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  • Awful week. Sad times. Last night I sat out in the yard with the dogs, thankful for the trees and sky. Today, the usual library run and then I’m going to hide in the studio (aka sewing shack) and quilt. No media noise.

  • I spent the evening with my daughter and her family. Life through the eyes of a 5 year old and a 20 month old can be comforting. Going for a walk and stopping to look at bugs, rocks, and bird doodoo can take your mind off the tragedy that our country has become…if only for a short time.

  • A conversation with friends consisting only of random song lyrics about peace, love, and understanding. There’s more than I thought. It became a more comforting exercise than you’d imagine.

  • I’m a white Australian woman living in North Carolina, living with HB2. I’m married to a Transman. He has been taking hormones for a few months and is coming out to his family and friends. Sometimes I am so afraid for him that I feel like I can’t breathe. I know we are both at risk, as we are out, first as a lesbian couple, before he started his transition, but I am less of a target, as I am feminine looking and acting. He passes (looks like a cis man) most of the time. When he leaves for work I kiss him and tell him I love him. I worry that it is the last time I will do so. When we read about the Pulse massacre, we looked at each other and he voiced what we were both thinking…that could have been us. I knit. Socks, hats, dishrags. I’m churning out knitting at what is for me, a prolific rate. Every time I see someone with a gun, I am afraid. (Gun laws are different in Australia and I’m still not used to seeing people with guns.) So I knit. I knit until I fall asleep with the needles in my hands at night. The first thing I do in the morning, is knit again. I knit to seek solace, to try and quiet my fears.I knit as I have conversations with my friends about racism and homophobia. I knit as I speak out against the violence. Keep knitting for solace, but can I ask you all to speak out against the violence, not with words of anger, but with love, as that’s the only way we can stop the violence and hopefully one day not have to knit in solace, but with joy, as our single voices joined and became many which drowned out the hatred.

    • I stand next to you as another who calls for love and empathy to counter the fear and anger that appears to fuel the violence we are seeing in our communities. My daughter spoke to me recently of the training she received in her middle school years on becoming active bystanders. If bystanders step in and let bullies know that what they are doing is not acceptable, many positives happen. The victim feels supported, other bystanders are more likely to come forward in the future and bullies know their dehavior is not condoned by the community. Bullying is dramatically reduced. I don’t know if there is a comparable action in the face of life-threatening violence but I feel there must be some way to ensure the perpetrators know this is not condoned. I wish you peace and freedom from fear for your husband.

      • Thank you, Karen. It means a lot to me and the trans community in general, that you are an ally.

      • Karen B, I worry every time I imagine my 2 adult sons (each gay, out and comfortable) in a public place – in a bar on the weekend, on a plane or in a supermarket. Is this the day they encounter some wrong-headed person who will bully or threaten them? They live in other cities and it’s just a well that I cannot hover over them, but I do know how you worry. How do I find peace? I volunteer at our local food pantry/ transitional housing non-profit. I try to make a difference in the lives of clients who are struggling with the basics of life. I use my very limited Spanish to reach out to immigrant clients, I spend a few extra minutes finding disposable diapers in the warehouse for the single African-American mom who may be choosing between buying decent food or diapers for her little one. I suppose it comes down to channeling the worry into work, the same reason we reach for the knitting. Wishing peace of mind and better days to you and your husband.

        • Thank you, Sandy. I think that kindness has a ripple effect. That it gets passed on.

    • May you both find peace and understanding. Love can overcome hate, and there are many who will stand with you, and defend your rights. From a friend in Canada.

      • Thank you, Jo-Anne. Your and Karen’s words have made my footsteps and my heart lighter today.

    • Dear Sue-I also live in NC and just wanted to reassure you that we are not an HB2 people overall. It helps to live in Durham (which I do) but even in other parts of the state people are actively rejecting that piece of garbage. You and your partner are warmly welcomed and should our knitting paths cross, I will grill you about Ausssie knitting!

      • Catherine, we are a couple of hours away from each other, so it’s not that far at all! So, chances are we may meet and if we do I’d LOVE to talk about Aussie knitting! Thank you for your kind words, they’re very much appreciated.

