Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Hearth of the Matter

Hi.  I hope this post finds you and yours healthy and safe.

For the past few weeks, I have not been able to concentrate on knitting or designing no matter how hard I tried.

Instead, I have focused on cooking and rebuilding my tower in RLCraft.

Years ago I cooked for a lot of people and found it very enjoyable.  I loved the way a meal came together with all the pieces parts and created a blend of flavors.  I didn't mind cooking an eight-hour meal because the process created something wonderful.

When I would stir a pot it would be done with the intent of imparting healing, love, and happiness to everyone who ate from it.  Many times I would say a blessing of love and thankfulness for the food that I was fortunate enough to have to share with my friends and family.  This was something that was part of my normal everyday experience, but it seems so foreign now and that is sad to me.

At some point, it became easier to get food out than to create it myself.  Everything seemed to take too much time from the precious amount that I had left after working for the day.  Now and then, I would think about cooking, but most of the time I didn't.

During this time now of being at home and constant reflection, I have all the time in the world to do anything I want and I found myself wanting to cook again.

In the beginning, it was me just throwing stuff together for the sake of having a hot, safe meal and not really thinking about it.  But over the last few weeks, I have felt spiritually attached to the meals I was making for me and my family.  Instead of just cooking I am creating expressions of my love for my family and the blessings that we have in this household.

I feel connected again to something that I had lost without even realizing it.  Now there is a rhythm to dinner and creating it is once again a ritual that I truly enjoy.  Even the dishes which used to make me tired to think about are just part of the process.

Before bed every night I make sure the kitchen is ready for the next day and it gives me a happy smile to know the hearth of my home is open and ready to begin the next culinary adventure.

I wanted to share with you a recipe we all really enjoyed last week.  Our local BBQ place has the most amazing burnt ends and I had convinced myself that mine would never be as good but that is just that negative voice of mine that wants to keep me small and contained acting out.

Burnt ends are usually smoked first so this provided a challenge as I wanted that smoky flavor but I didn't have a way to smoke them here at the house.  Spices helped me with this as I used one of my favorite secret weapons: smoked paprika.  I love everything about this spice, especially the deep rich color and scent.  

Whereas the chilis to make paprika are usually just crushed these are smoked first, usually with oak wood to impart another layer of flavor.  Using this spice can make all the difference in a dish, I especially love it in BBQ rub and deviled eggs.

These burnt ends were delish and we all enjoyed them.  I kept a bit of the local in them by using the Cartercue BBQ sauce to baste with because we had it in the cupboard and it is really good.

Burnt Ends

I got a pack of boneless pork ribs for this but you could use a pork shoulder cut up into smaller pieces.

Step 1.  Dry rub:  Make sure the ribs are dry.  Use your favorite dry rub on the ribs - you can do this and let them sit overnight to let the flavor really sink in.

My Dry Rub Recipe

3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder (you can use hot or mild depending on your preference) 
(I like to use smoked chipotle for extra smoky goodness)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground pepper

You can change or omit any of these spices as your preference.  I use ground spices as much as possible.  But if yours are not ground you can grind them before using them on the meat.

Step 2.  Preheat oven to 350

Step 3.  While the oven is heating, line a pan with foil to help with clean up.  Place each of the ribs on the pan with space between them.

Step 4.  Cook ribs for 30 minutes.  
I have a convection oven and heard that using it for meat was amazing so I tried it and it was.  If you don't have a convection oven that is fine.  Slow-cooked meat is always really yummy.  

Step 4:  Lower heat - without opening to 275 and cook for 2.5 - 3 hours
Depending on your cut and thickness of your meat you might need to cook it longer.  My ribs were done after 2.5 hours.  I could tell that they were just starting to smell a bit smoky and I checked on them.

I was always taught that you shouldn't keep opening an oven door because it takes a while for the oven to heat up again and things can cook unevenly during that time.  Opening it once in the middle of the cooking time is permitted by most cooks.

So at about the 1.5-hour mark you can open up the oven and turn the pan around.  Taking time to turn the ribs will take too much time and the oven will have to heat up again.  IMHO

Step 5.  When the ribs are done take them out and baste them in your sauce.  As you are doing this, lower the temp on the oven to 225.

Step 6.  Bake the ribs in the sauce for another 15-30 minutes depending on their size and thickness.  I only baked mine for an additional 10 minutes and they were perfect!

