Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holda



"When flowing water ... meets with obstacles on its path, a blockage in its journey, it pauses. It increases in volume and strength, filling up in front of the obstacle and eventually spilling past it....

"Do not turn and run, for there is nowhere worthwhile for you to go. Do not attempt to push ahead into the danger ... emulate the example of the water: Pause and build up your strength until the obstacle no longer represents a blockage."

-- from the ‘I Ching,’presented in
‘To Build the Life You Want, Create the
Work You Love: The Spiritual Dimension
of Entrepreneuring’ by Marsha Sinetar

Last week I was supposed to teach a class on Frederick; but a mix-up in the picture for my class led to an unanticipated adventure.  

It was the day before my class and I needed to have a pattern that 1) would work with any yarn, 2) was in the round and 3) was linen stitch.

At first I was totally freaked out because I hate to be unprepared.  But then I took a breath and listened to what the students wanted and started to come up with ideas.

My son had been doing math problems that week to figure out specific things and I asked him to come up with a formula to figure out how many stitches needed to be cast on for each person. That proved to be an easy task for him and soon I had a formula that would allow anyone to be able to use this pattern with any weight yarn.  Check number 1 off my list.

That night I took off going to meet-up because I needed the time to write a pattern up.  I realize that I could have just slapped something together; but that isn't me. 

So I added a join I liked for the cable cast-on and the bind-off I liked from my other linen stitch pattern and put it all together and 2 and 3 were checked off my list as well.

I gave the pattern the name Holda honoring the Germanic Goddess of weaving.  I was printing up copies at 9 pm and felt pretty good about the whole experience.

I'm glad I didn't just freak out.  The Universe gave me a chance to see what my students wanted and I was able to deliver and that means a lot to me.

The class went well and my students were awesome and very understanding.  Some had to change their color choices since this pattern wouldn't allow switching between yarns that well. One of my students decided to spit-join the yarns as she goes for a beautiful effect.  

Each student's color choices were so lovely; I can't wait to see the finished products.

I need to finish one of these myself so I can have a cover shot and then I will put it up for you all on Ravelry.  :)

ETA.  I had the pleasure of meeting up with two of my students on Friday night.  I believe my class does not end with the close of the day; I feel that I should be available during their journey through my pattern.  I realize that not all teachers feel this way and this is my personal choice.

I really enjoyed chatting and getting to know these two wonderful ladies.  We had a really nice night and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.   Times like these let me know that I am on my true path.  I didn't realize that one could practice healing through a craft like knitting. Isn't the Universe amazing to prove me wrong and allow me to combine the two things that give me such joy?

If you live in the US, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving,
Ruinwen
:)

P.S.  The Yarn is Maple Creek Farm and one of my favorites.  I have only been able to find it at Sheep and Wool so I have no link for you; sorry!  The pillow is also one of my favorites and it is in the 20's today and Eddard Stark's words seem very appropriate from Game of Thrones.  :)




Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Day With Mom


Monday was Veteran's Day here in the US and it is the only holiday I get by myself.  I really had some good intentions when I started the day.  I put in a load of laundry and filed some papers.  I knit for four hours before I realized that fighting the kitten over my needles was a loosing battle that I just didn't want to fight.

And then I just decided to chill.  I didn't need to be productive because I had a day off.  I had been productive and gotten a bunch of little things done and it was time for me to just enjoy the day.

I put on SALT because I love action / suspense movies like that; something I may have gotten from Mom. She would have really liked SALT.  The woman was kick ass and not to spoil anything for someone who hasn't seen it but there is quiet a bit of intrigue as you try to figure out just whose side she is on.

Mom was always watching movies.  She taught us to look behind the words and see the meanings.  Being so smart she picked up on tells in an actor's behavior and things that didn't fit in the background.

Which is why I then watched The Tourist.  It was like Mom was sitting across from me and filling in little details about Venice as we watched.  Italy was one of her most favorite places in the world; she went there when she was younger and it really touched her soul.  Once, we planned a trip there for a school project. We had every day planned out with all the places she wanted to return to and share with me.  I had hoped one day to take her on that trip, but I never had the money and then the arthritis made it harder and harder for her to travel.

I must admit I talked to her during the whole movie about how beautiful the marble walls were or the splendor of azure waters.  I talked to her about tells and plots and for the span of the movie she was there with me...more so then most times.

It was a really nice day and I was glad Mom could be there to share it with me.

Hugs!
Ruinwen
:)


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Just Breathe



I've been having this feeling that something is missing for a while now.  It took me a while to realize that the something that is missing is not a hole to be filled or something I need to fix.  There is space now where before I was doing things for my parents; which wasn't a chore but it was a constant part of my life.  Just like having another family live with us was a mixed blessing; but now that they have found a home of their own...everything is different.  To lose two such big influences on my life in one year has changed everything for me and my family.

This is what it feels like to have less stress.   I can come home and relax and do things and still be able to wash a load of clothes or dishes or make dinner and not feel hurried.  There are breaths of space between everything that weren't possible for me before no matter how hard I tried to carve the way for them.   This is new and it feels unnatural for me; but this is how my life is supposed to flow.

