Hi Knit Friends, in the knitting world, crafters are privy to some of the most heart wrenching and endearing moments when they enter a knitting circle. 2016 has been a challenging year. I have gained a better perspective, taken more risks, and experienced a great loss. In my knitting circle, I am never disappointed because I always leave a little lighter.
I had a heartwarming chat with a new knit friend (Named V34). This is my first experience with a major death in my family. Only in a knit circle could one find sage advice. V34 shared her story of dealing with the loss of her husband. I was able to listen to her share and figure out how best to show up for my aunt. Several helpful things that I took from the talk was to let my aunt know that I am available for her, let our family grieve as they see fit, and to be of service for the bereaved. Even before his death, I had often come to the knit circle to vent or listen to fellow knitters. Knitting has become a way for me to focus my nervous energy. I would probably be bald from twisting my hair if I didn’t have knitting. I was working on Wheat Fields (picture above), but in my grief screwed up the sequence of lace. Just as life we can choose to handle things in certain ways. I chose to just leave the error because to an untrained eye the shawl has character. Perhaps a year ago, I’d rip out the large lace sequence- but not I’m just riding it out because my uncle lived his life with ease and humor. Rest easy Uncle.
It’s with shock I share these words to no one in particular. It’s probably something that I would share with my uncle. I met my uncle when I was only eight years old. He was a big guy, over six feet tall. He was one of the most important people in my life. We talked at least three times a week. From football, politics, higher education- he was always there for me. When he married my aunt twenty years ago, he also treated me like a daughter. The last five years were the best because I felt like he made an effort to get to know me as an adult. Sometimes I think its hard for parents to ever see their children as anything else. My uncle did. He was consistent, honest, intelligent, and loved unconditionally. He was very compassionate and never let his heart harden despite how the world treated him. He always had a story and lived life as if it were his last day. His optimism and hope will forever be remembered. I don’t know if I’ll ever meet anyone else like him. He loved me as his own and the world will never be the same. Rest peacefully Uncle T.
I know it must be an amazing time if I’m already writing another post so soon. I am excited and glowing because I just had a 3 hour gab fest (aka. Gossip session) with an old school mate. Even though we work in the same city, our schedules are so busy we have a hard time meeting. I laughed so hard between taking bites of delicious Peruvian chicken. It’s always nice to catch up because my Southern accent comes out.
I enjoyed the butternut squash casserole with lovely rice. The chicken was Lemon herb. My friend had a chicken sandwich with a salad. I’m sure I’m the pickiest eater so I chose Nandos in Chinatown. My safe eating place.
My friend doesn’t know anything about knitting, but I told her she needs a new hobby. She laughed. I probably can get her to read the book (above) I found today while looking at IG. I found the author’s page after much warranted freak out fest. I don’t know why I get so goofy over colorwork. I almost want to search for a Swedish penpal just to get my hands on this book. If the author needs an American Ambassador, I’d gladly sign up. Payment in sock yarn is a fair trade 😎
My meet up with my classmate was such fun. We talked about family and work projects. It’s so refreshing to meet people back home as I’m often reminded that manners and genuine niceties are rare in D.C. Each time we hang out we always talk about new books and articles that we’ve read. Halfway through our meeting, I’m pulling out paper to jot down notes because I certainly don’t want to miss a thing. She might have me going to another unplanned conference trip back home as a reunion. I’m filled with gratitude with my friendships. This one in particular is very heartful.
As a self prescribed ambassador, I told her that she should read Awesomely Luvvie’s I’m Judging You.
She mentioned a book called Originals by Adam Grant. I’ll be sending her an email soon about some of my other favorites. Knit friends, what good books have you read? Do you like audiobooks?
Again I find myself at Thursday and feeling tired. Last week was the same thing filled with navigating work/life balance. I am thankful that I’ve found a new project to calm myself. I may have mentioned a new adventure with writing for publishing. It scares the hell out of me that someone would be interested in my writing. It’s not a hard topic something that I enjoy, but it’s the story telling portion that has me nervous. I value my private life and this writing assignment will challenge me to reveal things that can certainly help others. I turned in my draft last week and received the feedback today. I can’t believe I was so nervous. I guess it goes to show that I need to be more gentle with myself. My new sock project called Patio sock is helping work out my anxieties. I’m using stashed yarn by Dragonfly Fibers and the name escapes me.
