Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Life in Yarn

I'm back.  Rather than blog about Rhinebeck and show the pictures everyone else will show, let me catch you up on my life by showing you the yarn I bought at the festival.  (For those who are non-yarny out there, Rhinebeck is the city where the New York Sheep and Wool Festival is held yearly - it's the biggest festival of its kind in the country.  Every year, knitters, bloggers, vendors, sheep sellers, and quasi-knitting celebrities head there...)

Yarn details: darker brown skeins Shetland Silk Tweed "Dana" 2-ply laceweight from Swift River Farm, 95% organic Shetland wool, 5% bombyx silk; 
lighter brown skein Shetland Supreme 2-ply lace from Jamieson & Smith, 100% undyed Shetland wool, colorway "Moorit."
 
First up: this is tweedy looking wool, eh?  You know what's tweedy?  University professors are generally tweedy.  At least in New England.  I am happy to announce that I have finally achieved the status of All But Dissertation.  This means I have jumped through all the hoops they've set out for me - courses, exams, and a defense of my dissertation project - and all I've got left is the dissertation.  Like my fellow PhD program friend says, the "new car smell" lasts only for a little bit, and then you're stuck with the enormous burden of having to churn out a couple hundred pages of what you hope will be brilliant stuff.  But onwards and upwards!

Yarn details: "Nona" 2-ply laceweight from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, 50% merino, 25% cashmere, 25% bombyx silk, colowary "Adirondack."
 
I bought this silky skein thinking of the ocean.  I had just crossed the Atlantic twice, once on my way to and from England to see J, who's just started his lectureship.  His apartment is right on the English Channel, and we can see the moody waves from his windows!  They are just "sea peeps," as the realtor had described them, but they are peeps of the sea nonetheless!  It was a lovely week of knitting and . . .

Yarn details: "Atropos" 2-ply laceweight from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, 100% bombyx silk, colorway "Scarlett."
 
. . . love!  This silk yarn is a blood-red color, and its twisted skein reminds me of the human heart.  J and I got engaged this last week in England.  It's all a bit crazy and yet very matter-of-fact at the same time.  I knew this was coming, I had thought about it and felt good about it.  But our story is a bit crazier than usual.  

Indulge me in a bit of George Eliot.  When I think of my life in the last five years, I think of this quote from the end of Middlemarch (you have been warned: if you do not want to know the ending, stop reading here).  I am not a noble Dorothea, nor is D (or Molt, as he was fondly called in this blog many moons ago) Casaubon - no! not at all.  J, however, is actually a bit like young Will Ladislaw.  So I think of this quote:

"Sir James never ceased to regard Dorothea's second marriage as a mistake; and indeed this remained the tradition concerning it in Middlemarch, where she was spoken of to a younger generation as a fine girl who married a sickly clergyman, old enough to be her father, and in little more than a year after his death gave up her estate to marry his cousin - young enough to have been his son, with no property, and not well-born.  Those who had not seen anything of Dorothea usually observed that she could not have been 'a nice woman', else she would not have married either the one or the other.

Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful.  They were the mixed result of a young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion.  For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside of it.  A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is for ever gone.  But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know."

Yarn details: oatmeal colored ball is worsted baby alpaca/silk 70/30 from Times Remembered, colorway "Suede"; 
blue skein is "Rio" fingering from Times Remembered, 100% prime alpaca, colorway "Wedgewood."
 
Finally, and, yes, this one's a bit of a stretch in terms of yarn metaphors, but there are some fuzzy details and cloudy skies right now.  D and I are trying to sell our house.  We are almost there...but it has been a very trying process.  Difficult buyers and a prolonged negotiation process has really sapped the spirit out of me sometimes.  But hopefully this will all be over soon.

So!  That is why I have been silent for so long.  In the weeks from Oct. 1 until now I have 1) had my birthday, 2) defended my dissertation project and become ABD, 3) flown to England, 4) gotten engaged, 5) gone to Rhinebeck, and 6) advanced toward closing on the house.  Fingers crossed on that last item!

Now for more knitting, reading, writing, planning, and hoping.

2 comments:

Lucian said...

I think J is a very, very lucky guy.

Marianevans said...

I think so too ;)