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I went around all day with my shirt inside out.

On the other hand, I bought all new clothes for my interview with Big Agency.  This happens on Monday morning.  I still need to buy a thank-you card and do some studying and practicing, and also time the drive.

Behold, I made this, a tiny bag:


The brown wool is local Icelandic from the shop; the white is English somebody, is very long-stapled, and came with one of my Wildcraft spindles.  I have the information in the mailing tube still.  I used a B hook, I think.  In a way I probably should be keeping much more detailed records of all this, but I really would so much rather do it, you know?


In my sphere, or dimensionless point (I don’t know that my life is broad enough right now to be a sphere of any diameter) of existence it’s usually about starting too many projects at once.  Or not starting the unpleasant ones at all — that seems more reasonable to me.  Listening to or reading the comments of artisans, fellow crafters … is it self-indulgent to start lots of things?  I have all kinds of experiments going on.  But a lot about my life would look self-indulgent and childish to most people.

I’m enjoying the sensation of not coughing my lungs out any more.  Whatever I’ve had, it’s awful but gets over quickly.

I hope I didn’t infect anyone else, especially since I worked at the shop yesterday.  I tried to keep my distance.  If the only way forward is for just one of my recent contacts to start sneezing and wheezing, I must regretfully choose a lady from more southerly latitudes who came in and complained that none of our yarns were suitable for her climate.  I apologized that Vermont produces so little cotton but showed her some locally-dyed stuff, which she rolled her eyes at.  She also barked with laughter at a shop-sample coat — “that old thing.”  Evidently a pattern she’d seen before.  Some of the nicest local wool yarn we carry, she dismissed as “rough.”  (Well yes, stupid; it’s for making cold-weather outer garments, not tampons.  Honestly.)  She didn’t buy any of our crummy old junk, of course; as she pointed out, “when you’re going on a plane you have to be very selective.”  Have a virus, honey, they’re nice and small.

I do think of myself as grown up; I’m just a jerk.

But when people aren’t jackasses I’m as happy to see them if they spend nothing or $100.  Even if someone just comes in for directions or to ask what the name means.

I know.


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Elsewhere, it’s cold.  Go here and scroll quickly down below the frightening hotness to see today’s lowest recorded temps.  Granted, most are in Antarctica, but not all.

I applied for an adjunct faculty position at Small Public College.

And made a very nice little red and blue wool bag.

And ate doughnuts!

Pretty sure …? that I did everything at the shop today, the closing procedures, I mean.  There’s nothing missing from the mental list, nothing to do with money or lights or locks or anything else; it just feels as if someone else was there all afternoon and I was watching.

Around the time I came in a woman was browsing, talking to Perry, and stepping over the dog.  She wanted to know what the fiber was for, and Perry told her about felting and spinning, that she spins with a wheel, and I spin with a drop spindle.  So she didn’t know what a spindle was, so I came over and took one that had a little bit of fine black yarn started on it, and twirled it around.  Then, because that proves nothing, I reached for a little piece of grey fluff hanging over the rim of an open bag of wool, used the black yarn as a leader, and showed how the twist climbs into the little disordered cloud.  I spun a fine thread, finer than what was already there.  It broke but I started again, reproduced it.  She couldn’t at first see how this was related to yarn that you make sweaters from.  You can ply two, three, or more together, I said.  You can also make them much thicker than this.  I rolled a piece on my thigh — “oh, so this” — the spindle — “is just there to keep it turning.”  Pretty much.  It’s a machine, as I mentioned here a bit earlier, just one with no moving parts.  She kept thanking me and apologizing for taking up my time.  But that was what I came to do, mostly.  I had chosen some random spindle that was just okay … on purpose.  We also have several of these right now, but I have never yet seen anyone pick one up without buying it (it’s happened to me twice now), that’s how good they are.  I know not to pick one up and wave it around carelessly, because they’re magic; they teleport your money to Oregon.

And here for your enjoyment is a bubinga tree (Guibourtia demeusei) of Cameroon:


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8 Reasons Why Bubinga Is Awesome (includes images of beautiful bubinga-wood things other than spindles; the ninth reason has to be that it’s just a fun word to say.)

Some kind of force field in here is preventing the fans from having any effect.  That’s the only reasonable explanation.

But it was a good day.  I sold more bags — all right, I sold them to my mother, but she had a legitimate use for them.  We met lots of people.  I decided to make a variety of string bag with an attached solid pocket or pouch, or pouches, for small objects in danger of falling through the mesh.  The Korean beef just gets better every week.  Chris told us about a special kimchi refrigerator they sell in Korea that replicates the temperature of the soil throughout the seasons, except on a faster cycle, so your kimchi is done sooner than if you buried it in pots in the ground.  It’s a real thing.  Samsung makes them, among other firms.

