Obsession Thursdays

Obsession Thursday: The smell of woodsmoke.

I am in Tofino. I got here by getting on a train in Toronto and riding in my little sleeper bunk all the way to Vancouver, then grabbing a rental car and taking the ferry over to Vancouver Island. Tofino is a tiny little surfing town that sticks out of the west coast of Vancouver Island all by itself. It’s a 3-hour drive from reasonably urban Nanaimo (home of the bars), going up and down and through wiggly bits, over mountainy terrain, through rainforesty bits that occasionally open up to give you vistas I only wish I had photos of. Diamond-clear lakes that tend more to green than blue, and mountains covered ...

Obsession Thursday: reclaiming my Ukeness.

One of the many things I had to stop doing, when my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome got really bad, was playing ukulele. It was gradual and then all of a sudden I realized I hadn’t played in months. And then a year. Thanks to my CTS surgery, I’m back, people. And I am so damned happy about it. Tonight, I got to teach some basic chords to a lovely fellow who wanted to learn. Watching his light bulb turn on as his fingers started to remember where G, F, A and D are located reminded me of how much fun it was for me to learn. I am planning a big cross-country train trip at the end of next month, and so I treated ...

Obsession Thursday: continuing to heal

Last time I wrote, I told you about my upcoming surgery of a womanly sort and how that would affect Knitty’s next issue. Since then: – surgery went off very well – took 2 hours longer than expected because my surgeon needed to consult during the procedure to make it as minimally invasive as possible – I believe I asked the recovery room nurse to marry me after she gave me 4 perfect orange popsicles, one after another…just what i needed after having that tube down my throat (ack) – some very lovely people visited me in the hospital (I just stayed overnight) and I felt very loved ...

Obsession: Helping

If you’re in Canada, you’re probably aware of the story of the wildfires that have struck the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta. The city of 88,000 people was evacuated a week ago, due to raging wildfires that were moving rapidly in the direction of the city. Thanks to amazing work on the part of the firefighters and other city and emergency services workers, there have been very few injuries and everyone got out fantastically quickly. The good news is that much of the city has been saved, including the hospital and several schools, but quite literally all of the city’s residents have been displaced, ...

Obsession Thursday: ending the uterine tyranny

This is the Womb pattern, designed by MK Carroll for our Winter 2004 issue. Back in our embryonic days (see what I did there?).  One of our most popular patterns. And for me, one of my most-hated body parts. Mine has turned on me in ways I will not describe to you. Bottom line is that the sucker has to go, and it’s going. Next week. Those of you who’ve been following along will note that this is my second surgery since the Spring+Summer issue came out. Having my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome fixed was planned so that it wouldn’t impact on Knitty’s production schedule. My stupid uterus, however, has ...

“Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns”

I’m very happy to announce the (re-)launch of my guide to writing knitting patterns. Driven by my work as a technical editor, I self-published this book in 2014, under the title “Pattern Writing for Knit Designers” expecting to sell a handful of copies to professional knit designers. I was very pleasantly surprised by the demand from designers of all levels, and the feedback on the book was wonderful. I have chosen to work with Interweave Press to distribute the book further beyond the limits of what my local post office can help with… The book gathers my ten years’ of experience as a ...

Obsession Thursday: Healing

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Possibly the three most dreaded non-life-threatening words to a knitter (or anyone who uses their hands). Certainly not welcome news, when the diagnosis hits. Mine hit in 1999. Surgery on my right hand happened March 10th. Backstory here. The lovely Deborah Robson had her surgery last week. A lovely Twitter friend (@lahondaknitter) has hers next week. We’re all getting fixed around here. I thought I would give those who are on a similar path a little timeline of how it went for me. Images are tiny until clicked, for those who don’t want to see. Nothing is bloody or raw, but there ...

Obsession Thursday: Spindling

I just got back from teaching at a weekend retreat for the lovely women who run Knit Social (they’re also the folks behind the fabulously popular Knit City fiber event that happens in Vancouver every October). As my hands are still rather flipper-like until I have my carpal tunnel surgery next month, bringing knitting along wasn’t practical. Instead, I thought I might try spindling again, since I’ve found it uses different muscles than the ones that I’ve overused and doesn’t aggravate my messed-up nerves. Look! It was successful! I spun more on my Jenkins Turkish Delight spindle this ...

Obsession Thursday: Not cutting your fingers off

Some of you may remember when I was reckless enough to use a rotary cutter on a little cutting mat…on my lap. And how surprised we all weren’t that it had resulted in me cutting the corner off my left pointer finger. The carnage that followed I will not recount here. It was gruesome and excrutiatingly painful, believe me. Despite the fact that it was 100% my own fault, I still have avoided quilting again until lately. However, because my Carpal Tunnel is so bad in my right hand that I can’t do much of anything, I’ve picked quilting back up as a hobby I can do for short periods. I saw something ...

Knitter’s Film Picks: RAMS and ADDICTED TO SHEEP

Some of you my know that my husband is a professional film critic. A few weeks ago he told me that he had to watch a film for review: “I think you might like it. It’s set in Iceland, and it’s about sheep.” He was entirely correct: the film RAMS is indeed set in Iceland, it’s about sheep… and I absolutely adored it. (Spoiler alert: the professional film critic did, too!) It’s an utterly charming little film about a family in a small farming community dealing with a family crisis and a farming crisis. It won the very prestigious ‘Un Certain Regard’ prize when it ...