Friday, March 26, 2010


From Knitting, etc.

Back for another round of blog therapy. So yes, my friends joke that I'm known for occasionally dropping off the radar. When things get busy or I feel overwhelmed, I'll retreat in my apartment. I start ignoring phone calls, forgetting to reply to emails, spending hours upon hours napping in bed over the weekends rather than going out.

But even when I feel like I'd prefer to be completely alone rather than dealing with the world around me, I find myself becoming more connected to the lovely crafters on Ravelry. I've found a few amazing groups of supportive people (especially in Got Friends?) who celebrate each other's triumphs and comfort one another in defeat.

From Knitting, etc.

But I took it one step further and started swapping. I didn't realize how much fun I'd have choosing and making knitty gifts for a total stranger. And the friendships that form after makes swaps all the more rewarding. Above is my first ever swap package - I knitted up a Robin's Egg Blue hat in Cascade Venezia bulky, which was so soft with a subtle sheen to it. With it, I sent pattern markers and stitch markers from Andrea Jene Designs, and a skein of Claudia's Hand Painted Yarns in Eat Your Veggies. My awesome swapette said she's thinking of knitting up the yarn into a Reverie beret, and I think it's the perfect choice.

Even though I'm working on getting myself out a little more often and returning those phone calls a little more promptly, I know I can stop by Ravelry and always feel at home with some people I feel honored to refer to as friends.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


From Knitting, etc.

First off, a major thanks to everyone who sent such kind, supportive comments on #24. I'm hoping that maybe it's simply the winter of my discontent, but I'll be back to life now that it's spring thaw. Nonetheless, our crafty community of bloggers is amazing and you all inspire me.

Now, back to a little blog therapy. Since I've been in a general malaise as of late, I've noticed that I'm spending more and more time in my apartment, hermiting indoors and staying away from this all too harsh winter that buried DC under quite a bit of snow. Of course, I feel guilty avoiding friends so that I can watch bad television (please forgive my syndicated Grey's Anatomy habit) and take naps in-between keeping up with schoolwork and the like, but it has also given me time to read lots of blogs and scour Etsy and the like for new ideas of things to make. Thus, new crafting habits are being formed!

To start, I have ventured into embroidery territory, which to me always seemed so grandmotherly (even more-so than knitting, somehow), but thanks to folks like Jenny Hart, there's so many refreshing avenues to explore. I've made a few little goodies as gifts, and I'm finding it fun and relaxing to learn a new stitch or pick out embroidery floss - not to mention, it's a much cheaper habit than knitting! I'll be sharing some photos soon, but I don't want to spill the beans on the gifts I've made until they're received by their rightful owners.

But my new favorite activity is spinning, despite my current lack of skill. I've had a top-whorl drop spindle for a few months now, but the Homespun Yarn Party got me excited to start dabbling again, and I bought a few bags of fiber to use once I have a better hang of it. Even though I don't think my yarn looks any good at all, I'm enjoying the process and excited for improvements. The photo up there is of my second in-progress attempt, made from beautiful roving dyed by Pancake and Lulu.

My new crafty adventures bring a little joy when I'm feeling down and out. But enough of my therapy session! What new projects have you been getting into lately? I want to hear all about it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


First, starting off with some recent yarny goodness - the cutest slippers with my favorite yellow buttons, which I knitted as a gift for little baby-to-be, Olive.

From Knitting, etc.

Now onto more serious business: I'll admit that if I've only gained one piece of knowledge over the last almost two years of grad school, it's this: life will always be changing on you... generally without notice and often not in ways you imagined or planned. In the last year, I've felt as if I'm standing in the ocean, getting hit by one crashing wave after the next, with no clue what's coming at me. And although these experiences are all at once upsetting and exciting and certainly character building, one constant has remained - an urge to create things.

In the moments when it seems like circumstances are destroying me, I have been retreating to my knitting needles, my notebook, my sewing machine, my embroidery hoop, and there I can find a sense of calm. I haven't produced a great amount of work and I can't say much of it has been all that challenging (Come on, how many variants of a knit beanie can one person make in a month?), but making simple items, especially for valuable people in my life, is rewarding and creates the illusion of routine when my life is at its most chaotic.

It's not easy to admit when you're not on the best emotional footing. It's even harder to recognize when it grows to affect everything you do. Only recently have I noticed how my crafting habits as of late are a reflection of my current, vulnerable state of mind. In the next few posts here, I plan to explore just that - so indulge me, if you will, as I reflect on these things. And don't worry, there will be lots of FOs and yarn porn to share along the way. Up for a little blog therapy, anyone? :)