This One’s for Ray

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Remembering Ray

Last night, in the wee hours, I finished spinning a tweedy yarn for my father. Thirty-six years ago, my father died. He was a textile guy. My earliest memories were of sitting in the old Studebaker parked on the far side of the bridge, looking down at the waterfall at Westerly Woolen. Every few weeks, he would leave the mill with a gift of a few yards of some wool they were weaving…something he thought was awesome. My mother designed our coats and sewed them from those woolens.

My most special birthday present ever was a pic glass – his old pic glass, a magical tool of folding brass. Of course, the present came with a hands-on tutorial. Along with thread counting, he showed me how to graft, how to reweave, and of course, how to knit. He was the master. No shaky hands on that man.

So, on the morning after Easter, on the anniversary of his death, I spun him a yarn. One I think he’d accept. I doubt that he’d love it for it’s technical perfection, but I know that he’d love that I spun it for him. I plied that yarn with some fine old string that I’d spun a long way back. Yeah, he’d dig it.

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