Note: This post is pretty strong and a little scattered. I started to apologize for that when writing the end, but changed my mind. Instead, I will just give you this small warning: Radical self love ahead!
Since I am continuing to go through a difficult patch, I decided to put some positive energy into myself. This is counter to everything I unconsciously believe I should be doing. I “should” be somehow muscling through this. I “should” be using my extra time off work (long story) to do things around the house, for my family, for others, etc., etc. I “should” be doing something “productive” and lord knows self care is not generally considered productive. Or valuable. Especially coming from a female queer person.
That’s a lot of quotation marks.
But really, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure (much of it self imposed) to do a lot of things that just aren’t coalescing. On the knitting front, that would probably be a shawl for the wifey’s mother. I love the wifey, I love her mother, I would love to knit her a shawl. But, I can’t get a good idea of what she would like and it’s just not coming together yet. And I have a lot of pressure on other fronts that is proving difficult to deal with. And I feel like I need still more support right now than I am able to get. And so, I think that taking that energy, that desire to do something nice for someone, and directing it inward is going to serve me best right now.
This is all a long way of saying that I cast on for my Drachenfels a couple of days ago. Actually, I cast on just a little after putting up my last post. My mom was still in town so she helped me look at color combinations and pick out something good. I looked over the pattern and determined it would be easy enough to modify on the fly. I’m using fingering weight yarn instead of sport weight but I want it to be bigger than the pattern says, so I wanted to make sure I’d be able to add some extra yardage. I balled up some skeins and got going.
I love it. I love the pattern, I love the color combinations, I love the yarn, I love that I’m modifying it to suit me. Mostly, I love that I’m doing something positive for myself, something that’s a big deal and that takes some dedication and commitment. This is symbolic for me. The other day, I realized that while life is in the process of handing me my ass, and while I am a person who struggles with depression, I am not particularly depressed right now. I am upset about what I am going through and it is hard to cope with. But, I have not succumbed to it. I have not ignored any of it in hopes that it would go away. I have been proactive about doing what I can to improve the situation. I have not stopped moving. I have not chosen to just go to sleep in avoidance. I am doing what I need to do, asking those around me for what I need, and generally acting in a way that is not consistent with depression. I am hurting, and the car accident last Thursday is only the icing on the cake. But, I am actively coping and actively asking for help. This is not how depression has played out for me in the past. This is just being dealt a shitty, shitty hand.
The other day, I spoke out and stood up for myself about these things, and about how I deserve support even though I am a person with depression. Casting on for this shawl feels the same. It is my way of saying, through knitting, that I am worth caring for, giving to, and being here on this planet. I will make myself an awesome shawl, damn it.
So yeah, that’s where I am right now. On to the knitting details! I am using Koigu KPM in charcoal, dark grey, spruce and light blue:
The row that looks like a dotted green line is actually knitted only holding one color–much easier than it looks. This close up shows that the charcoal really is some grey, not all black, and is more of a semi-solid than solid (which I like, in this case). The other end of the shawl will be the dark grey against the light blue. I think it will look really cool. If I wasn’t already ready for summer to be over and colder weather to come, this would have done it! I can’t wait until it’s done and I can wear it pretty much all the time. I love everything about it because, at the end of the day, I love myself.