Step 7.  Take the ribs out of the oven and let them rest for an additional 5 minutes before serving.  This evens out the heat and lets them reabsorb their juices which helps them be fork tender.

Enjoy!

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On another note, I know of a lot of content creators that get burned out even when their desire is to create more content.  I know that this blog is focused on knitting but it is even more centered on my journey as a knitter.

Sometimes, this journey of knitting has nothing to do with actual knitting.  Right now it is about recharging my batteries and redefining myself.  All this time at home has given me a lot of time to think about things and my place in them.

I have been struggling with a lot of anxiety as of late and it has been hard for me to focus on the math that I have been working within this pattern.  I want to get back to it, I am almost done but there are a few things that need tweaking and testing before it is good enough for the blog.

So, I am going to put it on the back burner for a bit.  

I made a whole bunch of goals for this year that I need to revise.  I never planted my seeds in the spring because the world was in such chaos that I couldn't make sense of where I would fit in it.

I am still struggling with that.  But now at Midsummers, I realize that revising is okay, it is not failing.  Everyone is struggling with our new "normal" and where we fit into this new world that we are still creating.

That is what I am working on now.  New goals, new ways to express my spirituality and creativity.

I know that the knitting mojo will return and the panic will subside if I listen to my true inner voice.

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Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—


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Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  

May you be safe.  

May your loved ones be safe.  

πŸ™

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Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™


I found this prayer and it really spoke to me so I wanted to share it with you.


PRAYER FOR EQUALITY By Kira Kowalczyk, 2015 

Dear God, 

We pray for all those in our world suffering from racism, sexism and religious discrimination. For the individuals who are silenced for expressing their beliefs. For the people who feel marginalized within society. Please help them remain positive despite physical and psychological strife. Help them to forgive those who persecute them or who fail to treat them with respect. Forgive us, Lord, if we consciously or unconsciously share in the conditions or in a system that perpetuates injustice. Please enlighten all Your disciples that discrimination does not only come in the form of lowering others but it demonstrates itself in the process of granting of privileges to select groups of people as well. Guide lawmakers and those at the head of government make decisions that grant all individuals equal status under the law. 

Amen.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

I see you, and I accept you.

This post is not about knitting or crafting.  I have a shawl that I have been working on and the numbers came out wrong a few times before I got it going.  I will be focusing on it for the next three weeks after this post.

Bright Blessings

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I have been trying to figure out what to say.  I don't understand where all this hate comes from against people who aren't you.  Without differences, the world would be bland and boring.  This country is made up of people from all over the world, a melting pot of cultures. It seems that some people want to decide who gets to be a part of that pot and that isn't what this country is supposed to be about.

I want to be there for everyone being attacked by hate and racism.  I have been sending reiki and gathering them into my heart and holding them close.  I know that is not enough.

I read a way that I can help is to listen to others without trying to identify with them, because I can't.  I can't even begin to understand what they are going through now and have gone through in the past.  I can say, "I see you, and I accept you.  I hope you do the same for me."


So what can you do?

Listen, learn, don't try and dominate the conversation when someone is talking about their experiences.  Don't try and say you understand because you don't.  Even if you grew up in poverty and struggled every moment of your life you still can't empathize with someone who is judged for the color of their skin, their nationality or their sexual orientation.  You can't understand someone who is called out for just being who they are.


Here is a great resource for Talking About Race from the Smithsonian.

I just have to stop for a moment to send light and love to everyone facing hate or racism, it just makes me tear up to even think about facing that burden every day.
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™

Use your privilege to spread their experience without telling them yourself, share, literature, art, and businesses.  Show your love in likes and reshares, positive comments.  Promote positivity in the community.  

Here is a link to the Justice for George Floyd on change.org, as of this writing they had over 15,000,000 million supporters.  Here is the link for Justice for Breonna Taylor, as of this writing they had over 3,000,000 supporters.  Adding your voice to a group of voices only makes them stronger.  

If you see or hear racist remarks, don't let it slide. Speak up against the remark.   This is your moment when you can show support against racism, even though this may put you out of your comfort zone.

Share what you've learned.  This world will only change if we change as a whole.  

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.― Maya Angelou


Hate does that. Burns off everything but itself, so whatever your grievance is, your face looks just like your enemy's.― 
Toni Morrison

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.―James Baldwin

Also...because we are still in a pandemic...
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Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—


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Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  

May you be safe.  

