Thursday, July 31, 2008

There's Something Happening Down McIvers

Last night, we got home from yoga class to discover the power was off. We had been having thunder all afternoon and evening and as we drove over the rise between McIvers and Gillams, we saw a brilliant display of lightning along the tops of the hills behind Gillams. Gorgeous. But apparently destructive too - all the power along the North Shore was gone. (Last week we saw, at almost the exact same spot, two black bear cubs crossing the road. The mama bear must have crossed just before them.)

Fortunately, we have two oil lamps so even as the light outside faded, we still had enough light to complete our evening tasks and I set to spinning. It was pretty dark however, so it was only after the lights came back around 10 pm that I discovered this:

For some reason I find these crimpy locks a never ending source of amusement. It's not for me to ask why.

Here's my pile of fleece that I dyed on Tuesday. The pinks and purples are cochineal and logwood, respectively, but the yellows - and what a range of yellows! - are all from locally grown plants right here in our yard. I used alum mordant for one group and tin for another, then I played around with iron after-mordanting, and the results were fascinating. I have an almost olive green all the way to hot yellow. The best part is that all these colours came from "weeds". Making gorgeous colours from things that most would consider worse than garbage is as satisfying, or perhaps even more satisfying, as, say, finding a fabulous item of clothing in perfect condition in your size at a thrift shop for $1. Earth's bounty or something like that.

This is some hand painted fleece I found on sale through Capistrano Fiber Arts. Her stuff is beautiful and the price was right.

Now, I know some of you may have been stumbling right from that first sentence back there: "Last night on our way home from yoga class..." Yoga class in McIvers?? Sure, we have filmmakers from Toronto making a documentary about a performance artist over there, and organic greens filling our bowls, and a gallery and artist residence, but now yoga? Honey, you heard that right. Every Wednesday evening from 7 - 8 pm. it's all downward dog and trikonasana and feeling your breath. Watch out, because next year when we get our craft retreat going, for all you know we will be reciting the Heart Sutra while we make our artisanal cheeses. McIvers ain't what it used to be.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We are lucky here on the North Shore of the Bay of Islands to be surrounded by beautiful landscape as well as fascinating people. One of those fascinating people is Colette Urban, a sculptor and performance artist and organic farmer. She runs Full Tilt, her farm and a creative centre - gallery and artist residence. Two filmmakers from Toronto are here making a documentary about Colette and over the past few weeks they have been re-creating many of her performances. They have been threatening to recruit various members of our family and a couple of days ago, Lucy and a friend got the call.

Here is Marcia, the cinematographer, explaining how the camera works. She gave a great lesson. I never really understood the idea of white balance until I heard her explain it to the kids.

This is an action shot from the performance - that is Colette in front. I can't really explain the performance. Suffice to say it is complicated. Lucy and her friend got an important lesson in acting: much of your time will be spent hanging around the set while technical stuff gets set-up and tweaked.

These are Colette's greenhouses and gardens. We get the most amazing salad greens from her. A ray of delicious hope among the poor food options here (hey - you can't have beautiful landscape, fascinating people AND great food! Can you?)

Then, yesterday...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Elaine Reichek

There are a couple of projects brewing in my head ('tis not all wool and spinning in there). One of them, or maybe a couple of them, involve cross stitch, a needlework technique that I have never done. I have been scouring the Corner Brook public library for reference books on cross stitch and bothering Patti, who is an expert and makes and sells her own designs. She once made one of my all-time favourite pieces embroidering with her own hair the word "peace" as if an illuminated manuscript. Guess what she called it? "Hair Peace" of course! She has replicated that design and offers it to the public, but I don't think she insists you use your hair.

Thinking about cross stitch also has reminded me of Elaine Reichek, the artist whom I credit with giving me the courage to ditch painting and pick up my needles as a way of making art. I saw an exhibition of her work at the Grey Art Gallery at NYU in or around 1990 that forever changed my life. I was still stinging from a male professor's comments that my embroideries were not art (that's what he said! "You know these are not art." You know, you're an...) Does it matter that he was male? Would a female professor have reacted differently? I had very few female professors so it is hard to guess but I like to think she might have been just a smidge less condescending and more constructive in her criticism.

