29 April 2007

caffeine and yarn

*little dance*

I am in Knittymama's Coffee Swap II. So excited! My partner in the swap, during the pursuit of knitting while drinking coffee, lives in the UK! How fun is that?

My answers to the coffee swap questions:

  1. Whole bean or ground? Whole bean. I have a fully-equipped coffee corner in the kitchen which makes this possible.
  2. Fully loaded or decaf? Are you kidding? Fully loaded of course (otherwise what's the point?). Caffeine is my "drug of choice".
  3. Regular or flavored? Regular. Why change a thing?
  4. How do you drink your coffee? Hot and straight up (black), with a curl of the lip if you try to move my mug before the first cup is done. My coffee and I have a morning thing.
  5. Favorite coffee ever? One year a student in my classroom brought back from his family vacation in Guatemala a one pound bag of locally grown coffee--it was rich with a bit of a nutty aftertaste. I coveted it and yet, being only a pound, was gone all too quickly.
  6. Are you fussy about your coffee? (Fussy? See number 4.) I don't like bitter coffee or the super dark roasted.
  7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Homemade banana bread (with walnuts, of course) smeared with cream cheese. Oh, I can taste it already. Fresh bread just out of the oven with melted fresh butter on top and sometimes a dab of honey. If you are going to go "bad", go with style.
  8. Anything else about your coffee preference? Hum...can't think of anything.
  9. Yarn/fiber you love? Wool, cashmere, silk, qiviut, angora, alpaca...well, all the wonderful natural fibers.
  10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Hate is such a strong word, but it quite fits here: acrylics, man-made-oil-synthetic-based products.
  11. What's on your needles? Lopi pullover with wool and silk, wristlets with alpaca, wool, and cashmere, several socks with superwash wool, fair isle hat with wool and cashmere, scarf with cashmerino (this is in the classroom).
  12. Favorite colors? Blues, greens, browns, dark purples, dark reds. No pastels, no pinks, no bright oranges.
  13. Allergies? No, only to things that bloom *sigh* (my garden, my lemon trees, etc.) but it doesn't stop me.
  14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? In the order of chocolate (just in case you want to know), no dark chocolate. As far as knitting, I carry my knitting in baskets--oh, I use canvas bags, but they are inside the baskets. Absolutely love knitting with rosewood and birch needles. Bamboo are ok but manufacturer's quality is not consistent. I support fair trade and women's cooperatives for products when possible.

22 April 2007

the beginning...a very good place to start

Today, Earth Day, I choose to begin my blog.

Watching the sun dance between the leaves of the wisteria this afternoon, listening to the mourning doves call their mates, smelling the freshness of the air following the rain, reminded me how fabulous our planet is, how delicate she is.

In starting this blog, I hope to add to the web of energy and life that binds us. This blog is, as the address says, a "woolgathering of yarn". Woolgathering: (noun) preoccupation, musing, reverie, wandering. Yarn: (noun) 1. tale, story, anecdote, narrative, reminiscence. 2. a long continuous length of interlocked fibers, for use in the production of (for me) knitting and weaving.

I do, as my family will attest, have a tendency to weave and wander in my stories, many times making them longer and more detailed than necessary (now at this point, those who know me well will be stopping to nod heads, roll eyes, and chuckle, maybe even scroll down the page to see how far this is going). I see an interconnectedness with all stories and life; I see the details as important.

With twists and loops, knitting creates a story using nature (wool, alpaca, mohair, silk, and qiviut **drool** --these are a few of my favorite things). The knitter lovingly touches, smells, and rubs against a cheek or between fingers, many hanks and skeins of yarn, looking for the right match of tactile sensation and color for a project. It's the foundation of the reverie of the project, the detail the needles will carry through for the coming hours, days, weeks (we won't mention those poor UFOs put on the dusty shelf in the far corner of the closet for months, abandoned, the storyline stopped, incomplete). All stewards of story have limits. The projects tell a story of love, of commitment, of strength, of travel.

The exceptional teacher takes the learning of reading and writing, of mathematics, of history, of science, and brings each to life for the child through experiential learning (experience and observation), not through drills. Learning through story, knowledge through building.

The title? Libellula -- "little book". It is the scientific name of the genus known as the dragonfly, conceived because the wings at rest remain partly open, resembling the leaves of a book-let. Blogs are a window, opened briefly, onto a piece of a person's inner-self.

I'll end my ramblings with a thought for the day, this Earth Day.

"In the end,
we will conserve only what we love,
we will love only what we understand,
we will understand only what we are taught."
--Baba Dioum