Today, I am being reminded of the initial premise of this blog when I began writing it. The reason I call this blog Knitting In the Apocalypse is that I recognize the incredibly therapeutic value of craft and creative expression in my life. In a nutshell, whether we are looking at crises that affect many people (Big A Apocalypses) or crises that are mainly in our own lives (small a apocalypses) they are STILL crises. One of the things many people reach out to when going through these troubling times is hands-on art or craft. I have addressed previously how sitting down with a knitting project can help reduce my anxiety when I’m facing difficult and painful seasons. There are many other things people can and should do along with this practice, but this is one of the tools I use in my own self-care.
I want to keep this corner of the web a safe place, an escape from the noise and chaos that can be found elsewhere, so I’m not going to go into any venting or ranting here about the things I’m seeing in the news. Rest assured, I’m speaking up and taking what actions I can in other places and on other platforms. But for this space, I’m holding a place of peace. And while I’m doing what I can, those things seem small to me and I feel powerless to really change the things that are breaking my heart. Consequently, I’m finding myself intentionally shutting out the world, from time to time and getting lost in my creative process. I’m completing projects and planning new ones. When I’m at a loss for what to do next (not because I have no ideas but rather too many) I spend time organizing my studio and materials. This is a something of a palette cleanser between projects and will often help me sort out what I want to do next.
Before I take a turn here and transition into my normal topic let me just encourage my readers to find your own place of peace when facing heartbreaking situations. Knit. Meditate. Exercise. Speak to a counselor. Whatever works for you. Any of those things or all of them. I’m not saying don’t take action to address whatever that situation might require, but also do what you need to do to care for yourself and stay healthy.
I thought to have some completed projects to share, but in spite of spending a good amount of time on my current works in progress, I can only show you some almost done projects today.
Works in Progress (WIPS)
In spite of the picture, they are technically finished. I did cast them off. However….. Usually, my go-to stretchy cast-off method is Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off. But because I like to add new techniques to my repertoire and I was feeling confident I decided to try Lori’s Twisty Bind Off instead. I mean no disparagement, this method clearly works well for Lori and, I’m sure, many others, but it did not turn out well for me. It did look very nice once I was finished. Perhaps I was holding the tension of the yarn too tightly but I simply lost the stretch of the bind off. I cannot comfortably put them on my feet and when I manage to actually get them on, I cannot pull them up all the way. My only hope is to undo the cast-off and try to pick up the stitches again.
I doubt anyone likes ripping back. For me, it has been the bane of my knitting. In the past, no matter how carefully I tried to rip back, I wound up dropping so many stitches and getting so frustrated that I very, very often wound up pulling it all out and beginning again. However, in recent months, with the help of more experienced knitters, more practice, and simply exercising more care and patience I am improving on this. So, sometime this week, when I have a clear head, I’m going to try to salvage these and have a completed pair to show off for my next post.
I had been given two skeins of hemp fiber some time ago and they had been waiting patiently in my stash for me to have a burst of inspiration on how best to put it to use. I have had no previous experience working with hemp and I found this fiber much stiffer than the yarn with which I normally work. I’m curious to see if there are other hemp fibers that have a softer texture.
June in the midwestern United States is Farmer’s Market season. Although I don’t get out to them as often as I would like, I do really enjoy them. We have some really amazing local growers and makers here and I love bringing home some of their amazing produce. One of the most popular is the Franklin Street Bazaar held every Saturday in the summer. There are food trucks and music and loads of vendors that offer a very wide variety of beautifully grown or produced items. It has a great vibe and is a lot of fun. Having this fiber on hand at this season seemed to demand a Market Bag.
I decided on the Everlasting Bagstopper found at Knitty for my pattern. I didn’t have quite enough hemp to complete the body of the bag but I had a skein of sturdy cotton that worked well to complete the project. All that remains is to add the handle I picked up a Joann Fabrics a few days ago. I’m looking forward to traipsing around the Farmer’s Market with this bag slung over my shoulder.
I have some other projects that are in the planning process that I am eager to share with you, but that is a post for another day. For today, I wish for each of us to find another step closer to peace.