Thursday, December 02, 2021

There Are No Words

When I looked into the eyes of Adella Colvin (@lolabeanyarnco on Instagram) I felt moved beyond words.  The hurt that radiated in her words and her story had me in tears and sick to my stomach.

I invite you to hear Adella speak on Instagram to learn more.  


Adella said to take a risk.  I don’t remember the quote exactly but it was something like even if you are scared or uncomfortable take the risk.  Start the conversation.  


This is me starting a conversation. 


BIPOC creators in the yarn industry are being taken for granted by Kristy Glass and used for their particular gifts.


I don’t know her.  I don’t even know of her.  I had never heard her name until today.


I don’t want to tell you what to do but I personally have blocked her and other individuals that are causing harm in our community and I will continue to do so.


I need to say right now that I hate that someone with a bunch of followers thinks that they are better than someone else because of a number.


No one is better than anyone else.  You might have more money, but that doesn’t make you better than anyone else.  You might have more “fill in the blank” but that does not make you better than anyone else.


Let me say it again, “No one is better than anyone else.”


But that is what happened.  Someone used their “numbers” to make it seem like being seen with them would be an honor or something.  She even made them pay to be seen with her.  How disgusting is that?


If a collab doesn’t benefit both parties then there is something wrong.  Using someone for their “BIPOCness” to make you seem “better” than you are or “woke” or something is wrong down to its core.  It is disgusting and it has to stop.


It will only stop when we stand up and call out people that are harming our BIPOC creators.  Support our BIPOC creators.


If a BIPOC person tells you something, believe them, support them and listen to them.


I stand with the BIPOC community and I stand with Adella.

Crochet Blanket is Fini!

 


I love the way this gingham crochet blanket came out from Daisy Farm Crafts!

I added a round of each color for a border and I was happy with the way it came out.  

When I get to the end of the project, I start to get nervous because I want it to look amazing.

I'm pretty good at weaving in ends, but I'm always open to new things and I wanted to share this with you in case you didn't already know it.

When knitting in the round or when joining the last stitch in crochet you are joining to the first stitch in the round.  When you work in the round you are working in a spiral, this is why it can be hard to line up stripes and fancy patterns without a bit of chicanery.

see the gap between the first bound off
and the last bound off stitch?

In this photo you can see there is a space between the first and last stitch of the bind-off row.  (I talked in detail about joining in this blog post/video. )  A jog may be created that can cause an unsightly lump to form at your join.  This technique changes all that.  It only differs a bit from the old way that I used to join, but I find it is so much cleaner.

Cut a 6" tail for weaving.   I always use at least six inches for weaving to really secure the ends.

Thread a yarn needle with the end.

Find the first stitch of the bind-off round, insert your needle from the front to the back through both vees of that stitch.

this is the last bound off stitch, you can see the working yarn
originates from there

insert your needle, front to back through the back vee only,
of the last bound off stitch

Make sure that you have the loop the size you want and nothing is pulling and then weave in and secure your end.  

I adore this join!

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen πŸ€—

**************************
Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  
May you be safe.  
May your loved ones be safe.  
πŸ™
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™
**************************
Vixenpath is a safe space.
If you are:
LGBTQ+
Black
Brown
Asian
Any race
Coming out
Anything.
I am a safe person and I will always hold space for you in love and light.
Ruinwen
πŸ˜€



Friday, November 19, 2021

Branching Out

double knit scarf hanging in our vermilion Japanese maple

I've been working on Falling Leaves / Falling Snow this week and I am super excited that I might actually get this pattern out soon.

But that is due in a large part to my breaking down and asking for help.  In the past, I always tried to juggle it all at the last minute and I would muddle through but it was so very stressful.

Recently, instead of not asking for help with things, I have been reaching out more and more.  I thought it would make me feel vulnerable and less than myself because of some crazy Aries independent streak I've had for years.  Instead, I found myself supported like I was cocooned in a fuzzy blanket sitting by a fireplace drinking hot cocoa.

