January 6, 2018: Epiphanies


Well, hello there, Internet Friends. Long time no blog.

It has indeed been a while since you’ve heard much from me. A tweet here, a Facebook comment there, a Ravelry post every now and then.

It was never my intention to quit blogging, not forever, anyway. But as we all know, sometimes Life gets very selfish and wants all of our attention. Not just some of our attention, nor even most of our attention. Sometimes Life is like a hungry teenager, devouring everything in the house and then standing in front of the open refrigerator one last time to announce Imminent Starvation because There Is Nothing Left to Eat In The Entire House.

img_0158-1

BenKitten: “Mom! We’re out of kitty treats…AGAIN!”

When Life is that demanding, it’s rather challenging to ignore those demands, and take time to tap out a few hundred words, let alone a few hundred coherent words.

My life has never been about giving up. Just as in my knitting, I frequently hit obstacles in my life: I discover unmendable mistakes, I realize I have taken a road I once thought was creative, only to finally realize it was a simply a seductive brick wall. As in knitting, there comes a point where I must admit that trying to push ahead in a particular endeavor, despite obstacles, dropped stitches, and wrong-way decreases, is foolish and will never result in anything resembling the sweater I had in mind when I cast on. The sound of ripping stitches is then heard, the cats come running to help me rewind the yarn (so helpful, a knitter’s cats), and the project is set aside, to be considered and meditated upon until Further Notice.

Well: It’s time. This post is Further Notice. I am casting on again, taking up pen and keyboard and needles once more in service of continuing to knit a life for myself, a life that fits the person I am, the person I want to be, instead of the person I no longer am, or the person whom others might wish me to be. And I have a new goal this time ‘round, a goal for which I haven’t yet seen the map, nor do I know where the first step might be…except that the first step is also here, now, this time and this place.

The goal? To write, to knit, to do whatever it is I do (I really have Clue Zero what that is most days), not just for myself, but for others, somehow, someway; to help some of you knit a life for yourselves, too.

One thing I loved so much about KnittingDaily was that it allowed me to be a force for good in the community; I have missed that. I absolutely loved the comments that shouted “I FINALLY GET IT NOW!”; or the emails showing me pictures of a particularly well-executed bust dart. It was rewarding having y’all come up to me somewhere across North America, wearing a gorgeous handknit sweater and a grin to light up the entire city. Then, shy or struttin’, full of pride, so full of joy, you’d announce: “This is my KnittingDaily sweater, I made it with the tips you gave, and LOOK!” or “I used waist shaping for the first time, and I thought it would make me look fat, but I think I look kinda cute, don’t you?”

Yes, readers, indeed I did think all your sweaters you showed me over the years, whether in person or via photos, I thought all of them were amazing. (One of you even showed me a PONCHO you’d done, complete with shaping, that was truly a knockout, who knew a poncho could look so nice?) You were amazing with your courage (“Look, Sandi, I steeked! I had two glasses of wine first, but I steeked and it worked!”), and your creativity. I will NEVER ever forget the very tall, bear-shaped man who showed me the back of his handknit sweater, pointing out the darts up around his plush and padded shoulders, darts that made the back of a potentially baggy pullover look smooth and tailored, showing off his manly assets to their best. (At the time, I remember thinking that this guy was Paul Bunyon Going Incognito In YarnLand. He was awe-inspiring, if for nothing else than the fact that he had persevered through acres of stockinette stitch in pursuit of that quite handsome-on-him sweater. Well done, Sir. Well Done.) Your pride in learning was my pride in teaching; it was my pleasure to give back so much pleasure to my community.

I am the first to admit that I lost my way after stepping down from KD. That was one of the most painful decisions I have had to make, but in the end, I realized that KD was needed for other purposes in the life of Interweave, and I knew in my heart that I was not the right person to take her on that new adventure.

It was a huge loss for me, personally. I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to continue doing what I wanted to do without the support and resources of a company or group behind me. But as a favorite movie dad once said, “Small steps, Ellie. Small steps.” (Contact, starring Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway and David Morse as The Dad.) First thing was to let myself heal from the loss of KD, to fully mourn, and in the end, to fully let go and acknowledge it was no longer “mine”.

As for the next step? Well…take a look at the header of my blog, if you would…I have a new tagline. A slight shift in perspective, a wider purpose, perhaps…or is it? I haven’t ever been one to sidestep some of the more thinky topics in my knitter’s life; perhaps the shift in the tagline is simply an acknowledgement of something that already is. Not one of you has ever asked me to “write less”; in fact, almost every one of you has, at one time or another, asked me to write MORE, more posts, more tutorials…and even Please Write A Book For Us, Ms. Sandi. It’s way past time to listen to what you’ve been telling me for a decade or so: That you WANT me to tell my stories, that you like it when I show you what I have learned from whatever I am currently working on, to share the questions, and the discoveries, that come to all of us who Make Things. It’s time to listen to what some of you have been telling me for a decade or more: Don’t listen to the inner voice that tells me I am an imposter (oh, yes; because Meg Swansen would TOTALLY come up to me and thank me for writing an imposter blog, yeah, that would happen); but instead, to please kindly listen to the folks who actually read the stuff I write–especially those of you who are still here, seven years on from my last post on KnittingDaily–and trust that when you ask me to write more, you mean it. You’ve hung in there with me over the good years and the bad; how about we see what 2018 can come up with for us?

There’s lots more to catch up on: new creative projects, new cat stories, new adventures, new stitches cast-on and knitted up. But rather than try to recap any of it, I’ll give you a brief glimpse into Now, catching you up along the way Later, saving the rest for Next Time.

