Like almost everyone else I know, I have a busy life–sometimes it feels like I never sit down. And I don’t get to visit my local businesses like I mean to. We have the cutest knitting shop in Dripping Springs called “The Sated Sheep”. It’s been open for a year now right next to the UPS store on Mercer and I drive by it all the time. I intended to stop in just to see it, but I haven’t picked up a knitting needle, haven’t even thought about knitting, for at least 15 years. Until January, that is.
Suddenly I am almost overwhelmed buy the need to knit. I wandered through the shop fondling creamy Angora, fluffy blue Alpaca wool, variegated green silks, and a sense of calm and peace settled into my mind I haven’t felt in at least a year.
I’m not even a good knitter and I have only the most basic scarf pattern in mind but I bought five skeins in yummy colors and a couple of circular needles in assorted hopeful sizes. As I paid for my goodies I had an enlightening conversation with Allison the shops owner.
“My business exploded since the election,” she said. “Families are fighting and everyone seems so stressed out. I think people feel the need to do homey, comforting things right now. A client come in yesterday complaining of a recurring bout of PTSD. ‘ Quick!’ My client said, ‘I need to knit a blanket ASAP!’”
Sometimes this life feels like we’re trying to stand up in a canoe. We fight to stay upright and balanced while the water rushes around us, rocking our boat. On instinct we search for ways to stabilize our emotions. So we seize opportunitiees to sit still for a while, to run soft, colorful yarn through our fingers, to make something from nothing. We go back to the things that calmed our grandmothers and grandfathers. We build things from wood, Or bake cookies. Or make bread. Or knit. And somehow, through these small acts, we feel better.
The Sated Sheep posted this fun item on Facebook:
“KNIT ALONG ALERT! Lambkins! Six of us (so far) are going to ROCK knitting Nancy’s Vest beginning on February 24th. We’ll meet from 4-6pm to do the tubular cast on together and then every two weeks to get it DONE because it’s like wearing a soft hug!
If you’d like to join us, go to: http://www.thesatedsheep.com/schedule and advance the calendar to the 24th to register. There is NO FEE for this, it’s totally about us doing this together and helping each other.
You will need to come in and get the pattern and select 4 or 5 hanks of Angelic by SundayKnits. You’ll want to start your swatch NOW though so you know if you’ll need a 3, 4, or 5 needle (it’s written for a 4, but people knit differently and gauge is IMPORTANT because this is a garment). Pattern, yarn, WASTE YARN in a CONTRAST color (just a little of it for the cast on), needles, a couple of stitch markers and 7 5/8″ buttons are all you need! Bring a great sense of adventure too! We love you!”
Photo from: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/why-like-knit
So long 2016! So many of us are happy to see it go. But you may not know the Chinese New Year began at the end of December, so it’s in full swing this month. Chinese Astrology scholars called last year ‘The Year of the Monkey’, and I think the wacky antics of last year wore us all out. The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle and each year in the cycle relates to a different animal sign: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (or Cat), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (or Goat), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig, in that order. Each animal sign imparts a different quality to the year, so the year you were born gave its unique quality to you. Ask any teacher—each school year has a different quality.
Monkey years are historically witty, busy, and full of shocks and surprises, and no one can argue 2016 was a year of shocks and surprises. 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster and, sorry, it might be as challenging as 2016. But in a different way. The Year of the Rooster tolerates no middle ground and no risky ventures. Be brave and practical and stick to proven paths, techniques and methods. Loyalty, commitment, hard work, family values, and polished appearances are some positive Rooster characteristics. But Roosters are also scrappers. They’re territorial and never back down from a fight, so be immaculately clear in your intentions and prepared to fight for what you believe in. Yes, expect a few battles in 2017.
So just how do we navigate 2017? All Chinese animal signs can utilize Rooster traits. Pay close attention to home and family, encouraging standing up for what you know is right. It isn’t the time, however. To act out in a rebellious, destructive way. If a chance to do the right thing comes your way, grab it and fight for the truth. But don’t go looking for trouble or a cause to fight for if it isn’t actually your cause. Try not to fight for the sake of a fight just because you are in the mood for a battle. Stick close to your “circle of influence” or as Stephen R Covey illustrates in his book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Successful People’, “Things I Can Control”.
2017 will be the best year for Dragons, Roosters, Oxen, and Snakes. These signs are committed, dedicated to a cause, and traditionally fight for high ideals. They are constant, possess unfailing determination and are the most intellectual signs of the Chinese Zodiac. It’ll be a relatively good year for Tigers and Rats, a mixed year for Pigs, Goats and Monkeys, and a difficult year for Dogs, Rabbits (or cats), and Horses. The Rabbit and the Rooster should try to steer clear of each other or be prepared for some explosive arguments.
Find your Chinese sign and predictions here: