Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meme

Dibosai of Interwoven tagged me with this meme. So here goes:

What are the last 3 things you purchased?
Nicky Epstein’s new book
Prosciutto
Frap at Starbucks

What are the last three songs you downloaded?
Savin’ Me by Nickleback
If Everyone Cared by Nickleback
And the RUSH 2112 Album

What are the three best places you visited?
Hawaii, Virginia Beach, Colonial Beach

What are your three favorite movies?
It really depends on my mood…so I’ll be totally eclectic here.
Wanted, Emma, Holes

What three things can you not live without?
Besides my family, friends and community…?
Touching fiber once a day
Playing some sort of game even for five minutes
Coffee

What would be your three wishes?
See after playing D&D and reading the Monkey’s Paw you get the idea that all wishes can be turned into something else and bite you on the %&# in the end. I could wish for a million dollars, but that money would have to come from somewhere. So you make an addendum to the wish that the money not be stolen. But then it could be money that was going to be shredded or something and then the FBI would come after me. Or that million could have been slated to help a poor family who really has nothing and my wish would take it from them. I could go on with examples but I think you get the idea. In the end you get a list of addendums that are longer then the wish itself...and there will still be a loop hole. Call me silly and cynical but I can’t in good faith answer this question.

What are three things you haven't done yet?
In life or in general…?
Published a book
Gotten a black belt
Traveled to Kyoto

What three Celebrities do you want to hang out with the most?
Neil Gaiman
Joss Weldon
Hayao Miyazaki

Name three things that freak you out.
Heights
Needles
Bridges

What are your three favorite dishes?
Sushi
Pomegranate and sausage stuffed game hens in vermouth and sherry sauce
Beef satay

Name three things you are good at.
Knitting
Writing
Researching

What are three things you are currently coveting?
knitntonic’s new book
Alex’s bobble and cable hat from Wizard’s of Waverly Place
Stryker’s book in the Dark Hunter series

I’m not going to challenge anyone. If you want to do this then feel free and have fun.
:)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Color Me Double

"Enlightenment must come little by little -- otherwise it would overwhelm."

-- Idries Shah

Reversible knitting side #1

Reversible knitting side #2

I saw this swirly pattern in Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves and loved it. I didn't want to line it though and I definitely didn't want to do duplicate stitch.

So I decided to try something new. I've been wanting to learn about double knitting where you knit two sides of a fabric at once. The two sides mirror each other except their color schemes are reversed. It makes a thicker fabric but as you can see, the results are just amazing.

I've always thought this technique would be difficult but it turns out it is really simple and surprisingly enjoyable. I think my next double knitting project will be to remake my slip stitch cats in a scarf. I am loving that idea for fall. The nice thing about this technique is you can take any colorwork pattern with two colors and recreate it. With double knitting you don't need to twist the threads or carry yarns you just choose the one you need and knit it. Think of the possibilities!

This scarf has been an exercise in shifting my perception. When I'm on the rainbow side, I must admit I tend to get excited at watching the colorway shift. On the opposite side I love to watch the colors penetrate the inky blackness. But I really do love both sides equally. If you asked me to choose...I'm not sure I could.

The truth of the matter is I wish I could look at myself with the same lack of scrutiny. I'm like this scarf in so many ways. On the one side I'm a big happy kid who is passionate about life. Everything empowers me. Life and nature is a constant source of wonder for me. I find beauty and meaning in everything and my loves are as diverse as a rainbow.

On the other side I'm easily discouraged and quit many projects when the going gets rough. I have a horrible temper which I most often turn against myself. When I allow doubt and worry to take over I become lost in it...it's like trying to find my way in a night without stars.

Either extreme can be severely dehabilitating. My happy :) smiley face self struggles with the stresses and every day challenges to stay upbeat and empowered. And my negative :( think the worse self finds it hard to stay down with so many blessings abounding through my life.

When I see this scarf I can see both sides of me a little more clearly...the fabric provides just a little glimpse of enlightenment about my inner workings.

In some temples in Tibet there is a practice of putting out food for the negative spirits before one meditates. This appeases them so that they can eat happily and not disturb the meditative process.

Don't Think About SquirrelsDon't Think About Squirrels

Many believe that when it comes to inner demons, that if you resist them then they become more powerful. Try saying, "I'm not going to think about squirrels." Don't think about them all day. I bet you won't see them in the trees, running all over the place. You probably will not think about how they are storing their nuts for the winter ahead. You probably will not even remember that you said this statement at all.

Studies show that this is not true. Instead you will probably notice how many squirrels there are this time of year. They will seem to be everywhere...like a squirrel population explosion. You will think about them because anything you resist becomes your focus. But if you say, "There are squirrels and I'm okay with that." There is no resistance on your part and you and your relationship will stay as it is...it might even improve.

