Sock It To Me Monday – PRIDE Edition

I started my PRIDE sock KAL with the Blogville Knitters. This is TurtlePurl’s What Does It Mean? Double Rainbow sock yarn and for pattern I’m following a 64 stitch recipe based on Hermione’s Every Day Sock.

Also proud to have spent most of my day helping to create and communicate a Statement in Support of Racial Justice for the organization I work for. Exhausting day, but a good day.

State of Emergency Stockinette

I wanted to post about this yesterday, but didn’t have the energy. We closed two of our stores early yesterday due to a state of emergency in downtown Columbus, and protests scheduled for downtown Indianapolis which we expected to escalate. (They did.) We stand in solidarity with peaceful protest, and judging by the posts of people I know personally, the protesters themselves remained peaceful. We have kids living near and in downtown, and all reported in safe. Our staff is safe and so far no reports of damage to our stores. We are lucky.

We are supposed to be packing. Bob is. We are still waiting on the second appraisal report. I’ve been slowly progressing through the back of Deschain. I’m grateful for the stockinette. I’ve been watching a Fruity Knitting podcast each day, and it’s getting me through. It’s a moment of respite in a sea of worry. I realize I’m privileged to have moments of respite. And not to have to fear for the lives of our children because of the color of their skin.

We watched “The Vast of Night” last night. Excellent film in a throwback style. Intelligent and suspenseful with great dialogue and music. A moment of race reality acknowledgement. A breath of fresh air.

Mending

Today I’m mending Bob’s pants. They were too long to begin with — which is why they were fraying — but not so long I could turn up the hem twice after cutting. I used bias tape instead. I’m not sure where I picked up this trick, probably from Grandma. Now Bob’s favorite pants are good as new! Better, because they are the correct length.

I love mending because it’s very zen and I don’t have to follow instructions. I also love making something damaged like new, and reusing, and saving money! And I gotta pay for this sewing machine, right?

Do you mend? Do you darn your knitting? I’ve never been very good at darning. I need more practice.

Sunday Grace

We went for a hike yesterday. I’m thankful for time in nature. And wildflowers.

Bob made soy custard berry tarts for my birthday treat. I’m thankful for Bob.

My boys came to share a birthday meal and treats with me. I’m thankful for my boys. Especially their intelligence and humor and ability to argue any point no matter how ridiculous. Is a bean bag a chair? A bean bag is an armchair but not a chair because a chair has legs. Puzzle that.

My mother always told me I would argue with a signpost. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Soon I will have a new blue beanie to wear over my mess of white hair. I am enjoying this mindless knit.

square

I ordered some pink yarn to make this shrug. I imagine myself wafting over pink tile wearing this, but in pink. The designer says this stitch pattern is meditative. I hope so.

Speaking of pink tile, the lender ordered a second appraisal. We are in home-buying limbo.

It will be okay either way. Trust in the Universe.

Sabbath

I think one of the major downfalls of modern culture is a lack of a sabbath. I don’t mean anything religious by that, but more the need for people to have a day of rest. In a culture where business operates 24/7 and communication is instantaneous there are no days of rest.

My goal today was to take a sabbath. I wasn’t going to do anything productive today: no sewing or knitting, no cooking or cleaning, and no work. I have been lying on the couch reading all day!

I enjoyed my first virtual knit night last night. I am looking forward to the next one on Sunday, April 6th!

Yesterday I binge-watched Vicar of Dibley and organized my craft corner. I have too many projects “on” and I’m determined to make a dent this summer both in projects and supplies.

Here’s my favorite bit from Vicar of Dibley. Enjoy! 🙃

The Outer Limits (of my mind)

I don’t know about you, friends, but I feel stretched to my limits. I am no longer capable of further complexity in my life. I made a silly mistake on my Farmhouse Cardigan and had to rip it out. I began some Wide Legged Pants only to be confounded by taping the pattern pieces together. It is important during these troubled times to recognize your limits, be gentle with yourself, and reach for what comforts you.

I decided patterns are a no go right now (although I wouldn’t turn down an oatmeal raisin cookie) and cast on a simple cowl. This is Knitpicks Swish Bulky in Saffron from my stash. It was a FibreShare gift. Sweet simple hygge bliss. I will make a hat to match! (And call him George and hug him and pet him…)

Why do we have a large hunk of quartz in our house? I think it was here when we moved in. Maybe it was meant to be a doorstop? It has migrated to the living room.

