"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Monday, 31 December 2012

This is it

I've completed the fibonacci sequence striped scarf. It was super easy and while I was curious about how the stripe placement would look I found it rather boring to knit and so it seemed to take forever but I had to get this in as the last completed knitting project of the year. I've been distracted. Babygirl is sleeping and now so am I. The result is a tremendous outflow of energy that has gotten me into multiple projects and I'm even reading a book again but not on knitting. I'm looking forwards to the new year and it leaves me wondering when is a prayer selfish? Please send an email me or post a comment if you have an answer.
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Sunday, 30 December 2012

How priceless is this?

I've always hated socks. Even nice, warm handknitted wool ones. I'd rather go barefoot. But since its winter we are both wearing socks. Today I changed things up a bit. We both had a little barefoot time. She played with hers and I dabbed on a bit of nail polish on mine.
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Monday, 24 December 2012

In loving memory

Dad ~ I miss you. It's hard to understand that dreadful day in may when God took you away. ~I love you.
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Sunday, 23 December 2012

poem on pain

Out of all the poems i've read on pain to me this one says it best. It would seem the writer is talking from his experience and has gone through and come out the other side intact.

How We Survive

If we are fortunate,
we are given a warning.
If not,
there is only the sudden horror,
the wrench of being torn apart;
of being reminded
that nothing is permanent,
not even the ones we love,
the ones our lives revolve around.
Life is a fragile affair.
We are all dancing
on the edge of a precipice,
a dizzying cliff so high
we can't see the bottom.
One by one,
we lose those we love most
into the dark ravine.
So we must cherish them
without reservation.
This minute.
We will lose them
or they will lose us
This is certain.
There is no time for bickering.
And their loss
will leave a great pit in our hearts;
a pit we struggle to avoid
during the day
and fall into at night.
unable to accept this loss,
unable to determine
the worth of life without them,
jump into that black pit
spiritually or physically,
hoping to find them there.
And some survive
the shock,
the denial,
the horror,
the bargaining,
the barren, empty aching,
the unanswered prayers,
the sleepless nights
when their breath is crushed
under the weight of silence
and all that it means.
Somehow, some survive all that and,
like a flower opening after a storm,
they slowly begin to remember
the one they lost
in a different way...
The laughter,
the irrepressible spirit,
the generous heart,
the way their smile made them feel,
the encouragement they gave
even as their own dreams were dying.
And in time, they fill the pit
with other memories
the only memories that really matter.
We will still cry.
We will always cry.
But with loving reflection
more than hopeless longing.
And that is how we survive.
That is how the story should end.
That is how they would want it to be.
- Mark Rickerby

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

when I am stronger

Its been an emotional day. These are some of my dads shirts I was given. The shirts are old and worn and I realize I feel like them. They will be the weft for something functional I will weave. I am hoping in the process to find something I can take with me. I will keep you posted.
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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Puddle Reflection

I had to stop and admire the translucent beauty in this puddle and then it reminded me how december is the last month of the year and as all endings invite reflection it is time to look in the mirror. I must ask myself what have I done and not done with the time? The answer is not complicated. I have birthed. I have taken care of us. I have grown what I believe is in the right direction towards a truer authentic self. I must reassess and ask what do I need to do? That answer is simple. More knitting.
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Friday, 14 December 2012

What's on my needles?

I've got two projects going one of which is a baby doll yoked style sweater but I've been having a bit of a perplexing issue and I've been indecisive which is driving me crazy. Its going to be knit in the round. From the waist to the start of the armpits is 16 inches but just how full do I want it in the waist and bust and what sort of drape is the sweater going to have? I knit an inch and thought it was to big so I pulled it off the needles. Upon closer examination I thought maybe its ok. So I spent the next hour and a half putting and rearranging and finding stitches. Of course I can't knit it in mind-numbing stockinette which at this point seems the sensible thing to do. I chose a simple lace pattern that at one point I used to knit a scarf. I don't know where the scarf went but I still had the lace pattern written down. I missed my bedtime trying to restore order to my knitting mess and then Babygirl woke up ready to play and that's when I discovered her diaper had fallen off... Now I've knit a good six inches all the while inwardly debating whether or not the sweater was to big. Last night I carefully transferred all of the stitches to a scrap piece of yarn and yes I finally decided it is to big even for my nursing boobs. So now the debate has shifted to what am I going to do since I've finally learned that to deny the obvious and continue to knit will not make the sweater smaller. So as I debate what to do I've gone back to knitting on the first project which I will show you soon. What I must tell you is how honoured I've been with regular visits from a female, anna hummingbird. It must be adventurous surviving out there and I admire the little bird's wit, strength and determination. Now I must remember to have that same spirit of adventure with my knitting before I chew down my bamboo needles in distress.
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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Learning to Simplify

