Postcard From... Northern California

This guest post is part of the 2017 Makers Postcard series - find other posts here, and the 2016 series here.

"I want to knit the northern sky and drape it around my shoulders to keep warm."

I wrote these words on Facebook last year with a picture of the Celestarium Shawl, a circular shawl knit to represent the stars and constellations of the northern night sky. Something about this captivated me even though I am not a fan of circular shawls (too hard to keep put when wearing). Imagining wrapping myself in the cosmos brought a sense of calm and wonder I was desperately looking for. The thought of knitting around and around and around, carefully placing beads to represent stars felt like a mediation in creation, a way to muse my world into being at time when everything felt stuck. 

This is how inspiration tends to come to me. Through emotion and imagination.

When asked to write about how landscape inspires my crafting, my mind quickly went down an impressive list. I live in northern California, in the tiny town of Cotati. It boasts being the “hub of Sonoma County”, a world renown wine region. It has a statue of an accordion player in the town plaza to commemorate the famous Cotati Accordion Festival. I once read it had more bars per capita than any other place in the county. Small and quirky, my little town is. Within an hour I can be overlooking the fields of my pick of beautiful wineries, hiking the wild coastline, crossing the Golden Gate Bride into San Francisco, wandering a redwood forest, or exploring any number of the local treasures. Sophisticated to rugged, to creative, to urban, to agricultural, to cozy hometown, there is a bit of everything close by. 

I could write well about how any one of the joys of living right where I do influences me. Yet, the location that holds the most fascination, that is my most consistent muse, is my inner landscape. My dreams, emotions, desires, troubles, joys, insecurities, these are the raw materials for my creativity. This inner world of sensate cravings and emotional flow is what most often dictates what is on my needles, or my sewing table, or in my camera's eye, or pouring out into my super secret poetry journal. 

Of all of my creative expressions, my knitting holds a unique and special place in my heart. It is all at once expressive, creative, nourishing, practical, portable, traditional, as well as edgy and revolutionary. It is my most consistent creative companion, able to adapt and shift with each of my moods and curiosities. I am sure it is not a surprise then that I have multiple projects on the go at any one time. Each one speaking to a part of my ever shifting inner landscape. Each one telling its own story, pointing the way forward to me.

There is lace for when I want focus and precision and the assurance that each tiny step if taken in its right time will create the most glorious of outcomes, even if I can't see it at the moment.

The Beekeeper's quilt, a blanket made of hundreds to small “hexapuffs” that will be sewn together to create a blanket of as many colors as I choose. I have around 150 now. To make a covering for my bed I need...a whole lot more! I knit puffs when I need a quick fix of completion. Proof that even small pockets of time are enough to complete something of useful beauty, a part of a greater whole. (Ahem, I am obviously not a weave my ends in as I go type.)

The simplest imaginable squishy garter stitch triangle scarf, out of the most divine shade of pomegranate red textured silk, I reach for this when I need calming and rhythmic soothing of my anxious mind and heart. Sometimes I don't have any extra brain power to pay attention and just want to listen to my needles click and glide, be entertained by the vibrancy of saturated color.

There is a soon to be cast-on hat out of locally grown and died wool from Montana, bought when visiting dear friends. (Local yarn makes the best souvenirs!) It has taken me a long time to decide what to do with this one precious skein. I have forgotten what it is as I have lost the ball band long ago. I have squished and smelled and swatched it many times over the past year when I am missing my friends and wanting the energy of big skies and wild lands. This hat in the making will forever hold the story of generous friendship and the rugged energy of Montana.

And so it goes. My inner self and the private world only I know pulls me to color, texture, complexity or simplicity, in sync with what I most need. Soothing, challenging, comforting, meditative, blissful, I find myself within my swirling life. In this way I work my inner world through working my needles. Insights come, ideas flow, deep resonance builds between myself and my world. I find myself. One sacred stitch at a time.

My Celestarium Shawl is knit with yarn gifted to me by a dear friend and master yarn painter, Gina Wilde of Alchemy Yarns. Hand painted just for me in the base she calls Lust- what a cosmic wink! The feeling of being lost in the world drew me to Clestarium. Then the stars aligned with the beautiful gift of the perfect yarn named for a word expressing longing. 

I knit the northern sky out of alchemy and desire, and remembered myself.

Sandi Davis is a coach and intuitive who guides women back home to themselves. 

She writes, creates luscious things, drinks a lot of tea (milk and sugar, please), and of course, knits. You can find her at where she offers Letters from the Liminal, a free monthly intuitive missive, as well as other ways to find your elemental nature. Please connect with Sandi on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you are taking inspiration from your location this summer, share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #makerspostcards and tag me @craftsfromthecwtch. 


  1. " I find myself. One sacred stitch at a time." Aaaaaah, those words were so worth reading this post for. This post in its entirety made my heart sing.

    1. Thank you Amanda. I enjoyed writing this and it makes me so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you Sarah for inviting me.

  2. I love this post and the inspiration behind this shawl. I noticed there are 2 others and I might start with the cowl as I have not done much beading and it stated it was a good pattern for beginner beaders. I will definitely be visiting Sandi's website as she really spoke to my 'inner self' when it comes to creating. I was never able to put it into words before...thank you, Sandi and thank you CFTCW!

    1. Oh I think it would be a very easy knit for someone new to beading. The knitting itself is easy so you don't have to keep track of too many things at the same time. I am so very happy this spoke to you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  3. Writer, intuitive, knitter ... damn, Sandi weaves it all into some magical, soul-reaching writing/poetry. Delicious.


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