Saturday 21 December 2013

Tarot Blog Hop Yule 2013: Turning Darkness into Light

You may have hopped forward from my friend  Joanne's blog, or perhaps have gone widdershins and arrived backwards from my friend Chloe's TABI blog: craftmaker-type people, bear with me - perhaps you might even glance through today's ramblings ....

In the Northern Hemisphere, Yule is known as the Winter Solstice while in the southern hemisphere Yule is known as the Summer Solstice.  No matter where you are located and whichever religion or traditions you follow, Yule is always a magical time filled with excitement and steeped in traditions.  Yule sees the triumph of light over darkness.  As Celtic Yule lore goes, Yule is celebrated as the rebirth of the Sun when the Oak King who ruled over the light part of the year, defeated the Holly King who ruled over the dark part of the year. So Yule brings with it the opportunity to be reborn with new light.

As the wrangler for this Yule 2013 Blog Hop, the season offered me a time to think about rebirth.  You see, it's been just over a year that I had been part of this Tarot Blog Hop community.  In more ways than one, the Tarot Blog Hop community had been responsible for lighting my path throughout my spiritual journey with the cards. 

So for this Yule Blog Hop, the theme  our wrangler Joanna Ash thought most appropriate is "TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT”.

Yule night or Winter Solstice sees the longest night of the year.  When the sun rises the next morning, we celebrate light with the rebirth of the sun as the dark half of the year makes way for the lighter half.  In the spirit of welcoming back the light, do unleash your creativity with this topic.  For example:
  • Use your Tarot cards to guide you on how you could bring light to the people around you.
  • Share your experience on finding light at the end of a period of darkness
  • Use your Tarot to guide you on re-charging yourselves with strength
  • Use your Tarot to guide you on how you are going to imbibe vitality to your endeavors
  • Share how you celebrate light with Yuletide traditions
In a nutshell, use this Yule Tarot Blog Hop to celebrate light together with me in your own way.

Well, once I started to think about the topic, it struck me that there are quite a few different types of darkness and light: literal, emotional, psychological, spiritual. There's probably more, but it's late and I haven't drunk quite enough red wine to get truly philosophical. Which means I won't be talking about any of those.

I heaved a great big sigh of relief right then, even if you don't fully realize the magnitude of your escape.

Instead I shall talk about a down-to-earth, everyday way of turning darkness into light: attitude.

Let's illustrate that, shall we, and seeing as how Tarot is a visual medium full of symbols and colorful imagery. At least I will find it interesting, even if no-one else does.

Phantomwise Tarot

 Not only is this my astrological card, its meaning of calm optimism and hope typifies my normal attitude to life. I am so sorry, but one can really nearly always make lemonade from lemons; sometimes, it may seem like it's a bit of a long-haul search for the sugar, though. 

In tarot terms, it means that the 'problem' cards also contain within them the solution to the problem.

Shadowscapes Tarot

Sometimes it isn't as simple as lighting a torch. Sometimes it is a question of crawling around on your hands and knees in the dark with all the creepy things ...

RWS Tarot

 ... until you remember that you are being overly fussy demanding that the light be bright: the moon will do quite nicely for the while, thank you. At least now I can see the creepy things rather than finding them by their oozing touch and hairy skitterings.

Gilded Tarot

In this way, I think the reflective light of the moon is more valuable than that of the destructive lightning flash, which only allows you a glimpse of your fast-approaching doom, not a clear enough look or time to take any saving action. Here is the dilemma of telling the future: do you really want to know ?

And so anyway. Three main approaches can be summed up using the same card from 3 different decks:

Barbara Walker Tarot


This is Marvin the Paranoid Android. Why am I even bothering with life, it's pointless.

RWS Tarot


Hmm. Things might not be so bad. Look, there's the sun coming up over there. Let's get out of all this squelchy mess anyway.

Hello Kitty Tarot

It is also invaluable to maintain one's sense of humor, which can remind us of what's really important:

At worst, just keep saying ''this too shall pass'':

Bohemian Cats Tarot

Don't forget, you can read Joanne's Yule blogpost here, Chloe's TABI blogpost here, and the masterlist of all participating blogs can be found here.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

WIP Wednesday 175: Satsuma for Christmas

Ancestral Path Tarot

So my reward to myself for completing my (admittedly small quantity of) Christmas knitting was to dig out some of the yarn my friend Paula sent me in return for the shawls I made her:

This is a gorgeous mellow orange colorway called 'Mai Tai Heather'; 2 balls of it is 274yds/250m. 

Coincidentally, I've had a hat pattern in my queue for at least 2 years, which my friend Steph gave me for my birthday last year, which requires almost this quantity of yarn. How lucky is that ?

Yes, you're right, not at all lucky - I am far too unspontaneous to leave such an important thing to mere Chance. 

However, when I came to read it through closely before starting, not only did it require 2 sets of 3mm circular needles, it necessitated 'Judy's Magic Cast-On'. Then and there I nearly gave up. But owing to the wonder that is YouTube, a few minutes later (if by minutes we mean 5 hours) I had got a somewhat shaky grasp of it.

