Blog Transition

A word from our sponsor….me.

Due to wanting to focus a topical blog on fiber arts and possibly branch into tutorials and creating my own designs, you can find my posts at domain: waterwomanknits.com

This blog will revert to a free version, meaning my piano recording server space will disappear by end of January, along with probably some videos. Keeping a rambling blog going for seven years feels a bit cumbersome, and so many posts I look back on and would now prefer to delete. Some are stream of consciousness to the point they don’t make sense even to me, and I wrote them.

I suppose the blog served its original purpose which was for me to create a space to explore my own identity in a zone separate from my child. When single parenting, it can be easy to become enmeshed and lose any sense of self. Or at least that’s been my experience. Our journey enters a new phase soon. I never thought I wanted children when I was younger, but I couldn’t have asked for anyone more remarkable to help me grow.

By January’s end, I may decide to salvage certain themes like my poetry and ecopsychology content, and delete the blog.

Thanks to anyone who’s been patient enough to like or view a post.

 

 

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December Experiment

Translucent Money Plant dropped its seeds. Will look for 20 dollar bills in spring.

As I knit each night, I’ve been inspired by all the knitting podcasters and vloggers out there who have held spaces of sanity and comfort in 2018. Amid the torrent of bad news, sheer craziness and challenging times, these creators remind me of the self-healing power of creating and crafting that knitting is for me. As I’ve spent the year focusing on what I want to value most, the intersection of fiber arts, wool, sheep, farms, earth-grounded folks is where I want to turn.

My December experiment challenge to myself to help me through the darkest month in the Northern hemisphere will be to create 5-minute videos each featuring a quote or short poem on the theme of darkness (&thus light) as well as random knitting pieces in progress or completed in 2018. My intention is not to sell/promote anything but creativity and sanity inspiration. If you would like to add to my growing list of quotes on the theme of darkness or light, feel free to reply them to me here and I will credit you on my brief videos for your share. Thank you!

I tried to come up with a top-ten list of knitting podcasters I love to watch/listen to as I knit, but I couldn’t limit myself to ten. They represent a tiny fraction of the fabulous creators out there, but are simply ones that resonate most with me or teach me something in any way. I won’t live link them in case they don’t want to be on this blog, but here is the list of names you can search for on YouTube should you be so inspired.

  • A Wooden Nest (Oregon)
  • The Gentle Knitter (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Skeindeer Knits (London via Norway)
  • Kammebornia (Sweden)
  • Ina Knits (Norway)
  • FiberTrek (Worldwide, based in Maine)
  • Dunkelgrun (Switzerland)
  • Babbles Traveling Yarns (Ireland)
  • Arctic Knitting Podcast (Northern Norway)
  • Ninja Chickens (North Carolina)
  • Knitting The Stash (Illinois)
  • Knitting Expat (London / World)
  • Paper Tiger (Montreal, Canada)
  • The Wee Sew n Sew (Scotland)
  • The Fat Squirrel Speaks (Minnesota?)

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Touching Earth

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In praise of fiber artist extraordinaire

Unearthing potatoes by hand for my first time this week, side by side with two lovely sisters, searching them (potatoes, not sisters) for insect damage, then plopping them with satisfying thunk in buckets. This is where I need to be. Where we all need to be. Touching Earth.

Being taught how to harvest chard and carrots properly by a student at Organic Farm School who saved two pigs from slaughter by purchasing them with her limited funds from working three jobs this year while attending school and going to other extreme measures to pay her tuition. Her example gives me hope as I volunteer in exchange for food and work late into the night to make up hours from doing what I love.

These are inspirations I carry with me in response to such calamitous and dire reporting this week out of the UN Climate Change Report and the media mantra telling me “We are more divided than ever.” My response to all of it is to know 100% I want to commit the rest of my life to organic farming even if it takes me longer than I’d like to raise funds, to participate in change needed to feed humanity healthfully, learn forgotten knowledge of my ancestors about living close to the Earth in my disconnected, high-tech, information age society, and to work my hardest to reveal and live from a place of inner unity when the world feels like it’s pulling apart at the seams.  I don’t want artificial intelligence. I want Earth’s intelligence.

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Vignola shawl – pattern by Plucky Knitter, wool from Fidalgo Artisan Yarns

Working in media allows me the insight to choose which narrative to focus on and constantly question who is benefiting from the narrative being told. I choose inner listening and doing anything in my power to remain whole, nonfragmented, honoring the core of what may be a human soul.

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This week’s knitspiration. Check out this co-op of 250 indigenous women in remote villages of Alaska doing amazing knit work:  Quiviut. It would be a wonderful thing to start a small group of knitters that could sell online, because my two hands are unable to produce enough fast enough to turn profit.

Sustainable Foodspiration. Check out this ambitious project to reclaim balanced way of eating and food production in indigenous food labs.

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Zebra plant native to Brazil, about to bloom in Pacific Northwest window

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Fall Montage

My favorite season. Time of fungi, Evergreen blackberry vine, and a deep bow to the gorgeous orb weaver master fiber artist.

Envisioning a time on Earth where sexual harassment/assault for anyone isn’t a thing, and humans can experience what it might be like to live where feminine energies (creative, intuitive, Earth-bound, life-conduit, unlimited) are supported and protected by male energies (direct action, logical, warrior, protector). We all can access these energies inside ourselves. Can we even imagine what it would feel like to live in a time of balance and respect? We are much more powerful than the public narratives in which we swim in this moment. Our culture is so unbalanced, hypersexualized, fantasy/escape, consumer driven, it’s often hard to see the forest for the trees. But if we pan out, we can see the fungus among us and ask ourselves for a better way.

