Sunday, March 17, 2019

Agreeing to disagree

The Jewish Independent in Vancouver just ran my piece:
Respecting minority opinions
(Yes, some Winnipeggers may disagree with it.  That's fine.  Civil disagreement is an essential part of Jewish texts and tradition and a cornerstone of democracy, right?!)

What else is going on?  My kids have a couple of weeks of disruption coming up, spring break and other events...posts may be thin on the ground over here.

On the learning front:
If you live in Winnipeg, I attended an amazing interfaith learning event on March 11th, and it's part of a 4 part Monday evening series --Interfaith Dialogue on Truth and Reconciliation.  Due to the constraints of bedtime with twins, I may not get to all of these lectures, but just attending the first one was deeply meaningful--a way to connect with others and discuss ways forward in supporting and connecting with Indigenous Canadians as we grapple with Canada's discriminatory past.  More than 170 people attended the first event.  It's well worth it to be there in person if you can. 

If you don't live in Canada or you're Canadian but can't get to these learning events in Winnipeg, I encourage you to google "Canada Truth and Reconciliation."  Follow some links.  You will learn a lot about Residential Schools in Canada, and the terrible inter-generational trauma that remains as a result of this horrible thing done to Indigenous families.  Winnipeg's population is 15% Indigenous. This traumatic part of our past is something that Canadians must face. We have to work together to help heal. That's the whole message -- and yes, I'm a relatively new Canadian citizen--but heck, that part doesn't matter. We're all in this together.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Knitting density

Sometimes you have to knit a sweater because winter isn't over, but the kid has darn well worn through his favorite sweater.  Yup.  This is a new version of Stripe Freestyle in all Canadian yarns--all from stash in my house.  I've got some Custom Woolen Mills yarn in here, some MacAusland's Woolen Mill yarn, and some specially made Seine River Shepherds yarn (grown in Manitoba, processed by Custom Woolen Mils in Alberta.).  The kid dictated where the stripes should go, how much bigger the new one should be, the whole nine yards.

I knit it as dense as I could, because after the fifth patch on the old Stripe Freestyle?   I got tired of darning and knitting whole new sections of the old sweater!  The dense knitting caused me a little nerve pain and muscle irritation (I have a good physio/physical therapist) so I didn't get this done as fast as I had hoped.  However, we had fresh snow and big winds today, so he was well-pleased to march off to the school bus in his parka and snow pants ....and a new sweater.

Happy new sweater in March---in like a LION!

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Friday, March 08, 2019

Worry Bear for Women

A friend graciously tested my Worry Bear pattern.  She has already given the first bear to a friend who is going through some mental health challenges.  Her second is destined for an older lady with dementia.  I feel like if this design is all I did for International Women's Day this year, so be it.  I was very moved by her images in the projects and how her handknits have such power to show care for others.  She gave me permission to repost them.
We had a quiet moment doing reading before bed this week, and I caught a funny photo of these cherished (but pretty worn) woolly socks I knit long ago.  They were dangling off the edge of the bed as we made our way through a Rainbow Magic Fairy book together.  --And, if you are looking, you can see an old baby blanket doing double duty on the handmade dog bed and the wool crocheted rug, a little worse the wear now, but well-loved by several dogs after 13? years or so!
After working at the computer, and getting groceries and other chores, I made myself a fabulous snack.  That's Greek/Turkish/Middle Eastern coffee....(1 tsp sugar, for those who wonder) made in a briki, a tall glass of water, and plain popcorn topped with a bit of olive oil, salt, and a tablespoon of maple syrup.  (Don't worry, I saved a lot of popcorn for twins' after-school snack, too.)  It was delicious.  May you have something similar soon!

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Friday, March 01, 2019

New article, new design and a sale!

The Jewish Independent has just published my article, "A need for order in our lives."  If I had to come up with a theme for the last few weeks, it would be "please help me make order, everything feels out of control over here!"
We had a big surprise right before Louis Riel weekend (Family Day in other provinces, or Presidents' Day in the US.)  A water main break happened right across the street from our house. The whole next block was a skating rink, but had no water to drink.  We were very lucky, we didn't lose water, although it was a bit brownish for about a day.  It was safe for flushing and washing, but we did use bottled water and I took a whole Shabbat dinner, pre-cooked, right out of the freezer rather than try to cook under those conditions.  It's good to be prepared.

And yes, it is loud when the utilities folk are jack hammering outside and it's -30 out.  Did I mention we had a relative visiting from the US?!  I was so frazzled that I lost my parking ticket from the airport parkade and had to pay the full day's worth of parking-- for 45 minutes. (Yes, I am not over that one yet!)  Some days are like that.  We've had a few sick days and this other chaos here, too. (Pause here and feel comforted by a bear or two...)

But meanwhile, I have finally (after many years of being told to do it) published this pattern.  What pattern?  It's
Worry BearFor now it's available on Ravelry, and I hope it will become available on soon.
This is a special design for me.  It's a pocket sized bear, and it comes in two sizes.  One fits a kid's hand, and the larger size fits an adult's hand.  It's an ideal fidget tool for someone with ADHD, SPD, Autism, dementia, Alzheimer's, anxiety--or anybody who is worried.  It's a private hug in your pocket that helps you know someone loves you.  I've made these for family and friends for years.
In order to celebrate FINALLY getting it published, I'm having a sale.  Until March 5th (ends midnight, CT, US & Canada), get 20% off all my Ravelry patterns  with the coupon code:
Worry Bear

...Because everybody gets worried sometimes. It might be great to make extras if you have time, and donate them to a school, hospital, ambulance service, or anyplace where people might feel stressed.  I have dear ones who carry these around every day.  (Heck, even I sometimes need a Worry Bear or two.  Like, when the water main broke, and I lost my parking ticket....)

Take care!  We all worry.  Consider knitting a Worry Bear instead.

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