Sunday, August 19, 2007

Knitting Your Way to Happiness

Life just comes at us, doesn't it, in a million differentways. Every waking minute of our day, it seems as if there isalways something waiting for us. Some of it imminent; most of it pertinent; a little of it of no consequence.

Yes, life can be so complicated. Yet, it is in the midstof our daily frenzy that we can find the best solace.

How, you may ask? How, when life's daily expectances,simply look to overwhelm us. How then, do we make life simple again? How can what I do, any day, every day, allday long, ever begin to make a difference?

Good questions. There are good answers awaiting.

It is simple, quite simple. Just take your passion out.Whatever burns a fire in your heart, whatever soaks throughthe layers of your life and is sustained in and of itself, when all else makes no difference. Whatever you go back to timeand time again; that talent your mother told you you had manytimes when you were growing up.

Aside from my writing, it is knitting, which has woven its very threads into my being. I can't live without it! I love everything there is to know about being a knitter. The patterns, the creations, the yarns, the needles, the blogs, the websites, the books, the magazines, the shops, the camaraderie of others who share my passion.

But, more than anything else I love the way knitting makes mefeel!! It is in the quiet moments, when I hear my needlesclicking, and the very best thoughts, which I suspect are beingthought by someone else way out there in the universe and pickedup by my thoughts floating out there too; just like those wispy dandelion heads which we blew apart as children and watched fly away into the world. Somewhere out there they don't merely fall apart into nothingness; no, they find other wispy seed heads to join up with, to stick to, and become whole wispy dandelion heads all over again.

Whole, from a part. That's the secret to passion. Knowing thatyou, or I, are only a part of the puzzle. We are not the entire thing!And we never will be. We can only give what we have, and that will dojust fine, thank you!

But, there is so much to give! Just take knitting, for instance. In knitting's pleasures are found its treasures. Where can you caston one sole stitch and when completely done, behold a masterpiece evenyou didn't think was possible?! Where can you get to know other knitters,some across the street, others across the world, who know just what you know, who think just as you do, who hold the same passions inside just like you?

If your desire is to help people, here we are! Any yarn, any color will do.Caps for preemies, afghans for Afghans, blankies for little ones, shawls forthe sick, pretty scarves in furry colors like cotton candy and sapphire blue,to dazzle eyes that never see such fun. Of course, there is always Christmas,birthdays, and don't forget weddings. Nothing makes me feel nicer than to hearall the "ooh's" and "ahh's" when a beautiful wedding afghan that I knitted comes out of its gift box and everyone exclaims all round! Want to make your cat or baby dog extra cozy this winter? We do that too!

Then there is knitting to see my way beyond sorrow and grief. Tell me, who doesn'tknow that song? Yet, it's ending can be upbeat, or at least, a metered measurecloser to feeling better. Or in helping another to find their way through thedark. Because to knit, you have to be in the light.

Don't ever think you don't have what it takes to be the next helping hand, the next inspiration, the next big idea, because if you live and breathe and have your being in this world, then the possibility is there!

Because you are there. Because you are here. Because you have a passion. And the world needs your passion. Because with it you will never go wrong. Because with it is your key to happiness. And that is the only way, isn't it, to open thedoor to your heart!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hot August nights

I have a friend who lives in Bremen Germany and she has a wonderful little saying on her website.

"Life is simple -- it's either cherry red or midnight blue."

Don't you just love it?! It really is so simple.

We do tend to terribly complicate our worlds and one of the worst ways we do that is by looking at all of life's options.

Walk down the cereal aisle in the supermarket or stroll into any shoe store in the mall, if you don't believe what I say. How about choosing a nail polish or trying to decide which shower curtain or bath towel to buy? And never mind about brands of soda, potato chips, or even birthday cards or flowers. We just have too much.

Choice is great but excess makes us crazy!

And, then there's yarn. You didn't think it was any different for crafty people like you and me, did you? If you are like me, then you really look forward to the latest edition of favorite yarn supplements, what with all the newest yarns, new accessories, and pretty patterns . Yet, start turning the pages and before you're done there will be at least 15 different projects that you want to knit!

Not two of them will use the same yarn! So there you are, looking at all this yarn for all these patterns and pictures and information, and all of a sudden the dreaded overload syndrome starts to kick in.

Just for a "for instance", do you like Beehive Baby Yarn, or Mellowspun Sport; how about Aran Irish Twist, or Softee Chunky or Titan Bulky or Satin Yarn. Maybe, Iced Iris Glacier Yarn, or Pretty Striping Yarn or Marble or even Camouflage yarn???

So, the next time "yarn hysteria" hits, remember, life is simple. It's either cherry red or midnight blue. Or with us knitters it's "Satin Stardust" or "Sugar 'n Cream." After all, anything sweet will do!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Knitting Around the World -- Denmark

Whenever I think of Europe, certain countries always seem to come to mind. There is France, of course and Germany, and Italy, but never Denmark.

But, not anymore.

Denmark may be small, sitting at the very top of continental Europe, but it's power is not to be under-estimated.

Looking for castles in the air? Or do you love golf, or biking, or hiking or water sports? Love clubbing, or staying in pretty bed and breakfasts? Then, Denmark is for you.

Copenhagen is a must-see. From the Little Mermaid to the Tivoli Gardens, to canal tours to the Amalienborg Palace to the Stroget, the world's longest pedestrian street for shopping (now we're talking!), there is something here for everyone!

Not too far away is Fredericia. Here you can see the "Landsoldaten" a giant hand in the grass, dedicated as the world's first memorial to the common soldier. One of the best things about Fredericia is the music, music, music. Like cozy and intimate, love jazz, or want to be a part of the musical academy? Then this is the place for you! Theatres and exhibitions abound, as well as beautiful shops and lots of arts and crafts, too! Not to be missed!

Besides, all that, there is the knitting. Some of the sites I came upon have such beautiful knitted creations! One of my favorite sites is Hanne Falkenburg Hand Knit Kit Gallery.
There is something for everyone here, I think, and some stunning colors as well. From Spinning Wheels in Copenhagen to Ebeltoft where you find Balleby Art & Knitting, to every little, cozy knitting studio in between, Denmark offers a fabulous array of beautiful knitting patterns and yarns, many of which are Scandinavian and unique to us here in the States.
For some delightful Danish yarn, drop into Garn Studio's where there is something for everyone. Or go to the Sirri store and learn more about the Faroe Islands and how yarn is made there.
And, hey, while your traipsing around Denmark be sure to check out the Olstykke Festival this coming Saturday August 11 at 8 p.m. One of my favorite groups, the Tremeloes, are appearing and they are fantastic!

And for a wonderful Danish welcome, please go to Visit North Sealand; you'll be glad you did!


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