Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Visit our website!

The Art of Yarn now has a website! 

For the latest blog posts, class schedule, and much more, visit:

www.theartofyarn.com

Knit on,

Donna

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Designin' Ol' School

I called myself a knitwear designer long before I ever officially typed out my first pattern.  Why would I do that?  Well I assure you I wasn't trying to be dishonest.  Quite simply I wanted to begin seeing my work and the projects I created as having value.  I developed a vision for myself as a professional in this industry to create the movement and steps needed to get there.  That's my process and there really is something to it.  Seeing yourself where you want to be is the first step in getting there.

If you can't see it, no one else will. 
I have been writing my own patterns for years, keeping notes and ideas in what I'd like to officially call my 'knitting journals', but more accurately they are a hodge podge collection of notebooks of all shapes, sizes and colors, containing everything that has run through my knitting brain over the last 15-20 years.

There are inspirational quotes, scribbles, drawings...graphs and charts, numbers and pictures and musings about where I was at the time, how I was feeling, and plans for what I wanted to do in the future.  There are even lists of books I wanted to read or buy and recipes that I wanted to make.
This was written in one of my journals about 8 years ago!  I originally thought The Art of Yarn would be a class on knitting as a therapeutic tool.  Well, you know the rest.  The Art of Yarn actually became my business name.  Vision creates movement and that makes things happen!
And yes there are patterns in those books that I took the time to write out completely.
I can't say back then I did it because I saw them being published one day.  In fact that idea was the farthest thought from my mind in the early days.  I just had the need to organize my creativity, get it out of my head, and down on paper where I could see my art in a practical, efficient way.  To this day I still love the look of a pattern in my own hand writing.  It's quite satisfying to me.

However, if you would have told me then that I would be writing a blog post about my notebooks and patterns now, today, I would have thought you completely crazy!  I wouldn't have even known what a blog was!

The really wonderful part of all of this is how that process has carried over to the way I design today.  Students ask so often where I work and how I work.  Honestly I think they just want a glimpse into this somewhat 'mysterious' career I've made for myself and what a typical day looks like for a knitting instructor and designer (see...say it often and that's what you'll become...*insert big smile*). 

Every day is different and I start by creating a to do list by priority and then get into the flow of things, meaning I remind myself to breathe and just keep moving.  In this way I don't overwhelm myself with all I there is to accomplish.

Designing a pattern, especially for a class, takes the ultimate concentration for me though.  While I have written many things amid the chaos and distractions of everyday life, I know myself well and I do try to carve out designated design time each week that can be solely devoted to this particular endeavor.  I need to.

I am by far a morning person and so it stands to reason that I would have the most energy and creative flow in the early part of the day.  Generally I am up with the chickens and I particularly love the spring and summer months when the sun is up with me.  The light comes flooding into my dining room and that is where I like to set myself up for a little design time.  It's quiet and peaceful and just the right recipe for being creative.
This week I am revising my Finessing Fair Isle Workshop and the pattern and project that go with the class.  Fair Isle is a sub category of stranded knitting and this is by far one of the most popular topics I teach.  In the past, my students learned the nuances of Fair Isle knitting by making a cute headband with a simple snowflake motif.   
I decided for next Tuesday's workshop, I would have the students make a Fair Isle hat instead.  I had loosely written this hat pattern for Week 3 of my 4-Week Knit in Color class and have taught it many times.  I often revamp and refresh tried and true favs with a new detail of some kind and that's exactly what I was working on this morning.
Coffee in one of my favorite mugs purchased at the Brown Sheep store, yarn and needles, a pretty handmade ring marker, glasses, and of course notebook, pencil and eraser all laid out in front of me are the perfect formula for banging out a new idea in short order.  I also had my Kindle Fire handy to jot down blog notes and ideas as I went along.
I cast on and began with the new addition of 2-color corrugated ribbing, which is a lovely detail that is so common with traditional Fair Isle patterns.  The hat itself is a sampler of basic stranded knitting to allow students the opportunity to get comfortable with the new techniques, but it really comes out looking quite impressive and so much fun.  More than two colors could easily be incorporated for those feeling a little more adventurous.

