Goodbye Grief

goodbye-grief

It’s with shock I share these words to no one in particular. It’s probably something that I would share with my uncle. I met my uncle when I was only eight years old. He was a big guy, over six feet tall. He was one of the most important people in my life. We talked at least three times a week. From football, politics, higher education- he was always there for me. When he married my aunt twenty years ago, he also treated me like a daughter. The last five years were the best because I felt like he made an effort to get to know me as an adult. Sometimes I think its hard for parents to ever see their children as anything else. My uncle did. He was consistent, honest, intelligent, and loved unconditionally. He was very compassionate and never let his heart harden despite how the world treated him. He always had a story and lived life as if it were his last day. His optimism and hope will forever be remembered. I don’t know if I’ll ever meet anyone else like him. He loved me as his own and the world will never be the same. Rest peacefully Uncle T.

Grace, Gratitude & Handmades

Good afternoon Knit friends,

It’s ‘HumpDay’ Wednesday and I already feel like I have ran a marathon. I have come to the tail end of interviews and hope to have closure sometime after the holiday break. Monday was a sad time for many of us because we lost a rare jewel. Gwen Ifill, a national journalist taken so soon from the spotlight. She had a rich career working at the NY Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and the PBS Newhour. I never followed her career closely, but until recently mentioned not seeing her face during the recent presidential debates. Her life was cut short at 61. She had such an amazing life and many have spoken about her legacy of having an impact on so many people. Below are a couple of nice tributes about her life.

Opinion pages- NY Times Brent Staples, 11-14-16

grace-of-gwen

Example of Gwen Ifill- David Brooks, 11-15-16

This made me feel some kind of way. This woman has done so much in her short time here. It reminded me of all the people that have made a lasting impression on my life. I often wonder about the small community of women who have contributed to the person that I have become today. Will they ever know how much their time, wisdom, and kindness was appreciated? I often try to let people know through writing letters or sending cards. In this current political environment, what lasting efforts will you make to make the world better? I contribute by make small handmade gifts, calling, and sending cards to people that I care deeply about. I hope that after I go, my legacy to promote kindness and generosity will remain.

My newest knit hat project is called the Citadel by Beata Jezek. A quick knit with a lining. A great project for a quick gift. Many changes will come as I have figured out my gauge. It might not fit the birthday girl, but it sure will keep your head warm. Here’s my project page for Sweet Citadel (my personal project name). I used Malabrigo Rios and Rowan Superwash DK (lining). Notes have been updated in my Rav profile.

citadelhat2

What’s on your needles friends? Do you have any celebrity role models that you look up to?

Self-care equals #knitting

Hello Knit Friends,

I have been working really hard to figure out if I should expend my energy on responding to the results of the recent U.S. election. My feelings about it aren’t even important at this point because I grew up in bible-belt Georgia. The acts of bigotry and disregard for people who are different was common place. The fact that Trump’s hate filled speech catapulted him to the presidency. I have learned the hard way that the America that I grew up in is the same America that showed itself after election day. I am disappointed that the American Dream was never meant for me because of the color of my skin, my agnostic beliefs, and my queer lifestyle.  The only jolt of surprise is the lack of participation from so-called Americans. No one really could predict that the third party interests and Christian fundamentalist women voters would tip the scale for Trump to become President.

my-activism

Below are several resources that I have started reviewing today to wrap my head around the reality that Trump will soon represent America. I understand the anger, fears, and anxiety that my fellow POCs feel because of the reality of what Trump’s presidency represents. I am thankful that I choose to use social media to stay connected to the marginalized voices that are often lost in mainstream media. A special thanks to my library friends for finding amazing resources. I’ve tried to be inclusive with the resources that I share so that allies and others who now realize that their neutrality is harmful.

