Archive for yarn & knitting

Winding Yarn is Believing in Miracles

I stand on my warm front porch and I gently slip the ball band off a skein of beautiful handspun yarn.  I take a deep breath, wrap it over a chair and start winding.  And I realize that it is a step of faith.  I wind and I think and I realize that I am steeped in miracles.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have been a knitting maniac ever since I learned to put sticks to string 4 years ago.  And if you know my journey, you also know that my immune system has been slowly turning against its own body in the form of MS and that my hands have suffered because of it.  I stopped knitting a while ago and haven’t picked up needles or yarn for quite some time.
I had several unfinished projects here that I thought maybe I would be able to finish someday.   But it became apparent that my hands are altered too much to handle thin yarns and the projects have been a sometimes painful reminder that something I loved is gone.  I finally sent those projects off to internet friends who agreed to finish them for me.  The first finished shawl came in the mail today and instead of being sad as I had thought I might be, I was excited to open the package.  The shawl is gorgeous and I realized that instead of being reminded that I couldn’t finish the project myself, I am looking forward to wrapping myself in the attentions of a faraway friend, who – though we’ve never met – put time and love and thousands of stitches into this lovely shawl.

I wind the yarn and my thoughts turn to Colorado.  The events this last week grieved me so deeply.  I can’t explain why, but it has been so heavy on my heart and difficult for me to listen to the news or read the details.  I wind my yarn and I watch my little boys from the front porch. Little boys who don’t understand that mama’s hands don’t work, don’t understand men who shoot into dark theaters, don’t even think about these things that are constantly on the minds of the grown ups around them.  I think about Colorado and I pray for the people there.  And I pray that my boys will grow up to be men who throw themselves in front of bullets to save the women they love.  I think of the miracles that happened in that theater and the miracle of two little boys and warm sun and cool water.

This yarn is the color of a stormy sea, and I think how amazing that a short time ago it was fluffy and white and stuck to the back of a sheep!  Now it is the color of a mermaid’s tail and some skilled spinner has teased it into a twisted barberpole of yarn.  It occurs to me that the act of winding it means that I believe that I will knit it.  The act of wrapping it into a ball is an act of faith.  Friends bought this yarn for me, now I wind it and think of amazing people who love me.  I think of the miracle of friends who drive me to infusion appointments and friends who show deep care and concern for what this diagnosis means to our family.  I wind my stormy sea yarn and I believe that I will knit it and I think how very grateful I am for the friends in my life.
A boy runs up and I give him a kiss and the thought comes that all of mothering is an act of faith.  We hug them, we chastise them, we fill wading pools with water, always believing that what we are doing will somehow guide them into being lovely, caring, thoughtful, ethical humans who will make the world better in some small way.  We have faith that these boys will grow up to be part of a miracle for someone else.  That they will grow up to be the husband who says that a debilitating disease does not change one thing about his love, that they will tread lightly on the hearts of those around them, that they will report child rape at the risk of ending their sports career, that they will be miracle MEN.  I wind my yarn and have faith in my mothering and in my children.
I finish the winding.  Reluctant to leave the warm porch, I stay for a minute and watch the boys splashing water, listen to an older sister lovingly dote on them, soak up the sunshine and admire my miracle of a wound ball of yarn.  I dream about what I will make with it, because of my hands….in spite of my hands.  I have faith in the miracle that I will create, the miracle I will be a part of, the miracle I will watch unfold and fall off of my needles.  And I revel in the miracle of life that goes on in a wading pool, life that marches on in Colorado, life that lives in wonderful friends and eight amazing children and one breathtaking husband.  And I say a prayer of thanks and take my yarn inside and wait for the miracle.

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A few people have commented that we didn’t meet our goal or that they hope I wasn’t disappointed in what we raised through the fundraiser.  I just want to clarify:

The $5,000 mark on the Chip-In is the total.  We are hoping/wanting/needing to raise this much total in order to not go into debt over this move & the loss of our home.  We are raising this total amount several ways:

  • the yarny fundraiser (brought in over $1K, WOOT!)
  • a big yard sale we are doing in a few weeks (we’ve been taking donations from family/friends as well as purging as we pack)
  • some misc items I am getting listed on ebay
  • overtime pay as my hubby works some crazy hours to try to add to the fund

So between all of these things, I’m actually feeling really confident that we will be able to raise the funds we need.  YAY!!!

