The Tale of the Warping Klutz

Sorry if you have tried to read this without the first page that won’t load. I tried to replace the original with a larger font. Some folks could not see the first one. This program has changed so much since I used it last. Here goes another try.

And I thought warping was frustrating.

“For Power and for Profit”

President Biden used those words yesterday to describe the root of the division in our precious Democracy. Both power and profit can be good things, but they can also be destructive. It all depends on what someone is willing to do to get them.

Reading about the attitude of white superiority and how this idea has been used in our history, I am constantly made aware of how lies have been used throughout history to manipulate people. My copy of Ibram X Kendi‘s book on the development of racist ideas has GREED written in the margins of many pages.  I have begun to think that greed is man’s greatest sin. 

Sadly, many Americans are more focused on what they don’t have today, rather than on what they do have. Negative thoughts like this create discontent, fear,  and, ultimately, anger. Who is the to blame for this? It can’t be Me. Obviously it must be the Other, someone different from Me.Then along comes the charming, successful Person who tells Me this is true.

The Person is so convincing in casting the Other as an ignorant interloper keeping Me’s life low and hard. This Person convinces all of them that a Me is more important, more desirable than any inferior Other.  Here’s a story about how believing this message can go wrong.

In the early 1600s, Captain John Smith, who led the founding of Jamestown, told American settlers he led that Black people were “as idle and as devilish as any in the world.“1 

How did he know this? — He had heard someone say this when he visited England.

Smith had not witnessed this behavior himself; he had not read about it in a science book. He had merely heard someone say it. Because this charming, powerful man spread this idea throughout the colony. American settlers believed him, were guided by it. and expected it to be true.  It also justified enslaving the Africans who were incapable of survivaj without Me help. 

On Hearsay. On a Lie.

This is how the “Black Africans are lazy“ myth was created.1

The only way you and I can know if we are being told the truth or bad information is by the evidence that supports it. If there is no factual, verifiable evidence of support, it is an opinion.. Feelings in your gut. — everyone says —  it’s God’s will — none of these are verifiable facts. If an unsupported opinion makes us feel better, we take it to heart and share it with friends and family. It spreads.

America was divided in the 1600s and it is more so today.  Don’t be fooled by ambitious voices of wealth or fame. Those people have their own agendas and those agendas don’t include you.  Look for the truth yourself—in politics, in ministry, in what other folks say.  You’ll only find truth in the facts. 

Get in the habit not believing everything you hear until you check it out.

1.  Kendi, Ibram X., Stamped from the Beginning, Bold Type Books, @2016, pp.36–37.

More later—


May 15, 2022.

In 2021, the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Country continued their project of selecting and freely distributing books about a theme for all ages if readers. Many activities were planned from making art to discussion groups in libraries across the county. I participated for the first time. Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy was our book for 2020. It had a profound effect.

Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, lives and works now. He has been defending African-Americans who were In the South where I lived; I knew, but never understood, racism among my fellow “white” neighbors. Neither did I know about the terrorism that existed in the last quarter of the 20th century, lasting until today.

Slavery might have ended, but Black people have never been free.

How could I not be aware of what was happening to African-Americans in the 1960s?

I was smart and concerned about fairness and justice. My Junior term paper was about Adolph Eichman and the gas chambers of WWII. I read the Atlanta Journal every day.

When I entered Emory University in Atlanta in 1963, I finally was in an integrated class. (Barely. Fewer than 10 BIack students). I had professors visiting from Morehouse and Spellman (Atlanta University, an historically Black University.) They were very good teachers and very smart people, just like the professors at Emory.

I knew about and did a sit-in at Lester Maddox’s restaurant. I also saw the video of Selma. How did I not know that Black men in the small town South were put in jail and sent to prison with no lawyer, no trial. Sheriffs just drove them to the prison. No evidence, no justice, no press, just breathing while Black.

Why had I not heard of this, and just as important, what would I have done if I had?

Please read Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy. It is easy reading of stories of African Americas who were denied justice and illegally imprisoned whom Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative.

I am certain you can find it at your local library. My library has an ebook version. Try a used book store. Order from Amazon.