"Who needs the highchair?" I asked Babygirl. I had dumped a bowl of soup on the rug under the kitchen table the night before and needed to finish cleaning it up and that's when my nearly new vacuum freshly off warranty used maybe 20x with no scratches from a well known box store that sells lots of other wonderful, high quality items wouldn't stay running. Now I was making old-fashioned oatmeal porridge for breakfast and because I hadn't made it in awhile I looked on the label for instructions. But the label on the package said macaroni! It was Robert Browning who said, "Less is more." The rug was supposed to make our life better. But like many things that are supposed to simplify they only complicate. With the rug gone and Babygirl in her highchair I sat down to eat my half cooked cereal. At least if I throw it on the floor I can clean it up.
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Sunday, 2 December 2012

A december day

I was sitting nursing on a rotten log and watching several winter wrens hopping through the dense underbrush. One came closer and then it spotted us. It hopped onto a stump within arms reach and looked us up and down. I wonder what it saw? BabyGirl saw it to and her little mouth stopped sucking momentarily. The bird continued on and I looked up through the trees and saw a cerulean blue sky. It reminded me of this morning as I sat at the kitchen table drinking my hot chocolate. The light was coming in fast. The maple trees were black silhouettes. But what I couldn't figure out was what shade of blue the sky was? It wasn't baby blue, cerulean blue, midnight blue, prussian blue, navy blue, phthalo blue, periwinkle blue, ultra marine blue, cobalt blue, turquoise blue, tiffany blue, royal blue, indigo blue, or steel blue. I couldn't think of any more blues. So I looked online and according to wikipedia there are 58 to choose from so I've just gotten started. But while I'm talking about colors I want to mention red. My bright red hummingbird feeder is still up and today I momentarily had a visitor. But the bird saw me on the other side of the glass and took off before landing and before I had a good look. (The feeder is close to the kitchen window) I put sugar water in it and I'm hoping the precious little bird will come back and delight my soul with a visit.
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Saturday, 1 December 2012

BabyGirls First Christmas Afghan

It took me about two months to knit this heirloom lace style afghan pattern I designed. I knit an average of a hour a day. Its super soft as all knitted afghans are. Its my twist on the classic feather and fan. There is a double set of fans with a row of eyelets on either side. I want to put satin lace through these eyelet rows. I bought some "satin" ribbon (at least that is what it said on the package) and when I got home and opened it I realized it wasn't. Satin should be soft. So I will show another picture when I find real satin and am able to finish it. On christmas eve I will wrap her beautiful little self in it and myself and sing all the christmas songs I know. Ok. Here is the pattern. Cast on 234 sts on a 36" circular needle. Do not join. You will be working back and forth in rows. Row 1 knit. Row 2 purl. (First time place a stitch marker where each slash is. 18/18/3/18/18/3/18/18/3/18/18/3/18/18/3/18/18/3/18/18) Row 3*(k2tog) 3 times;(yo,k1) 6 times; (k2tog) 3 times.* Repeat from * to * once more. K1, yon,k2tog. Repeat pattern again starting from * across the entire row. Row 4 knit. Repeat rows 1 to 4 until afghan is desired length. Cast off on row 4. I used two, 380 gram balls and my afghan measures approximately 66" wide by 62" long. However for ease of pattern writing I have added an additional 36 sts. If I would have had more yarn I would have made it another foot longer as that would have made it into a single bedspread size. I liked the simple rhythm of the repeats in this pattern and found it to be good soothing knitting.
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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Chinese proverb

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer it sings because it has a song." To me this means you don't need to have an answer all the time but when you do speak it should be from your heart. There are different bird songs. Some are joyful, others melancholy, some yearning and others wistful. You should consider the effect of your words on others. What does this proverb mean to you?
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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Where am I going from here?

Last week I cut off a finished tapestry and started another. The joy and loss I have experienced in the past year and a half has made an indelible mark upon my soul. My new work reflects this. These are tapestries that celebrate both the light and the dark. They are an obvious metaphor for my life. This juxtaposition has resulted in a complete shift in my creativity. Everything about my work has changed. I know the weaving I am doing now is taking me somewhere although I don't know where and I'm not certain it matters. Life is a journey and my relationship with the fiber and the loom reflect mine. I would like to think that perhaps, someday I will heal but I may not and I have accepted that. I will show you pictures next summer when I exhibit.
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Friday, 16 November 2012

Pileated woodpecker tree

I found this cavity nest while doing a burn. The birds had a lovely view as it is located on a woodland edge of a bluff overlooking the sea. From what I read in my books the pileated woodpecker rarely uses a nesting location more than once. However other birds use these abandoned tree cavities. You can tell it belongs to the pileated because of the rectangular shape of the hole. All other woodpeckers that I am aware of make round holes. If you look close you can see grass stuck on the bark just below the hole. I have seen robins nest in tree cavities before and have suspected these are the ones who don't like the rain.
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Monday, 12 November 2012

