Knit for the Health of It. Create for the Community of It.

Knit for the Health of It. Create for the Community of It.

“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.” 

― Elizabeth Zimmerman

 

For the past few years, we’ve hosted a Friday Night Knitting Club at Alongside You. Held once a month at our art studio from September to June, we’ve had people of different ages, stages and abilities gathered together to share in a common interest. The idea grew out of community interest and was borne out of a reading of the novel The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. What’s been fascinating about knitting groups is that everyone has a story of how they came to knit. Some of us have been knitting from a young age, taught by a family member or friend; others have taken up knitting to cope with chronic pain or illness, or have used it as a way to help those less fortunate. Some knit more regularly while others pick it up after long periods of rest.

I fit somewhere in the middle. Knitting has always been in and out of my life. My twin sister and I learned how to knit from a family friend in our neighbourhood when we around 6 or 7 years old. Because of my sisters’ short stature, a lady from my parent’s church handmade and measured custom knitted outfits for her to wear. Though both of us began knitting at the same time, my sister has kept it up more consistently. She is a little more skilled and comes to my rescue. Though I liked the idea of knitting my first-born a blanket, I had a difficult time finishing it. During the early stages of labour, I thought it was a good idea to attempted to knit. I put so many holes in it that my sister took all the stitches out and refinished the blanket just in time to wrap our daughter in the blanket. She has made both of our girls’ blankets that they cannot, I repeat, cannot live without. That’s the beauty of a knitted item. So much time and effort are laced into a piece that is well treasured. Since then, we have been the happy recipients of well-loved knitted baby clothes, children’s sweaters and blankets by friends and family that are true keepsakes.

 

How Can Knitting Help Us?

 

Here are a few things I have learned about knitting over the years.

 

1. Knitting has a long history all over the world.

Whether the piece is from England, Ireland, Scotland, Latvia, Japan, Australia or Peru, only to name a few possibilities, each is derived with their own styles and techniques. The history behind each garment and each stitch made makes my head swirl!

 

 2. Knitting has major health benefits.

Because of its repetitive nature, knitting keeps your hands busy, produces relaxation, and teaches mindfulness as you tune into each stitch. It can also provide tangible results and garner a sense of accomplishment.  It is these very attributes that have increased the use of knitting as therapy in addictions and recovery programs, and dealing with things such as eating disorders, drug and alcohol addictions, and chronic pain and illness management. Knitting is not simply a creative activity, it is constructive as well; activities using both your body and brain, like knitting or crocheting, actually promote the development of neuropathways that aid in memory retention and stave off symptoms of Dementia, strengthen hand-eye coordination, and offer exercise in joint movement, decreasing symptoms of arthritis. Knitting may as well be known as the “new super craft” just as cauliflower is known for being the “new superfood!”

 

 3. Knitting requires skill. 

Because knitting requires a certain amount of knowledge on everything from how to make yarn, dye it and craft it into something using an array of colours, yarn types, stitches and patterns, you need to learn it from an experienced teacher, relative, friend, or nowadays, YouTube! Knitting is truly a skilled art form that embraces the efforts of knitters with a variety of skill levels. I’m still at the square dishcloth, or scarf stage and hope to move into creating large blankets or shawls! Though historically a woman’s craft, knitting is now being accepted as an activity suitable to all. 

 

 4. Knitting for others in need has been and continues to be a huge part of knitting.

Knitting, for the most part, is made to be functional. Knitted items such as socks, sweaters, scarves and even undergarments are made for regular use and warmth. Historically, hand knitted socks, scarves, sweaters, hats and mitts have warmed soldiers, farmers, the elderly, children, and even those in hospital.

For instance, last year, our Friday Night Knitting Club received over 70 knitted scarves to be distributed at the Union Gospel Mission’s Women’s Shelter. This year, we received over 60 knitted items (hat, scarves, socks, mitts) and over $300 of grocery cards to be donated to Azure House, Delta’s new transition for women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence. This is run by  W.I.N.G.S. (Women in Need of Gaining Strength). Similarly, The Knitting Sisters, a local group made up from women in both South Delta and Richmond, have made it their mission to support local and international charities with their knitting. Whether it is knitting items for a friend or family member, infants in the Neonatal Care Unit, the homeless, or even women’s shelters, many knitters carry on that sense of purpose. 

