Knitting like crazy, is it good?

I just listened to a podcast interview by Brene Brown which explains why I, and maybe you too, are knitting like a crazy person.

A small, very small, pile of my finished knitting.

She interviewed two sisters who wrote the book Burnout, Emily and Amelia Nagoski. What I found really interesting is that they said that stress (irregardless of the cause) has a beginning, middle and end. Getting to the end, on a daily basis, is the trick to dealing with stress. Getting stuck in the middle causes emotional exhaustion. You may be familiar with this feeling?!

To end the stress they suggested some solutions you could practice every day to bring an end to that wound-up or maybe more like unwound, feeling:

  1. Physical exercise. Walk, yoga, whatever.
  2. Breath. Deep breaths with long exhales.
  3. Positive Social Connection. Talk to someone, anyone. It could be a nice comment to a shop person.
  4. Laughter. The belly shaking kind.
  5. Affection. A warm hug with someone in your bubble. The feeling of being safe. This is the difficult one these days.
  6. Cry. Pay attention to the crying. Don’t keep thinking about the stressor (cause of stress).
  7. CREATIVE EXPRESSION. OK, this is where I’m at. Knitting, knitting, knitting.

Turns out that KNITTING IS TOTALLY GOOD FOR YOU so keep knitting, knitting, knitting.

You may recognize this? Ninilchik Swoncho by Caitlin Hunter

Cheers, Deb

Any Gauge and Gauge-free patterns by Deb

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My Socks by Cat Bordhi

I could say that I’m knitting socks because it is socktober but that would be a lie. I’m knitting socks because they are my go-to when I’m thinking about a new design or procrastinating on another project or just restless and need to cast on something, anything, new. Someone needs socks, right? My daughter just dug out her winter clothes and counted 12 pairs so she’s good. My son-in-law is working in his basement where it’s cooler so he could use another pair. My husband is talking about buying socks so he’s definitely in the queue.

Cat Bordhi has left us. To honour her, I have made a pile of all her books. I am trying to learn one of her sock systems because my dream of taking a class from her is gone. First up is the New Pathways for Sock Knitters book.

I have knit several pairs so far: the Spiraling Coriolis which are toe up, Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks which begin at the cuff, and lastly the Ocean Toes which are also worked cuff down.

I’m still working on these socks because I have learned:

  1. You can place the gusset stitches anywhere on the sock: on the top of the foot, under the foot (I love this idea) or even only on one side of the sock. Wow, that opens things up, doesn’t it?!
  2. You can work the gusset stitches with two knit rounds between the decreases (or increases if toe up). That means the gusset section is longer so these socks give you more room along the instep (the arch on the top of your foot between mid-foot and ankle) which I really need for a good fit, bonus!

I’ve knit six socks so I have this system down, right? I mean six is enough. Now to do it with the book closed (feels like high school exams). The first sock went pretty well until I turned the heel and realized that I had worked the Short Rows for the heel starting with long rows which got shorter. No, no, no, rip, rip, rip. Started the heel again with Short Rows which started short and got longer. OK, look at me, I got this. Everything looks great.

I cast on the second sock a couple of weeks later. Finished the heel and guess what, it doesn’t look like the first sock. It’s close but now quite right. What happened?! Picture me looking clueless.

It’s back to the drawing board to figure out where I went wrong. Rip, rip, rip. I feel like the little engine that could. I can do this. I can do this.

I’m changing my name to Deb Persistence Gemmell. Has a nice ring to it.

Cheers. Keep on, keepin’ on.

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever patterns by Deb and Lyn

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Variegated Sock yarn can be challenging

Look over there, some bright sock yarn. Into a bag it goes and now it’s mine with no thought as to what I might do with it.

Diamond Select Footsie

When I go into a yarn store I feed obligated to buy something and that something is almost always sock yarn. Bright sock colours shout at me but then, when I get home, I don’t always know what to do with them.

This wool has a really, really short colour changes. Can you see that? Each colour knits only 1-5 stitches. It’s not going to take a pattern well and I didn’t really want to work a totally plain sock, so what to do?

I decided that every time the next few stitches on my needle were the same colour as the next bit on the strand of yarn in my hand, I would purl those stitches. Sometimes one stitch, mostly 3 stitches and every once in a while I got to purl 5 stitches, whoo hoo exciting. It gave the leg of my sock some texture and kept me watching the colours very carefully. The first leg knit up really quickly.

I knit the foot in plain stockinette. You can see how sometimes the colours sit on top of each other.

One sock done. Can’t wait to get started on the second one.

Socks you gotta love them.

Cheers, Deb

Gauge Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb