Wednesday, March 15, 2017

High Fashion

 On Thursday night, March 16th,my design, the Spire Smock, from Knit Green will be featured in the Reel Green fashion show as part of a collaboration with the Manitoba Fibre Festival.  I think the sweater will be keeping a mannequin warm...but it's hitting a fashion runway, nevertheless!

When I handed the sweater sample over today, a knitter saw it and inquired...and the great thing is that you too can have a sweater like this one!  The pattern's available. :)  (and you don't have to do it in orange if that isn't your color, of course....)

At home, I'm featuring another fiber entirely.  I purchased this tow flax roving at the Manitoba Fibre Festival from Taproot Fibre Lab.  I've had it waiting patiently for quite a while, but just couple of weeks ago, I began to spin it.  I'm almost finished with the first 100 g bag.

I love it!  It's delicious to spin, and I cannot wait to do more.  It is a great departure from wool, and is offering me a very gentle start after a while when I wasn't managing any spinning at all.  (Note: Despite what my spinning teacher taught me 30+ years ago, you can start and stop when spinning linen.  No problem...and if this were really a serious issue, well, historically, women with small children would never have spun any linen)

Last but not least, I came upon a very nice image of the Due North Mittens over here on Instagram, knit beautifully by thewolfandtheblacksmithswife.  Lovely mitts!  I hope they are keeping someone toasty.



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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Handmade Resistance--it's much older than a 'buycott'

Here is my latest article...
 This one just went live this morning on the Daily Forward's Sisterhood Blog:


Ethical fashion is about more than boycotts--and it has been for a very long time. We can create great change through the work of our hands.

Curious to read more?  Here's the link:

Jewish Handmade Resistance

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Thursday, March 02, 2017

Virtual Synagogue Exhibit



Here's a link to my latest CBC opinion piece, which links this exhibit to teaching children about the Holocaust, and to the current refugee influx from the US into Canada:

Virtual synagogue exhibit shows pre-Holocaust German Jews embraced strangers: 'You should love the stranger,' synagogues said, 'for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.'

This exhibit should be coming to Toronto and Vancouver, too.  In the meanwhile, here are some links to images from the exhibit.

The first two images are virtual reconstructions of what some of the congregations looked like before Kristallnacht.


There were over 1,000 synagogues and over 7,000 businesses destroyed that night.  Here's one last image of the destruction from the exhibit.  Follow this link to read more. 

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Focus

I'm still here.  I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed lately.  I've got too much 'on my plate'--still not feeling too well and taking antibiotics for Lyme.  The latest info I've learned is that even after I finish taking the antibiotics, it might be six months to a year before I really feel better.  Of course, there are the usual things, too: two little boys, work deadlines, and some volunteer obligations I took on before I realized how much time everything took.  Oh, and the news.  It is a bit much, the news these days...
On Friday, I took some time to listen to an audio book and produce lots of food...or what I thought was a lot...

Here are some "cauliflower bites" made with two heads of cauliflower, cheese, eggs, and seasoning.  I thought they were fine, healthy snacks.  Two out of two twin kindergarteners disagree.  I froze half, and now I suspect that I have to eat through the rest on my own...I have not even heard the Professor's opinion! (He's not a big cauliflower fan in the first place)
 I made three big loaves of challah, and I froze two.  I'd been coasting by for a few weeks on some kind "gift challahs" from a friend, and bread machine challah (it comes out in a rectangle, which no one likes).  This buys me a couple more weeks!
The best way to catch up on your work?  A little at a time.  It boosts productivity if you have good company like Harry the dog.  He follows me up to my office to keep me company, and hops into my warm spot if I get up.  He's helpful that way.  I have been working at night when I can stay awake--I have a couple of great editing jobs, but they require a lot of focus.  I can only do it for an hour at a time before I need a break.  Harry is happy to provide breaks.
The subject of this post is this: one of my twins gets overwhelmed, and his teacher taught him to pause, put his hands on his chest, and take deep breaths.  He then waves his arms around and says "Focus!  Focus!"  It helps.  I am trying to do the same.

Otherwise, we continue skating onwards towards March.  (literally skating, the boys are learning to skate, although the ice is very bumpy from our weird warm weather.)  What's going on with you?  Do tell.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

a new publication--in Vancouver!



My article has gone live on the Vancouver Independent website!
Eight Rungs of Tzedakah

Check it out, it has good pictures. :)

--By the way, if you live in Winnipeg and this looks familiar to you, that's because it ran here in Winnipeg in our local Jewish newspaper....with a different title.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Thump Thump Mitts

Happy Valentine's Day!!