If you’ve watched a lot of Time Team, as I have, you will remember they find early medieval church altars made from quartz. Was this because it was believed to hold special properties? Was it because it was readily available and shiny? Did it raise the spiritual energy of the congregation? Do you believe quartz holds special metaphysical properties? I think I do believe it, as do many people of different cultural backgrounds. So what is the significance of this chunk of quartz in our house? Is it clearing out bad vibes?

Ooommmmm. I know you probably can’t tell what I’m doing, but it’s a face plant on quartz. There are definitely some weird things afoot at my house, and not just yours truly needing a mental clearing.

What’s bending our forks? Poltergeist?Misdirected quartz vibrations? Teenagers eating ice cream? (Or… aliens?)

I stopped by my LYS to show my support in these times of economic uncertainty. (It had nothing to do with me needing yarn therapy I assure you.) I did my patriotic duty and picked up the knitting game I’ve wanted since Christmas, plus yarn to match for good measure. It’s such a happy blue. Maybe another simple cowl and hat is in my future. At least there is some certainty to be found in knitting.

See You on the Weekender!

I have an idea! What if we- this online knitting community – met up for a knitting holiday somewhere! We could plan and save and in a couple of years go on one of these Stitchtopia Knitting Holidays! Or some other one. It doesn’t have to be theirs. What do you think? Doable? Or worst idea ever?

Also, mildlygranola, I want my project bag. 😁

All Words Sunday and a Quiz

We have a Peregrine Falcon who has moved into our neighborhood. She calls and screams after crows. Peregrines were introduced here for repopulation after they almost went extinct. She must be young because she looks a little small to me. She might be a he. I tend to think of falcons as female.

We used to have Barred Owls, but I haven’t heard them this year. We also have foxes and many, many deer. It’s weird living in the city with deer grazing in your front yard.

Yesterday Bob and I went to the thrift store for some new-to-him cotton flannel shirts. Then we went to see “It: Chapter 2” and out to Eden Burger for dinner. “It” was good. Scary and fun.

Eden Burger is a vegan burger joint, and they have some gluten free options. I ordered loaded fries and avoided the bun altogether. I think it’s funny how we try to eat organic and vegan, but end up eating organic and vegan versions of junk food. Still, I’m not one to be happy with salad for every meal.

I am hoping to spend some time at the studio today, although I’m developing a phobia about going there. I don’t understand why. This is a great segue into a quiz posted by compassionknit:

Q. Do you think of yourself as a worrier or as risk averse? 

A. As I have aged, I have become more risk averse. I worry more now. I have more to worry about. More responsibility.

Q. Do others call you a worry wart?

A. No, I don’t think anyone has called me that. But I was curious where this term originated and I found this:

“Wart” has been a colloquialism for someone obnoxious or objectionable since at least the late 19th century.”

I had no idea!

Q. Do you consider yourself brave in any particular circumstance?

A. I’m brave at work although I also worry about work. In business you have to be prepared to take calculated risks.

I have been brave (or stupid, depending on your perspective) most of my life. But age is tempering me and of course I have had my fair share of trauma, which makes me more cautious than I used to be.

Q. Do you fear: a)running out of yarn that is no longer available b)giving a gift and hearing it unraveled or c)having to confess how large your stash is?

A. A) Yes, I fear running out of yarn for a project. I try to buy an extra skein if I can.

B) No, I don’t worry about my hand knitting unraveling. Although, it has once or twice.

C) I don’t have much of a stash, so I don’t fear this question.

Q. Are you afraid of air travel? 

A. No, I love air travel. But I do have those momentary panics when there is turbulence.

Q. Do you fear a hand injury ? 

A. Hmm. I’ve never really thought about it. I guess that’s a no then.

Q. This one is quite personal, feel free to skip it: Did you ever fear you were pregnant? 

A. No. If I were pregnant, I would embrace it. But I had pleasant pregnancies and hard, though normal, labor and births. Back labor is not fun, but not dangerous either.

