Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Knitting For Sanity

Whether or not I post to this blog can be an indicator of how I am feeling. When Mr Smiley sent me an email yesterday he noted that I hadn't posted anything since Thursday and without me having said anything to him knew that I was feeling down. He was right; I'm having a bad time at the moment and while I often have things that I want to say, I don't have the energy or the enthusiasm to write anything.

For many this would not be a problem, but while writing on this blog is not actually a life-defining occurrence, it does have some meaning for my future studies with the OU. Later this year I will be taking a course in creative writing and taking a more advanced one next year. These courses will lead to me completing my second degree but will also give me a Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing.

Studying with the OU has been a life-saver for me over the last nine years but it hasn't all been plain sailing. Over the last few years I have only managed to complete one course because depression has made it impossible for me to continue with courses for which I was registered. I am hoping that by taking some creative courses rather than purely academic ones I will break this cycle of having to 'drop out'.

One of the few things that I manage to continue with while I am deeply depressed is knitting. I have become a little manic about it over the last few weeks and have more projects on the go than is usual, even for me. However, I am coming to the end of one of them, a beautiful circular lace blanket that will keep me warm next winter; I should finish it today because I am knitting the edging at the moment and as it is only a 6-row repeat pattern, it seems to be moving around the edge of the blanket at a good rate.

For the first time ever, I have also joined a KAL. For the uninitiated this is a knit-along, and it is for a mystery shawl. The 'mystery' is that none of us, except the designer, know what the finished shawl will look like. The pattern will be available in seven 'clues' which are published weekly; the first was posted on the KAL site last Wednesday and I made the decision to join on Thursday. Having found some yarn in my knitter's stash that would be sufficient for the project I set to work and had completed the 54 rows that made up the first clue within 24 hours. I now have to wait until tomorrow for the second clue which will give me sufficient time to finish knitting the blanket today and sew in the few yarn ends that need to be done before notification of the clue having been posted arrives tomorrow.

The designer lives in the US and plans to post the clue at about midday EDT so that means that it should be available for me to work on tomorrow evening. Once I have finished the second clue I will have to wait again for the next one so I shall get to work on a cardigan for myself in the meantime.

Knitting is keeping me sane at the moment, I am having so much trouble concentrating on things that I am not even able to read. So I have a couple of books sitting beside the bed waiting for the moment that the depression lifts and I can get back to another of the things that I love to do in my spare time.

Once I have the myriad of knitting projects back to realistic levels again, I may do some crocheting as a little light relief. Sending There and Back a book on 'How to Crochet' as part of her birthday present and receiving emails from her letting me know how she is progressing, has reawakened my enthusiasm for this craft. I have decided to make a new throw for my bed and I will be building this from 6-inch squares of various designs from a wonderful book that I bought a few months ago. Having decided on the colours that I am going to use I have to now decide which squares I am going to make and how to lay them out to create the overall effect. This will be the first time that I will have designed something on this scale and I know that it is going to be one of those projects that will take some time to complete, but the joy of crocheting squares of this size for joining together to make a larger object is that the project can be picked up and worked on in any spare moments.

So while I may not be feeling at my best I am still making sure that I find things to do to ensure that my brain doesn't atrophy and that I am engaged in something constructive to pass away the hours. And this has reminded me that I need to charge the battery for my camera so that I can post a few pictures of the projects as they are completed or are progressing.


Anonymous said...

I can sympathise with your depression-induced-blog-apathy since I've had much the same for a few weeks now. I do hope the enthusiasm is rekindled very soon and you are back to your prolifically posting old self!
Glad to hear the knitting is keeping you occupied in the mean time. The KAL sounds fun.
Best wishes to you and I hope things ease up very soon.

Ruby Tuesday said...

I really smiled at the idea of the KAL.

I'm in the middle of a similar crochet project at the moment -blanket rather than throw. Squares are nice and repetitive without being complicated.

take care xx

Anonymous said...

I can really relate to this post, in between my bouncy moods I am still having really bad days, lots of tears lots of awful thoughts but I am choosing to push myself to do things to keep functioning. I was asked yesterday in the group why I was still able to do that if I was mentally ill, I couldn’t really answer without wanting to get annoyed at them. I felt like saying because functioning is better than sitting on the sofa wallowing in self pity! I admire you for studying. I’ve just submitted a application form for college in September, I am not sure I have done the right thing as of yet but I thought I would try and take it from there!

Take care and enjoy your weekend the best you can xxx