For one red feather

Imagine. It's nap time. Your cuddled up in bed nursing your baby. Your eyelids feel heavy and your just about ready to drift off when you hear a familiar racket. You don't need to get up. You already know. Its the pileated woodpecker sending down a steady stream of bark and chips onto your roof. You wonder what are the odds of this happening during your nap time? And then you begin to wonder how did it know that now there were grubs in that snag? I did a google search and found that all woodpeckers tap on the tree and if there are grubs in the tree they will hear them. So I tapped a barkless part of the snag's base with the broad end of a hatchet and listened. Nothing. I emailed a biologist bird friend who informed me he had heard it before. He described it as a "grating" sound on a calm, warm day. With our temp(s) just above zero that could be a good explanation. I just wish that bird would leave one of those pretty red feathers behind at the base of the tree. Then I would be happy to let him excavate in exchange for that one red feather.
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Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Fireplace

This is the brick fireplace re faced in stone. I couldn't get a good picture but its in shades of blues and peach. Some of the rocks are solids and others are patterned. A few have mica (nature's glitter). Those are my favorites! The rocks at the base are in darker shades. As for my question- where is the iron that causes some rocks to stain? The stone mason answered it and told me the iron is in the rocks and it leaches out causing the stains. Generally rocks with iron are weaker and may crumble. I wish I could always find answers to my questions.
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Friday, 9 November 2012

Last night

I got 4 hours of straight, unbroken sleep. This is the first time in months. I felt incredible today. Life felt like a robins song instead of the waking dead. What a beautiful gift for me. Its amazing how much better mentally as well as physically I feel. But the best part of the day as usual is sharing laughter with my daughter.
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Saturday, 3 November 2012

We can only give what we are.

When I heard debris landing on the roof I went outside to investigate. There wasn't much I could do. There was no way to get the big birds attention without waking the baby. So I left the pileated woodpecker to continue his excavation in the branch-less snag. Talking about trees. Living trees give us oxygen. A tree cannot give what it does not have. Neither can we. We can only give what we are. This is another great reason for self improvement and brings me to a question. There is an eagles nest I walk by and yesterday when I did I watched one land in the nest with several sticks. The bird spent several minutes arranging and rearranging and even dislodged some which fell out in the process. It is known that they are monogamous and are bonded for life but do they ever have domestic disputes? You know it could go like this, "Hey why did you put that stick over there? I wanted it here." At which point the first one re-torts, "I'm the nest builder around here."
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Friday, 2 November 2012

The Golden Rectangle

Ok, so you knew about the fibonacci numbers.... The golden rectangle is one whose side lengths are the golden ratio which is 1.6. Why 1.6? If you take a fibonacci number in the sequence and divide it by the previous number the result is the golden ratio. It is not true of the early numbers in the sequence but if you continue with the sequence you get it every time. 5/3=1.67, 8/5=1.6, 13/8=1.625, 21/13=1.615, 34/21=1.619, 55/34=1.6176 and so forth. The history of the golden ratio goes back to ancient greece. The purpose of the golden rectangle is that you will proportionally create one that is pleasing to the eye. So to apply this to knitting an afghan let's say width (side a) =4 feet. To find out how long the other side needs to be, you multiply by 1.618. 4x1.618=6.47 feet. So length (side b) =6.47 feet. Curious I measured one of my afghans and found it to be rectangular although closer in shape to a square. Mind you it was knitted for a different purpose. Next time I will consider giving the golden rectangle a try. It appears to offer an appealing and useful sizing guide.
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Fibonacci whose real name was Leonardo da Pisa was an italian mathematician who lived during the middle ages. A fibonacci sequence starts with two numbers. These are fibonacci numbers which are found in nature; typically through numbers commonly found on flower petals, pinecones, seedheads on flowers etc. The third number is the sum of those two numbers. The fourth number is the sum of the previous two numbers and so on. For example: the fibonacci sequence as it appears in nature: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144 and so on. How cool is this!!!! So what is my point? This is the greatest idea for designing stripes in knitting. I would like to do an afghan but first I will knit something small to test out exactly what it is I want to do with the fibonacci sequence. If your going to take the time the knit something you might as well get excited! Don't tell my high school math teachers. They should have taught me knitting first.
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Friday, 26 October 2012

How to make the world a better place (one idea)

Do impatient people knit? (They ought to) What do they do when there yarn gets hopelessly tangled? Or children turn the digits on there row counter? Do they give up when they drop stitches or get bungled up in a pattern with a knitting error? Besides patience knitting teaches humility. Just when you get proud and wing it without doing a test swatch you will knit a sweater that will fit nobody you know. Probably because those body measurements don't exist. Knitting teaches gentleness. When your rough with the yarn you split it. When your rough with your needles if there bamboo they break and if there metal they bend. Broken or bent neither are of any use other than to gently poke whoever is getting into your knitting basket. Knitting teaches forgiveness. You will give things away that you have spent ten thousand hours on that are not appreciated. You will knit things that are so hideous that you will have to forgive yourself. We need more patience, humility, gentleness and forgiveness with each other and that is why the world would be a better place with more knitters.
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Thursday, 25 October 2012

This is the tree whose leaves I will put amongst the raspberries...

