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But what are you

Race was not something I was taught to see. I was not taught to see a persons skin colour but their heart, in front of me. Their worth. Their value. Those could not be found in how much pigment their skin held. Those could not be found in the weight or their height, the size of their bank account or house, where they went to school or where they worked. 

My parents believed in a persons heart and soul. My brother and I were told to not judge based on skin or hair, eyes or mouth. The God they pray to. The partner they lay with. We were taught the most basic of religious preaching. To love. To love your neighbour. Even if he has AIDS. Even if she’s gay. Even if they’re black chinese muslim first nations. 

When I moved to Toronto I was shocked by the number of times I was asked, but what ARE you? What the fuck does that even mean? I’m a woman. Are you blind? No, what are you? 

What are you? 

What are you so I can judge you and classify you and put you in a labelled box because I can’t live in a multicultural international metropolis without putting every person I meet into an ethnic category. I need ethnic order and you need a label so I can understand where you stand on the hierarchy that exists only in my mind. 

And I responded with Human and they didn’t know how to process it. They didn’t understand when I responded, again to their What are you? with Canadian. They didn’t understand why I didn’t live in a white neighbourhood with all the other whites. They didn’t understand why I refused to put myself into their classification, why I refused to accept their ready made labels to stick on my forehead: straight, woman, white – irish, scottish, First Nations.

They couldn’t understand why I didn’t step into their ethnic little box and why I didn’t answer their question. They didn’t understand why I refused to let them label me.  

Because I didn’t see their imaginary labels.

(Originally written in 2015)

Knits, I’ve made a few…

I have been making more of an effort to get photos of knits I’ve completed and posting them, rather, scheduling them to my fb page. Thus far I’ve been good. A picture/item a day, which I try to also simultaneously share on Instagram, and I’m a few weeks scheduled in advance, with more knits on the way, both creation wise and photo wide. I’ve also reshot (finally!) some items that were in the shop (those bloody reds!!). So it’s only fitting that I start getting back to posting knits here, too. I believe it’s been several years since I’ve posted knits here so let me catch the blog up to speed on the ones already posted. 

First up is a baby hat in a thick and soft dusty rose yarn. I used the lace ending pattern for a baby sweater (posted later) and just went with that for an alternating pattern. I was winging it but it turned out pretty well, I think. 

Next is a scarf made with a hand dyed tencel yarn from Yarntopia Treasures from New Mexico. Her yarns are to die for! This scarf has a pivot edging on both sides and the colours are gorgeous. Oranges, greens, and yellows. 

Just a standard grey scarf but I love how thick and cuddly it feels on the neck. And it goes with everything. Grey is so classic. 

Another hand dyed yarn from Yarntopia Treasures. These colours are just stunning. Greens, blues, and purples. I believe this is bamboo tencel mix. 

A newborn unisex baby sweater with one wooden button with a fern leaf burned onto it. The button comes from Brickbubble and her buttons are so adorable. 

This yarn was sent to me from my friend Kare at Intellexual Design Custom Footwear & Accessories. It’s a black cotton yarn but there’s this amazing metallic thread woven into the yarn and it changes colour. 

The colour of the metallic strand is actually reminiscent of the rainbow in a soap bubble. Green/pink/purple. 

Here’s that baby sweater I was telling you about. So this can be a matching set with the baby hat but that wasn’t my intention when I knit them. This sweater has more Bruckbubble buttons…

Bruckbubble buttons with little baby chicks burned onto them. Aren’t they adorable??

My friend Aimee at The Little Bird Designs needed some yoga socks in hot pink! I was happy to oblige. I knit them in a ribbed stitch because a little birdie (heh) told me she has thin feet. Rubbed stitch is better at hugging you so if you need to make it a better fit, go with the rubbed. 

These mittens were part of an idea that didn’t work out but I’m not done trying to the idea. The pattern is actually just a repeat pattern used in a baby sweater but I thought it was pretty for these Snow White mittens. This is the Downton Abbey Lady Mary yarn. It’s got a strand of metallic silver woven through it but it’s extremely hard to capture that in a photo. 

