Stasia's Place Of Grace


Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is a quickie scarf I crocheted to wear today. It is soft, cozy, warm, and looks like it was left from a Muppet's molting. Just the thing to brighten a Valentine's Day date!

It took about an hour to do with a size P-16/11.5mm hook (a Susan Bates Red Heart Crystallite, to be precise!)

Fiona models for us today.

Length: 68 "

Circumference: 4" (it's a tube)

Yarn: S. Charles "Micio", color 4, 1 ball (50g, 110 yds., 60% polyamid, 40% wool)

How: Chain 12 and join to make a circle. Beginning working in the round, SC (single crochet) in each of the 12 chains.

Round A: Ch. 3, DC (double crochet) in back loop only of 12 stitches of previous round.

Round B: SC (single crochet) in back loop only of 12 stitches of previous round.

Continue alternating rounds of SC and DC (A and B) until yarn runs out. Watch out that you don't start single crocheting in your starting chain of 3 for the double crochet rounds!

Weave in ends.

Note: Be sure to count your stitches - it's easy to lose them with this fuzzy stuff!

By crocheting into the back loop only of the previous round's stitches, it makes a little horizontal "ledge" that adds some interest to all that fuzz.

The female betta spendens fish are all in a filtered, heated tank, and all getting along well (thanks to lots of space and covering plants):

This is much better for them than living in tiny, unfiltered, unheated bowls. Their appetites are better, they are less aggressive toward each other, they are much more active and fun to watch, and their colors are incredibly bright.

I am feeding them frozen brine shrimp and mosquito larvae (blood worms) - I defrost them first, of course!

Today is my dog Valentine's birthday! Happy Birthday, Buddy!

I hope that today your heart was filled with love - for those special to you, for a pet, for those who need our kind thoughts, and most of all... for yourself! May your heart be full of joy in knowing that you are special!

Thanks for visiting - please say "hi" in my Tag-Board to the right!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Exploring New Ideas

I've been experimenting with some modular crocheting and knitting lately. What better to experiment on than dishcloths?

I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of Prudence Mapstone's ""Freeform: Serendipitous Design Techniques for Knitting & Crochet" but in the meantime, I thought I'd play around.

The cloths above were made by crocheting 10 rows back and forth, then picking up 10 stitches on each of the four sides of the resulting square, going around. Then I went around and around, doing 3 sts. in each of the four corners. (First I tried sc-ing those 3 sts., but later I tried doing sc, ch 1, sc to make up the three, and that worked better.)

The two outside "lace" rounds were just done doing a ch3, skip 2 sts, sc1, on the first round, and then the same thing except hooking into the "holes" made by the first round on the second.

I'm sorry to speak in such generalities, but that's the way my mind works when it comes to knitting and crochet - I kind of make things up as I go, and think in abstract images.

This photo shows (clockwise from top left): a variegated knit cloth in the flying geese pattern (obviously not a good pattern choice for variegated yarn!); a crocheted dishcloth in the ripple afghan stitch; a plain, knit dishcloth made my my mother-in-law; and a modular around-and-around crocheted dishcloth in variegated yarn.

I like how knitting or crocheting in a modular way makes the most of variegated yarns, mixing up the colors so they don't get too stripey.

I succumbed to some Noro "Silk Garden" yarn in color #37 from One Fine Yarn - wow, was their shipping fast! Easy ordering on their website, and they even include some candies in your shipment, too. I'm going to make the Just One More Row mitered vest pattern you see below, which provides a good example of what I mean about the variegated yarns:

With all this crocheting, I'm going to need a nice case for my hooks - especially the wooden ones that might get damaged being carted out and about. I'm going to try and sew a roll for them. Here's the fabric:

I'm not very good at sewing, so I'm not sure how this will come out.

I found a couple of patterns here and here for crocheted crochet hook cases, and that may be more up my alley!

Latest Cool Thing(s)

My betta fish are getting bigger and seem quite healthy.

The fantail goldfish had babies! We thought they seemed rather friendly! Unfortunately, the little ones have disappeared. Let's just say that fish really prefer live food to flakes. That's ok, the last thing we need around here is more fish.

I have a hyacinth bulb starting to sprout:

I orderd an "Om" pendant from Ventana - it wasn't expensive and arrived very quickly with a nice thank-you card. They have all sorts of lovely spiritual jewelry on their website. I'm hoping that wearing this will remind me to still my mind, be in the moment, and pray as often as possible.

I like the prayer, "Om mani padme hum" (pronounced "Aum man-ee pad-may hoom") which means "Hail to the jewel in the heart of the lotus." It is a prayer of compassion to end the suffering of all sentient beings. Just seeing the prayer is supposed to invoke aid.

I read this:

    "Om" or "Aum" is the basis of all sounds in the universe. It is the symbol for the sound of creation which never ceases. The "Aum" of the Hindu Vedas became the scared word "Hum" of the Tibetans; "Amin" of the Moslems; and "Amen" of the Egytians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians. "Om" is the all-pervanding sound emanating from God in His aspect of Creator, the voice of all things in creation, testifying to the Divine presence in every atom. Out of it emerged creation...the omnipresence of God.