But until then I will let its ethereal beauty permeate the soul. Autumn. The first rain intensifies the colors. Fallen cedar tips glisten rust reds on wet, sandy roads. Maple trees glow sunset golds against dark evergreens. Why is it that death can be so beautiful in the natural world? The island is quiet now. The crowds and most of the people are gone and I am spending a lot of time alone playing with Babygirl. I find myself embracing the silence like the sister I never had.
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Thursday, 11 October 2012

The rest of the story

Last night after a 1 am nursing I heard what sounded like numerous mice running and chewing on the colemon coolers outside the bedroom window on the new deck. Having decided to break an avoidance habit of mine I got up and under the glare of my headlamp dug out traps and baited them with peanut butter. I set the traps in a cardboard box and opened the door. Now imagine my surprise when I found it drizzling on my new roof. But the story doesn't end. I set up my trapline and in the morning they were empty although one was missing. There were large, muddy dog prints surrounding where the trap had once been. I wonder if he went home with a trap attached to his nose.
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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Here is the deck I built with Babygirls assistance of course. Although I feel exhausted it more than replaces the one I had to take apart last fall. Now I'm going to sit in the rocking chair with my baby and sing lullaby's until we both fall asleep.
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Friday, 5 October 2012

Surviving Thanksgiving part two

I washed these rocks for a fireplace I'm designing for someone. The ones with iron stains I put in a discard pile. Was it the surrounding soil or iron in the ground water or perhaps the iron leaching out of the rocks that made the stains? When I got home I found a winter wren quietly waiting inside a sill. Earlier I had left the back door open. As soon as I opened a window it flew out. Perhaps it was trying to tell me how to respond to my pain. "Weeping may remain for the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalms. How long before morning? But perhaps I shouldn't be asking that. There are beautiful, black, shiny new head feathers on the no longer bald headed towhee. I looked online and apparently this bird is male as it is black and the chocolate colored ones are females. I'm glad he's got his feathers back. Even a bird can find something to be thankful for.
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Surviving thanksgiving part one

As the weekend begins I find the struggle to survive it increasing. Last night I found through a blog someone who had experienced greater loss than my own. It induced a perspective. Loss and rejection bring the age old question of what do you do with the pain? In the poem The Invitation it asks "....I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it......" Raw and wind whipped is what comes to mind. Does it lesson the pain by dwelling on it? Or did the arthur merely mean acknowledging it?
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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Poem by Li Po who was born in 701

"You ask me why I dwell on the emerald mountain. I laugh, without answering, my heart at ease. Peach flowers in the water's current linger into vanishing. Heaven and earth are different here than in the world of men."
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Friday, 28 September 2012

Oh my gosh! I found this yellow piece of seaglass. Its got a bit of the frosted white on the toe. According to what I found online yellow is quite rare. It is my first piece. One has to wonder what bottle it came from and when......the other thing that made me smile was dancing in front of the mirror with baby girl. She started to laugh and then I laughed. And we both laughed until I cried.
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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Matching mittens

I made these the same as the pattern I gave several months ago. However, instead of ribbon I knitted i-cord and I knitted the body of the mitten half an inch longer.
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Tuesday, 25 September 2012


The inspiration came from a vintage booklet. It was done in flat knitting. They made it in a solid color with garter stitch accents. Of course I knit mine in the round. I wanted to create something with a motif so I chose hearts. The buttons came from the thriftstore. I bought them still on the card and they originally retailed for seventy cents. I paid less than that. It was really fun to knit and although the original pattern showed a matching pair of footed pants I think I will skip that as Babygirl is just growing so fast I think she would outgrow them before I got them completed!
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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Reverend Biebuhr is attributed to have written the original serenity prayer during the 1930's which you will find at my bedside table. God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, so that I am reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen
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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I'm standing in sahal at least as high as my waist pruning out broom. My baby is in the snugli. We are working. However challenging it may be my heart is as light as the freshly fallen flicker feather I found the day before. Did the primitive woman know the secret to a mother's happy heart? Sometimes while I work you can hear me singing.....Mommy had a little girl, little girl, little girl. Mommy had a little girl she was always dressed in pink....
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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A baby is a miracle in human form.
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Monday, 3 September 2012

It's back

I awoke to the sound of a flock of geese flying low overhead. As they passed over one of them released droppings and it landed with several sharp tings on my metal roof. Why my roof? Perhaps it is a simple demonstration of a great truth. Life is unfair. And there is nothing you can do about it. But the world doesn't need more victims. Speaking of victims the bald headed towhee has reappeared at the feeder. From what I've read it either has a severe case of feather mites or is undergoing an abnormal molt. Which is by the way more likely to be seen in cardinals and jays. While I may find this victimized looking bird interesting the doe and speckled fawn that wondered past the front window took no notice. The fawn was more interested in the wide-eyed baby on the other side of the glass. Getting back to the geese at least it was only one of them that let go and not the whole flock.
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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Baby Dedication

