Friday, 22 August 2014

A Modern Aspect of Grief

Robin Wood Tarot

I feel like I’m not handling my grief for my loss of my sister Halcyon very well. It’s only just over a month since she died, but I find myself crying an awful lot, and frequently. I am so over the stinging red eyes, the sore throat, the permanent lump, the soggy tissues and the ache in my heart. I don’t want to do this part any more.

Since the last death I had to cope with, social media has arrived and become established, and it is having a huge impact on me, one that I had not at all considered.

When one loses someone, one normally has some control over when one pokes at the raw and bloody abyss of one’s grief.

Not so on social media – you switch on in the morning with your cup of tea, to see what’s happening in the world, amongst your family and friends, and – BAM ! – you’re confronted with stuff that you are not in a position to deal with because it is so unexpected: how the hell can the first post you see on your timeline be from your sister  …. seeing as how she’s dead ? How has she managed to comment on that photo ? 

Oh right .... 

It was in May. Or February.  Or April. This year. Or last year. Or the year before that. When she was alive.

Someone else has revived it and refreshed it by commenting on it, or sharing it.

But for that blessed nano-second, your brain and reality lag behind to the time when she was still here. These unexpected emotional crashes take their toll – I am in no way hardened to losing my baby sister, often such a pain in the butt, always so cute and fun, and so I’m pondering blocking people until I can better cope: I need to re-assert that I have the right to try to choose when I am upset and when I cry.

 My middle niece is raising money for the hospice that cared for Halcyon, please sponsor her here.

You may remember the Ruby Shawl I made for Halcy as a late birthday present, for a ball she had been planning to attend - here is what happened to it.

Victorian Romantic Tarot

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WIP Wednesday: Floral Crochet Blankey

Gilded Tarot

Just so's you know - I'm still here. And just so's you know I'm still alive, here's the proof:

I found a really pretty pattern for a baby blanket - Floreal Dreams, and it includes instructions for upsizing - always great when I don't have to do the math. Of course, you know Mini Diva won't tolerate any shade of pink, so I've adjusted it for the teals she likes: Stylecraft Special DK in 1708 Petrol, Cygnet DK in 211 Aqua, and Stylecraft Special DK in 1034 Sherbet. And white.

I'm about halfway through right now, maybe, and when I've used up the yarns I have, that will be 11 balls. Eleven 100 gram balls with an average meterage of 290-ish metres. And it won't be finished - I'll have to buy more. But we won't tell Titch that.

Friday, 8 August 2014

FO Friday: Halcyon Blues

Mystic Art Tarot

It's been offly quiet round here - the kids are still at their Nanny's, Titch has gone back to work ..... so distract myself and simultaneously do something useful, I crocheted a couple of blankeys for St.John's Hospice, who cared for my sister in the last week or so of her life. The patterns are quick to make and straightforward, but there is a peacefulness in the repetition, a kind of mindless focus, if that makes any sense. Made from good quality acrylic (Stylecraft Special DK and Cygnet DK), they are lightweight but warm, and very easy to care for: machine washable and of course needing no tumble-drying or ironing.

The first Granny Rectangle blanket is approx. 44'' long and 38'' wide, just right to throw on a bed or to snuggle someone up in a chair:


    The second one is a Granny Waves blankey, at 40'' long and 24'' wide,  the sort of size Americans call a 'lapghan' - enough to go over someone's lap and legs whilst sitting, or perhaps to drape over their shoulders:

Really, I'm posting just to let you know I'm still around .... but am off now to open some tins of paint to redecorate the kids' bedrooms as a surprise for when they come back ....

Friday, 1 August 2014

Sad Lammas

Hanson-Roberts Tarot

So today it's Lammas, one of the old cross-quarter days, that marks the first harvest of the year. And in some ways my sister's funeral service was an opportunity to see the harvest that her life brought her: the many, many friends and family that attended - some having travelled great distances - to pay their respects to her, share their memories of her, mourn her loss and show support for her family.

Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery

Mythic Tarot

For me, III The Empress with her prolific bounty is linked in perpetuity with XIII Death, for without one there cannot be the other: without Death, there can be no growth; without growth there can be no Death - and harvest always means death: a scythe cuts down wheat as well as souls.

The star in this card reminds us that in death there is also new life .... which will end in time with another harvest. And that is what makes the Circle.

I wanted to thank each and every one of you who took the time to send me kind words at this time - you do not know how much they are appreciated: thank you very much.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Auntie Fashion

Shadowscapes Tarot

Today my sister, Halcyon, known to you all as Auntie Fashion, has gone to the great catwalk in the sky. I hope they have enough bling for her.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

WIP Wednesday : Temper, Temper

Tarot of Durer

So there it is. I am so over shawls right now I can't even tell you. No, the Epic Fail was Monday, and today all I have to show you is a Tantrum:

That is WYS Signature 4ply in 'Bubblegum' - a nice bright color, quite springy, and not a skinny fingering weight yarn. Somewhere there are a couple hundred toning size 6/0 beads. Next to the yarn is the pattern - a beautiful shawl, 'Blue Dahlia', which, in spite of looking complicated, isn't, owing to the clearly charted instructions.

So why the temper and the crumpledness ? Because the publishers chose to print the charts so that they go across the middle of the book, with a break in the middle, rather than printing them landscape style so it would fit in one piece. In addition, the charts are not large. These 2 things combined to make what tennis buffs call a 'forced error' which I could not fix.

So I threw it across the room and ripped - ripped being the operative phrase - it all out, beads sproinging off to all corners.

I am SO over shawls right now.

So I started a cardigan. In beige. I have no idea why I chose this color, it's so nothingy.

Madaket, using Drops Lima. I still don't think this is quite unthinking enough of a knit for my requirements - I'll be spending time keeping company with Auntie Fashion in the hospice to which she has been moved, so I need to occupy my hands but not so much my brain or concentration. Perhaps some kind of crochet for my squillions of metres of yarn leftovers ....

Monday, 14 July 2014

Learning Experience

World Spirit Tarot

Mini Diva's school production of 'Oliver!' is this week - and it being set in Victorian times meant I was suddenly cooler than ever amongst her friends, who are all aware that I knit shawls. Many shawls. Many shawls in many colors. Many shawls that could be borrowed to wear as part of the costume.

I thought I'd better whip up a quickie just in case there was a need for an extra shawl, and chose the Thimbleweed Shawl: being for 4ply/fingering yarn, a fast knit, not too complex but without being too boring. And I had 2 balls of Drops Alpaca in charcoal gray hanging round which I had no other plans for.

No, I have no idea why they were in my stash either, actually. It's not exactly like I'm a jay for color, and have nothing but ponycorn rainbows in my stash, but dull drab subtle colors like gray are definitely not my bag at all.

About halfway through, I decided the color and the pattern were both 'meh' without much to redeem them. But I plodded on, finished the shawl in a couple of days, then washed and blocked it. It did look better.

I left it on the back of the sofa prior to photographing it and giving it to Mini Diva.

Somehow, someway, somewhere, someone .... managed to swoop it up into a pile of dirty laundry.

Yes, one of the markers of a tragedy is the inevitability of the result. I know you know what that was, and here is the crime scene photo evidence:

No, I shan't be bothering to re-make the pattern. It might be a good thing and a lesson from the Universe that this was ruined ie. at least it was inexpensive yarn and a pattern I didn't care about, the lesson being not to waste one's time with things one doesn't feel enthusiastic about.