Ol' school designin' is what I would call this for sure!  Even with all of the software and new technology available today, I still find I accomplish the most when I use good old graph paper and a pencil to write the pattern out long hand.  I have created a basic template for my patterns and can plug in the information after it's written.  When I know I am short on time, I will sit down at my laptop and type it out as I go instead.

It all depends on my mood.

Today the warmth of the sun, the smell of the coffee, the wool, and my eraser, were all too enticing.  I didn't want to get out the computer.  That just didn't seem to fit.  I wanted to enjoy the simplicity of jotting down each row, each stitch as I did it, working and reworking the pattern until I was happy with it.  And hopefully in turn my students will be happy with it as well.

Ask me again how much I love what I do...

Hope to see you in class

Knit on,

Donna





























Saturday, April 14, 2012

Claim Your Creativity

Art is science made clear.
Jean Cocteau French dramatist, director, & poet (1889 - 1963)
Recently I read an article about the Blombos Cave Project, a 100,00 year old archeological exploration site that was discovered on the coast of South Africa in the early 1990's.

In 2008, scientists found an art studio in that cave.  This 'studio' was a separate space from where people worked, ate their meals and slept.  It contained tools such as a paint pots made from abalone shells, grindstones, charcoal, and residue of red and yellow ochre powder possibly used as body and clothing paint.  The findings were published in the online journal, Science, on Oct. 14, 2011, and the tool kits were displayed in an exhibition at the Iziko Museum in Cape Town, South Africa.

The head of the archeology team, Professor Christopher Henshilwood, said “It shows humans had the conceptual ability to source, combine and store substances that were then possibly used to enhance their social practices." 

Enhance their social practices...yes, enhance, and elevate and enlighten. 

Take just a moment to think about the idea behind this studio.  Even today it is considered a luxury many of us covet, a separate space set up for the sole purpose of creating.  Even that long ago, humans felt compelled to adorn, enrich, and color their world with art, and they had a quiet space of solitude in which to do it.

Imagine what this says about our need for creativity.

I hear so often from knitters and those wanting to learn to knit, that they can't take the time to do so until...

Until they clean out their craft room or organize their other projects or paint their office or finish all of their UFO's before starting something else.  We've all been caught up in that process.  

Here's my simple, heartfelt suggestion to all who have a desire to create...

Go to your place and make stuff.  

What place is that, you might ask?  

You know...your place, your studio.  

Wherever you create, call that place your studio.  (It's okay, go ahead.  I did.)  This affirms your desire to create.  You are an artist.  You create.  This is the space in which you create.

If you create in your garage, that's your studio.  If you create in a spare bedroom, that's your studio.  Your kitchen table or living room couch can be your studio.

If you are having company, I suggest you do not clean up, remove, or alter your studio and it's stuff. (well, maybe push it out of the way to make room to sit, but only if absolutely necessary)  

This is your art.  Your friends and family are likely curious about what you are making.  They really would like to see your work.  It makes them feel a part of your life and who you are.

I am learning to embrace this idea more than I ever have in my life.  My need to be neat and tidy is no longer the priority it once was.  I don't have the energy or the inclination.

My official fiber art studio is in a room downstairs.  I have two closets filled to the brim with yarn, needles, notions, books, fabric, and all manner of other art supplies you can imagine.  I have swatches and design ideas pinned to to walls and scribbled out in what is becoming quite an extensive collection of notebooks stacked haphazardly on my desk and work table.  

I get asked on occasion by students taking classes in my home if they can see my studio.  The answer has most often been: not today

Why?

Well, it's a bit of a sacred spot to me, I tell them.  It's also a bit of a mess.  But it occurred to me one day that the nature of my work, my art, is not confined to that room, and neither am I.  And whether I like it or not, others already see my creative space, and that's as it should be.

