Stasia's Place Of Grace


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pink Scarves Are Easy

Doing a two-day walk to raise funds for breast cancer research is not.

Personally, I'd rather sit in my warm (ok, that's a debatable adjective at the moment, but still...) house, on my couch with my pups, drink a latte, and knit a pink scarf for charity. I like knitting. There's something for me involved in that process.

But train in the Boston-area climate for a two-day walk? Um, not so much my cuppa'.

So when someone like Denise does what I'm not willing to do - get off my doofus and do the hard work to make a real difference - I'm more than happy to continue to sit and knit and then SPONSOR HER in her fantastic efforts.

We can all make a pink scarf. It's actually fun to use that little extra cash in your checkbook for a trip to the LYS to get some yummy new yarn to knit something for charity.

But if you can think beyond the immediate gratification and the "something for me" in that endeavor, to "something for women everywhere" instead, please made tax-deductible contribution in order to help Denise meet her $1,800 entrance donation, won't you? She's willing to walk our talk.



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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yes Indeedy, Some Fiber News

UPDATE: "GoldAroma" spindles available for purchase NOW!

Final versions of the Golding Aromatherapy Spindles,
available here, though not yet listed.

There has indeed been some fibering occurring at Tuppinz Farm. It's been so cold that I've considered driving down the driveway to get the mail, but elected to stay inside with yarn many times instead. I've had more than usual unhappy news of late, and so I've grabbed the odd moments I could to use meditative creativity as a means of emotional support.

To that end, we now have some spinning news:

Shrek Renegade Merino fiber on Golding Aromatherapy prototype spindle.

I have seen the final models of the "GoldAromas" (as I call them), and they are gorgeous. I think they will be available soon... visit Golding Fiber Tools for more info. I have loved using these spindles - the added relaxation benefits from the aromatherapy oils wafting up as I spun were just what I needed. Thanks to the Goldings for bringing this idea to life for me! I love adventurous thinkers and those artists who are willing to give anything a shot.

Next we have a new spindle from The Spanish Peacock - haven't spun on it yet, but it's neat... top and bottom whorl in one! I also got two wood needles for making "toothbrush rugs" from them, and they're wonderful. They have lots of other fun stuff, so be sure to take a peek at the site - thanks to my friend Ann D. (you've seen her garments showcased in Spin-Off!) for letting me know about them.

Finally, here's my new Jenkins Amboyna Burl Spindle. Love it! Just bought a quilted maple low-profile weaving shuttle from them here, and it's wonderful as well.

In the knitting arena, I have needed "mindless" activity. My wonderful LYS had a Malabrigo scarf and mittens on display, and they were so richly colored and so cushy that I immediately bought the yarn and was provided with the patterns.

Malabrigo scarf from Yellow Dog Knitting.

In all the years I lived near Milwaukee, I don't think any yarn shop owner ever called me by name. In less than a month of moving near Eau Claire, Dixie and Cindi had made me feel like an old friend. Not only did they know my name, they knew my husband's! They're wonderful folks and I can see why Sue (from Spindlers) speaks so highly of them. Thanks for introducing me to them, Sue! (I think... how much have I spent there since moving here???)

I also ventured into beaded knitting with this pattern from EarthFaire (fantastic service and quick shipping):

Obviously, the kit with the purple Optimum DK came out much better than the second one I did in Koigu. I still need to thread in the ribbon ties and fill with something lovely like lavender buds. Yellow Dog Knitting had some cashmere yarn at an incredible price, so my next version will be truly luxurious.

I finished a meditation shawl I'd begun before we moved. It used six balls of Noro Kureyon in color 34. The pattern is just 57 sts. on a US 11 needle, then K3, P3 for three rows. Then switch to P3, K3 for three rows. And so on.

Dill thinks I should finish weaving in the loose ends.

A close-up of the pattern.

As far as the rest of my life, I am learning that resentment and anger occur if we do not expect the unexpected, and if we feel for some reason that things should always be just as we like them. I am also learning that reactions and thoughts are not reality - if I learn to notice them for what they are, I can choose to control both them and my responses to situations. This makes for a much calmer life.

My father was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable form of cancer the week before Christmas. He was told he had about two months to live. My father reacted to the news by throwing a big birthday party for himself. Thanks to my sister and her husband, I was able to "attend" via web conference. (Saints be praised for Apple iChat!)

Dad is providing a great example of experiencing a good death. He says he is "ready for his next big adventure". He has always lived his life by taking every risk and opportunity, and saying what he felt had to be said. He has no regrets.

I found this information very helpful in figuring out a way to deal with this news. Also of benefit to both me and my sister have been many dharma talks on death and dying from the Insight Meditation Center's AudioDharma (available as a podcast and as downloads).

Dilly cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at about the same time we got the news about Dad. Dill was being treated with daily medication, but now his latest bloodwork indicates some liver damage that his thyroid condition was masking, so now he must also go on a renal diet. He is 15. My sister and my dear friend Pamela both lost cats to these illnesses earlier this year. If your cat loses weight suddenly (never a good thing in cats) and has an unkempt coat, get its thyroid levels checked. Also, look for a diet that has meat as the main ingredient - cats are true carnivores, and many health problems can be avoided by feeding them a low-carb or grain-free diet. We have also switched our dogs from Nutro to Canidae and are very pleased.

Dill Kitty

Jeff and I have felt for some time that there was an awful lot of bad juju in our house. The land has wonderful energy... but the house has really stinky karma and was making us both extremely blue. We ordered some new Chenrezig Tibetan prayer flags and waited for an auspicious day to raise them, and then, first thing on a frigid morning, we lit some Tibetan juniper incense and put them up. They're beautiful and we love to see them fluttering in the sub-Arctic gales breeze. We put them where the animals may benefit from the mantras printed on them also.

Probably the only barnyard with Tibetan prayer flags in the state of Wisconsin.
We're currently seeking someone to paint Buddha eyes on the silo,
similar to Swayambunath Stupa in Kathmandu.
Think we could get the Amish to do it?

Chenrezig is the Tibetan name for Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, the current incarnation of whom (which?) is H.H. the Dalai Lama XIV.

I guess you can choose to see the glass as half empty, convince yourself that it is half full, or just see it without assigning an adjective to it, and accept it for what it is, and keep breathing. The only reality is this moment and the interconnectedness of all things within it. It is what it is... it is what it is... it is what it is...

I leave you with an easy crafty gift. This is from my mother-in-law and was made with a dishtowel, a washcloth, and a potholder (all of which you could knit or crochet, dear ones!) They are tied together with ribbon to make an angel:

Here is a close-up - hopefully you can figure out from this pic how to tie them all together:

May your day be full of unexpected blessings... and may you notice the magic of the simple moments before they pass.

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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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Pink Scarves Are Easy
Yes Indeedy, Some Fiber News
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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.

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