I have even reached - and pushed on - past the inserting the craft foam (finding and fudging the right thickness is a whole 'nother story) into the brim, repairing the 2 dropped stitches that had laddered down 6 rows while I was knitting the brim edges together, and making a circle that looks like it might eventually be hat/head-shaped:

Yes, you do have to use your imagination a bit right now to visualize a hat, but I am really chuffed with both the hat, and myself for learning this new scary thing. Unfortunately I have to put it to one side just for the moment, as an In-Law has announced a visitation, and I don't want them to realize quite what a slovenly slattern their brother married - I've managed to keep that information hidden for 11 years, I'm not letting that go without a struggle ie. I must do some housework.

While I sacrifice my time and hands on the altar of familial duty, you may go and look at lots of nice things over at Tami's Amis ....

Friday 13 December 2013

FO Friday 166: Igor Triumphs Again

Phantomwise Tarot

So when last we spoke, the mortuary slab table was strewn with body parts, but for what kind of creature ? How would it all go together, and would it end up only monstrous, or monstrously cute  ?

Here are the results of Igor's most recent experiment, so that you may judge for yourself:


The pattern was Sack of Mice Tea Cozy by Debi Birkin: and yes, I did have to buy a tinchy bit of yarn (Cygnet DK), as I simply had no shades of brown in my stash at all, let alone 50. I think my friend Susie H. may be the only person who will truly appreciate that I have actually used a color which the cruel amongst you might label as 'beige'.

I modified the pattern slightly - I used beads for the eyes instead of embroidering them, as mice have beady eyes, right ? I made whiskers, using stiff glossy embroidery thread; and I crocheted the mouse tail rather than knitted it. I also added a purty ribbon to 'tie up' the sack. It was a fairly straightforward project, but fiddly - it probably involved more sewing than it did knitting - but Titch chose it, and so therefore it Had To Be Done.

I am really pleased with how it has turned out, and have already had people requesting one for their very own - but, as this was the last of my Xmas knitting, I think I shall take a break and resume more simple knitting for the holiday period. But you know, I am open to offers which include either posh yarn or alcohol, and am pretty much a pushover for any offer that combines the two.

Pop over to Tami's Amis and see what else might be complete today  ....

Wednesday 11 December 2013

WIP Wednesday 174: Mini Igor Redux

Hudes Tarot

I must have some kind of weird sublimated urges that are becoming not-so-sublimated - you'll remember my last Frankensteinian experiment, known as Frankenwabbit ? Made for Mini Diva in the forlorn hope that if I keep buying and making fake rabbits, she will stop wanting a real one. Yeah, that worked. Not.

If Sean can do it, so can I. 

Perhaps it was simply a question of scale ? So let's downsize, like everything else:

random body parts - but of what, Igor ?

OK, so you have a rodent fixation too .....

al-most there, Igor

It does seem like there is a little something - or quite a lot of something, actually - still missing. Hmm. Needs more pondering. And gin.

Meanwhile, at Tami's Amis .....

Friday 6 December 2013

FO Friday 165: Autumn Leaves

Shadowscapes Tarot


It's OK, it's OK - I can't swim, but I didn't need to; fortunately we live halfway up a big hill (yes, East Anglia is flat, just not this bit) and the flooded parts down by the Quay are about 10 minutes' walk away. Hmm. How to define what 'walk' is to my American readers ? 

Too difficult - let's just put it down to 'weird foreign idiosyncrasies', shall we ?

Anyway. You'll be glad to hear the 2 hats are pretty much done, just a bit of primping left and some posing later if I can capture a victim bribe an offspring to stand still long enough. But, still at least one Xmas gift to go; I  have bought what I think I need today, so I'm about to rush off and start that.

In the meanwhile, you may gaze admiringly on the SusannaIC Autumn Mystery Knit-A-Long, for which I had somehow forgotten to post pictures:



You'll remember, of course, that this is the large version without beads, made using the fabulous BFL Lace yarn in the 'Caramello' colorway from Kirsty over at Wharfedale Woolworks - she currently has a sale on, but please leave some for me. I think this shawl definitely looks very autumn-y and leafy-ish because of the combination of pattern and yarn.

When you have finished drooling, you may visit my friend Hestia's blog - which is almost all about me, too ! I know, I know, how much more of my magnificence can you take ? 

Well, go find out.

And after that, there are more pretty things to aaah over at Tami's Amis .....

Wednesday 4 December 2013

WIP Wednesday 173: Oddments

Mystic Dreamer Tarot

So with the pressure of NaKniSweMo removed successfully by completing the Strawberry Cabled Cardigan - see how clever I am referring to this again, just so I can slip a couple of way better photos in:

So anyway. I didn't want you thinking for a moment that I was sat doing nothing - perish the thought ! Instead I have fallen victim to Christmas making: with 20 days to go, I have 3 items I MUST make. In fact, they need to be posted, so I have much less time than that. Did you hear my voice go up a notch or three ?

Yep, this is what I have to work with. I am getting really good at fudging creative problem-solving, since I don't really know what I'm doing. Thankfully, I don't think anyone else will, either.

You may enjoy the leisure of a jump to Tami's Amis, while I work my fingers to the bone .....