March 2023 Round-Up: I Mean, Life

March…. oh my word, March.

I esplain. … no, is too much. I sum up.

Lots of things happened, many of which will get their own blog post later. But I’ll sum up for you, so you know I’m ok, and that… yeah… a new month is about to start… and I’m alive. Sheesh!


I’ll start with this heading, because my month started in the middle of a class I was asked to help teach. It was all about knitting with qiviut. The head teacher, Brenda, is an immensely talented inuk knitter, and it was so kind of her to ask me to teach with her. Here’s Brenda and myself at the end of the class, wearing each others’ knitting. The entrelac headband is Brenda’s design; the cowl I knit by slightly adapting the Cowal :: Cowl pattern by Kate Davies.

Experienced knitters were invited to apply to take the class, and they came with their own skills and ideas about what they wanted to make. Our job was to shepherd, to teach a few newbies, and to help with new skills. By the end we had a truly impressive array of finished projects.

Several knitters were interested in brioche, so I challenged myself to try two-colour brioche for the first time. I made the Helix Brioche hat, a free pattern by Jonatan Tollow. I made plenty of mistakes, but I think it turned out pretty nice. The teachers’ finished items were contributed to the draw at the end of the class; the students got to take their knits home. It was an extremely generous program, and very well run by the beautiful ladies at Ilitaqsiniq.


I’ve already shared about the Shakerag top that I whipped up early this month. It was extremely satisfying to wear it to the Silk Weaving Studio on Granville Island in Vancouver. They were very kind and made much of my work, which was excessively gratifying.

I finally finished the Weel Riggit sweater. I haven’t had a chance for a proper photo shoot yet, but here’s a quick selfie.

I have this thing going on right now where I really want to use up my yarn. Shakerag was perfect; I used every inch of each colour as I went. I liked that feeling, so when Weel Riggit was finished, I kept going.

I finished the Weel Riggit hat that had been a swatch for the sweater, complete with a tribble made from a racoon tail. Then I whipped up another hat that I gave away before I got a chance to photograph it, and I’ve got dissonance mitts on the needles. There’s still a good bit left.

This is even more the case with the knitting I brought with me to Vancouver. I only brought the superfine merino yarn that I finished knitting last month. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, was urging me to make one of Andrea Mowry‘s library of “Shift” patterns. The yarn would have been too vulnerable for a Shifty sweater, even if there were enough. The yarn would have been perfect for a large Nightshift shawl, but I wear large shawls so little. I wanted something I would wear. So I made the Shift cowl.

Then, using the cowl as a gauge, I whipped up a hat.

Now I have mitts on the needles, knit at a smaller gauge for durability. (Thanks for the idea, Greta!)

And I still have a good bit of yarn left. I’m frankly unsure what to do about this. Get some neutral sock yarn and put it in a yoke? But then I’d have even more leftovers! Yeesh. Maybe if I double it, I can use it together with the rest of the Weel Riggit leftovers? Or maybe more of that brioche stuff the kids are all doing these days? You see my problem.

I just have so much leftovers in my stash. I don’t want to put more really beautiful handspun yarn in there. I should probably get over it. It’s just making me itch.


I am so excited to have a new-to-me sewing machine that works beautifully! Thanks to Lorraine for finding it for me and snapping it back to functionality, and thanks to myself for buying it a new power cord. I finally gave it a go this month, and it works a treat. You’ve already seen the aprons I made with it:

I also finally assembled the quilt backing for Dooner’s quilt, and took the time to baste it.

I now have a fully basted, ready-to-quilt quilt, and… Erm… I’m stalled a bit. Now that I’m back from Vancouver, I should think about that. My choices are: buy a walking foot and/or free motion foot for my new machine, or put in the effort to get my old machine happy enough to use its walking foot. Or, maybe I can talk my new best friend Pam into letting me move in for a bit and using one of her machines. Dooner’s birthday is in just a few weeks… I wanted to have it done by then… eeeeghh…..

I did also pull out my EPP project and sewed a few seams on it. It got me to a nice stopping point, with the first set of units finally finished. It was nice to remember that I really do enjoy EPP. It’s just one of those not-enough-hours-in-the-day problems.

EPP is also easy on my hands. I’ve started to worry a little about my hands. Ever since I started sitting down for three hours of an evening to knit at the qiviut class, my right thumb has started to get achy. If I keep going, my right index finger starts to feel it, and then my left thumb. After having so much knitting time in Vancouver, especially in cars and on planes, it’s pretty aggravated, and aches even when I’m not using it. I need to be more careful.


I didn’t do a ton of spinning this month. I did finish another skein of qiviut blend – this time about 15% qiviut and 85% of a beautiful BFL. I was really intentional about keeping the twist level as low as I could stand.

At Fibers West, I bought the rest of the wool for this qiviut blending project – detailing my acquisitions is another blog post I should write – but before I spin anymore, I should really knit up one of the squares and see if the yarn I’m making so far is working for me!

I did do a few more Year of Colour samples. Several are for the next episode, coming out in a week, but I did spin up a couple of colour wheels. I talk all about them in the latest Wool Circle episode. That was stealth-dropped as a public episode, because it features the work of so many awesome artists whose work we wanted to feature. You can watch it for free here.

The Big Treat of my trip was to take a class at Fibres West. There I finally got to meet the indefatigable Diana Twiss, who is a truly excellent educator. I came away from that class with some beautiful batts and rolags, and a lot more confidence to practice on these tools, to the end of sharing about them more effectively on the Wool Circle. I can share more about the class in another post if you are interested.

Of course, I came home from Vancouver with a supported spindle. Of course that happened. That surprised nobody. Another thing you’ll have to hear more about later. There was swearing.


What more should I tell you? Time fails me to describe in detail Stringbean’s first time having her hair dyed:

MiniMighty receiving an award at school:

Dooner’s preschool closing for lack of staff, and the beautiful teachers there who have meant more to us and to her than we can say:

Playing with Lino printing, which reminds me so deeply of my great-grandmother:

The cakes I made, which include what may be the last that I sell:

The new skidoo Jared bought:

The new church program we’ve been haltingly trying to start:

And of course, travel.

And this all happened on top of some deeply traumatic and anxiety-inducing family stuff, that I can’t talk about at all, and that is going to be processed for quite some time.

But going to Vancouver was really good for me. It seems obvious looking at this now, but I was really overloaded, and really couldn’t see it. My boundaries had been eroded badly. Things were not working, and I honestly didn’t know why. Crafting has helped me keep some hold of myself, but going away helped me feel more integrated in my person again. It’ll take longer to stand my ground and re-form myself back at home.

The early spring is sometimes hard on those of us who struggle with mental illness, and this January through March has given us some particularly hard circumstances to navigate. But our family has coped. We have lots of good things to look forward to as the days get warmer and longer.

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