Sunday, June 30, 2013



"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired."
-- Nikos Kazantzakis

I have spent the last week trying to put focus back into my life.  I could did not imagine it would be so hard; yet each little thing I can complete feels like a major hurdle and each thing I cannot seem to get done is as it should be.  Baby steps still bring you towards a goal and that gives me reason to celebrate.

I started taking grape essence this week and I have already noticed a difference.  I have always responded positively to essences and I can't believe I didn't think about taking them until now.  But c'est le vie.

I decided to start small by working on the Pointelle scarf from Moorehouse.  I love their yarn it is so sproingy.  I am making this scarf for my sister and then another for myself.  It was supposed to be an easy project; but it has taken me much longer then I thought possible.  I keep mixing up the rows and have spent more time tinking then knitting at this point.

Sometimes it is like that.  But that is okay.  I finally was able to get in a groove at knitting tonight and realized if I just "read" my knitting then I would know where I was.  Duh, right?  I'm always repeating that mantra "read your knitting" in my classes and then I go and forget the basics.  I am just not myself and that is just the way it is.

I accept that and I move forward slowly.  Moving slowly is still moving and that is all that matters.   This project is going to be blocked from 55" to 74"; I can't wait to see what comes of that!  And my biggest obstacle is finding the other ball.  May the Gods be kind and help me to remember where I stashed it away for safe keeping.  lol

I love this green that is so fresh and full of life.  I like the look of it on the pavers; it reminds me of a lichen or some moss that thrives in this wet climate we've had as of late.  My sister loves greens so I am hoping this will be a delightful little scarf that she can wear when it is just a bit cool.  For myself, I chose the peach color since it reminds me of the cherry blossoms in the spring.  When we wear them together she will be the leaves and I will be the flowers and since cherry blossoms are a cherished memory from our youth; this will be such a special set of scarves.

I wish you all a safe and Happy Fourth of July as our nation celebrates another birthday!  
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meh

I feel much like this poor snow shovel in our front bed; stuck, mired by forces that are holding me back and I can't seem to break free of them.  All I can seem to muster is a whole lot of "meh" and I don't know why.  Every day I look at my knitting and want to knit and every day I find a reason not to pick it up.  But there is a part of me that needs to pick it up, and still, I just can't seem to find the power to do so.

Apparently for some this is part of the grieving process and is perfectly normal as long as it lessens as the months go by.  All the questions they asked me which would determine if I am struggling with issues I can't conquer, I passed.

I am sleeping.  I am eating.  I am going to work and doing as much as I ever did before.  I talk to my son every night while he is away and cuddle with my husband as much as possible.  I wash my clothes and dishes and continue to eat as healthy as I can.  I still take time once a week to allow time for spirit and to talk to Mom and Dad.  I pet and love my cats and enjoy the company of my friends.

I don't know what this major quagmire is that is holding me bound and how to honor it or fight it or whatever.  Is my inaction an action that is necessary for my healing?   The Japanese use the term arugamama for the state of accepting things as they "are".  They counsel instead of worrying about this state of "meh", to just ride the waves of emotion and put my energies into the things they do want to flow into.  By not "feeding" the "meh" emotion it will subside on it's own and soon I will be happy to pick up my needles again without hesitation.  This is the theory anyway.

In truth this has happened to me before and loss was not involved.  I just put down my needles for three months and had no interest in picking them up.  I never really found out why; I just did it and moved on and then one day I picked them up and I really haven't stopped knitting, until two weeks ago when it became hard to pick up my needles again.

I find it strange when there are things I need to knit...want to knit...long to knit and I'm just not...knitting.  I'm not mad at myself or berating myself for this lack of inertia.  I am just being and living and doing other things for the moment.  My needles will be patient as they always are.  If knitting were not a pursuit of patience then all my WIPs would get up and walk away for lack of interest.  Thankfully this is not the case or I would be out a lot of beautiful projects.

I have found in my many years knitting, that it is a healer of body, mind and soul.  There is more then just a fabric that is being woven as one knits.  The calming click of the sound of needles following a rhythmic dance can soothe the soul.  Knitting can be savored; each stitch a benediction of color and texture or it can be rushed as prayers who are rote and memorized and whose meaning has been forgotten in the repetition.