In any case, those battles are far behind me now, in large part, because I happened to wander into this exhibition by Elaine Reichek on my lunch hour from my administrative assistant job at The Drawing Center. She blew my mind. I even called her up on the phone when I discovered that we actually had a mutual friend in common. I was much bolder then, I am younger than that now. She was lovely, if a little surprised to have a fan calling her on the phone.

Over the years, I sent her my exhibition announcements and we spoke a couple more times - she was always supportive of what I was up to (why couldn't she have been my professor??). Then, ten years later, I met her as we were both finalists for a percent for art project at new high school being built in Queens. I wanted to kiss her feet but I think I mostly just grinned madly and lost all capability of intelligent speech. Elaine was dynamic and talked a mile a minute and was just great.

Here is an image of one of her embroidered samplers. It is called Home Sweet Home (Kilmainham). Kilmainham was a notorious prison in Dublin (now it's a museum) were many Irish republican fighters were imprisoned.

I still love her.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I guess the best thing about the whole Tour de Fleece thing has been the huge amount of yarn I have as a result. Much of it has already sold or been shipped to St. John's to be sold, so it doesn't feel overwhelming but I do have a nice little pile to look at as I pass by it throughout the day.

I like yarn.

The pace of our days here suddenly feels like it has been amped up a bit. We have had to set a date to leave Gillams about three weeks earlier than we might have otherwise (although I am always plotting various ways that I might never leave but it isn't time quite yet). It has been an internal battle between knowing this is important and the correct thing to do and the feeling like all the breath is being sucked out of my body and that I will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, away from this island, this damn place that has its grip on me, on every cell in my body. Each inhale and exhale infects me with more and more of this place - it gets in through the pores! Don't try to stop it!

But it is important that we take ourselves to NYC and focusing on how hard it is to leave this island (god, I hate the ferry that heads towards Nova Scotia...), I need to focus on the great things about NYC. Start small: how about the soil in our backyard? It is black and rich and has almost no stones in it. Imagine that! We have a lovely bathroom in NYC. Here, our bathroom is, to put it nicely, yucky. Then of course there are wonderful things like the world's most amazing farmer's market in Union Square. Ronnybrook Dairy! Their whole milk in glass bottles should send me running towards NYC. What's wrong with me? Food that doesn't come from a supermaket, that's a good thing. Thai food delivered to my door. I like that. The Metropolitan Museum. Need I say more? The Zen Center. They are having a sesshin in October and I hope to be there. Obviously I have lots of work to do!

Oh yes....and Dan. Dan is in NYC. Since he is actually at the top of the list, before the silky soil and the Met and three days on a pillow, it is important to take ourselves back into the fray.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


La victoire est la mienne!

À 11:07 la nuit dernière, j'ai fini de lancer chaque dernier morceau de main teinte de la laine et ai traversé la ligne d'arrivée du Tour de Fleece.

Don't you love online translation services?

Let's go to the videotape and see what our athlete has produced in order to lay claim to her victory...

This is as a sweet nothing. It was the odds and ends of several bits of fleece carded together, spun thin but not obsessively so, then chain plied. I learned during the course of this race that the term "navajo plying" is inaccurate - it is neither navajo nor actually plying. Is there a Mike Myers skit in there somewhere? Thus correct term is chain plied although some may debate the whole plied thing but for my purposes, I will go with it. This is the kind of spinner's minutia that makes people run to WalMart to buy Red Heart. ANYWAY, this is less than 30yds so it will end up in a hat or some other odds and ends project.

This one is largely made up of fleece I didn't dye myself but I did card some of my alpaca into it. At some point all those pinks, purples and peaches were just getting me down and I needed some blue in my life. So here it is...very tweedy.

This is one of my favourites. It is a mixture of just about everything: merino, alpaca, ingeo (corn fibre), BFL, you name it. I spun a thin single, adding bits of the pink in alternating colours along the way. Then I spun another single without the bits and plied the whole thing. I think it would be a very cool hat. Automatic funkiness.

This is logwood dyed alpaca blended with soy silk also dyed in logwood. I carded a batt of that, then I carded a batt of the alpaca with some natural coloured jacob mohair. I divided up the batts so that I spun a thin single of alternating batts and then plied them together. It makes a fingering weight yarn that has some sheen and is more muted. A subtle effect but lovely nonetheless.

Just to prove to myself that I can make the thin stuff too.

My last skein! It starts out with the lightest pinks/peachy colours and get darker and darker until it reaches a deep burgundy. I set the twist this morning and it is drying in the sun now.

