Tough goodbyes

Toby got some of my first knitting and spinning in these sweaters
For Toby

Our final goodbye for Toby was yesterday evening.  A joint decision after helping him through a major seizure on Sunday afternoon, and his ongoing decline in health due to the brain tumour.

Family, and also my friends where I hang out online were so supportive.  You know who you are.  These are my thanks for reminding me that there is no pin-point time, that avoiding his suffering was from a place of love, and that you have been there too.

Full cop of handspun singles on Wildcraft drop spindle using batt from Enting Fibercraft
Now plying

It was spinning that I turned to in my last afternoon with the little guy.  He slept in his bed, and I stood plying this spin on my Andean pushka.  Meditation as I watched Nilda Callanaupa’s “Andean Spinning” video again.

Handspun yarn on Wildcraft top whorl drop spindle
Mulled cider through the looking glass (well, resin)

This was spun from 3 batts totalling 3.2 oz from Enting Fibrecraft.  The set is “Mulled Cider,” hand-carded from Shetland wool (brown, grey overdyed), merino and tussah silk.  One batt is Shetland-only.  It is a 2-ply yarn that I am now spinning from an outer-pull plying ball.

Straightforward but textured.  In other words, exactly what I needed to have a good last day with our Toby Hopeful without freaking him out.  Naomi, your work is doing good in the wide world.

Pippi the oncidium orchid blooming in September
Orchid lends us a silver lining

We miss him terribly.  Melvin is trying to process a collar without a Toby.  For all the things that will now change – no foot-warming as I write to you for example – we must now adjust.  Toby came to us traumatized but what came through was his lion heart.  He overcame blindness, hoarseness, paralysis that extended even to his tongue.  The spirit never changed, and I am glad he was undaunted even when he couldn’t stand any longer.

Thankfully, he went peacefully and with the both of us by his side.


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Lara is a spinner, knitter, natural dyer, parent abandoning a certain fear of weaving. Jamaican-Canadian; she/her in the Greater Toronto Area; we have a Jellicle cat, Melvin & a Double Doodle, Spark. A spindle is usually close to hand!

9 thoughts on “Tough goodbyes

  1. It’s so hard to lose a loved friend like this; but we can be consoled that we did our best for them while we had them.

  2. Dear Lara, Oh my. Sorry, but not surprised, since I have caught up with your doings, and Toby’s, ever since your recent kind words on my acquiring a twin to your flax wheel. What a good life he had with you. And that final act of kindness to let him go. I know your memories will be a reminder of those many good times and from experience, I know this kind of pain gets fainter with time. Anita


  3. Lara Im so sorry to hear of Toby’s passing. I shed a tear and said a prayer for you and Nigel and your healing. Hold your memories tight and speak of him often as he is still with you both. Miss you

  4. Lara, my condolences. When a companion goes ahead of us, it is always so hard. You provided Toby with love and a fantastic home and let him go when it was his time.

  5. Lara, I was so sorry to hear about Toby. You will have some happy memories but there will also be a hole in your heart.


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