Content warning: there will be talking about the pandemics so if you feel like you need to avoid this topic, skip to the part after the first photo.
Hello friends! I hope everyone is staying safe when all the world around is in chaos. Please remember not only to protect yourselves and others from the virus but also to take care of your mental health. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the situation, especially with the forced self-isolation and staying home. I’m an introvert who needs her alone time (and lots of it!) each day to charge my batteries, and it still feels wrong when staying home is not my choice. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for anyone social and outgoing.
Myself, I’m not taking the situation well. I’m not feeling anxious, and I’m not panicking, but my good old friend, dissociation, is having a field day (month?) in my mind. Hence the title of this post: I’m really numb, and I don’t feel real, as if there was this thick fog between me and the rest of the world, and even between my own body and mind. I’m trying to use the grounding techniques learned over the years in therapy but so far, no success. Somewhere deep inside I feel concern for my parents, my brother and my nephew in Poland – and the fact that I can’t see them and won’t be able to see them any time soon (even if I travelled there, I’d still have to be quarantined, and I can’t risk infecting for my not-so-young parents). I worry what would happen to my cats if we got sick and possibly hospitalised (I prepared a long list with cat-care instructions for the Boyfriend, as I’m in the higher risk group so chances are I might need to be hospitalised if I got infected), and I really worry about the economic situation and what happens when the recession strikes, because it’s always scary living abroad without a strong support network.
But all this anxiety is hidden, and mostly it’s this awful fog and derealization, which makes it extremely hard to focus and work – finishing some of the work projects in the last two weeks has felt like a herculean mental effort. I also miss the entire hours that I can’t recall, and my short-term memory is terrible. I literally get up and forget what I was going to do before I’m standing!
But we’ll get through that, too, won’t we? We just need to figure out how to adjust to this situation, stay vigilant and be careful to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading the disease.
It’s a very dark and rainy November day, I’m sitting wrapped in my blanket at home (cats are enjoying the heating pad, and I’m a little jealous of how warm and cosy they look) so I thought it’s an excellent opportunity to update my blog. The last few weeks have been quite eventful both with the good and the not so good stuff and I’ve managed to finish some small knitting projects and start a new larger one.
But first of all: my Scheepjes CAL – the Rozeta Blanket – is officially hibernating for an unspecified time. I managed to finish the first three weeks of the CAL and I had to give up because of shoulder tendonitis. I know exactly what caused it: I sleep on the side, with my arm under my head, and it’s been causing me shoulder pain for months now, but even when I try to sleep on my back, I wake up turned to the side again, and with the arm lifted up and placed under my head. Such repeated minor injury is a common way to get shoulder tendonitis according to my GP. I have to be careful, avoid lifting my arm and generally let it rest, which is quite challenging considering it’s the right arm, and I am right-handed. Not fun! Anyways, I noticed that it gets considerably worse when I crochet, whereas knitting, for some reason, doesn’t make the pain worse.
So for now – no more CAL and no more crochet, at least until I sort this problem out and get some physical therapy to learn how to improve the way I move and use my arm not to cause any more harm. So far the pain isn’t lessening, so I doubt that I’ll be able to get back to this project any time soon.
Last year I participated in my first CAL – Arizona Blanket. It was fun, I liked working on it in the slow pace of the weekly pattern releases, and I really loved the final result. This blanket now is in my parents home, and my Mum claimed it. The good thing is that it’s machine washable and easy in maintenance, so even if one of their dogs decides to use it as a placemat and drag a bone or jump on it with muddy paws, it’s simple to fix the mess.
I’ve been thinking about making another blanket, for my Father this time – and finally I found the right opportunity when I saw the announcement for a new Scheepjes CAL: the Rozeta Blanket. The pattern is crocheted and incorporates some embroidered elements, and I really like the look of this blanket. The original kits are sold in a number of colour versions and in two types of yarn: acrylic Colour Crafter and the luxury version, 70% Merino Superwash and 30% Polyamide Scheepjes Our Tribe. For me the choice was simple, both because of the price and the yarn content, and I ordered a Colour Crafter kit in the Twilight colourway.
I feel like I haven’t updated my blog in ages, but when I check the dates, it’s only been two weeks. I guess it feels this way because my days are super busy now, and I have hardly any time for myself. Turns out that new duties at work mean more to do, who knew…? 😉 But speaking seriously, I find out that when I really have a lot to do and have to keep up the pace, I am suddenly much better organized than when I’m less busy. I prepare weekly and daily checklists, and I keep track of things to do and those I’ve already finished in my beloved Excel spreadsheets, and this helps me a lot (it also comes in handy later when it’s time to issue the invoice and pay my taxes). I’ve always been the type of person who works best when I can write things down, somehow the process or organizing things in my head and then putting the plan on paper (or more often, in a text file on my computer) makes me feel in control and like I can handle everything. And it’s really working!
Still, free time is scarce and it’s going to be this way until September, so knitting and crochet slowed down. And somehow in the middle of this hectic period, I felt that I absolutely needed to make a new doll, complete with yarny hair and tiny clothes made of scrap yarn.
