I can’t resist them. Show me a hole in the pavement and I’m there, inspecting the bowels of the earth (aka water/sewer/electricity mains), looking for archaeology in the layers of history that form the sides of the hole. In knitting, a hole can be a bad thing (think moth or not if you can’t bear to) or a good thing. Either way, the absence attracts interest. This is true of people, too. Think of all the times you’ve wondered if so-and-so is alright when you realise you haven’t heard from them for ages. I’ve been neglecting a lot of stuff other than work because I’ve finally, FINALLY finished the unadorned stockinette section of the Seraphim^2 shawl. Spurred on by the delights of making holes, I’m now on chart 2. It’s going to take some time still; I doubt I’m halfway through and it’s already well over 600 stitches around. It’s failed to distract me from a strange, urgent need to work on the house and garden, though. I don’t know whether my subconscious just wants to have a pleasant summer in tidy, freshly decorated surroundings, or I’m foreseeing a need to be able to sell the place soon. That last might be wishful thinking… it’s a nice house, in a nice garden but it’s not the place we want to be and, who knows? Next month, next year, it may not be the place we need to be.
Spinning: on the wheel I’m still slogging through the alpaca/silk, aiming for lots (600m) of lightish fingering-weight 2-ply for a shawl. It’s teaching me stuff, about how to pay attention with my hands rather than my eyes, about the importance of prep (tiny lumps of alpaca and of silk become lumps in my singles, and there are still some guard hairs in the roving). But it’s soooooooo monotonous. I’ve sworn that I won’t spin anything else on the wheel until I’ve plied a bobbin-full, and that’s some way off. So while a large file was printing this afternoon I decided to try the tiny lignum vitae Golding I bought to spin lace. The roving is hand-painted silk/merino intended primarily for felters, like most of such stuff sold at craft fairs in the UK. I split the somewhat sticky length into four, pre-drafted a length three times, then spun the finest thread I thought I could manage. Now, I usually prefer the ‘Princess Twinkle’ twirl with my fingers to rotate the spindle – I can’t draft thick stuff fast enough to cope with higher speed – but this is when revving the spindle up your thigh is a good idea. The fine stuff just eats twist. I can go even finer now. It’s more fun than the wheel. Two completely different experiences.
What else is going on?
These are NOT swatches. They’re design notes. Dark blue is Rowan indigo cotton, at least 10 years old. Five minutes with it reminded me of the reason I abandoned the sweater: it’s harsh on the fingers, this stuff, and it stains me blue. I wouldn’t mind celtic knotwork in blue on my arms (I want a tattoo, a really good one, but he’s horrified by the idea) but blue fingers just suggest I forgot to wear gloves for something. Nonetheless I’ll send this sample to M to be abused so she can assess it as fabric for design. The grey…. ah, I’m truly, madly, deeply in love. With a yarn. How will I break this to my husband? The grey is darker than it looks, a light charcoal silk/linen blend from School Products. If I didn’t already have two 1lb cones I wouldn’t tell you where I bought it. Roughly the same weight as the cotton, possibly even more splitty, but so different in every other way. Softer, a little more elastic (the silk?), the fabric has a lovely drape and yet is crisp. Beautiful stitch definition. It’s not wool, but I’m really enjoying knitting it. I know what I want to make with this, I can see it in my mind’s eye.
The exuberant starburst flowerheads of this little white allium always remind me of fireworks. When they glitter in the spring sun I remember autumn and the smell of gunpowder. I can’t imagine life in a land without seasons.
* The crew that dug our own personal hole to put the new electric meter in said that almost everyone has to look. Some people apparently sidle up to the hole pretending they’re not interested, not them, just another annoyance in their lives, but the guys working IN the hole can see they’re really trying to work out what’s going on in the hole whilst still appearing to be adults. I’m not proud: if the people in the hole look the least bit friendly, I’ll ASK them what’s going on.