I've always tried to be there for my family and friends.  I try to help out people on social media as much as I can with knitting questions and such but I rarely would let people help me.

I realize now how flawed that view is when your loved ones see you needing help but you refuse to ask and worse when they reach out you say, "I've got it," or "I'm good."

For a long time, I've had all these dreams that are halfway there.  Something always gets in the way of me getting to that finish line and I fall just short.

So I did it.  I admitted I needed a little help and instead of feeling like a failure, I feel so uplifted.  Now I have a soundboard to bounce ideas off of.  I have someone who understands my vision and my desire to create empowerment in the knitting community.  I have help and it is so, so freeing.

I am super excited to announceVixenpath now has a quality control department headed by an amazing person who can look at my patterns through a different lens and help them to really shine!

In life, it is so important to have a support system of people you can rely on.  We were not meant to do this alone. 

As we head into Thanksgiving here in the US, I feel so blessed, so thankful and so absolutely full of gratitude for my family, friends, and bundles of fur that we love so much!

I am so grateful for all of the people who visit this page and open a window into a small bit of my existence for the 17 years that I have had this blog.  

It has provided me a place to: create, mourn, teach, pontificate, empower, fail, grow, succeed, and write about things that maybe someone needs to hear that day.

Wishing you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.  πŸ’–

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen πŸ€—

**************************
Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  
May you be safe.  
May your loved ones be safe.  
πŸ™
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™
**************************
Vixenpath is a safe space.
If you are:
LGBTQ+
Black
Brown
Asian
Any race
Coming out
Anything.
I am a safe person and I will always hold space for you in love and light.
Ruinwen
πŸ˜€


Friday, November 05, 2021

Falling into Winter

 

with four colors you can make a beautiful motif 

Today is one of those days that you can feel Winter reaching through even though it is barely Fall.  We had some flurries today as well.  

Falling Leaves / Falling Snow is perfect for either weather.

This is a beginner's pattern for learning double knitting.  I need to add a video and some other stuff if you aren't a beginner and you want fancier edges and stuff.

I put this pattern on the back burner because it was a class, but I don't know when I will be able to teach in person again so it is silly to keep it shut away.

Like a squirrel, I have hidden away all these wonderful ideas and patterns for the perfect time and this season I want to unearth them and plant them and allow them to branch out as an expression of my creativity.

I follow a very wise designer/fiber coach who always says, "start by showing up."

This is me showing up.  I'm always hesitant about putting stuff out there because of those crazy fears I have but the more I do it the more I realize that I'm tired of fear keeping me from doing things that I love.

Like this blog for instance...I have been posting since 2004 here.  This is a testimony to my journey as a knitter and as a person.  I have shared myself here with no filters and have been totally honest with my feelings.

I used to be so afraid to push that publish button, but now, I am not.  I used to be afraid no one would care what I said, but now, I am not.  

My worth does not come from likes, or views.  I love having them but they aren't "me".  

This blog is me; well a snapshot of my life. You have seen me at my worst when I lost my parents.  You have seen me so overwhelmed with joy that I couldn't contain it.

I love you if you are here whoever you are.  I bless you and your day with love and light in your little stop along the cyber highway on my site.

I love helping people be their best fiber self.  This is what I feel like I am here to do with my creative gift.  Teach...design...be patient...be kind...be a safe welcoming space where everyone feels welcome in love and light.

In this time of remembering those who have gone before, I find myself ever thankful for all the times my words have been read, my patterns have been knit and a student of mine has finished something they love.

Every single one of you is precious beyond measure to me.

Bright Blessings to all of you as we head into the season of Light.

