12 May 2008

Koigu, With a Side of Mush

Disclaimer: Mushy post with photos of gorgeous yarn thrown in. If you can't handle the emotions, just look at the pretty photos instead, from our recent "knit-out" in Rittenhouse Square. (wink)


In the time since my brother has been gone, I've noticed that I have subconciously categorized my life into "before" and "after". Things that have happened and people I knew before he died, and events and friendships I've made after. Knowing there would be an awkward moment where they would ask about my family, and I'd have to test out what to say. That was in the beginning though, it's much easier now. I now know how to put the person at ease, but to not diminish the loss.


That was not the case with my blog. It spanned both my old world, and the strange new place I was still working my way around. My blog became my safe place. I was able to sort my feelings out, to figure out how my life was different, but also a way to to look for the positive in each day. When I couldn't write about him in my personal journal, because it was still too raw, I was able to write about it on here. By doing that, I could alleviate my fear that by not writing it down, I would forget him. I was also able to just talk about it, and not worry about making people feel weird.

And then I found when I wrote about it, I received such unexpected support from acquaintences, old friends and people I had only met through the internet. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. It was a place where I could speak, and people were comfortable with that. I didn't have to worry if they didn't want to listen, because I knew that they had the choice to not return or read.

Koigu Mill-ends

I never guessed I would create real friendships with people across the country based on our similar senses of humor, aesthetics and design sense. People who have made me laugh, brought on tears with their kind words, stories and support, and who have brightened my days.

I also never expected to make such wonderful friendships with the women in my knitting circle. Let me tell you, the first time I went, I was terrified, and the only person that spoke to me nearly scared me off. Thank God I went back! I would have missed out on so much, mainly pints of pear cider, alpacas and many brunches. I can't tell you how important these ladies have been to my Wednesdays, or to my daily life in Philadelphia.

So thank you, friends and crafty community, for being so good to me.

I'm also happy to show off the 300 grams of Koigu mill-ends I treated myself to. This was a combination of my economic stimulus check, my Rosie's 20% coupon, the yearly mill-end opportunity and the result of bragging about the lowly $36 I had spent at Sheep and Wool.

In honor of my anniversary, I'll do a meme that I was tagged to do from Yarn Therapy. It asks for 5 things about myself, I know I've done this before, but I'm a sucker for surveys (wink). You can do it if you want (unless you're Susan, since I know about your feelings on memes!).

1. One of my dreams is to own a house on a bit of property, about an hour away from a big city, with a barn. The barn will have a woodshop, and a studio for Mike to paint. My studio may be in the barn, or in the house. I will refurbish furniture, do some upholstery, interior design part time, and draw and paint. Maybe I can have the grandkids my mom has been jonesing for. And a mutt, a pug, an outdoor cat, a few alpaca, a garden and a bike with a basket. Er, that's a lot for the first one!

2. I can't stand pickles. They gross me out. I'm one of five people in the world who dislike pickles. When I was at the Renegade Craft Fair, they had a Mr. Pickle booth and I had the heebie jeebies. They all think I'm crazy, but I think you're all crazy for liking them! And yes, I now like cucumbers, and even pickled cucumbers. But I'm holding out based on my ridiculous principles.

3. Everything I learned about good customer service and business relates to working as a waitress at an Italian restaurant when I was 17. In fact, my whole philosophy on life could be based on what I learned as a waitress. The most important thing was to prevent fires rather than spend time putting out fires. Not real ones though, although I did get locked in a freezer.... For example, if you get quadruple sat and will not be able to serve drinks for ten minutes, do yourself a favor and acknowledge your guests and let them know you'll be right there. Otherwise, they'll sit there wondering if you even know they're there and get pissed and leave a Spawn comic book as a tip. In my work environment today, I make sure to keep my clients updated with the status of things, especially if there is a delay. As long as they're kept in the loop, they're not going to go pickle-crazy wondering what is going on. It's amazing how a one minute email or phone call can keep people happy, and how many people don't bother to do this.

4. A psychic once told me that I would become a household name, but that nobody would recognize my face. I was excited to hear this. Would I be a ceramicist, a clothing designer, a water polo player? Excited until my dad reminded me that Charles Manson was also a household name. "Daaaaaaad!" said Marissa in a whiny seventeen year old voice.

5. In sixth grade, I won first place in the state of Florida for a 50 word essay describing the utter importance of the podiatry profession. I wrote it quite tongue-in-cheek, and in a rush to finish reading whatever Baby Sitters Club book was in my hands. The intro stated, "If we didn't have podiatrists, people would be walking on their hands every day because of all of their warts, corns and bunions."

Don't forget, you chose to read this! (wink)

xoxo, Mariss

P.S. Why yes, that's a progress shot of Mom's Lace Ribbon Shawl, on the Rittenhouse goat. I love you, lady.

The Rittenhouse Park Goat


andrea said...

lovely koigu and very touching post.

wish i could have made it to the knit out. it must have been great fun!

we'll meet eventually =)

have a great day!

Kat - Taylor Made designs said...

you are truly the sweetest.
Such a lovely post :)

I would totally gross you out, because I love, and I mean, really love... pickles :)

EmilyG said...

Wait a minute. Isn't a pickled cucumber, you know, a pickle? Hmm... :)

Lovely post. I'm really glad you share the mushy stuff with us here. It's hard to talk to a group of knitting ladies crammed into a shop about your beloved bro, but we can still hear about him and know about your loss and the things you're doing to heal yourself and honor him. *Hugs*

Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie said...

When I saw you at the reunion, it took me a while to say something about Andrew, but I knew I wanted to. I didn't know him too well or for very long, but I actually have a picture of us hugging, and that's how I remember him. I think the manner in which you have dealt with such a loss in your life is very admirable. Your ability to write about it and talk about him in a way that is joyful and respectful is beautiful :) Thank you for sharing so openly and with such sincerity!

Anonymous said...

i am whacktastic for missing it, but i'm glad you guys had fun. it's surprising the people you meet and what comes of those relationships. WHY DON'T YOU LIKE PICKLES?!? and i had quite a few baby-sitter's club books. i almost had an aneurysm when nobody took me to see the movie.

Lisa said...

I have often envied you for the eloquence with which you express the difficult things in your life. Maybe one day I'll be able to achieve that ease and comfort level.

I spent a long time on Sunday talking to my mother about the wonderful group of women that I call my friends. And she expressed her relief and gratitude that I have finally found myself in midst of such a supportive, smart and creative bunch.

Oh, and the other thing I envy...your Koigu.

Sherry W said...

Awwww, you are so sweet! I'm happy I know you too1

jayjay said...

hey cuz, i love reading your blogs :) i guess each one of us needs an outlet to heal losing a loved one. i'm doing volunteer work at a cancer resource center (www.carewellcommunity.org) and it makes me feel a whole lot better that somehow I can help other people who have to deal with cancer in their families too. :) might be in vegas in october for work and mom and tisay might go with me. will keep you posted!