white recluse

July 25, 2012

if any of you out there are only children,
you may agree with me that we are prone to solitude.
it isn’t that we don’t like people, or being with people.
we aren’t antisocial per se, it’s just. . .

we had a lot of alone time during our formative years
and we need to occasionally revisit that feeling of aloneness.

or maybe i’m just projecting my weirdness onto you people. sorry.

regardless! that’s what my prolonged silence has been about;
a bit of isolation in these last quiet months before ‘year two’ begins.

for a good chunk of the time,
i’ve been here, in the bed of my adolescence,
in the house that’s been my home since i was fresh out the womb.

my grandfather was living with my parents for a brief period,
but he’s happily moved out into the old folks home.
luckily, from what i can tell,
‘happily’ is exactly the right word
his unassuming charm (and lack of dementia)
have made him quite the popular chap, apparently.

and so it’s just the three of us,
mom, dad, and i, just as in old times,
bickering, laughing, observing wildlife,
playing pinochle and canasta like fiends.

i never sleep better than when i’m here.

in this room, i’m surrounded by childhood mementos that recall times i know i lived but can barely imagine. i look at photos and certificates and medals and boxes of comics and books and stuffed animals and it’s like i’ve lived three lives already. no wonder i feel old.

i realize just how lucky i am, at 27, to still have a place to come home to, where i’m fed and loved and can wear yesterdays clothes without judgement. the only thing that’s changed is my mom knocks and then
waits for a response before barging into my room.


but you don’t really care about my sappy thoughts.
you want at least some fiber content.
unfortunately, i haven’t been all that fibery.
i did, however, do my own personal tour de fleece.
compared with people like helloyarn, david of southern cross fibres, the harlot or frankly anyone else who participated, i am the rankest of amateurs. the fact of the matter is, i’m a slow spinner with very little instruction. the fact that i can make yarn at all is a victory.

i had one simple goal: finish spinning my rhinebeck fiber.
i started it back in april and made a lovely skein.
during my tdf, i made two more.
(mo is serving you french bulldog realness!)

that’s 8oz of corriedale top from …into the whirled in the ‘rendition’ colorway. the skein in the back is the original. the subsequent two are much more fingering-sport weight whereas the original is a sport-dk.
i’m still happy.

you may have also noticed a little mini skein hanging out there with it’s big brothers. that is my real tdf victory. by some miracle, i spun the exact same length of single on each bobbin for the second skein; no leftovers. (i did plying dance of joy that featured some very inappropriate movements) for the final skein, i split my remaining fiber in half, spun my singles, and had quite a bit left over on one bobbin after plying (wtf?). since i only had 8oz to begin with and i wanted to maximize yardage, i decided to navajo ply the remaining single and i’d use it for the cast on or something. after all, this is tdf! i should end with a challenge. (did i mention i’ve never navajo plied?)

now, in knitting, i can pretty much pull of any technique of which i know the theory. in spinning, this is not the case (see above comment about rank amateurity). i’m telling you, bitches, if you had seen the scene of me navajo plying…..not my most graceful moment.

somehow though, i pulled it off. there’s way too much twist in it and my ‘loop lengths’ are in no way regular, but a good soak and one serious thwacking later and i’ve got some decent yarn.

go me.

but just when i feel pretty darn smug about clearing out 70% of my spinning stash, this arrivesthis box contains one special alpaca fleece (thanks sally!)

i have no idea how i’m going to clean, card, or spin this,
but how hard can it be?

14 Responses to “white recluse”

  1. I agree with you about only children needing to be recluse every so often. Now that I have a husband and two kids it is hard to achieve and I miss it…

  2. Sarah Says:

    Yay, you! You made gorgeous yarn!

    As far as the alpaca fiber is concerned, it’s fairly easy to process (from what I’ve heard — I’ve not done it myself). There’s no lanolin, so you just have to wash it. Then you can use a cheap dog comb or flicker and spin from the locks. Check out the fiber prep group on Ravelry for good tips!

  3. Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

    Mo’s got an excellent Zoolander face going there. He also seems to be channeling the Burt Reynolds/Playgirl cover. Why does he have a shaved spot – vet visit? The handspun is beautiful, I second the “yay, you!”

    I’m an “only” also and agree completely. I need some alone time on a regular basis and periodically go into No Comm mode (a term at our office for No Communication).

    I have no doubt you’ll rock the fleece. (And how-hard-can-it-be is my favorite phrase. Of course, it’s got me into trouble more than once, but that’s rather the fun of it.)

  4. Susie Says:

    I’ve never seen a dog give a shade throwing face before and that expression is just that! Glad you’re enjoying your time home. I think we all need that once in a while.

  5. Nancy Paris Says:

    Dear Steven,
    As usual, a lovely, reflective post. I want a book, fiction. You definitely have it in you.
    That Mo, he is a good friend to you.

    • Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

      Hell, Nancy, even a non-fiction option has wicked good possibilities – truth being stranger than fiction and all. 🙂

    • Barbara S. Says:

      I agree…I think you’d make a great writer. I enjoy your posts.

  6. Janice Says:

    I don’t know how hard it can be, but I’m quite sure it’s harder than I’m willing to work! And regarding the “alone time”, I’m with you on this, but I’m not an “only” . . . so, just antisocial, I suppose. And regarding the possible-if-we’re-lucky-in-a-perfect-world-it-would-happen book . . . don’t even know if this is something you want to do, but I’d sure love to read it. Glad you’re enjoying your break. Take care.

  7. Anonymous, too Says:

    I can vouch that “eldests” need that alone time just as much as “onlies” sometimes — as well as that need to go somewhere that feels like home. Glad to hear you’ve been spending time with your parents, quiet time you can spend enjoying them and assessing your next steps without the headaches of worrying about finding a parking place or getting to work on time.

    And I’m sure you can find someone there in your home state who can advise and assist with that fleece. (You know you’ve got to make yourself something from that, even if it’s an i-cord bracelet. Don’t argue.)

    But beware of getting on the wrong side of a grumpy bulldog. (Despite the one bad day, hope he’s enjoying his vacation, too.) Mo was giving you the evil eye, as if you got too close to his new and favorite chew bone. You need your fingers intact to deal with that fleece!

  8. breeanelyse Says:

    I’m an only child. I totally get it.

    Also, that photo of Mo is priceless. Just priceless.

  9. misa Says:

    I love how happy you are at home. You can spin, that’s more than I can say so bravo for your miracle fibers.

  10. Nicole Says:

    I’m an only child too, and an introvert to boot. Being the stay-at-home mom of a pair of boisterous extroverts has been my biggest challenge to date. They are awesome, but they go to bed early. We all need a break! 😉 Your handspun is gorgeous. If this is what you make as an amateur, I can’t even imagine how amazing it will be when you’re an expert!

  11. cauchy09 Says:

    i’m not an only child, but i do get it.

    best of luck with that alpaca. you’ll be a superhero to me once you process and spin it!

  12. Kat Says:

    I completely agree on needing alone time. I’m an only as well, and the only time I really get alone time is when the parents are asleep, or when I go to the movies by myself, which isn’t that often, considering the price.

    As fot the Alpaca… You can do it, dude!

    And forget the expense account, you need a personal jewelry maker.

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