Knitting alone

Knitting alone

I have been silent. There’s a lot to be said for taking time out from constant chatter and seek recovery in the rare moments of silence in a world where there is constant noise, competition, idle gossip and the need to belong to everything, voice opinions without regard for the impact on someone around us. I could cope with being swept us up as part of a judgemental community. When our self esteem sinks lower and lower, the need for silence is vital. It is rare and golden when we find the silent corner to hope us cope with a challenging world.

I am still trying to cope but my very low self esteem is holding a grip when it comes to be involved online. It seems ironic to be posting a blog about knitting alone on the day we are meant to be knitting in public. My public knitting a few weeks ago was amongst the trees, listening to the birds, admiring the blooms, enjoying the silence apart from the encouraging voices of nature. Dad wandered about and took a few shots to show me how I sat alone but had relaxed. To listen as each bird leant a note to the chorus, hear the volume of the buzzing bees. Watch as nature cared and shared, a safe environment for my mind to rest.

I realise that I haven’t been on Ravelry updating my projects and notes like before but I have been knitting and challenged by two of the patterns I am currently working on. The challenges dented my knitting confidence but slowly I am able to say that my projects are progressing now. I really had to work some bits of the pattern out and it was only by knitting a swatch over and over again that I was able to work out a twisted line of brioche for joining the shoulder piece to Helga Isager’s design Windy . I had to type parts of the pattern out in order to feel I understood all the lines that were printed closely in the book. At the time I felt so anxious and thought I would have to give up but to my surprise when it came to the other shoulder piece, I had learned and made sense of this new (to me) joining process that I did the left piece with minimal instructions.

Windy from Stitches by Helga Isager : shoulder sleeve brioche join

Windy from Stitches by Helga Isager : shoulder sleeve brioche join

Hazy, another Helga Isager design from the book Stitches, presented less problems when knitting the jacket. It was when I came to the embroidery I became very anxious and really thought I would be finishing this next summer. I have a few things I would change (just personal preferences) if I was doing this again but to my surprise I have finished the back and sides and have started to embroider on the sleeves. I would say I knit the garment faster than the process I am going through now although in reality I can only embroider in short sessions each day, therefore I am only adding 15-20 minutes at each session. I can knit for longer, time wise but with fluffy wool and counting lines of garter spaces, my eyes glazed over to render my time a lot shorter. I have coffee with dad every morning and this was a time I embroidered (poor dad) I offend found time while making dad’s dinner in the evening whilst waiting for something to cook I could sew a few more lines. This has all added up and to my relief the lines and boxes all met in the right places! I find the vertical lines much more relaxing than the horizontal especially across the width of the back.

Hazy from Stitches by Helga Isager : embroidery in progress. One sleeve vertical completed

Hazy from Stitches by Helga Isager : embroidery in progress. One sleeve vertical completed

I love Isager designs with the fitting and attention to details but sometimes the translation into English falls short of the details I needed. This book was a big improvement over other books I have but print space can often fall short of the few words of reassurance I need as a knitter who isn’t as confident as most. Thankfully other designs in the book using a similar stitch/method were laid out in a different way and I was able to find the clarification I needed to feel more confident that I was knitting correctly or there was a little errata and it wasn’t always me. Now that Ravelry has introduced private notes at least I can add my doubts and how I worked a method to remind myself if I need to help someone or I decide to knit something again as some errata hasn’t been listed by the designer. I have so many A4 notebooks with all my notes that it can be tedious to find them when someone questions me. A private digital note will help me to remember. I should start to number my notebooks to grieve my written notes easily.

The last project and one which kept my mind on the balance of knitting and relaxing ‘at the same time’ Seaviager by Kate Davies. I am progressing but I am not in a rush as I am enjoying knitting with a pattern I can set to the side and just knit the bright colours. I know I am in the minority but I am really enjoying the division to knit back and forth as I actually don’t mind purl stitches. I am finding the soothing waves of knit a row, purl a row most beneficial.

Seavaiger by Kate Davies : I can see clearly, I love yellow and blue

Seavaiger by Kate Davies : I can see clearly, I love yellow and blue

I don’t often have three main projects on my needles but this time my two challenging ones headed me into doubt everything land. Dad was there to encourage me onwards, believing I could knit and they would be presentable. Dad really doesn’t know how wrong things can be but he knows a few frogs can enter into our home. I was doubting myself so much I began to struggle to help on Ravelry. I tried to reply to a few questions but s soon as I started my mind hit a foggy muddle and I had to keep mentioning that I might be wrong. I hope I can recover from this feeling and be back to join in and help. My anxious mind became afraid as words no matter how innocent now can be torn apart. I struggle with that and my health is proving the struggle is real.

Dad and a few very close online friends have been helping me. We have had a few very slow, thoughtful walks in the evenings. I feel embarrassed to say that dad slows down for me but that is how it is right now. yet again to feel the change of air when walking amongst the trees is something I cannot describe but only know I need these slow walks and times of refreshment. I can walk above man’s narrow vision and escape the snares of this world

One evening when the silence gathered round us. We walk but don’t always need to talk ( a feat for me) I started to perceive things differently, listening and watching for inspiration. I spotted the tiniest ladybird, a pinhead of 14 spots, not just like the ladybird, ladybird, fly away home. A different colour but with the ladybird profile. I only had my iPhone but I couldn’t let this memory pass me by. I have added his photo (with permission) to end my blog. I have added him to the UK ladybird survey data as our little 14 spot was a little bit different to the red and black we hope we will find when we walk around. Having to walk slowly has proved beneficial in so many ways. We brought the memory home and it helps as part of healing from the fraught world that surrounds us today. I could lie down like a tired child and weep but today I have taken a step to share my knitting and thoughts on my blog. Hopefully next stop will be Ravelry to update my projects and see how I go from there. I am hoping to have progressed on the more complex projects to get back to my one main and one small project soon.

14 spot UK ladybird

Thank you for coming back to read. Beverley

God sees the little sparrow fall

Challenge ahead

Challenge ahead