The truth is, my home is my studio, and therefore my studio is a shared and open space. 

Just ask my husband.  There is rarely a time when he sits down at the dining room table or on one of the sectionals upstairs or down, that he isn't surrounded by yarn and needles.  I believe if you ask him, he has not only grown used to this fact, but my work around him has also become a comfort in many ways.  

The yarn is a familiar sight.  The needles clicking away are a soothing sound.  I talk to myself a great deal and of course I am always counting something...stitches, rows, repeats, or how many times I have had to rip out.  He hears this, but knows it's all part of the process.

I have even been known to knit plastered right up next to him.  The yarn will often spill over into his lap, even once in a while becoming entangled around his arm or leg.  He quietly untangles himself, moves the yarn back to my lap, and doesn't say a word. 

Even in the earlier days before it became much quieter in our house, there were cats and dogs and our daughter, our niece, and other children sharing my 'studio space'.  Everyone learned to live and work around my stuff, as I lived and worked around theirs.

A shot of truth here...you may never have just the right space to create your art, whether with needles and yarn, paint and brushes, pencil and paper...but it can be incredibly freeing when you claim your creativity.

I encourage you to do just that.

Begin to let it spill out and over into all aspects of your life.  

I believe when my family sees signs of my work everywhere, they can feel assured that I am getting on with it, that I refuse to stay stuck and not move until all conditions are right to do so  (make no mistake, I have been there done that more times than I can count).  

I believe they see representation of the risks I have taken with my business in the form of a new project being developed and how it grows and changes.  But most importantly, I hope they see that for all of the complications of life, the heartaches and disappointments and lessons to be learned, I have joy as well.  

Creativity is a sign of joy and a sign that you are experiencing life in a most personal and intimate way.  


I promise you, nothing but good can come of it.


Let your art be joyful.  Let in a little joy and it will become your art.
Start right where you are with what you have.  In the end, it won't matter what the room looked like that you worked in, it will only matter how you expressed yourself in this life and what you created and shared with others.

Knit on,

Donna


 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Knitter or an Admirer?



There are three winners from the drawing held at the Girl's Day Out event last Saturday at the Gering Civic Center. 


3rd place goes to:  Erin Stinner.  Erin will receive $5.00 off class tuition.

2nd place goes to:  Nancy Mignerey.  Nancy will receive $10.00 off class tuition.

And the grand prize winner of The Art of Yarn drawing is:

Marianne Relker!

Marianne will receive FREE class tuition.

Congratulations to all three of you!  


The booth was so busy throughout the day and I had a chance to speak to many people.  There were lots of great questions and many good conversations for sure!

My daughter helped me set up the evening before, and my mom, who has recently moved to the area, kindly volunteered to be in the booth to greet people and give me a breather throughout the day.   

Something new to my booth this time around was needle felting demonstrations.  I enjoyed showing participants exactly what needle felting is and what it can be used for.

All the fiber and tools are set up and ready to go

Adding designs to felted hats
I also had examples of class projects from upcoming classes displayed for viewing and of course touching!  There's just something about a colorful, knit item that makes you want to reach out and FEEL it.  The sweaters, the yarn, the clogs, oh my!  Almost every single person that stopped by picked up at least one or two items and gave them a squeeze, a pat, or a light caress.  

Cabled bags, socks, felted slippers and hats, plus lots of lovely Brown Sheep handpainted yarn!

Baby sweaters from Knit Your 1st Sweater Class & Cable/Lace Cowls, one of my original patterns

Fun headbands are the project for the Finessing Fair Isle Workshop and a digital frame showcasing projects, classes, and students

There were free patterns given away as well for a little bag that I often use to teach beginners the basics. 
One of the most asked about display items was this felted hat:


Conversations all day long went something like this:

"A work of art," someone commented.

"How nice, thank you," I responded.

"Isn't that cute!"  many others said.

