Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What is this place?

Many people think January first is the beginning of the new year—and in a way, it is. But a beginning is a lot more than just a number, it’s a whole new mind-state—it’s a period of time when something ends, and something new begins—when an old way of doing things just doesn’t fit anymore, and a new way is born.

These past few years I’ve been feeling something new begin each March—around the time of my birthday and the spring solstice. It’s the time of year when life is beginning to sprout all around us; the cool winter chill is becoming part of the past; people are spending more time outdoors and the sun is shining more often. It’s the time of year I begin to feel more alive.

This year, with the change of weather, and the coming of my 29th year, also came that feeling of something new being born. But what? Some parts of my life weren’t feeling right… something had to change. Something *I do* had to change, but what?

• I try to eat healthy.
• I practice yoga.
• I ride my bicycle.
• I knit & crochet.
• I design, write and tech edit knit and crochet patterns.
I’m sure it goes on.

Looking at that list I can’t help but wonder WHAT feels different? What is it about what I do that is becoming a way of the past, and what is being born?

Eating healthy, practicing yoga and riding my bike are some things that have been born in recent years, and they still feel right. I’ve been knitting and crocheting in some form my whole life, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I began designing.

When I began practicing yoga, in 2008, there was something that didn’t *feel* right as I continued to knit, crochet and design the way I always had. There was a clash between what I felt when practicing yoga, and what I felt while knitting and crocheting. It’s taken me quite a while to figure out why that clash existed and what to do about it.

(Note: For ease and maintaining a flow in writing, I’m going to continue speaking of “knitting, crocheting and designing” as just knitting… but I mean them all.)

The trend seemed to be that if I was practicing yoga, I was not knitting. If I was knitting, I was not practicing yoga. The clash bothered me, and because these are things I enjoy whole-heartedly, the tear between them broke my heart. There are so many people, many whom I’ve met online, who seem to have no trouble bridging the gap between knitting and yoga, but for some reason, I was having the hardest time.

This March I found a new yoga studio and continued my 3-times a week practice, but this time I also continued knitting. To much of my surprise, I was able to clearly see what was holding me back from knitting while I was in the gentle, honest, peaceful, calm, serene state of mind that I’m in after a yoga session. It’s that while I was knitting I wasn’t being honest with myself about what I was doing—I wasn’t doing it for me. I was trying to please others through my knitting, in some way or another.

I’m surprised how crystal clear it really is to me now, and I’m AMAZED at how much I must have been in denial about it before to not see the clues. For example: I’m a knitwear designer, and I use my given name with my designs, however in real life, my friends, yoga instructors, reiki teacher, and anyone with whom I develop a spiritual connection call me sam. Why is it that I still continue to use my given, legal name with my knitwear designs, when in my heart I *feel* more like sam? That question has often baffled me & I never really came up with anything to justify it that felt right—so I stopped questioning it.

I think I kept the division because I didn’t want to feel vulnerable. Sam is the soft side of myself and my given name is the name I’ve grown up with all my life—the name that people I’ve known forever identify me as—it’s who they think *I* am. But I don’t know who *I* am, so I don’t know how anyone else can know who I am when I don’t.

Sam is the part of me that accepts that she doesn’t know who she is. When I think of myself by my given name, I identify myself as the person I’ve been my whole life—the person who would run around the yard with her sister, making mud pies and crocheting with cheap acrylic yarns making doll clothes… There is a lot associated with my given name—lots of mostly-good memories that I don’t necessarily feel the need to let go of, most of the time. However, when I need to be true to my Self, and to know more who *I* am, I need to let go of the past, let go of the future, and let go of anything and everything that *I* think of myself as—that’s sam—generally written sAM.

Now, as sAM, I’m beginning something new with knitting—something true and honest to how I feel I should be living my knitting life.

I have no regrets to how I’ve worked with knitting in the past, and I’ll continue to display my old work and keep it available to all those who want it. I’m just also beginning something new—something that doesn’t negate the work associated with my given name, but rather just adds to it, in a new way.

How will it be different?
It will be a growing, changing thing—I’m not going to stick to anyone’s expectation, not even my own. There will be no expectations, or restrictions—only trust, honesty and doing what feels right in my heart at that time.

That being said, I’d like to share a little about what feels right to me in the knitting world, right now—the growing eco-friendly lines of yarn. I love seeing yarn companies reach out toward bettering the world, even if it's in the tiniest way.

I love the variety, and different ranges of eco-friendly yarns. The variety feels right—it’s a balance. While I love the idea of existing in a pure world, where everything is pure and 100% organic, and just exactly as nature intended, I also realize that we’re part of what nature intended, so life doesn’t *always* have to be 100% pure, all the time—that even the tiniest step toward helping to better the earth is better than not stepping out onto the ledge at all. Everything begins with a first step. At least, that’s how I feel right now… as I learn more about eco-friendly yarns that perspective may change. If there’s one thing in life we can count on—it’s change.

If you’re still reading, I thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart for reading through all that background info… I had to get it out there, even if just to get it off my chest, and so I know that by reading it you’ll know that I have no expectations for what is to happen here. I have no expectations, and I’m not anticipating any expectations coming from others. I’ll treat this as a knitting home—a peaceful, honest and loving place to share knitting, crocheting and designing with the world.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Researching Yarns

I'm planning about 6 designs to be published for Fall 2010. They're in the works…

Today I contacted the yarn companies for the yarns I've selected for these projects hoping they can provide more information about the eco-friendliness of the yarns.

I have some categories for the Caterpillar designs that I asked them to relate to their yarn and perhaps explain how their yarn fits into each category they choose.

I'm eagerly awaiting their responses so I can begin working on the yarns i use page in further detail.

Friday, March 19, 2010

planting seeds

This is just the beginning… there's lots left to do. But with every long journey comes a first step.