A leighside knit along Q&A with Emily

Today I am delighted to introduce a rather new acquaintance to me, Emily, from North Wales. How I would love to see North Wales!

For me, one of the best things about this whole knit along process (admittedly, there is a growing list of “best things” about this whole knit along process) has been this wonderful opportunity to meet people I never would have met, had it not been for the internet. Visiting Emily’s blog (sweetly named mousybrownshouse.com) over the past few days, I have discovered that besides sharing a common passion for knitting, we also share similar interests in books, sashiko embroidery (though I only dream of doing it, she actually has done it), little furry and feathery critters, list-making and pink cloud-gazing.

All that to say, I am so pleased to have “met” Emily, and to share a little more about her knitting life here on leighside knits.

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 1. What project are you knitting? Who is the designer? What yarn have you chosen for your project?

I am going to knit a Semele Shawl by Asa Tricosa.

The yarn I am going to use is called Dance by Yarnscape in colourway Rose Garden.  It is a silk/BFL mix in lovely spring colours and should result in a pretty ombre effect.

2. Choose one of the theme words (Friendship, Feminine, Pretty) and describe what that word means to you. Does it remind you of an event, or a person or a place that you have a special association with?

The word I am going to choose is friendship.  My mother died very suddenly in February and I have become even more aware of the importance of the the amazing friendships I have both in “real life” and online.  My best friend offline has been the most wonderful support, allowing me to cry when I need to, laugh when that feels right and reassuring me that whatever I feel is ok…she has put up with me crying in coffee shops and texting her at all hours and always knows the right thing to say.  Online I have an equally amazing friend who was the only person awake at 2am on the night I found out and couldn’t sleep (there are some advantages to living on the opposite sides of the world from each other!) She has been constantly in touch, has sent me the most amazing packages of goodies to cheer me up and she understands completely when I need to talk and when talking is just too hard.  But it doesn’t stop there, I have discovered how blessed I am with friends, those I see daily at work, weekly at church, just every now and again in between the busy times and those that just send me a perfect message on Flickr or instagram…every single one of these friendships support me and help me keep going when it all feels so hard. I believe that each of our friends offers us something different, compliments a different bit of the complex mix that makes us who we are and I am always grateful for opportunities like this where I might discover a whole new group of friends…

3. Choose one (or all) of the following to answer:

*Do you have a favourite quote or saying that you would like to share?

“Acts of kindness however small, plant seeds of hope, love and beauty.”

* Can you tell me what method, or style, of knitting you use? I.e., Are you a continental style/yarn-in-the-left-hand picker, american/british/style right-handed thrower or cottage industry/lever style, needle-tucked-under-your-arm knitter?

I am a unique knitter, it looks terrible but seems to do the trick!

* How long have you been knitting?

I have been knitting since I was about 5 and we were taught by the Nuns at school but I only really became obsessed about 5 years ago.

* What is your favourite fibre to knit with? Why?

I don’t have a favourite fibre as such but do love yarns with a bit of give, that don’t split and that drape beautifully…I can definitely say that hemp is my least favourite and I never intend to use it again!

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Thank you so much, Emily, for joining me on this leighside knit along and providing us with another insightful window into a knitter’s world. Your words about friendship are deeply moving and reflect, I think, upon the profound impact good friends make in our lives.

I’m starting to realize, rather quickly, what a Pandora’s box I’ve opened with this knit along. In the past two days I’ve already mentally added just as many new projects to my “to do” list. The first being making myself an Imogen sweater, the second project has me looking through this:

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Thank you, too, for reading, have a lovely day!

*p.s.  Kind comments are a wonderful way to make these brave knitters feel welcome (and a relatively quick way to make you feel good inside, too, it’s an amazing win-win situation). If you feel you’ve got a moment to spare, I invite you to give it a try. I promise you won’t regret it. xoxo

A leighside knit along Q&A with Vibeke

10004154_225394301001463_849502313_n Today I am over the moon to introduce our first knit along knitter to you, the very dear Vibeke, from Norway.

