The Birthday Edition: Keep Going …

Today’s my birthday so I thought it would be a great day to really bring my blog back.  I could complain about how life has been in 2019 but it’s not even worth it.  There are things happening that I can’t even give voice to but that’s life.  My goal is to persevere and be grateful regardless of what else is going on.

The other reason I figured I’d start documenting here again is that although I love(d) Instagram, the current silencing of BIPoC (Black Indigenous People of Color) is really getting to me.  The supremacists and racists are getting all kinds of passes on that platform and sometimes it’s just too much to deal with. When social media gets to the point where people’s physical lives are threatened and they have to leave Instagram for the safety of themselves and their families, I’m out.   I’ll fight for and with the pro-social justice warriors but I don’t want to spend whatever time I have fighting with people who are not interested or willing to stop devaluing black and brown bodies in all the ways they do.

The older I get, the more some things become priority and arguing with irrational people is not one of them.  As my mother always says “the very word irrational tells you when to walk away.  You can never have a rational conversation with an irrational mind.” When I type here, document my life and my crafting here, it’s for me. Those who want to engage do so and frankly, this is a space I can control to a higher degree than I can on Instagram.  If no one engages, it’s still for me.

So I’m back here.  In my tiny spot on the net.   Anti-racist, anti-supremacist, anti-capitalist, pro-social justice, inclusive, pro-intentional living, examiner of my own privilege and without a doubt, PRO-craft.  This used to be a primarily a craft blog, now think of it as a mish-mash of my life.  Think of it as the electronic diary of my life — which incidentally is what it started as.  So here on my birthday, I’ve come full circle — well at least with what this blog will serve as.

On the craft front, there’s been nothing but spinning, spinning, spinning.   I don’t think I’ve knit 1 stitch for the year so far — no lie!  With a lot that happened this year, I didn’t have time to sit and think about patterns, it’s been easy to sit at my desk, stand on the train, chill outside waiting for friends or my favorite cousin (Sabs) and spin.  And spin. And spin.

Some of my WIPs include:

These tiddly bits that I made from a neon braid purchased from Mirla Fiber Arts

This is a long term project.  I’m a migraine sufferer and can’t take my meds for the foreseeable future so this project is my stress reducer at work.

This one is a fun spin.  BFl locks carded with merino from my friend Amber Helena   I’m almost done with the last rolag she sent, after that, it’s a wrap on my Andean ply tool then a 2 ply spin.

This one is super special.  My friend Elisa Dallomo sent this spindle to me as a self-care “you got this” gift while I deal with some serious health issues.  The spindle is a pleasure to spin on but the confidence she has that I’ll be fine in the end makes this project even more pleasurable ❤

This project is another one that I’m not rushed about.  In August, I added a mini electric wheel to my fleet of wheels and this spin is just to test out that machine.  With a wheel that small, at the cost of a spindle, there were bound to be some issues.  I don’t mind testing it out at all — the review will come once I’m done the spin and all the recommended hacks.

So yes, I’ve been busy … still spinning/crafting (and working on a secret project 😉 ) despite my absence and quiet in this space.  I’ll wait until next time to tell you about my spindle loving obsession. 😆  Yep … same ole me.  When I jump in, I’m all in!  😆

Hope you’ve been well and I’d love to catch up with you in the comments  ❤

xoxo & keep crafting,

Nicky

 

It’s Okay To Change Direction

The month started with great plans — my “Luck O The Irish” stash-down fiber spin,  a test knit and a skill building yarn spinning exercise.   Then life happened.  My cousin who had been battling colon cancer for the last year and a half passed.  The grief has been gut wrenching.  I cry at the drop of a hat or laugh and smile at the happy memories. My mom reminded me yesterday that my reactions and feelings are all normal so I should just go with how I’m feeling at any given time.  It doesn’t help that there’s an issue at work that’s possibly the worst thing I’ve ever dealt with in my professional life.  Then the world got the news of the racist terrorist attack on Muslims on Christchurch.  To say March was a doozy is an understatement.

I’m not one to stay down for long, so I changed course.  My cousin lived her life in the most positively impactful ways so in her memory and for my own benefit, the way she lived is a reminder for me to do the same.

The spin I planned for my March stash-down goal has problems.  The fiber is divine, the dye job lovely, but the seller managed to pack 4 ozs of fiber into 7 rolags.  OMG!!!  Although I pre-drafted the fiber like crazy, it is still a bear to spin.  I made some headway but the emotional upheaval of the month and all the effort this spin requires, it has become too difficult for me to manage.  For non-spinners to understand what I’m staying, you can typically get about 8 – 10 rolags out of 2 ozs of fiber so to have double the amount of fiber in less rolags, let’s say this project was a fight from start until I decided to call it quits.  I just need to be able to sit, spin and not think and this project requires too much.  My goal is to undo the fiber at some later date then roll the rolags again — less dense with more rolags per 2 ozs.

So instead, for my March stash-down, I started to spin Inglenook FibersMossy colorway in their popular sticklebatts offering.   It’s a lovely Irish green (so still in keeping with the Luck O’ The Irish stash-down theme) and just wonderful to spin.  I just draft and let the fiber with all its extras do what it wants to do.  I’ve finished about 3 out of the 12 sticklebatts in the bag but so far it’s quite lovely:

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

I’ve been spinning it on my EEL (Dreaming Robots) e-spinner so the spin has been going at a good rate.

I’ve also committed to improving my spindling this year — both supported and drop — so for that reason and grief therapy, I’ve started this spin on an affordable spindle I found on Etsy:

Sidebar: I highlighted the word affordable because there’s more I want to say about this spindle and this word in my next post.

I also had to set aside a skill-building spin (3 ply fractal) I started with the ThreeWatersFarm group on Ravelry.

I’m moving back to my normal self so I think I’ll be ready to pick that up again in a week or so.

The test knit I abandoned is going to get its own post.  That was definitely an exercise in changing direction.  The yarns I chose for it looked lovely, photograph nicely together but in person, they were not playing well together at all.  But all that will be in another post.

As I look back at the month, even in the difficult moments there have been lessons.  I’m going to miss my cousin fiercely.  How could I not? Even her transition reminds me that it’s okay to change direction when I need to.