Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Here comes 2020!

In 2019, I designed and published 4 knitting patterns: worrybear, strippymcstrippit, deirhart and thestayputkippah.

 I also wrote and had published more than 65 articles, helped edit a diabetes health book, and returned to sewing—since October, I have made myself 4 dresses, 1 pair of pants, a vest, some dish towels and a summer tunic! Whoa. My boss is reasonably satisfied with my output....
(I am a freelancer.  The boss is me!)

To celebrate 2020 and my upcoming birthday, I am offering 20% off all my Ravelry patterns (including Three Ply, which was featured in Vogue Knitting Magazine this fall!). This ends January 5th at midnight, CT. Thanks for celebrating with me! Have a wonderful new year!
Use this 20% off coupon code on Ravelry:

Psst!  I sent a new pattern off to the tech editor...Stay tuned!  Here's something new for 2020...I can't wait to share it with you!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A gift for 2020

This piece ran on the CBC-Manitoba website this morning.  I am proud of it--and hope it could come true.
A gift for 2020: Earth for our great-grandchildren
We're having lots of fun at our house, Hanukah started and we are playing, resting, and celebrating.  Hope you are, too!

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Make money: Invest in student research

Every so often, I write about a topic that is important to me--but nobody wants to buy it.  Maybe the draft wasn't good enough, or they have too many other pieces to run?  Maybe the publication thinks that the topic isn't important enough to their audience.  In other words, they don't think anyone cares enough to publish it.

This is hard because I've already invested the time in researching and writing it.  The hardest part though is when it's an important topic, but nobody has aired it sufficiently.  The Professor and I spent a lot of years as graduate students.  Since then, we've also mentored graduate students--in the classroom, the lab, or by feeding them on a holiday.  It was important to me to speak out about the poor levels of financial support grad students get in Manitoba.  Here's my piece on this issue.  It was just published in UM Today--despite the proximity to the end of the academic term, I hope folks read it!  I'm thrilled this piece found a home. I hope it might make a difference.

Op-Ed: Make more money: Invest in student research

Short version: Investing in undergrad and grad research offers huge positive outcomes from a financial perspective.  Personally?  It means grad students can afford to eat without using the food bank and avoid living in rooming houses while they continue their schooling.

In family news, we have continued our hibernation and making frenzy despite several viruses.  Here is a beet chocolate chocolate chip Bundt cake...Maybe the second or third time I have ever used this bundt pan we got for our wedding!  (we get a lot of beets in our farm share at this time of year.  It's a root veggie time of year..)

This year, my kids decided our gifts for teachers would be all handmade.  This morning we gave out four bags with homemade jam, pickles, handwoven and handknit items made by kids AND beautiful hand done colouring and cards from kids.  I was proud of my twins.

One of my guys is currently alternating between wearing only two handknit sweaters.  They are: Freestyle Super and Stripe Freestyle.  (The dude likes stripes.  A lot.)  We are now collaborating on yet another one, with hand-dyed yarns that both kids helped make last summer.  This sweater will be a mommy hand-knit, but I'm not going to write another pattern.  To my surprise, those patterns do not seem to be as popular with other kids as they are in my house.  Again, it's a mystery...but I'm glad the designs find a home on my kids' backs all winter.

Last but not least, one twin is exploring crochet.  This is his version of a lion, before he put on the mane.  Can you see it?  (This is an abstract thinker, I was  impressed.  Rorschach Tests are like this...)
Hope you are having a wonderful December, no matter what you make or celebrate! :)

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Monday, December 09, 2019

You take care now, y'hear?

This time of year, my household does a lot of hibernation.  It's a busy time for those who celebrate Xmas, but for us, it's much quieter.  A time to play at home and focus on each other as it gets cold.  It's really cold this week, which apparently will have some very cold windchills...-36, last I heard.

The Jewish Independent in Vancouver ran my article last week called:
You take care now, y'hear?

(Just in case you need some reading from a friendly voice over here.)

