Friday, February 14, 2020

Value each other--a Valentine

Valentine's Day is a chance to show how much we value each other.

Today, my article about kidnapping, human trafficking and MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) went live here, on the Jewish Independent website:

When Joseph went missing

This is a serious issue, and it's not just something that happens to "other" people or other communities. Moms, daughters--our family members, people we value--are going missing.

Valentine's Day also made me think about how my household makes stuff to show we care about each other. This morning, one of my kids gave me a handmade beaded bracelet and a lot of art he's made me.  I've hung up the art!  I am wearing my "mom" bracelet!

In the last few years, I've focused on designing things and offering special releases and sales for Valentine's Day.  This year, there's no new design and no 'special' sale. Why?

I've spent a lot of time reformatting older patterns lately so that they are now Low Vision Accessible.  This is a long process...I'm not done. This means knitters with vision challenges can use a pattern with easier to read, larger fonts, single column formatting, no italics, and photo descriptions.  It takes time to redo each pattern, but --I am doing it because I value all of us, and it would be great if all knitters could find patterns that they can read.

Reformatting these patterns also helped me to see that many of my patterns haven't sold a lot of copies, and perhaps they have only sold when they were on sale.  I try not to make my patterns without a sale, they are accessible.  However, the message sometimes seems to be that only things 'on sale' or 'free' are good.  That message doesn't value me or my time or efforts, either.

My choice for Valentine's Day this year is to be proud of my knitwear design work, to keep trying to improve it, and also, to stop 'de-valuing' it, too.  So, no sale today.  Does this mean fewer patterns sold overall?  Maybe.  Does it mean I earn less income from patterns?  Yes...I'll need to find a way to make up that loss elsewhere in my freelance work.  At roughly $5US a pattern, it is not an easy way to earn income, even without a sale.

However, we, as people, have great value. Everyone is important.  I'm trying not to let financial issues get in the way of recognizing matter who we are or what we create.   Each person has value and is a gift.

 All of these knitwear patterns, including "Deir Hart" and the "Thump Thump Mittens"--are available
on Ravelry and on Lovecrafts.

More importantly, let's value each other every day...not just Valentine's Day!

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Friday, February 07, 2020

Value of work

This week got lost entirely.  I've only made slow progress on a variety of work fronts--I had some medical appointments, and it's been cold, which makes everything seem harder and more tiring.  Today my article ran in the Jewish Independent (a version also ran in the Jewish Post & News earlier this week):
What is the worth of work?

I think about this often because much of my work -as a writer, designer, maker or mom-- isn't compensated or valued in the ways that society sees as important.  (That is, I don't earn much.)  For instance, I ordered two pairs of wool tights and by the time they came to Canada, I'd paid an awful lot per pair.  (taxes, fees for postage and handling, etc.)  But one pair arrived with a big hole on this seam!  The shop reimbursed me for the pair of tights, which was great.  I was able to mend the hole, and now I have what amounts to a $90 CDN pair of tights--which I got for free, because I know how to mend.  Whew!

I also got to fix three pairs of little boy jeans this week...iron-on patch, and then I use the sewing machine to stitch the holes up as well.  This sort of reuse and repair is nothing new, but it does seem less common among their classmates than I'd expect.  These skills are less common now, and seen as something special or an important statement about the environment.  And yes, I care about the environment, but I also hate to buy new jeans when my kids wear through them this fast!

If you're a spinner, are you going to any spinning retreats?  For the most part, I don't go to these--I have young kids and they need me.  Also, these events are expensive and usually on Shabbat (Friday night to Saturday night.) But they do look like fun!  I was recently asked if I wanted to contribute to a "goody bag" for Plyaway, which is happening in April.  I thought it might be fun to include special coupon codes for my knitting patterns.  

The coupon needed to be in black and white.

So, part of my work this week?  Creating a fun graphic to include on the coupon.  I transformed the photos for the Due North Mittens into something new.  Here were some of the steps along the way.  If you happy to get a coupon in April, you may recognize where it came from!!

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Monday, February 03, 2020


This is a quick post--I had an article run in the Vancouver Jewish Independent on Friday:
The comfort in imperfection

and speaking of imperfection, we have imperfect immune systems...and spent much of our weekend resting on the couch and playing indoors here.  We've got a revolving door of colds and respiratory viruses going on, nothing important, but keeping us from feeling perfectly good, too.

I continue to slowly update my knitting patterns so that those with vision challenges can use them more easily.  I've created a bundle here on Ravelry so that the Low Vision Accessible ones are easier to find.  So far, I've done ten patterns...but I've a lot more to go!

Wishing you a healthy week!

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