It's been a while since the Etsy Team Captain's Summit in Toronto but we finally received pictures from the event. Usually I try to stay invisible but I was captured in a couple.
This was a hard trip for me. First off I am afraid of flying. I try not to let that hold me back but Benadryl was my friend to help me get through. Secondly, I received a call from work on the second day and was told my co-worker Kirk had passed away. I work in a mechanical contractors office and I worked very closely with Kirk. He was a hard ass to the guys but they knew it was because Kirk held a high standard when it came to doing a good job and working hard. Everyone admired him and since he was secretly sick, all were shocked to hear of his passing. Kirk was 56. He was the man who made work fun; always joking and making up songs and strange dances. He loved donuts and if you wanted one you had to get in there pretty damn quick. He loved dogs and Princess Auto (aka the place which cannot be named).
I knew when I left that there could be a chance I would get the call. Kirk has had skin cancer his whole life. He got it when he suffered from psoriasis and was told this UV box thing would help (they did give warnings about cancer). He could easily get an infection if he bumped his hand or any little cut. He had been dealing with infections over the past couple year. We found out he had cancer in his groin this year. It was operable and he had his surgery. He didn't want anyone to know about it. The surgery, and an infection in his back that wasn't getting proper treatment was too much for him to deal with.
There has been a major presence missing at work here. I still walk into his office and look around. It's not his anymore. His stuff isn't in there. He isn't there. I put a phantom crystal in his office to try to hold his presence, or for the next person who take residence in there, to know that he is in the walls. Kirk had worked for Christie Mechanical since he was 18. I feel I haven't really dealt with his death and maybe others at work too. We still talk about him like he is still working; "Kirk wants it this way", "Kirk always said we should...", "Kirk told me that..."
While I was in Toronto I also saw the extent to a new issue in my body. I wasn't able to walk for more than half a block before I needed to rest. My left leg was numb and I was in A LOT of pain. I had to use a wheelchair to make my way around the museum. I felt terrible because I wasn't able to get around and felt that I was a drag on the trip. We couldn't check out much of what we wanted because I wasn't able to walk even down the road. I had an MRI the day I came back (right before Kirk's funeral) and found out I have 2 herniated discs which is what has been causing the pain in my leg. I am currently waiting for surgery on that. In the meantime I can't walk very well and I can't stand . This is all on top of my regular nerve pain near my ribs on my right side. This pain moves around, shocks me every now and then burns, pinches, is numb, etc etc. I sleep A LOT. About a year ago, I would sleep all weekend maybe once every 3 months or so. Now it is every weekend. I am sleeping more than awake. This has been causing me a lot of stress, anxiety and guilt. I don't know if this will ever go away. My doc has labeled it Fibromyalgia but I'm not certain. I am now on my own with healing and have found the more alternative/holistic approaches have helped me more than medical treatments (which leave me hurting, frustrated and no further than before). I have never dealt with chronic pain before and never realized how isolating and lonely it really is (going on 8 years for me now). Invisible illnesses are REAL. I don't look sick to you, but I feel pain all over. It has taken over my whole life. I struggle to get out of bed and get ready for the day. I struggle with body image because my pills make me gain weight. I look at myself in the mirror and I have aged more in the past couple years. I am disappointed with myself .
As many of you may know, we also had our car stolen right before we were on our way to work one day and I lost all my tools and equipment as I was teaching 4 classes at that time. I have been so humbled for many of you and the community that is fibre people helping me by donating items back to me and looking out for my stuff online etc. You are my heart. This was also the month I lost my everything, my Xena, who was my best friend for the last 20 years. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make and one of my worst fears. I think about her a lot and see her every now and then in my dreams. <3
We also lost a second co-worker a month later. Doug Purcell. He had passed away from cancer as well. I still hear his laugh. He was the maintenance manager and also only 56.
If you have read this far my friend, thank you. This post wasn't meant to be this way but I am glad to have gotten it out. My therapist told me to write about Kirk and Xena etc and my fingers just kept typing. I don't mean for this to be a sob story and I am not looking for sympathy. Just wanting people to understand that what you see on the outside is not what is inside. Please be patient with me.
The Naked Sheep Yarn & Fibre Emporium is stocked on my paper patterns as well as kits for Straw into Gold, my newest design for the Manitoba Fibre Festival Makers' Challenge. Colleen of Cog Yarns has dyed up many more skeins and there are lots of more kits available. She dyed on two different bases, superwash merino and superwash merino with sparkle! As you can see the day we release them, the sparkle was a big hit. She also has "Peaceful Haze" in her shop if you are looking to get your hands on it.
This pattern is also the June pick for The Naked Sheep's sock KAL
This is the mood board we worked from. Colleen did pretty good eh?