One can be serious about their knitting and aim for near perfect project (perfection can only be achieved by the Gods) or one can just be content with what they have done and know that their knitting will not judge them.  Knitting is loyal that way.  One can come home after a long day and pick up their needles and it is just like the last time.  The needles will warm to their hands in a welcoming way and there is a simple unspoken gratification in that.

The only rule in knitting is to follow your own path.  If you choose to knit your stitches through the back; then do so and love the resulting fabric.  Whatever is your truth; embrace it.  Look at Cat Bordhi, she knits everything her way and loves every minute of it.  Some of the ideas that come out of her brain are so amazing  I wonder how she thought of them.

The world is full of amazing knitters; some that I am blessed to call friends.  While many times you may knit alone know that each stitch connects you to a greater community of wonderful people who all share your love of this craft.  One look on Ravelry (a social site for knitters) and you can see that you are not alone; the world is full of knitters.

In the old days women had their sewing circles where they would commune and gather and talk and craft.  They knew that being part of a community was important to their health and well being and that truth is still relevant today.  Most people are social creatures and need interaction with others to round out their mental well being.  The group I go to is full of women who I call sister; people who I share secrets, devastating losses and radiant joys with.  I love my group; my extended fiber family.  Each week we craft and share our lives and it feels somehow...right.

I know this hiatus is temporary, for I know that knitting is too big a part of my life to ever stop.  I have created a tapestry which reaches back through time and honors my ancestors, I have reached into the present and created a family made of fiber and friendships and I have most importunately delved into myself and found something that resonates with every (excuse the pun) fiber of my being.   I am a knitter and that is the simplest truth.

The feeling of "meh" will pass with time and my fingers will find needles in them soon enough.  For now I will honor this time, for whatever reason it is necessary, and I will accept it as the way things are.

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, June 09, 2013

Acceptance


One of my favorite designers for children's knit-wear is Pixie Purls.  I have watched her grow as a knitter through her blog and I love her patterns.  They are well written and presented in a lovely format; not to mention they are usually graced by her adorable kids! 

When my son said his teacher was having a baby I reached for one of my favorite gift items Country Kiddie. This is a quick knit that is just adorable.  I made this up in a few days and since most of it is knit, it makes a lovely travel project that you don't have to worry about where you are in the pattern.

The yarn I used was Simplicity by Hikoo.  I love the way the colors flow in this yarn.  The top part is #511 Woody Turquoise and the bottom is #512 Still Waters.  The feel of this yarn is really nice and it holds stitch definition really well.  The colors are vivid and bright and slowly meld into each other so there are no jagged stripe lines.  Plus, this is a super-wash blend which, is perfect for infant wear IMHO.  I needed two balls and I didn't have matching color-ways so I blended the blues and greens and hoped for the best.  I adore the result; that bright blue is in both color-ways and it really ties them together.  This is a cute top-down summer top that can provide a layer of warmth or just add spice to any babies wardrobe.

It was nice to finish something.  I feel like I'm all over the place with everything and I just can't get focused.  I think this is what grieving feels like.  When Dad died there was Mom to take care of and I focused all my energy into that.  I took care of the bills, appointments and paperwork that some days reduced me to tears.  Every time I wrote a check this feeling of losing Dad hit me and I cried...every time.  I fielded calls and made decisions that hopefully were in Mom's best interest.  Goodness knows I tried to make sure her needs were met and mostly that she knew that we were there and loved her very much.

Now the job is done and the woman I was caring for is gone and that is hitting me hard.  With this back-lash of emotion is more grief over Dad being gone as well.  I'm ordering a flag holder...I have been saying this since I was given the flag at his funeral.  I finally found one I liked that I can put his fruit salad (medals) below the flag and it will be really nice.

That's how my mind is working...no real focus on any one thing.  Sometimes I have to talk myself into things.  I was putting away clothes the other day when I saw the flag sitting there and looked at the wall with all my family and I just became so tired; I had to remind myself that doing the laundry blesses the family, which, blesses me in turn.