 

Want to infuse knitting into your life?

 

Here are some ideas on where you can start:

  1. Alongside You hosts a Friday Night Knitting Club once a month for those of any age and ability. We share stories, skills, knitting projects and refreshments. Basic instruction is available. The evening is by donation to raise funds for our Step Forward Program, that helps subsidize our services for those needing financial assistance. Everyone brings their own supplies but we also sell a selection of yarn and needles on site. So far, donations and yarn sales have raised over $2000 for the Step Forward Program and have donated numerous items to women’s shelters. The next one is February 22nd from 7 – 9:30 pm. To register, please visit our Facebook Page.
  1. Knit and Stitch is a knitting group that meets at the Ladner and Tsawwassen Libraries. Bring your own projects and share ideas. For more details, contact your local library.
  1. The Knitting Sisters are a group that meets at McKee House. They also focus on knitting for others. Here’s a great story about them.
  1. Check out Meetup, a popular site devoted to connecting people with similar hobbies and interests. Look by location or by craft.

 

Where can I find knitting supplies and inspiration?

 

There are shops all over the Lower Mainland that have beautifully crafted fibre arts for sale. Fibre Art Studio on Granville Island offers classes and have an extensive collection of yarn in vibrant colours and textures. You can also visit stores in Vancouver such as Three Bags Full, Wet Coast Wools, and in Delta, Crafty Fibre.

Want more inspiration? Check out Etsy for knitted items and patterns.

 

What Is The Takeaway?

 

Knitting is fun. It’s good for your health. It can be used to help others.

Meet the new take on graffiti or street art…YARN BOMBING! Public spaces are adorned with knitted and crocket items: Trees, statues, lamp posts, and even fire hydrants. You never know where you’ll see knitting coming into your life…it may be just around the corner!

Introduction to Art Journaling




art journaling workshop


Summer 2017 – Introduction to Art Journaling

Date: 4 Session Class in July 2017 (JULY 5TH, 12TH, 19TH, AND 26TH)

Time: 6:30pm-9:00pm

 

Early Bird Price (Before June 21st): $99+GST
Regular Price: $125+GST | Registration closes on June 28th, 2017
Use coupon code “EARLYBIRDAJ” in our online store prior to May 25th for the early bird pricing

Availability: We require a minimum of 4 individuals and a max of 8 to run the workshop. We will refund all fees if a cancellation occurs and will give as much notice as possible to clients.

Register Now!

Have you ever wanted to try art journaling but need a nudge to get started? Do you journal or write regularly and want to take it to the next level by incorporating visual art? Do you want to learn some new techniques and get your hands on some inspiring prompts? Come and draw, paint, write, explore and create at our Introduction to Art Journaling workshop!

What You Will Learn

Working with your own personal journals, you will be guided through how to:

  • Apply a variety of techniques to alter journal pages using a range of lettering, collage, foil, pastels, salt, acrylic paint, alcohol ink and a range of watercolour mediums.
  • Carve your own personal lino-cut stamp, make foam-prints, and hand-cut your own stencils.
  • Alter pages with folds, pockets, and found material.
  • Learn how to build your own on-the-go art journaling kit so you can journal anywhere!
  • Incorporate thought provoking prompts and inspirational topics to help you explore what it means to “Be You.”

What You Need To Bring

  • A notebook. You generally want something portable (that is easy to pop in your purse or bag and not smaller than 5×7.Picking out a notebook is a very personally thing! Do you want lines or blank pages? Handmade paper or smooth pages?
  • You can also choose to bring an old book and alter its pages, using them as backdrops for your work. Make sure the binding is secure and that pages are not coming loose.
  • A black thin-line pen or marker. You will be using this constantly to sketch and write.
  • A white paint or ink pen for writing or sketching over your pages.

Come with the basics and some of your favorite tools and we will provide the rest!

What We Will Provide For You To Use In The Studio

We have an assortment of:

  • Pencils, ink pens, gel pens, and sharpies
  • Wide range of papers, foils, tissue, textured and printed material.
  • Scissors, paper cutters, tracing tools, templates, stencils, and rulers
  • Tape (masking, washi, duct), glue, acrylic medium, gel medium, gesso
  • Watercolours (pallet, crayons, pencils, pens), oil paint, and acrylic paint
  • Chalk and oil pastels, stamping objects, ink, sponges, brushes, alcohol inks, fabric, and much, much more!