If you are a student, try your school library if it hasn’t been banned.

It isn’t just opinion or history; it’s what racism is today.

Find out for yourself.

More later—

Here’s what I learned . . .

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Poem by Martin NIEMÖLLER, a German citizen and Lutheran Pastor, following World War II

As I was planning posts about the study of Black History I started in February, it seems they came for me.

The Supreme Court of the United States is ready to suppress me again and take away my most basic human right. Even though I will have no need of an abortion, nor will my daughters, we are beyond irate,angry, pissed off. We know that this is just the beginning of lost civil rights.

My greatest anger is the lie that these conservatives are “Pro-Life.” Ask the next one you encounter how many of these children he has adopted. None of the ones in Congress seem to be “Pro-Child.”

As usual, the lust for money and power motivates the vote.

Christmas 2021 . . .

So . . . Steve would not bring our Christmas tree from the attic for me. (It is very heavy.)

. . . not even just the ornaments. In reprisal, I made my own.

Unfortunately he loved it. Yarn, fiber top, and all.

Next year I will hire Evan to retrieve them and will store them in the garage.

On the 24th I think he felt a bit bad about it because he went to a vacant lot and cut some berry branches. I added some of our ivy and made a centerpiece for our Christmas dinner.

He also changed the menu from turkey roll ups to steak.

Such a good man.


This morning we opened our gifts. Steve knew about the router

and the drill press

I bought him, but I totally surprised him with this:

A watch made of mahogany and other woods.

He used his considerable artistic skills to make these for me:

A custom tray to fit my bathtub with a device to hold my iPad in portrait and landscape mode,

and a new T-shirt with a special coded message.

A reward the family member who can guess what it says. 😊

Guess who knit a scarf . . .

I quit knitting years ago. I was just burned out. I spent those “not knitting years” spinning yarns I liked with no plans to use them. I bought a small loom to weave a few scarves.

Then last week I found some inexpensive yarn in colors I liked-100% cotton, soft blues and greens. I had planned to weave this into some kitchen towels, but fate had other plans.

The label suggested a size 4 circular needle. One was still hanging on my Ottlite all by itself. Before I could dismiss the thought of knitting something, I knit a sample for gauge and planned a scarf made of my favorite stitches.

I loved the process.
Didn’t think I’d ever feel that again.
I hope it isn’t a one-off thing.
I still have a lot of yarn.

Smartest decision I’ve made in years

Can you say “inconsistent”?

I have been spinning yarn for many years. I am self-taught and had become a mediocre spinner. Then I joined a group and met Sasha Torres. She changed my spinning life.

Instagram site

Sasha is an indie dyer with a podcast and the most well-prepared fiber I have ever spun. She is also one of the best teachers of spinning techniques. She’s also a fabulous cheerleader for all of us who want to spin better yarn.

Start here.


Each episode of The Sheepspot Podcast provides a short, actionable lesson that you can use to make better yarn right away.

Then she created her free network of spinners who are a wealth of spinning ideas. She often teaches free workshops to these members. And then she moved her group site to Mighty Networks (there is an app.)

I joined a Breed Study class for a year of exploring yarn I had never spun before. First we learned “how to” techniques and then monthly we received new fiber plus access to lessons about how to spin and use it: Cheviot, Southdown, Black Welsh Mountain, Herdwick, Teeswater and more.

Today I am a much better spinner and a fiber explorer. I am over the fear of using my handspun for projects and gifts. My latest exploration is cotton which is easier than I thought it would be. Take a look.

First attempt to spin cotton sliver on my Joy wheel.
Second effort on a tiny Turkish spindle.
Finally my takli arrive and I am learning to use it. If anyone has a hint for using the hook, please share it. I am having trouble setting the yarn in the hook and keeping it there.

Don’t miss this. It’s free and fun.

More later….

Carolina Fiber Frolic 2019–Spring

Mid-March in Sapphire Valley, NC is sunny and not too cold.  It is also beautiful.  Thanks to Jan Smiley, there is yarn and fiber, knitting and crochet, classes and great food, and a diverse display of spinning wheels.  It was extra special because there were so many Charlotte friends there.