I wrote a prayer that was read for the occasion. We stood in the center of the circle while everyone stood around us and the mother's prayer was read by someone else. This was the prayer: Dear Heavenly Father. Thank-you for the gift of my daughter. Like Hannah offered Samuel so I dedicate her to you, Lord. Help me as a parent, with my weaknesses and imperfections. Give me strength and Godly wisdom. Please supply what I lack. May my daughter grow to be a woman of courage, strength, compassion and wisdom. May she be a blessing to others. May she always make her identity in you Lord and not in this world. Please protect and guide her. May you always hold her in the palm of your hand. In Jesus name, amen. Handmade bracelets were given to each of us in honor of the occasion. This was a thoughtful surprise for me. As usual we closed with the Lords prayer and sang Praise God. 1 samuel 1:17 was read (another lovely surprise which I will treasure in my heart forever) "....go in peace and may God grant you what you asked of Him". The usual refreshments were served and we took a few pictures and shared hugs. I took her home for her nap and sat beside her watching her sleep and shed some tears.
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Thursday, 30 August 2012

The other morning I was on the beach with Babygirl in the jogger. I saw a lady wearing pink pajamas walking her dog. She had put a coat on and I thought that perhaps a bathrobe would have been more suitable. It was low tide and there was a heron standing where the receding sea touched the sand. From where I stood the bird was a gray silhouette. The sea was calm and except for the calling sea gulls and the sound of eagles wings it was quiet. The eagle flew by off to my left going intently somewhere. Was it late for an appointment? It never left any feathers behind and I wondered do they lose there molting feathers while in flight or while preening? I was looking for sea glass. I have lots of clear, brown, and different shades of blues and greens. When I find something that's unusually shaped or perfectly sea washed or a different color or shade than I already have I get deliriously happy.
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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Socks on birds

Outside my window I watched a robin come to a skid ding stop on a bare limb. He didn't need socks. The towhee that has been coming to the feeder for a long time is gone. The last few times I saw him he was missing all the feathers on the top of his head. I should have knit him a black hat.
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Saturday, 18 August 2012

I don't mind waking up at 5 am. When there's a smiling, shining baby beaming at me. But I can tell you a thing or two about fatigue. Did I mention how my naps can outlast Baby girl's? Or that pajamas are my favorite clothes? Or my favorite fantasy is sleep? A spider made a twenty foot or so line across the lane during the silent, clear night or was it at dawn? If he made it at night was it by instinct or did he spin it in the starlight? I saw the thread glistening in the early morning sunlight. How long did it take him to make? I ducked under it. Then there was the chickadee who got stuck in my suet feeder. The suet had gotten warm and sticky in the hot afternoon air. When I found him he was helplessly stuck in the suet with only his head protruding from the feeder. His companion watched as I held the feeder and slid the cake out freeing him. It didn't take long to clean himself off. Within several minutes they were back and I couldn't tell which one had been smothered in suet.
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Monday, 13 August 2012


After two attempts I have successfully modified the men's size ten pattern to fit my size 7.5 feet. To knit socks with a replaceable heel after shaping the heel~cast on the same number of stitches you would have picked up. Then you sew the slit ~ your heel stitches. The fair isle makes it super easy to tell which stitches belong to the remainder of the heel. Now I want a pair in shades of pink.
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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Baby Gear I can't live without

First is my snugli and close behind it is my baby jogger.
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Monday, 6 August 2012


These socks are size ten men's. I found this pattern in a vintage booklet titled socks and vests by Beehive or book no.91. If Beehive made a sock pattern for women I have been unable to locate it. It originally retailed for 50 cents. Interestingly, that is how much I paid for it. It comes with instructions in how to knit the sock so when the heel wears out you can easily replace it. I've since started and am reworking the pattern for a women's pair in size 7.5. I won't have cold feet in bed.
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Sunday, 5 August 2012

"The only zen you find on tops of mountains

is the zen you bring there." ~Robert M. Pirsig~ Will I choose to use this as my zen time or lament that I am alone? Will I find answers that will more fully center me as a human being? Am I capable of completing this reflection?
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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

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My Baby Bouquet

Pink roses symbolize grace and elegance. Different shades carry a different significance. Pale pink is associated with gentleness and sweetness. A single rose of any color represents simplicity. I never put a garden in this spring but the roses I planted last year are thriving.
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Monday, 30 July 2012

Another Afghan

The pattern came from a book titled "7 Day Knits". I spent 3 months basically knitting a hour a day. This is the equivalent of approximately 90 hrs. Yes it would be technically possible to knit it in 7 days. Knitting however is more fun if you stop before your eyes glaze over. My biggest achievement in this afghan is that I taught myself to knit while breast feeding. My biggest error is a yarn miscalculation ~ it's actually two different whites. I may try later to do something about that. I will keep you posted.
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Friday, 27 July 2012


