Yesterday dinking around in the morning on Facebook I found and read Sweetgeorgia Yarns blog about how her March plans were totally destroyed by illness. More poking around showed that April is National Stress Awareness month and self-care month. So it got me to thinking, what do I do that takes care of me?
Almost fifteen years ago the idea of self-care was a very difficult one for me to learn. As a new mother I was constantly on call to take care of everything so the idea of taking time for me felt selfish, guilty and went against the grain of what I thought I should be doing. Yet over time I have found that the better I take care of me, the more I have within myself to take care of others.
So what does this mean? How much time is involved? What should I do for myself? My own self-care may seem extreme to some of you especially after I looked at my hours chart that I created for Ranger Jen, 28 of the 168 in a week I give to myself, 17%. And no, sleep doesn’t count! It’s actually more than I thought but I’m all sure that you appreciate me taking showers which is part of that time. What do I do? Lots of things, the main one being exercise. I spend 5 hours a week at the gym sweating. With everything else in my life, I’m constantly in control and running the show. During that time at the gym I give that control over to someone else. He pushes me to do insane things physically that I alone would not think possible. I also read, meditate and work on projects for me. Lately this has been the stitch a day project that Jenny at The Loopy Ewe got me started on. A wonderful yoga instructor in town, Michael Lloyd-Billington has what I like to call the 20 minute rule. Twenty minutes practiced with mindfullness and consistency regardless of what it is can work wonders. His practice is made up of 20 minutes each of meditation, yoga and journaling.
Does this mean that these things are right for you? Only you can answer that question. So I want to know here or on Facebook, what do you do to take care of you every day?
Hello again! I know that I said last time I was here back in October that I would get better at this, that I would blog more. Well it’s now March and you can see how much I’ve been here. There are times that real life takes precedence over life online. In November my husband was ill with what we thought was the flu. It ended up being an infection from an unknown source that caused him to become septic. Nurses and doctors did everything that they could but it was just too much and after eight days in ICU it was time to let him go. He was 47. Do I tell you this to gain your sympathy? To make you worry for me and my girls?
No. I tell you this because regardless of gender, color, identification, religion and any other way that you can separate human beings there are two things that we all share: our beginning and our ending. We are each born and we each die. What we do with the time in between those two moments is where the value lies. So I’m going to ask you a question: Are you happy? If so great! If not, change it. I’ve never feared death, but my perspective as changed. Life can change in an instant, so why waste it? In ways, in things, in people who don’t respect you, support you or challenge you. I had a discussion with a friend a couple of weeks ago. She works a full-time stressful job and was talking about how she had no time to do any of the that she wanted to do. My reply? There are 168 hours in a week, you work 40, call it another 50 for sleep, that leaves 78 hours a week to be doing things for you. I think it rather surprised her.
If you are putting things off because you “don’t have time” who is to say that the time will actually be there when you want it to be? I used to think like this with this craft adventure, it will happen. Now I’m going to make it happen. My goals in life right now are to raise my girls to be strong, independent women and to make Threaded Dream a reality. To make and live a creative life. Am I doing this for anyone else? No, I’m doing it for me.
Life is a journey and I think sometimes we all get too focused on the destination and take the journey for granted. The journey is what makes the destination all the sweeter. I have a project, a massive undertaking really, that I call The Tapestry. I started it in August of 2015 and it will take years to complete. It brings me back to myself one stitch at a time, showing me the beauty of the process, life should be the same way. Don’t ignore the wonder of today to finish the goal of tomorrow.
So, that is where I am now four months after my life and that of my daughters took an unexpected route. Things are different but we’re good. Threaded Dream is going to get there, one project, one pattern, one step at a time. I hope to see the beauty of it the whole way. 🙂
Here’s my second attempt at entering the internet again and talking about all things creative. To jump back in I want to tell you about a company called Yarn Crush. I was looking around online for more ways to get my designs out to the public and found them. They have a subscription package that you sign up for and get yarn and patterns shipped to you every month. Think wine club but this is even better because it is yarn! I contacted them as a designer and was lucky enough to create the knit pattern for their July 2016 box, the Heartfire Shawl. As I’ve never been involved in a yarn subscription before they sent me one of their previous months to take a look at.