It has equal parts blue and purple. The pattern repeats are very easy. I am also trying Addi Flip Stix. They are very sturdy and work well with the yarn- not too slippery.
I enjoy reading and listening to words of encouragement. I try to watch Oprah’s #SupersoulSunday shows because they are informative. My reading list has grown so much. One quote from author of Love Warrior (Glennon Doyle Melton)
I absolutely love this quote because it is confirmation for me that I will be okay. I’ve felt like as a kid there weren’t a lot of messages around to reassure me that life would become bareable. I still have small residual effects of trauma. Knitting helps to sooth those feelings of helplessness and isolation. When I get lost in a new project I feel better. My focus is sharp and the final project is the evidence that I didn’t give up. Just like in life sometimes our circumstances can be one thing, but our optimism and hard work can lead us to resiliency. I am thankful that I no longer rest in stagnation as a safety net. I can rely on books, knitting, and friends to encourage and love me. Friends, what does knitting do for you? Have you used knitting to cope with hard life circumstances? Below is another nice quote I found on IG and the author is unknown (unless someone can find the owner).
Another exciting project I hope to start this weekend is from my favorite designer/knitter Hunter Hammersen. It’s called Excursion with a discount code until tomorrow. Sorry about the late announcement. I have 2 friends who want to do this. It will be my second cabled project.
I hope all is well with everyone. I am still working on self-care options to help alleviate the fatigue that I have felt for past several days. Despite my regular abstaining from watching new outlets, my body/mind/spirit feels shaken. I can’t articulate these feelings now, but I know that self-care is the antidote for me to lift the heaviness. I try my best not to make this blog a political soapbox and I leave additional tools people may want to use to help manage the outpouring of civil unrest.
Five things I plan to do this weekend:
Knit some socks
Limit television intake
Consciously have quiet-time while doing self-care activities
Parting is always sorrowful when you meet good people. Making new friends is difficult for me because I have a reputation for being fickle. My personality is the equivalent of quirky Phoebe Buffay from Friends and a swirl of Essence Atkin’s character Susanne from “Are We There Yet” series. I’ve accepted this reality in my mid-twenties, but it sure does make befriending people harder. I don’t believe that “like personalities”attract “like”. I believe like equals boring. I married opposite and my small circle of eclectic friendships have survived. I’m pulling for my new friend S to be a lifer.
This project was completed a couple of months ago, but it took me a while to block it. No hard thing to do, but I can only assume my resistance is tied to reluctance to saying goodbye and letting go. New Friend S picked out the color for the project. I don’t know where my new friend will land geographically, but I am comforted by her knitworthy reputation. Then Comes Spring shawl has great meaning because it’s my first test knit that I completed within the testing date timeline. Knit friends, what is your favorite quick knit for gifts? Do you have knit gift limitations (i.e. socks for immediate family only).
Excuse me while I shuffle to capture a small amount of self-care in this crazy media driven world. I woke up this morning feeling very inadequate in dealing with the recent news of police brutality. Below was my plea to my FB friends…
one answer that I found acceptable, but not a cure for the emotions that I feel….
a few friends shared their own stories, but I am still left feeling uneasy. I haven’t watched the video and I do not have plans to watch it. I want something done so that it won’t be me the next time trying to explain to my nieces/nephew or sisters why our loved ones are being taken out for their mere existence. I’ve also come to realize that this is a one year anniversary of several youth/young black adults who lost their lives too. I am still disgusted because Baltimore has yet to hold officials accountable for Freddie Gray and will not be surprised if the recent shooting in Louisiana gets ignored too. I am trying to pray for a glimmer of hope and belief that this world will be better despite all this evil. I’m among the ones who have choosen to unplug from social media, reach out to family, and strive to believe that goodness will outweigh the nightmares such as this.