• Brave

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    This is Meg.

    Meg is the kind of person who knits when we get together and knit (I’m sure you all have friend who don’t, and then seem irritated with you when you are knitting and not looking at them when they’re talking?) Meg has that sort of cute face that when she smiles or laughs, you can’t really see her eyes, which is the only time she stops knitting during said get-togethers (a good idea) well, unless she’s drinking tea.

    This is Meg’s book that she bought at Rhinebeck (Meg would be ashamed to tell you that she bought NO YARN at Rhinebeck. Not one skein. I think she was a bit sick. Maybe it’s from being brave….)

    You see, inside the book is a signature.

    That’s right. Meg walked right up to the table that Stephanie was sitting at… and got her to sign the book. The dedication even includes Meg’s full name, ‘Meghan’, which means that she was able to use her mouth, lips and tongue to articulate words while standing in the presence of the Yarn Harlot.

    I was at SOAR with Stephanie and all I got was a blurry photo of her from 500 metres away. I went into Lettuce Knits a couple of months latter and got sweaty just imagining that Stephanie might be there. I’m not brave. But Meg is, which is good, because we’re doing this for our New Year’s adventure, so someone needs to be!

  • How (not) to store your felting needles

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    Not like this.

    No. Because this could happen.

    And then you have to do this

    To find this (because goddess forbid you have to explain how that thing got stuck in their child’s body)

    Nope. We store our needles here.

    Separate from our balls. *snicker.

  • A Salish Loom

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    Let me tell you a little story about my Salish Loom.

    Not so long ago, in vancouver I lived in a housing co-operative where I met a woman named Cheryl. As it turns out, Cheryl once did a lot of the things that I do now. She spun her own yarn with a gigantic treadle spinner, she wove, she was into alternative education for children, art, photography and other hippy stuff. Then she got older, and divorced her partner, her kids moved out and now she lives alone. (We might actually be very alike)

    Cheryl and I had a love hate relationship, however. Sometimes, we got along swimmingly. Mostly when she was reminiscing about her past in the laundry room. Other times…. we hated each other… mostly when I was accidentally setting off the fire alarm in the building or doing too many loads of laundry at once. She thought I needed to grow up and take responsibility; I thought she needed to chill out. I always figured that I reminded her of herself at my age, which caused her to be distainfully regretful that she ever decided to grow up OR that she feared I would one day grow up to be her. Either way, I thought she was an unhappy old…

    Anyway, at a certain point, closer to my leaving the co-op, she invited me up to her apartment saying that she would like to give me her Salish Loom. I was suspicious. That, and I didn’t know much about weaving at this point. I had told her about Betsy though, which made me think that she was trying to make nice. So, upstairs I went.

    She showed me around her artsy, little one bedroom. She had lots of pottery (some that she had made when she was a hippy), and knew a whole lot about it, and art… and photos. It was lovely. We talked about birth and childrearing… and wasbands and husbands. And then she busted out these giant… poles, which were apparently the end pieces of a Salish Loom.

    Wowza.

    She talked to me like I knew what she was saying, while I stared at them – giant hunks of two-by-four bolted together with these giant corroded nuts and bolts. Then she showed me a blanket she made on it… or at least a photo of it, which gave me hope. It all seemed so abstract. Then she brought out the spinning wheel that interfaces with a treadle sewing machine and told me how she made the yarn. And then our visit was over.

    So I took these poles and giant flyer and put them in the backroom, vowing that one day I would figure out how to reconstruct this loom and make a blanket too.

    And today, I did it…. well, not the blanket part, but I found some wood and made what I think might be a rude imitation of a Salish Loom.

    Salish Loom Pieces

    Salish Loom

    Yarn and blanket to come.

  • A room of my own

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    On October 23, 2011, I fulfilled my commitment to the Ecovillage that I would live there for a year… which is actually 2 years, or possibly 5 weeks in ‘Ecovillage time’, depending on how you look at it.

