a lovely winter wednesday


Funny thing about the Deep Winter Kindness Fairy. Once I started looking for things for her to do for others, I started noticing what she was doing all around me. Today, for instance, was a brilliantly sunny day.

(A sunny day in Ontario in January seems like a very deep kindness indeed!) One of my favourite neighbours stopped by for a chat. (I work at home and spend a lot of time on my own; any chance for an actual conversation is a delight.)

Hitting the reset button

It doesn’t mean everything is roses. I’m still battling insomnia; I have a sore throat and it’s a real struggle to do my strength-building exercises when I’m this tired. Well, it’s a real struggle to focus on much of anything when one is this tired. This, as we say at our house, is unacceptable.

But it is what it is, and life doesn’t stop simply because I’m not sleeping well. I make lists, I go slow, I keep repeating “be extravagantly gentle” over and over to myself. Mostly, I try to work with within the parameters at hand, rather than setting expectations of speed, productivity, or focus which I can’t manage right now.

Once I do that, once I hit the “reset expectations” button, something magical happens. It’s as if the attempts to push against my limits lock up all my gears somehow, making the entire engine more or less refuse to work properly. Once I reset the expectation levels, then, magically, the gears start moving, and things get done.

The warp is measured for my tote bag! Another few inches are woven on the inkle loom. I found the needles I need to work on my sweater. Some work documents got worked on. Paperwork got done, life moved forward.

Warping…take two

I’m interspersing my words here with photos from the weaving work I did today.

Warping a loom is a skill that takes time to learn, and practice to do well. It used to be a part of my regular life rhythms, back when I was weaving a lot. Re-learning these skills is an odd experience; I wonder if this is what folks who have had a stroke feel like as they are re-learning to walk. The difference is that this time, I’ve had ten years more experience with yarn and all its wily ways…and that extra experience means that now I understand why something is done the way it is when warping, rather than just learning the steps by rote.

Raddle: Wood tool, fourth from right, with eyelet screws in it. Purpose: To spread the warp evenly and help keep threads organized.

I used to warp a loom all at one go. Now, I am giving myself the big OK to do it in steps. This is really turning out to be a marvelous strategy throughout my life: Small steps. And I think I’m learning to warp better, more efficiently, this time. I think I get it now, and I’m not just learning. I’m finding ways to warp the loom that work for me AND the yarn. I’m making the process my own.

Rediscovering my tools

One of the consequences of the big upheavals in my life over the past seven years is that I don’t know where some of my things are. Lease sticks. Reed hook. My stash of shoelaces, for pete’s sake, the laces I use to tie Gizmos to Widgets throughout the warping process. The skein of black alpaca I need for my sweater project.

The center of my raddle is marked with (what else?) a pretty glass bead on one screw.

Once again, I’m back in the studio, unpacking and sorting boxen. It always seems to come back to that room upstairs, and those boxen. I’m not really unpacking, not yet; I don’t have the furniture to unpack things into yet. But I am sorting, putting the weaving things in bins There and the spinning fibre in bins There and making a pile for the thrift shop. And the more I do this, sort through my boxen, the more tools I rediscover: There’s my raddle, the weaving tool a former boyfriend made for me. There’s my heddle hook, not my good one, but my second-best. Rediscovering my tools, and my materials (look! the cone of silk Nicholas bought for me!) makes me feel as though bits of myself are settling back into place, puzzle-piece nook finding puzzle-piece crevice with a satisfying click.

And the funny thing is that I think I was actually MORE productive today than usual. Go figure.

Today is the last day to put your name in for the Start Spinning DVD giveaway

Instructions here. I’m getting excited! So many of you have left such great comments on that January 1st post to enter the giveaway. I feel as though there ought to be fanfare tomorrow or dancing elephants or funny hats. (You don’t have to wear the hats, I promise. Perhaps I’ll make Tim wear a funny hat, just for a bit. He won’t mind.)

Today’s Random Good

I’m working on a mitten lining tutorial for you šŸ™‚ That’s Thing One.

Thing Two: What would happen if you put a tiny video camera on a cat’s collar? Cat Diaries! I could not stop smiling.

Thing Three: Everyone liked the miniature pigs, so here’s another photo of the same piglets showing the actual scale a bit better:

Thing Four: Cat-with-tiny-horse so you can see scale:

You can just hear the cat thinking, “OK, you’re not a dog. You’re not a cat, that’s for sure. You’re not even a squirrel. I don’t know what you are…but I’m a cat. Here. Sniff my butt. See? CAT. That means I’M THE BOSS. Got that?”

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About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. 2 year-old kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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10 Responses to a lovely winter wednesday

  1. molly says:

    oh thank you, thank you, thank you! i laughed so hard at the picture/comments of the cat and horse….
    but ssshhh – or my kittikidz will want one too!

  2. InJuneau says:

    ARGH, that makes the piggies even cuter!

  3. Heather says:

    I haven’t commented much lately but I wanted to let you know how very much I’ve enjoyed your daily blog posts this season. In this cold, dark season your blog is a bright light in my days. xoxo, DaisysMom

  4. melanie teabird says:

    The kitty-cam makes me glad I’m not a kitty: I’d be a dizzy one, for sure!

  5. Mardi says:

    Those weaving pictures are intimidating me. That looks COMPLICATED. Sheesh! And you said you were waste-alicious today?? I should be so wasted!

    well, I did get the zebra head up…

  6. Julie says:

    Way to go Sandi! Gentle is very, very good and look at all you accomplished.

    Yay! I will be looking forward to the mitten lining tutorial. Thank you!

    Cats with the miniature pigs and horse are adorable. Who could not smile over all the cute.

  7. Lynn says:

    I love the colors of your tote-to-be!

  8. Lisa says:

    So glad you posted the link to the movie-made-entirely-by-cats! I try to imagine life from the viewpoint of my kitties and now I have a better idea. Thank goodness for Random Goods and Deep Winter Kindnesses!

  9. naomi says:

    The kitteh with the piglets seems awfully startled.

    Do you find that there’s a minimum width or complexity or number of ends for making the raddle useful?

  10. Shirley says:

    Wow – I won the gorgeous fiber. Thanks so much Sandi and the Random Generator – vbg.

    I do enjoy your blog very much and look forward to your knitting, weaving, spinning, and yes……Nicholas’s cooking posts.

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