lunes, 21 de octubre de 2013
I absolutely loved watching this video. Knitting is one of the most beautiful crafts in the world. Never stop knitting, never stop filling your life and that one of others with the uncomparable touch, feeling and overall experience of a handknitted garment!
I feel so lucky to be part of it!
Publicado por marie c. en 18:31
It is already autumn and I am enjoying the soft sunshine, chilly evenings and beautiful steady warm weather now that the rainy season has ended. It is in this season that time for reflection over the last eight months has an opportunity. This year is ending and in about a bit more than two months one of the hardest years for my family and me will be coming to an end. I really can't wait. In times of great challenges, both healthwise and finantially wise, if there is something that I have come to be reminded of is about appreciating the people and the good things in my life. The gift of faith, the gift of health, the gift of music, the gift of handcrafts, and last but not least, the gift of love.
So I have spent more time with music -mainly playing my piano and singing while driving- and knitting, crocheting, weaving and sewing. The joy and unattachment from difficulties they all bring is immense. I tend to be more productive while under great stress, it is like my whole self screams for a lifesaver before I feel like drowning.
Lately I have been learning new knitting techniques where I mainly gave myself the gift of two online courses, one in Tunisian Crochet, and another one in Broomstick Lace through Craftsy, both by Jennifer Hansen (absolutely an enthusiastic and great teacher), which I am enjoying very much. I am still on a basic level, however the door towards creativity and knowledge it has opened makes me feel very happy and look forward to becoming even better at it.
Time to plan knitting for the coming chilly weather. Well, we do not have real cold weather here but it is still an excuse to bring out the wool yarns and have fun like I have been with a Kolka yarn made in Mexico. I love it, I have been knitting this quick and funky design from Knit.Wear magazine -which I think is so fashionable without pushing it-, and I am almost done with it (below). I will post a picture of it once it is done and tried out.
Thanks for visiting!
Publicado por marie c. en 15:35
jueves, 17 de octubre de 2013
Has it happened lately to you that a particular day ends with a totally unexpected surprise? It's been a while since I had such a day and I must say it was quite beautiful. For some of you it might sound strange to know that finding spinning wheels in Mexico is not easy at all. Well it is pretty much like finding a needle in a haystack. The way thread is handspinned in Mexico is through a spindle which obviously requires practice, patience and skill.
Well, just by doing a quick search over the web I learned that someone close to home was actually selling a real spinning wheel brought into Mexico from Germany. Well, I was thrilled. I ended that very day purchasing it and feeling very lucky about it. Why? Because it is a real antique flax spinning wheel with more than a hundred years old. When I look at it my mind tries to imagine who owned and used it, and which must have been her story. I own it now, somehow destiny wanted me to find it because very few people can appreciate something like this like me. It is so sad that very rarely people here actually know what a spinning wheel is. I find this to be so sad, especially when spinning wheels were once a very important household item whose presence was crucial to the well being of a family. I can't wait to make my own history with it. It is amazing that it still works! I just love how it looks in my studio next to my loom.
So now jumping to another favourite topic -knitting-, I recently finished this fabulous sweater designed by Debbie Bliss. I obviously used a different yarn than the one suggested from her line because although I did see it at a store I considered it to be extremely expensive. So back in Mexico I found a very beautiful handspinned all wool yarn made in Aguascalientes, Mexico. I love the results and can't wait to use this coming winter.
Thanks for visiting!
Publicado por marie c. en 22:40
lunes, 15 de julio de 2013
Yes, whether you are ready or not, indeed life goes on. It has been a very challenging first half of the year for me but it gives me joy that certain things in my life remain in their usual comforting place and this is where knitting stands for me. Even at the most challenging of times knitting together with crocheting, weaving, drawing, etc. makes me reach my inner center peace so I can restart and retake life. Of course there are other parts of my life, like my faith, and especially family and friends who help, but I cannot forget the awesome feeling that certain crafts give to me.
Sometime ago I read an article regarding the healing aid that certain crafts, particularly knitting, provide to people who practice them. I know that I started knitting because my family doctor, after seeing how stressed I was during college, asked me if I knew how to knit. When I replied with a no he tempted me with his comment, "perhaps something to think about". Not long after that my Mom took me to get my very first stash of yarn for a short sleeved ribbed sweater that I had found instructions for in one of her very old knitting magazines.
I still remember that day, watching the big shopping bag with the chunky key lime pie colored balls of yarn with the right sized needles to start working on my very first knitting project. I could not wait and in fact I did not, as soon as we were home I started knitting the sweater. I do not think my Mom ever imagined that such day would be the start of many more that followed, and that eventually became years, of my love affair with knitting.
I never stopped and realized very soon that it became the right therapy, just like my family doctor hoped for, and so while going through many more pretty stressful moments in my life, I kept it close at hand. I have also seen that I tend to knit much more when I am more stressed. It seems like I become more productive in it while I need to get lost in the many stitches, and when I do I forget about everything that worries me and after a while I feel much better.