Here’s that same patter but in a purple hat. This yarn is so soft that it would be perfect as a chemo cap. 

I had just finished knitting a hat with this vibrant yarn but only had the one skein. I hate to waste yarn so I turned the remainder into a coffee cozy. I used to make these all the time (I once made 35 for a group of friends in Europe) and love using a yarn that changes colour. 

This scarf was already in the shop but had to be reshot. Red is the most difficult colour to shoot. I love these scarves and am going through my UFO (unfinished objects) bags and found quite a few of them. Apparently I didn’t feel like weaving in the ends of a number of scarves. (Insert eye roll)


I knit this rainbow baby blanket for a lady who is having a rainbow baby. I’d never heard the term until a few years ago. A rainbow baby is a baby born after the loss of a baby. Very sweet and I’m honoured she’s asked me to make it for her. 

More hand dyed bamboo yarn. This baby sweater, also with wooden Brickbubble buttons, also using that repeat pattern we saw in the mittens and hat, is for a dear friends daughter. I’m reading a pair of arm warmers and a sweater for a custom made leather belt. Check out @leoninestudios on Instagram or http://www.leoninestudios.com – she just came back from working at the Invictus Games!

I was asked by a customer if non-slip slippers for tots was possible so I made my standard newborn to 3 months booties, and then a pair of booties for a 6-18 month old. So sweet!

I took a barre Pilates class and these were for the instructor. Her favourite colour is orange (and her class is hella hard! Pilates by Bernadette in Pickering). 

This past winter I made so many Star Wars hats it was pretty crazy. The best part was customizing the saying. 


Here are the arm warmers I made for my friend in exchange for the leather belt. 


And today these were scheduled. This blue is just gorgeous! Tardis blue fingerless gloves for all the whovians. 

Stop Sharing Those Autism Updates/Memes

World autism day is in two weeks. It may or may not make it onto a meme, and you’ll be asked to share for at least one hour, and I’ll know who my true friends are by those who also post this update for an hour. 
STOP!!! Good god, could you get any more passive aggressive?! Great way to guilt someone into posting a stupid meme or update that no one, other than those who share to ease their own guilt or because they have really huge hearts, reads or cares about.
Look. Leaving a status update up for an hour, supporting the understanding and compassion about what life is like with autism is all fine and dandy, but it changes nothing about the mindset of the ignorant. In fact, they’re not even reading those memes or updates. Neither am I and my kid has autism and my friends kids have autism. I hate those updates and I loathe those memes. They’re a waste of my time and yours. No one is reading them and those who post them are doing so with good intentions but it’s not necessary. 
Autism is great, crappy, horrible, awkward, uncomfortable, joyous, shitty, depressing, soul sucking, awe inspiring, amazing to live with. But a status update won’t change the minds of people who are shitty and without compassion (the people who would still, in this day, call my kid a retard). And it also doesn’t show how compassionate, supportive, and understanding you actually are. All those updates are? A means to make you feel shitty. If you don’t share it then you obviously are horrible. 

You’re not horrible. You don’t need to share. No one is even reading it. 

If you want to change their minds, or if you want to be supportive, then share interesting videos about what life is like with autism. Share stories about the amazing things people with autism do. Share the horror stories that people with autism live with. Donate money to a local autism support centre or school and tell people about the great things that charity is doing (heck – tell people about that great charity without donating). Tell your friend who has a loved one with autism or has autism themselves that if there’s anything they ever need that you’d love to help if you can. Tell them honestly, too, that you don’t understand their struggles, if they have any, but you’d love to help and you’d love to get to know them better. 
Sharing a status update, which probably isn’t even during autism awareness day or month (which isn’t as often as those memes and updates would have you believe) gets lost in the fold of everyone’s pictures, updates, memes, and videos. No one is paying attention and once they figure out what it is you’re saying, they’ll move on. 