May your loved ones be safe.  

πŸ™

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Feeling Inspired

My support team of friends and family are awesome but sometimes I need help with being inspired and I like to look at different cultures and traditions to create new interest and spark those creative juices.

Inspiration is different for everyone.  It can also come out of unexpected moments from sources that we never even thought about in that context.

When I need inspiration I turn to people around the globe to connect with.  Just watching their videos fill me with a sense of grounding and repurposing. 

So for my blog post today, I wanted to share a few of the people that inspire me the most with you.  Some may resonate with you and you might find a new source of inspiration that is outside of your normal realm.

If none of them inspire you then find people that do so when you need a pick-me-up then you always have them at your fingertips.

They are in no particular order and I am not being paid or supported in any way by mentioning them.  I have found them inspirational at one point or another and keep gravitating back to them to find grounding.

Zentangling is the art of taking a doodle (they have a huge list on their website) and creating it without judgment or a plan.  This Zen way to doodle untangles your mind as you create and get lost in the art.  Zentangle has been a huge asset for me with anxiety and creative blocks, plus, I really enjoy creating the tangles.  They have had daily updates during Covid 19 and it is has been fun to learn new tangles every day for me as well.

Dr. B is part chiropractor part guru.  He works with a patient on every level and uses many techniques that he has honed through studying across the world.  Some people use his videos to reach ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) with his videos and he tries to promote this.  He explains the process that he goes through to correct skeletal imbalances with attention to the smallest details that contribute to poor health like diet or water consumption.  I find him very relaxing and very grounding.

I have watched Michelle grow as a content provider.  Her "dare accepted" series is amazing.  She has gotten to do so many things and had a wide myriad of experiences.  My favorite videos are ones where she takes on the challenge of working in a profession that is high profile.  She has trained at NASA, been a stuntwoman, worked as a police officer and firefighter, dressed up as a superhero, and even helped her friends and fans get healthy.  She has a good heart and it comes through.  She is also very human and I like that about her.  I am always inspired by her taking on challenges where she has to push outside of her comfort zones. 

My sister introduced me to her when she showed me the videos of ice singing and I fell in love.  Jonna is a beautiful Sweedish goddess that lives in concert with the world around her.  I am so inspired by this woman.  She paints with pigments from nature, she sings like an angel, saws through the ice to make an ice pool (which makes me shudder, but I admire her perseverance) and lives with the Aurora Borealis dancing above her house.  Her filming is stunning. I get lost in her kind smile and beautiful world in every episode.  

I have been part of the "Hollens Family" for a while now.  There is something about the way this man sings acapella that really hits me in the heart-strings.  I am amazed by his range and creative talent.  I listen to everything he publishes and I have downloaded quite a bit of his music to listen to on my phone.  

There are a bunch of inspiring Minecraft YouTubers that I watch so it was hard to pick one.  PearlescentMoon is someone that I have been following for a while now.  She is really talented and doodles with blocks to create these amazing builds that are really stunning.  Even if you don't care about the game you can probably agree on the creativeness of this artist.  If you do play the game, you might learn something from her unique style.

When I need some inspiration to start something I start here.  Liziqi is a beautiful Chinese goddess who takes care of her Grandma and lives off the land.  Everything is filmed with a visual element to delight the senses.  When she cooks you can almost smell the delicate flavors laid before you.  When she works with silk you can imagine how soft it feels under your fingers.  I love learning about a different culture and way of life.  I get lost in every video she creates as I fall deeper in love with her world.

Alton Brown is a family favorite.  We used to watch his show on the Food Network.  He made us laugh while simultaneously teaching us how to improve our cooking.  Alton mixes science with comedy and cooking to create educational yet funny videos that always teach me something new.  He has a whole quarantine series he is doing right now that is so much tasty fun!

Shin Lim is jaw-droppingly amazing.  His sleight of hand is the best I have ever seen.  His shows are creatively fresh in the world of magic.  he is an awesome magician.  He also seems like a really nice guy who is eager to help others on their journey into the world of magic.

Brianna may be new to the video world but she makes up for it in awesomeness.  I have been shopping at Dragontree for years (still not being paid for this) and I use their planner and their muscle melt.  Briana is a beautiful enlightened beautiful spiritual person and I always find her videos uplighting and supportive.  She has been focusing on helping the spiritual, mental, and physical issues that are arising in people from staying at home during the Covid crisis and she has really helped me learn tools to cope.

