Today is an interesting day. It is my Mom’s 65th birthday. My daughter is 6 months old, my son is 2. I am 35, and wondering if I count as ‘middle aged’ yet. Watching the US presidential election was a tough one. After Brexit I wasn’t surprised, but I am disappointed. My faith in the goodness of people is at a low. The things that have been said about minorities, immigrants, and women are abhorrent, and yet he still won. It’s going to take a while to take that in, and I’m not sure I’ll ever understand it.
In order to escape a bit from the news, I was listening to the ever-inspiring Kim Werker on the SweetGeorgia podcast (episode 30). One of Kim’s points in her talk, and in her book ‘Mighty Ugly’ is that she tries to do the things that scare her, and teach her son to do the same. This made me think of how much my Mom has inspired me over the years. She has always been an adventurer, and often put herself in situations which, to me, seemed intimidating, awkward, with a high potential for failure or discomfort. From sailing from Canada to Mexico, to cycling solo through the Rockies, volunteering in construction, and learning bike maintenance, Colleen has always adventured and practiced new skills. When I was younger, I didn’t get it. Now I recognize that one of the most valuable lessons she has taught me is to do things anyway, despite fears and anxieties, to pursue what you imagine could be great. So happy birthday Mom, thanks for inspiring me to adventure and teaching me to take risks.
wearing my heart on my sleeve
So what to do when you look at the world and feel sadness, and have that anxious fear in the pit of your stomach? I think the answer is to act, to do your best to create joy and beauty and try be helpful to others in a positive way. As knitters, I suspect many of you have the same reaction, to reach for your needles and yarn! It definitely calms me to work stitch after stitch, moving yarn through my hands and creating something.
On that note, I’d like to share a little sneak preview of a collection that Alexa and I are creating, with help from our friends, to inspire giving and helping. Heart on my Sleeve is a charity ebook, featuring sweaters by some of our favourite designers: Joji Locatelli, Ysolda Teague, Bristol Ivy, Tanis Lavallee, Romi Hill, Jane Richmond, Shannon Cook, and Tin Can Knits too!
Each designer has generously donated a pattern, and 100% of proceeds will go to the Against Malaria Foundation, to purchase bed nets which prevent malaria. Malaria is a major killer of little kids (70% who die are under 5) and pregnant women (it’s the worlds single largest killer of pregnant women), and malaria is PREVENTABLE. A long-lasting insecticidal net costs $2.50 USD, so each ebook sold will protect multiple families. Your purchase will make a real difference to the life of another family – you could save a child, or a mother, all from the comfort of your favourite knitting chair. Learn more about Malaria and how a few dollars can really help, here.
Here are a few little teasers to give you an idea of what’s to come, and get your creative juices flowing! The Heart on my Sleeve ebook will launch in early 2017, if you’d like to know when it’s available you can sign up for our email updates, or watch our blog, Instagram, or Facebook.
Does knitting lighten your heart?
Knitting is such a simple pleasure, but it helps many of us through difficult times, brings us together, and can be a positive focus and distraction. Share your story with us in the comments, or at your favourite social spot!