Just a mild, peaceful sense of well-being involving two pillowcases full of clean laundry, nice leftovers for lunch, and miles upon miles of good yarn at very low average cost.  Because yesterday after the board meeting I went to Phyllis’ house, which is a temple of peace that bestows happiness on everyone who enters, and looked through the forest of cones of Harrisville yarn showered upon us all, collectively, by someone who recently died, and took a modest amount which still is a lot.  And today some other stuff came, and the average of (ton of free stuff) and (half ton of not at all unreasonable stuff) is really pretty good.  And now I can open my factory.

The front seat of my car is full of yarn, and the back is full of snow tires.  Because they belong in the barn with a family of skunks, and it’s unfair to bother crepuscular animals with young children.  Yeah, because that.


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July 12:  To mark the 330th anniversary of the death of French astronomer Jean Picard, the customer with the best guess about the length of an unlabeled skein of yarn wins the skein.

July 13:  Feast of Saint Clelia Barbieri — 20 percent off all spinning supplies and yarns containing hemp (for us, basically Hempathy).

July 14:  Bastille Day, duh, bring back the discount on red, white, and blue yarns.  But also the birthday of Rosey Grier:  76 percent off all wool (wool? sheep? the Rams? get it?) embroidery floss.


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July 15:  Elderly Men Day in Kiribati — all elderly men get a free whatever.  One free thing off the notions wall.

July 16:  Elderly Women Day in Kiribati, but the shop’s closed Mondays, oh well, suck it up, you can always borrow an elderly man’s free thing.

There is or was a snake in the living room.  Early Thursday morning it was resting in a pile of yarn, probably recovering from the uncomfortable sensation of being stared at by a cat.  You would think yarn would be good camouflage for a snake, and you would be right in my case, but shouldn’t be, because most of what I have is fingering and laceweight.  The garter snake, although slender, is a considerably heavier gauge than those.  This one was dark with a pale green stripe and large eyes.  It went behind the baseboard heater somewhere.  I found a cat-toy fishing pole and was hoping it would come out so I could capture it deftly as seen on TV.


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It probably found its way back outside again.  This building is not well insulated.  I guess the roof is, the attic/crawlspace anyway, which is certainly why we don’t have eagles getting in here and lounging in people’s yarn.

at the Farmers’ Market!  I sold two things sold two things sold two things.  Actually they sold themselves and I received the money.

One was a string bag I made from nettle-fiber yarn, and the other was a soft little pink wool bag that closes with a lens-shaped button made of bone, and a white ribbon.  I was not interested in buttonholes at the time I made that one.

The stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a friend to mankind.

We listened to the National Guard band, and I finished another string bag, a strangely-proportioned little one made of Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.  In the future I won’t use that for any more string bags, although it’s strong enough.  It should be a real fabric so it can swish around and say, look at me, I’m so drapey, I’m so shiny.  That bag, I think, would make a good hammock for a toy.  I have a toy shark that would look just right in it.  Maybe if I actually make some little toys for next week they can pose with it.  Not thinking particularly of typical amigurumi, just maybe it’s time to use that Jelly Yarn and make some sea anemones.

And more nettle bags.

And more colors of cotton bags.

And more cellphone sleeves.

And let’s not forget to finish that thrice-cursed shop sample sometime this century.


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This morning I was sitting by that window between the two large doors, spinning (at times) Icelandic wool and (at other times) mohair on two of my favorite drop spindles.  Our spinning group was demonstrating our share of  long-ago-stuff to tourists at the Calvin Coolidge Historical Site, his homestead, where he was in fact born 140 years ago today.  There was also a parade and a chicken barbecue, but I think people were very interested in what we were doing, too.  The other women brought their wheels and serious, pointy, blood-drawing fiber prep tools.  If I had a wheel I would never use it; it would have coats piled on top of it.  But because I’m surrounded by all these little spindles, I’ve been spinning every single day since I learned in 2010.

The wool and mohair were both local (the sheep owner I actually know), and undyed.  I enjoy spinning all kinds of things, any color, any fiber, I’ll try it all.  But at these historical things people tend to ask if the wool is local, and if it is, are they your sheep? and if they are, well, but did you raise them from lambs?  And if the fiber is any unnatural color, you did dye it yourself, didn’t you? and with natural plant dyes, of course? that you planted and harvested yourself?  It’s not possible to be authentic enough for some people.

We show people how the spinning wheel is essentially a spindle on its side, driven by foot power, assisted by angular momentum.  The spindle isn’t the original string-making method, of course; I roll a bit of wool on my thigh until it turns into something like yarn:  behold, the incredible artificial vine, or sinew substitute.  A spindle is a machine too.



The Ratel Motel