"It IS fun, isn't it?" I'd say.

 But most commonly asked, "How much is it?"

I would say to them, "It is not for sale, but I will teach you how to make it in my Fabulous Felt Hats class!  In the class you will learn how to knit, felt, and embellish your own hat to create a one-of-a-kind accessory."

"So it's not for sale?"

"No, I'm sorry, it's not."

"Well, can you make me one then?  How much would that cost?"

"Actually I don't do custom knitting anymore."

"That's too bad!" said with a dejected look on their face.

"Have you ever tried to knit or been interested in learning?"

Said with a long gasp and/or sigh, "Oh, I could never do that!  I am not creative at all and I am so not coordinated."

I would gently smile and say, "You might surprise yourself.  Many, many students of mine have started off feeling that way, but quickly realize ANYONE can do this, if they have a desire."

If they have a desire...hmmm, well I believe those are the key words that stand out in that statement.

If the conversation continued, the person would at that point say one of two things typically:

1.  "Well, yes, I might like to learn" AND "I HAVE thought about it before."
OR
2.  "No way!  It's just not for me, but I do think your work is beautiful."

If someone realizes that indeed they do have a desire to learn, well then, we are off and running in a new direction before they even know it!  This is the spark that I am looking for and the next step is to plant a little seed that says, "YOU can do this!"

(Yes, I teach knitting classes and knitting techniques, but what I most often do when I teach is help build confidence.   That is always the focus.  First there has to be a desire to learn something, and then the courage or motivation to try, and then the confidence to keep going.)

If on the other hand the person's response is NO WAY, well then I say, "I do understand.  You are an admirer!"

A grin appears on their face and they realize that yes, in fact, that is what they are, an admirer of handwork and the fact that someone out there does it...and I am here to tell you that's OKAY!

They may never be a student of mine, but we just connected nonetheless.

Fiber art in all its fabulous forms:  knitting, crocheting, quilting, felting, spinning, weaving, and more, is meant to be enjoyed, period, whether you create the art or you admire the art.

As a fiber arts teacher, I have learned over time that not everyone loves it like I do (of course not) and even though I do say often that my long term goal, my highest purpose in life, is to get the whole world knitting, I really don't mean it quite that literally.

My goal is to connect with as many people as I can and share fiber art.


Girl's Day Out gave me an opportunity to do just that!  I met and chatted with many knitters, wanna-be knitters, and also a great many admirers.

Which one are you?

Many thanks to those who made the day such a successful adventure.

Knit on (or admire on!),

Donna

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stepping Out

I am up early this morning, coffee in hand, and looking forward to the day!  The Star Herald is hosting an event at the Gering Civic Center:

Girl's Day Out!
February 4th, 2012
9:00-5:00

The Art of Yarn booth is set up (well, almost) and ready to greet everyone.  (Pictures coming!)

This is the first event, other than the Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair, that I have participated in and I have to say, it feels just right. 

What a trip it has been over the last 11 months since stepping out on my own.  Hard work and more than a few sleepless nights, yes, but well worth it I know. 

I have many thoughts to share.  I have written dozens of blog posts in my head since my last one in July...


2012, here I come!  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Find Your Zone

I ride my own.

I find myself saying this a lot.

I smile when I say it.

It's a standard response to questions like: 
"You have a motorcycle?"...
"You don't ride on the back of your husband's bike?"...
"That's yours?"

Yep, I am a motorcycle mama...a biker chick...a knitting biker or a riding knitter. 

I smile because of the labels and the images this brings to people's minds!  I can just see the wheels turning as they try and piece it together...as they size me up and try to make sense of it.

It's the same when I am in social settings and the standard question that everyone feels compelled to ask is "So, what do you do for a living?"

"I knit.  I teach knitting and I am working at creating and publishing my own designs."  That alone always garners a mixture of curiosity and condescension.  When someone sees me getting off my bike wearing leathers and a bandana and watches as I take out my knitting...well...let's just say I get some unwanted, but no doubt understandable, attention.

