27 April 2009


I couldn't spell as a kid, in fact, with all these hi-tech gadgets on my computer, I'm not sure I'm that great of a speller now. For the last ten years word processing programs have given a person a head's up by an alarming red squiggle four letters into a misspelled word that something is off. (You made an error, back up quick.) So my fingers dash across the keyboard correcting and tweaking words before I even register or think I spelled something wrong. 

The fluidity of these programs, the ease with which entire templates are upgraded and switched around, allows for a lot of wiggle room. A word isn't spelled wrong until it's in black and white, sent off in an email, or printed up on some professor or editor's desk. (And then beware, you idiot, after you had so many chances to spell it right!)

So, notorious speller that I am, imagine my surprise and chagrin, that some former middle school teachers of mine would think that I'm a fit character to mediate a junior high spelling bee. My last spelling bee appearance was in the sixth grade where I spelled the word 'friend' wrong, thank you very much, and that was the end of me. I will forever be haunted by the rule i before e, except after c.

Spelling bees afford the opportunity for great notoriety amongst your peers. Either you choke on a word like bankruptcy, or soar right on through, past words like wreckage, battalion, or dromedary. (Dromedary, defined for the curious, is a camel of unusual speed, bred and trained especially for riding.) 

Knowing that would have thrilled me as a kid, if only I could have gotten that far. If only I knew then, what I know now. Oh well, my spelling bee doldrums made me the extra-particular reader that I am today: enthralled with words of mysterious origins. 

I will never forget one of my favorite scenes in one of my most beloved movies: Anne of Green Gables. When Anne shows everyone up in a spelling bee by spelling the word chrysanthemum correctly. Classic!

Image info: I couldn't resist the maple blossoms in the top photo. Nature's first hue is coral around here. The next two images are of some hand painted and hand spun CVM romeldale fiber. 

The finished single ply I'm calling far far away. I got the pale turquoise color by submerging the fiber in the left-over dregs of the dye bath from the finished fiber beneath the skeins of yarn in the bottom image. It's amazing what subtle hues you can get from the leftovers. 

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