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Recently one of my teachers came to mind, a travelling poet who came to my class when I was 9, to teach us youngsters about a vital tool for creating magic in our lives, metaphor.
beloved metaphor! Without you life would be so three dimensional!
My Alice, in her reading and writing over the years has struggled with a certain longing. “It isn’t enough to know dragons are there behind the mist; I want to see them!” Having wrestled for most of my life with this very same yen, and only recently come to peace with it, I can commiserate, but my only words can be, “Dreaming is as real as waking life.” For the most part these words have fallen flat to her young and very literal sensibilities.
Then remembering John Cann, the poetry man, and the art I produced in his classroom, I had a thought:
Simile is posing as something else, whereas metaphor really is the thing. It only requires one’s own personal alchemy to enact the transformation.
I explained this to Alice, and she finally got it. I could see understanding and acceptance in her eyes. “I just have to figure out how to do the Alchemy.”

wild feather people

hmmm. For about a week I couldn’t even bear the thought of going onto the computer. I haven’t been blogging, or reading blogs. I have barely been able to check email. Funny how that happens.
I even spent a few hours being very very quiet. My mouth may have been open, I suspect it was. All I can figure is that I have been going through an “incubation period.” I am over my splendid stupor, though, and I don’t feel awash in the next step of… whatever I should be stepping into.
Anyhow, I will make a half-hearted attempt to play catch-up.
Tonight’s post is going to be about the sock swap that consumed all my time for an unmentionable amount of hours. Last week. Sheesh.
I made these:
and well pleased I was with them, too.
They are a pomatomus variant. I didn’t carry the pattern down the foot, for purposes of speed, and I like them like this. I was thinking that this would make a wonderful hat.
I received these from my partner Rahime at Prayer For Rain:
socks I got in a swap!
They are a wool/bamboo blend from Trekking XXL, and a beautiful yarn. I don’t have many handknit socks, and these would be a humungous addition to my collection, but they are a tad too small. Quite upsetting it is to Rahime, and I can totally relate, so instead of giving them Alice like I thought I would, I think I will take the toes off and knit them a bit longer.
she also sent me some merino sock yarn, which thrills me ’cause I never buy that kind of yarn, so the gift is meaningful to me, for sure! I am going to try some toe-up socks with it.
I have been all about knitting patterns lately. Kind of a departure from my patternless life, but I think it is the structure I need at this time.

Okay, tomorrow (maybe) I will regale you with a bit of alchemical musing.
Til then you can check out the Helvetica Hegemony. Who knew.

mark's greenland kayak

Mark is building a boat.
Because he only has 10. and I guess he needs 11.
I’m terribly proud of him, of course.

kayak mosaic

(click to see these photos more closely)

The shawl in yesterday’s post has gotten some attention and I thought I would dredge up the pattern for the people who have asked. Brought over from my LJ archives and edited.

“I thought I would post a recipe for a Norwegian shawl, in the school style, as I’ve heard it called.

Susanne Pagoldh says in her book Nordic Knitting that you need 1300 yds of wool for this.
You cast on the outer edge in the example I am giving. Since I am using a fingering weight yarn and a size 5 (I think) needle, I will CO 580 sts. A heavier yarn ( and correspondingly bigger needle) would probably be about 350-450 sts. I haven’t done one like that, so I’m not sure. Mark the center stitch with a marker or a thread.

The rule on this shawl is to K2 together at the beginning and end of each row, and K2 together after the center stitch marker each row. (dec 3 sts each row) This ensures that your shawl gets smaller. It ends up as a kind of boomerang shape, very long.
I knit each row (garter st) for about 16 rows, and then do this:
keep doing your standard decreases, and *K2 together, YO* for one whole row.
Do 3 rows in the garter stitch pattern, and then do one row in the *K2 together, YO* pattern.
You could follow that with with 8 rows of ribbing, or just more garter st, and then do another set of eyelets, as above.
After that, I do a longer stretch of garter, maybe 12-16 rows, and then the eyelet set again. And repeat until it’s done.
Once you are done knitting, you can crochet around the whole outside, or not. You can add fringe on the bottom edge, or not.
Very simple! and open for interpretation.

This shawl is both functional and elegant, and is sure to get you tons of compliments.”

the shawl I knit for alice several years ago

(alice is maybe 10?)