Whitney is just plain fun.  She sings parodies, a lot of Disney, rap battles (hubby and I love those), and is really talented at morphing into different characters.  I've been watching her for years and she always makes me smile.  
(just a warning some of her videos contain explicit lyrics - so kiddies only watch this one with an adult - those rap battle can get quite catty) 

Yaya is a beautiful costumer, designer, and cosplayer.  She oozes with creativity.  She makes her own cosplay costumes and they are always amazing.  I am always inspired by the time, detail, and creativity that she puts into her cosplays.  Right now she is sewing face masks to help out in this crisis.

Lindsy is so talented.  She can sing, dance, and play the violin; sometimes all at the same time.  She creates her own music as well as covering many favorite tunes from movies, anime, and games.  No video would be complete without an awe-inspiring costume to go with it.  Really this beautiful woman is so creative I always gain a little inspiration from watching her play or dance or sing.

I have a gluten/dairy intolerance that makes it really hard for me sometimes.  This woman is a creative cook who gives me some great gluten-free options for cooking.  I've learned a lot here and I really like her easy cooking style.

I have had long hair most of my life so I am always looking for new things to do.  These styles are just some of the most beautiful hair-styles I have seen outside of a movie set - so much creativity!

If you want to dye yarn, this is your girl.  She shows a lot of ways to dye and tons of ways to mix colors to create the look you want.  I have learned so much about gradient color from her; which is my favorite color style.

So, these are just a few of the people that inspire me on YouTube and each one brings a different element of encouragement to me.  Some help me to relax and re-ground.  Some energize and fill me with new ideas and purpose.  And some of them influence me to step outside of my box and learn new things.  I hope at least one of them resonates with you, but if not, that is okay too.

Just remember that creativity flows from everywhere.  

Nature is full of inspiration, colors, sights, and sounds that are sure to inspire or ground depending on what you need right now.

Art Museums are open virtually right now so you can tour someplace in another country and experience a bit of another culture.  I just visited the Louvre and it was amazing!

There are a lot of free classes, virtual knitting circles, and tons of new ways to connect and feel connected.

I hope you find things that inspire you and bring you joy!


Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—

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Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  

May you be safe.  


May your loved ones be safe.  


πŸ™

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Next week we will work on making a hug.  I haven't sussed out all the details yet, but I am really inspired.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions regarding this or any of my other tutorials, please feel free to leave a question in the comments.

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen


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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Playing Ball

All-day there is something that surrounds you that most of us just don't think about: your clothes.

If our clothes are covered in dyes and chemicals then those toxins are being absorbed into our skin.  Many people are developing skin problems, breathing issues (especially asthma), and other health problems from these coatings that are being placed on our clothes by additives to the wash or from dryer sheets.  The coating that makes your towels extra fluffy and makes them smell like a rain shower also keeps them from being as absorbent as they could be.  If you have anti-wicking wear it will dull the effectiveness over time.

Dryer sheets are also hard on your dryer.  The coating that covers your clothes also is deposited in your dryer.  The lint trap becomes full of residue that blocks the holes.  It becomes harder to get the lint out of the trap and more lint will be unable to be trapped and the lack of flow of air not only makes your dryer work harder but it also deposits the lint back on your clothes.  The coating also can cover a moisture sensor (if you have one) that then causes your clothes to overdry.

As a family of allergic, skin problematic people, we always use only natural cleaning products.  So when a family member was staying here and using dryer sheets, we noticed.  The coating stayed in the dryer.  I had to run a bunch of floor towels (that we use by the door in the rain or snow) through a few times on steam sanitize before the coating broke down on our dyer.

To add softness to our clothes, towels, and sheets we use wool dryer balls.  Which, are just balls made out of 100% natural wool.  I only use natural, non-dyed, chemical-free balls (but you can use anything you wish as long as it is wool).  These balls are easy to make with things you might already have in your stash.  When you are done with the balls, some 1,000 loads later, they can be composted into the earth.

Wool balls create a bit of humidity in your dryer by absorbing some of the moisture in your dryer with your wet clothes.  This helps lessen static cling and the time it takes to dry your clothes.  Clothes come out softer with little to no wrinkles.

