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Crazy for Ewe

The in-process mess

The in-process mess

I spent much of last week getting the house ready for the holidays.  I’m not an over-the-top type when it comes to Christmas decorating, but a friend asked if we would be on the Health Share Holiday House Tour this year, and it’s such a worthy cause that I couldn’t say no. But when people pay actual money to see them, your decorations have to be extra.  

So, I enlisted several trusted friends to help me hose down the mantles with greenery and hang a power of garland and ribbons and wreaths - oh my. 

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Knitting heroes

Knitting heroes
Author Joseph Campbell wrote extensively about the creation of legendary figures - the hero story. Heroes begin as relatively ordinary men and women who receive a call to action. Whether to fight a monster or simply prove themselves, heroes resist the call at first, but eventually accept, heading off to lands unknown, both figurative and literal. They meet a mentor who shares the skills and secrets the hero needs along the way.  The journey is not without difficulties. They try and fail. They fall and get up. They lose faith. They begin again. In the end, the hero succeeds and returns a new and more Continue reading

Knit in real life

Knit in real life

Saturday in the shop, Melissa and I were looking at an ad from Eileen Fisher.

Melissa said, "I love this ad‑ three women, all different ages, all different sizes, and all different colors, wearing basically the same sweater. It makes me sad when I hear women look at a pattern and say 'I could never wear that.'"

"Maybe they mean it's just not their personal style," I offered.

"That's different, " she said. "That's 'I would never wear that' not 'I could never wear that.'"

I agreed. "I think when someone says, 'I could never wear that,' there is this unspoken following clause of 'and look like that in it,' which is not the point."

"Right," she said, "because  you're not supposed to look like someone else in your clothes. It's not a costume. You're supposed to look like you in your clothes."

The beauty of knitting is that you make your garment to fit you, the way you like it.

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An attitude of gratitude

An attitude of gratitude
We spend a lot of time in the industry talking about how to find happiness and peace and calm through our knitting. Even here in my newsletters I talk about finding happiness through mindfulness and gratitude.  In his book Awakening Joy, Frank Baraz talks about how a deep and sincere gratitude, practiced each and every day, helps us to find Joy in our live despite what is happening around us. When our car breaks down and we're late for an important meeting, and we have to call a friend to come get us, gratitude is not the emotion most of us feel. It's hard to look at that situation and be grateful, but that is exactly what Baraz suggests we do: think "I am grateful that I have a car to break down, a job in which I am valued, friends to call, and money for a tow truck." It's a revolutionary way to live, but the recent death of a friend has shown me how important it is to try. Continue reading

Validation through knitting

Validation through knitting

When Elizabeth, my oldest, was born, I remember my father saying that unless she grew up to be a major celebrity, she would never again command the constant attention and adoration she had right now. It is true. We doted on her; watched her every move, and applauded her every accomplishment. It's really no wonder first children and only children turn out the way they do.

As Elizabeth grew, and her siblings came along, life returned to a new normal, and that rockstar attention waned. But even older children crave

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The big transition

The big transition
This is a week of transition. The cool morning air and the shifting of the light tell us fall is coming. School is starting. Summer's relaxed lifestyle gives way to a more structured one. A million tiny transitions each move us forward. Every night to day, every row from knit to purl and back again. These are not tough. We’ve made these transitions a thousand times. We know what to expect and how to handle them. Colton, going back to school for his senior year is so unlike the freshman who worried about finding his classes in the high school labyrinth. This year is No Big Deal. It’s the big transitions, the shift from the familiar  Continue reading

Knitting yourself serenity

Knitting yourself serenity
My high school physics teacher, Mrs. Corbin, a rare gem who wore a lab coat to class, introduced wave theory to me. My only experience with waves was the ocean, where current and tide and a whole host of other forces at work that made simple waves confusing for me. She explained that a wave makes the water rise and fall as it passes through, but despite appearances, it doesn't actually move the water forward. It was hard for me to understand until she brought in a Shive Wave Machine pictured above to demonstrate.It was fascinating to see how the bars moved up and down as the wave advanced horizontally across  Continue reading

Yarn just wants to be understood

Yarn just wants to be understood

My daughter Katie called Sunday to say she was coming down for dinner. Just a quick trip because she missed us while we were on vacation. It's wonderful to have her this close and to have such a good relationship with her, especially since it could easily have gone the other way. 

You see, Katie was a challenging teenager. Strong-willed and rebellious, always pushing the boundaries and then some. Not mean spirited, but 

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There is no right path, only your path

There is no right path, only your path
Melissa, one of my favorite people, was in the shop on Saturday. She brought with her batch of the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever-in-the-history-of-the-universe, fresh from the oven. Still warm. But I digress. Anyhow, something came up about German, and she said that after washing out of Chemical Engineering in college, she had majored in German. I too, had washed out of chemical engineering in college and majored in English. In all  Continue reading

Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome
I had a rough start with my Koto.  I consider myself a good knitter, but this pattern is challenging me.  Nothing in it is too hard.  Not a complicated stitch pattern.  Shadow wrap short rows, which I know how to do.  The problem was in my understanding.  This is a very talented designer with a focus on details that make for a clean, professional-looking garment.  But for some reason the way she explained things, and the way I understood things did not match up.  It wasn't until nearly a skein and a Continue reading
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