Kate Larson was one  of the instructors and she is such a good teacher.  I took two classes from her: Spinning Solid Singles and Spinning Cabled Yarn where we spun cashmere, silk, yak.  I learned so much.

CFF 2019–Fall will be in Nov. (8-10).  This is a true retreat.  Hang around the community center and learn from each other is the format, but laughter and joy is what really happens.  For people who work, this is the ultimate in escape and rest.

Here are a few photos:

Copper Corgie

Copper Corgi braids for spinning. Lots of Targhee wool in mostly Autumn colorways. I bought two.


Another view of Sarah’s dyeing and some undyed CVM.


CVM–I had only read about this fiber. It was so soft. This is its natural color.


These are the special colorway for this retreat. Copper Corgi in various weights. Why didn’t I buy some of the blue and lt. yellow?


Another vendor had some awesome sock yarn that she dyed so it would knit up in a stripe pattern. So clever.


Mohair. Enough said.


Nurse Ann was there in several of her handspun, handknit sweaters. She gives lots of hugs.  No wonder her young students love her.  Got to meet her lovely daughter as well.


Renate called me out for not staying in touch since I moved to GA. She made me feel so good.   Behind her is the rug hooking vendor who had beautiful kits.

I had a wonderful time.  I won 8 oz. of teal mohair boucle in the lunch door prize givaway.  Later I won a book, Knitting in Color.  I love color.

Must mention the food.  Jan’s husband Tom cooks it and it was marvelous.  We had corned beef and sauerkraut (Reuben sandwiches) in honor of St. Patrick’s day.  Ann’s daughter Caitlin served.  She’s a cutie.

Well, I hope I’ve tempted you to join us.  Making new fiber friends is always fun and rewarding.  Everything was wonderful, especially seeing my Charlotte friends.

More later–

Hand spinning Fractal Yarn

I wanted to try fractal yarn.  Why? I don’t know; I only like solids so I can color block. I didn’t expect I would like the final product so I used some Mystery Yarn. Heaven only knows when and where I acquired it–clearly a sample pack–but it had 8 colors, so it qualified for my task.

First I separated the hunks into two equal-ish piece. So far so good.  I weighed them to make sure and planned to use 3-5 grams of each color.

Then I laid them out in the order I wanted.  (These are not the colors I would have chosen, but beggars can’t be . . . .

Next I placed the second set of fibers in the reverse order of colors.  This seems simple, but I majored in stupid mistakes.  I’m also ADD.  So–I photographed them for future reference and double checked as I added a new color.

Normally I would have just jumped in and started spinning. However, I went to Jan Smiley’s Carolina Fiber Fling recently and took two classes from Martha Owens, Spinning Icon.  No more willy nilly,  seat of the pants spinning for me. I been educated.

I prepared the first color and spun a sample to decide how I wanted the yarn to look.

Fractal spin info card

I taped the sample to a card. Forgot to list the whorl.  Ratio?  What’s that?  Note I sprayed the yarn with baby oil before prepping it.  It was a bit sticky and wouldn’t draft well.

Some of the pieces were top and some were roving.  I like woolen yarn so I carded some of the tops.  Actually I carded all of them to get more air into the yarn. (More air = more warmth)

I used 29 grams of fiber and after plying I had 73.5 yards of OMG beautiful yarn.


Just out out of the degreasing wash.


Dried on a stair post in the back yarn.

Totally surprised that I love it. Needs to become a cowl.

More later–

Using all those vacation photos

Returned from Arizona-Utah trip with 607 pictures of rocks and about 30 pics of people.  The new iPad camera is fabulous.  It’s hard to take a bad picture, but I managed to do so–deleted about half the rock pictures.  Selecting which of the other to keep had more to do with art-making than with geology.  Here are a few that I really like.


The Three Gossips

This last one is of a formation named “The Three Gossips.”  The photo isn’t great.  Too far away and too much zoom.  But it is enough to help me create my version.

Three Gossips in process

It’s not quite finished and it’s not perfect, but I’ve enjoyed working on it.  I just wish I had used the better paper.  Maybe I’ll do it again on the Arches block.