This is a report from the Panopticon Mobile Unit, on assignment in Indiana. I arrived safely after a mostly uneventful bus ride. I say "mostly" because at one point I set aside the Tomten Jacket and took a snooze, then woke up to find my ball of Cascade 220 had jumped off the seat and rolled to the front of the bus. And then to the back of the bus. And then to the front of the bus. And then to the back of the bus. Etcetera, until it was no longer a ball.
The lady across the aisle saw my startled look upon awakening and said, "You dropped your string."
Oh, thanks. Thanks very much.
In comments to the last post, reader Knit Wit took exception to my apparent comparison of the fine city of Indianapolis to a cornfield. I can well understand, and must clarify. Although I took the bus to Indy, it was not my ultimate destination. My parents live on the far outskirts of Kokomo, a city barely large enough to have skirts at all. This is the view from their front porch.
The views to the rear, right and left are similar. When I said I'd be reporting from the fields, I wasn't being cute. I meant I'd be reporting from the fields. Mind you, the farmer went and rotated the crops on me so instead of corn fields they're bean fields. I swear there was corn there last year.
I've done a bit of knitting since I arrived but not much, as there's a great deal of work around the house to help with. In return, my father has promised before I leave to photograph the steps in working Garter Stitch Jacquard. His help is vital, since of course one can do many things while one is knitting but shooting photos of my own hands at work is beyond my present capabilities.
This is not to say there has been no time for fiber-related excitement. Au contraire. On the first night I was here, the neighbors dropped by as they often do of an evening in Mayberry, and said they'd be bringing by an "old piece of junk" from the garage for me to look at.
This is what showed up the next morning.
I almost passed out. On closer inspection, I was fairly stunned. The entire flyer mechanism, including an original bobbin, was intact. Dirty and beat up, but intact.
In fact, aside from the distaff and a few pegs the only thing missing was the footman. The wheel is out of true and has a clumsy repair to the rim, but the spokes and joins are still tight.
Several hours, much love and a bottle of lemon oil later, here's what they have.
Since I took this picture, the owner has made up a beautiful new footman out of oak. I've attached it and the wheel runs perfectly. They'll be getting it back along with instructions for future preservation, and a warning that if it ever sees the inside of the garage again I will make a citizen's arrest and place the wheel in foster care.
Someday perhaps there will be courses in proper wheel parenting in the schools. Until then, we can but be vigilant and save those that chance to come our way.