Sunday, October 5, 2003

Leaving the Life of Leisure

You all raise a good point - my working-for-free comments aren't limited to knitting, they can be found in almost any field. My apologies to any male reader I might offend with the next generalizations, but if you look back at history, society has not encouraged women to conquer the world of big business.

In the Victorian days, for example, it was considered extremely gauche for women to a) work or b) collect money for their efforts, if they did insist on doing something outside of the home. Not only was it in poor taste, but it reflected poorly on their husbands who were supposed to be keeping them fat, sassy, and happily embroidering away in their sitting rooms (not to mention dependent).

Obviously we've come a long, long way. But I still argue with my otherwise progressive brother who insists that there is no discrimination against women in the workplace. The solid stats about women's vs. men's pay (and my own personal experiences) doesn't sway him one bit. So we just have to pass the mashed potatoes and change the subject.

At times like these, I fall back into daydreams of cutting loose from the grid completely. Screw 'em all, I say. Getting solar cells and a wind generator, heating with wood, eating from my garden, and, perhaps most appealing of all, raising my own animals for fiber. What could be more satisfying than putting on a sweater whose fiber came from your very own animals?

Yesterday the field got its fall shearing, which always brings up my sheep envy. We have this large, beautiful sloping field just begging for animals. I know it's a heck of a lot of work, but hey... Why not?

The current vote is for Shetland sheep because of their small size, intelligent temperament, and cold-hardy frames. I'd also like two angora goats for their fiber and hilarious personalities. And for protection, why not a grumpy but lovable llama named Pedro?

I'm very excited to see the animals at Rhinebeck this year and continue to research the dream.
And now, it's time for some photos. First we have a shot of my latest project, a simple pullover turtleneck (knit in the round using a pattern that evolves as I knit) using Filatura di Crosa Antibe. The yarn was in the bargain basket at Grace Robinson in Freeport, and I was in a mood to acquire. So there you are.Filatura di Crosa Antibe turtleneck
My love affair with The Copper Moth continues. I seem to be on a semimonthly order schedule with them. This time we have a bag of Blue-Faced Leicester in Tea Rose (this is the second order - I spun up my first batch, which you see here - and had to get more) and a new batch in Sea Foam. Her colors are exquisite, and they're all from natural dye sources. The fiber spins up like a dream.yum yum yum
When the frost arrives on the pumpkins, the first thing I do is whip up a batch of my grandma's English Christmas Cake. A storm blew in late yesterday, so I closed up shop, came home, started a roaring fire, and made my first batch of cake for the season. It is chock full of currants and raisins and dried cherries and citron and nutmeg, among other things. Second to knitting, this cake is a failproof way of conjuring up my beloved grandma's spirit.this cake signals the arrival of fall
And of course, Mr. Casey had to plunk himself down in the middle of the kitchen floor to watch and distract. But that's ok. How could you get mad at a mug like this one?Why are you doing all this baking when you could be petting me instead?

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