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And now it’s 17 years.

17 years since my brother died. since AIDS took him. 18 and a half years since AIDS took his partner, Jeff. and around 18 years since Eric found Randal- who saw it through til the end. 17 years since a devoted pit bull named Justice laid down on Eric’s legs while he was sleeping, and stayed there beyond Eric’s last breath. (Eric and Randal got him from a shelter, and named him Justice “cuz there ain’t no Justice”)

17 years. a long time. yet just a few days ago. my mother said that when i talked to her earlier. and i guess that’s how it should be. how i want it to be. it has been a long time, but i want it to feel like just a few days ago. to never forget. i never will. it may sound dramatic, but truly, there is not a day that goes by where he does not cross my mind. but i don’t really know what to say today. it’s going to be a really hectic month here at Puff the Magic Rabbit, and i’m stressed to the point of wanting to shut down. i almost would have liked for today to go by without my remembering the significance of it. but the day is here, and it’s one of the days in my life that marks the passing of time.

if i was speaking to him today, what would he say and what would i say? i think what i am missing the most right now is the positive influence he would be in my daughter’s life. my 14 year old, brave, strong, sensitive girl is quite openly a lesbian- and i think that having Eric around might help her with some of the issues she will face- issues he faced many years ago. i’d like to talk to him about those issues then- i was really too young to help at the time, but i’d like to know what he faced through my older eyes. offer whatever i could even though it’s way too late.

so i try to strike a balance between wanting all the things we all missed out on, regretting all that i was not able to be while he was still here, and knowing that really what we had is just what we had. there will always be missing, and wishing, and regretting, and imagining.

this is where it is at 17 years.

same request as always- tell your siblings you love them, and if you must pick on them or call them names- do it with as much love and kindness as you can.

and spin. and dye. and card. cuz there will be a whole lot of that going on.

currently on the needles- a little toddler cardigan for the gallery to sell here in town- but i couldn’t possibly get a good picture now (that’s what happens when you decide at midnight that you should write a blog post). so when it’s done, you’ll see it. also on the needles is a design for Persimmon Tree Farm’s brushed mohair. this will be very similar to my brushed mock-neck for Kid Hollow Farm with a few updates. i’m working up the sample for Persimmon Tree- the pattern will be available from her and from me, once i work up a sample in my brushed. but i have other ideas for my brushed, too…

just OFF the needles is a swatch in this:

love this yarn!

i think i shall knit in no other color but this for the next forever. it’s a hard color to capture but there is black, dark purple, light purple, dark green, light green, and spots of cream (note to self, do not tie the skeins so tightly before i dye them. while i might like the cream dots, not everyone will). this is my This Year’s Pink colorway on the superwash merino sport weight i will have for sale soon. this will get the first pattern. it will be quite similar to this:

floppy!

oh wait. i’m supposed to be showing you a sweater…

tada!

and just in case you didn’t see it clearly:

fluff loves me!

ok. so none of these ended up being really good pictures of the sweater. it’s kind of a prototype- i had an idea and i wanted to see if it would work. i had this wonderful yarn hanging out in the stash (tahki sedona. it’s been discontinued. feh). i wanted an open, swingy, comfy to wear cardigan with no closure. i don’t like restrictive jackets or heavy layers. so i did what i thought i wanted to see how it would go. i wore this out to dinner and visiting the other night, and it was cozy, warm, yet very easy to wear (i didn’t want to take it off when we got home). there are a few things i will change, and this will be redone and written for the sport weight.

i dyed some mohair today for the “fruit n cream” batts. mohair and creamy angora bunny.

strawberries n cream

there will also be blackberries n cream, blueberries n cream, and peaches n cream.

i sent about 20 lbs of mohair, shetland, and silk off to Zeilinger’s mill that should be back early april as fluffy, lofty roving all ready for me to hand paint.

it seems to me there was something else i wanted to tell you all, but bed-time is creeping up on me and i just can’t think of it. so, until i do…

i can't tell you how many times i have asked fluff and stuff not to talk with their mouths full...

spreading my wings

remember all the pretty undyed yarns i showed you? well, have a look at this-

bits and pieces

puff the magic rabbit will now be carrying hand dyed yarns. this is new- baby loop kid mohair boucle. most skeins are 9+ ounces w/ a generous 1100+ yards- you can do anything with that. (and pattern support will be coming soon. i’m knitting just as fast as i can!).

baby evan's baby blue

i also have brushed kid mohair- same weight and yardage as the baby boucle.

seeing double- baby evan's baby blue

and in case you wondered about the name of the color…

how could you not name a baby blue yarn after him?