Viva the Tour de Fleece!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Too Funny to Miss

In keeping with my youtube fascination these days (can you tell we found a way around the evil Aliant's claim that we can not have higher speed internet? A curse on you, Aliant!), I want to share this bit. I found it on another blog that I enjoy reading. Their introduction to it says it all: While that presumptuous, uppity candidate travels around Europe, here is what a REAL president looks like in Germany:

Zut Alors!

This is all I have left to spin and the Maillot Jaune is mine. Will defeat be snatched from the jaws of victory? It remains to be seen. The forecast is for rain, so that is working for me. Finn and Lucy and one of Lucy's friends slept out in our new tent in the front yard last night, which means they didn't really sleep very much. That works against me because I anticipate spending the day breaking up cranky fights over serious issues like "Lucy is standing in my doorway!" and "Finnian is using my pencil!" But picking up the pieces of post-sleepover children is nothing, I tell you, rien! for a spinning athlete comme moi.

Ok, I think I have used up most of my high school French now.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beyond the Marx Brothers

Patti asked for some recommendations of other movies that might entertain children of a certain age (and I did notice how she skirted any mention of having Kate study Chico's piano techniques...). I took a highly scientific poll of two completely normal North American children between the ages 9 and 11. Here are the results:

In the Black and White category (formally known as the "old and boring" category, but upgraded to "very funny and hilarious"):

1. All the Marx Brothers movies but esp. Duck Soup, Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, and Horse Feathers.
2. Bringing Up Baby (and nearly any Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn movie)
3. Some Like It Hot
4. Dr. Strangelove (this was Finnian's idea. I understand if a Stanley Kubrick flick about nuclear annihilation isn't on your list for 11 year olds but Peter Sellars is so amazing you should watch it even without children present)
5. Some Buster Keaton movies. We have only seen a few but they went over well.

Beyond black and white...

1. Local Hero (perhaps my all-time favourite movie?)
2. War of the Buttons (an Irish movie about two groups of children who have a "war" - very nice but maybe harder to find)
3. George and Martha (this is a series of animated stories based on the George and Martha books by James Marshall. They are geared for younger children but, with Nathan Lane doing the voice of George, let's just say, they have appeal far beyond the target audience.)
4. Michael Palin travel series. (these were BBC TV series that have been compiled onto dvds. Palin goes around the world in 80 days, from pole to pole, etc., and is always amusing and not condescending in his travels. Really entertaining!)
5. Monty Python's Holy Grail (speaking of Michael Palin...but be warned, you may be creating one of those people who go around quoting Monty Python all the time!)

And just for Patti:

It has subtitles in French so it must be educational! We were in tears...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

She's Got A Wooden Leg?

Time for a much lighter note than yesterday's soul searching.

A couple of years ago while Dan and I were exchanging our favourite lines from the movie "The Apartment" (what's Buddy Boy done for us lately?), Finnian informed us that black and white movies were "old" and "boring". Dan and I looked at each other and he immediately went out and rented "A Day at the Races". It was the beginning of a Marx Brothers film festival at our house. Of course, we were paid back in spades for our I-told-you-so moment because Finn proceeded to go around speaking like Groucho Marx for the next several weeks. Not always so attractive in a nine year old.

I have always tried to get Patti to have Kate (Patti's very gifted, piano playing daughter) watch Chico and Harpo at the piano. I know they could offer some excellent tips for her technique. Guaranteed.

The first 20 seconds are some of my all-time favourite Harpo action.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let Me Tell You A Story...

I was pleasantly surprised to find a package from a friend in our mail box two days ago. In the package was a copy of Norman Fischer's newest book, Sailing Home. I am a huge fan of Norman Fischer - I find his way of writing about the sometimes difficult aspects of Zen practice so clear and honest. When I was on the verge of freaking out entirely on the airplane to and from Berlin last March, it was Norman's essay on shikantaza that kept me from running screaming down the aisles. I have only dipped into the first few pages of the book but it looks like a goody. I immediately lent it to a friend here on the North Shore because I know she would appreciate it and it seems unlikely that it will appear in the bookstore at the Corner Brook Mall anytime soon. It slightly delays my gratification but I can wait.