Helpful article about how to ‘hold space’ for others who are dealing with difficult situations such as the emotional trauma of losing someone or even showing up to listen to people who upset about the U.S. election.

hold-space

9 Activist share stories of how they are reacting to the Trump Presidency

trumps-america

Music is a huge tool for bringing people together through challenging times. I use Spotify to help find some music to escape – Also Alicia Key’s new album Here is out. I find myself revisiting Tracy Chapman music too.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s commentary on What it means to be Black in a Trump Administration

toni-morrison

For the intellectuals who likes to debate or read (like me) what a community of scholars have put together called the Trump Syllabus 2.0 – created by N. D. B. Connolly and Keisha N. Blain. It was created in June 2016 as the popularity of Trump began to grow. It is an objective reflection from all sides that include textbooks and commentary (below is a short summary)

trump-syllabus-2-0

I am a firm believer that there will always be work to do. Many of us have different parts to play. We also have freewill to exercise our choices in how we show up. Do we choose to standup and do something for those who are oppressed, hurt, and emotionally devastated? I choose to offer alternatives to help my community cope with the difficult road ahead. As we all watch the destruction of laws and government fight against the democracy of its people. I will try to remain hopeful in my belief in the resiliency of humanity. I will dive deep into my knitting or contribute to holding space for those who often feel alone and invisible. You are not alone knit friends- I see you and you matter.

 

Knitwise November Pt. 2

Hey Knit Friends,

My favorite time of year is Fall. Growing up in Georgia, I loved to see the leaves change colors and the smell of a bond fire. Sipping hot cocoa and roasting marshmallows is my kind of excitement as a kid. I honestly feel sorry for kids these days who have no concept of playing outdoors. You couldn’t keep me in the house during the fall. I was at football games or working a part time job. The Internet and tech gadgets are the death of youth (why do i feel old as I reminisce)?


Knitwise 

My wife’s birthday is coming soon. I’ve got several hat ideas aan im hoping she’ll like at least one of my hair brain ideas. I’m wait to finish the hat before revealing. the only hint I  can make is that it will be lined. I’m using yummy Malabrigo Rios.

I will share my new surprise, Mohr sweater swatch and color reveal. A local knit friend has agreed to hold my hand as I embark on this scary journey. I was joking to my knit nite crew that I my arms are the length of a child’s slim capris. I’m sure I can’t make the sleeves quarter length. I’ll have plenty of comical stores about my sweater adventure. 

2016 Knitting Goals Review:

  • Learn how to make Cables. I’ve one one project with cables. I plan on getting Nora Gaughan’s new cable book for learning the new techniques.
  • Make a garment. I have plans to hopefully start Mohr soon. Bought most of my supplies.

Works  in Progress

Last year I made a Baa-ble Hat designed by Donna Smith. my mom stole it. So I’m making a replacement hat. It’s coming out really well. I’m using some berroco vintage I swapped at my LYS market day. This is such an enjoyable knit. Friends so you have annual knit projects?

Knitwise November Pt.1

Hi Knit Friends,

I can’t believe it’s November already. Today while talking with a friend, I calculated that I’ve had six interviews over the last three months from four perspective places. I didn’t intend to look for a new job, but thinking of my future- being at a different spot could determine whether or not I stay in my chosen career. I’ll keep you posted when I do my big reveal next month.

KNITWISE 

October was a wasted month because I spent the last two weeks sick. I caught a nasty cold while traveling, but now it seems that I’m getting better. I’m stuck on the same socks. I found the cutest November knit prompt on IG. it’s adorable. I bought a mitten pattern by Tanis Fiber Arts last year, but I haven’t made time to do it. I really don’t like mittens and these are lined. And I’m not sure I love someone enough to gift them. My poor track record, I’d have to make 3 mittens because I’m destined to lose at least one. 

Sweet little Eddie is finally sleeping through the night. He is still a baby- a six month old. He sleeps for an hour or two at a time when we are home. It has been an adjustment. I don’t see how people manage little people and animals. It’s fun to watch the cats deal with him. Eddie has no sense of personal space. He likes to play bite or hug up on our cats. Luckily for them that they have feline jumping power to get away. 

Food

My good mood has extended into the weekday. Last night I surprised me wife by cooking collards and fried tilapia. I made spaghetti for fun to enjoy for lunch too. The beauty of making two meals is that I can freeze part of it. The greens were exceptional. I’m sure it won’t be a repeat because I have cracked the code for the right amount of seasoning. I can kill a pan of Mac and cheese with my eyes closed. 

New Knit surprise

I found some wonderful knit projects to add to my list of dream projects. i feel like there are too many to choose from. In addition to puppy and kitten photos – knit projects bring me happiness as well. The OM shawl  I found on my feed; Gretel cardigan by Pam Allen using my favorite Quince and Co. 