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I don’t know if anyone is still up & waiting for this announcement…..but here goes.

In order to pick the winners, I made 3 numbered lists and then ran a Random Number Generator.  I didn’t know which numbers corresponded to the names.  After I ran the generator for each individual list, I ran it for the total number of participants for the Runner-Up prizes.

The Winners!!

THANK YOU to each & every person who donated or who posted to their Facebook or Tweeted or re-posted on Ravelry.  As I wrote out the names & read through the emails, I had tears in my eyes.  You will never know how much your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity mean to our family.  This has been a difficult time for us and this fundraiser achieved the goal of raising some funds, but it also blessed us in so many other ways and reminded us that we are not alone.

That said… is SO difficult for me to read through & see how many people didn’t win.  So I am going to go just a little further & draw 6 more names for 6 more “honorable mention” prizes.  It’s not much, but I’m going to offer 3 random skeins of sock yarn from my stash (1 each to 3 different people) and 3 pattern prizes (any Rav giftable pattern up to $6).  I know it’s not much, but I can do it and I want to.

A few more prizes – YAY!!

  • Winner of mystery sock yarn prize #1:  Vlad Stamate
  • Winner of mystery sock yarn prize #2:  Erica Venugopal
  • Winner of mystery sock yarn prize #3:  Susan Roberts
  • Winners of pattern prize: William Law, Tracy Sasso, Kat Ferrell

In order to claim your prizes, please either email me (bradymom29 at gmail dot com) or contact me via Ravelry (username is bradymom29).  I will be emailing all of the winners tomorrow and everyone has a week to return my email contact or get in touch via email or Ravelry before we will draw an alternate winner.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.  A million times over.  Well, 169 times over (that was the total # of entries).  THANK YOU.

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Yarny Fundraiser Ends Today!

Today is the last day to get your chances in the yarny fundraiser!  I will be drawing winners & posting the names this evening, sometime around 10pm (PST).

Get your chances while you still can!  All the details on how to enter to win deliciously snobby sock yarn or an awesome Ashford loom can be found here.

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Just 3 days left

There are only 3 more days before the end of my Yarny Fundraiser.

If you haven’t snagged your chances at winning some of this awesome yarn, you only have until the 17th.  Don’t miss out!!

Complete details are here in this blog post. 

I’m giving away 3 different lots of 5 awesome skeins, 2 lots of fun sock yarn minis & an Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom!!  Here’s the quick version on how to enter:

How can you win one of these awesome prizes?  Make a donation to our house fund via Chip-In.  On June 17, I will be giving away the lots/items as “Thank you gifts” to those who have supported our cause.  I’ll be drawing 7 names for the above gifts.  Which lot you are entered to win is determined by your donation amount.

  • To enter to win one of  the Sock Minis lots, donate $5.00 for each entry.
  • To enter to win one of the Snobby Sock-Stravaganza lots, donate $5.01 for each entry.
  • To enter to to win the loom & accessories, donate $9.75 for each entry

If you want to be entered in multiple lots, please make a separate donation for each different item.  For instance – KnitterNancy would like 2 chances to win one of the Snobby Sock-Stravaganza & one chance to win the loom.  She’d make one donation for $10.02 (2 chances @ the Sock lots) and a separate donation for $9.75 (one chance @ the loom).

And just in case you’d like to know how many entries are in, here are the current stats:

  • Minis Sock-Splosion – 8 entries
  • Snobby Sock-Stravaganza – 47 entries
  • Ashford Loom  – 28 entries

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Yarny fundraiser

Love yarn?  Fiber arts?  Then you’ll want to check out this awesome fundraiser!