For many, in their minds, there couldn't be two worlds further apart than motorcycles and knitting, but I am here to tell you they are as much a part of me as breathing these days. 

I am one happy girl when I get to do both.  Knitting in my saddle bags seems the perfect juxtaposition and represents me in such a satisfying way.

I ride a Kawasaki Vulcan 900.  It's silver.  The pipes are loud and the chrome is shiny.  It's low to the ground and wide.  The seat is cushy and comfy.  It fits me like a glove.  It rides smooth and handles like a dream.  My arms and the handle bars move together, pressing and straightening as the road demands.  My legs hug the bike on turns and I can feel the wheels rolling on the pavement.  It has become an extension of my body. 


 This is the perfect bike for me.  I know this because my first bike turned out to be not so perfect.  In fact, I felt uneasy and unsure of myself to the point I thought maybe this riding thing really wasn't for me.

Well, that all changed when I changed bikes.



Finding a motorcycle that I could become 'one' with was definitely similar to finding needles and yarn I could become 'one' with.  (hang in there with me...I'll get ya there)

Think about it.  Ever held a pair of needles in your hand that felt clunky, uncomfortable, and downright foreign to you?  Ever picked out a yarn that you ended up hating because it felt sticky or rough or too smooth for that matter...just something you wouldn't want to feel through your fingers for an entire project?  Ever found a pattern that you thought was going to be so enjoyable to knit but you ended up ready to poke your eyes out with the knitting needles because it was so poorly written, so frustrating, or so boring of a knit that you couldn't bring yourself to keep going?

I know you've been there. 

So have I.

I am also going to guess that you probably continued to work with those needles and that icky feeling yarn and that awful pattern because you were determined to get your money's worth, but you couldn't wait until that project was done.  In fact, you found that you had to force yourself to pick it up and keep going.

Granted, the needles and yarn I choose to work with aren't a matter of life and limb, like being comfortable on my motorcycle is, but if you take the safety factor out of the equation, in my mind they are very closely related.  

I can't imagine going through life on a bike that I hated to get on.  I can't imagine going through life with needles and yarn and patterns that weren't 100% pure enjoyment. 

No really.  Why would I?

My needles come in all shapes and sizes and I have accumulated many over the years...single points, double points, and my favorite, circulars, in metal, plastic, and wood.  Some I spent next to nothing on.  Some were a serious investment.  I choose which ones I use according to the yarn I am working with, my mood, and of course the project.

I don't use the straight, single points much anymore, but a lot of these are from my Grandma Betty's stash and I cherish them and display them in my studio.
For example, if I am working with wool (which I am almost always working with wool these days) I want a needle in my hands that matches the warmth of the wool fiber.  I tell my beginning students that the yarn and needles should feel good together.  There should be a flow.  Natural fibers tend to go well with natural material needles.  Synthetic fibers tend to work better on synthetic material needles.  These are my guidelines.  You need to find what works for you. 


Bamboo is my go to needle for almost any yarn however.  It comes in many shades ranging from very blonde to a dark caramel.  It is smooth, but has a little bit of grab to help control tension.  It warms to my body temperature and just keeps getting smoother the longer I work with it.  I love projects on size 7, 8, or 9 especially.  They fit me like a glove.  They become an extension of my hands and arms.  

You see how I make the connection between needles and motorcycles?  Why does it matter so much? 

Because a great ride begins with knowing your bike and your abilities, being prepared and comfortable, and having the proper gear.  Starting a knitting project is similar...know your knitting and your skill level, be prepared (read that pattern over and over to be SURE you understand and really want to make it), and choose materials that are right for you.

What I am really doing, in either case though,  is trying to find my zone. That's the goal.  That's the goal for my riding, my knitting, and my life actually.

