I love your yarn designations - would make great names for a yarn line!

By Anonymous Glenn across the river, at 7:03 AM  

Glenn across the river -- you need to get yourself a blog, fella! Would love to read more about your knitting life! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 12:10 PM  

Mary, you are too kind. I guess it's prettier to enjoy other's right now - am in the middle of a bundle of life changes - all good thankfully - so right now am escaping occassionally across the river to see what the Queen's doing! She is inspiring. Let's just say that in between stash (just finished a one hour Rowan white and gold scarf)is changing from full time to private practice, college daughter home after one year in China, new apartment at beach in addition to farm here, etc. Oh well, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. I have no functioning mind, but remain intact by knitting, anticipating quality time with my Louet and knowing that not so far away, someone else is going through the paces, moving forward. Thanks, Bess. I wonder if I will ever have a blog!

By Anonymous Glenn across the river, at 10:51 PM  

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Sunday, June 04, 2006  

Thank you, J - for the sweet compliments and no M I don't take my computer into the tub with me - I don't even take my knitting, though I do take books.

Yesterday’s graduation ceremony was stormed out. The school is a small girls boarding school along the riverbanks in town and they like to do everything outside. The weather forecast has been all day rain for all the past week, but nobody in the school bothered to make a contingency plan for bad storms so that when they overtook the ceremonies - at the midway point, there was only confusion. It was a top down blunder that did not surprise those familiar with that particular top. I felt sorriest for the pretty girls in their new white dresses and second sorriest for the senior-most generation of emotion filled families. We, as just friends of the graduate, went home once our clothes were thoroughly wet, and called her later in the afternoon to cheer and congratulate. She’d already seen us standing with her Dad, proudly beaming with teary eyes, and after she’s quit partying to whatever degree she’s allowed, we’ll slip on up to her house and deliver a present.

I remember when R, the Graduate, was a brand new hold-me baby. She had the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen, fringed with the longest black eyelashes. Since I also remember her parents’ wedding, and since she is thier child #3, my memory goes back a long way. But the sweetest memory to swirl up from the deep long-ago past was from 1998 - the only year I ever completed a whole house inventory of the library. This was preparatory to converting from a card catalog to machine readable records. It was the single most onerous job I’ve ever done at the library and I enlisted anyone I could to help, including, but not limited to my precious BD. One Saturday, we were working in the children’s non-fiction section when she came in with mom. She flashed those enormous blues at BD and he was lost. I watched a natural wrap a man around her little finger. Of course, the reason she was so successful was that her heart was ready to love his too, largely because her mom said “This is William’s daddy” and everybody in that family pretty much figured William walked on water.

Since then, we’ve followed her progress to womanhood, sometimes from afar, sometimes as close as a walk with BD on a cypress tree hunt. There is even a tree we call R’s Tree in the East Woods along Jacob’s Gut. She’ll be off to college in August and who knows where she’ll go after that. Three Cheers, R!

The rest of yesterday was spent mostly sleeping. It never matters when I go to bed, I always open my eyes between 5 and 6 a.m. 4 hours of sleep doesn’t cut it for me anymore so I crawled into bed after lunch and stayed there till late afternoon - and the dirty house be hanged. I can clean it today or take advantage of that other opportunity - ignore it completely.

That is the more likely to happen, because I want to spin more today. I finished up the sock yarn - and ended up with only 225 yards and it’s no where near as tightly plied as my sampling lead me to think it ought to be and I know for a fact there are some over-twisted bits dotting those 225 yards, but it’s balanced. At least, wet set and hanging over the bathroom shower head, it makes a perfect oval. What gives? Obviously I am way far back on the road to becoming a spinner. I know almost nothing at all - and am feeling very humble about this.

Mind now, I am not very unhappy with the yarn - though it’s not as springy as I’d like and has that feel of being too tightly spun. I planned it to be spun fairly tightly, thinking I was spinning fine yarn (I am never spinning as finely as I think I am) and wanted to be sure it had enough twist in it. The samples looked like the twists per inch would be somewhere between 3 and 4 but the finished yarn looks like somewhere between 1.5 and 2!!

And 225 yards! from 8 oz! Who can get socks out of that? Dang. The yarn also has the look of needing #3 or 4 needles. I’ll compare it to some of my commercial sock yarn when it’s fully dry, but I fear I just have a nice hank of YarnWithNoPurposeOrFuture. Sigh. ... Well, that’s not really true. All yarn has a future - but being consigned to a hat is the kiss of death for yarn as far as I’m concerned. Granted, I wear hats, but I don’t wear hundreddozen hats. Just a hat when it’s cold. Ahh well. We shall have to see.

More proof that I don’ no nuffin ‘bout no spinnin’ is my bag of starting to felt while just sitting there angora. I tried spinning it into a very fine single with the idea that by the time it was done I could decide if I wanted to ply it against itself or against something else. Instead I grew frustrated with how difficult it was to spin something with any consistency. Lumps, breaks, threads - it just wasn’t any fun. I gave it a good look over and saw that it was plucked and it is all mixed lengths and since it’s compacting nicely, with no provocation, and murmurs to me while I work with it, “No thanks ma’am I don’t need any assistance, I can flatten out all by myself,” I’m going to have to card it or comb it and if I have to go to all that trouble I may as well blend it with something else. Straight angora is mighty hot for a Virginia garment.

I gave up on the vision of beautiful, fine, silky, threads of angora and went looking for something to blend it with and discovered those 4 bags of Romeldale, picked up from Spirit Trail Fiberworks that first year J was in business. It’s brown, burgundy and tan - an unusual color blend that is rich and autumnal and drop dead gorgeous. I would never have thought to mix that deep burgundy with such a dark brown, but the red in the burgundy color is vivid enough to stand out against a rather flat brown and the tan makes both the darker colors pop out. There is a lot of yellow in the tan. I believe that’s what makes this color scheme so effective.

There are also a lot of neps in the fiber. No Duh - Romeldale is a delicate and extremely crimpy fiber. It just wants to knot up. It is also so springy it feels alive in your fingers. I am lusting right now for a fleece all my own. If only - oh if only. I confess, I have done a web search for shepherds raising Romeldale and bookmarked them for spring 2007.

I’ve sampled with this fiber before and loved the fabric it created. It’s definitely sweater fiber and if only I can spin it well enough and quit sampling it away, I may get a garment out of it. I have 4 bags of this fiber - it would have been 1 lb. but for all the sampling. Maybe that will be the next come-to-completion spinning project. Stash whittling is my goal for the rest of 2006 and since I want to buy fleece first, not yarn, I really want to concentrate on the spinning stash.

The only thing I did with the fixation sock was to take it out of my purse and carry it upstairs. Major progress, hmm? Maybe a little bit of knitting is in order? A commitment to say, 5 rounds a day? I’m just motoring down the foot. Well. Not motoring, exactly, more like idling in a DC traffic jam - but you get the picture - I have nothing but straight knitting to do till it’s finished. It ought to get done this week.

A front came through with that rain storm and now it's cool, crisp and blue again. Sleeping beneath a blanket was pure pleasure last night but today's sunshine drying up the dank-producing wetness is an additional treat. Maybe I'll get those tomato plants in the ground today - yes. Some garden play is in order after a lovely ground wetting. There are already little cherry tomatos on the ground hungry plants.

Or maybe I'll dither the whole day away watching those RinTinTin videos someone gave the library. The time is mine to fritter or invest as I please. That's the joy of a weekend. The chance to be Mistress of all my Minutes. Good tick-tocking to you all.

posted by Bess | 7:52 AM