 Vibeke’s blog, a butterfly in my hair, is a very special one to me. I think her posts reflect her gentle, kind and generous spirit and it is her spirit that inspires me, every time I visit, to nurture and strengthen those same qualities in myself. I am very honoured (as I am by each one of these knitters who have bravely joined me) to share Vibeke’s Q&A and beautiful photos with you now.

*As an aside, I have decided, out of respect to each knitter, to share their words, in regards to this Q&A (no personal information/exchanges will be shared, not to worry), as they have shared them to me. It just feels wrong to tamper with them. Because of this, the formatting etc., will likely change from post to post.*

1. What project are you knitting? Who is the designer? What yarn have you chosen for your project?

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“I have chosen to make myself a second Imogen. The pattern is made by my favourite designer Madder/Carrie Bostick Hoge. Last year i made myself an Imogen with short sleeves (the Imogen Tee) and this time i am making it with 3/4 length on the sleeves (the Imogen Wool). I find the Frost Flowers panel on the front such a joy to knit AND it is so incredibly beautiful.

The yarn i use is Fino Organic Cotton+Merino from Onion Knit in the color 514 Rapsgul. It is actually a yarn that i am re-using: i made a cardigan out of it last year but i ended up not liking how it looked on me so i unravelled the whole thing and decided to use it on a second Imogen since i wear my first one almost all the time. Making one with longer sleeves this time will make it possible to wear on colder days than the tee is suitable for…..perfect when one lives in Norway…*smiling*…”

 2. Choose one of the theme words (Friendship, Feminine, Pretty) and describe what that word means to you. Does it remind you of an event, or a person or a place that you have a special association with?

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“I love the theme words you have chosen Leigh! I pick Friendship because it is so essential and important to me. The other day i read an article titled The Art Of Being Alone in the International issue of a magazine that i enjoy very much, called Flow Magazine. In the article the journalist points out something that i have always found to be true, important and right for me: that friendship is about quality not quantity.  I feel so blessed and lucky to have friendships that are close and deep ones!

 3. Choose one (or all) of the following to answer:

*Do you have a favourite quote or saying that you would like to share?

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

 

* Can you tell me what method, or style, of knitting you use? I.e., Are you a continental style/yarn in the left hand picker, american/british/style right handed thrower or cottage industry/lever style, needle tucked under your arm knitter?

“I am a continental style knitter”. 

* How long have you been knitting?

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“I learned to knit in childrens school but i stopped spending time on it in my early teens. In 2009 i got some health issues that made me unable to do many of the ordinary daily things. Because of this i found myself in the need for finding an “activity” that my body could handle and i also had a deep need for creating something…to in a way feel useful, and knitting became the answer. The last years knitting has been, and still is, an essential and cherished part of my daily life.

 

* What is your favourite fibre to knit with? Why?

“I have just finished knitting a pullover for myself with a heavenly yarn, a blend of alpaca and silk from the Norwegian yarn brand Sandnes Garn. It was wonderful to work with and not to mention wearing it, so soft and light! There are so many things that i love about the alpaca fibre and one of them is that it warms you on colder days and feels “airy” on warmer days. One thing though that i have had a problem with is that yarns with 100 % alpaca tends to “loosen/widen” up after some use and then the knitted piece looses it’s original shape and also gets too big in size. Therefor i mostly use a yarn blend of alpaca together with another fibre, for example silk.

I have also knitted several cardigans and pullovers with the yarn Rowan FeltedTweed and this specific blend (Merino, Alpaca and Viscose) is an absolute favourite of mine. It doesn’t have the soft feeling to it but it has another quality that i hugely appreciate: i have used these tweed cardigans and pullovers of mine so incredibly much and they are still holding their shape so perfectly. No other fibre that i have worked with has this same ability to hold the shape as good as this tweed yarn.”

*******
Thank you so much, Vibeke, for joining me on this little knit along adventure, truly, it is so much
better with friends!
And thank you, too, for reading today, I’m so glad you stopped by. I will be back tomorrow with
another knit along knitter. Until then, have a lovely day.
*p.s. There’s been a lot going on in the comments section lately, I invite you to check out some
of the great conversations, questions, answers and information shared in the comments section
- yesterday’s especially. I’m loving it, maybe you will too!

