Stasia's Place Of Grace


Saturday, September 21, 2002

Sunset Cloud Colors

Today I am grateful for these colors, photographed yesterday evening. The picture doesn't begin to do them justice. Now, I think someone ought to come up with a spinning blend like THIS!

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Friday, September 20, 2002

Something Fun

Here's something fun for you Place Of Grace loyals who missed having a gratitude post yesterday! (Sorry!)

Take the Spindle Quiz now!

Which Spindle Are You?

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Today's Gratitude

Today I'm grateful for...

  • The fact that the wonderful Sandy Sitzman of Woolgatherings is going to be able to duplicate her roving on page 25 of "The Twisted Sister Sock Workbook" for me - I will be able to spin "Monet socks" like in the book! (Well, maybe... we'll see how I do!)

    Did I mention her Happy Socks kits rovings are on sale - buy one and get the second at half price? I got the "Sunrise" colorway for my second pair... on her Sock Kits page, you have to scroll all the way down to see all the colorways, but she takes special orders, too!

  • For Panera's hazelnut coffee and giant cinnamon rolls. I like that if you keep your receipt and then fill out their online survey, they give you a code for a $1 discount on your next sandwich there. We go once a week, for our regular Sunday "date" with Grandpa, so that comes in handy.

  • For Nippon-Kodo incense. At their site you'll find "gourmet" aged incense on a par with single malt Scotches or Cuban cigars. But I like the plain, inexpensive Rosewood. There's something about incense on a rainy day... and this isn't the sickeningly sweet and flowery stuff you'd find at those weird mall shops with the lava lamps and disco balls.

    I like the pinyon incense from Incienso De Santa Fe, too - but be forewarned, it makes a lot of smoke! They have a great sampler box with a little burner included and it's quite inexpensive.

    The New Mexico Pinon Company offers actual, safely-harvested Pinyon and Juniper chimenea wood. The smell is unbelievable, it is long-burning, and there's nothing like it in a little firepit or chimenea, with a glass of wine, some friends, and a Native American flute to toot upon... my favorite way to spend a late-summer evening! Prices include shipping.

    Isn't having a sense of smell, to notice all these woodburning scents, just the greatest? And let's not forget the smell of burning leaves! I love to smell smokey scents (Lapsang Souchong tea, anyone? It's great with smoked salmon and cream cheese tea sandwiches on bagels!) and watch as the gray wisps rise upward, carrying our hopes and prayers visibly along.

  • Speaking of rainy days, I'm thankful that we've had a few of them - and now a brisk, cool (but not at all chilling) breeze today. It makes the world seem all brand, spankin' fresh, like it just got back from the laundry.

  • The Romantic Hours radio show with Mona Golabek. Beautiful classical music interspersed with poetry. My favorite so far was the Elizabethan-themed show, in which they played a Volta that Queen Elizabeth I might have danced to, and read poetry by John Donne. Listening to "The Romantic Hours" is a wonderful way to spend a rainy evening, alone or with your sweetie.

    Ooooh, September 30th (or thereabouts - possibly up to a week later) the theme will be "Dark Love (including the words of Bram Stoker, Le Fanu, Poe, and Balzac)".

    Check the link to find out when the show airs in your location.


Today I am just enjoying the coming of fall: noticing the weather; appreciating the change in seasons; watching leaves fall in spirals in the wind, and masses of little, yellow butterflies rise in spirals from the late-blooming wildflowers (it's like being in Disney's "Fantasia"!); thinking about how to make little changes in the decoration of the house to celebrate the season (changing to an autumn flag outside, putting out some Halloween decorations inside); and keeping company with some candles which are lit for my friends in emotional, spiritual, and physical need.

I hope you are having a peaceful day, too!

What Pattern Are You?

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Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The Sun'll Come Out, Tomorrow...

Today was a day of rain.

The day was icky, I was unmotivated and had no energy, and I basically just felt like a slug.

But during a brief period of sunniness when the clouds parted temporarily, I was able to get this shot for you:

Late-blooming, very short sunflower planted by chipmunks.