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen πŸ€—

**************************
Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  
May you be safe.  
May your loved ones be safe.  
πŸ™
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™
**************************
Vixenpath is a safe space.
If you are:
LGBTQ+
Black
Brown
Asian
Any race
Coming out
Anything.
I am a safe person and I will always hold space for you in love and light.
Ruinwen
πŸ˜€


Friday, October 22, 2021

Feeling Blessed

 

still playing with color and texture

This is one, two and three-color linen stitch.  You can create such lovely combinations with three colors.  This pic shows the lovely bumpy reverse side of the linen stitch modeled by the spice color.

The nice thing is the pattern never changes only the order of the colors do.

Abbreviations

sl - slip the stitch purlwise

wyib - with yarn in back

wyif - with yarn in front


One Color

All stitches with A:

Row 1:  sl1 wyib, *K1, sl1 wyif* repeat * to last stitch, K1

Row 2:  sl1 wyif, P1, sl1 wyib* repeat * to last stitch, P1

Repeat these two rows until you have the length you desire


Two Color

Row 1:  sl1 wyib, *K1, sl1 wyif* repeat * to last stitch, K1

Row 2:  sl1 wyif, P1, sl1 wyib* repeat * to last stitch, P1

You will knit two rows with each color

Knit Row 1 and 2 in color A

Knit Row 1 and 2 in color B

Repeat these four rows until you have the length you desire


Three Color

Please see last week's post since it is a bit more involved with color changes and such.

*****************************************************************

I threw my back out last week brushing my teeth, which, IMHO should not be possible.  But the boys rallied and helped me do everything and I am so grateful to them for all the help.  πŸ˜€

Then we lost power from 4 am until noon followed by loss of water from noon until 9 pm.  

I am so thankful to everyone that helped us get our electricity and water back.  They worked tirelessly throughout the day to get us up and running again.  

I am so blessed to have these essential utilities that I all too often take for granted.

This is the time of the year for me to start refocusing on how truly prosperous my life is so these "utility disasters" really got me reframing how I look at my personal world.

Someone asked what our focus word for 2022 will be and for me, the New Year begins on Nov 1st so I thought on this a bit.  Thriving.  I want to create a sustainable lifestyle that flows into all aspects of my life.

I already have many aspects of a thriving lifestyle like a great support system and close connections with friends and family, living my life authentically, and an attitude of gratitude.

But there are some areas of the thriving lifestyle that I need to work on:

  • I want to get better at taking care of myself.  Self-care is a big topic this year.  My stance is that you have to take care of yourself or you cannot be there to take care of anyone else.
  • I want to develop more positive ways to deal with stressful situations.  If I can let go of past fears and ideas around things then I can learn to work outside of the box and come up with new solutions to old problems.
  • I want to be an empowering force of good in my own life.  If I could believe in myself the way others do then I would be an unstoppable creative force.
  • I want to be better with change.  I am a planner and I have everything all worked out for each day and activity.  Sometimes nothing goes as planned and I get flustered.  A sustainable lifestyle is like a willow tree, you bend, but you don't break in a strong wind.  It is like the lotus flower that is deeply rooted in the muck but blooms vibrantly above the water.
  • I want to change my inner response to resonate with a positive voice.  Many times I defeat myself before I get started and it is during these times when I need to ask: why not?  If not now, when?  Who do I need permission from?  What am I waiting for?  
I know it is early, but do you have a one-word goal to guide you through the New Year?

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen πŸ€—

**************************
Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  
May you be safe.  
May your loved ones be safe.  
πŸ™
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™
**************************
Vixenpath is a safe space.
If you are:
LGBTQ+
Black
Brown
Asian
Any race
Coming out
Anything.
I am a safe person and I will always hold space for you in love and light.
Ruinwen
πŸ˜€


Friday, October 15, 2021

Color and Texture

 

these stitches look like little jewels

I love linen stitch, I think I may have mentioned that before. 😏

Linen stitch is smooth and resembles a woven fabric on the RS and then the WS side is full of small bumps.  Both are delightful in their own way.

For instance, if you were making a cotton washcloth, this would be an excellent stitch since the smooth side would feel amazing on your skin and the bumpy side would be great for exfoliating.