A leighside knit along: we begin!

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Happy Earth Day to you! And welcome, too, to the first official leighside knit along Q&A and project reveal. Before I’m about to begin, I feel I should say that what I’m about to write isn’t at all what I thought I would be writing…

Do you remember when I said I felt frightened about making mistakes and worried that when I made them (mistakes are always inevitable I think), I wouldn’t know how to fix them?

Well, mistake number one: not giving myself more than six working days for a four-day-shipping parcel to arrive. As I write this, I am still waiting for my precious yarn to arrive.

So, all this weekend (between happy holiday visits with my family and friends) I’ve been trying to figure out how to save this less than perfect knit along kick off post.

First, I felt tempted to change things up by substituting my stashed Titus for the yarn I had ordered. Ultimately, I decided against it because I have big dreams for some haapsalu shawl knitting later this year.

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Besides, I chose my yarn, Swans Island Merino/Tussah Silk, especially for this special pattern:

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It’s the Shallows cowl, by Blue Peninsula. I think it will be the perfect, pretty summer accessory, airy and light. I so can’t wait to cast on. Boo, for slow delivery services.

So, in the meantime, here I am without anything to really show you in regards to my official leighside knit along project. However, I do have my Q&A to share with you, as well as a story about a little happy surprise that I came across the other day that really made me smile. This discovery also provided a neat little knit along bridge to keep me going until my yarn finally does makes an appearance.

Starting with my Q&A, then, here it goes:

1. What project are you knitting? Who is the designer? What yarn have you chosen for your project?

I am planning to knit Bonnie Sennott’s (of Blue Peninsula) lovely Shallows pattern with Swans Island 50/50 lace-weight Merino and Tussah Silk blend, in the honeycomb colour.

2. Choose one of the theme words and describe what that word means to you. Does it remind you of an event, or a person or a place that you have a special association with?

I am choosing the word “pretty”, in part, because I think it is a hugely under-appreciated word in our society today, but also because I think it well-describes many Blue Peninsula patterns that I am so fond of.

Sadly, I think we tend to associate the word pretty with a kind of weakness because of its association with soft, gentle, delicate and fragile things, like china dishes, flowers and lace. I think we tend to associate prettiness with a certain girlishness, too, since “pretty” clothing is often quite modest as well. However, nowadays I think a woman needs to have a good measure of strength and confidence in herself to wear “pretty” clothes, as opposed to more “powerful” clothing that is “sexy” and/or corporate in appearance.

I associate the words pretty with my mom, who I always thought (and many of my friends, too) was very pretty, and still do.

*Do you have a favourite quote or saying that you would like to share?

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

- Confucius

 

* Can you tell me what method, or style, of knitting you use? I.e., Are you a continental style/yarn in the left hand picker, american/british/style right handed thrower or cottage industry/lever style, needle tucked under your arm knitter?

I am a left handed, continental-style knitter, except when I use both hands for stranded colour work.

* How long have you been knitting?

I first learned to knit as a child, but have only been knitting steadily since I was fifteen… which means 20 + years.

* What is your favourite fibre to knit with? Why?

100% wool, especially Blue-faced Leicester and Shetland wool, but there are many wools that I have yet to knit with, so, my preference may change with time.

***

Now you know a little more about my thoughts on the word “pretty”, my knitting style and history.

Lastly, I mentioned I came across a happy co-incidence that pleasantly surprised me recently. I happened to discover that one of our knit along knitters is working on Gudrun Johnson’s (The Shetland Trader) Hansel hap blanket/shawl pattern. The surprise? I started knitting a modified version (as in larger) of the Hansel blanket last July (with the rather unrealistic intentions of having it finished in time for my son’s birthday in late August). Nine months later, I am a little more than half-way finished the lace edging, so I am getting a bit closer to being finished.

