The story behind Hidden Canyon Shawl

Hidden Canyon Shawl was born a year ago. I was going through sort of an identity crisis at the time and I’ve been jokingly calling it my midlife crisis shawl but the name just didn’t feel right. 

My daughter was leaving the nest, I was noticing some little signs of burnout or compassion fatigue in my social work career and it felt like a big part of my life was over. I felt kind of lost. 

Then I got remarried after 15 years of being single, became a stepmom to 3 little ones, and moved an hour further south and deeper into this desert, into the blistering heat and red rock, getting better acquainted with lizards and road runners and prickly pear cactus.

I thought I was supposed to go all eat, pray, love (with everything that implies -the good, the bad, racist & ugly) to make some new meaning out of the changing shape of my life and body. But I’ve never made it very far when I’ve tried to run away. Never made it permanently out of this Utah desert where I was born. 

So this design was originally inspired by pretty pictures of tropical sunsets and mai tais on a beach far away, but as I’ve been finally finishing it, that didn’t feel right either. 

My home is this desert even if the culture I was born into isn’t one that I truly felt I belonged to. My biggest journeys haven’t been over oceans outward, but through rivers of veins, blood and bones inward, backward, deeper into my own hidden world and heritage. Leaving the dominant religion here, questioning many ideas and practices I was raised with. Looking for my own truth. Listening to so many stories on the way, trying to hear my own. 

In this last year again, it’s that inner journey I needed and began to take, staying right here where my taproot’s been embedded for 48 years, diving deeper into the choices I’ve made and the desires behind them, into my mistakes and strengths, privilege and ignorance, intuition, trauma and baggage, all the realities that have shaped who I’ve become. 

I’m realizing these colors & lines that I chose a year ago are really those of the palm trees and orange sand in my own yard, warm light on pink cliffs at dawn & dusk. The wavy stitch pattern of shed rattlesnake skins and aspen leaves against the ripple of a sandstone slot canyon. The golden moon of my own heart waxing and waning in a sky still dark enough to see all the stars.

There’s so much left to learn but I’m home, I’ve always been home. I don’t need to try to run away again. 

The Hidden Canyon is currently in test knitting and the pattern will be out soon! I’m excited to share it with you.

Revamped! Revised patterns I'm offering for free....

So…..I decided to revamp the 4 free patterns I’ve made over the last year and offer them as updated PDFs on Ravelry. They are still free.

I’d love to see your project pages on Ravelry or tag me on Instagram @bohohheartknits. Happy making!

Mellow Morning: knitted coffee cup sleeve

Boho Pin Banner: knitted banner to display your enamel pin collection

Waffle Stitch Dishcloth: my favorite all purpose “warshcloth” (knit)

Love Bomb Flowers: use up scraps to share the love! (crochet)

Building community as an introvert? Yeah it's a challenge.

So three weeks into the CAL, and no one is participating. Yikes! Worst nightmare, right?! I went to my online design group over at Aroha Knits Swatch Studio and asked for some advice, got some support and decided to pull the plug on it and will do another one in the future, after working on building more community.

Building community, honestly, is really hard as an introvert. I work with people one on one all day and it’s fine, it’s good, but it is also draining. Introverts get recharged by time alone, not by time with people, although they may like to be around people. I’ve always had jobs where I was in customer service or working with people one on one and have enjoyed it, I’m good at it, I’m a good listener, and empathetic.

But a lot of times when I come home at the end of the day I just want to, well, not spend any more time with people. Not listen to any more stories or problems. I don’t feel like it’s any less draining to be interacting online than in person. I guess some people do? At any rate it’s a matter of keeping the right kind of dynamic balance going for yourself, between people time and alone time.

We had to take that Myers Briggs personality test at work a while back, and no surprise I came out INFP, just like I was when my mom made me take it as a teen.

But you know what, I really love knitting and crocheting and I really love the connections I’ve started to make online and in off because of it. It’s worth it. And hey, live and learn. Life goes on. You try new things, see what works and keep it, see what doesn’t and leave it, and just keep going.

A friend who used to have a yarn shop in the town where I work (and lived for 25 years before remarrying & moving a little further south) has opened a yarn shop again and I stopped in last week and it was really fun to catch up with her. And buy yarn of course.

These last few weeks have been really challenging. Personal issues at home, really challenging stuff going on at work, I’ve been sick with some virus or another and yeah, I’m turning 49 in a couple months. Shit is getting real with the whole menopause thing. Just lotsa stuff going on that I really just don’t want to deal with but that’s life and honestly my life is actually really good so I shouldn’t be complaining. I have really supportive friends and I have family who love me and I”m very fortunate in a lot of ways. And very grateful all the good things in my life.

I’m finally finishing my Stormborn sweater, just in time for GOT to be back on last night. Did you watch? Are you a fan? I was a latecomer to that show but I really enjoy it. Also binge watched the new season of Queer Eye as well. Those guys just make me smile. Make me feel hopeful. I might binge watch it all over again!

What are you working on this week? Are you an introvert too?