        • Thank you, Sue, Karen, Jo-Anne, Sandy, and Catherine, for all the love you’re showing. Sending love back to you all.

        • Ann, it’s the only way I know to even begin stopping the hate. You and these kind ladies gave me a real boost today. Thank you, all.

    • Oh, I hear you. My daughter and her wife who is living as a male, but not transitioning–yet, are adopting a 17 year old gay boy and I fear for them daily. These are loving people trying to make a family and raise a boy to be a good man and I am so afraid someone will hurt them or berate them. I, too, thought “it could have been them” when I heard of the Pulse shooting. They have gathered a loving community around them but they’re in Kentucky and we’re in Wisconsin and that’s too far apart for me to protect them. I deal by being the best person I can be, by smiling at every person I pass no matter their color or ethnic background, to represent the majority of white, straight Americans who are tolerant and just trying to get through their own lives. And when it’s too sad, I snuggle our little grandbabies that live nearby and I knit hats and seamen’s cowls for charity, I cry and I pray. I wonder when everyone got so defensive and angry at our differences. We’re all people, doing the best we can with what we’ve been given, we need to help each other, maybe not all melt into the same pot but live side by side in peace and tolerance. I don’t know. I’m just sad about it all.

      • Living side by side in peace and tolerance would be wonderful. Your daughter and your dil sound like they’re pretty awesome.

    • Oh, Sue…all the love in the world to you and yours!

      • Thank you, Laura.

    • Sending love and support your way. The open gun laws (that some states have) are one of the more insane things happening in this country. SMH….

      • Correction: I meant to say “Open Carry gun laws”, not “open gun laws”.

      • Thank you, Napagal.Clare.

        • Sending love. Thank you, all, for sharing your stories. I am hopeful for the future, cos love is all we’ve got. Xoxo

  • I love pink! Not because I have 3 daughters and am one of 6 girls , but because it reminds me of sunrise and sunsets, A new day, peace at the end of the day.Hopefully peace for all of us. I’m cleaning my house, maybe trying to find order !

  • Tears are welling in my eyes… And I don’t even know about the horrors of the past week you’re all alluding to. I have been wrapped in a cocoon of a family vacation from the US to Portugal for the past 10 days and have been totally absent from news of any sort, other than my daily check in for MDK posts and updates on ailing, aging family back home. I’m feeling a bit guilty for not being “current,” but on the other hand, my holiday was full of joy, awe and wonder… And that brings its own peace. May you all be kind to yourselves and those around you. If you can’t go on vacation, find small times of quiet–knitting, cup of tea, time with a friend. Wishing you all well…

    • I’m in the same cocoon in Sweden. Tomorrow we return to our little corner of OR to hug our family, friends and neighbors.

  • Troubled days indeed. My prayers are for peace, and calm and understanding, for all of us, everywhere. May we all work towards this. Love the pink, and surprisingly, the knot!

  • My comfort is in my 5 month old grandsons smile and his laughter. I pray daily for protection and peace for all men and women who protect our life. Holding on to when he grows up may there be peace in our society. I love the color pink but at the moment I am into all blues. Sending prayers to all. U all have a blessed day!!!

  • I work in a state office building. Yesterday, I thanked the troopers I saw and gave
    hugs to some. My Dad was a drug inspector for the state, and his father was a
    Boston police officer. I will remember all those lost to gun violence tomorrow, when
    I am at church. Blessings to all.

  • To find solace, I decided that I need to act. I joined Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, a chapter of
    Everytown for Gun Safety (which is a merger of the Moms Demand Action group, formed after Samdy Hook, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns). I bought an orange #ENOUGH t-shirt from the Brady campaign and I intend to wear it while I sit with my knitting at all the County Commissioner meetings I can get to. There are some Commissioners here who are trying to expand gun carrying ability in my county! I find that unacceptable.

    I am also talking with musical people that I know to see if we can organize participation in this:
    http://remembersept25.org, the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence.

    I cannot be a bystander anymore.

    • Amy, thank you for the Concert Across America link! I sing with a women’s community choir. One of our tenets is “social justice,” and I think it would be great for us to participate in this. I’ve sent the link to our director, and since we start back up in the fall, this could be perfect! “Sing locally. Act globally!”

