Stasia's Place Of Grace


Wednesday, November 06, 2002


I like to share positive things - events, quotes, and even businesses with positive practices. One of those is Femail Creations - a mail order catalog with unusual and inspiring and fun items for women and the people they love.

If you sign up for their e-newsletter, you'll receive uplifting messages from their founder - a woman who believes that envisioning what you wish to achieve is the key to reaching your aspirations. I couldn't agree more!

I forgot to tell you - remember that hat that dear Valentine wore for you a few weeks ago? Well, I took it to the "welcome home" party for my sister this past weekend. When I brought it out, everyone in the room lit up, smiled, and had to try the funky thing on. Just goes to show you that the more funny-looking a hat is, the more people it'll appeal to!

From the middle-aged, swing-dancing couple... to the six-foot-plus African-American former basketball star (who is bald and really liked the soft warmth!)... to my artsy sister the Californian digital animator... to my northwoods, He-Man hunter husband... everyone tried on the hat and showed it off with a big grin. We all were in stitches! (I'm sure the wine helped...)

It finally came to rest on an elderly Italian immigrant - a woman who is my "soul mother" and whom I love dearly... and it fit as if it were made for her! Everyone instantly approved, and it was obvious that hat had come into being for none other than Ada. When we all said she must keep it, she graciously accepted, a pleased and satisfied smile upon her face.

I don't know what inspired me to make that hat, or to bring it with me that evening, but Something knew that it was the right hat for Ada, and I felt great about being able to give it to her... and about it bringing smiles to so many people. I think it will continue to make people smile, with it's little top-knot/stem, as she wears it to church each week!

Moral of the story: knit as many silly hats as possible and take them everywhere, and a recipient will eventually appear!

I am grateful that I went to vote yesterday - all alone, a major feat for me. There were only four people there and I was in and out in less than five minutes - another thing to be grateful for, as I wouldn't have been able to stand in line for a long period of time. Even the weather cooperated - thought it was raining gently, it was not cold.

I'm not particularly confident in any of the candidates here... but I voted simply because I can and there are so many in the world who don't have the opportunity. I didn't want to waste the chance, and I'm glad I did it. We are so lucky to live in a country where we are not forced to vote, too - as they are in Brazil.

I am grateful for our freedom, and the freedom not to exercise our freedoms, too. This country has a lot of problems, but I wouldn't want to live anyplace else. (Well, except maybe London again, but that's just Dickensian sentimentality!)

Cranberry Cable Sox continue apace... photo soon. I am really liking this Patons Kroy yarn. My Wildfoot yarn arrived from The Knitting Knook and it is gorgeous! It feels more like cotton than wool, and it says it is "permanently mothproofed." Wonder how they did that? Great color choices, Linda!

I'm grateful for the positive, encouraging feeling I receive when a new issue of "Bicycling" magazine, or our natural food co-op newsletter, appears in the mailbox.

Being as far removed from folks, socially and physically, as I am, it is hard to get a dose of inspiration on a daily basis. Although I'm not always able to eat right or exercise, I find that reading about these things gives me the motivation to at least keep them in mind and take little steps in the right direction.

Even though I'm not as able as most folks, getting an issue of "Outside" magazine makes me want to go out and walk in the woods (if not actually attempt to climb to the top of Everest!)

If you're stuck in a rut when it comes to your health, pick up a couple of healthy-living magazines the next time you're at the supermarket, and send in the subscription cards. They're not expensive, and the extra "boost" they'll give you each month will go a long way towards encouraging you in healthy pursuits. It's too easy to forget to take care of yourself if there's no one to remind you. This is a simple way of reminding yourself that you matter!

And they're a lot healthier for your body image than reading fashion magazines.

Today: a doctor appointment, perhaps a tiny bit of Christmas shopping as long as I'm out, bills, and litterboxes.

I'm then hoping to have some tea and knit. Perhaps tonight I will get Jeff to accompany me on cello if I practice recorder - I'd like to work on some carols and get into a holiday mood.

Or maybe we will just play a game of checkers or Harry Potter Uno... Jeff's been so busy with travel and referee-ing and work lately that we haven't been able to sit down together for two minutes at a time. I find that playing board games together is a good way to encourage conversation, rather than sitting together in front of the TV, silent.

