Category Archives: Crafts

Finished!

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I finished knitting my Yogini Bolero while Terry was in the hospital. It was incredibly stressful, logisticaly and emotionally, and I found solace in the repetitive nature of knitting. Instead of just sitting in the waiting area at the emergency room twiddling my thumbs or nervously interrogating nurses, doctors or janitors (as I saw others doing), I had my emergency knitting ready to go. My fingers flew and in the end, I have a quite useful product that cost me financially 25% of what they cost new at the store.

When I heard the Yarn Harlot in Vero Beach, she talked about research at Harvard showing that repetitive visual-spatial action helped people deal with stress and trauma. However, they concluded that it wasn’t practical to keep “emergency knitting projects” handy. Well, it works for me!

I just found another site called Knit on the Net where a fellow knitter, Betsan Corkhill, is promoting the therapeutic benefits of knitting.

Her site says, “It’s already known and accepted within the medical profession that occupied people feel less pain and depression, so that’s a good start. However, the large amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that knitting has much more to offer. It isn’t simply about keeping people occupied with an activity they enjoy. It’s not just ‘old fashioned’ occupational therapy either. There’s a lot more to knitting than initially meets the eye!

“The rhythmic repetitive movements of knitting are important – quite how, we’re not absolutely certain of yet, but we have our theories. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that they induce a form of meditation very similar to Mindfulness. Recent research has shown that Mindfulness can be very effective in treating depression and chronic pain. It can also help those who are fit and healthy to combat stress and to manage life’s downs. It helps you to put into perspective any traumatic issues that would normally dominate your waking thoughts helping you to find a stable balance between problematic events and feelings and more positive, pleasant sensations within the current moment. It’s a state of mind where you’re not mulling over the past or fretting about the future.”

She goes on, “The rhythm of these movements has a calming effect which is already being used successfully to manage disruptive behaviour and ADHD in children. Many who have written to me say they use their knitting to manage anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and conditions such as asthma, where calmness is important. Of course the portability of knitting means you can carry your calming remedy around and use it when and wherever you need. This portability makes knitting, along with some needlework projects, unique in the craft world.

The automaticity of knitting is important, too. It occupies some areas of your brain, whilst freeing up others. Many find that this enables them to ‘zone out’ to become ‘mindless’. This gives your mind a mini break from any problems, enabling you to escape into the sanctuary of a quiet mind. This brings down stress levels and breaks into negative or ruminating downward thought cycles.”

Works for me!

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Finished!

I made AJ a robe and pj pants. Now to cut out the matching shirt!  That robe pattern is one of the first things I sewed when I got a machine a few years ago. Grace still wears it!
Aj's new pj set
Grace and AJ in their robes

And I knitted my first successful pair of socks. They’re for AJ. And I think they’re so cute! It only took 3 tries.
Socks!
Aj's foot--they fit great!

Nap time.

I convinced my daughter to nap today. Every Tues. night is Bible study at our friends’ house, and Grace is so bratty past 700pm. Bible Study STARTS at 7:00pm. So we got home from the park (See previous post) and AJ played in the yard, on his bike, in the rain. Silly boy. We fingerpainted inside and AJ had a hard time wrapping his mind around what to actually do. He decided it would be much better to wash his hands and then brush his teeth. Whatever. Then he went in his room for a nap.

I discovered crayon on the back of Grace’s door and gave her a cloth and sprayed some bleach and made her scrub it off. I thought it was “restitution” and a form of discipline, but it turns out she likes to clean things. She begged for more cleaning. So she cleaned all the doors and windowsills on the main floor. Then she went outside and picked up all the leaves on the sidewalk and driveway and put them back in the grass. Then she cleaned her room and put all the books away on the bookshelf.

Meanwhile AJ was playing with his trains in his room. And legos, from the sound of things.

Grace finally agreed to lay down for a little bit when I mentioned that the House Fairy wanted to reward all her hard work. She had a bit o’ice cream in bed (I’m a pushover) and now is sleeping peacefully.

AJ’s still up. 2.5 hours later. At least he’s gated in. I’m working on a hat to go with the matching baby kimono during this downtime.

Baby Kimono

I’m knitting a baby kimono for my friend’s shower this weekend. I thought one skein would be *just* enough, and I had the cutest color that I got out of the bargain bin with no label. So of course I’m not going to have enough, now that I’m about 40% of the way finished. I can’t start all over–no time. I’m going to have to add solid color panels that coordinate, I think. It’s time for a trip to the LYS!