Have I ever told you how much I love Shetland wool? (This is Jamieson & Smith Shetland Supreme and 2ply jumper weight and I think I have just told you that I love shetland wool, a lot.) Shetland wool has definite character (it’s uniquely fuzzy and springy) and knitting this yarn on larger needles makes it extra soft, too.  As far as I’m concerned, it makes a perfect fabric for  sneaking a cuddle or two underneath.

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So, unbeknownst to both of us, there’s already been a bit of an unofficial knit along going on. I don’t know about you, but I love it when these funny co-incidences happen. You can see the lovely and talented Lori’s dreamy Hansel hap plans here.

Is it possible that I will manage to finish two projects over the course of the next four weeks? It seems highly unlikely, but sometimes we surprise ourselves. I dwell in possibility…to quote Emily Dickinson.

For now then, I will be working away on a Hansel blanket for my son until a certain parcel of yarn arrives at my door. I happen to think it’s very pretty, though I wouldn’t tell my son that it’s anything other than “handsome”. He’s still of an age when anything “pretty” is gross, and as far as this mother is concerned, he can keep that attitude until he’s at least twenty… or thirty if I’m lucky. (I’m joking… sort of.)

Thank you for reading today and thanks to everyone who has signed up for the leighside knit along. I really believe the most exciting stuff is yet to come. Starting tomorrow, I get to share some more Q&A and project details from a very special knitter. I hope to see you then!

 

p.s. If you would like to join us, it’s not too late to sign up for the knit along. I think I will leave registration open until the end of the week. I’m afraid if I leave it open much longer, it will be hard for me to give each knitter the attention they deserve. Thanks for understanding.

Stories of glory

Last Saturday was glorious in the Ottawa Valley. It was a little gift, perhaps even an apology of sorts, to make amends for the snow and return to sub-zero temperatures that was to follow. Thankfully, I was able to get outside and make the most of the sunshine by spending a little time on my wooden swing, watching the clouds drift slowly by in the bluest of spring skies and listen to the gathering throng of sea-gulls on their rock in the river nearby.

Before I was drawn back inside, out of guilt maybe, I took a moment to scan the yard for any treasures recently released from their four month snowy imprisonment. What you are about to see is what I found. As I collected them, each item shared it’s story with me. I will share those stories now, as best I’m able.

DSC_0389 This lovely pine branch told me about the long flight she took over many houses and snow covered streets following the footless path of the birds one windy day, far from where her family still stands. She wonders if perhaps they are still waiting for her return.

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This one was still yawning from her long winter slumber when I held her. Can you see her stretch her feet? Perhaps she is feeling a little more talkative to you (please let me know if she is).

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This one was half-amused, half insulted by the “improvements” made to her by one of my boys. She really let me have it before she gave a deep sigh, then chuckled a little, remembering the laughter and fun that was had that day.

DSC_0404This one that follows, well, this little treasure has a very special story to tell.

As it happens, she is a distant relative to a pair of twins I had a conversation with under the cool shade of their mother’s canopy one Canada Day, years ago. I fell in love with both of them that day and recorded my conversation with them here, so that I would never forget our time spent together that afternoon.

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Then, going back to my newest acquaintance, I brought her over to the light.

DSC_0412After holding her for a bit, and marvelling, a little sadly, at her ragged beauty, she bade me not feel sorry for her hardship. She reminded me gently that she, like the rest of us in our own due time, must be broken down out of necessity. For only out of that release from physical substance, those papery bonds, can she reveal her true glory and bring us hope for the new life to yet to come. Her story brought happy tears to my eyes and I thanked her, silently, for her lesson before I put her down to rest.

I want to tell you now, in light of that story, that the following three days are of rather special significance to me and because of that I will be away, spending time rejoicing with family and friends, listening to their stories as well as sharing my own.

Thank you for reading my funny little stories today. I hope your days will be full of happy and glorious conversation with your own friends and family. I encourage you, too, to go out and see what the trees and the birds in the air have to tell you. You might just be amazed by how much they have to say.

p.s. I will return on Tuesday, with yarn in hand (I do hope!) to commence the leighside knit along. There’s always room for more, I would so love for you to join us!