That sunflower is about ten inches wide, but only two-feet tall! It was planted in a really awkward spot by our chipmunks. Yet even at this late date, it has decided to bloom.

The seasons are at a stage of awkwardness, too. The Hawthorn tree's leaves are almost gone, yet here is a flower just starting to open. My climbing roses, which have never yet flowered, even have their first bud! There are cooler evenings and days with little sunlight, and yet the plants aren't quite willing to say good-bye to summer yet... some are pushing forth in one final, last-ditch effort at making a fine show of themselves. In fact, you can almost feel the buzz of energy when looking at a stand of trees, knowing that they're preparing themselves for their finest, blazing hour...

I got very little done today. But I know that is all right... because tomorrow's another day. Though it rained all day, the sun'll come out again soon enough. Though I am sluggish and unmotivated, perhaps I won't feel this way tomorrow, or next week.

If I were to fight the way I feel, it would make things worse. And so I accept the rain, the sluggishness, the lack of productivity, because I know that my body and mind are just resting up for a blaze of creativity.

You can't force inspiration, motivation, and productivity - though you certainly can make efforts to help them along, through time management and a positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle! But when it comes right down to it, into each life a little rain must fall... and it's best to hold up your umbrella and wait for it to pass than to force yourself to push ahead and just get soaking wet in the process.

Here's to accepting rainy days as opportunities to re-focus.

Today I received a wonderful birthday gift from my dear friend, Kary. It is a Story Beads Kit from Isabella. Here is the idea behind it:

    "Each of our lives is made up of countless stories. It always amazes me when I hear of a courageous person whose life has somehow been enriched by a challenge so big that it would make the rest of us want to crawl into a hole. It seems to be a matter of being able to see beyond appearances and then open our hearts to the gifts each thing - "good" or "bad" - brings to our lives.

    "I believe that finding a way to be thankful for however our "stories" contribute to making us compassionate and strong humans is a huge part of living well. Some of us keep Gratitude Journals; some of us make the time each morning or evening to mentally acknowledge that for which we're grateful; and some of us have more non-traditional methods of staying aware of our blessings. Using our STORY BEADS is a beautiful and creative way to make gratitude a dynamic part of your life.

    "With the 15 beautiful beads included (Czech glass and Bali silver), as well as the glass and silver filler beads, you can create and re-create your Story Bead string to reflect what it is you are currently holding in your heart and intention. Because what we hold our blessings and challenges to be inevitably changes, we wanted you to have the opportunity to periodically craft a different look and feel with your STORY BEADS.

    "Put it on your windowsill to remind you as you wash the dishes; keep it on your altar; hide it in your pocket or under your pillow. Your imagination is the limit. And so are all of the opportunities you have to make your stories your blessings."

Isn't that cool? Kary, I am grateful for YOU!


I organized my spindle-making area for a special order spindle (I canNOT work in a disorganized environment!), took care of the pets as always, and finished up my Kool-Aid dyeing experiments for this week: Kool-Aid Experiments.

Did some very gentle stretching exercises and sit-ups, as I depleted my energy resources on my bike ride yesterday.

Planned my schedule for tomorrow (or when I have more energy) and thus felt a little less discombobulated. When I can't actually do, I like to organize so when I can do, I'm ready!

Went to get an I.C. Mocha (frozen coffee) to a) get some energy (not the best way, but I was really exhausted!) and b) make the most of the brief sunny period we had, and one of the last warm days we'll have. It was good... the coffee and getting out for a little bit.

In the mail I also received, from a Spindlers trade, "The Art And Craft Of Natural Dyeing" by J.N. Liles, from Judi A. Thanks, Judi! Looks great!

Succumbed to some "retail therapy" to cheer me, and ordered two rovings from the famous Sandy Sitzman of "The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook" and Woolgatherings fame (hey, buy one, get one for 50% off, can't beat that, and I sure can't dye like she can!). Also... am ashamed to admit I ordered a lap spindle bowl - a bowl on a little stand you hold between your knees - and the wood and ceramic support spindle, both from Woodland Woolworks... well, not too ashamed, or I wouldn't be telling you!