The package also was a surprise because the person who sent it (who is actually an old family friend of Norman Fischer, so I enjoy the six degrees of separation, or two degrees of separation) is/was someone with whom I was once very close but over the past year or two, has fallen away from my circle of acquaintances. Despite our diametrically opposed upbringings, we often seemed to be thinking almost in sync with each other. We shared a love of delving deeply into the what and why's of making art and of developing a spiritual practice. It may sound strange, but I remember reading her name on a list of attendees at the artist residency I was attending myself and knowing that we would be friends, although we had never met before and her name had absolutely no reason to stand out to me. For me, our relationship was intense and intensely satisfying on many levels but I always had hints, large and small, that perhaps it was ever so slightly less important to her.

About a year and a half ago, she stopped hanging out with me. There is no real other way to put it. She has been careful to let me know that it isn't me, personally, but rather things happening with her that made it impossible to spend any time with me. At the time, it felt a little like getting a divorce (I've never been divorced but I imagine it feels something like that - the hurt, the anger, the wish to hurt back, and the slow, slow process of letting the relationship be what it is and what it isn't). We still talk on the phone on rare occasions and we often go right back to where we left off: searching deeply for the reasons behind making art and meditation (or in her case, prayer). But I guard my heart a little now.

In the couple of pages I did get to with Norman's book, he was talking about the importance of stories to people, about how we so obviously need them since they have been part of human culture since before there was written history. He also points out that stories are so easy to believe in as our truth (especially the ones we create about ourselves) so that we begin to miss the real things that are actually happening around us. If I understand correctly he is suggesting we can use stories - ours and others - with our eyes open: to learn from them but not to get swept away with them.

It is funny? ironic? that this book from this friend would so clearly point to why it was that I was so hurt by my friend's need to move on. My story of our friendship was being disturbed in a way that didn't follow the table of contents I had created. Wait a minute! Chapter 12 doesn't end that way!! And there it is - the snare and the delusion (and then, the suffering).

What have I been missing while I was adrift in that story?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tour de Fleece update (and then some)

Fortunately the rush to spin yarn for the craft fair coincided with the Tour de Fleece so I have put a massive dent in my massive pile of dyed fleece. Here is a quick run-down of the resulting yarns (warning - lots of pictures!):

These four are single ply made with a blend of merino, soy silk and ingeo (corn based fibre) and/or angora.

These two are made from BFL and soy silk. The thicker gauge one also has a ply of red glitter yarn, the other is a navajo 3-ply. They are more subtle in their colouring that most of my other yarn. It has been hard to photograph them to good advantage.

Two more navajo plied yarns. The top is BFL with an unknown wool (purchased at Rhinebeck), the bottom is shetland with soy silk. Navajo plying is my new favourite way to ply - no waste!

Some more singles. The bottom one has bits of eyelash yarn cut up and carded into it. The best way to use eyelash yarn, in my humble opinion.

This one you have seen - uncarded icelandic locks spun into a merino single.

Another uncarded icelandic yarn spun with soy silk in places. I call it "Leif Erikson" since it seems so wild - like a Viking!

This one is a variety of wool plied with tulle fabric that I cut into a long strip. Funky.

This is merino with uncarded angora bits, plied with a variety of singles I had left on bobbins. I kept thinking "Thing One and Thing Two" when I was spinning it.

This picture cracks me up. I was trying to photograph the hat I made from a skein of yarn that Shawn and I collaborated on during the craft fair. She would spin some and then need to get up, then I would spin some and so on. We decided that I would make a hat and, if it sells on etsy, I will donate the money to somewhere. We are still deciding about that.

A somewhat better picture of the hat.

And these, my dear, are all the little bits and pieces - higgledy piggledy - I ordered in anticipation of the craft fair, all of which arrived yesterday. Oh well, now I have new inspiration to keep going on my pile.

Monday, July 21, 2008

To Market, To Market

The craft celebration went very well yesterday. It was a nice combination of busy and slower times, eager buyers, wonderful craftspeople and an overall feeling of community support. I felt very lucky to have my spinning wheel because I always felt like I had a purpose and an easy topic for discussion with people. I was able to share my enthusiasm (cough, cough)--it is always nice to see people get excited about the differences between breeds of sheep and how soy silk differs from real silk. Once a geek, always a geek, I guess.

Here are selection of Barb Hunt's knitted flowers. Barb normally makes complex installations with fake flowers she collects from around the borders of graveyards (among other wonderful things) but she knit up these for the sale. It looks like an art work to me.

