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

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.

 

Untitled

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.

 

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.

 

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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!

1211151640b

Black Friday Spinning

After being brutally knocked about all summer, Little Diana needed some work.   I spent an hour or so tightening, oiling, adjusting and tuning her all up,  then got to spin!

Since my whole thinking about this Black Friday thing is best summed up as “Screw that”,    I was dead set against going out on Friday – but my daughter wanted too, and she can’t drive yet.   Compromise – I drove,  but we only went to two locally owned small businesses.     She wanted to check out Sir Troy’s Toys, and for me we visited  Artist’s Gallery Yarn,   where I found a nice local hank of hand dyed Coopworth!

It was hidden in the back in the fiber room, sort of buried in plastic bags full of other fibers,  and I was delighted to spot it.   It’s got all these lovely sort of autumn wine grape colors.  I  practiced my woolen draw to spin some reasonabley consistent sock yarny sized singles,  and then triple plied it.   Yield – approx. 60 yards of extremely bulky yarn.

After spinning it looks like this –

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A Tale of Two Wheels

I saw in the old antique mall two histories

Two old spinning wheels, the same in birth and form.

So differently polished by time that the light of each

illuminated the other.

I haven’t been able to identify a specific model,  but I’m fairly certain it’s an old Kromski  –  they looked like a cross between the Polonaise and the Symphony,  and had that distinctive sliding mother of all that Kromski’s do.  They also had direct drive setups – the flyer and bobbin all in one solid piece,  which I’ve never seen before.

It was really fascinating to be able to see both of these wheels at once, and compare the different conditions they were in.     One was very little used,  but damaged in some pretty serious ‘no more spinning for you’ ways – most notable a broken off flyer arm.   The kinds of damages that come of not being used and being carelessly stored.

The other was extremely worn,  and had a number of obvious repairs,  but was still in excellent working order –  it just needed a new drive band.   I turned the wheel by hand, and it spun as smoothly as if freshly oiled.