knitting a story

Hello there. Long time no blog!


We’ve had Family Things going on. You know the sort, the Stuff that comes up and smacks ya in the face, and says, “well, hellllooo, there, how’d you like to have your brain (and your heart) eaten for a while?” Yep. That sort of Family Thing.

We’ve all been there. And it’s interesting to me how different folks deal with difficult times, times where the challenges are not just close to home, but part of home. This time, I knew the challenge was coming, and then we were in the middle of it, and now we’re in the Aftermath section of our story…and every single day along the way, I’ve been saying to myself: Today, I’m going to blog.

And I never did. I couldn’t bring myself to post some sort of falsely cheerful bit of writing, with sweet photos of kitties and pretty snippets of fibre. And the Family Stuff wasn’t the sort of thing I could talk about on the interwebs. Every day, then, I was torn between my desire to write, and my inability to write about what was really going on.

And so, I poured my heart out into the rest of my creative life. I knit. I designed. I charted. I spun. I drumcarded. I wired beads onto tiara bases. I sang in the house, I sorted my yarn and fibre bins. (Well. some of my yarn and fibre bins…)

I have a shawl that I cast on at the beginning of The Challenge, and I just bound it off this past week. Every stitch of that shawl is part of the story, the story I could not tell you in the written word, but the story that nonetheless needed telling, from the depths of a storyteller’s heart.


It’s the Caliz shawl, by Rosemary Hill. The multi-coloured yarn is Socks that Rock, and the magenta is Koigu. I did an extra repeat of the lace pattern and thus ran out of the Socks that Rock before I was ready to be done with the shawl. I managed to Use My Brain long enough to set aside enough SthatR to use in the last couple of rows and the bind-off, which I think ties the whole thing together rather nicely. Ordinarily, I do not like stripes in shawls (except for when I do, of course), but I like the way this came out.

This shawl, in a very real way, is all the blog posts I did not write. It’s a story shawl; it’s still a story shawl even if only a few folks know what the story is.

I love that the work of our hands can tell stories.


  • Let’s start off with the requisite cute animal photo, shall we? Tiny baby squirrel Violet wears a tiny purple cast…looks like she is in good hands, however.
  • The doves have come back to nest in the little basket I put up for them two years ago.


  • It had to happen. A motorized flyer and bobbin for spinning yarn…made of Legos. Lego spinning wheel, anyone?
  • OK, let’s stay with that cat theme for a minute. This is Dottie. Dottie loves to wear hats and costumes, so after her mom took my make-your-own-tiara class last weekend, Dottie used her psychic cat powers to convince mom to make her a tiara.

ImageReportedly, if you take off Dottie’s sparkly crown, she will attempt to nudge it back onto her head.

  • Meanwhile, back at the Wiseheart Zoo, Tim declares that a drumcarder is a perfectly grand place to nap.


That’s all I’ve got today. Maybe next time I’ll even bust out a puppy photo or three. Or a baby bird. Who knows what lurks in the mind of Sandi?

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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24 Responses to knitting a story

  1. molly says:

    a beautiful shawl. i have several projects which have kept my sanity in parlous times and they are still touchstones, but in a good way. take care.


  2. spingirl1961 says:

    Lots of hugs for the whole family–cats, dog, Sir N, and you!!


  3. Pat says:

    Hi Sandi,
    Love the shawl! Was wondering were you had been. Sorry to hear that all has not been well with you. No matter how difficult the issue, you will come out on the other end even stronger then you already are. I think that it is safe to say that your fans aka “other family” is here for you. Take care and be gentle with yourself.
    Pat aka westies


  4. Barbara says:

    Hello Sandi–
    There are thousands of us knitters and fiber crafters in North America who resonate with your life story of going through things that can’t be put in words, at least not for a long time. Your knitting and spinning, and tiara making because of the concentration required in jewelry making, can be sources of respite, personal agency in the face of things beyond our control, and sanity in the face of chaos. I know because knitting helped me get through a horrific situation in my professional work. Please, you and Nicholas take care of yourselves. and get lots of feline and canine therapy from your pets.


  5. Anna Johnson says:

    I love your shawl!! It is so beautiful!!! You warmed my heart with your kitties and the dove, thank you so much!!!!


  6. justsocks says:

    Just checking in to say I missed your posts.
    Challenges are necessary sometimes and I hope you managed to get through it all well and maybe even better than before. In the long run.



  7. Robin Ashley says:

    Welcome words from you whenever you can. Missed you! Robin


  8. Sandy says:

    A big virtual hug and lots of love coming your way. Knitting and crocheting have saved my sanity on more than one occasion. I hope it does for you as well.


  9. Sorry to hear you had family problems. Hope they’re all solved now. Love the cat in the tiara!


  10. maryh says:

    So sorry to hear you’ve had stressful family things to deal with; hope they’ve been satisfactorily resolved.
    We’ve missed you and are happy to see you back


  11. I know what you mean about not liking to write when you’re down. Sorry you’ve been through a tough time. I missed you. Here’s to a brighter day.


  12. pattie says:

    loved meeting you in Syracuse a couple weeks ago-loved your red shoes!

    The shawl with the improvised border is lovely, looks like it was the plan all the while.

    hoping that the season change is a good one for you. happy Spring.


  13. ReginaMary says:

    Wow!! My life as we speak. Thank you!


  14. Arla says:

    Been there, done that…blessings to you Sandi, blessings!!!


  15. Nancy says:

    So sorry to hear that life has been throwing you curve balls lately. Hope the situation is resolving and that life is getting back to normal. Take good care!


  16. Sybil says:

    I’m sorry to hear that u had some problems. U turned the lemons in to lemonade, the shawl is simply beautiful. Glad to hear from u.


  17. donna lee says:

    Sorry life has been a tangle lately. It’s funny how we turn to crafty things to help focus and take us away. I have some knits that bring back intense memories when I see them since they were knit at tempestuous times.

    I hope you’re feeling strong and things calm down for you and your family.


  18. Pat says:

    I do understand. When there is nothing to say other than the thing that you cannot say; be true to yourself. You were missed but honesty is better than a false face. Glad you can blog whatever it is that you can share. Peace.


  19. Genia Potter says:

    We missed you, dear Sandi. Know that we are with you even when you can’t blog.


  20. A Life Flexible says:

    That is an absolutely gorgeous shawl! I adore the colorway and the design! I’m sorry that life has been full of challenges lately, but hope things will go more smoothly for you!


  21. Bonnie says:

    It’s so nice to see you back. I hope that everything is calming down and whatever-it-is is over. The shawl is gorgeous, as are the kitties!


  22. Lu says:

    Big hugs!!! (((())))


  23. cocokat says:

    I’m sorry to hear that life has thrown you curve balls. The shawl is lovely and a lovely way to work through difficult times. That and furry hugs. I’ve missed your posts and am happy to see you back. Take care!


  24. Joan says:

    Sandy so sorry to here of your “Challenge”. Hope your spring becomes lighter! Hugs from NY! Beautifull shawl!


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