As we set out in our lives we typically have a lot of expectations about how our life will unfold. Where we might live, who we might partner with, how many children we will or will not have, trips we will take, what we’ll do for a living, and how long we might live. We make plans and we share our plans and our lives with those around us. However, sometimes life has different plans for us, sometimes we get off of our soul’s path and to get back, we need to tune into our body, tune into our intuition, tune into that deep knowing that we all have inside if we can learn to understand and learn to listen.
Everyone needs electrolytes, if you do keto you know that electrolytes are even more crucial but they are also quite expensive when you're buying keto-friendly electrolytes! I decided to explore this and have created a recipe for anyone who likes LMNT or Ultima powders!
By making your own, you can:
save some cash
save some plastic
source the best ingredients
1/4 C. Salt(keep the salt separate to prevent the mix from clumping)
As mentioned in the recipe, keep the salt separate so it doesn't clump/become concrete. Mix all other ingredients together in a large container like a mason jar for consistency, once you find a mix that you like you can double and triple the recipe!
Flavored: Mix 1 tsp of the mix with 1 tsp of salt per 32 oz of water, add extra magnesium as needed.
Unflavored: 1/2 tsp of unflavored mix with 1 tsp of salt per 32 oz of water and again add extra magnesium as desired.
Approximately 20 servings with: 1000 mg of sodium per 1 tsp of salt 500 mg vitamin C (if you add the ascorbic acid) 200 mg potassium + 60 mg of magnesium per 1 tsp of mix
98 yards/hat with 2,352 yards total of varying main color from 11 skeins randomly pulled from my stash & Kelbourne Woolens
Combined to make a total of 4,273 yards knit in total - with many mistakes and repeats along the way :)
This project started innocently, I saw the pattern, noted some existing yarn I had that I could use, noted that I also had the appropriately sized needles. All I had to buy for this project was the pattern, or so I thought! I started the first hat in the last few days of August in 2022. August is a very exciting time for knitters, it’s almost fall and we’ll be able to adorn ourselves and loved ones with knits very soon! After making the first hat, I realized I could easily make another with the “fancy yarn” I’d used as the contrast color! Yarn is an art, there are so many colors, weights, spins, materials, sources, all.the.things! I love yarn! I love sheep! And, I love sheep to be happy so I try to source all of my wool yarn accordingly. The contrast yarn for all of these hats came from a boujee online yarn shop, Spincycle. Spincycle has very beautiful and equally expensive yarns so I wanted to make the most of my investment! It was exciting when I realized I could do 2 but I would later realize I could do 3 hats with every skein, it blew my mind! Mind-blowing excitement that only a fellow knitter would understand 🙂
I’m an artist. I spent my entire childhood drawing, painting, and generally being creative. I made it official when I got my degree in art >20 years ago and have barely practiced since! School really put a damper on my creative spirit, so for years I’ve been trying to relocate it. While searching for my lost creative spirit, I also found myself in a health crisis. I started knitting quite a bit more during a mostly sedentary time after some big surgeries in 2010-2011, I made a couple of hats and some scarves in the years after. In 2014 I knit my first-ever blanket for the baby I would deliver in December. Having a wonderfully peaceful entry into parenting, I had a dreamy baby girl that slept a lot and relaxed peacefully in her first few months of life so I was able to continue knitting during this time. By the time she started a movin’ and a shakin’ though, I had to put down the sticks and focus on her, work, cooking, life. It wasn’t until she was 5 and ½ years old that I realized I could knit again! And, it’s been a lot of knitting ever since… She's just turned 8 as I write this.
During and after making my first three hats, I marveled at how the boujee yarn had bloomed in color as I knit them. It was truly stunning and I realized in my awestruck wonder. I had found my creative spirit again. I would plan to do my first ever color study with fiber and knit 24 hats! I would also plan to take photos of these hats on white canvas so they would maintain a hint of the institutional and traditional art that had studied me blind years earlier. I would give them each a name and then I would lovingly distribute them to friends, family, and anyone going through a difficult time in their life.
I quickly ordered 7 skeins of varying contrast colors from Spincycle. At first I just wanted to use up my stash for the main color on the hats but quickly realized that I would need more yarn. I put in an order for 5 more skeins with Kelbourne Woolens. This set me on my journey and I went on to make hats for the next few months. I finished the last hat the second week of December, 2022 and I set up a photo studio in the house. I continued to execute this complicated photo shoot to capture each hat in all of their glory as well as the hats in groups of 3 to show the color bloom over each skein.
These hats are all very special to me. They symbolize my art, my love for color, texture, people, sheep, yarn, and my knitting practice. They are each a unique part of a larger collection as a group of 3 and as a body of work comprising 24 pieces. All artists do “studies” of different things like cats, a specific building, location, people, etc. as a way to research or explore something that they are interested in and a desire to improve their technique. For me that was this pattern, these fibers, these colors, these sheep that provided the wool, and the deeper spiritual resonance that my knitting has for me.
The contrast yarn's journey through the different main color yarns...
The contrast yarn skein begins at the bottom of the hat on the far left. The top of that same hat is what starts at the bottom of the second hat. The same is true for the top of the middle hat and the bottom of the third hat. As you can see, the color blooms beautifully!