These balls bounce in between clothes that would normally stick together and allows warm air to pass between those layers, which in turn will dry your clothes quicker and more efficiently.  The balls heat up as well and boost the heat that your clothes receive as they bounce along.  This helps to save you money over the long run if you use fabric softener or dryer sheets since the balls replace both these items.

Here are a few helpful hints if everything isn't going to plan with your dryer balls.

Static
On those days when you can't walk across the room without getting shocked by static, you might want to wet your balls before putting them into your dryer.  As the clothes dry faster, the humidity the balls give off will help lessen or eliminate static.  Also, don't overdry your laundry, try setting your timer to a shorter setting.

Noise
Okay, this one is just a given.  The balls bouncing in your dryer will make some noise.  My Mom used to use tennis balls and those made a lot of noise!  Wool balls make a softer thudding noise.  I barely notice them, my husband's jeans make more noise with the button fly hitting the side of the dryer than the wool balls.

Lint
The first few runs through there might be some lint, but it shouldn't last.  If it does, you might have a bad batch of balls.

Fire
I am going to put this here because I try to cover all angles when I post about something.  I know that a lot of people use essential oils on their balls and love that they can add scent to their drying laundry.  Essential oils can be highly flammable.  They can build up in the lint that is concealed in the dryer and cause fires.  They can suddenly combust at high temperatures and cause fires.  For that reason, I will not be advocating their usage in this post.

If you would like to add scent to your clothes you can always make a sachet that you can throw in your drawers or hang with your clothes.


Two yarn dryer balls and one roving ball. 
The yarn is 100% organic wool and the roving is from my stash, so it will be a gift.



Making Your Own Balls


I would suggest making a test ball and this is why.

The two balls on the left are the result of the balls I show you later on.
The roving one came out smaller then I wanted.
It is easy enough to add more yarn to the roving ball.
I'm adding a video at the end that will show you how to add roving to your ball.
You will need 2 - 6 balls.  Here are two different ways to make them.

Using Yarn:
60 yards of 100% wool yarn will make one ball

I had a 10 1/2 diameter ball to start with and ended up with an 8 1/2 diameter ball, which was perfect.

If you have some organic wool yarn you can wind it into a ball about the size of a tennis ball.  Secure the end by taking a tapestry needle and bringing the yarn back into itself and then place it in a pantyhose leg or sock.  


One of each of the balls in a stocking. 
If you stick your hand down to the toe of the stocking and then place the ball in your hand while bringing the pantyhose over your ball it makes it easy to get it all the way down to the bottom.

Push it all the way down to the toe and then make a knot securing the ball.  This will help it keep its shape in the wash and dryer cycle.  
Tie off the sections and throw in the washer on hot.  You can wash them with towels or other items so that you aren't wasting water.  Then dry them.  You may have to wash them more than once.

You will know when they are thoroughly felted when you can't move the yarn.  This method takes more washing and drying than the roving method because the yarn is so firmly packed.

You might have trouble getting the yarn out of the stocking at the end, just keep pulling gently until it all comes off.

Using Roving:
1 ounce of wool roving will make 1 ball
Felting needle - a felting needle has barbs that dig in and hold fibers in place, please be extremely careful with it.


  • Tear the wool into strips
  • Take the wool strip and make a small clump at one end
  • Wind it around itself until it forms a ball
  • Use the felting needle to secure all ends before adding the next one. 
  • Use the felting needle to shape at each stage to form a ball
  • Keep winding new wool strips onto your ball until it becomes as big as a tennis ball
  • Wind as tight as you can but it is okay if it isn't perfect
  • Using a felting needle create a rounded shape and secure the ends

Secure the end and place it in a pantyhose leg or sock.  Push it all the way down to the toe and then make a knot securing the ball.  This will help it keep its shape in the wash and dryer cycle. Tie off the sections and throw in the washer on hot.  You can wash them with towels or other items so that you aren't wasting water.  Then dry them.  It may take a few cycles to get them to felt all the way down.


You might have trouble getting the yarn out of the stocking at the end, just keep pulling gently until it all comes off.

These make great gifts!





Here is my second attempt at a video.  It is a beautiful day today and my son was able to help me.  I hope you enjoy it.

Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—

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Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  

May you be safe.  


May your loved ones be safe.  


