Sunday, January 6, 2008

Woke up this mornin'

I woke up this morning feeling that in my last post I'd unjustly characterized , meanly characterized even, TERRA's Black Walnut, as mud-in-January-thaw. The January thaw out my window this morning is gobs uglier than any yarn. Though the picture from Fibre Company's website doesn't help amend such a characterization, knitting through a long evening while attending to both sets of Presidential N.H. debates softened my images of the kettle-dyed yarn: it's a yarn of CHANGE.

The changes, predominantly of browns slipping into varieties of green, include interesting tans, like dead maple leaves on the forest floor.

I've finished the back and the two front panels, and ten inches of the two sleeves; the pieces sit semi-composed on my coffee table looking, for all the world, like . . . Black Walnut (I think I've seen a black walnut). And I'm writing a little about the yarn because I really want to be working toward the end of the sleeves, NOW, but have to do stuff with the pile of papers to my left--correspondence, bills, deposits, scheduling for next semester, etc.

Another way to make a stockinette knitting project more interesting than otherwise: listen to an audio cd (this advice is hardly more than a duhhh suggestion, but last evening was the first time I'd ever done it, as I listen to books on cd only when I'm driving, not a time I'm usually kntting (though once on Rte 88, . . . but we won't go there) ). Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and its semi-sequel, World Without End , will now accompany much winter knitting. Building English cathedrals in the twelfth century commands a relation to stone even more patient and intimate than mine to the bagfuls of Noro yarns I'm planning to design work with.

And now for something completely different:

Caroline Gilman (1794-1888)

A popular writer of domestic and religious pieces.

My Knitting Work

Youth’s buds have oped and fallen from my life’s expanding tree,
And soberer fruits have ripen’d on its harden’d stalks for me;
No longer with a buoyant step I tread my pilgrim way,
And earth’s horizon closer bends from hastening day to day.

No more with curious questioning I seek the fervid crowd,
Nor to ambition’s glittering shrine I feel my spirit bowed,
But, as bewitching flatteries from worldly ones depart,
Love’s circle narrows deeply about my quiet heart.

Home joys come thronging round me, bright, blessed, gentle, kind;
The social meal, the fireside book, unfetter’d mind with mind;
The unsought song that asks no praise, but spirit-stirr’d and free,
Wakes up within the thoughtful soul remember’d melody.

Nor shall my humble knitting work pass unregarded here,
The faithful friend who oft has chas’d a furrow or a tear,
Who comes with still unwearied round to cheer my failing eye,
And bid the curse of ennui from its polished weapons fly.

Companionable knitting work! When gayer friends depart,
Thou hold’st thy busy station even very near my heart;
And when no social living tones to sympathy appeal,
I hear a gentle accent from thy softly clashing steel.

My confidential knitting work ! a trusty friend art thou,
As smooth and shining on my lap thou liest beside me now;
Thou know’st some stories of my thoughts the many may not know,
As round and round the accustom’d path my careful fingers go.

Sweet, silent, quiet knitting work ! thou interruptest not
My reveries and pleasant thoughts, forgetting and forgot!
I take thee up, and lay thee down, and use thee as I may,
And not a contradicting word thy burnish’d lips will say.

My moralizing knitting work! Thy threads most aptly show
How evenly around life’s span our busy threads should go;
And if a stitch perchance should drop, as life’s frail stitches will,
How, if we patient take it up, the work may prosper still.

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