I hope you will have a positive day!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Monday, November 04, 2002

Thankful For Communication

Remember when I said, yesterday, that I shouldn't get my nose out of joint when people "offend" me?

Well, today I thought that seeking open communication, and not playing games, was the best way to handle a bad situation. It turns out I was right, because one of the hurtful things from this weekend turns out to be just miscommunication!

A lot of assumptions were made by a lot of people, but when the truth came out, it turned out that everything was fine.

What has happened is that a party we were informed we were to be excluded from was not a real party, but a fake party intended to throw the recipient off the trail... and we are invited to the real party, as the recipient found out after becoming aware he'd hurt us by telling us we hadn't been invited!

Thank goodness for the recipient's urge to get to the root of things, and my urge not to get caught up in a misunderstanding... or things could really have gotten blown out of proportion! (Jeff was ready to show up uninvited, gift in hand! Thank goodness we didn't, as we'd have walked in on a bunch of poker-playing old folks instead of whom we thought we'd be meeting!!!)

Surprise parties are always a rather stupid idea, I think. They never seem to have the desired effect! Perhaps it is because people have more intuition than we generally give them credit for, and they always feel something is amiss.

I am thankful I made the right choice, to practice good karma and communication instead of bad today. The phone call clearing this all up came no more than 15 minutes after my decision to try to open up the channels! It is amazing how, when we are on the right path, the Creator lets us know immediately!

If you have a yarn shop that imports needles from other countries, and marks the US sizes on them, don't take their word for it!

I have been knitting some gorgeous sox on two circulars, both by Inox. The first needle is a US 1. The second needle is a European import, and was marked 2.5mm. The shop indicated it was a US 1. I now see, in the Woodland Woolworks Wool Rag, that the 2.5mm is a US 2. Dang! The instep of these socks is now going to be done on a larger needle. Maybe I will switch when I get to the ankle.

Well, at least I did the sole on the smaller needle, which will make it more durable! I'm thankful for that, but not for the poor communication by folks who ought to have known better.

(I thought it was strange, as other brands had the 2.5mm needles marked differently than these Inox ones. A different employee must have marked them. I should have listened to my intuition - again, I didn't give it enough credit! See why I usually shop online?)

On a good note, these sox are coming out GORGEOUSLY. They will be called my Cranberry Cable Sox; the pattern across the 32 stitch instep is a two-stitch rib, alternating with a two-stitch purl, and then a two-stitch baby cable that crosses every third round. So sweet - reminds me of the knee socks I wore as a little girl.

These will be my Thanksgiving Day sox! Perfect to wear for a dinner of turkey with cranberry sauce!

My therapist has encouraged me to get out and communicate more with real, live people. The isolation that I experience due to my illness is not good for me emotionally and is really wearing me down.

To that end, I will be joining an FMS support group at the local hospital, as well as a book discussion group! In one week, I now need to read "Steppenwolf" by Herman Hesse, and "Snow In August" by Pete Hamill. I might not have a lot of time for blogging this week, so be patient with me, please!

I'm looking forward to trying to get out, trying to strike up friendships with new people, and trying to finish the books in time. I always loved English (it was one of my majors in college) and it is kind of fun to feel like I have "homework" again. Something to look forward to, anyway. Hopefully I'll be in good physical shape to attend the meetings. If I can't make it, at least I will have read a couple of good books which I might not otherwise have chosen. It is good to broaden my horizons beyond Jane Austen and E. M. Forster.

My therapist, a knitter, also encouraged me to try to drive the distance to the Greater Milwaukee Knitting Guild meetings again. It is quite a ways away... but perhaps the emotional and social "highs" would counteract any discomfort I would experience by pushing myself to attend.

I hope that the channels of communication will open in your life, as they are opening in my own. Have a wonderful week!

I must run - BretT Favre is playing tonight! I hate football... but not as much as I used to! Kary is getting me addicted, and now that they put that yellow line on the screen, at least I can see what the players are supposed to be doing!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Sunday, November 03, 2002

On Being Offended...

This weekend, two people, in two different instances, said very hurtful things to me. These things were not intended to hurt, yet the people could have (should have) thought before they said them, and they obviously felt bad for saying them afterwards.

