Don’t Sweat the Small Socks

Welcome back to the fiber circle!

This week let’s talk socks! Over the summer I had tried a new sock knitting technique: four at a time socks inside socks! Wait? What? That’s right. I had two pairs of two at a time socks on the needles, with one pair inside the other. Here’s the YouTube video I used to figure out how to knit a sock inside of a sock:

I had a two at a time sock set going, so I started another and then put the second socks inside the first set. As much as I did enjoy the new technique, I had also started a “part time” job (with commute, its a full time hours away from home and knitting job). I felt drained of time for knitting and the four at a time socks were moving too slowly. And then came the knitting anxiety. There was nothing else for it: they had to be separated.

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My separated four at a time socks in Biscotte Yarns with my Addi Turb Sock Rocket needles. 

Once I had the separated, they did seem to fly off the needles. Of course, I did a spend a weekend working on them, so the extra hours of time did help. I had two pairs of socks done by Wednesday and it felt good!

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So what did I do to celebrate having two pairs of socks done and blocking? Cast on another two sets of socks of course! I know, if I was stressing out about not getting these socks done, why start two more? Well, because I am a knitter. I need to have socks on the go. Particularly now that I have discovered two at a time and the joy of having no second sock syndrome.

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Amazing bag by Knit for Brains, German yarn by the name of Unisono and some //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=sisteresquefi-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00DX8759A&asins=B00DX8759A&linkId=6f096d9d7e950ce9779f37af36177cfb&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Chiaogoo needles.

I made a firm decision not to let myself stress over my knitting. As a reward, I bought myself a positively perfect Nightmare Before Christmas themed bag from Knit For Brains because I adore Laura’s bags! I also went ahead and cast on a third pair of socks. Partly to challenge myself to keep enjoying my knitting rather than agonizing over how many projects I am getting finished.

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Beautiful bag by Nanette Wake, Yarn by Mineville Wool Project, more Addi needles.

I’m loving the yarn I’m using for all of my new on the go sock projects. And I keep reminding myself that a knitter should always have socks on the go. You never know when you will need to keep yourself busy in a waiting room, on a plane or in a car. So why not have a few projects in progress? The world won’t end if you don’t finish them in a “timely manner.”

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One of my finished pairs of socks in Biscotte Yarns.

In summation my fiber sisters and brethren, don’t sweat the small socks. And for that matter don’t sweat any of the things that are meant to bring you joy. I know that can be difficult when you’re having a down day, I’ve had plenty of my own. But we knit because we are looking for the good, we are finding our peace. And yes, we do happen to end up having some magically magnificent socks!

See you at the next coven meeting!

 

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There Are No Knitting Police

Welcome Sisters and Brethren! I am sitting down to my knitting circle again today with more that just knitting, won’t you join me?

I wrote last time about knitting anxiety and the pressures that I put on myself (as all of us do) to be as productive as possible. I’m still not sure what drives me to make lists of the crafty things I “need to get done,” and I have yet to master reminding myself that it is for joy that I engage in crafts. However, I did recently give myself some breathing room to work on some things that were not part of my silly list. Because, as a number of knitters have said to me before, “There are no knitting police.”

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I do love a good hand embroidered tea towel!

Bearing in mind that no knitting authorities are coming to check up on my progress, critique my technique or point out my mistakes, I got out an entirely different craft: embroidery. I do love embroidery, cross stitch and needle point crafts. When I sit with my cup of coffee and serenely stitch a cute little adornment onto a tea towel, a magical thing happens: I become my Grandma.

My inner child drifts out of my body and watches me. She remembers the smell of early morning coffee at Grandma’s farmhouse; the crisp cool of the large, drafty living room; the table full of thread, needles, beads and all manner of crafting tools; the enormous picture window looking out onto a frosty field where Grandpa’s horses are grazing. In these private, sentimental moments I remember the joy that I am meant to feel when I engage in making. I reconnect to a simpler, happier me.

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I didn’t have Grandma’s ribbon candies, so mints will have to do. 

There are no knitting police, we only police ourselves. Making lists of To Do’s in my crafts is not a bad thing necessarily, but we all need to find that balance between practicality and bliss. My stash of supplies and tools may seem a mountain and my list of planned projects endless, but the end results (useful tho they are) cannot be the only reason I push myself to craft. I need to enjoy the process. Allow myself to recall how what I make today is not just useful tomorrow, but brings me closer to yesterdays that I cherish and should not overlook.

