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)

How I overcame my fears about vlogging and started a Youtube channel

I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast or blog for quite a while now and there were a couple of things holding me back. The first one was that I just felt too old, too fat, too whatever. Not confident enough to be on video.

But you know what, I talk with people for a living almost every day in my social services career and often am dealing with quite difficult and emotionally charged situations. If I can handle that, why not a vlog? Right?! So I decided to just get over it and get on with it. I figured the first video would be awful but then I’d get the hang of it. It’s like that with anything new that you try.

The other thing I was nervous about was learning the technology. But that hasn’t been as bad as I thought. When I actually jumped in and starting working on it, I discovered I could pick up the knowledge I needed and that I actually knew more than I thought. And had the equipment I needed.

So I pt up my first video on Youtube yesterday! The whole process was actually pretty fun. I’ll be doing a weekly vlog about knitting and crocheting. I’ll also be doing tutorials, of course. You can find my channel here.

I hope you’ll join me in this step along the journey! I’d love to hear from you if you have questions or things you’d like to see in a video from me drop a line in the comments if you want to.