Scrappy Raven's Nest

Quilting, sewing, knitting, fighting depression, and doing as little housework as possible.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Old Stuff

These baskets were my great grandmother's. They are from western Canada and might have been made by Native artists. I love this kind of folk art which is really so highly sophisticated and honest. The top one is hand painted and served as my grandmother's sewing basket. Inside the big one I found this sweater almost complete made by my mother. Coincidentally it is the same color as the sweater I started while she was dying. It is also a cardigan and someday I will finish knitting the last piece and sew it together.
It is interesting how we decide what pieces of the past we allow into our present lives. Maybe I will never finish the sweater. Perhaps it would be better to rip it and knit something new with the old yarn. If there is one thing I've learned it's to acknowledge the past but to move on with today and the future.

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Stuff For A New Year

Well it's about time I took stock of what's been accomplished in the last few months. My first ever hooked rug is moving along although I don't know if others can tell that the main figure is a cat. I think the sweater is going to be allright. It's my own pattern knit entirely in the round (yeah, no seams). Since my body curves outward wherever it is possible to be curvey I've been experimenting with short rows. This actually quite terrified me at first but it is actually fairly easy to tell where to add short rows (my curves are not subtle). Notice I'm trying not to mention anything about weight. My new resolution is to not say the F word (the three letter word )in conjunction with myself in order to be a better role model to my daughter. The great thing about knitting top down is that you can adjust the fit as you go.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prayer Shawl

This has been a difficult year. My daughter went to boarding school (her choice) so I've been having empty nest syndrome. Then about 10 days before Christmas my mother passed away. We've been on the road back and forth, doing the 9 hour drive, to the big city since September. I'm going to whine a bit here, but I am so tired that I decided to give myself permission to take a week off at home and just rest.

Thank goodness for all of my hobbies or I would have gone round the bend. What do people who don't knit or quilt or hook rugs do when they're stressed out. I have slept a lot and been very lazy but without my projects I would have been taken over by depression and a sense of purposelessness.

One thing that was absolutely wonderful was a present I received from a wonderful friend of my mother's after her funeral. She and her group had knit me a prayer shawl. When I feel sad I just wrap that around myself for comfort. In fact over Christmas the whole family took to wrapping it around themselves for comfort.

I have heard of the Prayer Shawl Ministry but to be quite honest I didn't really understand it. I mean how comforting could a piece of cloth be. I thought maybe those people should be knitting other things for their families that would be more appreciated.

How wrong I was. The Prayer Shawl I received has been invaluable in helping me through the grieving process. The colors remind me of my mother and when I wrap up in it in a way I feel I am wrapping a little of herself around me. Knowing that the lovely women of her church knit it is a wonderful bonus. Her community of women are also wrapping around me with loving support. What a great gift that it should be prayed over and blessed turning a piece of cloth (albeit a lovely hand knit one) into a garment of spiritual protection.

Having received one I know I must cast on and prayerfully knit a shawl for someone in need.