Saturday, 28 January, 2023

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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An update from the ether

My website went down briefly today due to a conflict between PHP and my theme, which I chose back in 2012 and hasn’t been updated in years, so I spent a little time today choosing a new theme, making it work properly (seriously, who decided there should be codes to make words break wherever???), and customizing it a little bit, and as a result, I’ve come face to face with how much I miss By the Fibreside. Because I do, very very much! I’m still not quite in a position to resume recording. Even if I didn’t have logistical issues (I’m currently fighting with my internet service provider about the fact that I can’t even send a picture over Google Chat when connected to wifi at home – since October!) and time issues (somehow I ended up with two volunteer gigs as well as all my contract and self-employment work), I’m still not knitting or spinning as much as I would like, and the last thing I want to do is start recording again and just broken-record myself every two or four weeks telling you how little I’ve created. One of the things I’m focusing on for 2022 is to change that, and once I’ve settled into a better creating schedule, along with enough energy and spare time to devote to the podcast, I’ll be back.

2021 has definitely been a ride, and I hope you’ve been able to make yours the best it could be. We’ve been fairly insulated from active COVID outbreaks in this area, but we’re still being very cautious and haven’t been traveling. The only time I left the peninsula in 2021 was to attend the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl at Fibreworks in Madeira Park, which marked exactly a year since the last time I left, for the same reason! I had a lovely time taking three days for myself to just spin, and I have to thank Alexis, Nell, and everyone involved in Fibreworks for the opportunity (they have converted to a non-profit format, and are currently running a GoFundMe to help them get through the winter and into the next grant application cycle, if you are so inclined to donate). I’ve been teaching Master Spinner Levels 1 and 2 by distance for Canadian students, and I’m contracted to teach Level 4 at Fibre Week in Olds in 2022, so cross everything that it will go ahead! And I’ve slowly been creating. This year I finished a couple shawls, took knitting with me on hikes with our niece, who moved here in the summer, and have slowly been working at some larger projects, both spinning and knitting. I took on a spinning contract (convert three raw llama blankets into yarn), which has been slowly progressing. I am very grateful for my drum carder, let me tell you! And I’ve made peace with my Lendrum, which just needed some gravity and spinning wheel oil to get the right spot lubricated and stop making all those horrid noises.

On the brain side, my mental health continues to be interesting. I’ve had some periods where I feel almost normal, then there are times like last night when I have a panic attack for no concrete reason. The good news is that we now have a family doctor, and she’s open to looking into more formal diagnosis of what my brain is doing and how to mitigate it. And since I know fibre arts is a big part of helping my brain manage/cope/explore, that’s another reason why I am using 2022 to get into a better creating schedule. I’ve been working through my friend Lonna’s journaling/fibre arts book More Beautiful Than Before, and have felted up my bowl, but haven’t quite been able to bring myself to cut it yet. Yesterday’s panic attack has given me some impetus to do that this weekend, so that’s something!

Hoshi is now seven and has different opinions this year about being outside in the wet and windy winter weather – and it’s been exceedingly wet and windy! He much prefers the easy chair next to the wood stove over being outside these days. We’ve been less affected by flooding and such on this part of the coast, though mail and supply chain delays are definitely a thing, as well as an amazing amount of precipitation. Randy and I have been married for just over a year, and our business is flourishing. We’re both really looking forward to taking time off over Christmas and resting. For him, that means reading, stretching, and getting me to step on his tight muscles; for me that means reading, spinning, and knitting; and for both of us, that means getting a few loads of firewood into the woodshed when we can choose decent weather, instead of when we run short on wood and have to go no matter what the weather is doing!

So that’s an update from the depths of the ether where I’ve been the last year and a bit. I miss you all very much, and I’ll be back when I can! In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season, and may you get all the fibrey gifts you dream of under your tree!

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