My daughter and I have been into nursery rhymes lately. Her fledgling reading skills are blossoming (excuse the mixed metaphor) with texts that rhyme and have predictable patterns and rhythms.
So as we were reading Mother Goose the other night, I stumbled over this rhyme, one I'd heard as a child but never really thought about before.
Draw the latch,
Sit by the fire and spin,
Take a cup,
And drink it up,
And call the neighbors in.
This isn't a fun rhyme to teach counting or a silly rhyme to make children laugh--this is emotional instruction! Coping skills passed down as a poem!
If you are feeling grouchy or overwhelmed,
Take some time for yourself,
Be comfortable and do something with your hands,
Have a cup of tea (or something stronger?!)
Then, open the door to company.
Mother Goose's version is, of course, more catchy.
Most knitters will agree that knitting can get them into a flow state, the same one experienced by athletes, or anyone engaged in something absorbing and enjoyable. And repetitive activities are proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. (Dr Oz says to choose doing the dishes over watching TV to wind down!)
I love the idea of women generations ago recognizing that solitude + spinning + tea = Serenity Now!
OK, fellow Crosspatches, do you find that your knitting or other handwork helps you to recharge?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
There wasn't very much that was lovely about that apartment complex. It was old-ish and musty, surrounded by newer, jazzier gated complexes, with bad parking and scary laundry rooms and a pool continually closed by maintenance issues.
We chose it because it was the least expensive option while we lived on one income in this hot, hot, place so far from home. This place of cockroaches and strange poky grass and hibiscus and great food and bad pollution and oil and music and sprawl.
But the one thing I loved there were the live oaks.
I don't know what makes a live oak different from just a regular oak, but they are beautiful. Soaring, knobbly branches; tiny, lovely acorns; scratchy, weathered bark. They decorated our neighborhood and our courtyard, and during the three months I both lived and worked in that dingy little apartment because my boring unfulfilling office job ended abruptly, I would open the windows and listen to the breeze (when there was a breeze) blow through their lovely, gnarled branches, and dream of the Northwest.
No tree here--maybe because we have so many, an embarrassment of riches--makes me quite as happy.
So, when I saw Rosemary Hill's pattern for the "Live Oak Shawlette" in the latest issue of Knitscene, it just spoke to me.
This half-circle shawl flew on and then off my needles in a crazy-fast way--just a couple of days (and couple of long Tour de France stages) from cast-on to bind off.
It's pictured here about two-thirds bound off, as I caught the waning gray July-in-the-PNW light. Tonight it's going to take a bath and then get blocked to its more lovely, leafy, tweedy glory. I'm not even sure what its fate will be...like the adventure that took us so far from home and taught us so much in the land of live oaks, I'll let the universe guide me.
Posted by Dana at 9:17 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Do you like bright colors? Many many bright colors, in different patterns, the more the merrier? If so, you and Miss E would get along. She is a fan of all things bright, and at age nearly-five she can pull it off with aplomb.
Posted by Dana at 4:23 PM
Saturday, July 09, 2011
I do a lot of reading--so I've decided, inspired by my friend Laura, again, to begin posting, on occasion, reviews of what I read. I'll do fiction, knitting books, other publications--whatever's on my bedside table. Let me know what you think!
Posted by Dana at 5:03 PM