Am rethinking my Beehive Hat and wondering how it would look made in the round, and with little bee buttons sewn into the cells...? (The photo is weird because back then I didn't have a digicam and I had to scan the hat and it got smooshed.)

See, there was still some sun in my day today! Here's to taking the slow days with the productive ones, one at a time, as they come. Have a good one, and thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Colors Today

Today I am thankful for the color orange. It is all around me, it seems... the changing sugar maples, chenille plush turkeys in the store, the Cosmos blooms in the garden, the Cosmos-dyed mohair I've just prepared and spun:

My first useable combed tops, of Cosmos-dyed mohair from "Jerry".

Semi-worsted yarn spun from Jerry tops.

It is also in the Meilenweit socks I cast on today, which I decided not to do in ribbing after all... my hands and mind seem to just want the simplicity of stockinette right now!

Of course, pink is nice, too:

"Porpentine" support spindle, Cochineal-dyed tussah silk, and resulting skein.

Today I also saw the smooth, white bark of Birches; the bright red leaves and berries of Sumacs; yellow of Goldenrod and brown of Cattails; and lots of multi-shaded green leaves and pine needles on my bike ride this afternoon. I didn't notice anything visually special when I started, but as I pedalled back in that Zen-ish zone one reaches during mesmerizing exercise (or fiber arts!), suddenly I noticed the hundreds of colors, and millions of shades, around me.

I also solar KoolAid dyed some roving today. It didn't work out as expected, but there sure is LOTS of color in the fiber!

"There are no ugly colors. Many colors that seem ugly to us alone are indispensable in combination. Often they make our favorites seem even more beautiful."
~ Lynne Vogel, The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook (I got my copy from Mielke's Farm.) Please say hi in my TagBoard so I know you were here today!

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Monday, September 16, 2002

Authentic Success

Before I write, I'd like to share my "porpentine" spindle that Caroline mentioned. Here it is, with the Tabachek bowl:

Please excuse the silk I've spun - it is my first attempt at support spindling, so it's not exactly lovely!

Today I would like to share with you a reading from Sarah Ban Breathnach's "Simple Abundance: A Daybook Of Comfort And Joy", one of my favorite books.

    "Authentic success is having time enough to pursue personal pursuits that bring you pleasure, time enough to make the loving gestures for your family you long to do, time enough to care for your home, tend your garden, nurture your soul. Authentic success is never having to tell yourself or those you love, "maybe next year." Authentic success is knowing that if today were your last day on earth, you could leave without regret. Authentic success is feeling focused and serene when you work, not fragmented. It's knowing that you've done the best that you possibly can, no matter what circumstances you faced; it's knowing in your soul that the best you can do is all you can do, and that the best you can do is always enough.

    "Authentic success is accepting your limitations, making peace with your past, and reveling in your passions so that your future may unfold according to a Divine Plan. It's discovering and calling forth your gifts and offering them to the world to help heal its ravaged heart. It's making a difference in other lives and believing that if you can do that for just one person each day, through a smile, a shared laugh, a caress, a kind word, or a helping hand, blessed are you among women.

    "Authentic success is not just money in the bank but a contented heart and peace of mind. It's earning what you feel you deserve for the work you do and knowing that you're worth it. Authentic success is paying your bills with ease, taking care of all your needs and the needs of those you love, indulging some wants, and having enough left over to save and share. Authentic success is not about accumulating but letting go, because all you have is all you truly need. Authentic success is feeling good about who you are, appreciating where you've been, celebrating your achievements, and honoring the distance you've already come. Authentic success is reaching the point where being is as important as doing.

See why it's one of my favorite books?

I am hoping you will experience authentic success today!


Awoke with very low energy and an earache/sore throat (must be allergies) so am listening to my body and taking it easy. I made some tea, then did my "Energy Chi" exercise video, and then listened to an "A.M. Yoga Meditation". Am still a bit under the weather but I know that now I've set myself on a path to feeling better later. Now will eat something healthy...