Introduced in 1982 and still a success. Babygirl loves it and I do to. My only complaint is the trip I will have to make to the hardware store with the toy to find the tool to remove the screw for the battery compartment. Gosh this is mama~proofing.
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Thursday, 26 July 2012

I will take care of you

If your wondering why my blog entries are so short it's quite simple. I've got 18 years and 8 months to go and I want to keep you reading. Single parenting is a path I'm learning to accept. And it looks like I may be in it for the long haul. If a blended family didn't work it would be my daughter who would suffer. There is probably a good reason why a man my age doesn't have a child. That leaves two options: 1. Rob the cradle. 2. Find an old man. The younger man will probably want his own child and I wanted mine to share the same father. The older man is probably impossible to live with and that is why he is alone in the first place. I will not let my own unmet needs override what is in my daughter's best interest.
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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

You know your tired when:

1. Your not sure if your walking backwards or forwards. 2. You think please spelled backwards is sleep. 3. You mistake a diaper for your hat.
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Monday, 23 July 2012

Parenting as a single mother

I read Jan Reynolds Mother & Child: Visions of Parenting from Indigenous Cultures. This small book discusses the relationship of a mother and child within the sphere of a nomadic existence. Some of the people groups discussed are the Sherpas in the himalaya's and the Yanomama of the amazon. These women carried on with there work with their babies attached to them. They nursed uninhibited and unapologetic. The bond they had with their way of life and with the natural world was transferred to the child within the context of daily life. They raised children that were independent, self~reliant and self~confident. Since Babygirl was 2 days old I have carried her in the snugli. When she was 2 weeks I returned to work carrying her. She is now four months. I feel inspired by this book to continue on with what I feel is the best for her. The only thing I would have liked to ask any or all of these woman is how they managed when baby was teething?
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Thursday, 19 July 2012

I will not break

any more 2mm bamboo double points. I will remember when packing my knitting for traveling: socks are small but the needles are smaller.
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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

What is it like being a single parent?

Days are measured in degrees of how tired I am. Super means I don't know which is up or down. Extremely means I don't know which day of the week it is. Sorta means I will say full when I mean empty and non tired is something that doesn't exist.
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Sunday, 15 July 2012

An old knitting term

Last night I spent a delightful evening reading vintage knitting booklet number 117 titled Baby Styles. There was no date but in its day it retailed for 1.25. It was filled with beautiful babydoll layette patterns including one which Babygirl has. Its name popcorn ridge does it little justice as it is much more delicate than popcorn and more reminiscent of seed beads. The yarn I am going to use knits up nice at 6sts to an inch and most of the patterns called for 8.5sts except for a cape done in a variation of cats paw lace. All of these patterns had a term I did not recognize. I looked in the back under abbreviations and it wasn't there or anywhere else in the booklet. The term was wl.fwd. Because of the typeset I wasn't sure if it was a 1 or a l. According to a google search it is a l and its an old British term for saying yon (yarn over) or in Brit terms wool forward. Yon is apparently american. Brits use yfwd, yrn, yon, and yfm. And yes they all mean a different way to do a yon. My question: Why complicate something as straight forward as a yarn over?
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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Ok I will admit it

we co~sleep. I have a crib somewhere...
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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Pink Perfection

In the morning babygirl likes to lean against my still shrinking tummy. Her hands clutch the sheets as she pulls them to her mouth and twists them around. Periodically she stretches out her soft, pink legs and gives them a quick kick. She chatters simple syllables, grunts and squeals as she pulls and twists on the flowered sheet. I watch her and contemplate my life which has become our life and my role as a parent. I hope that from my reflective state I will come to some universal understanding. Through the milky, white light that comes through the lace curtains I look through the window that needs washing and beyond to the dark silhouettes of the trees who have watched my life unfold. I consider where I have come and wonder where I am going. My attention turns back to my daughter. Her grunts are emphatic now and I realize she wants milk. I pick her up and place her to my breast. Her mouth is open, like a baby birds, anticipating and she latches on. She is pink perfection. I realize I can only give what I have. Parenting is really about self~realization.
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Friday, 6 July 2012

Baby Girls Mittens

Here is my pattern: Size 4mm circular needles with baby sportweight yarn. Cast on 28 sts. And join into a circle. K1 p1 for 1.5 inches. Next row make eyelets for ribbon k2tog,yon, repeat to end of round. Knit until mitten is 4 inches from edge. To shape top of mitten: Round 1; k1, k2tog repeat till end of round. Round 2; knit. Round 3; k1, k2tog repeat till end of round. Round 4; knit (12 sts). Break yarn. Thread end of yarn through remaining sts. Draw up and fasten securely. Thread ribbon through eyelets at wrist. Baby Girl is 3.5 months old and they still fit her hand although now that it is finally summer she doesn't need them anymore. So we will see how they fit in the fall.
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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Way down in the buttercup meadow