So once again, this time knitting has been an aid. There are many things that knitting will never replace nevertheless the comfort of gradually creating something stitch by stitch with the simplest of tools -yarn and needles- is so therapeutic and more than this, it brings me great joy. I hope that whichever craft you do, may it be knitting or something else, it brings the very same it does for me.
I will soon post pictures of my three recently finished knitting projects. In the meantime here is a picture of the one I am working on right now.
It is good to be back at this blog.
Thanks for reading.
Publicado por marie c. en 12:51
lunes, 29 de abril de 2013
miércoles, 6 de marzo de 2013
I just spent a good time cleaning several pairs of shoes. This may not be more than a normal activity to anyone who cares about his or her shoes except that this time I was trying to take off the memory of a month where these shoes would be taking me step by step. Since the end of January until a few days ago my life completely changed and put me in a situation of great stress. My mother spent almost a month at the hospital and the stress generated by it all is a memory difficult to erase.
Within a month my attention drifted from the normal worries of any adult dealing with everyday life towards facing life and death issues on my own where just doing my best to keeping my mother alive and sane occupied my every thought.
Now after recognizing that such period at the hospital was over the day she was finally allowed to come back home, I am still bombarded by all that I saw, heard, smelled, tasted, etc. within a month that seemed like an entire year.
Never in my life I had seen so much pain, so much sorrow and so much loss. I met people of all walks of life but mostly those whose life has been less fortunate than mine. Anyway, in a hospital, none of that matters, everybody is at the same situation, in my case I was just another family member caring for her mother. The many demonstrations of kindness that I received from people who were just strangers, those who would offer me food, or some words of comfort.....the harsh truth and grave words that would come from doctors where decisions needed to be taken on my own......the many lonely moments I spent in silence with a head full of questions and anguish......coming back to a house full of memories and desperately seeking the company of my dogs.......
Yes, indeed my shoes needed a good cleaning of everything I stepped on with them.....every step I took to help my mom, every trip up and down the four floors at the hospital to reach her side by her bed.....the many times I would have to take a break because I would feel like fainting out of already being so very tired because I was also unable to sleep. My shoes are clean now, and my legs are less soared everyday, but I will always remember this past month. All of the many two sides of a same coin......life and death, loneliness and company, cold words and warm ones, silence and noisy halls, time stopping inside a hospital and life happening out of it....the faces of the people I met at the hospital, particularly one of a new friend I made whose dear mother did not make it. I will remember the words of all those who would keep in touch with me through text messages and emails; the voice of those who even called from far away to hear me out and give me comfort. God Bless you all for that!
Now my walk is slightly different. My shoes maybe clean now but my step has remembered again how fraile life can be, and this, far from being sad is a life lesson. Time is precious, seize the day!
Publicado por marie c. en 21:48
So we are enjoying Autumn! My favourite time of the year in Mexico where days are not so hot anymore, there is almost no rain and the soft sun paints everything around with a particular orange color. Days start to be shorter and it all gives you the idea that the year is ending, that it will soon be the time to plan special meals and that it will be another birthday for me. I can probably say that this season goes well with the melancolic part of my personality: the year is coming to an end. The above picture is of the fantastic pumpkins we get from the US at this time of the year. I can't wait to use them in my cooking!
During this time I have been reading the first book of a series of books about the Tudor Queens by Jean Plaidy, an amazing writer. Of all the Tudor Queens my favourite of them all is Catherine of Aragon, or like we know her in Spain: Catalina de Aragón. I think she is a woman who could have been a saint, because she truly lived her life as a saint. Always challenged since early age by numerous situations either in Spain or in England she was a woman who never lost the very essence of who she really was eventhough it meant suffering disgrace and mockery from many who never cared for her or took time to understand her. Daughter of one of Spain's most renowned queens, Isabel de Castilla, she inherited her courage and immense faith in The Lord and His Catholic Church. I certainly recommend this first book of a series that promises a good read. Probably because I have Spanish blood, because I am Catholic and because I have experienced living abroad and not always be understood, I relate to her. She was also an amazing embroiderer and it is thought that she took hairpin lace to England from Spain.
Below is a picture of another sweater designed and worked by me both on a knitting machine and by hand knitting. It was a challenge not only because of its design but because it was an adaptation of a pattern made by Adrienne Vittadini with another type of yarn, another set of instructions and other knitting tecniques. I drafted the whole pattern to my size and I was very happy with the results. It is one of my best creations so far.
This other creation was taken out of Interweave Crochet magazine. I used a different type of yarn as opposed to the one required by the designer. The yarn used is a 100% peruvian alpaca and even the hook used is slightly bigger. I adapted the instructions to my size and omitted some of the finishing techniques suggested. I like the final result. The vest fits me perfectly and I just love its color. I named it "Cherry".
I will be soon posting again with pictures of my most recents knitting projects.
Thank you for visiting!
Publicado por marie c. en 21:44