Space is a good thing.  It allows air and possibility to exist.  In lace it helps to show how beautiful everything is with some distance between the stitches.  I am starting to be able to focus on individual moments again because of the light between them.  Simple things really have started to shine for me again.

I got that old rush I used to get when I did ritual this Sunday.  It had slowly been coming back to me these last few months.  Ritual for me has always been such an important aspect of my faith.  I married a man who believes as I do and loves to raise some good energy.

In the old days I had a circle and we would feast and do ritual every holiday without fail.  I missed that.  I missed the simple act of sitting around a fire and the house smelling of a roast sprinkled with magic because for a while it was just something we couldn't do due to circumstances that were beyond our control.

But now...I feel like a kid again and it is like coming home to a part of myself that I really missed. My son suggested we rebless our Nightmare Prevention Bags that we made in '08.  There was a really bad year where he would recite the words every night before bed.  I can't tell you how many bad dreams I pushed away with my little bag.  It was time.

So one of the things I really like to do is write spells, prayers, blessings...really anything spiritual. Back in the days of my Wicca 101 classes; the thing that stuck with me was the whole rhymes have power thing.  I like the challenge of making it rhyme.  It puts a little of myself into it and my time and energy which in my opinion, both add some good energy.

Here are the words since they blurred in the photo:

Little bag full of herbs and things that scare
Make a hedge boundary that reads beware
No evil can reach me when I sleep
No negativity into my dreams may creep
Herbs of protection circle thrice
May your scent good dreams entice
I welcome in good beings to watch over me as I rest
As I fall asleep I know that I am very blessed.
So mote it be.

I also like correspondences.  So for the NPB I got some punches and made little cats, bats, spiders and maple leaves to add the power of the season to the mix.  The herbs I chose for the NPB were: coriander, cumin, cinnamon, dill, salt and frankincense.  Almost everything I do has some herbs blended in.

My son helped mix everything and punch out bats, cats, spiders and leaves.  We had fun and it didn't take really long to prepare everything.  We got some cat whiskers (they had fallen off over the years and we save every one of them) for a blessing from our four-footed friends.

I mulled some cider with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger.  A roast was crocking as we were working and the two smells were just divine.

My husband and I cleared off the pad in the back and it didn't seem like work.  This song was starting in my heart and I could feel it running through my veins and filling me with this incredible joy.

The whole ritual was simple but the energy of family and community and connection were so strong that I can still feel the effects.  I feel like a battery recharged.  It is like the lapse of the past had never been.

In knitting news I have been working on my friend's projects.  She wasn't sure where she left off in the pattern and I picked it up after a long Friday at work and I really should have known better to just rush into something.  But alas, that is where my tale begins.  It was a moebius and I judged wrong where she was in the Fibonacci sequence and I was five rows off.

Now, I pride myself on helping people and she had entrusted me to finish these projects correctly so I had two options; rip or fix each stitch.  Really the time expended would be the same so I began to drop five rows down on each of the stitches and ladder them back up again.  All told in the end I fixed 1,360 stitches. But the Fibonacci is back on track and now I don't have to reknit those rows.

This is such a lovely yarn to work with.  It allows me to move all the stitches around and then just snaps back into place.  The colors are beautiful and soothing too.  I will have to ask my friend what it is.

Happy Crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

BTW: No Nauga's were harmed in the making of this post.  :)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Starburst



So here it is; the starburst pattern.  I love it!  The blue, green and pink all glow which always makes me smile.  It really didn't take too long to make.



I improved a bit on how the band works that you make after you make the bracelet.  Normally you just do a single chain to extend the band, but I put the two loops back on the loom and made a fish-tail pattern.  I really like it better for looks and durability.  Those long chains quickly can get over stretched.  This is a nice fix for that.



Anyway, the trees sure are pretty here.  It definitively looks like fall now.  I am reminded that Yule is around the corner and I'm banishing that thought for now and trying to enjoy the now.

This is New Year for me and every year I make resolutions, if you will, that help to nurture my body,  mind  and spirit.  I have been so lax lately...at least is seems so to me.  But I still mange to to what needs to be done which begs to differ that maybe my view of "what I should be doing" should be reviewed.

I think my resolutions should look something like this:
Air - Stop being so hard on myself - no one can do everything - be content with what I do achieve

Fire - Get moving - I don't have to do something formal every day as long as I do something

Water - Stop apologizing for doing things that I love - if I enjoy it then there should be no guilt in that

Earth - To continue to be thankful for all the blessings I have, the people I know and the creatures I share my life with

Spirit - Take 5 minutes each day for spirit by myself without a phone, TV or anything else distracting and take one night a week for spirit at least

I feel so blah right now.  The weather is changing.  We just had a raging storm and it rained through most of Halloween.  We made it out for about an hour before it got too bad and my son had a good time.  Now the sun is out and it is almost balmy; that really messes with my head.

So before I complain too much - I hope you had a blessed and magical Halloween / Samhain.

I'm helping a friend out who is unable to knit so I will be working on her projects for a while.  I'll show you when I figure out where she left off.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)