Way down in the buttercup meadow I saw a white ba sheep one day. And close by her side in the meadow a dear little white lamb was at play. Does the sheep mama love her white lambkin just as you love me say mama say? Does the sheep mama love her white lambkin just as you love me say mama say? In the orchard out in the old pear tree there are five little birds in the nest. Willie says they belong to the robin who wears a red bib on her breast. In all this great wide world of birdies does she love her own birdie the best? In all this great wide world of birdies does she love her own birdie the best? Last night as I looked out my window before I repeated my prayers the moon with the stars close beside her were walking way up in the sky. Did God make the little star babies cause the moon was so lonely up there? Did God make the little star babies cause the moon was so lonely up there? I did a google search on this lullaby and was unable to find any history. I do know that my darling baby girl is the sixth generation to hear it sung by her mama. Now that she knows it I get a smile of recognition whenever I sing it.
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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Another afghan story

This is a piece of an afghan I knit for a friend of mine during the last month of my pregnancy. I spent my early labour knitting and when I couldn't follow the pattern anymore it was time to head to the hospital. When I got back I had one of thirty colour changes left to do. The pattern is called the feather and came from one of those books on weekend knits. I have yet to accomplish an afghan in an weekend but I have spend weekends knitting. Is there anyone out there who has done this remarkable feat?
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Before I was a mom.....

Before I was a mom, I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisionous. I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a mom, I had never been puked on. Pooped on  Peed on. Chewed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night.

Before I was a mom, I never held down a crying baby so doctors could do tests. Or take blood. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.I never sat up at night just to watch a baby sleep.

Before I was a mom, I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a milllion pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. (either the hurts of today or tomorrow) I never knew that something so small could make me feel so important and happy. I never knew Icould love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a mom.

Before I was a mom, I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a mom, I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every ten minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a mom.   Anonymous.

Rather than re-tracing my footsteps I've chosen to share with you these words which sum up the time lapse since I've blogged. And the knitting I will show you.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

new things

#1. I discovered I can see my feet again.

#2. Cabbage leaves work wonders on engorged breasts.

#3. It is a privilege to wear spit up milk on my shirts.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Back to the hospital

On day three Baby has jaundice so back to the hospital. I have to admit I cried and the entire experience was not easy. I am also learning how to be a parent now. I was overjoyed when we got the test results back that it was ok to go back home.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Introducing My Daughter!!!

My baby daughter born March 20 - a day before my birthday. Her birth is the best day of my life.

Birth Blessing by Natalie Evans

Close your eyes and breathe deep
breathe in peace, breathe out pain
imagine your feet
toes curling into dirt
think of yourself as rooted
thnk of your place in the earth
how did you come to be here?

through generations of women named
A maternal lineage
that brought you to this place
think of their birth stories
what you know, what you believe to be true

Realize that their births carry deep wisdom
some may carry the memory of joy and transcendence
Each birth is a powerful experience
Each birth traces down to you.

Just as you pass this knowledge onto your baby
understand that your birth is your own
it will be different from all others
like the swirls in your thumb
unfolding with each contraction,
rising and falling like a newborn's chest

this birth belongs to you
this birth is an opening
this birth is the end and a beginning

may this belssing of birth come to you without fear
may this blessing of birth come to you with great understanding
may this blessing of birth make your heart soar
may this blessing of birth bring
shouts of delight to your lips
blessing to you and your birth.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Good-bye to my Pregnant Body

 As much as I have enjoyed this pregnancy it is time to move on as life is all about change. You see this so clearly in the natural world. The forest never stays the same nor the light over the ocean. It is in constant flux.

"As I quietly sit with you, my child, here inside of me, I ask God to hold your hand and guide you in your journey. You shall come to me in innocence and love. I accept this gift and am thankful for it. I ask that I be made strong and loving and that I be a good parent.

It's time to say good-by to my pregnant body and open to receive the fullness of your love. May your life always be filled with light."  Barbara Harper

Saturday, 10 March 2012

today the snowdrops bloomed

Also known as the "flower of hope."
In a legend from the Nootka people, Copper woman is alone on the coast. She has no human contact with any other. She takes good care of herself yet she is lonely and because of it her existence marginal at best. When she becomes impregnated and birthes a daughter she, "felt the loneliness diminish until it was no larger than a small round pebble on the beach." pg 33 Daughters of Copper Woman. Copper woman went on to have many more children and with each one the laughter in her voice and around her rang higher and clearer and stronger.

 I cannot speak for all woman but I am among those who also finds happiness in this path I have fully embraced.

Kahlil Gibran said, "You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." pg 19 The Prophet.  Perhaps this is what motherhood is all about.