Below, is simply a gallery of all of the hats, categorized by the contrast yarn. I've been very thoughtful in naming each of these hats based on characteristics of the person who received them. I hope you enjoy perusing these as I deeply enjoyed this entire project and to see this showcase is a testament to all of the work and love I put into it!!! Leave comments, message me, find me on instagram and THANK YOU for reading and viewing.
My journey of finding spirituality via mediation + knitting
Finding spirituality has been hands down the most complicated part of my journey over the last 4 years of living with my body in an active cancering process (AKA stage IV cancer). Knowing the deep importance for my overall wellbeing, I persevered and here is the story of unfolding... it continues to bloom.
Spirituality & Cancer
Dealing with our mortality and the mortality of everyone we love is not a comfortable space for most of us. Sitting with a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, while having a 3 year old daughter, it was definitely not a comfortable space for me. But as we are all born, we also all die and what happens to us after we die? How do we truly LIVE in the immediate awareness that we are in fact dying? Shouldn’t that make it easier to focus? Isn’t everyone actually dying? Why does this awareness create such a crushing blow?
I like to believe that God is simply, my highest and absolute best and most beautiful self. I also like to believe that what we create on this planet, who we create, how we live, and how we choose to make our exit is what lives on when we are gone. It lives on in anyone and anything we had the opportunity to touch in any small way.
After my stage 4 cancer diagnosis, I dove into a deeper meditation practice as a way to help myself deal with the stress and anxiety. For months, I sat in my space, trying to meditate but mostly crying, asking for SPACE! Space to understand what was happening, why I had to lose the baby we’d tried so hard to conceive, why I had to have this diagnosis, and have so much medical intervention just to live!? Space had become the highest and most valuable commodity for me as I continued to suffocate under the stress, fear, and anxiety for the future.
One day, while meditating, about 6 months into my practice, I suddenly found myself inside of an enormous gourd! Yes, a gourd, like the bell-shaped, pumpkin-like fruit you see in the fall at pumpkin patches and in grocery stores. I was in the belly of this gourd on a saucer swing, swinging around in perfect synergy with the edge of the gourd, suspended by a fishing line. Round and round I went with a growing smile on my face. I had DONE IT! I had CREATED SPACE! It was inside of ME all this time!! I became wildly obsessed with everything this meant. I began to surrender into my meditation practice to always find myself in the gourd and even move my body in a cylindrical pattern as I meditated skimming the circumference of the inside of my gourd on my swing. I started drawing gourds for the next few months, turning them into women, then pregnant women. Thinking deeply about the continuity of this analogy that I’d stumbled upon, ovaries live in the belly of humans and seeds in the bellies of gourds. And, these seeds, these ovaries eventually become NEW LIFE and new life eventually makes MORE NEW LIFE. I shared this meditation experience and obsession with a very good friend of mine who studied the bible. After much discussion, mostly me emphatically expressing my gourd meditation and the artwork that was accompanying it, she later shared this passage with me:
John 15:4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”
I became obsessed with this passage, and googled it, reading it in many forms and versions with accompanying imagery and interpretations. For me though, all that stood out were the words, Live in ME as I live in YOU. This.Was.Truth, these were the words I was seeking to describe this obvious continuity of life. Life was, in fact, like a russian doll, nested, continuous. We’re nested deeply within one another. Even my daughter can say that my mom (her grandmother) carried her for a few months because my ovaries developed in-utero at 4 months gestation so when my ovaries and eggs developed we were both inside of my mom, I had been inside of my maternal grandmother too! These words ‘Live in me as I live in you’ echoed through me, echoed through my gourd. Having lost my dad just months before my diagnosis, of course he was living inside of me! Inside of all of us that knew and loved him deeply. This was how life continued after death, this is how I would continue after death.
About a year later, my obsession with the gourds, the continuity of life, and the mediation were still evolving, still ever present but now, I was also knitting. Knitting became a salvation, a working meditation, a place that I would go to, a place I would escape to, a place I knew I could find myself and what was hiding inside of the grief and the anxiety. And just like I suddenly realized that I had created space for myself inside of that gourd, inside of myself, I suddenly realized the beautiful continuity of knitting and how we BUILD our knits stitch by stitch not unlike how human beings are built cell by cell. As I knit to create a new stitch, I would recite, “live in me”, as I lovingly and purposely wrapped my warm cozy yarn around my needle I would say, “as I”, and as I pulled it back through, I would say, “live in you”.
I built my knits, stitch by stitch with this mantra and imagine all of my cozy knits keeping so many people warm (and of course fashionable) long after my time on this earth ends. I will live with all of these people, long after I pass because they will remember me, my spirit, and my love for them every time they hold and wear my loving knits. So, I say Live in ME as I live in YOU. Let your loved ones, Live in you. As you. Lived in them.
As everything must start somewhere, this is the start of my official blog. Within this blog, I will write about my experience of living with my body in an active cancering process, more popularly known as stage IV cancer. I will talk about healing my body, mind, and spirit while being in this cancering process by creating rhythm in all areas. The primary modalities I indulge in include, but are not limited to:
cooking for a therapeutic level of ketosis
cycling & crossfit
loving, helping, & inspiring people
therapy & education
These areas will be explored independently and together as they all lead up to my primary goal which is to cultivate health, love, community, and peace.
I look forward to learning more about anyone interested in my experience, thank you for your time.