Friends, what’s on your knit list? 

1st Book Club Plans

Hello Knit Friends,

October is almost over. 3 more days and it’s a wrap. I haven’t knitted consistently this whole month because I am still negotiating contracts to my new job. Just when I want to do a ‘big share’– some new email appears in my inbox inviting me to another interview. This time last year, was the similar song and dance as I had three interviews with no success. I can honestly say that last year’s work move was the start of me gaining confidence and being intentional about my future. The last six months has been filled with small increments of self improvement. I am not a boastful person, but I do see the benefit in acknowledging one’s hard work. 

Acknowledging one’s growth helps minimize ‘imposter syndrome’ that sometimes rears its ugly head. I tend to live in my head as a natural introvert, but will like to encourage others who have introversion tendencies to reach out to people. Reaching out for me to my small network has been so helpful. I have a friend who appointed herself head cheerleader on my encouragement squad. I am able to share ideas and strategize the next move because its healthier to communicate instead of relying on your own knowledge. The stress level becomes more manageable for me too.

bookclub1

I have one week to read the book assigned for my very first book club. It is exciting and scary as I don’t often share publically my thoughts on race or emotionally-intense topics. I will hopefully share my experience from my first meeting with a group of strangers. The older I get the more I realize that my voice is valuable. I may never reach the level of vocal activism, but I am becoming more mindful of the things that I contribute my time to. I can see a distinct difference of the person that I once was in my twenties into the person that I am learning to be more patient and comfortable with.

I found some lovely knitted fall options that I want to share with everyone. I feel like I want a new project that requires needle size no smaller than 8s. Donna Smith’s popular Baa-ble hat from 2015 Shetland Wool Week. I discovered some scrap yarn that would work beautifully with the pattern.


Another exciting discovery is Brooklyn Tweed’s new yarn line called Arbor. Such a refreshing and balanced colorway choice. The muted and pastel colorways from the traditional BK line didn’t really appeal to me. look below for a sneaky peak at a lovely combo of grey and yellow. 


I’m motivated to try a quick colorwork project just to test the yarn. 

What’s got your pulse racing knitwise friends? Anticipating any new patterns or books? Any ideas for starting holiday knits? 

Almost Rhinebeck

Hi Knit Friends,

For a whole day last week I made plans to attend Rhinebeck. It was the best 24 hours, but unfortunately my riding mate had to cancel. No stress on me as I had plenty to do around the house. I’m prepping for my trip home next weekend and hope to finish a pair of belated bday socks. I was lucky to have a foot model at my LYS. She was a size 8 and the intended recipient is a size 8.5. 

This is called Patio Sock and I’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks. I love how the pattern is so easy to memorize and it’s not as crazy hard as it looks. I used some delicious Dragonfly Fibers Tardis colorway. 

I also made a tasty dinner to celebrate a new job. I received an offer and now I am working on the logistics. Broiled salmon and a mixed green salad is a quick meal to make.

This morning we tried a new brunch place. Iron Rooster in Baltimore has gotten several awesome reviews from open table so I decided to try it out. I’d definitely suggest to make reservations before coming. We went “early” at 9:30am and was able to get a reasonable wait time of 35 mins. We order Monkey Bread with Rum infused maple syrup with cinnamon raisin bread. The raisins were saturated with rum. The photo shows it in mid-consumption. 

I had fun following several IG buddies who attended Rhinebeck. Here are some beautiful things I’ve seen in my feed. The left corner of each picture denotes photo credit.

The Coddle Cowl by Claire Walls. 

Lisa Hannes design Optimist using Malabrigo sock. I’d rework the color palette. I like yellows and orange. I’m trying to get my local friends to make it with me.

Sweet Eddie got a haircut and he smells so wonderful. I felt really bad leaving him to get groomed, but he had a good report. He doesn’t like the bath and blow dryer bit, but who does? 

I ended the day with a yummy dinner. My first attempt at stir fry, but it ended up as boiled meat and veggies. I’m sure it will get better second time around. 

Friends, what’s on your needles? Did you see a beautiful habdmade item at the festival? Any new yarn purchases at Rhinebeck?