Happiness, for a knitter

I think the two most exciting days in the life of a knitter are those spent casting on and those spent casting off. So, according to these photos then, I’m having a pretty smashing week.

Do you want to know something? I am.

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I finished my Ecclefechan Mitts! (Notes here.)This project was one of the most gratifying knits I’ve done in a little while. I love them and I feel pretty certain that they love me, too, because wherever I go, there they are, right where they belong, on my own two hands.

Then, not long after that, there was another day that brought visions of this:

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and this:

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and this:

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… I figure I need to post at least one bathroom mirror shot of myself in order to call myself a real blogger (because I was just an imaginary one before)…

As you can see, my Pomme de Pin Cardigan is still missing a button band and is looking rather wrinkly because it hasn’t been blocked yet. But I do have the wool wash (Eucalan) ready and I hope it won’t be long now until this project is on the floor and outlined with pins.

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Knowing I will be casting on a new project as soon as that UPS carrier knocks on my front door (I sure hope it won’t be much longer now…), at this moment, I really do feel like one of the happiest knitters in the world.

Somebody pinch me, please.

Thank you for reading today. May there be many happy days in your life (knitting or otherwise) spent fulfilling little dreams.

p.s. If you would like to share in the joys of casting on (and maybe even casting off) an exciting new knitting project with me and a gathering of some truly wonderful knitting people, you might like to sign up for my leighside knit along. Hope to see you there!

A leighside knit along

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**I feel I should tell you in advance, that this is a very long post. You might like to take a moment and go get a cup of tea before you settle down.** 

Happy Monday to you! I hope you enjoyed a most lovely spring weekend, I know I enjoyed all the warm sunshine and fresh air.

As promised in last Friday’s post, I have returned to give you all the details about my leighside knit along. As I write this now, I realize I feel both excited and frightened. I am really, really excited to have some of my friends join me here on this adventure of mine (friends always make things feel better). But I am frightened, too, because all of this is new to me (what if this is a total flop? what if I make mistakes? when I do, how will I fix them?).

So, having said all that, it is in the spirit of nothing ventured, nothing gained, that I commence:

My (rather loftly) goals for this knit along are to develop a little community vibe here at leighside knits, as well as to share a feeling of connection with friends we both know and friends who remain yet undiscovered. It is because of this goal that this knit along is meant to be a little celebration of, and between, friends, too.

As I described in my last post, I believe knitting groups to be very special places where magical things can happen all because of a shared passion for making beautiful things with string and two needles (or lately, just two arms!). I have had the privilege of spending time with old friends and getting to know new ones, too, by attending knitting groups and knitting workshops. These moments shared together have vastly enriched both the quality and meaning to my life, and it is because of this I want to share an opportunity, with any of you who would like to join me, to gather together here, and share a little about ourselves and what we are knitting.

Personally, I could talk for hours about knitting, so naturally, this knit along sounds like a lot of fun to me. I hope sounds like fun to you, too.

So, what does this leighside knit along involve, and, more importantly, how can you get involved?

Well, first you need to know that there are three theme words intended to direct this knit along.

These words are: Friendship, Feminine and Pretty. I have chosen these words for several reasons, the first word for reasons that I think I’ve already made clear; the second two because they feel fitting to our present season (in the northern hemisphere, anyway). Spring is a time of delicate flowers like daffodils, tulips (you know how much I love those!), hyacinths, and crocuses as well as a time to wear bare legs and lightweight dresses with little cardigans. I also think of new Easter outfits and fragrant white lilies.

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However, I also associate the words Feminine and Pretty with my (and some of my other retreat friends’) choice of pattern for this knit along by the knitwear designer, Bonnie Sennott (of Blue Peninsula), with whom I feel most lucky to have met at a retreat last fall and have begun to develop a little friendship with as a result. These rather inspiring friends and I have chosen to knit some of Bonnie’s patterns in an attempt to surprise her with a little show of support and appreciation for her design work (she felt very honoured, yay!).