I finished the neck of the gray cable sweater on smaller needles, and though it is still a bit wide and I made it a bit too tall this time, it seems a little better. It will be good when I wash it, I think. Now I've come to the part I dislike most - inserting the sleeves and seaming up the sides. Well, "a little bit each day" is my current motto, so my goal for today is to get the sleeves set. However, I will wait until I'm a bit more mentally coherent and physically flexible, later on, to attempt this. ;-)

As for the Opal socks, I've decided to un-do the toe I started and re-divide the yarn equally. I am really obsessive when it comes to things being "even," and it is bugging me that these two yarn balls aren't equal.

I've also decided I would rather do the Meilenweit socks (in orange and purple) so they're finished by Halloween. Since the Opal is self-patterning, I don't use a ribbed knit, but just stockinette stitch. However, since the Meilenweit is just self-striping, without any "jacquard" effect, I will be able to do these in a rib. I love how ribbed socks fit!

Jeff has decided not to go deer hunting this year due to the Chronic Wasting Disease in our state (he's not afraid of getting a deer with it in his hunting area, but worried about contamination at the processor's) so that means I have a year's leeway on the bison down/Navajo-Churro/qiviut "North American hunting socks" yarn I was spinning up. Good thing - I'm tired of brown! And there are a few other projects and volunteer items I'd like to make this fall anyway. And yay, I don't have to feel bad about him getting a deer. ;-)

So I am off to divide the ball of Meilenweit and cast on. I don't think today would be a good day to balance the checkbook, do any food shopping, rearrange my fiber arts patterns and books (which desperately need it - I have Woodland Woolworks catalogs from 2000!), or try to weed the garden. There will be other days for those things, when my body will tell me, "Go for it!" This is just not one of those days, though it is sunny and beautiful outside. As I say... a little at a time! I can accept my limitations today, and it's a good justification to sit and knit, guilt-free. (Why do I feel guilty when doing something that makes me happy, like I should be trying harder, working more, ignoring my pain and tiredness instead? Do you postpone pleasure for yourself, too? We've got to stop that! Life's too short!)

I wanted to mention that I am really, really grateful that I traipsed out to my garden yesterday and saw that the Cosmos had gone to seed; I've gathered TONS and will have a whole bunch to plant next year. Good thing, too, as apparently I can't seem to grown anything else! :-) I think it's a great dye plant (hopefully I'll be able to get yellows as well as pinks) and it looks beautiful in the garden.

Have a centered Monday!

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Sunday, September 15, 2002

Beautiful September Sunday

Today I am grateful for a day of rest. I need it, after that dog walk yesterday!

This morning we took Grandpa out for coffee and sweet rolls (his favorite... I was good and had soup!)

I spun a bit on my "porpentine" quill support spindle, in my new Tabachek spinning bowl, using some lovely cochineal-dyed tussah silk. I have never been a fan of support spindling until getting this equipment (the spindle and silk as gifts) and now I'm addicted to it, even though it isn't as fast as high-whorling, much less using a wheel. But it is darned FUN!

I had to frog some stitches on my Opal Brasil sock because I wasn't paying attention and did too many increase rounds.

I will be finishing the re-do of the neck on the "Welcome Back, Old Friend" sweater while Jeff watches the football game.

The weather is crisp and cool and sunny here - a delightful early Fall day, perfect for resting... with my feet up, of course, to take the swelling down!

Enjoy your day! Take a well-deserved break!

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Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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About Me

My Home Page - Updating

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The Tibet Fund
Citizens For A Free Tibet
Monadnock Humane Society
The National Primate Research Exhibition Hall (NPRX)
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Important Note

We have a new ISP and my web pages are being moved. My old URLs will not work unless you go here and type them in to get an archived copy. As I upload the pages to the new server, the links in my sidebar will become clickable again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

My Patterns

Knit Koigu Kersti Shawl
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Knit Beehive Hat
Knit Fingerless Mitts
Knit PodPocket For iPod Mini

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