  • Solace in fresh produce from the farmer’s market. And ice cream cones with my 20 year old son who still thinks that spending time with his mom is just grand.

  • I am in Nashville” at the International Batbershop Harmony Convention. Watching and listening to these men, from all walks of life, all colors, and many countries ( hello, New Zealand!) come together to sing and compete temporarily washes away the horrors. The competitions are fierce, but the congratulations heartfelt when it is all over. I can’t help thinking that we need more things like barbershop to bridge some of the gaps. Corny, I know, but every little thing that lets us see that we are not so different from each other is good.

  • Sometimes, the world is too much with us. I listen to baroque music–it helps me put away the clutter in my mind, back on the shelves. It helps take out the mental trash. And I find the most impenetrable history book in the house, and I read it.

  • As a Dallasite, you cannot imagine the pain in all the faces around me, but not just pain, but resolve to make this stop. Life cannot continue like this. We are all one people. We must unite. It starts now. It’s time to show love, respect and gratitude. Knitting thru grief for charity.

  • My dogs! The pink soft inside of my little pup’s ears. They only have unconditional love. I once read dogs have shorter lives because we humans take so much longer to “get it”. Dogs already know how to live a good life.

  • Last night I settled down with the cat and simple knitting (sorry, lace, too much right now) and watched Bugs Bunny cartoons, which took me back to when life was simpler. It was very peaceful.

  • I have been in my own cocoon as my husband suffered a minor stroke on Wednesday and was shocked and horrified at the news (which I heard about through Ravelry). The first shootings were tragic and this escalation is just sickening. Don’t we have enough to worry about without us all turning on ourselves? Sitting in the hospital all week watching people fighting to stay alive gives you a different perspective on things.

    Where would it be like if we as a people put our energy into making this world a better place? As someone who died from gun violence once wrote….

    Imagine

  • Your words resounded so much with me this morning. I, also, am angry beyond words – our country seems to have lost its moral compass. I’ve been knitting endless rows of soothing pink garter stitch (deeper pink…but pink is pink, right?) while watching the horror unfold on the news…furious about our country’s lack of tolerance and acceptance for anyone who’s different than any one individual perceives them to be…and even more furious that my beautiful 39 year old daughter was just diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer (mother of a 4 and 7 year old…and a “health nut” I might add). How does any of this happen? The pink garter stitch is going to be a HUGE wrap for her to wear during chemo…filled with all the love and prayers that this one mother’s heart can hold. If we could only fix all the wrongs in the world with two sticks and some string. Love and peace to all… everywhere.

    • Prayers for your daughter and family as you go through this difficult experience. We have a lot of gut issues in our family ( no cancer but a lot of other issues) so your post jumped out to me. Sending peace and healing blessings.

  • The pink is beautiful, and soothing; I am a ‘blue’ person, in my knitting and closet and decorating….. but I do love your new scarf and am glad you have it now. I turned off the tv and went for a long walk last evening, and then told my husband that we would only watch Wimbeldon (tennis) or home improvement shows for the rest of the weekend. Today we are attending a wedding, and that is always a hopeful event. Our thoughts are with all of you in the US, from Canada.

  • Lovely post, thank you. Besides my family and my beloved grandchildren, I find solace in creating. It’s one thing I can do that reminds me who I am, what my values are, and that the world is full of people like me. It is an antidote to fear and anger. If only we could get yarn and needles into the hands of those who prefer guns…

  • I find solace in all the words of love here on this blog. And when I can no longer listen to the news or think about what is happening in the larger world I go in my wool room and touch my yarn. It’s amazing what color can do, such a simple thing. Pink is a soothing color, one of my favorites. It reminds me of soft baby skin and the wonder of birth. What else could be more positive and encouraging? Another thing I do is look at the beautiful smile of my granddaughters and hope for more tolerance in future generations.

  • I am going out of my way to engage in small and I hope pleasant exchanges with everyone I encounter during my day – people I work with, the guy at Starbucks, the conductor on the train – anyone with whom I can share a smile and ask how they are doing. In short, I am trying to send positive kindness out into the world. Sounds small but feels powerful.