If you want to share those updates and memes, go right ahead. But if you don’t see others, including autism parents, sharing it, know it’s not because we don’t care, it’s because we know they fall on deaf ears and eyes, including our own, and that that’s not the way to get a message across. Life isn’t a chain letter. Jesus won’t save a kid because the picture got so many likes and shares. Sorry. Pray and offer your services instead. It’ll be much more appreciated. 

legacies

The idea that after all our long life lived, all that we’ve seen and done, felt and heard, the relationships we have formed, broken, and people we’ve loved, it all means nothing in the end. 
The truth is, unless you bring something to the table, something that will earn you notoriety, in two generations, if that, you will be forgotten. Your children and their children will remember you. After that, there’s nothing. No one will remember the food you made, the jokes you told, the way your eyes lit up when you smiled. No one will remember how you smelled, no one will remember the sound of your laughter. No one past your grandchildren will remember your hugs. 

The adventures you’ve experienced, the stories you lived, the things you created, the dreams you followed, it all means nothing in the end. No one will remember your memories for you. No one will retell them and keep you alive. For that is how we live on. Our legacies are our stories. They live on in our friends and family. When they’re no longer told, we’re no longer alive. 
You will eventually be insignificant so you must make your now amazing. 
In the telling of their stories, we do so with love, humour, honour. When they pass and we lose them, we stop telling their stories so that we can keep those memories close to our hearts. Like little gifts. We think that if we keep them inside that they’ll be more precious and special. That they will be more meaningful to us. It’s not true, though. They will only fade that way. They will fade with us, along with our memories and stories that other people tell. 

Your people, your ancestors, your history. It matters where you come from. WHO you’ve come from. By saying it doesn’t matter you’re saying that someone’s life was insignificant. No one’s life is insignificant. They, and their legacies, are just far away from you. 

memory and memories

Time is a thief. I have memories of my childhood that are beautiful and sweet but minute details have failed me. How a lamp looked. How tall someone was. What their teeth looked like when they smiled. Details that seem unimportant are lost to me. 
Feelings we remember. We’ll never forget how something or someone made us feel. And we’ll never forget what it feels now to look back on a memory, as we remember it, as we experienced it, and as we experience it now. 

Smells can instantaneously bring back to us our forgotten memories. The sandbox in our kindergarten class. The smell of my Nana’s perfume. The smell of my grandparents property in the springtime. I remember these things and suddenly feel in awe of how amazing the universe is. 

But I feel cheated when I cannot remember, without assistance, the dimple in someone’s smile. When I can’t recall what my favourite lamp looked like. What hung on the walls above a couch. What the upholstery looked like on a favourite chair. It feels as if my brain and memory are cheating me out of a piece of my heart. These memories are insignificant in the grand scheme of things yet these minute details are the pieces of a larger puzzle. To lose those means to lose a piece of magic from my life. 
It’s tragic that you can forget something that was so beloved for so many years. It’s a reminder of how easily we forget, and how much we take for granted: memory and memories. 

The Long Game

We don’t know the long term effects of any of our new technology. Just as the inventors of penicillin didn’t originally know the long term effects. Or the telephone. Or the bomb. Or the gun. Hell, typewriters were probably frowned upon for taking away from the handwritten letter when in actual fact it made business easier, more efficient. 
We think we’re seeing the demise of humanity because we’re comparing to the past. It’s the only vantage point we have and we’re using it for “the end is nigh” campaigns. We think the world is worse off because we’re comparing it to the knowledge we have of the past and glorifying how easy, simpler, and better things were. But the truth is, there were numerous reasons to think a skirt above the ankles would bring about the ruin of society. It didn’t. Nor did women voting. Or emancipation. Or Elvis Presley’s hips. 
We have to play the long game, which is what humans are good at. As long as we keep our humanity and compassion in the process then we will survive, just as we’ve always done.