Let me describe for you what it's like when I hit my zone:

The sound of the engine, the wind, the vibrations, the sights and even the smells all become one moment...all become effortless and connected.  Even though I am concentrating and focused on the road and the ride, my mind lets go, my body relaxes, and I am soaring.  My posture is easy and solid.  I lean back and feel the stretch in my arms.  It feels like flying even though I am on the ground.  And for a little while nothing matters but that moment, that ride, that feeling.   

Freedom.

The familiar feel of the needles in my hand, the very slight sound they make when they connect to form a stitch, the beautiful, soft yarn...all become one moment...all become effortless.  The stitch pattern is memorized and I don't have to look down.  The textures, the colors, seem just right.  Somehow my hands know what to do.  My mind lets go, my body relaxes, and I am soaring.  The work is flying through my hands.  I feel like an artist.  I see the work growing from the needles and I don't want to stop until it's done.  For a little while nothing matters but that moment, that process, that feeling.

Freedom.

The sound of my own voice is familiar and comforting.  I feel loved and wanted and needed.  I trust my instincts.  I speak only when I really have something to share.  I am totally comfortable with the silence and the task at hand.  Minutes flow effortlessly into hours and my place in the world seems confirmed.  Somehow there is a point to it all.  I know my purpose, I know myself.  Compassion, respect for others and their journey...even conflict and pain, do not seem a match for the calmness I feel inside in those moments.

Freedom.

That's what it feels like to be in my zone when riding, knitting, and living. 

The zone isn't always easy to find.  It by no means comes over me every time I ride, every time I knit, or every day of my life.  Not at all.  But it is what keeps me going, keeps me moving forward. 

The pursuit of that feeling is a huge part of my journey. 

The knitting and the riding help me to evolve spiritually.  Truly. 

Why?  Because they make me feel passionate and alive. 

Tapping into your passions is tapping into your spirit.  You open it up and begin to explore who you are and who you are becoming.  Without passion and creativity we would be stagnant beings just taking up space on this planet, going no where, contributing nothing, learning nothing.

It seems the more often I can find the zone on my bike and with needles and yarn in my hands, the more often I find the zone in my life.

Challenge is the other word that comes to mind.  Riding, knitting, living...all require me to challenge myself, if I really want to evolve.




Last weekend my husband and I rode to the Black Hills with 4 other friends.  600 miles and over 20 hours on the bikes in just 2 days was my most challenging ride to date.  Beyond the challenge of the miles and the time was the terrain. 


 We went through Custer State Park, Needles Highway, Deadwood, and Sturgis the first day.  (For those of you who have not been there, Needles is a winding, twisting road with curves and switch backs that seem to go on forever.)  Throw in several one lane tunnels and narrow bridges and you have the makings of a wild ride.  I have heard other bikers talk about it for years and wondered if I ever got the chance, would I be able to do it? 

I didn't think it would be this soon into my riding that I would be presented with that choice.  I have always had a fear of heights.  Curves haven't been my favorite thing either.  Tunnels?  Bridges? 



Needles and the Black Hills in general was all of that and more. 

Here's where riding and spiritual lessons come together for me. 

I am a firm believer that our deepest fears, worries, and anxieties show us where we need to be most gentle with ourselves and at the same time come face to face with, if we want to move past them.  It is in understanding and conquering those fears that we have the most to gain.  In other words, my fears are my greatest teachers about myself.  I can choose to ignore them, hide from them, or meet them head on. 

This is all the more reason why I NEEDED to do this run.  Combining curves and heights and long distances with much more experienced riders all in one ride seemed the ultimate 'walk your talk' challenge for me. 

It left me feeling spent, exhausted, fatigued, proud, empowered, and grinning from ear to ear!!  It was exhilarating and freeing.  I wanted to do it again! 

The next day we headed back home by way of  Keystone, Iron Mountain Road and the Wildlife Loop.    