Yay! My super-colourful Sophie’s Dream bedspread is ready: all the squares are finished, bordered with navy blue yarn, joined and then the blanket is again bordered with 1 row of single crochets and popcorn stitches, and another row of single crochets. It’s colourful, large enough to cover the duvet, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a very visible, contrasting accent in out mostly white bedroom and I love it so much that I almost considered banning the cats from entering the bedroom for a while 😉 Alright, who am I kidding… they rule the house so it was just a passing thought.
Adding the border around all the squares really made the colours pop and was such a great finishing touch. I then hesitated whether I wanted another border around the whole blanket at all, but I decided to add it in the end. If you look at the original pattern linked at the beginning of the post, you can see that the border suggested by the designer includes contrasting stitches. I like this option, it really works well with all the colourful squares, but since I didn’t have enough contrasting yarn left, I decided to stick to the navy blue, and I think it looks just fine too.
I haven’t posted on my blog since February and I think it’s high time to write an update to my Sophie’s Dream blanket!
These few weeks between my previous post and today have been a bit rough to be quite honest. I’m stressed out because of work, and there’s been some worrying stuff going on both in mine and the Boyfriend’s families (health-related, and on top of that my family’s dog was hit by a car – she’s luckily fine now!). I’d like to just spend a day or two under the blanket with my cats, but I have to stay focused and give my best at work. But yesterday I sent my final report and even though today I got a request to prepare a few additional documents, it’s fine, because I managed to keep all my initial deadlines and did a good job, or so I hope. It’s like I could breathe again – the level of stress is so much lower! So today I’m taking a short break (and I’ve used it well so far!) before starting again with work tomorrow.
Some time ago I bought additional crochet thread to finish my Pineapples Tablecloth, which had been hibernating for a while as I run out of thread (that’s what happens when you buy unusual thread size on sale!) and couldn’t find any more of it anywhere. And then I bought a different thread in the same size, which looked similar enough and it seemed that I’d be able to continue my project after all.
Alas, it didn’t happen. It may have looked similar in my drawer, but as soon as I started crocheting, the difference was just too visible to continue. The new thread will have to wait for a different project, some time in the future – but what about my tablecloth? Should I wait more, until (if) I find the right thread? I decided against it. I crocheted the last 3 rounds in the old thread, frogged the part made in the new one, and called it a day. It may be missing the final round of large pineapples, and it’s a pity, but it looks fine as it is, too.
So I tried, I failed, I’m happy anyway 🙂 This is going to be a gift for my parents one day, and in the meantime, it’s waiting in the box in my wardrobe.
About two weeks ago I decided to resume my hibernating Pineapple Doily project. In fact I don’t think I should call it a doily anymore – it’s already a full sized tablecloth, and it’s not even finished yet. I decided that it will be a gift for my parents – they’ve recently bought a new table for their dining room and even though the table is rectangular, the tablecloth is big enough to cover it in full despite its round shape.
The title of my post may sound like I’m a little surprised, and it’s not without a reason. I’ve spent all October at home, with just a few days in the middle of the month when I felt able to go out, and having a whole month just pass me by feels weird. Suddenly the trees are almost leaveless, and the days are visibly shorter. My cats are a little more fluffy with their thicker, winter fur, and much more cuddly as it gets colder.
When I last updated my blog, I was on the mend from pneumonia, and able to go out again. Well, that didn’t last long (not more than a few days): the Boyfriend caught a cold and 2 days later I had a cold too. Just that, while his cold ended after a week, mine turned into another chest infection – and another round of antibiotics and feeling miserable. Maybe it wasn’t even another infection, just the previous one that hadn’t really had a chance to be fully cured.
Anyways, it’s finally better again, and I took my last antibiotic tablet today. I’m feeling well and even the fatigue is gone. I still need to have some blood work done, to check if all the medications haven’t done any damage to my liver, and because I’m losing my hair in chunks – but I hope it’s only going to get better and better from now on!
While I’ve been stuck at home all those weeks, I knitted another pair of gloves. I used the same purple yarn as in the stripey jumper, and I’m absolutely proud of them. Even though, when you have a closer look, you can see that I really shouldn’t, because I made a huge mistake in the pattern!
Look at my new crafty purchase! It’s a beautiful yarn bowl from the Flying Tiger. Not something I’ve been planning to buy, even though I’ve thought about it a couple of times because of my cats. They always hunt my yarn so I have to be extra careful not to drop it while knitting (and the ball of yarn tends to jump all over my desk or coach which gives them many opportunities to catch it), and they always shed, even if it’s much less now than in summer. We buy lint rollers in Ikea in crazy amounts and I keep vacuuming all the time, but I can’t eradicate the fur in 100%. And when I drop the ball of yarn to the floor, it inevitably collects some cat hair which end up knitted into my work and I hate it. So yes… that, combined with a good price (6 euro) convinced me to give it a try and buy a yarn bowl.