Thursday, September 6, 2012

Knitting (and sewing) for stress reduction

I am so glad I knit.

When the temperature drops, I have warm things to wear that I knit for myself.

When I'm feeling sad, I have something cheery-uppy to do.

When I'm bored in line someplace, I have something to occupy the time.

When I'm stressed, I can turn to needles and yarn to work out my anxiety.

Hello, stripey purple socks!

(my mum's sister has been quite ill for the last two weeks.  we still don't know why, but everything scary has been ruled out and we think she's on the mend now.  WHEW.)

I was already into the solid leg of the sock when I spotted Trish's comment the other day about keeping on with the striping for the duration, so this is what I've got.  Lilac heel, lilac toe to come, and hopefully the darker purple will hold out for everything in between.

love love love knitting these socks.  The colour changes are enough to keep me racing forward, but also, the yarn is just so thick they're taking not much time at all.  No more panicking over not having warm socks to wear come winter: I'll have enough now to go a while between wash days if things get busy, as they invariably do.

I was working on the purple stripeys last Friday while waiting outside Stitch for Jocelyn to come and unlock the door for the day, but when I went inside it was to be in love with the fabric side of the store.  Last year Jocelyn sold me some fabulous heavier-than-quilting weight woven cotton from French General, which I sewed into some bags suitable for hanging on hooks:

Some plain, some with a denim base in case they should they be required to stand up on a dusty floor, some with little flaps and straps, some with drawstring tops,

and they've been great.  Every time I packed one I just felt... comforted.  The cotton itself is very buttery and drapey, and the perfect seams (thank you Mr. Bernina) feel very grownuppy, like they mean I'm well taken care of and not just by me.

(no pattern, just rectangles cut to suitable size; lining is coordinating French General quilting cotton, tabs are elastic ponytail holders, button closures are vintage, drawstrings are twill tape.)

Under the current circumstances I wanted more of this fabric, and I bought all Jocelyn had left because there wasn't much.

She also didn't have much left of this almost-matchy tea toweling:

and now she has none because I bought all of that too.  Maybe I'm being silly but I feel like all my nerves are so jingly-jangly since mum died last month, I want everything around me to be Very. Very. Calm.  And the adorable strawberry-print vintage teatoweling that decorates my kitchen?

Just seem too fussy.  Maybe it's time to update, if only to keep the strawberries for seasonal use. After all, sewing is almost as good for stress as knitting, you know? 


Marianne said...

I wish I was better with sewing! Love your bags! I began knitting after my father died, I have 2 of the learn to knit books, wasn't doing very well with it so dropped it. I retired a year ago, my son showed me how to find knitting help on the lap top. I haven't tackled socks as yet, I have made 2 hats now though!! I also just completed a bear, Pat's bear patterns are just wonderful!!
Love your blog, keeping you in prayers, loosing a loved one especially a parent takes time to heal. Just know that there are many out here that really care about you, though we have never met. You mean something to us or we wouldn't be following your blog!
Take care.. surrounding you with hugs and prayers {{{{HUGS}}}

Mary Keenan said...

Ohhhh, thanks for all this, Marianne :^) I would still write Hugs regardless because I love it, but it's good to know other people like it too.

Good for you picking knitting up again. Maybe I'll finally figure out crochet when I retire (or Bridge, or piano, like I've wanted to!)

Cynthia K-R in Canada said...

Hi -- Knitting is very calming, and so is sewing. I seem to always NEED to make something! They both help with stress (I'm in the midst of a separation), and I find along with my swimming and yoga---keeping my fingers and my brain busy with creating an item really helps. Reading is another activity I do ALOT--2 or 3 books a week and also volunteering since I'm 62 now.
I send along my support for your recent loss, and know that, even though we have not met, many of us want the best for you.

Mary Keenan said...

Oh *Cynthia* - I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through yourself... I have walked alongside several friends now as they make that journey and it's always just plain HARD. It's good that you have so many resources at hand (literally!)