This stitch pattern uses three colors to create a reversible vibrant landscape of color and texture.  I added a one-stitch slipped selvage border on the edge to tie it all together.

It seems difficult, but it is really very easy to achieve this fabric.

You will need three yarns of the same weight and a needle that is the size recommended on the ball band.

Abbreviations

wyib - with yarn in back

wyif - with yarn in front

RS - right side of work

sl - slip the yarn purlwise

WS - wrong side of work

Pattern

Cast on in multiples of 2 +2 in color A

You will add in color B on Row 2 and color C on Row 3 and then they will just fall into place for the rest of the pattern.  

Always bring the old color around to the back before starting to knit or purl with the new one to keep a neat edge.

Row 1 (RS) in color A: sl1 wyib, *K1, sl1 wyif* repeat to ** to last stitch, K1

Row 2 (WS) in color B: sl1 wyif, *P1, sl1 wyib* repeat ** to last stitch, P1

Row 3 in color C: sl1 wyib, *K1, sl1 wyif* repeat to ** to last stitch, K1

Row 4 in color A:  sl1 wyif, *P1, sl1 wyib* repeat ** to last stitch, P1

Row 5 in color B:  sl1 wyib, *K1, sl1 wyif* repeat to ** to last stitch, K1

Row 6 in color C:  sl1 wyif, *P1, sl1 wyib* repeat ** to last stitch, P1

Keep repeating these six rows until you have the length you desire.

If you have any questions about this tutorial, please leave a message in the comments and I will happily answer you.

******************************************************
In other news, I organized my needles and my WIPS (work in progress).  I feel super accomplished this week.

How do you organize your needles or projects?

Happy crafting!
Ruinwen πŸ€—

**************************
Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone being affected by this virus.  
May you be safe.  
May your loved ones be safe.  
πŸ™
**************************
Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.
πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™
**************************
Vixenpath is a safe space.
If you are:
LGBTQ+
Black
Brown
Asian
Any race
Coming out
Anything.
I am a safe person and I will always hold space for you in love and light.
Ruinwen
πŸ˜€




Friday, September 24, 2021

Fixing A Little Oopsie

This week I got to go back in time a bit to a moment when a friend gave me knitting to fix.  It was in a huge heart blanket that I designed for her, and she had forgotten a YO in one of the hearts at their base.

This was in December of 2010 and I was pretty good at fixing things but this was something I had never attempted.  I was able to do it though and that changed everything for me.

Fast forward to last week and my friend is making that heart blanket again with a new and improved design and she forgot a YO.

This time, I knew what to do and I was able to do it quickly and she said you couldn't even tell where it was fixed!  Yay experience!  

YO is missing from Row 3

This little sample is missing a YO just like the blanket was.  It is easy enough to rip this back but in a blanket of over 250 stitches you don't want to necessarily do that if you don't have to.

This sample is 6 rows.  If you would like to practice this technique then here is my sample info.

CO 11 stitches

Row 1:  K4, YO, SSK, K5
Row 2:  K2, P7, K2
Row 3:  K3, K2tog, YO, K1, (this is where your YO should be, but we are skipping it), SSK, K3
Row 4:  K2, P6, K2
Row 5:  K2, K2tog, YO, K3, YO, SSK, K1
Row 6:  K1, P7, K2

If I had been counting then I would have seen that this section was only 10 stitches instead of 11.  Also, the fact that there were not enough stitches on the edge for my 2 stitch garter border would have been a clue that something was wrong as well.

But say, that this happened while I was binge-watching something that I probably should not have tried to knit during since my eyes were on the screen, or maybe the doorbell rang and when I came back I missed that YO.  Hey, it happens all the time and it is fine.  πŸ˜€

So let's fix this.  