πŸ™

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I have to be honest, I have no idea what we are doing next week right now.  I need to meditate and get a little creative thought going.


Thanks for reading!


If you have any questions regarding this or any of my other tutorials, please feel free to leave a question in the comments.

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen



πŸ˜€

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Meshing

This weekend was our wedding anniversary and we spent a lot of it doing things that we loved so this will be a shorter post.

I hope that you include things that bring you joy into your week.  

It doesn't have to be anything grandiose to have a lasting impact on your health and well-being.

For us sleeping in for the first time since last summer was...amazing.  Just having some time to recharge and renew changed everything.  Hubby and I have decided to do this once a month from now on.

We also took time to game a bit.  It was fun to set out on an adventure together that was full of peril and unexpected terrain.  We really enjoyed it and gained quite a bit in the process.  We will have to do more of that too.

We enjoyed the outdoors for a bit as we went on Minecraft Earth and plundered some dungeons.  The weather was beautiful and some of the trees were still in bloom.  

An indulgent gluten-free/ dairy-free chocolate cheesecake finished off our day and it was delicious!

Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—

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Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  

May you be safe.  


May your loved ones be safe.  


πŸ™

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I worked most of the week trying to create a way to make a mesh that looks like it has been crocheted.  I got it to the point that I could increase and maintain the fabric but then in decreasing, it looked wrong to me.  So, you may see that later after I iron out the kinks.

I like a nice airy mesh.  This transitory weather where there is a little breeze is perfect for a mesh scarf.  It is a simple pattern to achieve with knit, purl, knit-two-together, and yarn-over stitches.

I find it fun to change up the colors on every two rows, but you can just keep on knitting with one color and it will look nice as well.





Scarf Pattern

Loosely CO 20 stitches in MC on needles that are one or two sizes bigger than called for on the ball band.

Row 1: K1, *YO, K2tog* repeat * * to last stitch, K1
Row 2: K1, purl to the last stitch, K1

Change to CC and repeat Rows 1 and 2 

Continue changing colors every two rows.  Bring the new color up around the previous when changing color.  Give the old color a tug after a few stitches to snug it up.  

Continue until the desired length.

BO all stitches.  

(Optional) Make fringe out of both colors and attach them to both ends of the scarf.

If your mesh is tight you can block it to make it airier.  I found that my first stitches were tighter than the others, so I blocked it a little more vigorously on the edge stitches to create uniformity.

Secure and sew in all ends.


Next week we will talk about making felted dryer balls.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions regarding this or any of my other tutorials, please feel free to leave a question in the comments.

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen


πŸ˜€

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

I'm a Basket Case

"Empathy without boundaries is self-destruction." 
Silvy Khoucasian

I guess a better way to say this is, "Don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm." - Penny Reid

I don't know what to think anymore.  There is so much going on that makes me loco right now.

There are so many sides to this story that we are living and I have empathy for people who just want to feed their families or are literally going insane being inside.  I feel for those who live alone and have no one to share their day with.  Thank goodness for video chat and chat in general where you can literally reach out to someone at any time.  

People have gotten super creative in so many ways instead of saying this situation is "unfair" or "lashing out", they have chosen to find new ways to connect and throw themselves into projects.

Then there are those who are falling apart who find themselves with anxiety or panic and it is a totally new and frightening experience for them.  I feel for them as well since this is something I have lived with for as long as I can remember and in many ways, this lockdown is testing my anxiety until I am about to snap.

But then I take a breath and count my blessings.  I have many.  I am truly blessed.

In the next breath, I find myself praying for those who are lost and have lost.  I am saddened for the families that have to say goodbye by video.  I am mourning all the families torn apart by this virus and not just here but across the globe.

I can not fathom those who believe this is a hoax.  I cried when I saw the caskets in Italy.  I sobbed when I saw the hospitals in New York.  People all over the world are sick.  People all over the world have lost loved ones because of this virus and the numbers climb every day.  To call it a hoax is like spitting in the face of those who are grieving over a loss of a loved one or to all those who are on the "front lines" working tirelessly to save lives.

I just can't understand the disconnect.  

There are those who insist people die every day and while that is true, that mentality does not help anything.  It is true that people die from the flu and it is also very contagious.  But we have built up immunities to the flu globally, there is a vaccine for the flu and the patterns of the flu are known after years of study.

