First, I want to thank and gratefully acknowledge all the friends from my virtual community who have responded and helped me along in my quest to obtain my permaculture design certification. As you can see, I am getting very close to the goal, in fact it is definitely in sight. I was able to send my deposit through Paypal yesterday holding my place, and on Monday, after I had launched my quest, learned that the price had been reduced by attaining 15 enrolled students! I am very heartened to think that this dearly-held goal is close to achievable! Special thanks to those who helped to spread the word for me:)
I have much more to be thankful for, in the dear friendship of fellow fiber-loving earth goddess, Ruinwin. Way back a year and a half ago, she and I decided to enter into a gift-it-forward exchange, and she recently sent me her package... which led me to think this gifting forward will need to continue for me to attempt to thank her for her largess. The first gift in my package was this lush and lovely cowl, which is she describes in greater detail here.
This lovely item is called the Athena Smoke Ring, in honor of the goddess of hunting and spinning! And a few dozen other things. It was so warm and snuggly, that I was afraid I would need to tuck it away until next fall.... the weather goddess has provided me with an opportunity to make good use of my new cowl today, as the blustery March winds have brought wind, rain, sleet, hail, and even thunderclaps. As we say here in the Sierras, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes"!
Of course a warm and wonderful cowl would certainly have been exchange enough, but Ruinwin knows that I like to consult with my tarot regularly, and crocheted a beautiful bag, decorated with a beaded and cross-stitched motif, and buttoned up with a rune button, to hold my cards, or whatever else sacred I felt a need to tuck into a safe place.
This bag is truly a masterpiece! She included some beautiful Celtic knotwork, which is a sweet tribute to the heritage I carry from my father's side of the family, and the rune is pronounced 'geh', and means "gift, partnership, marriage", basically all things good. I have a hand-painted set of runes that I made back in days of some of my deepest poverty, by foraging small pure white quartz pebbles from the creek near my high country home and painting the letters with red fingernail polish (which I used to wear when I was in a sparkley mood). You can see that set, and the little crocheted drawstring bag I made to keep them in, at this post from earlier in the year.
Ruinwin also sent along a sweet knitted washcloth with lovely knitted-around edging, and I am hoping to coax her into revealing the brand of Egyptian cotton and the source of the pattern in the comments, since I have already been using it with the rose-lavender Faerie-Made soap she sent, and want to add an edging from now on to my favorite Grandma's washcloth pattern. Those who have been with me a long while probably realize I must have made somewhere over 50 washcloths in my life time (no, probably more) but this is my new favorite and I will probably take the time to add edgings from now on, as I like the feel it gives to the product-in-use.
Feeling very pampered indeed, I was surprised that there was also the gift of yarn for my stash in the box.... the yarns didn't wait long to find their inspiration... I had three meetings to attend last week and got all the way through the garter stitch portion and now am on the border of the Old Shale shoulder shawl by Evelyn Clark featured in Interweave's latest compilation, called Knitting Traditions 2010. This special edition is chock-full of traditional styles including lace knitting and mittens, and I will treasure it!
The yarn is Araucania Ranco (I think, I can't locate the tag!), a fingering weight blend of wool/nylon that was probably originally designed with sock knitters in mind, but the colors were so rich that I knew I needed to wear it around my shoulders instead of hidden inside my shoes. I had also just picked up the magazine while teaching at the LYS, and wanted to make myself this shawl... it certainly helped that Ulmus had gotten to the border and has to stay home for any attention, since the border requires more concentration than I can give while listening in at meetings:) Ruinwin also sent an un-named yarn that is deep maroony-purple, with tiny sequins, which will be added to the border of Old Shale when I run out of reds. Both shawls should be finished fairly quickly, and worn throughout the spring and on summer nights.
As I promised, this Sunday will be the beginning of a series of Sustainable Sunday posts, so hope that spring weather returns here in time for Easter, and come on back to see what I have in store for you!