Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge (very belated)

We’ve had a slow couple of weeks around here, blog-wise: Eoin and I have both had colds, which means a lot of my spare time has been spent catching up on sleep. On the odd evening, I have got as far as stumbling to the kettle to make myself a medicinal hot toddy, then crawling back onto the sofa to watch bad television from underneath the patchwork quilt. I’ve also been having some counselling for the ongoing PND, which means I often feel a bit teary or exhausted, and, really, the last thing people want to read here is a big ranty, venty post along the “woe is me” lines. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I’ve been feeling rather guilty about missing out on the photo challenges, though, especially as I had had a good idea for the “merge” topic. I was planning to do something spinning-related: the various shades of a splodgy, particoloured batt merging into a harmonious singles yarn, perhaps with a little digression to explain the story of how I came by the fibre in the first place. Unfortunately, I neglected to consider a few factors. Firstly, I am rubbish at blending fibre: my handspun yarns so far have been barber-poley in the extreme, and there really is no rhyme or reason to the way I shove the roving towards the wheel. It gets spun pretty much in the order in which I pull chunks of it off the batt or braid in question, and it’s really neither an artistic nor a thought-out process. Secondly, how hard would it be to photograph yourself spinning? I mean, I have a tripod, but I’m not remotely sure how I’d go about composing a shot like that. Also, I don’t have a cable release so it would be self-timer all the way, which, in practice, means I would inevitably move at the wrong point in every exposure and the whole thing would end up as a blurry failure. Lastly, and perhaps most crucially, the same things which kept me from blogging (illness, malaise, general uselessness) also kept me from dragging the spinning wheel out from her new home in the sewing room and actually sitting down to do some spinning, which was really the whole point of the exercise.

What we did manage to do though, in the brief period before the colds struck, was to visit Cardiff Castle. In a blissful 15 minutes of solitude, I climbed up several vertiginous flights of stairs to the top of the keep, and was rewarded with this view of the merging of the old and new sides of the city:

Behind the Castle clock-tower, and the nineteenth-century arcades of St Mary’s Street, the Millennium Stadium pushes its way into the city skyline, conspicuously modern. The curious thing is that it really doesn’t look out of place. To my mind, it’s a lovely example of something new merging into an older, more established environment.

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5 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge (very belated)

  1. I know I haven’t posted any replies for a while and this is to let you know that I am nonetheless still an avid reader of yours. My knitting is going very well, I have done not only socks, but a mitten, two hats and the odd shawl and scarf. Not long before my first pullover.
    I am taking part in the German Raveler’s Meeting and helping out as a volunteer. When we had an organisational meeting, I saw some handspinning in action and all the utensils that go along, such as a thing that combes the wool. I even learnt a new word (which in German, my mother tongue, happens rarely these days): the verb “haspeln” and the corresponding noun “Haspel”. According to my online dictionary the English expressions are uncoiler, swift, slat roller or reel. Which do you normally use?

  2. Ah, that sounds like a swift to me: did it look like this, or indeed this? They’re very useful: I have one and I love it. Eoin is also fascinated by it! Glad to hear the knitting is going on well 🙂

    • There might have been an umbrella swift around but the one I focussed on in my beginner’s big-eyed marveling because I could understand it at a glace was a “Kreuzhaspel” for which my online dictionary gives me “open reels with cross piece” as a translation. It looked light the most basic one of the coiling tools.

      • Ah! Was it one of these ? In English, that’s called a Niddy-Noddy (strange name, I know): you use it for winding skeins of yarn, usually if you have just finished spinning or plying the yarn itself. They come in different sizes, so you can work out how long your yarn is by multiplying the length of yarn needed to wrap the whole way around the niddy-noddy by the number of wraps you have (though this might be a bit of a pain if you’ve spun lace-weight yarn!).

      • Indeed it was a noddy-noddy! Lovely word. We used it to rewind balls of yarn into skeins to make them look nicer for the yarn pool (that was what the lady in charge explained to us).

        My new aquaintance Yvonne was all excited to have the opportunity tu buy her first hand mandrel (spindle?) – anyway, one of these: http://www.wolle-traub.de/Handspindeln/Ashford%20Spindeln/212/Page.html . The lady who organises the Raveler’s Meeting does spinning and sells the raw wool, too. This is her website and blog, by the way:
        http://chantimanou.de/

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