We brainstormed ways of raising the money for our move (see blog post here for details) and we are all making sacrifices.  I made the choice to go through my yarn stash & pick out some beauties that I could part with for the cause.  Also, Alex gave me the lovely gift of a loom – which I’ve wanted for a long time.  But because of the busyness of this move & the stress in our lives, it hasn’t even been opened or taken out of the box.  I decided that one of my sacrifices would be this loom.  It will bring me more joy knowing that it is being used & loved by someone & was used by us to get our family into the new house than it will sitting in an unopened box.

Take a look at these awesome prizes!

Links will take you to Ravelry where you can find more details about each type of yarn as well as additional photos.  If you don’t have a Ravelry account, you should get one (it’s free)!  If you are a knitter, crocheter or fiber lover, you will not regret it.

Snobby Sock-Stravaganza #1

Includes:  Noro Silk Garden Sock, Yarntini Striping Sock, handgefaerbt Merino Sock, Politically Incorrect MCN & Skein Frog & Toad

Snobby Sock-Stravaganza #2

Includes:  Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!, Oddish Creations Painted Toes, Dream in Color Knitosophy, Wollmeise, Zen String Loopy Legends

Snobby Sock-Stravaganza #3

Includes:  Sophie’s Toes Magic Ball, Socks that Rock, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, Malabrigo Sock, Sundara Fingering Silky Merino

Minis Sock-Splosion #1

Approx. 386 grams of high end sock mini-skeinlets & scraps.

Minis Sock-Splosion #2

Approx. 406 grams of high end sock mini-skeinlets & scraps.

An Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom.  It is brand new in the box, never opened.  Also included is a 10dpi reed and the book Ashford Book of Weaving for Knitters. (retail for this package is approx. $235.00)

And one lovely “consolation” prize, donated by my sweet friend Bonnie.  A skein of Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Gothlings.
After we draw for the above 6 prizes, all the names/donators will be eligible to win this gorgeous skein!

How can you win one of these awesome prizes?  Make a donation to our house fund via Chip-In.  On June 17, I will be giving away the above lots/items as “Thank you gifts” to those who have supported our cause.  I’ll be drawing 7 names for the above gifts.  Which lot you are entered to win is determined by your donation amount.

  • To enter to win one of  the Sock Minis lots, donate $5.00 for each entry.
  • To enter to win one of the Snobby Sock-Stravaganza lots, donate $5.01 for each entry.
  • To enter to to win the loom & accessories, donate $9.75 for each entry.

Also, just to be clear – we will draw 3 names for the Snobby Sock-Stravaganza lots.  The first name drawn will win Lot 1, the second name will win Lot 2, etc.  We’ll do the same for the Sock Minis lots.

If you want to be entered in multiple lots, please make a separate donation for each different item.  For instance – KnitterNancy would like 2 chances to win one of the Snobby Sock-Stravaganza & one chance to win the loom.  She’d make one donation for $10.02 (2 chances @ the Sock lots) and a separate donation for $9.75 (one chance @ the loom).  Does that make sense? 

Please ask questions if you have any.  You may post questions as a comment or message me through Ravelry (bradymom29) or email me (bradymom29 at gmail dot com). We tried to make this as clear as possible but we also want to steer clear of issues we had with a certain payment-processing organization.  The odd numbered donation amounts were the best way to keep track of which lots you are interested in as Chip-In doesn’t allow any notes when you go through it.

Just a few “fine print” details: If you choose to participate, you are giving a gift toward our family’s Move Fund.  You are not receiving anything in return. After all donations/gifts are received, I plan on giving 7 thank you gifts to 7 of the people who donated.  Recipients will be chosen by a random drawing on June 17, they will be notified via the email address shown through their Chip-In donation.  Winners will also be posted to this blog.  Winners will have 1 week to respond to request for a mailing address, if there is no response, an alternate winner will be chosen.  Yarn prizes will be mailed Priority via USPS w/Delivery Confirmation & insurance to US addresses.  Canadian/International addresses:  DC is not available, donate/enter at your own risk as insured postage is too costly at this time.  For the loom:  US/Canadian addresses ONLY, it will be mailed/shipped via USPS or FedEx or UPS depending on address/cost.  All prizes will be shipped no later than July 1.

