crochet · general ramblings · life

It’s getting foggy

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.

Cat pictures to clear the mood 🙂

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Homemaking

I have a recent FO to show, but I honestly haven’t had the chance to take good (or at least acceptable) pictures yet to post it on the blog. The days have been busy with work and most of them it’s been raining and dark, so I couldn’t take any semi-decent photos to show here. It’s been better since yesterday though, and we’re planning to go to Ikea on the weekend to buy a bedroom chest of drawers (which we need to stop having to store the bed linens and towels on the spare bed, where they inevitably end up covered in cat fur. Luckily Ikea has some cheap and nice options as I’m hesitant to buy furniture here if we’re planning to move), so this can be a good opportunity to wear my new FO and snap a few pics.

And before that, let me show you two of my home decor projects. One is a work in progress (and will be for a while!), another one is a quick, easy sewing project. As I mentioned, it’s been quite dark recently with occasional bursts of the sun shining through the clouds, so the colours may vary from picture to picture.

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Sock Knitting Spree

Hello Friends!
I’m still far behind with updating the blog, so today I decided to take a break from work and show you what I made during my sock knitting spree in January, and post some pictures of my cats adjusting to their new home.

I mentioned before that January was a stressful month, with the move approaching and my mood not in the best place. That’s exactly the kind of mood that demands simple, fast and comforting knitting – and what fits that description better than socks, right?

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Little Yellow Sweater, but it’s not really yellow

As I mentioned in my last post, I have some finished projects I’d like to show to you. The first one is a cardigan designed by Andrea Mowry; the pattern is called Little Yellow Sweater (LYS). It’s slightly similar to the Sweet As Honey cardigan that I had knitted in 2018, but the lace panel is different, and it’s shorter.


I wanted to find the right match for my three skeins of DyeDyeDone Alpa-Si-Li (an alpaca, silk and linen combo in fingering weight) in the Curcuma colourway, and as soon as I found the pattern, I knew that was that.
This yarn is so great, it’s very, very light, and the cardigan weighs almost nothing at all. The alpaca fibres give it fuzziness, while the silk provides a slight sheen and sturdiness, and the linen adds the overall ‘rustic’ look. The colourway fits into the recent trend in my colour choices I think, and in general, it was such joy to knit it!

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We moved!

This is my first post written in our new apartment because yes, we managed to find a new place and move! I am relieved, exhausted (with a painful cramp in my neck after carrying all the stuff), happy and excited at the same time. Honestly, January had been super stressful for me due to the combination of house-searching stress and illness, which in turn resulted in my mental state plummeting significantly. Like last year, I’ve been in and out of infections all the time, and I really lost the resolve to exercise or go out much at all. My meditation routine and therapy, which generally keep depression at bay, stopped working, and I had to increase my anti-depressant dose. It seems to be helping and finding the new apartment made even a bigger difference.

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knitting

Hats and Gloves

At the end of the year I finished a few quick and very easy projects in warm colours, to keep our heads and hands cosy and nice during winter. Both me and the Boyfriend got new hats – his one being another mustard hat, because he lost the previous one; and mine just because I liked the pattern and I had a skein of yarn which seemed perfect for it.

For the mustard hat, I chose once again the Classic World War II Watchman Cap, a tried and tested, easy pattern, which gives a very stretchy and warm hat with a double layer over the ears. I knitted it using Drops Nepal, which is a very soft combination of wool and alpaca in aran weight. I love this pattern and the two different width of the ribbing used in it, and I think I’m going to use it many more times.

My hat was based on Joji Locatelli’s pattern, Field of Wildflowers. I found it by browsing pattern ideas for my single skein of Malabrigo Rios, and I decided to knit it, as I think the stitches make the best use of the variegated yarn and really show the colour changes.

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knitting

City by the River

Hello Friends, welcome in 2020! I hope you are all well and happy in this new year, and that all the days ahead will bring you happiness, many good surprises and even more great crafty projects 🙂

I’ve been sick for most of the holiday season, and generally spending a lot of my time at home, resting and trying to get better. Christmas was a quiet time for us, and so was the New Year’s Eve, which I always spend at home, as my cats get nervous with all the fireworks around and I don’t want to leave them alone at this time. To be honest, it’s also a perfect excuse to avoid going out anywhere, as I’m not the biggest time of New Year’s celebrations.

I haven’t updated the blog since before Christmas, but I kept knitting slowly whenever I felt like it, and it’s time to present my recent finished project – the Toruń Shawl. It’s a soft, squishy and beautiful shawl designed by Hanna Maciejewska and I decided to knit it with four different shades of Knit Picks Hawthorne sock yarn. The pattern is simple, and consists of four repeated sections (the last one is a little different but still uses the same elements), which are easy to memorise and can be knitted mindlessly while watching a TV show.

What does the name mean? Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland, and a very beautiful place with unique architecture, located by the Vistula river. Beside it’s gothic architecture, it’s known in Poland as a birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus and a centre of gingerbread production (the specific type of traditional Polish gingerbread is called piernik). And for knitters, it’s a place of an annual knitting meeting, which inspired this pattern.

Although I have never attended the meeting, I loved the look of the shawl and decided to knit it almost immediately after first seeing it. I haven’t changed a lot in the original colour combination, as I think that the variations of blue and white (with an addition of purple) work great with the design resembling the flow of the river.

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knitting

After Midnight Sweater

It’s been a while since my last post and it’s almost embarrassing that I haven’t posted any photos of my newest finished jumper yet! In my defence, I’ve been away for a week and then it took ages (no really! four days!) for the sweater to dry after washing. It’s been consistently dark and gloomy so I finally decided to stop waiting, take the photos without good light and edit them to brighten them a little. And here it is: my After Midnight Sweater!

It’s another Drops pattern, from their latest fall/winter collection, knitted with DK weight yarn, with a circular yoke and some colourwork. You may notice a bit of a trend in my latest colour choices, as it’s my second sweater in similar combination of dark green and rusty shades, after the second Citrus Dream cardigan. It’s interesting how I’m drawn to certain colours for a long time and then, depending on the season/mood/who knows what?, I find myself drawn to completely different palette. Like last year I’ve been strangely obsessed with pink for a short while, even though I’d never liked pink before, only to go back to my formerly favourite fall shades.

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knitting

Fingerless Gloves

I made a pair of fingerless gloves for my friend who lives in Dublin. I had no idea what size to choose and I picked the “one size fits all” pattern. It’s not exactly true – these gloves are definitely too big for me – but I think it’s a good average size and would indeed be right for most people. It was a very quick and easy project, and once the gloves were ready, I still had more than a half skein left (I used a skein of ruby yarn from my Wollinn festival haul).

This was a great opportunity to knit another pair, this time for myself, and here they are!

They look darker on the photo because sunny days are rarity now and the picture was taken on one of the typical dark and rainy November days. I’ve been wearing them a lot in the last week and they are perfect for this weather; they keep my hands warm and cosy. The yarn has some cashmere content (about 10%) and it’s really soft and nice.

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crochet · general ramblings · knitting · life

Plans and Ideas

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.

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