    During my year, not only did I completely changed my location (being a Vancity gal from the suburbs…), I separated from my husband, legally changed my name, changed my career path, fell in love, bought my first car, and became legally able to drive (without hand controls, that is!). I achieved so many amazing firsts! I wrote my first articles for magazines, I created the Insight into GMO Symposium, attended my first births, slept under the stars on a mountain…

    Through all of this change, I got to know myself and love myself. For the first time I had the courage to examine and face what I want in my life, who I am and how I want to live. Then, I had even more courage to start doing it even though I wasn’t sure if it was going to work (Goddess forbid I make a mistake!) Of course I couldn’t have found this courage and kept it up without the support of my women’s circles – both at the village and off site. And without the support of my crazy new family called community, incredible healing support – Kimmie, Lisa and Glenys, my ‘real’ family… and every single situation and environment that I was blessed to move through, I wouldn’t have been able to feel myself so strongly. I was able to explore a lot of risky things – moodiness, anger, fear, love, vulnerability – over this year, without really having to worry about losing my support systems. How many people get that chance?!

    And this week… I moved out ON MY OWN for the first time in my life. I mean… I’ve lived on my own, in dorms and in rooms in shared houses, but I have never had a whole building all to myself! I can weave and spin and knit… and wake up as late as I want (this can quickly turn bad. Trust. Me.), and play cello in the middle of the night if I want!

    And

    Here

    It

    Is

    A room of my own! (if you squint, it’s kind of like a studio)

    Oh. And I feel like I have so much … time. I think that living with a lot of people and their processes too could be a little taxing at times (or traumatic?) Not to mention that multiple folks contributing means that things take longer and are often harder to get together. Not that it isn’t super important to learn to co-operate, but all the time? About everything? And with the same people? I think that this is why monks often live in the world and then move back into seclusion for a time.

    Now that I am on my own I really appreciate the space in my life to rediscover those hobbies that I dropped along the way (like the blog. And knitting for that matter!) Here’s to Waldorfing myself up for the next month or so!

  • has crossed over and is hooked

    3

    Yes.

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    This is crochet hook. I know we remember the miserableness that was my last attempt at crocheting. But I think I figured it out… I don’t like knitting with cotton, so it makes sense that I wouldn’t like crocheting with it and I don’t like knitting with grey needles… ew. I know now that crochet and knitting are much more similar than I thought.

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    So, this time I used Noro.

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    And it worked! Nice toque, eh? Tune in next week to see the finished goods. (Just a little update a few years down the road… I never finished this toque. Turns out I wasn’t actually hooked at all.)

  • Losing my edge

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    I have recently felt as though I am losing my knitting edge. I’ve been accepting the unacceptable, not ripping back when something bugs me and not seeing the results I’m used to seeing. And so, last night while listening to a conversation that didn’t concern me and knitting on the armwarmers, I had a revelation about the sweater. (Yup, this photo’s gone. The thing was a behemoth.)

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    I needed to rip it back to where the pocket began. This came to me while I was knitting the armwarmers because I had both projects in my basket, but I chose the simple project (which I don’t do unless it is one, dark or two, I’m participating in a discussion) instead of knitting the sweater because I didn’t know if I should continue on the sweater when I wasn’t feeling good about it.

    And so I asked the dreaded question… what doesn’t feel good?

    I know. It’s getting so tall. And it looks nice, the cables are crossed properly, the work is even, the cables even line up at the end of the pocket, but… (Yeah… gone.)

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    the pockets… (And gone.)

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    are too small. And they meet at either side of the cable. Which means that when I have my hands in the pockets, which I will, the centre cable will bunch up and look all stretched and silly. Damnit. (This one too.)

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    So I ripped it (Not before I had to undo all of the seaming that I did for the pockets during women’s circle last week. A reminder not to sew up before the garment is done)

    And now…I will make the pocket go all the way across which will make the whole situation better in two ways.

    1. I will be able to knit the back and sides in the round because there will be no break in the middle.
    2. I will have a pocket that goes all the way across, which means that I can hold my own hands in there. And I like that.