Is This Just For Artists?

Absolutely not! Art journaling can be done by anyone! Art journaling is your own personal place where you can experiment with colour, materials, textures, and script. You don’t have to show your art journal to anyone as they may contain your own personal thoughts and your personal creative expressions and that is okay!
It is the creative process that is important. Your journal is a place for you to work things out, to express your inner most feelings. It doesn’t have to be perfect as you are using your journal as a place to experiment with your creativity. Your art journal is yours alone and you do not have to discuss the content of your journal with anyone unless you wish to do so. We are always here and ready to assist you in any way.

Have Further Questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact Meg Neufeld at the office by calling (604) 283-7827 ext. 703 or by emailing meg@alongsideyou.ca and she will be happy to answer any questions you might have!




art journaling workshop art journaling workshop

Pre-Natal Yoga: The greatest gift a mother gives her family

Pre-Natal Yoga: The greatest gift a mother gives her family

“The greatest gift a mother gives her family is a commitment to her own self-care” Cheryl Richardson.com

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new,” and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.”― Osho Shree Rajneish

Caught your interest?  Tell me more you might be asking!

Pre-natal Yoga can provide the tools to access and connect with all the resources you have to birth your baby.  You, as a mother can unite with your breath, body, inner knowing, and the new life you are carrying inside.

Coming to a Pre-natal Yoga class can help you check in with how you are feeling.  Pregnancy can be an isolating experience, so our classes are also a great opportunity to make new mom friends! Aside from the relaxing and the physical experience, your “Mom Tribe” can come together, discuss feelings, fears, release emotions that may be building, and share resources. Pre-natal Yoga is also about building strong, capable, and competent mothers who are preparing to face some of the major changes ahead. The changes may be in relationships, like with the father of your child who may have been enjoying an exclusive relationship with you prior to the 1st born, and now is going to be sharing you with another family member.

What other ways can Pre-natal Yoga help me?

Pre-natal Yoga can provide benefits on every possible level: physical, mental, and spiritual bonding with the baby, balancing hormones, learning pain coping techniques, learning self-regulation through stress reduction and the using your nervous system, and conscious relaxation (relaxation on purpose)!

Practical application of Pre-natal Yoga knowledge

Pre-natal Yoga can help you have a powerful birth experience and help you to feel inspired and empowered, by overcoming fears about the birthing process.  You will learn about contraindicated poses, (whether to avoid or do in a gentler manner) or to avoid altogether. You will learn breathing techniques that can provide pain relief, control energy, teach you to find a focal point, and work synchronistically with the challenges of labor and childbirth, connecting the body and the mind.

But I’ve never done yoga before?

You can safely begin a Pre-natal yoga practice at any point through your pregnancy as long as you have clearance from your care provider.  You will be free to modify your poses with whatever props you want, and your teacher will give you lots of safe options, right up to delivery.

You are not done yet, and you are not alone!

This is just the beginning of your yoga journey.  Once your body has had a chance to recover from delivery, you can progress to your Post-partum Yoga. You might be thinking, “But I have already been through everything, what else is there?”

Delivery of that lovely baby is just the beginning of the journey.  You are now responsible for this new little life.  You may feel a desire to reintegrate with your Post-natal Tribe.  You have all gone through a unique experience, and now have a series of new experiences to come, in common.  You share in a spiritual companionship with other women.  You might build a community of moms, sharing new resources, building confidence in yourselves as moms.  You may be feeling blue, or even mildly depressed, often simply due to lack of sleep, which is not at all uncommon. Not to mention the physical rebuilding of pelvic core strength, regaining core strength and stability.  Repairing your posture, and maybe losing a few pounds.  There are other physical issues you may need to deal with, slight urinary incontinence, diastasis recti abdominus (DRA) which often presents as “Mummy Tummy.” Post-natal Yoga and Pelvic Rehabilitation can continue what you started in Pre-natal Yoga class to help you recover, and be your best in your new life as a Mom!

