To the Mothers of Black Boys in Public Spaces

I shall let let my eyes find him like a target

I shall watch his every move.

I shall see him.


I did not know he was being targeted

And I am sorry.

I did not know he was in danger.

And I am sorry.

I did not know.

And I am sorry.

I shall see him

and I shall help.


Try try again.

I frogged it.  That jog was just too irritating.   I’m glad I did – I was able to practice the cast on with a thicker waste yarn, and it’s definitely easier to work with.

The join on my second swatch is practically invisible.



Knitting your scarf at both ends.

I went ahead and picked up the ribbing.    There’s a visible line where the pattern changes – it looks like I’ve picked a wrong-side row.    I’m now debating pulling the ribbing out and seeing if I can pick it up right-side, and see if that improves the look.

There’s also a really noticeable line of looser stitches on one side of the ribs – maybe I’m just out of practice, or maybe because it’s acrylic?   Acrylic is a lot less forgiving of poor technique and tension.

I think that for future uses of this provisional cast on I should use a thicker waste yarn – I think it might be easier to pick up the provisional edge.     So – maybe frog the whole thing and start over?  I’m pondering it.


Ocean for a seaman’s scarf.

CatBookMom’s  Plaited Cables Seaman’s Scarf   –  I had to learn a new technique for this project!   The provisional cast on.   Its a fiddly little cast on at first, but got faster and faster as I practiced.    Definitely, one to practice before trying it in a project.     I checked it out in both my Stanley and in the Knitter’s Magazine handbook – neither set of instructions or illustrations was 100% for me,  but the two together did the trick.     I measured out about two feet of my project yarn and of a smooth cotton yarn – slip knotted together at one end.  I was able to practice the cast-on, unravel it, and try again.

This picture is of the first swatch for this scarf — cast on with the provisional, knit a few rows, cast off, picked up the provisional, knit a few rows, cast off.   The jog where the cast on was is clearly visible.  The yarn is Caron One Pound acrylic, the colorway is Ocean.



And this is the main project cast on – the cast on is still visible, and I’ve completed one repeat of the cable pattern.    The pattern suggests picking up the cast on now and knitting the ribbing, so I may do that – or I may work more pattern length.   To put off deciding, I’m blogging about it.  The waste yarn I’m using is visible at the bottom, ends tied together to anchor it.   It’s a #10 mercerized cotton from my stash – sheer coincidence that the color matches.


Some Juvenalia, and a sweater.

I am searching my house up and down for a poem I wrote last year on same random sheets of paper.    Just to be safe, I pulled out my poetry folder from the writing drawer and check to make sure I hadn’t out it away – I hadn’t.      It was interesting though to look back at some of my writing that dates from the late eighties and early nineties, when I was a child.

Very little of this material is dated,  but two of these pieces (Circles, and It Couldn’t Last)  are typewritten,  which means I most probably wrote them the summer I was 13, while staying with my grandparents in Wyoming while the rest of the family moved from Wyoming to Illinois.    The untitled tanka is from a school project on poetry – a little volume demonstrating different forms.   Other poems in the handwritten volume reference the Horned One and the Lady of Sea,  placing the writing somewhere between the summer ’84  when I first encountered goddess spirituality while searching for books by Andre Norton, and ’89,  when I got my first typewriter.

It Couldn’t Last

Laughing in love,

saying words we neither meant.

If time in love is wasted,

it was wasted time well spent.



Circles circumscribe the world.

Red slashed for no, green lit for go,

and foiled latex assuring save sex.

Coffee mugs, and water jugs,

the throat the killer throttles.

The needle, pill, the cigarette,  and of course the bottles.

Sugar cookies, ice cream cones,

smiley faces, aerodomes.

With each life take, each baseball hurled

another circle round the world.



Blue sky high above.

Quite bright sun glowing high up.

Birds’ shadows darting

across the ground.   Dark, smooth like

stones skipping across the water.


And the sweater:

0111161555a  Some assembly required.   5 skeins of golden brown, two of white,  100% wool, and so old that the labels are just ‘ounces of worsted’, with no yardage.    Roughly estimating 150 yards per skein,  that gives me just over a thousand yards,   enough for a small sweater.   I’m thinking colorwork in the yoke, maybe at the cuffs.


My Favorite Christmas Poem…

…  is the glorious middle english masterpiece, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and rather too long to share here.    I am listening to the lovely Simon Armitage translation,   which includes along with the alliterative poetic translation a full reading of the poem in the original middle english.

One may read the original text of here, courtesy of the University of Toronto libraries.     The goodly and honest readers at  offer a fine reading of W.A. Neilson’s prose translation,  the text of which  can be found here, courtesy of the York University, also in Toronto.

May you one and all have a wonderful holiday season, blessed with friends, family, frivolity and cheer!

Some Knitting and Tea

The yarn is Red Heart Sashay,  in the GlenOak highschool school colors, for Bridget to wear to her events and spirit day and such like.   I’m making the pattern on the label, a ruffled scarf.  It’s weird knitting – the yarn is a long mesh ribbon and all the stitches are worked along one edge, leaving the rest of the ribbon to flutter around the body of the fabric.  Instant ruffles!    It’s a pretty straight forward knit,  6 stitches on large needles, back and forth in garter stitch.   I suppose theoretically you could put all the ruffles on one side by working it in stockinette.   It would be fast, if not for needing to spread out the ribbon and isolate just the working edge.

The tea is Yunnan Sourcing’s 2014 Red Horse GongTing, a shou puerh that I picked up a couple of mini-cakes of back in February,  mostly because the wrapper was adorable.   It’s an easy drinking tea,  with a dark dark liquor,   and gentle hay/very faint rose/lavender kind of thing going on.    Predominantly smooth aged hay, with just this almost not there floral hint.    Per YS, the floral note should come out more as the tea ages,   and I’ll crack the second cake probably sometime next year to compare to my current tasting notes     I’m also playing with brewing times and temps,  looking for the sweet spot for this tea.   Haven’t found it quite yet.   This is cup was brewed for about 2-3 minutes with water straight from the kettle,  10g of tea to 20 oz of water, with the leaves rinsed twice before brewing with the ‘getting boiled’ water in the kettle.

And that is what I  am doing this evening.  Some tea, and knitting.



Some thoughts on poetry.

To me, poetry is a very intimate endeavor.  I write to capture images of moments real and imagined, or to exorcise overwhelming emotion.   Very often my inspiration is visual, a happening scene that evokes concepts and ideas which demand utterance.
A poem, thus, is a way of capturing and communicating something, and evoking the emotional character of that something.    The use of language in a poem is evocation,  a summoning of the final place the poet wishes to leave the reader.    Prose, by contrast, is intended to be communicative, to give the reader a clear view and path to the intended destination.   Prose demands an agreement on the nature of meaning, on words meaning what they say, on orderly progression through the writing.     Poetry, by contrast, uses the meanings of words and the progression of lines as a kind of backlighting, a way of illuminating rather than describing.

One Sheep, Done.

The mighty minecraft sheep looms over all!     Not my best work, by far,   but it’s done, and I’m happy about that.    It’s  been a long time coming.

The proportions are wonky,  which I’m pretty sure is my gauge, not Rachael Sundell’s awesome pattern.    I was able to knit this out of mostly remnant yarn from other projects, making it a nice stash buster.

Now that it’s finally finished, my knitting moratorium is lifted!   I had promised not to work on anything but this sheep until it was done, and now it is!