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Bridge to a Crossroads

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A significant crossroads on the horizon is looming for me, and all this year I have set a toe in the water to explore a livelihood closer to my heart. What this has meant for now is pushing myself a bit to an edge, because the total of 10 hours each week I volunteer on farms and knitting/teaching I need to make up late into nights with paid work. Amazingly, household bills and winter heat cannot be paid in yarn and vegetables.

I am thrilled with working on farms because it’s a definite “yes” to work around hard-working people connected to Earth. I would like to have more understanding of all it takes to create healthy soil and irrigation and more botany, but even without classroom learning, I am amazed how subtly, bit by bit, harvesting various plants teaches me without words what to look for, how a ripe something or other feels or looks when ready.

My most significant insight this week is around duty. We all may have many life purposes, but duty can be part of that purpose. Even as I look forward to writing a new chapter in my life as my only child moves onward to her next chapter, I had some unrealistic idea in my head of starting all over as a 20-year-old in a leap from the nest moment. News flash. I am not 20-something, and the biggest commitment half of my adult life is to this child and nothing will change that. Even if she wants little to do with me at the moment (appropriate to her growth).

In short, I resolved for myself that some fantasy of finally freeing myself of the binds of my past continual work to support two people and move toward creating a life with more freedom, getting rid of all belongings and living a nomadic lifestyle to live on farms is not okay when my duty is to my child as well as myself.

I suddenly thought of myself as a young adult and how I would feel emotionally if my stable parent and home base evaporated. It may not even be a choice I can make financially to maintain a home base for her to visit in the same area she grew up since rents have tripled, but at least a space to visit is my goal for the next few years. This week, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in years who has a pet-free (essential for me), mother-in-law apartment with separate entrance I can afford, so I will hope something like this is available when my time comes to move.

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Meantime, I will keep on creating windows on a new life into my work schedule and see how far that takes me.

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String of Hearts plant next to Kyler Shawl

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Gratitude Walk in Hazardous Times

You know the air is bad when someone visits your small, rural, seaside town from China and tells you, “This reminds me of Beijing.”

After learning air quality where I am will be in the “very unhealthy” range the next few days thanks to this app on my phone – check it out for your location – I decided to go to the most pollution sequestering place I know among old growth trees to give thanks and record some green, cool images for a blessing in these days of fire.

Thank you moss, thank you ancient trees, thank you ferns, thank you cool underground spring at a time when 98% of my state is in drought. And thank you, thank you fire fighters who put their lives on the line to try to put out these raging fires.

I’m going to try an N-95 face mask while working outdoors this week. Here’s a good description of what masks work best for fire pollution.

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Community Supported Agriculture

Growing up in cities, I’d grown accustomed to vegetables coming from large grocery stores, even though I’ve bought organic produce for years and whenever funds allowed visited farmers markets. Then I first heard the term CSA two years ago among a group of people “in the know” and was too afraid to ask what it meant. Since many people do not seem aware of the concept when I mention it,  I thought I’d do a little post about the joy I get from doing a work trade for my vegetables in one CSA, and highlighting the program.

A CSA is like a subscription service, except you are paying it forward allowing the farmer to cover costs and plant seeds. Most I’ve researched allow you to split your payments for the growing season over several months rather than one up-front lump sum, and many allow work trade arrangements if you just ask. Extra hard-working hands are usually welcome on a farm. And nothing compares to the flavor, texture and nutrition of farm fresh rather than refrigerator trucked grocery shelf produce.

If you have your own plot of land and funds to establish a good watering, soil system, and animal-fence protection, then more power to you, but if you’re like me and don’t, checking out a CSA near you is a great way to get super fresh produce from the land while supporting a farmer in your region. More and more rural CSA programs are serving urban areas, and here is a link to find registered ones near you, though many are not registered, so word of mouth is also super:  Local Harvest

Whidbey Institute Westgarden Volunteer Days
(not a CSA, but a community garden nonetheless)

Organic Farm School, Whidbey Island – Open House
OFS has a CSA that delivers to Seattle!

As a vegan, I can (almost) never have too many vegetables. But I absolutely love the fact I can “pay” for them by working in the Earth and spending time in that magical connection that gives us so much more than economic value. Something truly of the spirit feeds us by working a patch of land.

12 Birches Farm, the CSA I work trade at weekly

Kids’ Veggie Creatures at Island County Fair

Fiber Arts – Island County Fair

  1. I want to learn to dye fiber. And spin fiber. And weave fiber. And create something from sheep to design to finished project. All in time….and money.
  2. Climate change project: Each day knit a garter ridge (two rows) based on temperature for the day, choose palate of cool to warm colors and make a blanket or scarf for a friend over a year – unless it’s too hot where you are for a blanket.
  3. Yes, I won “Best Knitting Adult” for my first entry since 4th grade in a county fair and now my mom can have her hat returned just in time for August heat….

Best Vegan Potluck dish ever to feed 15+ folks. Tomatoes, parsley, red onion, avocado, black beans sprinkled in cumin, corn, all over a bed of 2 cups dried cooked quinoa (trick to cooking quinoa = 1:1 ratio to water, bring to boil, then 10 minutes only on low, turn off heat and leave lid on another 10 minutes). Sprinkle entire rainbow with 2 squeezed limes, salt, pepper. Finely chop garlic, jalapeno pepper and cilantro on the side for those who want.

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HAPPY JULY!  (Mine has been full of color and life so far)

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