So many times, people speak without thinking - in the heat of the moment, because they're preoccupied with "life", or simply because they don't feel relationships are worth making an effort for. There are as many different reasons for vomiting thoughtless words as there are people.

Yet those words, spoken in an instant, can have a long-lasting, detrimental effect on the listener, and therefore on the relationship. And at the end of the day - the end of our life - what is important was not that we remembered to finish a spreadsheet, or were in a hurry to do shopping, or were too tired to make an effort to be polite... but that we maintained good communication with those we loved or those whose lives we touched for just an instant.

As much as we have a responsibility to be careful and cautious with our words, so, too, do we have a responsibility to listen with a heart of peace. It is so easy to misconstrue what someone says as a personal affront; to fall into, as my communications prof used to call it, "Fundamental Attribution Error," where we think we know why someone said something and what they "meant" by it, but we're really as far off-base as could be.

We are often so quick to get our noses out of joint... to hold a grudge for something unintended and instantly regretted... or to blame others for circumstances in their lives over which they don't have control.

I chose not to hold grudges over these two painful instances. Yes, they hurt... very, very badly, even though I know the pain wasn't intended. But I know the people who said these things are victims of their own limitations - one by life circumstances, the other by mental illness - and I know that in their hearts, both of these people love me very much.

Of course, that doesn't make me want to spend a lot of time with them... but that's ok. Maybe these unintended jabs just mean we've all seen a little too much of one another lately, and we need a break to gain perspective and respect. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and houseguests and fish smell after three days, right?

So instead of getting my nose out of joint, I'm going to get it into a cup of tea, a book, or some knitting... and make sure the energy I send out into the world is patient, loving, kind, and thoughtful. I'm going to stop the negativity on its path, and instead filter it right out and give off light instead.

Do no harm, and take no harm. The person who remains offended and does not forgive is as guilty of the offense as the person who offended in the first place. Be peace. Let it stop, and start, with you.

(And think how much we'd accomplish if we channelled our offenses into knitting time!!!)

Fibery Stuff
  • Jeff would like me to make a knitted vest for his grandfather for Christmas, so I posted to the KnitList and asked whether anyone knew of a seamless and relatively easy pattern - that could be finished in two months!

  • I found some Patons Kroy sock yarn on an impromtu visit to the not-so-LYS this weekend, and after buying and trying it, promptly ordered more from I love this stuff! It's a bit thicker and fuzzier than Regia, but more like that than, say, Opal or Meilenweit or Lorna's Laces.

    At the Patons site, you can click on the colorways, and see them in a knitted swatch (check out the Winter Eclipse colorway!) I think that's invaluable... as are the links to E-tailers where you can instantly purchase the yarn. I am really impressed with the Patons site - they've got it down! Not like some other manufacturers I've visited lately, who don't differentiate between physical retailers and e-tailers, and whose listed vendors sometimes no longer stock their wares!

    The socks I'm currently working on are a deep cranberry color, and I'm doing a ribbing alternating with a tiny cable or twisted stitch. Very Christmassy - and for me.

  • I wore the gray cable sweater out today, and everyone loved it. It is very lightweight, yet very warm. I think it'll look good after being blocked. I'm liking it more and more. And finishing it feels sooooo good!

  • My visiting sister was knitting some baby hats of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. It is a really funky, squooshy, soft yarn, and knits up quick because it's pretty thick. It has the neatest texture, and comes in some really lovely colors.

    Sis's hats are really cute... but for the life of me, I can't fathom why people cast on at the big parts of things, instead of the little parts... to me it is just easier to cast on at the top of a hat, the tip of a mitten, or the toe of a sock, and then increase up to the full number of stitches, rather than casting on at the brim, wrist, or ankle with a whole ton of stitches. But, to each, his own!

  • Sis was interested in learning to spin, so I gave her a spindle and some Brown Sheep roving, and a little lesson, and away she went! She had no problems spinning either thick-n-thin singles, or fine singles, and hopefully she'll stick with this new craft. She used to weave, and did a lot of fiber and natural materials sculptures when she was in art school, before she got into digital animation. I'm hoping her return to knitting indicates a renewed interest in fiber arts, as her job is so technology-based and stressful.

If someone has hurt you, I hope that today you will channel that pain into something productive! Peace be with you!

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

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