Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mice in the library

Jane Green, librarian and sock knitter par excellence (check out her Spirit Sisters website), brought these little guys to the library last week:

They are a wonderful Ysolda Teague pattern, "Mousie,"available through Ysolda's website or Ravelry.

And above are two of Jane's latest sock creations--an olive green tweed hiking sock, and elegant blue cabled socks with Jane's signature "fizz" at top.  The mice are about to leave for Louisville, KY, where Jane's heading for a week's visit with her daughter and grand-cat.  (Guess who's getting the mice?)

Why Socks?  An Existential Disquisition, Part 1

Recently I've come across more than a few manifestos, online and in knitting magazines, arguing in favor of knitted socks. The Langworthy Library Knitting Association, perhaps as a reflection of Jane's proclivities, cleaves to socks more than to anything else.  Denise tells me, "They're instant gratification." She favors them over more time-consuming projects, as do many other proponents, both in-library and outside.

I'm in the early stages of my sock-knitting career, and consider myself a convert to the beauty and general superiority of hand-knitted socks. They are warmer, lighter, and softer than any machine-made sock I've ever worn, including machine-made cashmere and angora. Plus, they're mine--original, unique, and custom-fitted!

Below a small gallery of hand-knitted socks made by the Langworthians:

Judy's socks

Denise's socks

Anne's socks

Socks I made for HC's birthday in November!
Here's a question:  Why do you or don't you knit socks?  (Responses will appear in a future post.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The historic Octagon house of Carolina Village, Richmond, Rhode Island, now shelters the Carolina Fiber and Fiction Center.

Inside,  Jan Doyle and  Richard Muto teach spinning, weaving, and knitting!

Jan Doyle and Master Weaver Certificate Candidate Anna Hallstrom.

Richard Muto's most entertaining yarn-spinning class meets on Saturday mornings.
Jan's amazing woven robes adorn the walls of Octagon House.

Jan and student working from the bottom up.
For more info see the CFFC's Facebook page, or contact Jan at

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A little bit of Persia in Woodville, Lower Falls

Imagine that you're surrendered to the Cranston Animal Shelter because someone didn't have the time or desire to care for you. You live there for what seems like forever, in a barred steel cage surrounded by other kitties in barred steel cages.  This is "The Cat Room." Everyone yowls. Or, everyone tries to sleep as much as possible so as to forget what's happening. People come in and out, and sometimes someone takes you from the cage and holds you. And then puts you back. Until Tuesday, October 5th. 

She came in and held you close to her. You rubbed your head against her face and against her hand. "I want this little one!" she said. (Because you are little, weighing less than five pounds!) She left the room but returned a short while later with a carrier, and before you knew it, you were outside the animal shelter, then in a car. The motor purred, just like you. You settled down and made yourself as small as possible. In your short life you've been taken many places, and this was just another place to go.

Then the car stopped and she took you into the house. She opened the carrier and picked you up, and ascended several flights of stairs. You could tell immediately there were other cats and something else--a very large cat that they call a Lola Dog--and then you were in a quiet room. There was delicious food and a bowl of water. There was a tidy litterbox. There was a very soft place to sit.

She told you your name is Molly, and you are in your forever home. She said, "I want to take your photo for the knitting blog, but we have to link this to knitting, even though it's really about how anyone who loves animals can ADOPT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND LOVING PET FROM AN ANIMAL SHELTER. You were already sitting on a hand-knitted blanket, but she surrounded you with several skeins of the softest cashmere yarn, which is very warm and made you feel even happier than you already were.

This lady who loves to knit wants her readers to know that all her adult life she has adopted beautiful, wonderful cats and the world's cutest and smartest and best Portuguese Water Dog from animal shelters and foster homes, never from breeders or pet stores. There are too many helpless creatures out there who need the love and attention that they deserve, but have never received. The animal shelters are full of them, sad to say.

Molly, the silver-cream Persian with aqua eyes, now lives with four other kitties--a Himalayan named Kramer, a really big Persian named Alfie, a tiny elderly Persian named Fiordiligi (she's 20 years old!), a tuxedo kitty named Rufus--and Lola the Wonder Dog. They are all very happy, and Molly is pretty sure she's going to be happy, too, though it might take a little while before she feels really safe and secure. Her new person wants every reader of this blog to know: If you have the ways and the means, please check out Molly and her new family and all her furry friends at animal shelters everywhere will thank you dearly.

"I am trying to make sense of it all."