The Strangest Thing…

So, in my first post, I mentioned that I struggle with depression, right? I promise this won’t be a post (or a blog) just about mental health–there will be knitting too. But, depression is something that I always tend to hide, and I want to start to speak out about it some. At least, I’d like to think and talk about how it affects my life.

So yes, the strangest thing happened to me today. This morning, when my wife’s alarm went off and my toddler started stirring (anyone with a toddler knows that “stirring” is a very loud process), my first several waking thoughts surprised me. They were not what they usually are. That is, they were not anything along the lines of “Dear God, why me?” or “It’s got to be several hours before I have to get up” or “Ten more minutes, for the love of Bob!” They weren’t even close to “blah blah blurrrrrrghhh”. Nope. Know what they were?

“Man, I can’t wait to get up and go work on my knitting project!”

I can’t remember being excited to get out of bed, pretty much ever. The only exception would be Christmas morning as a very young child. Other than that, I’ve always been a night owl, an insomniac, the veritable opposite of a morning person. This is significant for a lot of reasons–it means things are going very well, treatment is helping, and that there is hope for things to change. Very recently, it was a feat of strength and motivation to get out of bed at all. This is very different. I would like to bottle up this feeling and save it so that next time things are really bad, I can open it up and just take a whiff. Not as a cure, though. Just a reminder that things are not hopeless, that they can get better.

Okay, on to the knitting! The project that inspired these thoughts is my Not a Buff that I’m making for my mom. I’ve gotten just shy of 6″ done, which is about 30% complete. The yarn (ggh tajmahal) is so pretty and soft, the design simple but still interesting, the fabric stretchy and supple. The yarn is, I think, a 3 ply, but it knits up a little like a single the way the stitches slant on one side. It’s got a soft shine to it that is pretty but perfectly understated. In short, I really like it.
not a buff

There are a couple of things that I might change if I knit this pattern again. It calls for a slipped stitch on every repeat, but doesn’t specify to slip as to knit or as to purl. I’ve been slipping as if to purl the whole time and am wondering if it was a mistake. I’m thinking that might be why the first stitch of each traveling band is sort of twisted outward. I’m not going to rip it back and start over, but I would try it the other way next time. I don’t think it looks bad the way it is–it’s actually kind of pretty. The other thing I might do differently is experiment a little with the different ways to do M1. There’s one of those on every repeat, as well. I’m doing it front to back, but forgot to knit it through the back loops. Again, not something I’m going to rip it back for, but something I would try different ways next time before committing to one. Pretty minor stuff, in all. The color in the closeup photo is really washed out, but you can see the stitch detail pretty clearly.
buff closeup

My other WIPs are in the same state as before. I’ve got good momentum going on the buff, so I want to see that through for now. Once I get to a clearing between projects, I’m contemplating switching my knitting style to continental. I’ve almost always been a thrower since learning around age 7. A friend in college was a continental knitter, and I had the chance to see how much faster it was. I successfully transitioned over, but then had a long spell when I wasn’t knitting. When I picked the needles back up a few months later, my muscles just remembered throwing. But, I was reading about it on the forums on Ravelry yesterday, and found that a lot of people have successfully transitioned. So I think there might be hope for me yet! I want to wait until I’m between projects, though, because I don’t want my gauge to get screwed up.

Enough musings for one morning…on to the knitting I woke up wanting to do!

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4 comments

  1. The Person Next to You · July 8, 2015

    That yarn looks beautiful through the screen…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggienesium · August 4, 2015

    Hey, I just wanted to say how much I’m appreciating your blog. I was dreading bringing up my PTSD in my next post about the Mood Scarf but this post has shown me it’s completely possible to talk about mental health and knitting, and to do it in an elegant, yet light hearted way. Thank you so much for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • andalexand · August 5, 2015

      I can’t tell you how happy this comment made me. There’s such a stigma on talking about depression (or anything about mental health), both internal and external, but I’ve really wanted to be able to talk about it. “Elegant and light-hearted” is pretty much exactly what I was going for, so I’m glad that’s coming through. I’m REALLY happy that you’re comfortable talking about things, too, for a lot of reasons! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maggienesium · August 6, 2015

        I know right? I find it really heartening that once someone says they are dealing with mental health issues, that others pluck up the courage to talk about their own struggles, so thank you for being that person for me. Given how my Mood Scarf is coming along I’d planned on talking about PTSD and how helpful the scarf has been, but now I know it can be light hearted and fun 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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