gimme some love, february

February is a problematic month for many folks, because right smack in the middle of it is Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is fine if you are seven and have a box of candy hearts to hand out in first grade class. Valentine’s Day is also fine if you have a sweetheart and your relationship is going well. But Valentine’s Day can be painful and lonely for single folks, people who have lost a lover, people in stressful relationships, and pretty much everyone on the planet who isn’t seven or in love.

February of the Heart

I’m thinking we need a solution for February. Instead of making it only about romantic love, I’m thinking it ought to be about Connectedness in general. I think friendships should be celebrated, and community; anywhere one’s heart is involved, I think St. Valentine would say, “Let’s party!”

So here’s my idea for celebrating February here on the blog:

Y’all know quite a bit about me. Not everything, of course; a girl has to maintain some sense of mystery, after all! And many of you have mentioned over the years in the comments that you feel as though we are friends.

Well, I’d like to get to know you better.

Throughout the month of February, I’d like it very much if you would send me an email (wiseheartATgmailDOTcom) and tell me about yourself. Be creative, be silly, be eloquent, be whatever, but most importantly, be yourself. Oh, and a photo would be lovely. If you want to include a photo of the animal or child or grownup who shares your life and makes it more wonderful, go ahead.

What I’d like to do is to choose a couple of your stories each week to share on this here blog, so that you all can get to know some of the amazing folks we are all hanging out with. I always feel as though we are all sitting in a big theatre, and the light is shining on me on stage…and now I want to do that thing where I get to shine the light back on folks in the audience, so you can see each other, too.  Of course, I won’t be able to post all the stories here, so I’ll choose a few each week. Maybe I’ll do it randomly, like the giveaways, but if you send me a particularly good story or photo, that might sway me a bit!

How this will work: I realize that perhaps some of you might want to email me and tell me about yourselves, but you might not feel comfy with me posting your story on my blog for the world to see. Thus, if you feel like telling me about yourself, please include whether it is OK or not to post about you on the blog. (I will completely and utterly respect your wishes.) If your story is long, or is a bit spicy in language, that’s fine by me…but I will probably edit it a bit for the blog, just polish things up a bit so everyone gets equal spotlighting.

This makes me very nervous. I mean…what if none of you think this is a fun idea? What if no one wants to play? I guess I’ll just take it as it comes…

What I Didn’t Expect

What I didn’t expect during Deep Winter Kindness January was that people would ask the Deep Winter Fairy to be kind to ME. I mean, that just never occurred to me. But the DW Fairy kept popping her head in to say hi, in all sorts of different ways this month, and the effect of those kindnesses coming my way has been considerable. One day, for example, an email arrived telling me that someone (you know who you are) had gifted me a pattern I had mentioned wanting. (The 7 Small Shawls booklet! How cool is that?) I got goosebumps as I downloaded that little gift, grinning like a fool because kindness can’t help but make you smile.

Other folks let me know that they had donated to one of the charities I favour. (Thank you. And the animals thank you. And Farmer Pete thanks you. So lovely of you to give from your hearts…)

Mostly, though, I noticed that mentions of the Kindness Fairy were starting to pop up in Ravelry posts, or in comments, or in emails, in other contexts. Word about the Fairy and her important work was getting out, and I just smiled to myself every time I saw one of those references. Each reference was like another kindness, letting me know that what we do matters, that even silly or small things have reverberations in the world around us.

Thank you, all of you. Kindness rules!

Spinning Thoughts

Of course, I started a new spinning project. I had to, because Naomi sent me a purplish batt with bits of silk and sparkles in it. I mean…I just had to spin it, right?

I now have about 26g of singles spun up. So pretty!

I’m accumulating a nice pile of singles and randomly plied yarns in my handspun bin. Each little skeinlet represents a sample of some lovely fibre someone sent me, or a small batt like Naomi’s (she carded it herself), or a bit of fibre that otherwise didn’t spin up to be a lot of yardage. One only needs so many pairs of fingerless gloves, so I’ve been setting aside these little gems until I could come up with an idea of what to do with them. They aren’t all the same thickness or weight or fibre content, so I’ve already decided that I’m separating them into groups based on gauge/wraps per inch/sparkle content.

And last night, I had an idea. What if I took all those lovely bits of handspun yarn and made this:

That’s the Babette Blanket, a crocheted design by Kathy Merrick. I’ve always loved this blanket, particularly because I was one of the very first people at Interweave to see it. I was the one who got to unwrap it at Interweave when she sent it in as a submission to Interweave Crochet. She didn’t just send a sample, she sent the entire completed blanket. I remember standing in the editorial office, pulling the blanket out of its shipping box, and just gasping as it unfolded before me. I stood there with it spread out in my hands, and literally, tears sprang to my eyes…it was utterly gorgeous. I looked up at the rest of the staff and said, “This HAS to go in the magazine!” (Hee. I love it when I’m right about things like that.)