    • Yes, me too.

  • As always, my solace comes from knitting. Usually, I do better in times like this with knitting garter stitch but right now, I’m working on a lace border on a shawl and it is surprisingly comforting. The need to focus and the rhythm of the stitch repeats. Maybe it is the knowing what is coming next in my knitting in this uncertain world where things change in the blink of an eye. And then, there is my sweet Miss Lillie, my mixed breed dog, who is ever loving and needs my attention right now.

  • There is something satisfying in squaring your shoulders and re-affirming your resolve, and lighting a candle against the darkness.

    Doing some volunteer crafting — knitting hats for a local non-profit to give to children whose moms are in a program to finish school, and making quilts for families making new homes after leaving old homes because of domestic violence.

    Praying for peace and safety and courage for those who are mourning, and those who are demonstrating, and for the Police Officers, and especially for the young black children who are watching this unfold.

  • I woke up this morning from the most awful dream of people attacking and killing and trying to run from one another – and I was one of the people fleeing in terror. I’ve rarely been so happy to wake up!

    Thanks for your post, dear Ann, and all the loving comments here. Now I need to go clean my house and knit socks for newborn babies in Afghanistan and send loving thoughts to all my dear ones.

    I just listened on YouTube to the wonderful song/hymn that begins “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me” – I’ll try to keep that running through my mind while I work and knit.

  • Speaking out … saying this is not acceptable is essential, reaching out – sharing our love of making things by gifting to a stranger is also needed. Before I can do either, I need nature to help me heal. We are at the River, in a cabin, I am knitting.

  • Where do I find solace? In my faith in God. And in the Scriptures that remind me of His power, His love, and His mercy. When my mind cannot comprehend the horrors of our present world, I lean on Him and find peace.

  • Solace in connecting with good people who also seek a way to stop the madness. Being in community with people different from ourselves, and seeing each other as people, not positions. And solace in knitting, of course. A new cast on is a new beginning, and I think we need that right now. https://pdxknitterati.com/2016/07/08/new-beginnings/

  • I find solace in making my home clean, tidy and peaceful when the world is not. Visiting my local yarn shop and quilt shop where people are friendly and helpful. Praying for peace and understanding. And this blog is another refuge from the chaos in the world.

  • As has been and probably always will be, I find knitting to keep me calm. It allows me to think and chew on the hatred and awful news that is the norm these days. I don’t want this normal nor should any of us…
    I hope that knitting keeps us all calm…for that is what we need.

  • Knitting is my security blanket right now. I am encouraged by my (blonde) son & his friends who were part of an NAACP protest march in his college town last night (I was also terrified at the time) and by a (white) mom I met at college orientation last week who was worried that the school wouldn’t be supportive of students who weren’t straight white males and by the school administrator who said diversity and sensitivity to all students was part of orientation and freshman seminar and every leadership training opportunity.
    There seems to be a confluence of many crazy things happening right now. We can’t control other people but we can choose to not be afraid and to be open to learning about other people’s life experiences and to understanding and trying to overcome our own biases.
    Blessings to you & Kay.
    May you and yours not be afraid.

  • I used to seek solace in reading a favorite blog. There might have been a post each day. Then, all I’d a sudden there could be two or three posts in one day. Then all of a sudden there might be nothing for three or four days. Something might appear at 8:00 PM, or at noon. It was the element of surprise, the spontaneity, that assured that the writer of the post was so on fire for what they were writing, they had to post it then and there. It was fresh and clean. They were really interested in the same subject that I was, and they made it a lot more fun and informative because the creativity was not pushed.

    The most delicious meal my mom would make would begin to seem “hohum” if she served it every day at the same time. Even if she started to bring in a lot of side dishes that didn’t really go with the meal, just to dress it up. And even if she asked my own opinion on everything she made to get me to participate and feel involved.

    • No one is stopping you from finding solace reading some other blog.

    • Seems like you are finding “solace” by being small and petty. How sad for you.

