Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lots of little, colorful distractions

What I've been making

Experimenting with using leftover yarn tails to embellish felted wool dryer balls. Kinda addictive... it has the potential for never wasting any wool. And I love that it preserves the beauty of the dyeing.

 More bottle cozies...

A neighbor liked our beer/cider cozies so much, I had to make him one. The originals were knit in sock weight held double, but it worked well with a light worsted weight yarn, too.

 And this. Keeping it FUNctional.

I made a baby sweater for a client who wanted to knit for her first great-grandchild, but had difficulty with learning to knit or crochet. It was a good excuse to make something cute, and to try out this pattern! (Flax Light; yarn is Berroco Sox)

Also a Tin Can Knits pattern, this Vivid blanket has been my happy place of late, using Briar Rose Fibers Joyful. I have completed the other  two green squares and reknit the border of one of the blue squares (can you see the error?).  I must admit, that stunning purple is from a skein of MadTosh dk back when I thought it was the coolest. The color is so vivid, I feel I have to include it.  I'm still mulling over how to join the squares, and I'm saving up for a skein of yellow to soften the progression from orange to yellow-green.

I'm beginning to see why some people become fixated on rainbows in their knitting. It's just so rewarding!

I got to do a wee bit of traveling this weekend, so here's my travel knitting:

 My handspun Castro scarf. Sequence knitting really can have a great rhythm.

And not-so-surprising, another bottle cozy! This partial ball of Araucania sock yarn has been staring me down for a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring its vision to reality.

What I've been reading

Some of it's been assigned (the stuff I'm supposed to be doing), and some has been to keep me from going crazy and help me balance out the stress, but I've been enjoying some really great books lately, including the following:

  • Words That Hurt, Words That Heal. Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. Not exactly a fun read, but incredibly valuable.
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In The End. Atul Gawande.  I almost wrote a blog post all about this, but it proved to involve too much brain-exploding. I think everyone should read it; too often in my line of work, I encounter families and individuals who face all kinds of anxiety and angst because they are ignorant of the fact that we all die, and more and more of us decline before we do so. 
  • Going Solo. Roald Dahl. I'm just getting into this, but I'm not surprised that I'm easily becoming hooked. This is the light, entertaining bit. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

We interrupt our regular program

Oh. Hey.

Yeah, I've been a bit buried in work for harp therapy certification. So my knit socks for May and June are languishing, unfinished. And I'm okay with that. Maybe I'll catch up some day. For now, I want to share some things with you that don't have to do with knitting.

A week ago I got to play for a labyrinth walk, which is a form of walking meditation. Just that morning, the massacre at Pulse in Orlando had occurred, and it felt only right to be coming together for prayer and meditation as we each processed what had happened.

At work, we had just celebrated Pride month for the first time at our facility, a little shindig aimed at the staff. I have worked at several nursing homes, each stating that it is inclusive of people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity (not to mention everything else), but this was the first place where I really felt that was backed up with action, even though we still see ourselves as growing into the role. It is not enough to say on paper that you are welcoming to LGBT+ people as a healthcare facility; there is a great need for education and affirmation to really get the message out to a diverse group of people who form that facility. As we work to become better at caring for minorities such as LGBT+ people, we will become better carers for all people. 

At my facility, we chose to celebrate the inherent value of each individual through a series of affirmations, as well as bios of famous people in the LGBT community. It's a start, but there is so much more work to do. I love that the affirmations gave us a lens to frame our approach to the people we care for. 

This is something that needs to be embraced, not just for transgender people, queer people, straight people or gay people, but for people of different cultural and religious backgrounds as well--you know, the list goes on and on.  It's not an issue of political correctness that we can easily dismiss; it's a matter of the essential work of valuing each person. This is what I believe is required of each of us. If a person of a different religious or political or sexual persuasion is placed under my care, I still am obligated to respect and honor this person and do everything in my power to treat them fairly and graciously; I don't get to dismiss them as too 'politically correct' for me to take the time to treat with decency. That would be called abuse or neglect. Perhaps it's a little easier in the nursing home than it is on the street or online, but it still holds true. That's the standard; that's the incredibly high ideal that will guide us to be better people, and it is the only way to live.