So much goodness inside! There’s both a crochet and a knit pattern so there no reason to limit yourself there and if you are bistitchual as I am you get to choose. Some cute crafting buttons and a super notebook. I don’t know about anyone else but I love notebooks and always have several on hand at any given time. Along with the skein of yarn you receive any of the notions needed to complete the project. For June 2016 the project is a market bag in crochet written by Julie-Sarah Desjardins of accrochet.com or the knit pattern is by Gabrielle Vezina. The yarn is a 60% alpaca, 40% cotton blend from Americo original. There’s 153 yards in the 100 gram skein. Now my fellow local crafters will tell you that this size yarn freaks me out. They call the yarn I work with “thread” and I they love the fact that I don’t own knitting needles above a size 6! That being said it is wonderfully soft and I love the golden color. I can see myself tackling the crochet pattern from this set.
Yarn Crush puts out a great product with lots of fun goodies included and wonderful yarn. Getting a mystery package in the mail every month can be fun! It’s also a great format for pushing you outside of your comfort zone as a crafter. It could be to tackle crochet or knitting if you are monogamous to one or the other, a great way to try different yarns and even a way to come up with unique Christmas ideas. Also this summer they started a sock club box for more options to check out.
Back from summer and time to really start putting some effort into this blogging and Threaded Dream venture. I’m going to post something happening every week to keep me on track with projects and such 🙂
As for what I have been doing, this summer I participated in Camp Loopy a summer knitting contest put on by The Loopy Ewe. There was different project every month to be completed each with its own theme. For the second project, I got the inspiration to design a piece for Melisandre another character from A Song of Ice and Fire world. The pattern is now available on Ravelry 🙂
Laceweight Cersei is 20 rows from being finished, granted a row takes about an hour but I do feel that I’m on the downhill slide. Several other characters have been talking to me and it’s simply a matter of taking the time to get the patterns all down and knitted, it feels slow but I know that it will get there.
So glad to have Cersei finished and off the needles! Doing the fingerweight version in Lambspun prism helped my to meet my self imposed deadline. I’m still working on the laceweight version in Ling from The Unique Sheep but needed more yarn to finish the size that I want.
Until then I will be going camping….to Camp Loopy that is 🙂 The Loopy Ewe runs challenges every summer and I’ve decided to join in. I can’t believe that I haven’t found them til they came to Fort Fun! The first challenge is to knit a project using 400+ yards of yarn and a pattern from a foreign designer. I will be casting on later for Finland with Perlata Pitsigootti-huivi in Madeline tosh merino light. I’m sure size 6 needles are going to be quite the change from 0’s!!
As many of my friends know I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I’ve decided to take that infatuation one step farther and write some knitting patterns inspired by the characters in the books. So far on Ravelry I have published Arya. I have many more characters talking to me about their pieces, but for the last few months, Cersei Lannister has held the spotlight. Her pattern is a shaped like a Danish tie shawl and is lace and cables combined together, not a a knit for the faint of heart. Laura at The Unique Sheep did an awesome job with my custom color request and Hear Me Roar was born. I have been knitting and beading like mad in an effort to finish and publish in time for the season finale of the HBO series, alas I believe that I’m going to run out of the wonderful red before the end and have ordered more yarn. Thankfully my creative cohort Dave persuaded me to do a test of the pattern in another yarn as well and that one I will be able to finish in time to have a photo with the finished pattern! So, I will continue to work on my Lambspun prism version and patiently await Laura’s dyeing magic with Hear Me Roar and the order that I placed for a group of insistant ladies from Dorne 😉
Well people, this is my first step into the blogisphere…I don’t read blogs so I am very much winging it right now. So, here I am and hopefully this will be fun for all of us