Making Magic

I wrote 150 posts in 2014 and this is one of my very favorites. As we head into a new year, I re-post it to remind myself, and you, that we
make magic with our hands. I hope that 2015 is the most magical year yet for you!

Love Those "Hands at Home"

Rumpelstiltskin Andrew Lang’s The Blue Fairy Book, ca. 1889

Can you spin straw into gold?

What? You say that’s ridiculous, it only happens in fairy tales? And with the help of creepy little elves?

I beg to differ.

We probably all know the story of Rumpelstiltskin. The young woman in the story is tasked with the seemingly impossible, the magical—she is told to spin straw into gold. But that doesn’t happen in real life.

And yet this morning, as I took plain, pale ingredients and cooked them into the molten gold of caramel, it occurred to me that spinning straw into gold is a metaphor for the creating we do with our hands at home.

When the spinner takes flax (really, isn’t that basically straw?) and, in her hands, it becomes finest linen, that’s magic being made.

When the weaver or knitter takes string and manipulates it into rich tweed or…

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26 thoughts on “Making Magic

  1. Have a very happy and healthy New Year, I am So glad your cousin Jill introduced me to you. I am inspired to get the loom warped, the spinning wheel spinning and finish the quilts and knitting projects in the works and in the mind. Creating is like breathing – very necessary.

    • This is so cool–thank you for letting me know you’re reading and that Jill pointed you here! Your project lists sounds a lot like mine–and, right now, with the new year, I’m full of energy to get lots done!

  2. I loved this post! I so enjoy the way you write, the way you think and these little glimpses into who you are. I am happy to have found you this past year,

    Happy New Year Kerry and may all your warping and wefting and stirring and mixing and ironing and folding release for you all the magic found in each activity, each moment . xo

    • That’s about the nicest wish I’ve ever been wished, Pauline–what a way you have with words! I’m happy to have gotten to know you and Orlando and Siddy this year–looking forward to all your exploits in 2015, too!

    • That’s very nice of you to say but I don’t love all of them! Sometimes I feel like I’m just posting to post. But sometimes an idea gets in my head and the post almost seems to write itself. Those usually are the ones I really like. I felt the same way about the recent one of it being time to change partners. Don’t you have favorites among those you’ve written?

      • Some posts do come much more easily than others but I can’t, off the top of my head, think of ones that I really love more than others. My most viewed post is still the one I wrote in 2013 about custard. That fact amuses me greatly. Your changing partners post is wonderful.

      • Oh, my most viewed post, by far, is one I wrote about a hot dog sauce popular where I live! Not my favorite at all! Thanks for being such a dependable and supportive friend this year, Gallivanta!

  3. Thanks so much for re-posting this. I can’t quite have started following your posts when you first wrote this, and it really is a triumphant hymn to creativity. A very successful 2015 to you and all your projects!

  4. You didn’t mention the magic of writing – taking the ephemeral moment – a feeling, an experience – and turning it into something that can be shared with others. This is even more magical than spinning straw into gold – it’s building castles in the air!

    • Wow–what a great comment! It’s so true that our use of language, written and oral, contains powerful magic, for good and ill. My academic career was in the area of rhetoric and public address so I spent years focusing attention on just such power!

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