Tools I use:
  • crochet hook
  • locking stitch markers
  • double-pointed needles
Normally you would have a bunch of other stitches on the needle and you would slide the stitches to where you need to be and then move that section to double-pointed needles.  But with a sample, you just put a locking stitch marker through the first two stitches and the last stitch on the needle to keep the working yarn from unraveling as you are ripping back.

Now you will slowly take out row by row until you get to Row 3.  Gently remove the working strands from each of the stitches as they present themselves.  You will have to turn the SSK stitches around since they will have left facing front legs and you want right facing front legs.

using a system to keep track of your strands can save a lot of hassle

You will also have to manage your strands.  You can do this with any method you like, colored stitch markers or little pieces of yarn.  If this was on a huge needle, I just lay them in order on the right-hand needle, but we can't do that here.

The last picture shows the strands all ripped back and identified to the row that we are fixing.  My thumb is where the YO should be created.

using the strand for that row, I have reknit the row

Here we can see that I have reknit Row 3, from right to left with the strand for that row and now that row is fixed.  Using a strand to knit with can get challenging towards the end so you might need a crochet hook to work the last stitch.

For Row 4 knit all stitches right to left with that row's strand.

Work pattern Row 5 with that row's strand.

Finally, work Row 6 knitting all stitches right to left with that row's strand.

the pattern is fixed

Ta da!  The pattern is fixed the YO is where it should be and the stitch count is back to 11.

Things to consider when fixing an area of lace like this:
  • Be patient
  • Use as many tools as you need
  • Keep your strands organized
  • The final result might need a little zhushing or adjusting to make it uniform
You got this! πŸ€—❤️

If you would like me to make a video of this process, please drop me a comment below.

all my spices have a place now

In other news, I organized my spice cabinet and everything is now super easy to find.  Yay me!

If you have any questions or comments about this or any of my other tutorials please leave a comment and I will be happy to get back to you.

Do you have a favorite spice?  Mine is smokey paprika.

Happy crafting!

Ruinwen
πŸ˜€

**************************

Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—

**************************

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

May you be safe.  

May your loved ones be safe.  

πŸ™

**************************

Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.

πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™

**************************

Vixenpath is a safe space.


If you are:


LGBTQ+

Black

Brown

Asian

Any race

Coming out

Anything.


I am a safe person and I will always hold space for you in love and light.




Friday, September 17, 2021

When Life Gives you Pluots...

 

my rainbow/chakra/pride feather and fan banket 

I finished a big project this week and I had to share it with you all.  My rainbow/chakra/pride/feather and fan rainbow made of bright and happy colors blanket is finally done.  It took 5 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver Stripes in the Favorite Stripe colorway.

I adore this blanket so much.  It is so bright and cheery; I can wrap myself in it to help me absorb colors while meditating.  

So that means a new project can be started now that one of my old ones has been completed.

I was going to show you something else but if I want to get this out today it will have to wait until next week.  You see I ordered 3 pluots from our CSA and I got 3 dozen.  We barely had room in the fridge for so many little apricot/plum hybrids.  

tartlet of pluots

I didn't know what to do so I made little tarts.

You basically take your pastry dough and add a little vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup for sweetness and then add the filling and pile any leftover dough on top.

I could have rolled out the dough and encased them but I wanted to leave room for a lot of pluots so I just piled the little pan till it was full.

I used a glaze/drizzle of balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and cinnamon and it was really good.

So when life gives you pluots, make some little tangy tarts.  πŸ€—

Have you made anything new this week?

Happy crafting!

Ruinwen
πŸ˜€

**************************

Safe socially-distanced hugs  πŸ€—

**************************

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

May you be safe.  

May your loved ones be safe.  

πŸ™

**************************

Sending love and light to everyone facing discrimination, hate, prejudice, inequality, or racism.

πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ™

**************************

Vixenpath is a safe space.


If you are:


LGBTQ+

Black

Brown

Asian

Any race

Coming out

Anything.


I am a safe person and I will always hold space for you in love and light.