    Oh. And voila

    Another anticlamactic post :(

    A yarn bombing in victoria. Nice statue choice bomber, he looked cold (ooh… I have this one)

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  • This time for real?

    1

    Hi everyone. I know that I haven’t posted for a long time because

    1. I don’t remember what I have knit since I last updated the blog
    2. I don’t remember what I have knit since I last updated Ravelry (which I do at the same time, traditionally)
    3. People I don’t know are writing or emails stating that I haven’t written in a long time
    4. My computer stopped remembering my password for my blog
    5. I am actually meeting people who read my blog who question why I haven’t written in a long time
    6. Everything wanted to be updated – every plugin, theme and wordpress itself, and I remember updating the ecovillage one a very long time ago (This is why my image disappeared. It will be back)
    7. One commenter asked if I have guest writers on my blog (which I would love… but what that says to me is “you haven’t written for so long that I am willing to write so that I can see your blog updated”)
    8. My husband and I have separated, begun divorce proceedings and I have changed my name since the last time I wrote.

    Okay. I kind of sprang that last one on you. There really is no delicate way of talking about the big D… but for me, it isn’t very complicated or at all dramatic. All of the ingredients aren’t there for us and so we’re going our separate ways.

    So, getting back to the task at hand, I wish I could say that I am going to be really regular with my posts from now on, but I can’t say anything for certain. I’m not very regular with anything at the moment, except for getting to know myself. So here I am… and here’s the beginnings of a sweater (Mahonia by Marie Wallin) but all the photos got erased from Flickr… and an armwarmer to boot.

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    Thank you for being out there and reading. It’s nice to know I’m being thought of, especially right now.

  • That kind of day

    2

    Today is the kind of day where the snow is melting, which really puts me in a fowl mood. The only thing to do when one is in a fowl mood is to sit by the wood stove and spin, ply actually. (One deleted photo :()

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    Its the kind of day where I get so engrossed in my spinning that I forget about the fire and it goes out. I unwittingly start to skein my freshly plied yarn and then even the coals go out. Continuing merrily along, I get my yarn skeined and tie it up then hold it in my hands with anticipation. (One more…)

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    Then I realize that it’s the kind of day where my yarn looks flat and dead. Then I remember that this really is my first lacey type yarn, that I spun it from top so it isn’t going to look like a sproingy, fresh fleece yarn and that I should wait until after I wash it to see if it really is as lifeless as it looks. I put it to soak. (Another one. )

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    Then I come back to the room and realize that it is actually rather cold and remember the fire issue. I find out that it’s the kind of day where I have to use paper and kindling to get it going again.

    Then I remember that my yarn is still soaking and I should go get it before… I don’t know, what happens when your yarn continues to soak while you remake an entire fire?

    So the fire is going and the skein is hanging. (Yup. Quite the climax, eh? Knitting blogs are kind of weird without pictures. This makes me sad.)

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    It sort of looks sproingy from this angle… *glimmer of hope*

    Oh and you can be sure it’s the kind of day where I barely get my photos from my camera to my computer before the camera battery dies and has to be taken out to charge (why can I charge a phone and still use it, and not my camera?  My phone has a camera. Come on people.) And then the upload speek is so slow that I will have to post this after dinner.

    Speaking of dinner, of course it’s the kind of day where I have to start dinner at 3pm because we’re cooking indian for fifteen.

    Ever have that kind of day?

  • And… we’re back

    1

    Wow. When did I last enter blogland? 7 months ago. Seven. I feel like this is going to be a long one…

    What the heck have I been doing?  Well.  First things first – I did finish the Garter Yoke Cardi.

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    There were the leg warmers during the trip to Susun Weed’s.  Honestly didn’t get much done there, but I finished them up during the PDC, much to hubby’s delight.  They swallowed up a lot of time.  Hubby has very long, fairly thick legs.  I really need to get the little stubby needles when I am knitting for something with such girth.

