Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So Now What?

The short and concise answer is not much.

The question comes after our family has been going through battles with the school and the school board, struggling through an almost year long process of getting a diagnosis and trying to find some help for our son Christopher.

Last week we finally got the official diagnosis - Christopher has autism.

Christopher also has ADHD, which we have known about since he was 3. There is also the very distinct possibility that there are also other issues going on such as Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

Life can be very difficult when you are "different." I was so relieved when the diagnostic process was over because I believed that now we would be able to provide Christopher with some much needed assistance to help him navigate the rocky road that is his life.

Instead I find myself angry and upset. It turns out that we live in what is known to the rest of the autistic community across Canada as "the waste land." There is so little government funding for autism programs in Saskatchewan that the waiting list for services is about 10 years long.

We are luckier than a lot of families. Christopher's autism is relatively mild. My heart bleeds for the families who need intensive therapy if their children are to have any hope of improvement. At least we aren't put into the position of having to remortgage our home, borrowing heavily from anyone we can or even being forced to move to another province where there are better services in place.

There are some changes currently being made to try and address this huge embarrassing deficit. The problem is that a lot of children can't wait. They need help NOW. Waiting for the slow wheels of bureaucracy to turn can mean the difference between a life of total dependancy or a chance at a meaningful life. At the same time, however, the same government is cutting back funding to the school boards for educational assistants.

In Christopher's case little interventions could have the potential to make a big impact on his life. We will just have to get in line and hope. You can only listen to your child cry himself to sleep so often before your heart completely breaks. He knows he is not like the other kids.

If you can, please please make autism a cause you support. In Saskatchewan there is The Autism Resource Centre. There is also The Casey Foundation, which was started by a parent of an autistic child to try and provide financial support for families needing services. The foundation was started in 2005. Casey is still currently only on the waiting list.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Pioneer Gets a Makeover

My humble little plain Jane Majacraft Pioneer has received a make-over. From the beginning it has always been in the back of my mind that one day I would do something to fancy her up a bit. It just took me over a year before I finally figured out what exactly to do. In the end I kept it simple and just did a stencil in shades of brown and antique gold and then applied a darker stain. 

I am quite pleased with her now and think she looks very pretty.  
So she is all finished and put back together now.She still spins like a dream.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


So I am happily knitting away on the lace scarf....

And then I see it - a knot!!
I have been hunting around the internet for the last couple of days looking for the best way to deal with it. It is such a tiny little knot that I could be tempted to just ignore it and keep on knitting, but I am paranoid (probably rightly) that at some point in the future it will work its way loose.

Does anyone have any great suggestions on how to proceed? Russian join (and hopefully a lovely link that will give idiot-proof instructions complete with pictures)? A stitch join (I have read of references to this, but still really don't know what it is)?

Any and all help greatfully received.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Forays into Lace Knitting

As if adding hats and mittens to my repertoire of knitting wasn't exciting enough, I am now also knitting lace.

The jury is still out on if I really enjoy it or not.

The first lace scarf wasn't too bad since it was made from a 50/50 merino-silk that I dyed and spun myself. It came out at about 16 wraps per inch so it wasn't terribly fine. I used Falling Water Lace Scarf pattern. It is very pretty and very soft and I love wearing it. I hate blocking it, however. Unfortunately, learning lace also meant having to learn to block.

After success with the first lace go-round I decided that I would take on some of the buffalo fibre that I have been hoarding for the last 17 months. I dug out the Buffalo Gold Lux, which is 45% Bison, 20% Cashmere, 20% Silk, 15% Tencel, wiped off the drool marks and got to work on Falling Birch Leaves.
This one is much slower going as it is a two-ply true lace weight. The worst part is that when I make a mistake I am finding it almost impossible to fix it without having to unknit back to the point that I went wrong and then re-knit again.

And in totally unrelated knitting news... yesterday it was Christopher's turn to get his blue belt in kempo. He did awesome in his kumite (10 minutes of free sparring with alternating opponents every minute - a LOT harder than it sounds). For both Katie and Christopher it has sunk in that they are only two belts away from their junior black belt.