A general view of the space. It was a perfect size for the number of people exhibiting works and the location - just outside the entrance of the restaurant serving Sunday brunch - was the perfect guarantee for traffic through the space.

These are some hooked rugs by Islandsweet and Molly Made.

The knitting section. My yarn and knit goods along with the fabulous hats by Knix Hand Knits.

This beautiful display holds the work of Brenda Stratton's felted scarves, Rilla Marshall's woven scarves and Shawn's knit scarves. After I saw that I was actually selling some yarn, I took advantage of my new found wealth to purchase one of Rilla's scarves. She weaves them in two colours with merino and silk, then dyes them. The wool and silk pick up the dye differently resulting in a complex fabric. The one I chose also is felted slightly so that the merino shrinks making the silk stripe pucker a little. Wonderful, subtle and soft. It practically leapt into my hands as I looked at the display.

And yes, I did sell yarn! I was very pleasantly surprised that people were excited by the yarn and willing to pay for it. Even one of my most funky ones sold:

I am thrilled that there is a market here for this yarn, and thrilled that I returned home with a lot less yarn than I arrived with. I was even more thrilled when the yarn I spun as a demo was drying on the railing of our front porch when a friend came by and bought it while it was still wet. I don't even have a photograph of it but it was pretty lovely: Shawn very generously let me dip my paw into her bag of uncarded, dyed locks so it was a mixture of those and a fairly thin aqua single.

I also was so happy to be a part of this community of craftspeople. One thing that really stands out about this group is the way everyone pitches in for everyone else, whether it is sharing information about possible venues for sales to moving furniture to sharing resources and materials. It is really lovely to be welcomed into this community.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Celebrate Craft!

Tomorrow a group of twelve artists will present their work for sale at the Eagle's Perch at the Humber Valley Resort. There will be a range of craft available: ceramics, hooked rugs, jewelry, weaving, knitwear, yarn, painted canvas floor mats and more. Several of the artists will be on hand to demonstrate their craft, including me with my spinning wheel. A special treat will be the chance to see (and buy) crafts from Labrador. The celebration will run from 10 am to 4 pm. Come by and say hello if you are in the area!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Rant About Food and Kids, or In Which My Children Shine for Their Good Sense and Proper Behavior

Overheard on a recent canoe trip with two friends: one turns to Finn and Lucy and says, "There's nothing like a McDonalds cheeseburger every once in a while."

Finnian replies, "Yes, nothing like them because everything is better than them."


Ok, before I get on my high horse for having children who hate McDonalds (they watched "Supersize Me" and never looked back), I will say that later in our trip, that same friend bought a bunch of Tootsie Pops for everyone and they gladly took them, and indeed, were thrilled to meet someone - an adult no less - who so obviously loves junk food. I'm such a drag, always insisting on well-balanced meals and all.

I am putting Finnian's response to McDonalds together with the experience we have of always getting "Kid's Menus" handed to us on our travels. The menu is always the same: hotdogs, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese sandwich, and either spaghetti with tomato sauce or a heated frozen pizza for one. Even when we indulged ourselves and went to the "fancy" restaurant in L'Anse aux Meadows (yes, there is a fancy restaurant in L'Anse aux Meadows), we received the ubiquitous kid's menu that actually had written on it "Food for kids - you don't have to eat yucky grown up food"

Let's see. We have a childhood obesity problem. Newfoundland has the highest proportion of obese people in Canada, and Canada has a higher proportion of obese people than even the US. Is it really so wise to teach children that "grown up food" is yucky? Perhaps we need to encourage children to think that local greens and fish are great and delicious. The yucky grown ups seemed to be enjoying them! In fact, Finn and Lucy have taken to making fun of children's menus and Finn, being now almost 12, often is considered officially too old to order from them (somehow at age 11 or 12, children suddenly love yucky grown up food? Really?) and he loves to lord it over Lucy. These are children who still bristle angrily at the recalling of how they witnessed a family at our favourite Korean BBQ place in Sunnyside bring in a pizza for their two children while the parents ate Korean BBQ. Pizza! When you could be eating grilled meat wrapped in lettuce with that funky bean paste. They like to interpret it as some kind of oppression of children by adults to keep them from good food by tricking them into thinking pizza would be better than that.

Maybe they are right.