The new Thump Thump Mittens are now available on Ravelry!  (and will be available on Love Knitting in a day or two...)

On Ravelry, this pattern is 50% off until the end of Valentine's Day.  It expires Feb. 14th at midnight (CT, US & Canada). No coupon necessary.

This is for that excited 'thump thump' when you start a new project!

Also, textured in the way that I imagine the striations of the heart muscle...and just in time for a mid-winter treat, too!

 My grandmother and mother taught me the back side of my work should be just as tidy as the front...and here's a snowy mitt photo to prove it. :)

These are knit with two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.  Any aran or worsted weight wool will be great, but this yarn was a very nice treat!

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

the February knitlove

 It's cold out in Winnipeg, folks.  Today it's bobbing around the -35 or -40 windchill mark, and I am wearing insulated pants and three layers on top: long sleeve shirt, cashmere turtleneck, and handknit wool sweater.  Wool socks, too.  My house does pretty well in the heat department, but it's 100 years old and lacks substantial insulation in the walls.  So, if I stand too close to a wall in this weather, the cold seeps out of it...and into me.

Energy seeps right out of me when I need to be outside in this weather, so I bundle up and aim to stay in whenever I can.  Yesterday was a big day here--a day off kindergarten for both twins to go with me on a tour of our new school for next year AND go to the dentist.  It was a lot of excitment, outdoor time and work for me, the Mommy!

Today, we are back to the regular routine.  During a phone call, I rolled two beautiful balls of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter that I purchased over a year ago.  Yesterday, in the middle of the errands, I saw my handspun, handknit pair of Hole Inside Mitts was shredding in the thumbs, where they are under pressure as I take the mitts on and off to seatbelt car seats.  I can mend them, sure, but maybe it's time for a new pair of mitts.  I need some distraction and cheer, so I got out this gorgeous new yarn for a February pick me up.

I've also begun a version of a Barn Sweater  by Carrie Bostick Hoge, and, I admit, it's going slowly.  I am not on automatic pilot when it comes to top-down sweaters.  I like to knit patterns by others so I can learn, but right now, my time is so limited that it is hard.  I have to actually read instructions, and the directions sort of blur in front of me between 9-10 at night, when I have time to knit!  I hope soon to get my groove on that one. I find this designer's work really beautiful and I really enjoyed knitting her Portland Pullover, which I am wearing today.

In my own work, I've had a bit of a stall out.  Lots of things came up, all at once, in our lives, and I fell behind.  Usually, I write and design behind the scenes and then announce, "TA-DA!" when something has gone live or been published.  I'm trying something new...showing you what's going on behind the curtain.  Here's the thing.  When I announced that my book, From the Outside In, was live, I had quite a few sales all at once.  That was great, and now that my mom, my dad, my in-laws, and a couple of friends have copies (no kidding!), things are slow...  I wrote a press release, and I'm working on some other promotion techniques, but honestly, I am no marketing wiz yet!

  So, if you like my blog/writing and would consider checking out my book, I'd be grateful...but I'd be especially grateful if you told someone else about the book, or gave it as a gift, or wanted to review it on Amazon.  There, I've done my plug!

 Please help me out, because I've gotten behind, what with the Lyme disease, the kid viruses, and -25 temps!  Do you have ideas about where to promote the book?  Do tell. :)

I'm also in the midst of writing up a new design.  I was really impressed by the knit speed and success of the Stopover pullover, as I am a fan of all things Icelandic wool.  However, I also thought it would be super to have something a bit more versatile in my wardrobe.  Something solid, maybe.  I also wanted to play with a handkerchief hem, and a few other details.  Here are a couple of the outtakes from our very quick photo session outside.  (Note cold looking model -me-and snow!)

This is knit up on size 10(6mm) needles, and goes fast.  It's cozy and goes well with either skirt or pants...and my working title for it is "ZOOP!"  (as in, the sound your zipper makes when you pull it up fast...!)

 Interested in this design?  Please sign up on mailing list (it's in the right hand sidebar here) or on my Rav group so you can hear when the pattern is ready.  I'm offering this preview in hopes that you'll find it tempting...

My size, which is firmly in the middle of the pack, only used about 6 skeins of Istex Lett Lopi, though I will recommend 7 to be on the safe side.  That's not a lot of yarn or expense for a brand new winter sweater!  I cannot wait until I have the pattern totally written up so that I can start wearing this sample regularly.  It's cozy, and I could use some more of that 'hygge' these days.

Wishing you all the best,
Joanne

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