The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! (You can also find me on Instagram as waterwomanknits for mostly nature and knitting).

The products of science and technology may be new, and some of them are quite horrid, but knitting? In knitting there are ancient possibilities; the earth is enriched with the dust of the millions of knitters who have held wool and needles since the beginning of sheep. โ€” Elizabeth Zimmerman

My intention is to explore where the practice of knitting daily intersects with healing and have a space to share the endless learning curve of the craft. My aim is to focus on a single work in progress, finished object or knitting topic query per post.

Random topic list for exploration:

  • process vs. product
  • favorite designers
  • designer bios
  • sheep breed exploration
  • choosing patterns to make
  • knitting as meditation
  • beneficial properties of wool
  • sustainable wool sources
  • climate change and sheep
  • a maker’s life
  • knitting and mental health
  • knitting books, resources
  • gifted and charity knitting
  • creating as a life force
  • why wear handmade when you can go to Target/Walmart/mass production store and buy ten machine made for the price of one?
  • knitting and worldwide community
  • knitting cultural heritage
  • knitting as precursor to computer technology
  • women shepherds (desses)
  • cleaning, spinning, dying wool
  • knitting techniques
  • teaching knitting to beginners

Temporarily, I have transferred posts from a prior 7-year blog that contains anything about knitting into this space, but I will be streamlining and editing those over time.

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Wave pattern from Cyandine, Expression Fiber Arts

 

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Prehistoric ferns remind me of nature’s knitting

When Mojo Has Left the Building

Welcome to a few new subscribers to this blog! I want to share I am posting new content over on waterwomanknits.weebly.com blog. Not sure if I’m up to the headache of transferring domain, so likely will let it eventually expire. That page has an active link to my weekend virtual gatherings in the home page and a Patterns button to my Ravelry patterns. It is where I am slowly working on building nature connection content on YouTube in a time when many are restricted from the powerful nourishment source that Earth, plants, trees, animals provide.

I won’t list all the ways our hearts are breaking open at this time, because we all know. But my knitting mojo specifically has left the building in April. I knit daily for four years and before then intermittently, and this is the first time it is feeling forced. I was gifted incredible yarn support for my next pattern, and I want to honor that generosity, so I work on it 30 minutes a day, but even that feels a struggle, when up to now it was 100% inspiration.

I know I’m not alone in this, because several lifelong knitters I know are experiencing something similar. It’s as if our former tool for increasing calm and restoring us to center is maybe not strong enough to handle the psychic overload of today or relies on too big a part of our human cognition that seems to be frying like a corroding battery?

What to do about this? I recommend a pause. Just pause if it is no longer bringing joy and sense of well-being. For me all that does seem to help my sense of well-being is walking and sitting outdoors, and because I am very blessed to be living economically poor in an environmentally rich area, I want to share some of that with others who may be prevented from access. Even though many of my region’s public parks are closed to groups and traffic, I have access to miles of foot trails and lots of people-free spaces to roam.

In the meantime, I’m crocheting bands for healthcare workers like my sister who must live in their masks day in, day out and are experiencing ear pain from elastic. Here is a great tutorial for these, should you want to make some.

Join Me For Making Circles

I’m hosting virtual gatherings each Saturday & Sunday 4:30pm PST up to 45 minutes. Bring anything you’re making in fiber arts (not limited to knitting), an open heart, and a warm drink. Let’s help each other weather this storm. See you then!

Please DM me @waterwomanknits or message on gmail same name, so I can make sure you’re set up with Zoom, and have a head count for the day. If no one shows, at least I’ve given myself the gift of scheduled make time.๐Ÿงถ๐Ÿ—บ

Together

Music to Knit By

Design in process

Feels a bit odd to announce something I did 36 years ago, but after I let my former blog expire that housed some of my old piano files, someone suggested I could upload to SoundCloud for free. I don’t have any sights set on exposure because telling myself, “You could have been famous 30 years ago,” is not exactly useful. The recordings have been through at least three technology transfers from old audio equipment and literally time traveled more than three decades to arrive here in this moment, so quality is not up to today’s standards. I’m sharing here since I know knitters often listen to podcasts, music, movies, videos while we knit. If you find them enjoyable, have at them, a gift to you from my teen self.

P.S. I can no longer make music in this way, but now you know why I type like the wind for a living.

Shop Open

First Live Designs

While I work enough extra to fully establish my own online web store and subscription service, these two babies are live and can now be found on Ravelry! I will continue posting new releases here until I merge everything in one space.

I would love to gather a low-key, no deadline pressure team of hand knitters to make the products from my designs to sell online, with the goal of giving something back to the knitters as well as to environmental restoration. There could be a seller page with an offering of how many products are available, and each knitter could ship to a customer from where they live, with a rolling buyer & maker list.

Pattern Links

Fiddlehead Beanie

Gulls & Waves Hat

Four more hat designs will be published in the next weeks for my first collection, pending hat model photos, followed by a cowl integrating all the design elements. After that, I will focus on items that are not stranded colorwork to accommodate a wider range of knitters.

Looking forward to planting more trees and cleaning more water!

Scraps to Joyful Shawl

What began on 1st of December as 25 small balls of leftover yarn from years of big projects has made my December a bit more mindful, a bit more creative. I am proud to have completed the first wearable thing I created as I went without any plan and “painting” with scraps, texture and color. Turned out a good 75″ wingspan and 36″ depth.

I took it to the labyrinth to photograph on a nearby mossy log. Walking the labyrinth as is my New Year tradition, (give or take – I know it’s not quite New Year’s Eve, but I’m a working gal) I asked for and received auspicious signs for my 2020 dreams. Labyrinths always allow me to come away with clearer mind, even if walked in the gently dripping fog as today.