Monday, 5 March 2012

a pregnancy knitting story

I used a public washroom when I was knitting this sweater for my baby and not finding anywhere to put my knitting I tossed the bag containing the partially knit sleeve into the sink. That turned the tap on. I quickly removed the ziplock bag and hooted with laughter, momentarily forgetting the clerk outside the door. She kept a straight face and I was left wondering maybe they make allowances for pregnant women? Maybe they see this all the time?
These buttons I found at the local thriftstore and they were just screaming to get used  so I put them on this mock cardigan design. Ah the steek. I haven't forgotten. There is always the next sweater.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

How to preserve the time?

I had a full and beautiful nine hour sleep last night and upon waking was delighted to sit in bed and feel you moving. You slept through the night with me, and this morning I notice again how your movements are softer and lighter. You are preparing to be born. I rub the oil on my belly and smile, feeling you there, knowing the time separating our meeting is evaporating. I want to catch it and put it in a bottle so that later I can re-visit it in my memory and perhaps this is what I am trying to do with words. I cry because I know that once you leave my womb - you will never go back. You are my gift. My baby, while I have carried you in my womb I have prayed for you and now as the time approaches for me to carry you in my arms the prayers on my lips will never fade away.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Primitive Birthing

In traditional Sioux culture woman birthed alone or with a woman friend in a tipi. They squatted holding onto a cottonwood stick emersed in the earth. The baby was born on a tanned deerhide. They would cut the umbilical cord and put puffball powder on the baby's navel.

In Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog, a single mother chooses to birth her first born son with several older experienced Sioux women attending her. This is amidst the firefights going on between her people and the US government at Wounded Knee.

She refuses to go to the white man's hospital and finds courage to birth among her people. When the tiny cry is hear, "the women gave the high-pitched, trembling brave-heart yell. I looked out the window and I could see them, women and men standing there with their fists raised in the air, and I thought I had accomplished something for my people." pg. 163.

It's a moving account of a woman who birthed the way she wanted to. In all the traditional aboriginal accounts I have read woman birthed alone or with an older experienced woman. By our "modern current day" cultural expectation that "normal" means having the father present is this the right path for all woman? Is there a connection that as we have moved further from an earth-centred existence that we have lost something valuable that could be gained by claiming our own passage alone through rites such as birth?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Placenta Steak and Prego. Books

The stack of pregnancy books by my nightside table is decreasing. My biggest gripe is they all have assumed you have a partner and that they will be there. The odd one will generously allocit a paragraph to the woman who plans to birth alone. However, each had something useful in it even if it was just a diagram or two.

The best was Mind over Labor by Carl Jones. He says, "  A woman in average physical condition who can relax will almost certainly have a less stressful labour than the most athletic woman who is tense."pg.47. He then discusses the how in practical terms while allowing differences for each woman.

The book I wanted to read but could not locate a library or a used copy is called Placenta: The Gift of Life. My midwife shared with me many benefits to be acquired by consuming the placenta and I found similar online sources as well. She recommended it in pill form. Being a vegetarian this will spare me from deciding do I want it medium-rare or well-done?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

kitchen pinwheel scrubbies

I knit these up last night for my knitting class. I was having fun as you can see!

Monday, 20 February 2012

to cute to cut!

This was the acrylic baby sweater I was going to do the steek on but when I saw how cute it was with the buttons I thought better of it. O well. I will just knit another and steek it instead.  I am however undecided if this is unisex or if it is girlish??? I think it has a nautical feel to it and since it is for a 6 month old perhaps it is fine. What do you think?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

When you feel this full.......

I have given special consideration to how I want to spend the waning, precious remaining weeks of my pregnancy. All of the time has so far been one of preparation. First, the literal building of a nest, and now mental preparation.

This has led to a desire to create and perhaps this is part of my preparation now that I have the time. When I look back at my previous artwork I see that this passage is yet another layer to add onto what already exists. I find a certain energy in that like I am infusing a new, deeper power into my own existence which transcends into creativity.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Netsilik Inuit Birthing Nest

The Netsilik Inuit live on the Arctic coast. Their name means, "people of the place where there is seal." They were nomadic hunters and sometimes spent several years on journeys to various destinations. In 1923, the explorer Rasmussen reported 259 of them and reported how the women birthed alone in a small igloo. She pushed on her knees and the baby was born in a small hollow in the snow.

I have never had the privilege of being in an igloo but to me it is suggestive of another type of womb within the earth. As I contemplated this what became obvious to me is the lack of connection between the modern birthing woman with nature. This brings a question to mind how did the primitive woman experience birthing and what can she teach us?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

How to do a steek with acrylic yarn

Here is my sample swatch. Notice the double set of button holes. When I fold the band back after it is cut they will fit symmetrically over top of each other. I used a tiny seam on my treadle sewing machine and sewed down twice on each band for a total of 4 seams. Then I cut but I will spare you that picture. You might flinch! hehee 
With thread I whipstitched the raw cut edge to the back of the band. I made certain my stitch began and ended on the secured machine sewn seam-line.
Now that I've finished the sample I've cast on for the cardigan again and it's time to try this on a garment.