Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21st, 2012

I have a pair of socks that I am knitting for Charles that somehow do not draw me with any enthusiasm, even though I am anxious for him to have them because I know they will be comfortable on his poor feet that suffer with neuropathy.

No, all they do is keep me from clicking my needles, making something that really appeals to me and stirs me to get with it.  I just feel the tiniest bit guilty about the socks whenever I leaf through knitting books and see something  I'd love to try, - oh golly, that tiny bit of guilt is really messing up my creative life!!

If I were being sensible I would know that in beginning a new project  I can hardly wait to sit down and work at. making those blessed socks would be more inviting in spare moments when my hands want the calming effect of knitting but my mind isn't in to figuring out complicated patterns.

And goodness only knows that this is not a life that has been confined to having just one thing on the go at a time!  And I have UFO's to prove it, the socks for Charles being just one example.  There is the front of a lovely white sweater hidden away in a knitting bag, along with half of the back, and in a basket with a closed top I even have a circular needle sweater knit up to the arms  of the most heavenly blue wool, - a project that someone else foisted on me when they found it impossible to go the last mile with it.

This is not the UFO I have in my possession, but it is close enough, except for the shimmer in the wool, to be a near cousin of the one that was so kindly given to me, complete with markings for the sleeve and a confusing sheet of instructions that were vague as to just where the previous knitter had left off - given up because of disgust, lack of interest or distressing confusion.

At one time I had three or four looms warped at the same time, and happily went from one to the other, content to be creating, busy planning new warps, throwing a studied weft with care and happiness.

And here I sit, stymied by a pair of tweedy socks!

I am hoping to become activated soon, and to fill these winter days with something that pleases me and keeps my hands flying and my mind pleasantly occupied.

Mary Cassett

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A snowy day in the Similkameen

Well, if it hadn't been for the wind it would have been quite a pleasant day, - a little nippy
but what's that to a Prairie girl.....

However the snow was fine and dry, and the wind whipped it up into
an absolute frenzy,  - white veils of snow were spirited down the road like ethereal gypsy dancers,
their feet barely touching the ground, and then caught up in the
wind's passionate embrace and flung skyward.

That all sounds quite romantic, and I suppose it was if you were cosy by the fire, but out in the 
garden the small birds, their feathers fluffed, were grateful that the bird feeders were full.

a mourning dove looked down inquisitively

while Miss Callie visited at the side window with a chickadee perched in the Rose of Sharon,

tail swishing......

late in the afternoon a flock of quail came to clean up the gleanings on the ground

and just at dusk I saw them all flying up into the tall trees next door...... 

shelter for the night.

I heard the plants in the garden sigh comfortably, happy with the lovely new coverlet

and safe from King Winter's mighty wind.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ABC Wednesday

Off we go on another wild ride through the Alphabet

So why shouldn't A be for Alphabet

I had considered skipping this round of ABC Wednesday, because sometimes Time crowds in on me and I end up posting quickly and not very mindfully, - a video that is entertaining, - a picture or a poem that it only takes a few minutes to post. And do  not have time to visit other wonderful posts as often as I would like....

But it is such good discipline and pleasure to be part of this meme, so I am going to try to devote more time, whenever I can, and so here is what I have learned about Alphabets - thanks to Sir Google and Wikipedia.....(who I expect will be blacked out in just a few short hours, in protest)

First things first,  a bit of history  - the word ALPHABET comes from the Greek word, alphabetos, and the word alphabetos in turn comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, a Alpha, and b Beta.

The names of the Greek letters were based on Phoenican letter names, the first two letters of the Phoenican alphabet being are'aleph (ox) and beth (house).

The Greeks created the first phonetic alphabet when they used letters from the Phoenician alphabet to represent consonants sounds which were not in the Greek Alphabet .

An Alphabet is a set of letters representing one or more phonemes, both consonants and vowels, and in some cases combinations of letters are used to represent single phonemes, as in sh, ch and th, and I guess ph, too.

The best known alphabets are the Roman and Cyrillic. which have been adapted to write many other languages.  Some alphabets are used for only a single language and some alphabets are used only for religious purposes, or for decoration, such as the Coptic, or the Irish Uncial.

which really looks like just another font, doesn't it........

Just a few facts, Ma'm, but how very fascinating it must be to study linguistics.

Do you remember when you first learned the alphabet, - well, probably not.  Those days are lost in the mists of time as we grow older, but quite likely it was at your mother's knee, -  from a book perhaps

or maybe a song.

Maybe your learning was enforced by the blocks you played with...

and here are some for modern little techies....

We learned so early what these letters meant when they were put in orderly fashion to form words, and what a marvelous gift this has been, - to be able to read the thoughts of others, - to be able to express our own inner selves in written form.  To be able to travel the world from an armchair, or snuggled beneath the blankets at night with a flashlight!

"To learn to read is to light a fire. Every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."    Victor Hugo

For more great A's visit here at ABC Wednesday,  as we start once again an alphabetical adventure at Mrs. Nesbitt's wonderful meme.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday, January 16th, 2011


Here are the walnuts
that hang from the tree
that grows next door
and towers over
the neighbour's woodshed.

Late in the fall the tree is luxuriously laden
and the walnuts loosen themselves from the branches
and roll down the roof of the woodshed,
bouncing over the ledge and hiding
in the grasses that grow along
the few feet that divide us
from the neighbour's fence.

I imagine that in the spring the
nut hatch will find a noisy heaven
amongst the branches of this generous tree
but in the meantime.......

You see them - small and dry, with their hard black coats split,  but I would imagine still harbouring
the Jaglone that dyes a wonderful variety of earthy browns, depending upon how
long they are stewed and if a mordant is used, and also what kind of mordant.

My days of dyeing wool are long past, although I have a wonderful
remembrance of them in sample skeins that along with my other weaving
and spinning paraphernalia are now mostly decorative.

Still, the memory of those exciting days, gathering materials, watching the wool absorb
the dyes of such a great variety of natural plants, and change before
your eyes with different mordants - all those memories still warm my heart
and make me grateful for the richness they brought to my life.

I picked up all the walnut hulls that fell on our side of the fence
and they sat for a few months in the garage until Charles,
dear one that he is, decided to crack them all and retrieve the nuts.

They are now drying in a basket to keep them fresh and edible
although I just might use them all up before they have time to get
rancid, as old walnuts are wont to do!

I have had to put them out of my reach so that I won't dip into
the basket each time I pass it and pop one of these lovely golden nuts into my mouth.

I have found an enticing traditional Greek dessert recipe
that uses one and one half cups of walnuts and little flour.  If, when I try it,
it is as delicious as it looks, I will share the recipe with you!