Q. Were you afraid of a something as a child?  (the dark, etc) 

A. Oh my. Can I skip this one? When I was a child, I was scared of demons.

Q. Do you fear having to get a shot? 

A. I don’t like shots or having my blood drawn. I take a deep breath and look away.

Q. Are you afraid of sharks, jellyfish or coral in the ocean? 

A. No, but I’m a little afraid of the ocean. When I lived in San Diego my surfer boyfriend took me way out in the Pacific (where the waves break), and I thought I was going to drown. I did make it back to shore myself, with him coaching me. That instilled a fear of drowning and a healthy respect for the ocean. I still love the water and will swim and body surf when I get the chance. But I’m cautious. I don’t go beyond what I perceive as my limit.

So why am I resisting going to my studio? Has anything bad happened there? No. Just not having enough fabric for a project. Am I afraid to be alone? I don’t think so. I think I ruined it when I turned it into my office temporarily. It feels like going to work.

Well, there’s nothing for it. I’ve just got to go and have fun. Maybe I need to rechristen it with a good day of crafting!

Phew! Bizzzzzy

Last week was a travel week for work, but I still managed to accomplish some things.

I finished my PJ pants.

I started a dress. You can tell I was in an Eastery mood. I’ve had this material for ages – a gift from my friend Laurel – and today I decided I need a spring dress. (I’ll probably wear it over jeans though.)

I sold “Meditations on Wholeness” today to my friend Harvest, someone I know will treasure it as much as I do.

I pulled this little dude out of storage and fluffed him. He’s still in pretty good shape!

I went to Craftin’ Outlaws and had a lovely time. I saw someone selling her hand block printed textiles and it got me thinking about fair trade textiles from India that are block printed by hand, like my pillowcase, and how the desire to make beautiful things by hand spans all cultures.

I also bought these earrings.

I drank wine and talked with old friends and shared my plans to start a podcast, which will hopefully bear some fruit soon.

I am plugging away on Hitofude!

It will look so pretty with my new dress. Must! Knit! Faster!

One and Not Done, and Lofty Thoughts on Fiber and the Environment

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First off, sleeve one is done. It took much longer than expected, and I knit like a woman obsessed while watching one after the other of Christmas horror movies (A Christmas Horror Story, Krampus, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – not a Christmas horror movie, but horrific in its own way, and you can only tolerate so much schlock in one sitting, after all. Although I would consider all of these movies dark comedies.)

I want to credit Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns for helping me through the armhole shapings. I should really know how to do this by now, as I have sewn clothing and drafted my own patterns, but it has been a while, and this is for my son and not myself, and I felt nervous about it, and this is why next year my word for the year is going to be “exercise.” This includes physical exercise, but also exercising my design muscles with monthly challenges. I look forward to blogging about it.

Talking to Henry about the environment has me thinking about how sheep farming and the wool trade effects the climate. While I am not vegan – I am not even vegetarian – I believe factory farming is unethical – so bad for animals, people, and the environment – and I think small, family farming is the way of the future, and we should eat much less meat than we do. I would be happy giving up all animal food products, but I will never give up my knitting wool. There, I said it. I do try to source my yarn ethically, although the supply chain can be deep, so sometimes you don’t really know. I am looking at you, Berroco Chunky Alpaca. My guess is that alpaca farming is pretty ethical, though. In general, I find small yarn companies to be very transparent, which makes it much easier. Knitters have always cared about the sheep, and I think yarn companies know that and make sustainability part of their ethos.

How sustainable is wool? As a fiber, it is very sustainable – long wearing, biodegradable. And as far as land use, wool animals (sheep, goats, alpacas) can graze on land that is not suitable for farming, so that’s okay too. Yay, wool!

Of course, we have so much plastic that now it is being recycled into fiber for clothing. Think about that. Plastic clothing that will never get dirty and never wear out, like The Man in the White Suit. Would that be better for the climate? I guess it depends on how it is processed. And what happens to the animals, who now rely on humans for their survival? So, no thank you to plastic for my part. Plus, I like my clothing to breathe.

If you are still with me, thank you for reading. I needed to get these thoughts out of my head before I start my very busy work week.

Here’s my question for you, dear reader. Do you see those stripes on Harald’s sweater? Those lovely stripes that say, “Hi. I am a handknit garment of fair trade wool yarn that is hand kettle dyed by women in Uruguay, which is why I went a little stripey here. Don’t mind me.” Should I vat dye this sweater and try to mottle those stripes out a little bit? This is totally within my power. Let me know what you think. Thank you for sharing your opinion.