Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A skirt knit from handspun yarn

My daughter took these pictures of me in my new skirt. I raided my Etsy shop and used a bunch of the yarn to knit this skirt. I wanted a mindless knitting project, and this was it! The pattern is the Ribbed Pencil Skirt on Ravelry. I think there are about 1800 yards of handspun in this skirt. It's really comfy. 

 It has a folded-over waistband with elastic.

I need to get some really nice slouchy boots to wear with this, and some good tops.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Errand Rider eBook is free this weekend!

 The eBook version of my novel The Errand Rider is free this weekend, Feb. 3-5, on Amazon.
Here is the link if you are interested: https://www.amazon.com/Errand-Rider-Linda-Ash-ebook/dp/B01JTDE2AM 


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When your own Characters become your inspiration

I was recently inspired by one of my own characters. You see, in most of my writing there is an undercurrent. I have always been aware of the differences with which men and women are thought of and treated, and the differences in the opportunities afforded each gender, not just in my home country here in the U.S., but globally. These differences have never been subtle, in fact, it was at the tender age of seven that these differences began to rankle. Seven. How obvious do things need to be for a seven-year old to be able to notice. And so my antagonists are usually women and my writing usually highlights ability and self-reliance to a degree, but also what can be achieved through friendship, and people having one-another's back.

And so when the Women's March on Washington began to be organized several months ago, my first thought was, "I have to be there," - for me, for Yazidi girls and women, for child brides, for victims of FGM, for the woman who is controlled by her boyfriend/husband, who is abused by her boyfriend/husband, for victims of sexual assault and violence, for the woman who is suddenly afraid of that man walking behind her, or who suddenly has to calculate her every word or gesture because things at the party, the bar, her workplace just became questionable. And the list goes on.

The only thing is that after having bouts of feeling really terrible over the past several years, I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Which sucks. I used to be really active but I've slowed down quite a bit lately because of the hurting all over thing. Getting to the march (from northeast Ohio), and then marching seemed like it might be kind of painful.

Then I heard about the pussyhat project. That made me really happy. I'm a knitter, so I knitted a lot of hats grateful that I could do this to contribute. But as the date for the march drew nearer, I can't tell you how deeply I felt I was letting myself and my convictions down by not attending. And then my daughter suggested that we go. She's newly married and lives a couple of hours away. How could I not go with my daughter who is strong and doesn't take things from anybody and wanted to be a part of this wonderful thing.

So I thought about it. And my character Gwyn from my book, "The Errand Rider," came to mind. She is traveling alone, by horseback at one point in the book and is injured. I'm sure she's tired and uncomfortable and pain is involved, but she goes on. She has quite a big journey still ahead of her and she will be in even more uncomfortable places and have to deal with other aches and pains, but she never complains and she doesn't stop. She goes on and gets the job done, and in the process saves a little prince and two realms to boot.

Now, by myself I can't save anything, but as part of a collective movement, who knows what can be accomplished? So in the end, my daughter and I followed all of those hats I made to Washington and together with hundreds of thousands of others, we got the job done. We added our voices to the millions around the world who roared with the message that women will be heard. And we're not stopping there. We will do what we can when we can to further women's causes and voices around the world.

So thank you Gwyn, for being an inspiration to me.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

My new book is out!

My new book is now available on Amazon! The eBook version is available now, and the print version will be coming soon.

Feeling unappreciated at home, Gwyn embarks on a routine errand which quickly becomes anything but, as war brews and she is drawn into the middle of it. Gwyn finds that her survival suddenly relies on her abilities – which may also prove key to saving the life of a young prince, and the entire realm.

It's a quiet little story about a young woman who gets drawn into quite an adventure while running an errand for the queen. I hope there are a few who like it - I enjoyed writing it.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wooly Stuff

When you make yarn from raw fleeces, you will have waste wool. I've been carding up waste wool to use as mulch in  the backyard garden boxes. 

I also knitted up some socks with some of the better wool that's left in the combs after combing fiber. I made the socks toe-up using the figure-8 cast-on. I did't use a pattern, just free-handed and did an after-thought heel.

Just some of the wooly stuff I've been up to lately.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ginger Beer and Pound Cake

I've been watching some really interesting BBC shows on YouTube. I think there are three different shows, if there are more, let me know! Anyway, they are Tudor Monastery Farm, Victorian Farm, and Edwardian Farm. In the shows, three people live the life of farmers in that particular era for a year. The shows are so interesting, I love them. The other day, after watching Edwardian Farm episode V, I was inspired to make pound cake and ginger beer. I've got the ginger beer doing its thing in a dark closet. It should be ready in a few days. The pound cake is just about ready to come out of the oven and smells delicious.

One other thing I've been up to is Eco-printing. Here is a cotton carry-bag that I printed with things from my yard:

I don't know how long the color will last before fading. I did mordant the bag before hand, so that might help a bit.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fleece diet

One of the members of a knitting group I belong to went on a yarn diet. She forbade herself to buy any new yarn until she had used up all of her stash. Well I have put myself on a fleece diet. I am working my way through the fleeces that I already have before purchasing any new ones. I' not even going to Maryland Sheep and Wool this year. I'll really miss it, but if I just can't handle the diet, I can hop over to the Great Lakes Fiber show, May 28-29. Hopefully my Etsy shop will slowly fill with all of the yarn I will be making : )