Healing Handcrafting

exploring process and healing through fiber arts and handcrafting


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Yarn is Medicine

Is the planet spinning faster than usual? Quick upticks here and there? Here’s a bit of life lately…

First of all, there’s more evidence that shows that my yarn obsession is good for me! Read this great article! And, jam making is most definitely in my future. 

Below is a piece I made that started out as a woven boat, but as I had to keep tinkering with a too-loose warp I began thinking about those fleeing war-torn Syria on boats too small, too packed and too weak. It became a meditation for me and I decided to donate the money from the sale of this boat to the Refugee Resettlement Program in Vermont. It will be for sale at an upcoming Holiday Pop-Up. 

Here’s my littlest love feeling the Christmas spirit. 

My mom always put dolls and fairies and magic in our Christmas trees. I hope I can do it even a fraction as well. 

Beautiful tree lights our mornings and evenings. 

My spinning wheel has been busy, busy! I have much more yarn to make but it’s been lovely! 

A basket of color from my store bought stash. I think a wildly outrageous sweater is in there somewhere, waiting to be born. 

I’m not sure what to say except that every year these things make me smile. 

Him, too…

The sun’s departure time most assuredly has a bit to do with my sense of speediness. I have to alter my idea that things need to be done by dark, or be fine with not as much getting done. The latter is hard for me…

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Recovering, Crafting & Learning Post-Election

Hello to you. It’s been a while. Given that my blog is about the healing benefits of handcrafting with a little bit of elbow room to talk about other things, I made a choice not to write every day about how I’m metabolizing the election outcome in this here United States of America. But to be frank, it’s all I’ve been thinking about. My Slow-Stitch journey has taken a pause and will resume soon (I apologize to any who might be following that and stitching along). I really found it hard for a bit to do anything that was remotely and technically enjoyable because I could not emerge from my own dismay. Things that have helped: attending a peace rally, going to a lecture addressing white privilege and US history, talking with people about their ideas and reactions, many similar, many not, and making a clear decision to be vigilant, to listen and do my best to be an active participant in my community. Joining fellow knitters and crocheters in our local group that contributes items to Knitting4Peace has also proven yet again to be a refuge and a joy~ making things with people for people all over the world is soul medicine. And, walking around outside.

I received an invitation a few days ago to participate in a local Holiday Pop-Up for area vendors and decided to do it. This is also taking some attention away from my Slow Stitch work, but it’s a good and important process for me, to get back involved with making things that I love with wool and yarn. It’s allowing me some room to let myself have fun and just enjoy being random, with a goal in mind, which I need sometimes. I’ve been spinning yarn, weaving and crocheting here and there as I can. My kitchen table is covered with my ongoing projects, my kids are excited to felt rocks and make things too, and it’s just plain feeling good.

Supermoon, bird’s nest and what I think to be coyote scat.

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Can I hide in there, too?

Some ongoing projects and yarny explorations.

Have a sweet week. I hope it includes doing what brings you calm and peace.


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I Am Sickened

Last night, I watched in shocked horror along with my countrywomen and countrymen, as Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America. Truly, I did not think this would come to pass. I believed polls indicating a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton. Last night, I watched the country decide to vote in a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women, who has said violent and racist things about Muslims, African Americans, Mexicans, refugees… I watched a man be voted into our highest office, who laughed as people were bullied and intimidated, and in some cases humiliated and assaulted at his rallies. I held my husband’s hand and knew as the numbers came in that I would have to tell my children in the morning that Trump won. Not Hillary. I will not describe right now how that early morning conversation went. It was so personal, so tender. My daughter counted how old she’ll be next time a woman might have a shot at the presidency. I prayed quietly that some of my biggest fears would not come to pass in the coming four years.

Ultimately, I had to put on my grown-up self, and I had to explain to my children that half the country saw things differently than me and that we must be clear and specific when we criticize or otherwise remark on Trump’s inevitable presidency. No blanket statements. No simple rhetoric. I told my children, “we are not Trump.” And I mean it. We are not Trump. We will not reduce our complaints and criticisms to generalities, to lazy incomplete thoughts, sentences or stereotypes. We will do our best to understand the mindset that led to this terrible outcome. In my mind, it is terrible. It is a betrayal of epic proportions and I see no way through the tunnel of pain I exist in now other than to look with eyes wide open at the truth of what is.

We will name, in specific language, what we see in our culture, in our government and in ourselves. We will name and shed light on the dark spots in our psyches, the spots where fear lives, where judgment and racism live, where jealousy and indifference live. We will name and shed light on those parts of ourselves that move towards violence, repression, suppression and purposeful ignorance so that we don’t have to evolve, preventing change and growth. These are my prayers now. That I can live up to these ideals and model them for my children. My prayers are now pleas with my higher self and the higher self of our country, that we will not, ever, tolerate, exonerate, minimize or condone the cruel, degrading rhetoric that has spewed from our future president’s mouth. My prayers now implore my higher self to not succumb to despair, hopelessness and untethered anger.

Mr. Trump, you have a big job ahead of you, and I pray that you, too, take vows that reflect a deep respect for this world and for all the people in it, most of whom are not like you.


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Slow Stitch Stitch Along~ Weeks 7 and 8

Well folks, I’m still working through my sorbello stitch square! Taking me some time this go-around because of an absolutely jam-packed last couple of weeks that included work, my son’s birthday celebration, two major house leaks and Halloween, not to mention everything else that is involved in living a full life! Sorbello stitch also gave me some pause. I think I’ve got the hang of it, but wow, I can’t seem to keep a straight line or keep the stitches looking the same each time! Sometimes I get it and then other times what should look like a substantial, compact knot looks like a weird thick thread line. My wobbly, inconsistent rows started to remind me of old buildings with poor construction in heavy winds, so that is now what I’m making, moving ever more slowly towards more consistency and hopefully more vertical-ness! Ha. Truly, this square will capture an image of me trudging through a learning curve.

Start out wobbly.

Build on wobbly.

Start afresh and hope for stability.

Over and Over.

Here you see how far I’ve gotten so far in my sorbello stitch square. I’ll for sure post updates as I move through completion. I expect to have a little city block by the end with maybe (hopefully) at least a few straight buildings by the end!

For those who are following this Slow Stitch Stitch-Along and are moving along with us, I will share my idea for Weeks 7 and 8, and really moving right through the end of the month. I think it would be lovely to go back to stitches that called to us or inspired other ideas using different fabrics and threads. I can see combining stitches and making designs and pictures, or rhythmic patterns. I can see playing and assembling our squares in either fabric books or in some kind of display that invites touch, reflection and curiosity. I can also see further exploration into stitches we might not have tried. If I decide to do that, I’ll post the ones I’m attempting. I don’t want to rush through stitching and playing to get on to the next thing. It seems like there are so many ways we can integrate stitching into the handcrafts we already do. I can imagine playing around with that in mind as we approach the process of moving on.

December and January will be a smallish (or biggish, depending on time) Kantha project that is discussed in Part Three of Slow Stitch: Mindful and contemplative textile art, by Claire Wellesley-Smith. More to come on that!

Until then, happy stitching and happy autumn. Don’t forget to look for the supermoon on November 14!