How can you join the leighside knit along?

Well, first you will need to choose a project to knit, maybe it is one you are already working on, or maybe it is an excuse to go out and buy some seriously soul-shaking new yarn that you have always wanted to knit with and find that perfect new pattern (like me!). And while nothing would please me more than to have you choose one of Bonnie’s patterns to knit along with us, it is more important to me that you to knit something that really excites you. Ideally it would be pretty and feminine, but maybe it is pretty ugly or hardly feminine at all. Like I said, whatever project that gets you excited to knit is the perfect project for this leighside knit along.

Then, you need to leave a comment in the reply section of this post (you must click on today’s post title to get there), stating your interest in participating in the knit along. Make sure you leave me your email address (it is often required to write your address to leave a comment anyway, it will not be used for another purpose than this knit along) so I can email these following questions to you (make sure you are checking your junk mail, too). Only the first question is obligatory to answer in order to participate:

1. What project are you knitting? Who is the designer? What yarn have you chosen for your project?

2. Choose one of the theme words and describe what that word means to you. Does it remind you of an event, or a person or a place that you have a special association with?

3. Choose one (or all) of the following to answer:

*Do you have a favourite quote or saying that you would like to share?

* Can you tell me what method, or style, of knitting you use? I.e., Are you a continental style/yarn in the left hand picker, american/british/style right handed thrower or cottage industry/lever style, needle tucked under your arm knitter?

* How long have you been knitting?

* What is your favourite fibre to knit with? Why?

Once you have answered these questions (remember, the only one you must answer is the first question) and taken a photo of the project you are knitting (even if you haven’t cast on yet), email this information back to me.

I will then post each of your little Q&A on the leighside knits blog throughout the duration of the knit along that begins officially April 22nd, 2014 and closes May 16th, 2014. The frequency of these Q&A posts depends entirely on how many people choose to join (I may also need to set some deadlines for joining). I would also like you to share a final photo of your progress so we can all ooo and ahhh over your project here on leighside knits. You should not feel pressured to finish your project during this time (but what a bonus if you do!), remember the goal of this knit along is to have fun, to learn something you didn’t know about knitting and knitters, and to connect and celebrate with friends both old and new.

As an extra bonus surprise, I am doing a giveaway for one lucky knitter who joins me here before May 9th, 2014 (I will have one of my sons draw a name from a hat, I’m not very sophisticated I’m afraid). The winner will be announced on May 16th.

Once contacted, I will send this, a skein of Manos del Uruguay, Fino, as well as your own personal copy of Blue Peninsula’s birchleaf pattern (it’s one of my favourites) from me, to the winner.

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Thank you for bearing with me throughout this rather long post today. I hope you will join me on this leighside knit along and prepare yourself to have lots of fun knitting and getting to know more about other knitters. I will kick off this knit along next Tuesday, April 22nd with my own answers to the Q&A and a little sneak peak into the beautiful project I have chosen to do (did I say I was excited?). Until then, it’s top secret! Have a most lovely day!

Remember, if you would like to join me, leave a comment in the reply section of this post and I will get in touch with you as quick as I can. Thanks!

Food for thought Friday + an invitation

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“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about friends, friendships and about building community. Knitting community, to be more specific.

Before I moved to my current home, I was part of a knitting group made up of some very close friends. About once a month, we would take turns in hosting and gather together to catch up on all the latest personal news, drink some tea (or wine), eat some decadent goodies and talk about (by that I mean show off) our latest knitting projects. I believe these times together were very precious to all of us. I know I miss them dearly and wish I wasn’t so far away as to make these meetings no longer possible.

Since then, however, I’ve joined up with a new, local group that meets up at our local library and slowly, these knitters are beginning to feel like friends. And I think that is the magic in knitting groups. You put a group of women (and the occasional man or two) together with the common interest of yarn and two needles, and before long, you’ll find yourself with friends.