These guys were really close during the Wildlife Loop...right on the road sometimes

Taking a corner, loving life

Phil and I on the Wildlife Loop


Did I find my zone the entire time?  Nope.  Not even close.  I was thinking about too many things (as I should have been:)  But in order to get there I knew I needed to just ride.  Being on the right bike (for me), being selective of how I spend my time, my money, my moments, all made a difference that weekend and every time I ride. 

My knitting is the same.  In order to get there, I just need to knit. 

Finding my zone in knitting and finding my zone in life seem to walk hand in hand these days.  I will do it on my own terms, my business and my life.  Everyday I get a little more comfortable in my knitter/biker 'skin'...everyday I find that I can talk with ease about who I am and what I do. 

I do not let those thoughts in nearly as often, as I have the past few months, that say I am not making a difference in the world. 

The process of putting my own designs down on paper, working through all of the things that I don't know yet, don't understand, and some days don't want to, is definitely my challenge.  Teaching others, sharing what I love in hopes they will find something they love and bring moments to their life, make me feel like I am making a difference.

I have set my sights on designing patterns that help other knitters find their zone.  I seem to have a vision now.  I have been able to start putting it down.  Sometimes being on my bike I can plan out a whole design or project in my mind.  Again, these things just seem to be working together for me. 

I want you to work with materials you love.  I want you to spend time making patterns you can't wait to start...and to finish.  I want you to find your passions and challenge yourself.  Some things we don't have the luxury of choosing,  This is not one of those things.  You choose.  You enjoy the process.  You find your zone.

  Donna

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Words...Your Story

In an interview I recently watched, Maya Angelou said, "Words are things."

She was speaking of the power of words to hurt, help, inspire, heal, soothe, aggravate, incite, disrespect, and liberate ourselves and others.  Words are not just something spoken and floating around in the air. 

They take hold in your head and your heart.  They become a part of us. 

They are powerful indeed.

Encouraging words to another can move them towards a path of self-confidence and contribute to their self-worth.  Critical words spoken even just one time can leave a scar that lasts a lifetime.

I've given much thought to Ms. Angelou's statement of late.  I've given much thought to this blog as a vehicle or a platform for my words.

I simply am not able to sit down every single day and put down words here that don't come from the deepest part of me in some way.  It takes time for a post to build in my mind.   But, when it finally comes to me, it 's like a compulsion until I get it all typed out.


What a strange thing blogs really are to me.

The longer I continue to publish one as a means of sharing my life, my work, and my creative endeavors, the more I realize I am simply putting out my personal diary for the entire world to read (that seems to be MY writing style).  When I think of it that way, it leaves me feeling very vulnerable, but that's a good thing.  Years ago I could have never imagined sharing my journals with whomever chose to read them.

Times have most definitely changed, for me and for the world.

It seems everyone has words to share and the means to do so these days.  I read blogs, newsletters, and articles online everyday.  The internet is an amazing thing.  I am always struck by the amount of content out there that is not so much informative or educational as it is negative and even hateful.

Purposeful hate?  Yes, it's out there.  Freedom of speech?  Absolutely.  I believe in it with everything that's in me and therefore cannot do anything but make my observations, but I don't have to read it.

I don't have to let those words into my head and heart. 

I have the same opportunity here as anyone else.  What I do with it is entirely up to me.

My intention, or what my intention has evolved to in writing this blog, is putting out words that are constructive, not destructive.

If I am telling you something about myself, my family, my knitting, I am ultimately hoping  that my words will be a reflection of something in YOUR story, so that we might find a common ground and learn from each other.  Isn't that why we share information in the first place?

A knitter's journey is about more than knitting, just like a mother's journey is about more than her children, an accomplished athlete is about more than her sport, a beauty queen is about more than the pageant, and a doctor is about more than the patients she sees.

Each person has their story.  The words they choose to tell that story are up to them.

My words, your story.  Is there a connection?  I certainly hope so.  Otherwise I'm quite sure I would have no reason to write.

Choose your words carefully, to YOURSELF first, and then to others.  Words are things.  They are powerful indeed.

Knit on,

Donna