Suddenly I remember how fond I am of steel wool. It embodies such wonderful alchemy. With it the common understanding of steel is betrayed; replacing notions of masculine, hard, cold, and resistant with the feminine- soft, insular, and something altogether more vulnerable. Then in the careful wrapping of saplings for Steel Trees, the wool takes on the spun texture of worsted yarn. The small idiosyncratic details read as burls, a word which delightfully references both tree and yarn.
1. a large rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree
2. soft lump or unevenness in a yarn; either an imperfection or created by design [syn: slub]