Tag Archives: Knitting

2017: The Year I Learned About Self Care

This time in between Christmas and New Years in always a time for self reflection and for self care. It took me a few years to full grasp on to this idea of self care. I had viewed it as more of a “treat yo’ self” kind of thing where women go get their nails done and sit at home surrounded by candles eating full fat ice cream watching You’ve Got Mail. While pampering yourself is definitely an aspect of self care the term means so much more.

It hit home for me this year with the endless news cycle of 2017. Everyday it was more about what Trump was doing, or about the endless number of women who endured harassment and abuse at the hands of powerful men. Self care means different things to different people but for me it started to make sense when I finally turned off the news.

The goal was to stay informed but not inundated by depressing stories after depressing stories. I would check my news outlets in the morning, take a quick scroll through twitter and then that was it. No more reading endless articles from Jezebel about why I should be outraged at the world. I was less exhausted and unplugging became part of my self care routine.

Depression and anxiety are two things I’ve struggled with, although it’s not something I have always been forthcoming about or willing to admit. Rough patches and mental breakdowns in grad school weren’t always met with the understanding I needed from those around me and therefore I began to see it as a weakness. It’s not, and there’s nothing wrong with needing a break.

I realized that the stress of grad school, as well as the stress my relationship at the time was causing, meant I had less time to do some of the things I had worked into my routine during undergrad and high school. Things like reading and writing for myself which I didn’t even realize I missed doing until I wasn’t doing them anymore.

As my relationship was on the way out and I started a new graduate program, one that was still a lot of work but much less pressure, I found the time to get back into the things that I loved. I even picked up new hobbies, specifically knitting. Working with my hands is calming and soothing for me and I began to use knitting as a way to centre myself and heal.

As I look to the year ahead I’m going to try and do more things that bring me joy. I’m going to try and be better at keeping up this blog as I branch out from writing exclusively about book reviews and try to open myself up a bit more. I’m going to try to work meditation practices into my knitting, and I’m going to continue to be mindful of the effect that the endless news cycle is having on me.

I thank everyone who has followed this blog for years and am excited about this coming year. So let me know, what is your self care routine? And how do you plan to take care of yourself heading into the New Year?

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Beyond Books – Knitting

It may not seem like it at times but I do have a life beyond reading and writing about books. I love to make things. Most recently I picked up knitting again, (the last time I knit anything was probably in high school) and am also trying to teach myself how to crochet. As beginner projects I knit some fingerless gloves for myself and a few scarves which I have yet to wear.

They're cute, but not overly practical

They’re cute, but not overly practical

I decided to make myself something I actually would wear and found this great pattern at LionBrand for a cozy fall snug. I love LionBrand yarn and their patterns are easy to follow. (Plus you don’t need to try and figure out your gauge, like you do with most patterns on Pinterest) I just picked up some super bulky Lion Brand Yarn and am working on cozy winter cowl.

The yarn is so soft and it knits up so quickly.

The yarn is so soft and it knits up pretty quickly.

The problem is, I always end up with left over yarn, which is not enough to start a new project with. I tried making some headbands off of patterns I found on Pinterest but they didn’t work out the way I wanted. Pretty sure my gauge was off, as neither of these projects are wearable.

2015-01-28 13.04.50

To be fair, the green headband was my first attempt at crocheting anything. Overall I like the idea of the braided ear warmer, but its just too narrow.

I normally use this leftover yarn to try new patterns or stitches that I find online. I really like this mini herringbone pattern and might try to make a headband out of it. Also since I’m figuring out how to crochet I might try and make some book or journal covers. Worst case scenario I’ll make a bunch of bookmarks that I can use. Any other suggestions about what to do with left over yarn?

All my yarn leftover from various projects.

All my yarn leftover from various projects.