Of course, both Finn and Lucy have their fussy moments, as do I and Dan. My general rule is that we respect the plants and animals that gave up their life for us to eat them, that we respect how hard Dan and I work to provide the money to buy the food and prepare the food, so you have to eat, at minimum, just a little. I am not an advocate of the clean your plate strategy, which I suspect can lead to a disconnect between the feeling of hunger and eating habits and lead to health problems. The "you must at least try it before you reject it" approach has worked to get us through various food rejecting phases. Both of them have very healthy appetites that go hand and hand with knowing when they are not hungry (increasingly rare for Finn who is entering the voracious teenage boy phase in which the watchword is "eat every hour or die"). I still am catching up with his ability to put away giant amounts of food and then be nosing in the fridge an hour later.

May I also make the observation that, during the brief period when Finn and Lucy attended school here, they often returned home with their lunch boxes still filled with the lunch I had prepared for them. The reason was that the amount of time given to eat combined with an atmosphere of total chaos that existed in the lunch room resulted in their being unable to eat their lunch. They would arrive home cranky and tired and really hungry, beyond hungry. I always wondered what, if anything, they were supposedly learning during those last hours of the school day when they were very hungry and distracted.

Is it really such a luxury to feed our children well? To show them, by example, what constitutes "good food"? Or are we paying a very high price with our Kid's Menus and half-hour school lunch times and plastic plates and cutlery and glasses (don't even get me started on that issue!)?

Ok. Rant over. Where's my Tootsie Pop?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I awoke this morning to discover that I had (probably) sold my two "bad day" yarns as well as another one of my art yarns. Yesterday I sold two other skeins and received a nice check from the Craft Council shop for ten skeins that they sold. It feels nice.

Also, yesterday a group of about a dozen high school students from Ontario made an rather inpromtu visit to The House Museum. They are "gifted" students who are participating in a summer program that takes them to western Newfoundland and a friend is one of the organizers here. Her plans for them visiting the south shore (bah!) fell through so she called me to see if I could accommodate them in about an hour. Seeing as we were all still in our pajamas and the house was a mess from my complete lack of housekeeping the day before, I naturally said, "of course, come along!" And then spent the next hour running around trying to make the place look like Something.

The kids were mostly quiet but obviously engaged in what I was speaking about - how culture gets represented, who makes those decisions, the differences between tourists and locals, how museums have a kind of automatic authority, etc.. It reminded me that I love thinking about those subjects and I really love it when other people do too.

I realized that I am still quite raw from last year's Door's Open experience when a couple of people gave me some very, very negative feedback (how can you really forget when someone calls your house "filthy"?). Each time when someone has come in thereafter, I am always asking myself if they think I have a filthy house. But the truth is, most people are not thinking that at all. Yesterday helped to put that experience where it belongs: into the vague, fuzzy past that makes up most of my memory these days instead of it leaping out of the fog and searing itself on my forehead, "She keeps a FILTHY house!"

I know that, by not opening this year, I have retreated from having to receive those kinds of comments. I don't like to admit that since I am supposed to be an Artist Who Can Take It, but there it is.

Today I am reminding myself that the up is as much an illusion as the down, even if it does feel nicer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wool is a Window

Yesterday was kind of a funky day.

We had to get up at 4:30am to get Dan to the airport for a 6:30am flight, so we were all a bit dazed and cranky from lack of sleep. The very fact that Dan was going to the airport and not continuing his time here added another layer of crankiness (he left early due to work-related issues - the absolutely worst reasons in my opinion). The weather was strange - windy and kind of rainy then sunny then rainy again.

Everything was just slightly off kilter yesterday.

I carded up a bunch of wool in an effort to keep up with my Tour de Fleece goal (getting there!) and set to spinning. But I didn't want to spin the colourful stuff I had just carded. My eyes kept going to the bag of scoured but uncarded black icelandic wool that I have had for a couple of years.

I went to work with a fever. I have no idea what Finn and Lucy ate for lunch. I spun and spun and then I niddy noddy-ed and set the twist and hung the skeins out to dry on the railing.

A couple of hours later, I walked past the drying yarn and did a double take.

To date, all my yarn has been about trying to transfer what is beautiful in this world into wool. The ocean, the mountains, the sky, various plants, even domestic interiors, have been my inspiration. Yesterday, I was working on a much more visceral level and the results were genuinely startling.

I never thought yarn could be such a window into someone's mind but my hands insisted it be so yesterday.