You can be any religion and find comfort and peace in this sound and prayer. Many people of different faiths practice the chanting of Om to experience peace and tranquility, and to connect with the higher wisdom of creation.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said:

    It is very good to recite the mantra "Om mani padme hum," but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast.

    The first, Om, is composed of three letters, A, U, and M. These symbolize the practitioner's impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha. Can impure body, speech, and mind be transformed into pure body, speech, and mind, or are they entirely separate?

    All Buddhas are cases of beings who were like ourselves and then in dependence on the path became enlightened; Buddhism does not assert that there is anyone who from the beginning is free from faults and possesses all good qualities. The development of pure body, speech, and mind comes from gradually leaving the impure states and their being transformed into the pure.

    How is this done? The path is indicated by the next four syllables.

    Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method-the altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love. Just as a jewel is capable of removing poverty, so the altruistic mind of enlightenment is capable of removing the poverty, or difficulties, of cyclic existence and of solitary peace. Similarly, just as a jewel fulfills the wishes of sentient beings, so the altruistic intention to become enlightened fulfills the wishes of sentient beings.

    The two syllables padme, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom. Just as a lotus grows forth from mud but is not sullied by the faults of mud, so wisdom is capable of putting you in a situation of non-contradiction whereas there would be contradiction if you did not have wisdom. There is wisdom realizing impermanence, wisdom realizing that persons are empty, of being self-sufficient or substantially existent, wisdom that realizes the emptiness of duality-that is to say, of difference of entity between subject an object-and wisdom that realizes the emptiness of inherent existence. Though there are many different types of wisdom, the main of all these is the wisdom realizing emptiness. Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable hum, which indicates indivisibility. According to the sutra system, this indivisibility of method and wisdom refers to wisdom affected by method and method affected by wisdom. In the mantra, or tantric, vehicle, it refers to one consciousness in which there is the full form of both wisdom and method as one undifferentiable entity.

    In terms of the seed syllables of the five Conqueror Buddhas, hum is the seed syllable of Akshobhya - the immovable, the unfluctuating, that which cannot be disturbed by anything.

    Thus the six syllables "Om mani padme hum" mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha. It is said that you should not seek for Buddhahood outside of yourself; the substances for the achievement of Buddhahood are within.

This is kind of fun: Mr. Picasso Head

Jeff thought his stout beer might have gotten an "infection" after it blew up in the music room. (I told him not to leave it in there!) We had to look at it under the microscope to see if there was anything "icky" in it:

There wasn't, and it has since been bottled up.

Five Gratitudes Of The Day

Being willing to have an open mind on my spiritual path. As I grow and learn, I hope my spiritual beliefs will expand and evolve. I hope for the same in my creative path. I feel very strongly The Creator's presence and guidance in my life and in my creations, and I'm so grateful for that.

Pottery coffee mugs.

Dreams. I've been keeping a journal of my dreams, and doing a lot of reading about dreams. I don't subscribe to dream "dictionaries" where authors state that certain images have specific (and often archaic) meanings. Nor do I subscribe to Jung's theory that certain symbols mean the same thing in a dream, whether you're an Australian Aborigine or a Swedish physicist. And I definitely don't subscribe to Freud's theories - anybody else think Freud's theories said an awful lot about him?

But I do think that our dreams can give us insight into the workings of our subconscious minds and help us deal with concerns; I think that they can help us grow in confidence and creativity; and I think sometimes they can convey special messages from The Creator if we're too busy to listen in our waking lives. I especially believe that we know which dreams are significant and which are just getting out excess stimulii from our day, and if we pay attention to the important ones I believe that we ourselves hold the keys to interpreting them.

I'm grateful that my computer has recovered from having fits and is working again. It hates my scanner and I had to use it this week. I can't believe how much I've come to depend on my computer and my connection to the rest of the world, and all its fabulous information, through the Internet.

I'm just grateful for this day. And that my library has online ordering.

On The Nightstand

Lots of library books on dreams and crocheting and "The Golden Ratio" of sacred geometry. I don't know exactly what it is yet so don't ask me to explain.

Power Thought Cards - Louise L. Hay. I love these cards!

Simple Abundance - Sara Ban Breathnach

Cecilia - Frances "Fanny" Burney

On The CD Player

The CD of my friend Katrina's band, "Ethic Dance Theatre"! It is AWESOME! Wonderful Eastern European music. You can find, and listen to, it here under "CDs and Videos". They are the EDT Folk Orchestra.

House Made Of Dawn - Coyote Oldman

Affirmations for Mind, Body & Spirit - Belleruth Naparstek

On The Needles


Cotton crocheted and knit dishcloths

Just One More Row mitered square knit vest in Noro Silk Garden

Creatures Of The Reef Zephyr Shawl

Cottage Creations Rambling Rows Afghan - see a finished one here.

On The Agenda

Noro Kureyon Booga Bags (free pattern) and Perfect Pouches (indiKnits pattern from ThreadBear)

Peace Fleece Everyday Cardigan in Zarya Fog

Chemocap #2 (see last week's entry)

Fingerless Mitts

Animal Breed Zip Code

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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