I am not sure what has happened lately. But, suddenly I have found myself with a touch of free time to knit. It could be the inspiration from listening to THIS, or it could be the changing leaves, or it could be THIS awesome lady’s instagram feed, or perhaps its just this little silvery blonde boy is teetering around just a bit more, entertaining himself just a bit longer, allowing me to sit and knit. Whatever it is, I like it.
I just cast off this bandana cowl, which I keep lovingly referring to as my cowboy cowl. I knit it in the gorgeous malabrigo. When I learned malabrigo is from Uruguay it made me absolutely giddy. My husband travels there for work occasionally, and yippee! I will be dropping some hints in the near future for sure, because as we all know, gifts on the return leg of a long trip help to ease the pain of solo parenting. Come on now, they just do.
I cast on a new shawl the other night and I am so happy to be knitting again!
It just occurred to me today that while all these snowy pictures are dreamy and stark and fun to look at and to breathe in, I haven’t included much about whats been happening indoors, by my fire, when the children aren’t looking, or hanging on me or awake. Because really, it has been a whole lot! And while you are reading this keep in mind that this is what I am choosing to do in lieu of typical household upkeep. You know, I am okay with very wrinkly laundry that is in a pile in the guest room. I am okay with wood chippy floors, and sticky tables. I try to take care of these things occasionally, or in a way that keeps my neck juuuust barely above the my house is teetering on kinda gross level because I really, really love to make things. It’s true. I really do.
A new friend (yeah a new friend!) came over the other day and we touched on the oh so important subject of what we do, or what we are trying to do or even just hoping to do, to keep some of our self intact during these very needy days of bearing young children. This is such an important topic. It is the root of what grounds me. For me, it really doesn’t matter the medium. I love fiber as much as I love ink. I’ll settle for a batch of lip balm just the same as I would a maple walnut cake (I promise Caitlyn, that recipe is coming soon). It all settles my soul equally and fully. You see, I am quite sure whether it be reading a trashy novel, heading to a yoga class, drinking classy beverages, spinning up a skein of yarn, or hey even wiping down the sticky peanut buttery surfaces of your house, all of us humans crave a bit of self in our days. It’s dangerous thing to ignore.
If you are curious, I have been knitting up the bonsai socks from this book, spinning lots of cormo blends, listening to this podcast and of course like the rest of the country this podcast. Occasionally with my ears sunk under a tub full of suds I have been reading a bit of toni… oh toni…, and then a few new-found crafties: wood carving and block printing!
So what do you do to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground?
Any grand ideas? Any little ones that are as sweet as they are simple?
What works for you?! I want to know!
I remember the way her shoulders shrugged up and down to the tempo of her piano playing. The way she sang, “I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair” to me when sudsing up my locks after a long day of playing in the river. I remember sitting on her lap while choosing out triangles of scraps to make little quilted pillows in her crafting basement. The way she shuffled cards. Her hair in curlers. Her deep red carpet and her sweet little fenced in backyard. I can remember what she smelled like. I can feel her soft gray hair.
Last year she gave me a large purple crate of patterns and magazines. Its contents are like a scrapbook of every birthday and holiday of my families past. Every photograph has come to life under the tree or beneath colorful birthday wrapping paper at one point or another. She told me when her kids were young she would try to complete a project each week. Some took longer, some she completed in days, so it all evened out. But over the years she learned to do it all.
I feel like her soul is inside me. Sometimes I feel like her soul is inside the purple crate in my closet. But today, it is in me. Her need to create, the way it made her keep going, the gifting process of the whole activity, that was My Nana. Today, she lies in a bed, not long for this world, with family tucked in close by. I wish I could be there, but alas, this new life growing inside me requests I remain here. But she is sleeping, and we can honor her from a distance.
Perhaps I will open up that purple crate today and shuffle through her memories. Our memories. It seems like a fitting thing to do.
The overload of perennials growing tall all around our home has led to a lot of gathering. I have no rules whatsoever on what can be plucked, bouqeted, displayed, or sniffed. There is just too much space to be weeded and tended, and I am just too big and awkward to mind, and frankly, this year I threw in the towel and am just on complete observation mode. So, we hunt down the prettiest of colors, gather them by the basketful, and emulate a beautiful art form I learned from reading about THIS artists travels and workshops. It is so impossibly relaxing and also quite addicting. The children find it to be thrilling beyond words and I hear it’s catching on in their own homes now too…
The nature mandala. Something to behold. An effort of one or of the masses.
And these four…. I love watching them create together, no matter the media preference of the moment. They are quite the team.
The requests always come moments after supper when the bedtime waltz has already begun, or upon the suns firsts rays when I am still peeling my slumbering eyes open, or my personal favorite- when we are about to pack up and head out the door for grocery shopping or some other much planned out errand. The ideas are always involved, asked with a breathless excitement, and inevitably involve a large clean up process.
And when an idea strikes me, I give myself the same treatment. When my mind begins racing with an idea to create, the answer is almost always yes. I envision a freshly baked plate of crisp golden muffins topped with powdered sugar, I dream about the rows needed to tend to on my latest knitting project, I keep my camera slung around my neck at all times, and of course, as an adult, I don’t hesitate. I push aside less interesting tasks (laundry, dishes, picking up the tiny pieces of paper Rowan that peeled off the pastels… again) without batting an eye and get right to it. And with this in mind, I try- to the very best of my ability- to give my children this same freedom.
Putting your soul out there into the world is not a want in life, but without a doubt a need. With little to no instruction and lots of simple supplies available, the messes are so grand but the outcomes are even more staggering. We are born with it. Watching my husband trudge through years of school work with out much time to put his heart into something creative proved to me this void can be dangerous. Just a few weekends of time left over under his belt, gives him the most powerful sigh of contentment, we can all see it. Be it constructing, deconstructing, poetry, fiber, a patch of tended earth, or anything else, the world is waiting for you to leave your mark.
What have you been dreaming up?