Thursday, October 10, 2013

Falling leaves

October 10th

Now constantly there is the sound,
quieter than rain,
of the leaves falling.

Under their loosening bright
gold, the sycamore limbs
bleach whiter.

Now the only flowers
are beeweed and aster, spray
of their white and lavender
over the brown leaves.

The calling of a crow sounds
loud—a landmark—now
that the life of summer falls
silent, and the nights grow.
Wendell Berry

The valley grows wild with riotous colour - a last fling before
somber November comes to haunt us with its memories

Monday, October 07, 2013

M is for Mandolin

ABC Wednesday
October 9th, 2013

The letter is M for MANDOLIN

Etienne Bonneau
The Mandolin
A musical instrument in the lute family (plucked or strummed) usually with
four courses of strings tuned in perfect fifths and plucked with a plectrum.
It is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola,
octave mandolin,  mandocello and mandobass.
There are three common types of Mandolins.  The Neapolitan mandolins
featured prominently in classical and traditional music,
the carved top mandolin common in folk music and blue grass,
and the flat top instruments, less specific to a music genre. (Wikipedia)
Here is the First Movement of Vivaldi's Concerto for Mandolin
three minutes of pure enjoyment

For more M's move on over to ABC Wednesday, here, with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt,
Roger Green and all the helpers who visit around on behalf of this meme.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

A little bit of This and a very little bit of That

Sunday with no Church

In lieu of I wrote  a letter to my sister, put the summer bulbs to bed in a cosy box of vermiculite, went to the store to replenish Callie's special cat food treat (of which she gets one teaspoon a day) and settled down this afternoon to do a bit of spinning.

It is a while since I have done any serious spinning, especially from roving.  I am used to using hand carders and making little piles of rolags (like airy sausages of wool in case the word is not familiar to you) that make the spinning super easy.

So I detached some of the roving from that lovely pink braid I bought at the newly discovered wool shop and teased it out into an airy cloud, - then into yard long bits with all the yarn going one way, lengthwise, and then I started to spin.  Not perfectly, - far from it.  The technique was slow in coming back to me and when I tried a long draw, which I used to love, I found the thread getting skinnier and skinnier.  Back to a short draw, and a few lumps and bumps, but here is what I did on the bobbin.

Sallie of A Full Time Life was asking about instructions for a Moebius Scarf, and here is one below.

About the instructions, I must confess that I don't follow those terribly complicated ones that use a circular needle, - or even two circular needles.  When I first read about a Moebius Scarf in 'Knitting Around' by Elizabeth Zimmerman she explained the basics by describing a "rather long skinny piece of paper, given one twist and stuck together to form the Moebius Ring; a ring with one surface and one edge.

Of course, - I saw it right away - how simple.  And that is how I knitted it then and how I knit it still.

I am not a purist who must make it seamless,  - I am very prosaic and just knit that long skinny rectangle, give it a twist and then sew the ends together, - carefully.

Here is the one I am making now, knitting that lovely ball of wool in garter stitch for as many inches as I need to go around the neck once, loosely and comfortably, - or twice for extra warmth if the 195 m in the ball will stretch that far.  A piece of cake - perfect for mindless knitting if your hands demand to be busy.......

If you don't knit but you are still interested in the Moebius, and especially if you are interested in Topology, which "concerns itself with vast spaces in contrast to specific sizes and shapes of the Euclidean configurations, and uses more than the three dimensions of Euclid.  To study these multidimensional spaces they have to be classified, and this requires an object to compare them to.  This object has to have the unique property of having only ONE surface, and this need was filled by the invention of the great Mathematician/Topologist, August Ferdinand Moebius (1790-1868".  pge 53, Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

And that is quite possibly more than you wanted to know, Sallie, but who knows how many Dimensions the future holds for us....