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South Sound Yarn Crawl part 2

To finish up the details on my SSYC adventures, we went to the Viking Fest parade to watch the kids march on Saturday.  They were great, I always love watching our band march by!

Ok, back to the yarn crawl!  As soon as our band went by, I ditched the parade & made my way through the crowd with a friend to Amanda’s Art Yarn in downtown Poulsbo.  Got my passport stamped and headed back to my family.  Her free pattern was a cotton market bag.  Got lots of rest Saturday night and woke up ready to go Sunday!

First, my mom & I (& baby) picked up some new friends who I had connected with via Ravelry.  They live on the other side of the Hood Canal bridge and the bridge closure was going to put a serious damper on their crawl plans.  They took the water shuttle and I picked them up in Port Gamble.  Then picked up my friend Tarra & her mom.I had mapped out the route the night before, so we started with Allyn Knit Shop.  The owner there was great and the shop was waaaay more than I expected to find in Allyn.  I’d definitely go back to this one again!  She was giving out DPN holders and was super friendly (with a great bathroom!).  She had a lot of fiber/roving and spinning supplies too.  Forgot to snap a pic here.

Our next stop was Fancy Image Yarn in Shelton.  Very cool shop with tons & tons of hand-dyed (by the owner) yarny yumminess.  Also, she had lots of very cool kits for fun & funky hats, baby sweaters and more.  The store is in a little house that is painted so bright & cheery and you get a free card featuring the owner’s amazing photography with every purchase. 

We looped down and around to Lakewood next and went to Shibori Dragon.  When we walked in, I commented that this place was the “trifecta of temptation” as they are side-by-side (and connected) to a fabric store with tons of way cool designer fabrics AND they have a ton of cool beads with a great section of beads.  They had some fun yarns that I hadn’t see near home.  Their free pattern was a spa-style soap holder.  Very cool.

Next we worked our way to find Yorkshire Yarns.  Luckily, I had seen on Ravelry that the store wasn’t actually open yet as they were moving to a new building and hadn’t received permission from the city to occupy their new space yet.  So the ladies of Yorkshire were out in the parking lot stamping passports.  We had a hard time finding it as the directions I had were to the old address, but eventually we figured it out.  Sonya (the owner) was so friendly that I would definitely love to go back once she is in her store to check it out.  Her free pattern was a very cool knitted purse using Noro.

After Lakewood, we headed to the Tacoma stores.  First went to Lamb’s Ear.  It was a great little shop & I found some Berroco Comfort which I had been looking for.  I’d love to go back to this one!  Her free pattern was a neckwarmer made from “Touch Me” yarn which is so super soft!  Also, the general consensus from the group was that this place had the best bathroom!

And the last stop for my mom & I was Fibers Etc. (no website).  This was the one we needed to visit to finish off all 10 stores, get our final stamp & turn in our passports.  We got a SSYC commemorative bag (kinda cheesy to be honest, hopefully next year they maybe give out a bag that could be used as a project bag or something).  Her free pattern was a very cool shrug (although I think it’s more than 1 skein).  This store was amazingly packed with stuff.  I’d love to go back when I could really look around!  I also loved how she had it organized by color.  I forced my mom to let one of the other gals in our group snap a pic of us getting our final stamp!

That was our final stop but the rest of our group hadn’t done any of the other stores.  There was just enough time to hit one more – either Gig Harbor or Port Orchard.  The group preferred to go in to A Good Yarn so that’s what we did.  One last stop & then dropped everyone off and home to check out my swag:

It was a ton of fun.  I’d love to do the Seattle area one next year.  That crawl does store drawings and I think more of the stores give away goodies.  I think it would be fun to see some of the stores on the other side of the water.  This year definitely gave me an idea of what else is out there within a reasonable distance from my house. 

Also, I just have to say I have the most amazing baby!  He was so good and never fussed the whole time.  Rode so quietly in the van, smiled & played with all the ladies at the yarn stores and was just an angel baby!  And I left my angel hubby at home with the rest of the kids.  He was so great to let me go off with my mom & friends for a whole day of playing with yarn.  I am lucky.

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