Friday, April 29, 2022

April Poetry

I read poetry all year long. My custom is to publish one of my poems in honor of Poetry Month. This year I am posting a story about sea glass.  

When my daughter and family moved to Connecticut, I became intrigued with sea glass and brought a few pieces home with me. Then I read about sea glass as well as the history of the manufacture and uses of glass. I began to wonder why more women weren't included in the history and stories about sea glass. Last year, on the morning of my birthday, my daughter ran on the beach and came upon a few pieces of sea glass. She sent some of them to me. 

Many strands come together in a poem: ideas, sounds and rhythm in words, metaphor, and story. I love poetry for the economy of carefully selected words that tell a story. Somewhere in a book or article about writing poetry, I read that asking a question in a poem wasn't the best practice. So, not to be deterred by one opinion, I set out to do so. The poem below is part of a small collection I call, "Voice."

Season of Sea Glass * 

White egret fishes in the marsh,

stands among spirits rocked by the sea.

Sea glass pounded by waves, 

washes up on the shore.

Who held this piece molded

from sand, soda, and lime? 

This shard tossed in the tide  

for days and years, years and days.

Who dispensed medicine, dipped feather

in dark ink, placed rose in the slender neck?

Shard of her story, tumbled 

by waves, reduced to one triangle.

A voice worn to the softest

color of an opaque soul.

* Copyright, Jane A. Wolfe, 2021 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Simply a Moment: 4/22/22

Simply a Moment: 4:22 p.m. on 4/22/22

The herb garden is waking up. The chives thrive and the oregano peeps through last year's detritus of stems and leaves.   

The lilacs have buds but the wind makes them hard to photograph. The gale and the warm temperatures feel like storm-brewing weather. Maybe rain will fall later. I hope so.

To celebrate Earth Day, I cast on Sarah's Dish Cloth from leftover yarn. 

Happy Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Gray Spring Morning

Hello on this gray morning. A light rain begins to fall and the air smells like damp Spring. The wind has died down and the morning feels very quiet. The ornamental pear trees in our neighborhood begin to leaf out. A starling builds a nest in the scraggly bushes in front of our home. Her work poses a dilemma. The bushes need to be replaced. We left the job until spring because little birds shelter there during the winter. Is it better to remove the nest before she lays her eggs or will that leave her without a place to raise her young? And who I am to destroy this creature's home? I know the starlings aren't in any danger of dying out but still. Perhaps it would be better remove the bushes and replant in the early Fall. I don't think the world needs anymore bullies. Ironically, several years ago on another chilly Spring day, I began writing a poem about a starling needing a nest.

Today I link with Kat and the Unravelers for Wednesday posts about making and reading. I have made some progress on a few projects. I crocheted one more potholder since I had the yarn leftover from the first one. I haven't used it yet to know whether it protects hands without being too bulky. Honestly I don't think I'll make any more potholders. I like to knit a wash/dish cloth to use or give as a gift but I'll buy potholders. Crocheting with worsted weight cotton quickly became a chore.

This first sock has a heel. The magic of turning a heel and creating a gusset is my favorite part of sock knitting.  

This week I devoted my evening knitting to the Prairie Shawl. When last I wrote about this shawl, it looked a little different. When I knit shawls with multiple colors, I use a trial and error approach for adding in colors. Knitting with this handspun is a fun adventure. The slight stickiness of this Polworth yarn makes ripping out rows and slipping stitches back on the needle very easy. I may add in a little commercial yarn if I run short of this batch of handspun. 

In honor of Poetry Month, I'm reading Everything Comes Next, a collection of poems by Naomi Shihab Nye, who served as the Young People's Poet Laureate. She is one of my favorite poets. This book contains both previously published and new poems. One of my favorite prose poems, "Gate 4-A" is included in the collection. I also love the epigraph by Gregory Maguire: "May we regard the reading life of the young as the most vital homeland protection strategy going - for our home is this planet and our family the wide-flung tribes who shelter therein."

I finished rereading The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich. Erdrich's beautiful writing contrasts with the sometimes difficult subject matter. The ideas of love, forgiveness, and miracles are woven into stories about Ojibwe and a Catholic Priest driven to serve the residents of a North Dakota reservation. I look forward to the Erdrich-along discussion about the novel. 

On this gray Spring day, I wish you warm days to come. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Sweater Saga

Good Wednesday to you. Yesterday was a wild weather day on the Great Plains. My brother in Montana reported a prairie blizzard with more than six inches of snow. Here in southeast Nebraska, the wind blew a gale as the temperature hit almost 90 degrees. We adjourned to the basement early in the evening when the tornado warning sirens sounded. I grabbed my knitting bag, computer, and phone. A severe thunderstorm brought hail and rain. Luckily the storm didn't last long and the hail didn't do any damage here. I do need to pick up a few extra flashlight batteries just in case. 