      • What is “small and petty” for you is a real loss for me. When I see myself begin to feel indifference for something that I have cherished and loved for so long, I have to ask myself why. I also have to be true to myself enough and responsible enough to speak up, at least one time, to report my reactions. I thought that this was a safe place to do so. I see now that I was wrong.

    • I just noticed this comment. What an astounding response to the post that Ann wrote. Let me get this straight… Mason and Dixon is not “delicious” enough for you? Too “hohum”? No “element of surprise”, and thus no “solace” provided for you. Are you for real? Wow…thanks for the reality check, that really, whatever sadness and despair we might be feeling, is entirely warranted.

      • It was not a response to the post. I usually read them through and the comments, too. This time, I barely skimmed the post, and read none of the comments. I re-read the post after Noe wrote the response.to me.

        • Diane,

          I apologize for jumping on you. It was not my business. It’s just that I can’t imagine the work and effort that goes into this blog, and I take such delight in it. But, I also appreciate the wide range of people (and opinions) who frequent the blog, yourself included. The world is a bit upside down these days…I don’t want to add to that. God bless you and everyone else here.

          XOClare

        • Thank you Clare. I appreciate your kindness, and your willingness to look back, and see it through.

          God bless you, too.

          Diane

  • Don’t know if it will help counter all the depressing things in the new, but if it helps you to adjust to the pink yarn: Think of it as being like the pink of a kitten’s nose. You do like kittens, don’t you? (P.S.: Try hugging your grown-up kittens if it helps with the news.)

  • Finding solace in having my son and a friend in our home last night….making cupcakes, cooking tuna burgers, sharing some Malbec Rose. And then today, in the quiet early morning knitting of a lovely new project. And I find daily solace and delight in reading the wonderful and varied posts that you and Kay take the time and effort to provide for us. You two are such a gift. Thank you so much. XOX

    P.S. You have me seeing pink in a whole new way, Ann. I was reminded that it was my favorite color when I was a girl. A passion, really! And your shawl is delightful!

    • I have read that pink is the universal color of love.

      • Good to be reminded of the value of pink. Duly noted and appreciated. XOXO

  • This was a beautiful post and your finished project is stunning. I’ve been listening to music and reading a lot this week…things I do often but this week it has been all the time with NO television. I’ve only recently begun knitting again, vowing to finish projects I’ve moved from Nashville to Ann Arbor back to Nashville to Norwalk, CT and now Darien, CT. I’m a fumbling beginner all over again so lots of focus is necessary. That’s been a good thing during such a week.

  • Given Ann’s inspiration for this post, and what Diane said about pink being the universal color of love, I am going to get me something pink on my needles, ASAP. Maybe a pink KAL is in order…any project as long as it is pink and accompanied with the juju of love. XOXO

  • I’ve spent the last few days at a family reunion with people that I love. Including three-day-old Isla June. Watching her aunts, uncles, and cousins oohaping and awwing and holding her close was amazing. Oh, and I knitted most of a hat. My first official public knitting.

    • Umm, oohing and aahing. Oohaping is not a family tradition…

  • I’m finding solace in your beautiful post – and then there’s this summer garden. Just brimming with hope and wonder.
    It’s nearly crushing, the weight of this world.

  • Every time events like these happen I remind myself to slow down, be patient and continue–not shy away from–attempting a civil discourse with those who do not share my views. It’s hard to resist retreating to our separate corners but we have to keep the discourse going!

    I’m lucky–for solace I have a horse and a range to ride her upon 🙂 it’s the best way to think or not think that I know of.

  • Like many of the readers of this blog, I’m finding solace in mt knitting. It’s also anice to find a group of people who realize that violence will only beget more violence.

  • Finding solace in bringing order to my small world, in having a birthday lunch with my son, in finishing a quilt top for my bed, in telling police officers to be safe and in patrolling a small park near work to make sure all people are safe. We can do what is right in front of us with love, with intention and care. That brings solace.

  • Finding solace in Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”

  • Finding solace in time spent laughing with friends in perfect weather, seeing beautiful sunsets, walking in beautiful woods in the White Mountains, and, of course, knitting.

    And, truth be told, thinking about what concrete steps I can take to make a change. This post is one of a few small steps I took today: https://www.facebook.com/lissa.story