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Dog Mom’s coffee never quite smells like Grandma’s coffee somehow. 

So yes, I have lost track of where I “should be” in my list of things to craft and make. Yes, I am hopping between crafts. Yes, I have cast on socks before I have finished other projects – and, yes, with yarn I had intended to use for other things! But there are no knitting police, and today I am going to allow myself to be OFF DUTY. My knitting and crafting is a mental vacation. A brief stay in a place of peace, with a few sentimental day dreams of memories past. I will not arrest myself for low productivity and I will not sit in a prison of my own making. Not today, anyway.

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The dogs pulled this yarn off the shelf, so I cast it on. 

I am wishing you all a happy, chaotic and blissful Sunday! I love and appreciate all of you who are joining my little crafty coven!

Until next time, Sisters and Brethren, I am with you.

Knitting Anxiety: Why Do I Create It?

Hello Sisters and Brethren!

*Warning – I curse sometimes*

This weekend I have finally gotten some knitting done! For those who know me well, it would come as a surprise to find that I have gotten very little knitting in during the last two weeks. My normal modus operandi is to knit for a couple of hours every day, but truthfully for the last few months I have been struggling to get time in for my beloved hobby.

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Four at a time socks that I had to separate to get off the needles. 

I do have a part time job that I started in May, which has significantly cut in to my creative life. This frustrates me, but sadly income is necessary for all of us, and I have not yet made my knitting and yarny joy into a day job (still trying, tho!). Honestly, the job shouldn’t deter my knitting terribly, but because my time is now limited differently, I find I am creating my own knitting anxiety.

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Cauldron Bubble – new colorway that took me full a week to add to the shop after dyeing. 

 

True confession, I have some general anxiety and depression issues (self-diagnosed as I am too embarrassed to bring it up to a doctor as of yet). So it’s not entirely unusual for me to over think and over stress even the simplest of things. Where my knitting, yarn dyeing, designing and even blogging is concerned, I have a bad habit of giving myself arbitrary and unreasonable deadlines for completing projects. When I do not meet those deadlines or complete ‘enough’ projects, posts or new products in a given time period, I begin to feel very lazy, useless and bitterly bummed out.

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I finished a pair socks, finally! Yay!

I can’t quite say why I do this. I did grow up in small town (population 1,100 small) South Dakota in a stereo-typical hard work ethic valuing environment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe hard work can be a good thing and having goals and ambition can be beneficial. However, where I come from, creative endeavors are often meant for retirees or people considered to be hapless and burdensome. Practicality was always king and the idea of even having an artistic dream, let alone following one, was an aberration.

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Double Double Mini Kits – why do I think I need to be ready for Halloween already?

While how I grew up may be a factor in why I create stress in a hobby that should be a stress reliever, I’m not sure its the whole story. I am 31, and I feel somewhat that I need to take accountability for…well, for my own bullshit. My rational mind is aware that I am my own enemy when it comes to my anxiety. I choose what my self worth is measured by, so I do not need to measure myself by how much of my hobby I complete. Yet, continuously, I get angry with myself for not getting more done.

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House on the Hill – new colorway, and my dream house. 

I don’t have a happy ending answer for why I stress myself out. I am still working through why I become so anxious about things that should only be happy, and how to stop myself from doing it. But I wrote this blog post as I believe I cannot be the only knitter or crafter out there who struggles with this. Maybe we’re just struggling with anxiety in general, maybe life is a bit overwhelming sometimes and it just permeates every part of us and all that we do.

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Phantasm – a creation of the mind, much like my anxiety. 

Whatever the case, I think we all need to remember to forgive ourselves for what we perceive to be our short comings or failings. Knitting is meant to be my joy, my me time, my creative outlet and in some ways my self love. I am still working on just getting out of my own way and letting go of the need to measure my accomplishments or success as though it makes up who I am. It does not. So if you’re anxious about the things that are supposed to make you happy, you are not alone. And at least that’s something.

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Krypt Kicker – let’s all put our stress in a crypt and kick it!

Thanks for getting real with me for a while. Next time, I may have a happier post, or I may not. But I’m going to try and just be proud of myself that I did post, and not tell myself that I have a deadline for the next one.

May your knitting and hobbies feel magical and cure you of your ills! And when they don’t, forgive yourself. It’s ok.

Until next time Sisters and Brethren in yarn!

 

 

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