Anyway on to the knitting. I am linking with Kat and the Unravelers to post about knitting and reading. By the time I finished the Anker's Sweater it began to feel like a saga. When I finished reached the end of the stockinette on the second sleeve, it was about an inch shorter than the first one. Although I marked all of the decreases with stitch markers, I miscounted somewhere. Most of the time I fix mistakes but the decreases make a faux underarm seam that are not visible. I couldn't face reknitting the sleeve so I added extra rows and added the ribbing. 

When I blocked the sweater the sleeves and body grew in length. I ripped back and reknit the ribbing on both sleeves although as I look at this photo the sleeves still look a little long. I plan to wear the sweater and see if I really want less length in the body. That would be a relatively easy fix. I sewed on one set of buttons that I didn't like so I took them off and replaced them with another. I didn't put buttonholes all the way down the front. I wish I had but not enough to reknit the sweater body. I do like the color and fabric of the yarn and will enjoy wearing the sweater. Such is knitting. 

My children sent me a yarn advent set as last year's birthday gift. I enjoyed opening all the yarn packages in December. Ever since I have been pondering a project for the yarn. Vera, with her beautiful project brought the Guernsey Wrap to my attention. The textured stitch patterns are well suited to this wooly wool. I modified it to scarf width because I am not likely to wear a rectangular wrap. I modified the ribbed section to a broken rib. This first section of colors reminds me of the colors of sea glass. The shades will get progressively deeper and I will have yarn leftover for a hat or mittens.   

I finished the hat with a little yarn leftover so that is in the gift bag. As we like to say, "yarn chicken is great when I win."

*We will celebrate Easter this weekend with hope. Others will celebrate Passover. If you celebrate, I wish you a happy hope-filled time with family and friends. If not, I wish you a Happy Spring, in whatever way it comes to your corner of the world. 

Ravelry Links

Anker's Cardigan


Guernsey Scarf

* Don't ask me what happened to change the background color of the text in this paragraph. I have tried everything I can think of to fix it and am not able to do so. The mysteries of Blogger

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Welcome April

April light and colors are welcome. While today is gray and blustery, the daffodils bravely bloom in my yard and neighborhood. Some trees have leaves showing green tips. Hungry for color, I potted pansies for my front porch. I could use a new pot or two but hate to spend the money so I made do with what's in the shed. A darling little boy with dark brown eyes and his Mom were looking at the large display of pansies outside the nursery. I asked him which color he liked and he replied "azul" and pointed to these dark blue pansies so I picked them up to go with the orange.

I am linking with Kat and the Unravelers to post about making and reading. My cardigan is finished but the resident photographer is at the dentist this morning so that will wait for another post. I retrieved the Prairie Shawl from the project bag, frogged a couple of rows of commercial yarn, and joined this ball of handspun. These colors were in the same braid of Polworth Fiber. This shawl is turning into mostly a handspun shawl. I may still add some commercial yarn but am making it up as I knit. It's an easy forgiving knit. 

I cast on another pink fluffy hat. The combination of handspun uneven Polworth and the KidSilk Haze are so nice to work with, I decided to knit another from the remaining yarn. It's been ages since I knit with size 8 needles so maybe that is part of the allure. I have one more small skein of homespun to wind so I think there is enough for a hat but if not I'll just bind off and have a short cozy cowl. I finished the mitts for my niece and haven't touched the socks on the needles. 

As for reading, I gave up on
Violeta by Isabel Allende. The first part of the novel was interesting but midway I tired of it. The story of a woman enticed into an abusive relationship by circumstances and the ensuing consequences for her children isn't for me right now. If I had an electronic or hard copy instead of audio, I'd skim through the story and perhaps read the end. Maybe I'll do that another day and maybe not. 

On the other hand, I am enjoying Still Life by Sarah Winman. This book makes me want to travel to Tuscany in the Spring and learn more about Italian art. Although I wondered where the plot was going in the beginning, I am hooked now. I admire the quirky characters and how they make come together as a family. The writing and the story are a tribute to all kinds of love and beauty.

On this windy Wednesday, Spring is around the corner. A sliver of blue sky is visible through my window. I may need rocks in my pocket to walk but plan to get out this afternoon. Have a good week. 

Ravelry Links

Prairie Shawl

Another Hat

Alfresco Mitts