The Mindful Sheep has been out to pasture for a couple of months, chewing her cud and ruminating. That is not to say she has been idle.

A bow of gratitude to ACE, my intrepid partner in line (both written and knitted) as The Mindful Sheep passed its one-year anniversary in October 2013.

Work for both ACE and me was especially hectic right up to Christmas. We both got colds. Bad colds.  In fact, The Cold that was sweeping the nation. We blew our way through the holidays, began to feel better, then got slammed again, both ending up on antibiotics. Nevertheless, gratitude was there: for our significant other, for our texting commiseration, and for the scientists who develop and the labs that manufacture, healing medicine.

As the holidays approached, I looked around my stash and was grateful to have so much fine fiber! Some of it became socks, some of it a one-skein prayer shawl keenly appreciated by the recipient.  But more than earthly abundance, I found myself dwelling on my lineage, the grandmothers and mothers and friends and web friends who have contributed bit by bit to the craft, each one teaching a small part of the pleasure that expands the mind, the creative eye, and the heart. For that, I am truly grateful.

Sheepy gratitude also abounded for handwork to keep us busy during the Polar Vortex, and for the courage to try new things.  For example: During some office space moves, several items belonging to my former boss (now retired) turned up.  Of course we would send them to him -- but knowing his sense of humor, I yarnbombed them first!

Essentially, I am a free-range knitter.  Patterns drive me a little nuts.  So it is with kudos and gratitude to Annie Modesitt that I mention her book Confessions of a Knitting Heretic .  Annie's book liberated me, particularly with this passage:

"You are not knitting wrong.  You knit better than you imagine! You can knit more beautifully than you ever dreamed.  The only thing stopping your hands is your mind.  Become a heretic.  Embrace the freedom of the knitting nonconformist.  Unleash your inner knitting heathen."

And so embrace the heretic I did.  I tossed out the pattern and frogged nearly an entire sweater body, sacrificing gladly the misshapen mess that the Self-Indulgence Sweater had become.  I worked up some measurements, and have started again, grateful for the freedom and relief I feel, forging my own path instead of punishing myself for not falling in line with the pattern.

So far, we are off to a great 2014.  It feels like a good year.



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