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


On almost every heel I know, I end up picking up an extra stitch at the end of a row and working it together with the last stitch before I start working in the round again. It just makes sense that if you're going to be working back and forth on something like the heel, that little section of fabric is going to be a tiny bit longer than anything else.

Waiting to see pics of the kipfee!!!

By Blogger Amie, at 10:22 AM  

Hey - thanks for the shout-out about the sheep-shearing. Patsy wrote a beautiful description and I felt it shouldn't be wasted on my eyes alone. Glad you enjoyed it!

I agree with you about bald eagles. A few years ago I went to an Easter sunrise service down at Pony Pasture on the river, and right in the middle of the sermon, an eagle swooped down behind the pastor, into the river, and came up with a fish. It was incredible. Everyone exclaimed "Oh!", and the pastor didn't know what we were going on about!

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. I may have to look into that fiber guild myself!

By Blogger Mary, at 1:22 PM  

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Monday, February 19, 2007  

Yo! Mary! I tried to comment but blogger wouldn’t let me. I so so so thank you and Patsy for the wonderful peek into the window of sheep shearing. I am sure it was a magical experience, because anything to do with Barbara Gentry is full of gentle magic.

Now. TheQueen’s post.

Ahh the joys of being a government employee. They're few and far between, but I guarantee you, they can be felt on those Monday holidays. It’s ten0seven and I don’t have to hustle along at all, but may leisurely poke about on the creaky dial-up internet to see how friends are doing.

As for how I’ve been - well - delicious is the first word that comes to mind. J and her daughter C got to my house about dinner time on Friday and very swiftly we were pulling out knitting and catching up on everything that has happened since last November. New house, new knitting, new plans, new hopes. It was a great catch up evening. Then, at Crack of Dawn we were up and dressing and breakfasting and heading to Richmond where J was holding a trunk show of her spinning fibers for Clotho’s Children - the Richmond area fiber guild.

The guild meets at St. Joseph’s Villa which is part of the interesting lore of Richmond, and a tiny bit of the Lore Of TheQueen too, since for a very brief time when I was struggling to become 10 and worrying about homework and wishing I were an orphan so people wouldn’t have such high expectations of me, we were a host family for a little girl who lived there. It’s a good sized organization - maybe 50 members and there were 25-30 of them at Saturday’s Valentine’s Day Tea. Best of all we knew some of these members from previous KRRetreats, so there was a feel of reunion to the gathering.

I would reeeeeeealy love to join this guild and I could, if I would commit to some Saturdays in the city. After all, they only meet once a month and there’s no requirement that you attend every meeting. Really - I ought to join. In fact, I am talking myself into joining right now. Even if I could go only twice a year - it’s not any further than the other fiber guild that meets across the river (and down by the bay).

But what we did do was unload all of J’s bags of fabulous spinning fibers and set them up in a large U of tables, opened them up, clipped their little labels and samples on the outside and stood back. J specializes in rare breed fibers, though there are the occasional more common ones which she has dyed in her own glorious colors. Some of these are blends, some are straight off the animal’s back with only careful washing, most have been carded into rovings. Happy for me, I am no longer restricted so I could "shop" too, though I was careful to wait till we were packing up before grabbing that bag of Border Leicester and measuring out a pound of it. It’s a fluffy soft grey. It’s a long wool that hazes just a tiny bit like mohair and spun fine it will still knit up at 5 stitches to the inch. Yes sir. At that rate this baby could become a sweater.

Would you believe it - I have been so aswamp with knitting this winter I forgot to take a spindle with me! Sort of forgot. It did once cross my mind but the mind answered that I ought to remember that I was going to be busy the whole time - and I was. C - who is only 7 - was an absolute angel. A child with a naturally good temperament nurtured by very good parents, she spent the entire day actually helping us measure up and label the purchases. Not just for a little while, but for hours, this little girl was a happy helper. I don’t think even I could have been that good for that long at that age. In fact, the closest thing to a melt down she exhibited was .... nothing. I can’t remember one moment when C wasn’t pure joy to have around the entire weekend. Needless to say, BD was in his element - for he always wanted a daughter of his own. It was he who did the bedtime story reading and he knew to read the book about the Chinkoteague ponies.

I was pleased that my bald eagles put in an appearance, since I’m inordinately proud of them. It’s so cold these days the bay is frozen so there’s no point in them hunting over the water. They’re out in the fields instead, looking for mice. We had just pulled onto the farm when one flew up right beside us and into a tree. I always feel like a bald eagle sighting is a blessing - a sort of benediction from the eagle spirit - and happily - I get to see one almost every day.

Before J left I pumped her about those short row heels - I located both the instructions and the sock I had been knitting - and we talked it over. The funny thing is - though J forgot exactly what to do she remembered enough to prompt me to actually read the durn instructions. I don’t know what I was doing the last time I tried to knit that short row heel but this time the directions made perfect sense, the double wraps closed up the gaps in the seam line and the heel turned out almost just right. The instructions did have you begin the wrap and turns on a knit row and end on a purl row - and there was nothing in the instructions about whether or not to knit back across the heel and then start kniting across the instep, but I certainly didn't want to purl the rest of the sock cuff! But knitting back left big holes at the corners. I ripped and tried it again starting with a purl row, and that left only one smaller hole on the purl row. It’s a small enough hole I can close it shut with darning, but the next time I am going to start with a knit row, join the heel to the front on that last knit row and pick up the last purl wraps when I come around to the heel again on the other side.

I feel triumphant.

I dug other things out of our Microsoft Word archives. I am getting ready to teach some classes and need my handouts. That prompted me to start on another mini-sweater to be sure just how much yarn is needed. I’ve always made them with scrap yarn and I have only the original mini-sweater that’s on my Knitters Review Bear. He does not want me to send it off to the shop as a sample so I am making one that will go into my Teaching Box. (Yes, I do anthropomorphize my inanimate objects. Read Asimov’s Foundation series, book 4 if you want an explanation.) I have some grey Aurora8 in the stash. Yarn that has languished because I don’t wear grey and I’d never thought about knitting a hat for BD and who makes doll clothes out of Aurora8?!? Well. I do. Or am doing. It’s a cute thing. I’ll finish it up today. Switching to size 7 needles after all this KipFee knitting and sock knitting ( I didn't do any KipFee knitting but I finished the first of those Interlacements socks I’m knitting for Mom this weekend.) felt like knitting with pine trees. Wow! size 7 needles! Man. They’re enormous!!

All in all - it was the most knitterly of weekends. It was companionable. It was fun. It was sweet. It was restful even though we worked hard on Saturday and conked out at 10. It was productive. It was happy. And best of all - it isn’t over yet!

Thank you Mr. Presidents!

Photos soon.

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posted by Bess | 7:42 AM