Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Twisted Ruth's Service

Ruth Schooley's memorial service was yesterday.

Her gravesite is near some undeveloped land and is full of our typical southern California brush. To me they are dry, scrubby bushes, but I'm sure Ruth would see many a natural dye opportunity. I didn't see any dodder in the field, but it wouldn't surprise me if some appeared in the near future.

Mike brought Ruth's SpinTech to the reception, along with some cotton punis that Ruth had grown, harvested, and processed. Some of us were priviledged to spin some of her cotton on her 'wheel.' I'm sure Ruth would have liked every one of you to spin there, had it been possible. Mike also brought a bobbin of cotton that Ruth spun the day she died. Wow.

Two things from the service spoke so well of Ruth and her too-short life. First, the minister read a poem called the Dash. Here is the site:http://www.thedashpoemmovie.com/

Second, Mike picked the following passage from Proverbs (31: 10-29) in the the Christian Bible. Some of the passages that follow could be describing Ruth specifically:

A capable wife who can find?
She is far more precius than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all her household are clothed in crimson.
She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she supplies the merchant with sashes.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wrong Person!

A very dear friend, Ruth Schooley, died suddenly Tuesday night. Her family and our fiber community are devastated. Here she is about the time of the recent surgery on her foot, but on vacation and still smiling, as you can see.

I keep thinking that Ruth is the wrong person to die. I don't know or really care who the right person is, and I try not to wish death upon others. But still, Twisted Ruth is just the wrong person!

She taught gazillions of spinners amazing things. She taught many dyers to take a second look those "weeds," like dodder, that grow along the freeway. Ironically, the subtitle of Ruth's blog is:
It is rumored...
That the dodder
Got her.

She was almost always chipper and flying her quirky sense of humor like a flag. One of the best words to describe Ruth is Vivacious. She would love that in her own humble way, while swiveling her hips like a belly dancer to see how the word fit her.

Blessings and thanks, Ruth, for being a part of my life and making it so much more fun.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Second Sock Sydrome

I rarely get around to making the second sock in a pair. I have heard that two socks are a pair, but one sock is art. I'm choosing to think, therefore, that I'm quite artistic.

But now I have this beautiful sock yarn that tempted me sorely while I was knitting Papa's Monogamous Vest. But I've resisted until now. It is 'Melody' by Jojoland.

Determined to knit both socks, I chose this variegated yarn (and now my favorite) to try my hand at a rotating rib pattern. I also decided to try knitting on Double-Pointed needles which hasn't happened since my first sock. All of this should keep me going well into the second sock. (In the past I was not happy with the 5" DPs but the 7.5" needles aren't so bad).

Of course, most of the way through the first sock (which I'm loving!) my mind starts straying toward non-sock knitting thoughts. Obviously it is time to trick the brain (again, sigh).

I have a second ball of yarn and I have circular needles. Hmm. By golly, I think I'll try a little experiment: compare knitting on DPs with knitting on circular needles. I wonder which needles will feel better in my hands.

The back up plan is to try to reverse the rotating pattern in the opposite direction. And just to be sure, I'm starting the second sock before finishing the first. This way, the whole project turns into an UFO if I don't do the second sock. Maybe this 'double dare ewe' approach will increase the FIQ (Finish It! Quotient).

The first two attempts on circular needles were made on 16" Addi Turbos. Rather octopussy because all of the needles kept wanting to get into the action (and to think this is what I disliked about DPs). Not wanting to mess up the experiment, however, I switched over to longer circulars (one 24" and one 32" to be exact). These seem to be working quite well. The cords are long enough for the needles to dangle out of the way. Of course, Chloe the Cat finds this quite exciting while she's curled up in my lap. I, being the felines' matriarch, worry about poking out a kitty eye.

But now...the ultimate humiliation in Second Sock Syndrome: I've knit and finished the first sock (of a different pair, obviously. But not to worry, the rotating ribs socks are coming around). Now I'm on my way through the second sock. Problem...?
I can't find the first finished sock!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hugs & Shrugs

A couple of my spectacular friends made this shrug for me to wear during my dad's memorial service. Not only was it cozy during the graveside service, it was just like wearing hugs from friends.

They made it with free-form crochet and knitting techniques, using handspun & commercial yarns, hand-dyed yarns, some from my stash and some from theirs. Una even made a little flower lapel pin out of the two yarns I used for my dad's sweater vest and socks. And all within two weeks!

Thank ewe so much, JoShell and Una.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Goodbye, Papa

My father died on Jan. 24th. after a three year battle with cancer. We squeezed a lot of 'quality' time into those three years. He died at home surrounded by family. While he died, he was wearing a pair of socks that I made for him. He and Ma said they were the most comfy socks he had.

Here he is at his 75th birthday in October,

in his hand knit
sweater vest in November,

and at our last Christmas together.

Papa was very involved in state-wide education and our roles as citizens. He even volunteered, with my mom, as volunteers to work in the voting booths.

He viewed the right to vote as a privilege, no matter how small one vote seems to be. Our votes do add up, like knit stitches which turn into a sweater vest. Many other people in the world don't have this privilege.

You've taught us well, Papa. Goodbye.

About Me

I am a spinner and knitter in Southern California. I live with a very patient husband and two cats in a house full of wool and cat toys (with the occasional musical instrument to keep the hubby happy).