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.
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.
At the end of the year I’ve started working on a new pullover in Drops Alpaca Bouclé bought during the end-of-the-year sale of alpaca-based Drops yarns. This yarn is very unique – the main thread is thin, but because of the loops it requires bigger needles and knits up like worsted weight, therefore it required a special pattern, suitable for a very lightweight (for its thickness) yarn. While browsing through the projects knitted by other users on Ravelry with Alpaca Bouclé, I found Redy Pullover by Ankestrick. I knew instantly that it was a perfect choice; with its relaxed fit and wide collar, and so I decided to knit it right away.
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.
My doily is a long-term, ongoing project that I take out from its project bag from time to time, crochet a few rounds and put it away for days again. It’s quite nice to have such a project whenever I need a change – crocheting with thread and small hooks really feels different than most of my other projects.
I made this little guy yesterday just because I felt a sudden need to crochet a toy. I wanted it to be small (to use up this colourful scrap yarn), easy and fast, and so I chose Three Little Cats pattern by Sarah Lyons. It’s the Daddy Cat – there is also Mummy Cat and their Kitten in the collection, but I’m yet to crochet them when I have scraps of some different colourful and cheerful yarn.
The kitty is standing on my desk, watching me as I’m typing this, and I’m really curious how long it’s going to take before Ciri kidnaps it and claims it as her own 😉
When I first donated some of my items to the animal charity auction, I didn’t think it would end up with a commission request. I usually don’t want to sell my items because it’s strictly a hobby for me and I want to enjoy making whatever I choose, for people I love and for myself. I also think selling hand made items is not easy, especially those that require more work: either they have to be under-priced (considering how time consuming they can be) or too expensive for most people to want to buy them. But somehow I couldn’t resist this request, mainly because it was for a doll, and I remembered how much I’d enjoyed crocheting them!