What better place to unwind, revitalize and “let go” and find that sense of belonging, than in the safe environment of your Post-natal Yoga class, with your fellow moms, your Yoga Tribe.

 

Stay tuned for information on Post-natal Yoga classes coming soon!

___________________________

We’re celebrating the opening of our new yoga studio by offering Pre-Natal Yoga classes as a 6 week Progressive Series! Pregnancy is a time to keep your workouts fun and safe! Experience with yoga is not necessary.  These classes are fun and educational and are open to all stages of pregnancy.

Sign up for you pre-natal yoga class today!

Have questions? Call Brenna at (604) 283-7827 ext. 709 or email brenna@alongsideyou.ca.

 

Strong Parents, Healthy Kids

strong-parents-healthy-kids

Strong Parents, Healthy Kids

Thursday November 17th, 6:30-8:30pm

Location:  Alongside You – #203-4840 Delta Street, Ladner

Presenters:  Andrew Neufeld, Registered Clinical Counsellor and Kathryn Barczi, Registered Social Worker and Gottman Certified Bringing Baby Home Educator
Cost:  $49 per single/couple (plus GST)

Click here to register now!

Availability: We require a minimum of 3 individuals/couples and a max of 6 to run the workshop. We will refund all fees if a cancellation occurs and will give as much notice as possible to clients.

One of the most common things we hear in couples with kids is how there’s no time to work on their own relationship. We’re all too busy with the kids. We have it all backwards. In this workshop we will introduce you to the causal relationship between the strength and satisfaction of your relationship, and the health and well-being of your child. If you want your kid to be healthy, it’s time to invest in yourselves. We’ll look at:

  • What can happen to parents and children if the transition to parenthood is difficult
  • How to recognize if your relationship is in trouble
  • Recognizing the power of a satisfied relationship
  • 3 ways to create a Culture of Appreciation
  • The 5-step strategy for relationship success

Have questions? Please email Kathryn at kathryn@alongsideyou.ca and she’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!

From Passion to Parent – What the … Just Happened?

passion-to-parent-what-happened

From Passion To Parent – What the …. Just Happened

Thursday October 13th,  6:30-8:30pm

Location:  Alongside You – #203-4840 Delta Street, Ladner

Presenters:  Andrew Neufeld, Registered Clinical Counsellor and Kathryn Barczi, Registered Social Worker and Gottman Certified Bringing Baby Home Educator
Cost:  $49 per couple (plus GST)

Click here to register now!

Availability: We require a minimum of 3 individuals/couples and a max of 6 to run the workshop. We will refund all fees if a cancellation occurs and will give as much notice as possible to clients.

Most parents get side swiped by the transition to parenthood. It’s not easy. In this workshop you’ll learn about the impact of your relationship quality on parenting.

We’ll introduce you to the changes that are common during the transition to parenthood, and give you tools to use at home that will serve as a foundation for the challenges that parenthood brings. And we’ll have some fun. We’ll look at:

  • How to effectively manage change in our relationships
  • Moving from ‘Me’ to ‘We’
  • Will we ever sleep again?
  • Sex? What sex?
  • 5 ways to build friendship

Have questions? Please email Kathryn at kathryn@alongsideyou.ca and she’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!

Introduction To Therapeutic Yoga – July 20th, 2016

therapeutic yoga at alongside you

Introduction To Therapeutic Yoga

Wednesday July 20th,  7:00-8:30pm

Location:  Alongside You – #203-4840 Delta Street, Ladner

Presenter:  Brenna Jacobson, Registered Fitness Professional, Therapeutic Yoga Instructor

Cost: $20 (plus GST) each participant

Click here to register now!

Curious about Therapeutic Yoga and whether it’s for you?

Come and join in this informational workshop that will explain how Therapeutic Yoga supports your individual needs. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and experience some examples of what it involves as you are guided through some of the techniques used in specific circumstances.

We believe that this workshop will be eye opening as you discover this profoundly useful tool in restoring harmony and balance into your life.

Partners are welcome to attend. Private sessions available upon request to provide ongoing guidance for physical and emotional support.

** Please bring your own yoga mat **

Have questions? Please call Brenna at (604) 283-7827 ext. 8 or email brenna@alongsideyou.ca