i will also carry a super-wash merino dk, and many, many more. i’ve begun playing with the dk, it takes dye very differently than the mohair does, but i think i’m going to like it, and it may get the first pattern. photos of that, you ask? well, i think some things shall remain a mystery…

for marri, yes, stuff does have his own color.

stuff's midori punch

these yarns and others are listed in my etsy shop. there are also some of these yarns live and in person at Coordinated Colors Yarn Shop– so if you happen to be in the Williamsburg, Yorktown, Norfolk area, pay them a visit. their variety is fantastic, and the owners are very nice people- a great LYS.

hope you guys are all doing well. the goaties are mischievous, as always. if i could just get them to stop stealing my coffee. oh well…

cookies being pretty

say hi and tell me what you’ve been up to- i’ll be back soon.

finding my wings

big changes are coming…

Hey you,

On Sundays, Facebook sends you an email list of all of your “friends” who have birthdays coming up that week. I knew it was coming up- I’m good with birthdays- but there was still a jolt of sad when I saw your picture. I’m glad they’ve kept your profile up, I’m not sure if it is your son or daughter- I know it will be nice for your friends to have a place to stop and send you birthday greetings.

Tonight I’m thinking about all of the cold Saturdays at the downtown market in Charlottesville. The morning always started with you fussing at me for being late (like you were surprised at that?). I’d usually get the morning coffee cuz I just hated setting up my booth. I remember passing off pecan pie as your birthday cake. I remember you trying to sneak Splenda into my coffee once (and I did SO notice it sucked, I just didn’t want to sound ungrateful). There was always a moment of you fussing at Pat and me to get to work. There was the decision of where lunch would come from, and who would go get it. There was the point in the late morning/early afternoon when Pat would send you home to nap (yes, you did get grumpy). And then there was you coming back to pack up- and Pat and I never getting it right.

I’m thinking of those weekends now, because it’s that time of year and I will always associate those Saturdays with your birthday. But it’s not just now that I think of you. You and Pat became such an important part of my life- you both come to my mind all the time. I’d only known you 6 years, but the sense of belonging I felt with you guys will last forever.

I’m hoping that Pat, your kids, your family, all your friends- everyone who is remembering your birthday today is able to do it with a sense of peace and a smile. I don’t doubt there will be tears- I know I’m smiling through mine, cuz I’m so glad today was your day. (now feel free to fuss away, cuz there ain’t no way I’m getting up early enough to do that downtown market ever. again.)

happy birthday. miss and love you,

mindy

 

 

it’s been so long- they’ve changed everything on wordpress. that’ll teach me not to blog. oh, and i’m not really blogging tonight. but i will give you a gratuitous goatie pic or 2- though if you’re on facebook you’ve seen them.

cookies being pretty

floppy being... floppy

there ya go. i’m gonna spin now. or make a mocha. the mocha may win…

I’ve said it all before, or have I? And you know, it’s not like the actual DAY makes any difference. My brother is gone, he was gone yesterday when it was 15 years and 364 days, he’s gone today at exactly 16 years, and he will be gone tomorrow at 16 years and one day. So what if i took a year off from writing on his death-day? Why does it have to be exactly today. But here it is, today. And here I am, writing about it. Somehow, I can’t not.

Eric made a cameo in one of my crazy dreams last night- the dreams were all over the place- but for a moment he was there and healthy- even as the goat shearer was trying his hardest to convince me Eric did not have AIDS and did not die. And I do often have dreams where he was able to keep AIDS at bay, and live with it. Then there are the twisted up dreams where even though I know he is gone, I am still at the train station putting him back on a train to Boston.

It never changes- I always want him back. All the reasons I want him back are all the reasons I’ve wanted him back for the past 16 years. Sometimes one reason is more prominent than all the others- they shuffle, rearrange themselves- some days it is the wish that the 6 beautiful children that would call him Uncle Eric could know him- and that he could know them- I know they’ve missed a wonderful uncle- but he ended up missing some pretty fantastic kids, too. Sometimes it’s wanting to have a good snark session over our aging parents (I am soooo going to be in trouble if Mom figures out how to work her computer…). I’d like to hear the endless ribbing I would get over my farm (he, like my mother, would swear I was switched at birth). I’d like to be a bratty little sister again. I’d like to be a younger sister that he could show all the important stuff in Boston to. I’d like to go to him when I’m unsure of life and some of the changes that have happened this year- hard, scary changes, and wonderful changes I’m afraid to trust. I’d like him to be able to come to me to see if I can give him another perspective. I would love for my sister and parents to not have to miss him anymore. I wish, I would love, I would give teeth for…

If you’re new here, you can go here and here and here but most of you know all of that. Which means, you know what I’m asking- be nice to your brother or sister, or if you HAVE to call them a dweeb or pull their hair, do it gently.

Eric, I love you and miss you. Manda, I love you.