Wishing you a joyous New Year, decade, everything, rest of our lives, tomorrow.

My word for 2019 was Welcome, and boy did I let go of a ton of stuff: 15 years of belongings, reminders of past traumas, housing, grown daughter, self-image, and welcomed in some change by the end. 2020 is shaping up to be a year of Create. It’s really the only word that fuels my fire at the moment. Create, create, create. Create new way of working each evening after finishing up old way of working to pay bills. Create new designs. Create stable living space. Create collaborations. By end of 2020, I want to be transformed by creating.

How about you?

Thanks to Molly of Buddha Doodles, whose work has inspired me for almost a decade
Cannot begin to describe how every page of this gift from my daughter fills my soul and heart, because I live it.

Holiday Knits

These rose petals appeared on my doorstep after wind in December, from my clipping of my grandmother’s rose.

In case you are curious, the patterns for the Wishmaker and Peaceable mitts are available here, thanks to Erica Heusser Designs.

My large nuclear family plus partners and children have approached the overwhelm of gifting by each person pulling one individual name to focus on, while the remaining folks get a stocking stuffer, and parents of children gift away to their heart’s content.

At this moment and I expect through 2020, I am visioning a new venture for Waterwoman Knits on another platform. Once it is up and running fully with shop and domain setup, I will link to this blog. It is my intention to sell my own patterns, offer workshops that allow nature to guide knit design, as well as teach beginning knitting in a restorative setting.

I will post an Advent Calendar shawl image by New Year’s Day, as it has undergone some adjustments. Namely, Day 1 was ripped back when I discovered the colors did not jibe with anything that followed, and was replaced with another yarn scrap. Fun project, nonetheless.

Advent Yarn Calendar Week 3

Funky Shawl – Day 15

Remaining scrap colors I believe are in the blue range with maybe a single strip of yellow. This will definitely be a one of a kind shawl that screams, “I am an artist. You don’t have to like it.” I believe this is the first time I’ve ever “free-styled” completely making up something as I go, incorporating random stitches and random color scraps.

Running out of room on my 40-inch needle cord, so will need to move some onto a second needle before Christmas. After Christmas is past, I will post what I’ve been making for gifts. That is, if they are done before New Years. ; ) There are not enough hours in the day and night.

Side note: I do not own a TV despite working for media, so I go down YouTube and podcast rabbit holes to accompany my knitting. Recently, I’ve become strangely addicted to watching a series of makers and cooks in rural villages who post videos. They capture daily routines that fill me with admiration for the level of craft, expertise and care that I only glimpse a hair of when sketching my own designs or am involved in the act of knitting that seems to slow time.

Here’s one you might watch if you live in the Western world and have never grown rice, because it may cause you to never look at rice the same again, in terms of labor and inherent value of every grain. https://youtu.be/xSDMTIe90AY

I am mesmerized by this elder woman’s strength and knife skills in this series, and have watched enough of her cooking to start incorporating spice combinations into my own concoctions. Open fire and fresh air must add much to the flavors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hinixe8QehU

Then for the Swedish version of Liziqi, I visit the spectacularly gorgeous videos of Jonna Jinton, a nature-connected soul who broadcasts Earth’s beauty. Here she recorded the sounds of lake ice freezing and cracking that are similar to whale sounds, and set it to her drone footage of winter lakes near her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd-CwJa1SHE

Advent Yarn Calendar Week 2

Experimenting with increases created a feathering effect at the top before I reverted back to triangular structure. Seems half my scraps are in the red/yellow category and half in the blue/purple. It will definitely be a funky, one-of-a-kind shawl, but possibly not as ugly as I first thought, once washed and flattened. With different yarn weights, I’m doubling up the thin ones.

Yesterday got notice there is a planned power outage all day Friday where I live, forcing me to be unable to work. It’s hard for me to miss more than half a day out of 7 and still make bills, and Saturday is already scheduled for a family holiday gathering, so I was a bit nervous. But as luck would have it, a large amount of work came in to allow me to make up for it by working late nights. Someone’s watching out for me. : ) Looking forward to a day of hanging out knitting gifts somewhere that’s warm.

Normally I don’t have a Christmas tree. I never really wanted one, since I worship trees where they are. But this year, I got a potted miniature red/white rose instead. I enjoy it!

My spirituality is nearly inexplicable to anyone else, but I’m happy with it. I don’t consider myself Christian but grew up loving Advent calendars and lighting a candle each week leading up to Christmas. I practice Buddhist meditation, have studied Buddhism quite a bit, but don’t belong to a group or particular branch of Buddhism. I believe in angels, love Tarot and oracle cards as divination tools and feel close to spirit realm daily. I literally never feel alone.

For years, I’ve appreciated the practices created on Zen Habits blog. Whenever I can, I find it helpful to sign up for a month or two of the Sea Change program to focus on a specific topic or habit. This month it’s the Sacred Bow Challenge, and it’s allowing me to do a year review in an entirely new way. If anyone’s looking for an affordable program to methodically review your past year and set intentions for the new, it’s fun and enlightening.

Nature’s art during forest bathing – walking in the woods is my favorite medicine

Advent Yarn Calendar Week 1

Stash Advent calendar shawl, week one

Pulling random leftover yarn balls with no regard to color mixing, in addition to making up pattern as I go along makes me suspicious I might make a Guinness world record for ugliest handknit when this is all over. Thankful two things are in my favor: 1) I work from home so ugly won’t stop me from wrapping myself in it, 2) Playing with yarn is fun.