Both Cog Yarns and The Naked Sheep will be at the Biggar Fibre Fair on June 23 so if you are heading there, you should make sure to add them to your list of vendors you won't want to miss. My friend Val Fiddler will also be there teaching classes, doing demos and more. She is a great source of wooly info!
Thanks to all those who have purchased my newest pattern. Remember from now until the festival any pattern you make from the collection is an entry into the MAL. Use this hashtag (#MbFF2018Challenge) to participate and post lots of photos.
Blue Hills Fibre Fest was on June 9th - which was also World Wide Knit In Public Day. Jeremy and I spent the day in Carberry with the always amazing Manitoba Fibre Community. If you haven't visited a fibre fest before, you MUST add this one to your list. It may be smaller on scale but it is overflowing with amazing vendors, classes, fleeces and pie! This was my booth all set up and ready to go. Aside from our regular items we also had Straw into Gold kits and Cog Yarns hand dyed skeins for purchase. I am always overwhelmed at the generous support from the people in Manitoba. You all made my day so bright and one I can say I honestly enjoyed. Looking forward to next year already
I was very happy to judge the wool show this year. There were 16 fleeces in all and wow (!) most scored pretty high. Manitoba wool is exceptional.
Here are the first place winners as well as some of my favourites. My phone was a bit greasy so sorry about the shiny pictures hah!
I had a few new skeins to bring with me. Watch for an update in my Etsy shop very soon, were I will be listing the skeins I have. You can also find some at The Naked Sheep Yarn & Fibre Emporium.
If you are ever in Winnipeg then you MUST go to Baked Expectations. The cakes are so unbelievable, you will need to decide on a few to go as well. Jeremy had the Tia Maria torte. Next time I might get the Red Velvet cake and likely another cheesecake or chocolate cream pie. Also, take it from me - the hot chocolate is one of the best!
I did well. I could have bought soooo much more. The quality of vendors was outstanding and such a great variety. A new knitting wedge bag from Dragon Fibre Bags, project bag, sock yarn and t-shirt from Long Way Homestead, Sock yarn from The Sheep-ish Spinner, darning mushroom from Natural Knot Woods, french spindle from Homespun Tools and a cork wedge pouch, cedar/grapefruit handmade soap and merino hand dyed fibre from Last Dance Ranch.
Oh I love it all!!
Check out this year' Collection of designs for the Manitoba Fibre Festival! From now until June 7th the patterns are 20% off on Ravelry using the code Challenge20. I have a pair of socks in the collection called Straw into Gold that are knit with a beautiful hand dyed yarn by Colleen of Cog Yarns. We have kits available at The Naked Sheep Yarn and Fibre Emporium and I will also have them with me at Blue Hills Fibre Festival on June 9th. Why not pick one or two of your favourites and cast on during this MAL (make-a-long) until the festival Sept 14-15th. There are lots of great prizes available :)
Wheat is one of the world’s most important and oldest cereal grains. Saskatchewan is often referred to as the “Bread Basket of Canada” and for good reason. Much of the prairies is covered in farm land and wheat is a common sight in the province as Saskatchewan is the main producer of wheat in Canada and one of the largest in the world.
I really wanted to represent not only Saskatchewan with this design but the prairies as a whole. Agriculture is important here including both the flora and fauna. The leg of these socks proudly display wheat as it sways in the wind. The foot has a simple knit/purl textured pattern which I wanted to represent the soil and how I have been a born and raised prairie girl and my roots are planted here.
Straw into Gold is part of the Makers Challenge in support of the 2018 Manitoba Fibre Festival. I partnered with Colleen of Cog Yarns who dyed up a special colourway for this challenge. This pattern uses toe up construction and features the Fleegle heel.
Pattern includes written instructions followed by their corresponding charts
• 1 skein of sock yarn approximately 425 yards
I used: Cog Yarns – SW Sock – “Peaceful Haze” 425 yards (389 m) 115g
Cog Yarns – SW Sock Mini Skeins (2) – “Squash” 60 yards (55 m) 15 g
Cog Yarns – SW Sock – “City Blizzard” 425 yards (389 m) 115g
• 9” Circular needle size US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
• You may also use Magic Loop or 2 circulars
• 4 Double pointed needles size US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
• 3 Stitch markers (2 regular, 1 removable)
• Tapestry Needle
• 12” (30 cm) length of waste yarn for provisional cast on
10 X 10 cm / 4” X 4”=36 stitches X 48 rows in stockinette stitch (stitches unblocked) using size US 1.5 (2.5 mm) needles
Abbreviations and stitches used:
cc – contrasting colour
k – knit
k2tog – knit 2 together
k3tog – knit 3 together
m1l – make 1 left
m1r – make 1 right
mc – main colour
p – purl
p2tog – purl 2 together
sk2p – slip, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over
sl1 – slip 1
ssk – slip, slip, knit
sm – slip marker