For some reason I haven't been able to get this out of my head.

But I digress...

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen

***No squirrels were harmed in the making of this post.***
:)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Harvest of Spirit

Charity Blanket

"Everything in life can be nourishing. Everything can bless us, but we've got to be there for the blessing to occur. Being present with quality is a decision we are invited to make each day."

-- MacRina Wiederkehr


In my belief system now is the time to start harvesting those things we have been growing all year. And though no physical planting occurred, my spirit overflows. I am truly blessed with an awesome harvest. This lapghan is a testament to that.

Certainly to a trained eye it is far from perfect, but things really never are. And what you see in the finished project never lets you truly grasp what lies within the strands of superwash wool.

I had received a thank you letter from an Assisted Living that we support and it had touched me. They always told you exactly what your money had gone to and ours had bought music for an Alzheimer patient who loved listening to the classics. That was when I thought about making a lapghan for them. It would at least give me something to do over the long weekend.

I was making squares when my DH saw them piling up and asked about a border…I told him what I was envisioning and next I knew he was crocheting a border. My DH is amazing like that. He can read knitting patterns too.

My whole mood shifted. I had been wallowing a bit more then I should have because the pain and not sleeping...was not a good combo for me. After I devoured the Starbucks frap the caffeine kicked in and I was at least awake…but still in pain. As soon as I touched the pretty wool I felt better. I should clarify this to read that my soul felt better.

But when DH started working with me my entire spirit lit up. He is always there to uplift me…I am just so blessed. So we worked on this together and even with different gauges and all I think we did quite well. I also think the colors are striking; a reminder of how two different people can come together and make something beautiful together…testament to that is our wonderful son. As always I really enjoyed working the picot border.

This lapghan took maybe…10 hours tops to make. It is a testament of love and commitment of two people working together for a common cause.

So this is my harvest. Skills I can use to make things for others or myself, love which is endless and boundless and the more you give the more you get and a palate of color, which my stash is pretty endless and boundless in itself. lol

Bright blessings,

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Sense of Self

Painted Lady

"Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment."

-- Chögyam Trungpa


My dear friends thank you so much for your outpouring of love and uplifting words. I am truly blessed to have you all in my life.

These last two weeks have been hard as a new obstacle has been present to add to my day-to-day challenges. My leg has been surging with pain that makes it hard to sleep and stand for long periods of time. The only thing that seems to help is my husband’s Reiki.

I’ve been to the Doctor and tests are underway. I’ll keep you posted. Right now I’m doing the best I can to keep doing the things I love.

One of those things is experiencing joy though my son’s eyes. He loves nature and wanted to raise butterflies since he aced raising the moths earlier this year. So we had 10 hungry caterpillars that made 10 beautiful chrysalises and transformed into 10 beautiful painted lady butterflies.

The joy on his face when he watched them fly into the wild was priceless. Now he wants a turtle. I’m going to see how he takes on a little more responsibility in the cat’s daily lives before taking on a new family member. I need to read up on raising a turtle first too. But I think it is good to care for creatures. I just don’t want to be the one doing all the caring. DH has put his foot down to me taking on anything new.

And I totally agree with him. I’m spent…mentally and physically. Only my spirit is still as inquisitive as a child and as free as an ocean breeze. I will fight to keep it that way.

My new goal is not to lose myself while taking care of others and fighting the pain. I realized as I caught up this weekend on RSS feeds and people’s lives, how much I missed the virtual world. I saw very clearly how very important your blogs and mine are to my whole being. Your e-mails and posts brought tears to my eyes and I want you to know how each and every one of you wonderful virtual friends are to me.

For a while there I felt the “me” that I loved was fading. And truth be told, it scared me. Someone who didn’t know me would never notice. I was going to work doing my job, I was there for my family and spent extra time playing with my son, I took care of Mom and Dad and their needs, the house was as clean as it ever is, clothes were washed and put away but there was something missing…I can’t even really explain it or make sense of it…but DH and those who know me really well apparently were waiting for me to realize that I was giving up entirely too much of myself to take care of others.

That was when the pain started in my leg…forcing me to cut back on everything. How many times have I said to clients, “When the spirit is ignored the cause manifests in the physical realm in a new way to get noticed.”

I get it. I notice. I spent the long weekend thinking about what is actually important to me. And where most people think a blog is too much work…I’ve realized that it is a lifeline that I don’t think I want to live without.

This realization doesn’t give me more time to write nor will I be like those organized witty posters who keep us inspired day after day. I’m not even promising projects will get finished because we know I’m bad at the whole “finishing thing”.

What I can promise is I will take five minutes to back away when it all gets too much. I will do one small thing a day to nurture my soul and feed my hungry spirit. But most of all I won’t lose my eclectic and diverse sense of self again.

Bright blessings and happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)