Just for fun, let me show you my newest knitting project, because it is brightly coloured, and a lot of fun, and will result in something warm for this bitterly cold Canadian winter.

First two inches of a stranded colourwork hat. It's resting against a new project bag by Erin Lane, decorated with knitting sheep dressed as the various incarnations of Dr. Who.

It’s stranded colourwork! It’s a pre-hat, resting on a favourite project baaag (hee) by Erin Lane: Look at all the knitting Whovian sheeples! (That particular bag is a Large Project Bag, just in case that’s helpful to know.)

That is the seedling of a hat, a slouchy beret sort of hat. It’s called the Pansy Garden Tam, designed by Donna Frost Ritchie, and its colours are joy to the dark chills of midwinter here at the 43rd parallel.

More about this lovely project will have to wait a short while; as will news about my other adventures, and even new Silly Kitten Tricks.

Dusty, in his favourite sink, drinking from his favourite fountain.

Dusty, in his favourite sink, drinking from his favourite fountain. (“Now, with even more Adorable Pink Tongue action!”)

Peace, Sandi

Epiphany
Middle English: from Greek epiphainein ‘reveal’.

Epiphany, Capital E: The Feast of Epiphany occurs on January 6th; it celebrates the manifestation (“revelation”) of Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the story of the 3 Wise Kings who “came from afar to worship the Baby Jesus.”

epiphany, lowercase e: A moment of sudden revelation or insight about the essential nature of things; a sudden illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.

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.
This entry was posted in BenKitty, DustyCat, Knitting, New Year's Epiphanies, stranded colourwork, Wheel of the Year, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to January 6, 2018: Epiphanies

  1. Karen Thorneycroft says:

    Carry on Miss Sandi, Carry on! so glad to see that you are back!

  2. Joni says:

    Good to see you posting, Sandi!

  3. Looking forward the the next chapter of you.
    Relax. You’re not an imposter. You’re an imperfect human that writes and knits and is named Sandi. And you do that exactly, imperfectly the way it is to be.

    Speaking for myself, yes, your knitting experience is what originally sucked me in. (And because that was your role at Interweave with KD.) But it’s your writing and sharing of your journey — that happens to revolve a lot around knitting — is what is actually so interesting and compelling.

    Been starting my own new ‘chapter’ in the past few years. Finally past the first pages. ha.

    One of my favorite cartoonists (Hilary Price) sends out what she calls her “Charming-Yet-Infrequent Newsletter.” Perhaps you should think of this as your “Charming-Yet-Infrequent Blog” Reset your expectations to release some of the pressure. Aim for 3 posts a year. Maybe go wild and shoot for _four!_ 🙂

    But seriously, I’m happy that you’ve found out a little more about what makes you happy (sharing what you’re learned about making and helping others by teaching and sharing) and are able to do more of it. That’s hard earned gold.

    And: OMG — I love the WhovianSheepies!!

  4. molly says:

    welcome back! good to hear you again – and what a lovely hat that shall be! cheers!

  5. Molly Euken says:

    Glad you’re back!

  6. Tamara says:

    Bless you, our Sandie. We love you, unconditionally. We wish you would write more, but that’s because we’re imperfectly selfish, and so appreciate your perfect honesty, which allows us to know there are other imperfect selves out there with the same struggles as you, craftsy and otherwise. I’m happy to hear from you whenever and whatever you write. ❤

  7. Deb says:

    Glad you are here with us. We are in this together.

  8. elaine says:

    Hi Sandi! SO good to see your name pop up in my inbox 🙂
    I can’t believe it’s been seven years ~ my where does the time go? I am glad you are listening to that inner voice! I started knitting with you on KD ~ answered so many questions, inspired me to do more, and as I have cats, enjoyed all things kitty. As my knitting is in a slump, I’d totally love (and need) some…. Sandi motivation! 2018 is going to be a good, fiber filled year!

  9. Sylvia Dresser says:

    I am so glad to see you again! I, for one, stopped reading KD when you stopped writing it … just in case that is important for you to know. I look forward to more missives from you.

  10. Barbara Gambrell says:

    So glad you’re back! Looking forward to the future adventures of Sandi!

  11. Mardelle Madsen says:

    so good to hear from you – you are amazing, as is your knitting knowledge – and your creative writing.

  12. Julia In KW says:

    Woohoo! Nice to see you writing/posting again!

  13. Mary Lou Seaward says:

    Seeing your writing is like a surprise visit from a dear friend–love it! Epiphanies. Wise Men. Wiseheart. Wishing you the best in 2018, and looking forward to your next visit, happy whenever that may be.

  14. JR LEE says:

    Thanks for the new post 😊.

    Sent from my iPad

  15. Marilyn says:

    YES! Glad you’re back, looking forward to further ‘unfoldings….’ 🙂

  16. Lori says:

    Sandi, it makes my day when a new post appears on your blog (and in my in-box). Love your insights into knitting and quilting and life in general. The Pansy Garden hat will be delightful. May 2018 treat you like a queen.

  17. Niki says:

    Lovely to read your latest and greatest Sandi! Your writings about yarny adventures delight and inspire me however frequent or infrequent they may be. I am wishing you ongoing healing in body, mind and spirit and looking forward to whatever you may post next! XOXOX. Niki

  18. Lara H says:

    HI Sandi, You and I have never met, never conversed, in person or on Ravelry, yet I feel like I can relate to your struggles–in life and in knitting–because of the amazing way you write. I have been a fan since the KD times and will continue to be a fan of your writings, be they often or infrequent, blog post, or whathaveyou. Cheers to you and wishing you all the best!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s