Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Knitting, resting

Let me tell you a long story, short: I'm tired.  Tired like a week signed off work and finally, with some relief, giving in to the fatigue that's been chasing me for the last 6 weeks or so. Tired like going to bed early, getting up late, giving the children a long rein while I watch as inanimately as possible - while waiting for blood test results to tell me what it's all about.

Craft mojo killer, of course. But also, I'm just fed up with it and, when I'm not sleeping, bored.  So I'm therefore very glad that when this really hit, I was in the middle of a big, simple and repetitive knitting project. I haven't been able to face much screen time, any sewing, hardly even book reading, or anything else much, but sitting still and knitting this is still do-able.

It's a completely brainless, 9-skein long scarf, knit in seed/moss stitch and nothing else - just knit one, purl one with an empty mind. Exactly what I need right now, those times that I need to have myself occupied with something. It's short bursts, a row or two at a time, but the feeling of being productive in even this small way is, I think, preventing me from becoming depressed on top of it all.

All kind of serendipitous, because when I cast on and realised the huge expanse of repetition ahead of me, I was filled with dread. But 6 skeins in, it's exactly what the doctor ordered.  By now there's enough of it to drape over myself while carrying on, and it's the softest, warmest merino I've yet come across. Which all helps.

As you can see on the labels, it's from Purl Soho - the worsted twist seed stitch wrap, to be precise. Now I kind of feel I have a post in itself to write about the need (real or imagined) to make excuses and give explanations for the cost of things like this. In fact I often feel that way about fabric and craft supplies in general, especially in 'real life'. That unspoken question about the stashes we have and the splurges we make - is sewing just a hobby for the moneyed middle class? Like I said, a whole post in itself, and to be very honest I feel awkward even mentioning it (one of my, yes, middle class taboos!). My brain isn't in the right place to go there right now, I'm afraid - for now, all I really mean to say is: I feel the need to present my excuse for an expensive knitting kit from New York, which is that it was a congratulatory present to myself for finally paying off my student loans. And it cost less than the monthly payment had been, so after months of humming and hawing I rationaled that all out to myself, shut my eyes and ordered it. When my head's back where it should be, I'll see if I can do some better thinking about the bigger issues... and if you know of any good blog posts already out there on the matter, let me know!

So anwyay, moving on. Of course, knitting being joyously portable but this wrap being MASSIVE, I needed a bigger knitting bag. So a few weeks ago, this got sewn:

Like my previous knitting bag, it's a Noodlehead open wide pouch. I sized up the largest version by about 1.5 and added some straps. The wooden plank fabric is from Ikea - I got way too much because I love it, and now can't think what to do with the leftovers, but never mind.

And that's about all for now, folks. After a couple of days off and resting intensively, I woke up today feeling a bit better - but rested is not equal to re-energised, and this is more than enough time in front of a screen for now. Whatever the outcome of this week's tests and rest, I suspect I will also need to do some proper thinking about the sleep habits and time management techniques that have served me well thus far. Perhaps they're just beginning to fail me, for whatever reason, and I don't want my sewing to be the main long-term casualty. So if nothing else comes of this whole enforced down-time, there might at least be some mindful decisions about how to best use and conserve my energy.

Plus, a luxurious new knitted scarf :-)


  1. Fingers crossed it's nothing serious and you just need a good rest and for Winter to go away. Thinking of you x
    That scarf looks so delicious and you don't have to excuse yourself to me although I know EXACTLY what you mean. I've not read any blog posts on such a topic but I would love to. Oh and that bag is awesome (lego movie). Just adore the wood.

  2. Sew Little TimeMarch 12, 2014 1:44 pm

    feel better soon!

    paying off your student loans is definitely a cause for celebrations/ splurging and the colours on this are beautiful!

  3. Hope the blood test yield only good news. Meanwhile, curl up and enjoy the lovely slowness of your knit – it really is a soothing & peaceful process. I was extremely stressed out and exhausted a few years ago when my husband was extremely ill, and it was the only thing that kept me calm.

    Wishing you a full & speedy getting better. x

  4. huisje boompje boefjesMarch 13, 2014 9:42 am

    Hope you feel better soon!
    Aah, paying off student loans, I can relate to that, almost there myself :)
    Love the knitting bag you made! I foresee a trip to Ikea in the very near future.

  5. Caroline DelaereMarch 13, 2014 11:06 am

    Sad to read you're not that well, get better soon! That scarf is just so beautiful!

  6. Silvia - Sewing PrincessMarch 13, 2014 12:12 pm

    I really hope you feel better soon. No excuses needed...we all do it from time to time. If it doesn't break the bank why not? Some women buy Gucci or Louis Vitton bags some buy crafting supplies! Love the scarf and the pouch (I made some too). It's a great idea to make a large version...and the fabric looks great to be honest I didn't think it would when I saw it on the Ikea website...power of presentation!

  7. Hope you feel better soon, Jo. Takes things slowly and listen to your mind and your body. Your knitting looks so lovely and neat! :)

  8. Hope you feel better by now! I've been diagnosed with CFS as a teenager and understand your frustration... Hope your energy will return soon!


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