This virus is new.  No one knows exactly what it does.  Every day we learn something new about it.  It is super contagious and right now, there is no vaccine.  

There are new symptoms such as loss of smell and taste which have been added as we learn new things about this virus.  For a list of all symptoms go to the CDC website. 

What bothers me most is those deaths...were people.  They aren't just numbers.  They were people.  They had hopes and dreams and families and they were just like you and me.

When I hear about people not wanting to wear masks because it is against their constitutional right it makes me angry.  I feel the same about drunk driving.  When you get in the car drunk you could end up killing someone.  It is a known thing there really is no debating it.

If you don't wear a mask and you don't know that you have been exposed to Covid because you aren't showing symptoms you could be infecting everyone you meet.  If you were wearing a mask and the people you meet with were wearing masks then there is at least a barrier between you and others.  Mask wearing isn't perfect, but it does help.

I was listening to an interview with a tracer, someone who follows the path of an infected individual to try and stop the spread of disease, and nothing makes them happier than the person adhering to the Stay At Home order.  The path of exposure is easier to follow and contain when the individual has only been one or two essential places in the last 14 days.

IMHO - Nobody should be forced to risk exposure to Covid because someone else won't follow the rules as set out by your state.  I am grateful to the state requiring safety measures in the essential businesses that are open.  I worry about my son's friend who works at Safeway and was comforted a bit to see he had a mask and gloves last time we shopped.

I worry about my friends who are high risk and my sister who is as well and each time that they create another procedure that makes us a little safer I am all for it.

I worry about these states that are opening up to soon.  The Mayors are protesting and are worried that the virus will just spread like wildfire.  What happens when Goddess forbid, those people get the virus and can not work or take it home to their family and get everyone infected?  Every action that we do affects more than just us.

I know I may be a little crazy about it but I have done everything I can do to keep my family safe.   

I worry that people really believe that everything "poof" will just go back to normal.  This is a long-term battle that is going to be fought on many fronts.  We all have to do our part.  Until we have a vaccine, this may as well be our normal.  Maybe they will open the states up but you will still have to social distance.  Retail stores might only be able to have a curbside pickup in some areas.  States will not let everyone go back to work at the same time.  You will not be able to be in groups.  You probably will have to wear masks.  

Masks have become such a big issue when other countries wear them either during times when they are worried about their health or if they don't want to share germs.  But in the U.S.  there is is the stigma about them.  I would rather people wore masks when they were sick in public.  Personally, I stay home when I am sick unless I have to go somewhere essential.  I don't have family or friends over because I don't want to get them sick.

But this mentality seems so new to some people.  I see it as a common courtesy.  I have family members and friends that even if they get a cold it could set them back months of recovery.  And even with my healthy friends, I let them know that I am sick because let's face it no one wants to be sick.

And this is why I feel out of sorts this week.

Being kind and caring about the welfare of others is something everyone should do and not just during a pandemic IMHO.

πŸ€— (socially distanced hugs)


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Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  

May you be safe.  

May your loved ones be safe.  

πŸ™

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Woven Basket Stitch is also known as Diagonal Basketweave Stitch and it is really interesting.  All the stitches are knit or purled out of order in such a way that it creates this beautiful woven fabric.

Loosely cast on an even number of stitches on a size or two bigger needles than called for by the ball band.

Note:  it is very easy to split stitches when doing some of these maneuvers

So, I made some very janky videos...I really tried guys but I'm afraid these are horrible quality.  I hope they at least convey the idea of making the stitches.  

I'll work on my video set up for next time.  Promise.




Row 1 WS:  slip 1 stitch purlwise with your yarn in the front, *purl the 2nd stitch on the left-hand needle and leave it on the left-hand needle, purl the 1st stitch on the left-hand needle, slide both stitches off the left-hand needle: rep from * to last stitch, slip 1 stitch purlwise with the yarn in the front





Row 2 RS:  *skip the 1 stitch and insert the right-hand needle from the back to the front in between the 1st and 2nd stitches on the left-hand needle and knit into the 2nd stitch, leave the stitch on the left-hand needle,  then knit the 1st stitch on the left-hand needle as per normal, slide both stitches off the left-hand needle; rep from * to end. 

Next week we will talk about making an airy mesh.


Thanks for reading!


If you have any questions regarding this or any of my other tutorials, please feel free to leave a question in the comments.

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen


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