Fiction Friday: The Barn

The girl lies on the hay bales in the darkness of the barn, her hair in braids, staring up.

It is hot but there is a slight warm breeze that enters through from the open door.  Day light streams through the gaps between the boards in bright beams filled with dust.  Bright pinpoints highlight the holes in the roof.  Two tiny orange kittens purr contentedly next to her.  She breathes in, smelling the hay, and the chickens below.  The barn creaks gently in the wind.

She remembers the first time she saw the barn.  When her parents brought her to see the new house.  The barn was unused and empty, with a stale smell.  It contained only a few piles of old, musty hay.  There were holes in the floor and old ropes hung from the beams where, in the past, perhaps children had played.  Now grown up and gone.  The air of abandonment and disrepair made her sad.  It still does sometimes.  She thinks of the worn floor boards and wishes she could learn their secrets.  What stories could they tell of the past?

The building has a new story now, with her family, her sisters and brothers, the dog.   A new family, fresh from the city, making a go of it on the farm.  She knows that she and her brothers will grow up and eventually move away.  But they will return with their children to visit the family farm.  And their children will lie on the hay with a barn cat or two, stare up at the pinpoints of light coming through the roof, and wonder about the secrets the building holds.

Faintly she hears her name being called  from the house and sits up, carefully placing the kittens back on the hay.

Knitting at a Snail’s Pace

It’s summer time and my knitting has slowed to a snail’s pace.  It’s either to hot to knit, or there are too many mosquitoes, or it is raining.  I’m tired.  I’m busy.  I’m bored.  I’m really not sure what the problem is but I just can’t seem to pick up the needles as often these days!  Well, I do know one problem that has affected my knitting since the week-end.  Our lovely rescue dog, Olive, loves to lean against me on the couch or lie across my feet while I knit.  But, around midnight on Saturday, she had an up close and personal encounter with a skunk!  I’m sure she deserved to be sprayed – she does love to chase small animals.  But, my word, what a smell.  I have never in my life smelled anything that bad.  Despite many baths, she still has a slight skunk odour and I’m afraid of the smell getting into my knitting!  Another bath or two may set this straight (I hope!).I thought I’d share my WIPs with you and give myself a little reminder of what I have on the go, where the projects stand and maybe get some inspiration.  Accountability works wonders sometimes!  And, who knows, maybe I am making more progress than I think I am (maybe).

WIP #1:  Guild summer challenge Pi shawlStatus:  ❤️  I love this shawl and this challenge and the colours of the yarn.  The hurdle with this is that I am using a book of stitch patterns that is heavy, sticky in hot weather, and awkward to handle.  Maybe you should just photocopy it, you say?  I really should!  

WIP #2:  Find Your Fade ShawlStatus:  ❤️  I am plugging slowly away at this stash buster shawl.  I had a slow down to due an inability (lack of desire) to wind a skein of yarn but I overcame that and have started to do the colour melting into the blue based half of the shawl. I feel like this is one of those projects that will feel like it takes forever and then, suddenly, is finished.  At least, I will remain eternally hopeful.  

WIP #3:  Envelope Status:  ❤️. This project has stalled.  Seriously stalled.  I think partially because of the warm weather, which doesn’t lend itself to holding a large wool project in my lap.  And partly through boredom.  But, that does make this a great social knitting project.  Note to self:  Need to plan a few evening get togethers with knitting friends to make some progress!  I think I am about 2/3 done with the first of two pieces.  And, it is good news, I think, that it is too big to photograph properly!

WIP #4:  Callum TeeStatus:  🤔 I recently got some traction on this project and I think once I do the front and join in the round it will make for some great car, social knitting.  This is my Dr. Who binge watching knitting – I may have to rename my project the TARDIS tee.  The cotton linen blend is perfect for summer knitting!

WIP #5:  Plarn BagStatus:  ❤️  Working with plastic bags does not go well with hot and sticky weather.  I am completely okay with saving this project for cool evenings and air conditioning – or even fall, if need be.  It will no longer inspire guilt when I catch it peering at me out of the  WIP basket.

So there you have it!  My WIP roll call is complete and I am newly inspired and off to knit!

Does anyone else find that their knitting slows down in the summer?  


Fiction Friday:  Once

The woman was weathered with deep wrinkles and light silver grey hair.  A tiny grey and wrinkled dragon was curled up in her lap.  She put her hand on the girl’s, closed her eyes and said, “Do you really want to hear the story?” The girl nodded, eyes wide with anticipation.

“All right, but let me warn you, it is not a Nice story.”  The old woman paused.  The girl nodded with encouragement.  This was it.  This was The Story.  This was her birthright.  It was time.

“Once.  Once there was.”  The old woman sighed and rubbed her eyes.

“Once upon a time?  Yes, that’s better.  Now we shall begin.”

“Once upon a time there was a little girl with bright eyes, wild hair and bare feet.  The girl lived in a thatched cottage on the edge of the Estate.  She lived with her mother, her father, her grandmother, her grandfather, her seven older brothers, and a big orange cat.  They were poor and every day was a struggle, but they worked hard, and were able to get by. Every night they sang together before bed.  Life was good.  The girl was happy but always felt like she was simply waiting for her life to begin.”  The old woman smiled as she remembered the happy days of the earliest part of her life.

“One day the girl walked through the field of the Estate.  She skipped.  She twirled.  She laughed.  She felt pure joy and a sense of anticipation.  She stared up at the sky marveling at the beauty of the world.   Then, she tripped.   She looked and there was a  perfect, shiny, metallic black egg.  It was warm and hummed softly.”

“A voice spoke in her head, ‘Finally.  It is you.  You are here.  I have been waiting for you for so long.'”  The small grey dragon purred and snuggled in closer to the old woman who looked down at it fondly.