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Archive for 'Our Tribe'

Celebrating Candlemas

On February 2nd, we celebrate Candlemas,  also known as St. Brigit’s day or Imbolc-the midway marker between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
Candlemas is a celebration of light and transformation as we mark the sun’s growing strength. As the days grow longer we start to look forward to Spring and with this growing momentum, engage our own dreams, ideas and ambitions to bring them to fruition.

Candlemas has always been a special celebration in our family.
We celebrate the day as a time to start bringing all the thoughts and ideas that have come forward during the quiet, contemplative time of winter, into a period of germination. Just as the plants are starting to wake up underground; as the sap is starting to flow again through the trees;  the young animals are growing within their mothers, preparing to be born, so are our hopes and visions.

Becoming aware of Candlemas, many years ago, also led us to take a greater pause through the winter; to be sure and slow down and use that time for meditation and clear thinking, so that we are ready to grasp the strength of spring renewal and shoot forward towards our goals.

Each year we plant a Wish Garden, sometimes with close group of friends, some years as a community party, and some years, just as a family.  We usually dip candles in our own beeswax from our hives and prepare a planter filled with earth, through the day.

This evening, before we start our evening meal, we write out our wish for the year. When the boys were younger, they would draw a picture to represent their wishes.

We each dig a little hole in the pot, fold up our wishes and plant them deep within the hole, then cover the wish with a spring bulb or some seeds, and some more earth.

Then we plant our candle on top and light it, representing the returning sun warming the earth so the seeds can came forth and flourish. The wish garden sits in the middle of the table, alight, and we leave the candles burning in the planter, until they burn down completely. Then the planter stays in the kitchen where we can watch and wait and as our little plants start to sprout, coming into full growth 4-6 weeks later- for Spring Equinox.  A warm welcome to spring and it’s renewal.

  This has been a wonderful tradition to share with others….in some years we have made one large wish garden created by our community. One year we made a wish garden outdoors in a special spot on our new porperty- a way to connect to the earth with a sense of beginnings and renewals in that new place.

One of my favourite occasions was one Candlemas that we invited everyone we knew from our different social circles to come and join us. The house was full of children and conversation and laughter. We dipped candles, had a potluck meal,  and each family created their own wish garden to bring home with them.

Just before the end of the evening, all the gardens, alight,  were together in one room- a shared community wish, full of light and warmth. It was a sacred moment.

Here’s to family celebrations, beginnings, and giving our dreams room to flourish!

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Feb 2, 2013 02:07 PM | 10 Comments

A Living Crafts Wedding Story and Giveaway

We love to hear from our readers; your comments, ideas, questions, and especially stories about your finished Living Crafts projects.

I received an email from Marcia Kimpton recently, sharing her family’s wonderful story of making the Wedding Shawl from our Spring 2011 issue.

Jean and Dave: Wedding day photo by Lynn Poulin @ Lyndahkicks Photography

“When I saw the article in Living Crafts, I was inspired to create this for my son and (to-be) daughter-in-law’s wedding.  I contacted her family and her sister, who had never knit before, took on the task of doing one half.  A dear friend who is an expert knitter started the “bride’s” side  and sent it on the needles to the bride’s sister on the west coast.  She  had some help from a friend, but she knit this side almost entirely, tutoring herself with yarn store and internet help.

Hillary, the sister of the bride, knitting on the west coast

Maine relatives and friends of the groom worked on the other half.  I started the knitting and had many helpers here, several who had not knit before, including a brother, a dad and a stepdad.  I taught them to purl, and they each did some purl rows .

stepfather of the groom, Tim, purling on the east coast

There were nine of us who worked on the “groom’s” side.  For me, the pattern took intense concentration (for the first 10 inches at least) and I kept coming up with the wrong number of stitches, but corrected it in the next row, and it is a very forgiving pattern.

Before I left Maine for the wedding, I had “our” half and the center piece  ready to put together.   I sewed the pieces together on the train out to Seattle.

Catherine and Andy: Wedding day photo by Tim Matsui @ TuaLua Photography

This project brought us together so wonderfully as a combined family- for all of us, not just the bride and groom.  I got to know the bride’s sister a bit from our early correspondence about the shawl, and ended up staying at her peaceful apartment while we were there for the wedding.  During this time  I worked on the wedding shawl with my son’s stepmother and her daughters, and it was a wonderful bonding process for us.  I was so very happy that they wanted to participate with me!

Catherine and Andy- Wedding day photo by Tim Matsui @TuaLua Photography

I have also made a journal for all of us to record our thoughts and wishes in.

Thank you so much for this inspiration!”

Marcia Kimpton

The wedding shawl is already a heartwarming project for me, and to hear Marcia’s story just makes it all the more special.

This pattern makes a great all season wrap for everyday wear, as well as special occasions! Light and warm over a summer dress; as an extra layer over a fall sweater; with enough drape and softness to be worn wrapped as a scarf into the winter. Try making the pattern with fewer repeats to make a gorgeous Fall scarf.  Think ahead to holiday gift giving! Last Fall we made scarves using this pattern for each of the women in our family as secret handmade gifts. Everyone was knitting on scarves, but no-one knew they were also going to receive one! Such fun…and so connecting to share stitches with each other, across the country.

Giveaway

To celebrate these shared craft projects, Living Crafts and Kattikloo Fibre Studio are sharing in a giveaway! A fabulous package including three 100gram (3.5 ounce) skeins of Kattikloo Baby Alpaca yarn as used for the Living Crafts wedding shawl, a copy of Living Crafts Spring 2011 issue that features the wedding shawl story, plus a one year subscription to Living Crafts magazine (Total value $100.00) . Yarn color will be the winner’s choice. Please leave us a comment by midnight pacific time on Monday, August 15th.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 16th.

Giveaway

We have a winner!

Priscilla
Submitted on 2011/08/15 at 4:16 pm
This shawl is beautiful!! Thank you for the lovely giveaway.

Kattikloo is offering 20% discount to Living Crafts readers, until September 1st. Visit the Kattikloo shop and use the Living Crafts reader appreciation code: LCSUMMER2011

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Aug 11, 2011 10:44 AM | 445 Comments























  




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