In other news:
Sadie the dog has gotten so used to having someone with her that when we leave her at all, she breaks out of all the childproof gates and has gotten into some messes.  Last week, she ate all the high end dog training treats (like eating your way through a steakhouse, frankly) and got into our kitchen trash.  Although we compost and clean most everything that goes into the bin, she still managed to stain the front hall somehow with the trash.  I've already washed it three times.  It's hard to be a dog around here...?!

Happier 'making' news: I have finished a huge undertaking, a wool jumper I made, with a lining, based loosely on the 100 acts of sewing dress no.1I lengthened the dress, put in the lining, skipped the bias tape, and it took a while to do.  I'm looking forward to wearing it this week during our cold snap, though!

We've also done some weaving at home.  It was a good weekend to sit near Mommy and the fireplace and hang out.  (This kid has big plans to make things for his teachers.)  The handknit sweater modeled by this kid is Freestyle Superwith a colour scheme he helped to design.

Finally, since someone has recently asked me...is there a way to buy my Yarn Spinner collection of patterns and stories,  Three Ply ---without buying it through Amazon?  Answer? Absolutely!

Support Ravelry, a small business (and me, as Amazon takes a big cut) by purchasing it through Ravelry right here.

Stay warm and safe!  Hope you're having a great December!

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Monday, December 02, 2019

The ups and the downs

Right after I posted last time, I had an article come out online--for a Vancouver publication:
Generations struggle together
I also had a series of experiences which, all told, have left me sort of exhausted. On Friday morning, early, I was out walking my dogs and I fell on the ice.  There was no one on the entire block and it hurt like crazy.  I am very lucky, I was able to get up again and get home.  I have really severe bruising on my right shin and knee...
And of course my muscles are sore from the move, but the dogs stood by patiently and waited while I gasped on the ice and got up.  They were so good.
However, I had a big day planned so I put some ice on my bruises (oh, the irony). I drove downtown to do a three hour spinning/fibre arts demo for the Manitoba Crafts Museum’s “Made in the Middle” curated craft show at the Manitoba Hydro building.  Keeping moving ended up being a good thing and it was lucky I was wearing dark wool tights.  (It looks like a changing purple, navy, red and pink silk screen,  it is gross.)  This, by the way, was definitely the very best part of the day!
I get myself home and have a coffee and pull myself together... as my kids are just about to get off the school bus and come home.  So one twin, who had been acting weird, tells me he had felt bad all day and nobody let him call home.  And then, he walks into our front hall and starts vomiting like crazy.  So, you know, I am cleaning up vomit and trying to calm the other kid down (He starts screaming over the whole thing, it was a scene) and oh, my goodness. Poor kids.  Throw-up everywhere.
And then I threw up my hands, let both kids eat the banana and other snack I had out for them, and we watch the prerecorded Macy’s parade while I try to pull things together again.   Shabbat dinner for four was oatmeal. And some challah and grape juice.
 Then I was already in my pjs, ready for bed, when the vomiting started again, all over the bed, at 9:30.  He got better, but obviously we were not able to go to services on Saturday, either.
We had dog training Sunday AM and managed it, but even the dog was not doing too well at regular stuff and got into a tussle with another dog at the end of the class.  (All my fault, I let go of her leash while putting on my coat.) 
When we got back, my stomach decided to rebel ...so that was most of the day today!  (stress? Something I ate?  Some version of the virus? Who knows.) And the other twin started having stomach pain and gas tonight so who knows what that may mean...maybe round two of the stomach bug.
It has been a crazy weekend.  Lots of sitting around interspersed by crazy health issues.  And my leg looks horrendous.  Thank goodness I can move around normally though...
I did get out to support our local yarn store and may have purchased some stuff.  Cause, sometimes you need to find something distracting and positive... (now, what to make for dinner for a household with this many sensitive tummies....)  Here are two hole-less buttons from Purl and Hank, some locally made toffee for people who wanted to eat it, and...some yarn.  Cause who doesn't need some purple/cranberry alpaca and wool? 

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