At my core I believe that I am blessed.  When I was pretty young I cut out a saying and put it on our fridge at home, "Be happy you have a house to do chores around."

We once sponsored a child who was happy to have a tin roof.  She felt like royalty because all the animals could stay dry with her family during the rainy season.  A tsunami destroyed her village; thank the Goddess she survived.  All she had was the clothes on her back.  The tsunami had come so quickly and there were no alerts where she lived to tell her to evacuate.

I think about these things when I fold my clothes because we are all connected.  I have outfits for every day of the week and then some and others have one outfit to their name.  This doesn't make me better then anyone or richer or whatever status label the media might want to give me.  It does make me feel blessed to have choices and colors and different textures to wear.

I know that I am blessed in so many ways.  When you flip that coin there is a great gaping hole in me that makes it hard to focus on the good because all I can feel is the loss.  Hospice kept calling me and wanted me to come in for counseling; and I finally talked to someone.  I'm not really sure why; but I thought it couldn't hurt.  If you look at things Mom hasn't even been gone for two months so I think I'm doing really well with the whole grieving thing.

My counselor told me that I really haven't grieved which, I guess this post kinda sums up in a way.  He told me to take time to grieve, to cry and let all that stuff that I keep in me out and take time to live and celebrate life...like a vacation.  So, I am doing both as well as making another appointment to talk to him again.

On Wednesday, my spiritual bath night, I took time to sit with Mom and Dad and talk to them and without me really trying the tears started to fall and I cried for a while.  I know that grieving is different for everyone; but these tears felt different then the "missing you" tears that I shed during the funeral weeks.

I'm going to try and do this each week and I guess I will know when I am done when the tears stop falling.  But I think I will make a weekly check in with my parents as a new kind of ritual.  After I do my weekly reading I will just sit and talk with them for a while.

I talk to them all the time about everything.  But maybe with a purpose behind it this can be something bigger?  I don't know.  I'm just trying to make sense of my feelings, which is not so easy right now.

And while I have moments of inertia where I just want to do nothing; that is pretty normal for me.  If you look at my WIPs and list of patterns I want to finish...they are quite extensive...but life keeps getting in the way and then there is a new class that needs prep for or a deadline I have to meet.  So, I'm not beating myself up about anything.  Everything always gets done in the fullness of time if it is meant to be.

But the vacation is booked and that is a load off.  Thank you to my wonderful friend who helped me through this maze of hotels...rental cars...amusement parks...oceans and airlines.  You really gave me a beautiful gift when I needed it most.  Hugs!

So at the beginning of the week I was scattered and tearful but now the skies are the ones with tears and I feel cleansed and ready to focus on my life again.  I have a bit of catching up to do but I'm the daughter of a Mother who sewed her dress on the way to her wedding,  so you know that I can do something as simple as knock out a pattern and a few WIPS.  :)

Love to you all,
May your days be full of happy moments,
Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Knitting Cruise

Forgive my shameless plug for my cruise; but I'm really excited and it will be a very thorough class on learning about lace.

Some points we will cover:


In this class the student will explore lace construction.  We will:

  • break down a pattern and examine the results from different elements of design: decreases, increases, bias and negative and positive space
  • learn about the different tools that are used in lace creation and why they are important
  • learn why natural fibers are the best yarns to use for lace and how to block them so their projects will bloom
  • look at samples of lace and swatches to create a better understanding of lace and how it works
  • learn casting on and binding off techniques
  • learn how to fix mistakes and read knitting
  • look at different ways that lace shawls can be knit
  • create a lace shawlette using all the above knowledge
  • empower the knitter to feel comfortable exploring the world of lace



Join me in the Summer of 2014 on the Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas for 7 nights in the Western Caribbean in exotic ports of call.  Book early for great rates; instruction, yarn, needles and pattern are included.

If you are interested; please contact Donna.  She is the masterful travel agent behind this voyage and a very good friend of mine.  She will take good care of you.  See you there!

contact-Donna 866-418-8163
dshapiro.cruiseone.com
or e-mail-dshapiro@cruiseone.com


Sunday's post will run as usual.  Thank you for your indulgence.
Ruinwen
:)