This was most definitely the case for me when I attended a creative retreat last fall. I went to this retreat thinking what I really needed was some time for me, some time alone spent mostly knitting. What I realize now, is what I really needed, and what I got, were more friends. I’d like to think we all had fun getting to know each other (I know I did!) and more often than not, most of our conversation happened while many of us were just sitting around, knitting. The word magic hardly begins to convey how I feel about it.

I am very happy to say that most of us have stayed in touch, sharing emails, letters and photos (usually of our latest knitting accomplishments) and it was because of some of these exchanges that an idea grew.

Let’s do a knit along!

A theme was developed, a time frame sketched out, a method devised, all with the intention of connecting together by means of a shared knitting endeavour, despite the vast distances between us and most definitely in the spirit of friendship.

We also have a little surprise planned, too, which I think we’re all feeling pretty excited about.

I am also very pleased to tell you that these friends generously agreed to do this knit along with me, here, on this blog, and also to extend an invitation to any of you who would like to join us in a little celebration in the name of friendship.

Why would you want to do such a thing? Well, because knit alongs, like knitting groups, are a lot of fun and because you get to learn new things and meet new people and sometimes, if you’re lucky, these people become great friends.

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Curious? Interested? I hope so. I will provide more details this upcoming Monday (if all goes according to plan).

Until then, I hope to leave you now, as we head into this long anticipated weekend, with thoughts of friendship, knitting and all things feminine and pretty (those are all little clues, just so you know). Have a lovely day.

p.s. As the next two Sundays are of special significance to me, I will not be writing my usual Gratitude Sunday posts then. I will, however, be back on Monday. See you then!

It’s Finger-Knitting Night in Canada

For those of you who do not know my husband personally, there are a few things I should tell you so that what I am about to show you bears any real significance.

Eric is one of those gifted few who makes everything he does look like it’s the simplest thing in the world to be doing (do you know any of those? my sympathies if you do). Teaching a three year old how to ride a two wheeler, no problem. Taking three boys to the grocery store early on a Saturday morning, easy-peasy. Riding a 2 day 400km cycling tour, no sweat (well, maybe a lot of sweat, but you get my point). Writing policy, balancing mind-blowing budgets, giving radio interviews with Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC (I could go on but I think it would embarrass him)… it’s done, done, done, all in a days work.

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Finger-knitting? Well, that’s a different story.

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So, you can hardly blame me for running, yes, running for the camera when I see this scene unfold before me. Confusion is not an expression I see on this face very often and I have to savour this moment while I can. The Jens Voigt T-Shirt graphic sums up his feelings quite well, I think.

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I’ve got to give Eric credit for trying, and Mr Ben credit for trying to teach him how (God bless his finger-knitting heart), but what you see there is about as far as he got.

Now, I know a good, healthy marriage does not thrive on one-upmanship, but I can’t stop smiling about how, in this house at least, I’m still the best knitter around.

And, oh, please don’t ask me about what the score was in the game, I was too busy watching the finger-knitting that night.

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Thank you for reading today. Have a wonderful day, full of laughs and life’s little triumphs.

Little updates

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Some of you may have noticed that I have removed the shop page from the blog, so I thought I would take a moment or two to tell you why.

I’ve always felt that one of the driving forces behind the leighside knits blog is my desire to start producing patterns for sale (and for free) and having a way of sharing my ideas and inspirations about them. I still feel this way and I am still working on some patterns now.

However, I am realizing that my timeline is changing. While I would like nothing better than to release several patterns right this very moment, there are a few things holding me back, one of which is my own stamina. How often I have wished I was one of those people who can tackle a multitude of projects without breaking a sweat. Most days, just keeping up with my boys is enough to put me to bed early. So, I think it’s going to take me a little longer to get my patterns out there than I had originally hoped. Seeing an empty shop page every time I sat down to write a post just made me feel bad about the whole thing so I removed it. And just like that, I began to feel much better about everything.

Now, having got that little piece of housekeeping out of the way, I can move onwards and upwards to more exciting updates… my Ecclefechan Mitts:

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As I write this, I’m a little more than halfway there. Progress to be happy about, indeed.

Thank you for reading today. Have a lovely day!