I went digging through my closet this morning and found the missing yarn. This means I can finish the sweater and decide on its future.  This should be great news except for the fact that when I found it I thought of a shawl I started last winter and how I haven’t seen it around lately….. believing that the knitting elves have taken it to finish it for me is probably wishful thinking. If they didn’t finish the cardigan, why would they bother with a little shawl?

I managed to get my Etsy site up and running. Etsy has certainly improved – and grown – since I used it to sell my quilts several years ago! I will be adding new yarns and other goodies every day, probably one every morning and one every night. That is the best way to stay visible in the fast moving world of Etsy. If you don’t see something you love there right now, just keep checking every couple of days and something will turn up! Who knows, if I decide that the Rainbow Squares Around cardigan just isn’t me any more, I might list it on Etsy.

Here is the link – Shantiknits on Etsy  I am already thinking ahead to my next dyeing spree so please let me know if there are particular colours or yarn weights you would like to see!


what’s another seven years of sitting on the shelf?

I haven’t been online much lately as if every coughing fit was a skein of yarn, I could knit my family a house cozy for Christmas this year. Having asthma and a cold and a damp, mildewy kind of fall is a vert bad combination. The cold is long gone but my stomach muscles have been getting quite the workout for the past few weeks with all this coughing.

This cough has been keeping me up at night so lots of knitting is happening. I started the Squares Around cardigan about seven years ago and knit like crazy for a couple of weeks and then put it in the closet for some reason. I have no idea what it did to get itself banished like that but I pulled it out yesterday and realized I only have about five more inches to knit, the button band and then a little steeking before it is ready to go. This sweater could be on my back before December. Steeking scares most people because that is when you cut holes in your knitting to make room for the sleeves and for your head to go through – and to make the sweater a cardigan instead of a pullover. I admit that it did have me sweating the very first time I did this to a sweater but now I kind of like it. It means I get to knit in the round (speed knitting!) for the entire sweater and then just pop the pieces and spaces in where they need to go at the end. It is my version of living dangerously.


I have one problem with this sweater and it isn’t the cutting and it isn’t even the fact that I am not sure I love this pattern or style the way I did seven years ago when I cast on for the sweater. It is that seven years have gone by and I can’t exactly find all of the yarn I need to finish it. The two colours I was using for the row I stopped at were still attached to the sweater so I definitely have those. I found two other colours of the same yarn (Philosoper’s Wool 2 ply) and so I have been able to carry on into the next section – but nothing else. I have searched through my stash and I am worried that this means I have a stash of yarn so secret even I don’t know where it is or else I forgot what the yarn was for and either gave it away or knit it into something else. I can do five more rounds before I will have to stop again and come up with the rest of the yarn to knit the last few rounds of brightly coloured squares and the rainbow button band or else the sweater will have to return to its shelf until I come up with more yarn.

Just how long is the shelf life of a sweater-in-progress?

fresh from the dye pot

My task tonight is to come up with a label design for this lovely mountain of yarn I have been dyeing over the past couple of weeks. I also want to make a light box so I can begin taking better photographs. My ipod is great for taking spontaneous photos but it really doesn’t capture colours all that well. Nevertheless, here is one picture just to give you a taste of what I have been up to.

I have learned so much doing this. Now it is time to deliver some of this wooly loveliness to the Old Mill in Paisley for sale and to set up a new shop on Etsy to offer some online. I would love, love, love to do this full time but we’ll see. There are so many independent dyers out there already. If I get a good response to this batch I will take it to the next level. If not, I have lots of pictures to remember what a great time I had this fall!

no cookies, mittens or homemade bread in this post

Warning right up front – this post has nothing to do with warm and fuzzy things like baking or knitting. It is a hard topic I have been struggling with all day.

Earlier today I overheard a conversation about what an insult  and inconvenience it is to have to get a police record check before doing volunteer work with children. The conversation went on to say that if people would just stop making false accusations of sexual abuse a lot of time and money could be saved. They said that all sexual offenders should be locked up forever but it is so hard to believe anyone who cries child abuse.


I get their point to a certain extent. Police checks only do so much good – they only highlight those offenders who have been caught. Those who have been devious enough to avoid detection, those whose victims were too afraid or too confused or too close to the perpetrator to find a way to come forward, have a clean legal record. I can see how it could be uncomfortable to be treated as if you should be assumed guilty until proven innocent and safe to work with children or other vulnerable people.

What I don’t understand is how people who think this way fail to see that when it comes to accusations of abuse, they are presuming the victim is guilty of lying until proven innocent. There are not nearly as many false accusations floating around out there as there are false proclamations of innocence. I can only assume that when people get going on this topic, they know nothing about how our police and legal systems treat victims of sexual assault at any age. Really – who do you think is more motivated to lie: someone who has been hurt, shamed and traumatized in the most personal of ways and by coming forward is going to have to make all of this public? Or how about the individual who has broken the law and has used, hurt and terrified another human being in such a despicable way? No one wants to believe that ugly things happen in secret places. It is more comfortable to be suspicious of victims than to believe that respectable looking people can be monsters in secret.

Rapists lie. Those who would use their power to degrade, injure, shame or use another human being would not hesitate to lie. Child molesters lie.

Do you know who else will lie? Children who are afraid that a parent they rely on for any sort of care and security, dysfunctional as it may be, may lie rather than have that parent taken away leaving them to strangers. People living in group homes or nursing homes who are afraid of the consequences of “telling” will lie rather than risk what little security and dignity they have. Speaking out takes courage and strength, two of the very things that are attacked in abuse. That’s right, I am saying that  we should be more suspicious of children or other vulnerable people who deny abuse when there is evidence to the contrary than we should be suspicious of those who accuse someone of abuse.

What amazes and confuses me is how many people are quick to say that child abusers should be locked up and the key thrown away but are also reluctant to believe anyone who says they have been abused. They won’t hesitate to spend thousands of dollars on prison sentences for offenders but they do not really want to believe that their victims are real people. They want more prisons but they don’t want society to help pay the surviving victims for the kind of treatment that will help them recover.

I don’t know how to wrap this post up. This blog is still so new and unknown that I don’t even know if anyone will read it. I just know that the next time I am asked to update my police check I will gladly do so, knowing that somewhere someone is at least trying to protect vulnerable people. I would rather deal with a little discomfort, expense and inconvenience if this process becoming standard means that even a few more children will be spared the (painful) discomfort, expense (do you have any idea how much appropriate therapy for trauma and abuse costs?) and inconvenience (how’s that for a gross understatement) of being targeted by an abuser.

how long will all this food last with two teenagers and an almost 12 year old in the house?

This morning I made a trip to Hanover and came home with 10 kg of locally grown and milled flour, 4 dozen local eggs, 1 kg of local honey, 10 kg of brown sugar (not a chance of that stuff being local!) and 1 kg of powdered milk – all for less than $40. Not bad, eh?

Now the trick is to see how far it can go in this household.No doubt there will be many loaves of bread. These muffins just came out of the oven. Some cinnamon laden dough is rising for sticky buns as I type. They will be ready in time for a bedtime snack and my husband and son will make short work of those, I am sure. A fresh container of cocoa mix is in the cupboard thanks to the powdered milk – the girls will love that. Me? I love the honey in my tea and the fresh eggs.

Let the baking begin!