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    Meanwhile, I learned how to prepare to wet felt and made these…

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    Which turned into this…

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    for my mommy during Waldorf Teacher Training.  It is a wet felted ball of fleece that I have chain-stitched some embroidery cotton onto in beautiful swirling patterns.  I honestly never thought that I would be doing anything of the sort – embroidery was so grandma (hey, we all have our line) – but, there I was, embroidering away during the lectures at school.  (I know!  In regular school, they frown upon people doing handwork during class, but at Waldorf school… its almost expected. Almost.)

    And because I found this ball so much fun, during my PDC, while I finished the leg warmers, I decided to do a larger ball out of my grandma’s vintage embroidery floss that my mom rescued from the garbage when I was cleaning out my craft box before I moved out (Thanks mom!).   In true Waldorf spirit, I used the Choleric colour palette.

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    And when I finished that, a pretty laceweight scarf for my mother in law’s birthday…

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    a double weave marino shawl for my friend Heather (completion photos to come)…

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    and the beginnings of the Sepp Holzer (amazing permaculture hero to my husband) action figure complete with yak.

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    Off to Ontario where i continued to spin this on the train.

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    a beautiful lace wight handspun with the SOAR fiber from 2009 – BFL and Tussa Silk. Yummers. I intend to make a very pretty shawl with it. And then we were in Ontario, where I finished off the first level of the TKGA Basics Basics Basics course in preparation for the Master Knitters course…

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    Then I ordered some yarn from Knit Picks and started this sweater (rav link), for hubby for Christmas… which was a surprise.  And which I subsequently had to rip out to make this one because the hubby saw it on the mannequin in Lettuce Knit (cute little knit shop in Kensington Market, Toronto).  I thus had to knit like crazy on my trip to Quebec to see my friend that I hadn’t seen in a ‘got married, had two kids’ amount of time.

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    I continued knitting this sweater through an Steven Greer’s Contact Conference in Arizona and the Joanna Macy / Awakening the Dreamer Facilitator Training at the Ojai Foundation in California… all the while playing around with some Malabrigo sock yarn held double.

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    Finally we headed back up to Vancouver Island where we have settled down on OUR Ecovillage in Shawnigan Lake. Here I continue the quest of the Rogue sweater for Justin and the beginnings of the actual sock.

    Oy!  Let’s talk more regularly from now on, mkay?

  • Wicked case of startitis

    1

    The affix -itis means swollen or inflamed.  Its usually accompanied by pain, because things are larger than they should be. That’s why tonsillitis hurts…  Startitis is a common term among knitters to mean that one is having frequent starts to new knitting projects and implies that there are less finishes happening at this time.

    This is me.  Really… it’s painful… painfully half finished projects and nothing but the desire to start another one.

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    The Garter Yoke Cardigan. Still. The sleeve is finished, but there are no buttons. I forgot the buttons I picked out of our family button jar at my mom’s, and then forgot them again yesterday, which means that I will be visiting Button Button tomorrow or the next day.

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    The Spring Mittens. I don’t know what’s going on with these. I really wanted to knit them then I got to this point, and stopped. Just… stopped. I think I am afraid they are going to be huge. (hmmmm. no replacement photo for this one :(

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    Stripish Baktus. I have a lot of yarn. A LOT. So I decided that something must be done with this funny moth eaten lace weight that I bought. Yes. I bought lace  weight that had… holes everywhere. No bugs came in the package, just a lot of small balls to wind up. What I won’t do for a good deal. By the way, I am addicted to stripes right now. (Gonzo.)

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    The beginnings of TKGA’s Basics course. I have had it since last fall. It has been niggling from the shelf by my desk for months, especially since christmas. I decided that I would have to get the first section sent away before I go to my apprenticeship with Susun Weed. 15 days and counting.

    This does not take into account the shawl I have half warped on the loom, and a toque I have burried at the bottom of my knitting basket.  Rediculous.  Really.  So what about that cute hoody vest?

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