Creative self-care

As part of my general ‘take care of myself and be happier’ plan, I like to make things with my hands.  Having a small creative project on the go is something I really enjoy.

I learned to knit from watching my Nan. She always had a project on the go. All her friends and neighbours would give her their leftover yarn which she kept in a box under her sofa and she used it to make blankets for various animal rescue centres. 

Whenever she came to stay she brought a bag with knitting and slippers. We’d sit on the sofa together watching whatever was on TV and she patiently taught me how to knit.

It took me a while to take it up again, and I was determined to knit more than a simple square…

A creative challenge

Inspired by some friends who knit beautiful things, I set myself the challenge of learning to knit socks. 

Knitted socks feel like a very practical thing to make. They are great for wearing with walking boots or wellies as they are warm and soft. 

I like that they are knitted exactly to size. They’re not designed to stretch, nor are they a ‘one size fits all’.

Mindful creativity

I enjoy creativity, so long as I don’t have to think about it too much.

Something I like about knitting is that it has different parts to enjoy.

  • Choosing a pattern – not too easy, not too hard.
  • Choosing yarn – an excuse to go to a knitting shop!
  • Getting started – maybe going to a class or a knitting group for support.
  • Getting into a routine – making time for a little knitting at the end of each day, with a glass of wine or a cup of calming bedtime tea.
  • Knitting on trains and buses – if I’m in the flow, I take my knitting with me when I’m out and about.

Worth the effort

The first pair of socks I made was for my husband for Christmas three years ago. They took ages, but I was really pleased with them when they were finished, and so was he.

So much so, that he has worn them regularly until he made holes in both of them.

I’ve repaired them a couple of times, but I’ve decided he needs a new pair and it’s his birthday in March which gives me a deadline.

A small mistake

I chose some beautiful yarn and got started. I was doing fine until I got to the place where I started decreasing the stitches for the toe, which is where I made a mistake. I think somehow I’d begun on the wrong needle. 

With knitting, if you make a mistake you pretty much have to undo it. I really don’t enjoy undoing knitting.

Yesterday I realised that a week had gone by and I hadn’t picked up my knitting, let alone finished that first sock.

With just two weeks until my husband’s birthday, I decided I really needed to get on with it!

What was stopping me from undoing the mistake in my knitting?

I thought maybe it was because I was trying to do it in the evening when I was tired, and I couldn’t see it properly.

Making a hard thing easier

What could I do to make it easier?

I decided to do some knitting early on Saturday morning, in bed, with a cup of tea!

Our bedroom window gets lots of light early in the day, plus I’m definitely a morning person!

I normally knit in the evening as a way of winding down, but surely I could do some knitting in the morning?

It worked!

I’m pleased to report that I’ve been able to undo the mistake and I’ve knitted back up to where I was before, and now I’m ready to start decreasing again.

My lovely husband came in and asked me what I was knitting?!

I’ve been doing this for weeks now and he’s just noticed?

I told him it was a surprise.

Anyway, I’m back on track…

A new rule for life

When you’re resisting something or just generally finding it hard, a good way to move forward is simply to ask yourself how you could make it easier.

Once you figure that out, you’ll probably find yourself with a plan.

I think this is a good rule for life.

And a nice cup of tea always helps. 

If you have something that’s been bothering you for a while, and you’ve tried a few ways to sort it out, but you haven’t tried homeopathy yet, well, maybe it’s time?

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