Comfort & Joy

I’m not ready to unpack 2020 yet. It still feels heavy and outside of COVID it was a tremendously difficult year personally. I’m a person who powers through, then unpacks when there’s a moment to catch my breath so there’s no doubt that you’ll hear about 2020 in the coming months now that I’m back in this space, but there’s time …

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. It’s funny, one day I was reading while commuting on the train in NYC and a former colleague who I hadn’t seen in 15 years came up to me and said “still reading I see!” I remember him now and that comment because reading is one of the things that got me through 2020. Reading comforted me at every turn. Every book felt like an old friend making space for me, reaffirming how much its there for me — in good times and in tough.

One of the books I received in 2020 (as a gift) from my friend Becca is Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. It’s been reported that this YA author had been plotting this book since she was 13. In August 2020, she published it 2 days before her 27th birthday. I didn’t read this one in 2020 but I reached for it on January 6th 2021. Like so many of us, I needed to escape, I needed comfort. The book’s themes of change, equity, justice and righteous fight are welcomed as we usher in a new President and Vice President today. The cover art is stunning but more than that, it’s been a joy to read so far. The characters are vibrant, the writing rich! Although I’m only about a third the way in, I’m already excited for Book 2 in the series.

(Photo credit: TeniKomo Photography/Cover courtesy of Abrams)

Supported spindling is a newish addition to my yarn spinning arsenal and that’s what I did in 2020 craft-wise. Not a lick of knitting or crochet, just spinning — by wheel and by spindles — mostly supported spindling. As the lock-down lengthened (I’m still working remotely since March 2020), as COVID numbers surged, as flight after flight got cancelled trying to get my mom home before her holiday visa ran out, as the medical personnel in my family and everywhere else were crushed by the volume of patients, suffering and death, as people ignored the advice of professionals and the validity of science, as I watched the murder of a black man in broad daylight, as I learned of another black man being gunned down while jogging, as we got the news of Breonna Taylor being murdered in her home, I spun yarn. I spun, and spun and spun and spun. The meditative quality of spinning helped me zone out when the news, the state of the country and the world at large threatened to crush us.

The nuns of Inglenook Fibers fame are hands down, geniuses with fiber. I missed the sign up for their advent fiber calendar but as life goes, blessings sneak in between the tough times. A dear friend split her pack in half then sent me my own advent kit as a Christmas gift. I’ve been spinning the pack since the day after Christmas. Work interrupted my spinning but here we are: Comfort and Joy.

I finished the last color bump 3 nights ago and the goal is to ply them (2 ply) over the coming weekend … or maybe I might play hooky and ply during the inauguration today. The new administration brings a level of competence we were sorely missing during the last four years. More than that, it’s about time we’re comforted from 2020’s losses by a kind, empathetic President. It’s about time we feel more concrete, longer lasting joy.

Linking with Kat and friends today at Unraveled Wednesdays to share what we’re reading and crafting

23 thoughts on “Comfort & Joy

  1. lovestoswatch February 7, 2021 / 1:42 pm

    what an utterly amazing collection of beautiful spindles!!!

    • Nicky February 7, 2021 / 3:24 pm

      Thank you! Some are gifts and very much treasured. I plan to do a meet the maker series at some point this year to introduce readers to the spindle makers. 😀

  2. knittingissofun January 26, 2021 / 4:02 pm

    I don’t spin or weaving so I live vicariously through others. Looking forward to your crafting, and life, observations.

    • Nicky January 26, 2021 / 10:17 pm

      Thanks for visiting Maureen! It’s a pleasure to have you here and I look forward to connecting on each other’s blogs.

  3. Mary-Anne January 25, 2021 / 2:10 pm

    Wow. I thought I had a lot of spindles. Mine are mostly homemade – yours are GORGEOUS. I am glad to hear from you and I am sending you peace and love and blessings for 2021. Your writing is very calming and inspirational. Thank You.

    • Nicky January 25, 2021 / 8:21 pm

      Thank you Mary-Anne.

      I remember when I just started spindle spinning, a Youtuber on a tutorial I was checking out said that spindles are like sweeties (candy), and just as easy to collect, she was NOT kidding! LOL! Thank you so much for the spindle love.

      Best to you for 2021, it’s been so hard but we can do this — for ourselves and for our community at large. ❤

  4. Monica January 23, 2021 / 11:09 am

    I can relate so much. I have faith that we will come to the other side stronger, kinder and wiser. Baby steps! Keep your fiber close. The knitting needles will still be there for when you are ready. We all are behind you, sister! All the way….xoxo

    • Nicky January 23, 2021 / 4:22 pm

      Thank you love! Looking forward to traveling through 2021 with you! ❤

  5. handmade habit January 21, 2021 / 2:24 am

    I’m so glad to hear that spinning was/is such a great source of comfort and joy. Lovely work! I share your feelings, and took refuge in making during 2020. What a great read to recommend! I have some YAs in my family who I think would really appreciate this book. Thanks for the writing about it! Wishing you peaceful plying!

    • Nicky January 22, 2021 / 11:46 pm

      I’m glad the book recommendation helps.

      Crafting benefits in so many ways, how could we not love it? I’m glad you too found reprieve in crafting in 2020. Here’s to more in 2021!

  6. January 20, 2021 / 8:01 pm

    What a lovely post. Beautiful words.

    I thought at one time I had spinning in my future but it didn’t take! And in all honesty the last thing I needed was a new hobby!!! I think I’ll simply enjoy yours.

    New to me author!! Thank you.

    • Nicky January 22, 2021 / 11:53 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words Stephanie.

      If you ever change your mind about spinning, let me know. I’ll send you a beginner’s kit and some resources. 😀

  7. debsfibers1 January 20, 2021 / 10:07 am

    Such perfect words for such a terrible year. So wonderful to see you back here. Your thoughtful words touch my heart and I’m especially glad that spinning was the thread that carried you through this year. Hold on, spin on, and happy dance for a new author!

    • Nicky January 20, 2021 / 3:53 pm

      ❤ Thank you Twin! I'll definitely give my feedback of the read when I'm done.

  8. readknit January 20, 2021 / 9:24 am

    I’ve been waiting for a kinder, gentler, more competent, caring, and moral administration for four interminable years and I am so glad that Inauguration Day is finally here. May it be calm and peaceful so they can get to work. Keep spinning!

    • Nicky January 20, 2021 / 3:54 pm

      Thank you, I will!

      I think we’ve all been holding our collective breath for a kinder, gentler, more competent administration — even the people who don’t think they need it. They need it most of all.

  9. Kat January 20, 2021 / 9:15 am

    I am in awe of your beautiful spinning! (and inspired!!) How did I not know about the Nuns of Inglenook Fibers? Thank you for sending me to that lovely rabbit hole! And thank you for sharing a new-to-me author!

    Welcome to Unraveled Wednesday – I am so happy you joined us!

    • Nicky January 20, 2021 / 3:56 pm

      Once you fall into the Inglenook Fibers rabbit hole you never get out — that’s how good they are! LOLOL!

      And thank you! I think I probably have just as much spinning wips as I have for crochet and knitting. I just ❤ spinning.

  10. savethestationery January 20, 2021 / 5:30 am

    All the best for 2021! It’s been a minute, great to hear from you

    • Nicky January 20, 2021 / 3:57 pm

      Same friend! It’s really been a minute but I’m so glad to hear from you and hope you’re doing well. Cheers for a great 2021 and stay safe! ❤

  11. savethestationery January 20, 2021 / 5:29 am

    It’s been forever! Love hearing from you and wishing you all the best for 2020.

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