Monday, October 25, 2010

Slow Bread

Last week my eldest daughter came over to learn how to make slow bread. This is bread made the old-fashioned way with traditional yeast and stoneground flour. No improvers in the yeast, no additives and no machinery. She learned to knead the dough like a professional in 60 seconds flat. perhaps its in the genes. I learned from my grandmother, who taught my mother, who made bread with me. Now I have taught my daughter. Little grand-daughter was also there, but she is only 3 months old, so it will be a while before she is kneading bread.

The final results are shown below. Didn't she do a great job!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knitcamp = happiness (yes, really)

Speaking personally, there has been a great deal of positiveness to come out of the whole Knitcamp debacle which may not have otherwise happened. The knitting community has come together in a wonderful way.

I have read so many messages, blogposts and Ravelry posts about the loving and caring words and actions of those hurt by the event, and those who were not involved directly but wanted to help. I have seen people set up completely unsolicited funds for those who have lost out financially. I have seen numerous posts offering helpful advice to those needing support legally.
During Knitcamp I saw many people sticking their necks out to give practical help and advice to those caught up in the whole whirlwind of disorganisation, in the face of criticism and other nastiness from 'friends' of the organiser. I have read and heard first hand from the many volounteers who spent their entire time making sure that others had a great experience.

I have been inspired by the dignity, courage and self-sacrifice of many people, too many to list.

Personally, I have discovered who my real friends are, and made many, many new ones. I have 2 knitting groups in Coventry to go to who are peopled by lovely, warm, friendly knitters. I have got to know many more people on Ravelry and learned how to Twitter.

Thank you, all of you.
In other news, Mr Sunflower has made me a top whorl spindle. Karen kindly let me try hers a few weeks ago as I had only previously used bottom whorl spindles. I don't prefer either, but its nice to be able to use both types. This is 40g and made from Sycamore.
On the work front I have now sold the last Sunflower Swift in existence, so back to the workshop on Monday!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Penguins and Baking

On Ravelry recently, there has been an outbreak of penguins. Crocheted penguins. There are 5 of them acting as moderators on the British Banter group, plus many more who are members of the group. I cannot crochet properly yet. Jane has patiently taught me the basics, but I need more help I think. So here is my penguin friend - a stuffed penguin. He is a very Posh penguin and has his own fisherman to catch his fish for him. See the little silver fish in the fisherman's hand???
The other news is that I have been touching up my breadmaking skills. I make bread the old-fashioned way, no breadmakers in this house : )
My eldest daughter is coming over next week to learn the finer points of breadmaking, so I thought I had better make sure I can turn out a good loaf everytime or it could be really embarassing LOL

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Facing The Pain

Sometimes people can hurt us. Sometimes through sexual, emotional or physical abuse. Sometimes through a betrayal of our trust and friendship, which is also a form of abuse. Sometimes by proxy by condoning the actions of another who has hurt or abused us, usually by silence or trying to silence us when we protest. The list could go on and on and incorporate many variations and combinations of this hurting.

Anyone who has been through counselling knows that at some point you are confronted by the pain of knowledge. The enormity and truth of what has happened to you through the words and actions of another person comes home with the force of a knife in the ribs. The pain is incredible.

Some people choose to back away from the truth through denial. They continue a relationship with the abuser or false friend. They pretend nothing has happened because they cannot deal with the pain. Other people turn on the councillor or messenger and direct their anger towards them because they are not able to confront reality and deal with the pain. It is easier to blame the persons who remind them of the pain and try to silence them than it is to confront the abuser to change the status quo or sever their links with the false friend. Some people abuse themselves with drink, drugs and addictions of many kinds to anaesthetise the pain.

All these strategies do not deal with the pain. They postpone or misdirect the pain, but it continues to gnaw away inside, slowly destroying themselves and their loved one, and ruining any chance of healthy relationships.

Facing the pain and embracing it is not masochistic. It is the only way to heal. It is like grasping the nettle. It has been liken to amputation and it is a true analogy. The person who can hurt us so deeply is often part of our lives, through blood or friendship. The experience goes deeply within us. Sometime we have to lose part of ourselves in order to survive. It is like a death. If we try to avoid grief, we suffer more. If we immerse ourselves in grief then we heal more quickly. We never go back to the person we were before, but we become a stronger and more complete person.

In my experience, people who deflect or deny abuse and hurt, people who take their hurt out on themselves and others, do not heal.