I haven’t done any crochet for a while. That blanket would take a LONG time to finish if I just did a square here and there as I spun up bits of yarn. But think of it: All the little samples from shows and classes, all the small-but-beautiful gifts I’ve been given, all together in one amazing mosaic of warmth.

I kind of love that idea. I’m just not sure I want to do that much crocheting at this point in my life. I love it, don’t get me wrong…but I’m just not sure if I feel like doing that much hooking.

I’m mulling it over. Ideas, anyone?

Random Random

A knitted skeleton, seated in the lotus position. Would I lie to you?

All the colours: I was going to choose a few examples of stunning variations on the original Babette Blanket, until I realized that I had already chosen more than a dozen to show you. Grab a cuppa and stroll through this amazing rollcall of colourways. There’s a Babette in all greens, one in all blues, one in creams, a rainbow Babette…so much creativity out there! Inspiring.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age 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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13 Responses to gimme some love, february

  1. molly says:

    what a lovely idea, sandi! i always read the comments on your posts and feel like i am coming to know some of the regular commenters as well as coming to know you a bit too. i feel as if i am a part of a very vibrant, caring, creative, slightly wacky community and my life is far more interesting for it.
    see? winter can have its lighter, lovely moments, too!
    btw – it was past minus forty here this morning, counting the windchill….you’ve done a lot to warm the day for me!


  2. Lori says:

    Sandi, the Modern Quilt Wrap by Mags Kandis would be a lovely way to use those little bits of handspun. It’s such a pretty wrap. You could do anything with it colorwise. Plus, it’s smaller than a blanket and would be done more quickly.

    It’s wickedly cold here too. January didn’t leave quickly enough, and February can follow right on its heels,as far as I’m concerned. Thank you for adding cheer to my day with your blog.


  3. Donna Cooper says:

    Maybe you could use your light weight yarn for the Modern Quilt Wrap from Knitting Daily, if you have not already made this. The Babbette afghan is amazing. Use your heavier weight yarn for this. Just an idea. That skeleton is unreal. How on earth would you knit that thing??? And the only good thing about February, the Westminster dog show.


  4. NancyN says:

    I made an afghan somewhat like that back in the 60s. It worked up surprisingly fast and ends are a lot easier to manage in crochet than they are in knitting. I used a limited palette of blues that coordinated with my living room at the time and I was pleased with the result.

    It looks like your Tim and Zoe have serious doubts about the new vacuum! Great picture.


  5. Laura says:

    I like your “redeeming Valentine’s Day” idea. Given how slow I am at writing, though, you might expect mine in March. 🙂

    I love that picture of Tim (?) peeking out from the Bissell box!


  6. Heather says:

    Sandi – love the idea of sharing stories. Like you said, we know so much about you (Thank YOU for sharing!). Am so envious of your being able to see the original Babette Blanket, loved that since the first time you featured it in the magazine… Sending warm California thoughts to you and all others braving the current storm.


  7. naomi says:

    I bet you could do a version of the Babette blanket with some of the squares knitted instead of crocheted.

    (Also, my housemate’s birthday is 2/14, so I now observe International Anju Appreciation Day. Much less depressing.)


  8. donna lee says:

    I love the babette blanket. I wondered if I could do it with leftover sock yarns along with some of my own handspun. It would be colorful and gorgeous.

    In our family, we’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate all kinds of love, not just romantic love. My kids all got (and still get) candy from me even though they’re grown.

    Love should be celebrated regardless of what kind.


  9. Christine says:

    Sandi, why don’t you just knit squares of your favorite stitch patterns, as big or small as your yarn allows? You could crochet them all together with a coordinating yarn. I can crochet, learned as a child and done quite a bit of it, but I wouldn’t sign on for Babette, beautiful as it is. I just don’t find crochet nearly as relaxing as knitting, and I also have found that it bothers my wrist in ways knitting never does. I think I’d be wearing a cast on my wrist if I ever crocheted Babette!


  10. stitchesandwords says:

    You are SO full of good ideas. Storytime on Sandi’s Blog would be awesome.

    I’m glad you picked up the Deep Winter Kindness idea too and made it happen, because it turned out not to be part of my January. Too much Big Life Stuff, I guess, too much distraction, too much need for introspection. Since I didn’t manage to make nice things happen, I’m glad someone did, because it was a darn good idea. If I do say so myself.


  11. Allison says:

    This is a swell idea. April might be “the cruelest month,” but Feb can’t be far behind. 10 years ago I went to Holland to get away from Valentine’s day (plus the Euro was new and there was a cheap flight). Can’t swing that this year. It would be great to be all, “who cares, I don’t need a partner,” but I’ve never mastered that sentiment. So I’ll spend the weekend hiding in with cats and yarn. As many of us yarny-feline folk might!


  12. Caryn says:

    Maybe some of us handspinners who have small skeins could send them to you?? I have a couple of mini skeins I would love to send.


  13. Kate says:

    I have a few mini-skeins that I could send along (thanks to Caryn for the idea…) and would gladly do so. I’d even provide a story for each one…


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