Hello again, World!
It’s been over a year and a half without blogging, but here I am! Back at it. I didn’t want to disappear for so long. Over that period of darkness I often thought about getting on the computer and churning out something – anything – to let you guys know I was still alive and still knitting. But I was dealing with some major changes in my personal life which seriously impeded my motivation to do….well, anything. Particularly anything creative. Including knit. And spin. Nevermind write. Especially since the lack of completed knitting or spinning projects left very little material about which I could write. You know, on a knitting blog.
If you follow my Instagram or Facebook profiles, you might have caught glimpses of the few items I did finish over the past year. A couple sweaters, a shawl, and half a dozen skeins of handspun yarn. Each piece inched forward at a crawl as I would find ten minutes here, twenty minutes there to complete one or two rows. Sometimes going weeks without picking up needles. I was so stressed out with the prospect of this unknown future (barring too many details), that I would work myself up into a worried mess each evening after work, until I was too exhausted to do anything but bury my face in a computer screen.
My job was sort of what kept me sane as it forced me to get up early every day, socialize, stay active, and occupy my mind with something productive. But it was also very tiring to keep up appearances at work while it felt like my life at home was falling apart.
I don’t mean to sound so dramatic. I wasn’t lost in a year and a half of deep depression. In this past year I’ve also gone through some of the best experiences of my life, and have met some of the greatest, kindest, most interesting and most genuine people. Nevertheless, I’ve been neglecting my own mental health, so it’s finally time to get back in gear and do the things I love. Which usually involves wool.
The problem with writing is now: where to begin? It’s been so long that I would like to play catch-up and discuss some of my past FOs, but now is not the time. I’d rather update you on my most current projects while they are fresh in my mind. That way, I can perhaps offer some valuable insight or advice to anyone who may be working on the same pattern, or who might be considering it. I do have a couple projects on-the-go, and I’d like to talk about them, but I feel like they deserve better than simply being crammed into this semi-emotional post. So that’s not where I will start today.
Instead, I will keep with the general theme of this post, and get a little emotional again. I want to tell you all about what inspired me to come back to the blog. The short answer? A photoshoot. In the early days of blogging, a fellow knitter named Catherine (or Cat) contacted me about potentially selling my handspun in her mobile yarn shop, Den of Wool. Cat has since put her yarn shop on the back burner to focus on her interest in photography. Ambitiously, she is putting together a series showcasing various types of artists and artisans working on their craft. (Follow her on Instagram @catherine_this_life). When she asked me if I’d like to participate, I was thrilled.
On a cold Sunday afternoon in January, Cat came over to my house to photograph me at my wheel. Naturally, I pulled out everything I own related to knitting or spinning or fibre. Bags of fleece were strewn across my living room floor. Drop spindles and niddy noddies were poking out of the couch cushions. Yarn was flowing out of baskets and project bags….and my kittens were loving every minute of it.
Somehow, Cat managed to isolate tranquility from the chaos. She so perfectly captured in her photos the serenity that engulfs me whilst I spin. There is such a softness about the images. Believe it or not, that’s what did it for me. Her stunning photos were just the spark I needed to revive the flame. To view the act of myself spinning, framed through the lens of another person, it was no longer wrought with all the feelings of self-deprecation that I imposed upon myself every time I felt guilty that I was not spinning enough, or that I was not knitting enough. Rather, I saw beauty reflected back onto me. And I remembered why these activities used to bring me so much peace.
For such a long time, I was afraid of allowing myself to feel at peace. My life seemed in shambles and filled with so much uncertainty. I was in a perpetual state of waiting for my situation to improve; I kept thinking that when things settle down, I would allow myself to be happy again. In the meantime, I waited in unproductive limbo. Hiding UFOs in the closet so that they couldn’t remind me of the negative cycle I had created. But they were always there, at the back of my mind, waving a wooly finger at me. Until now. Seeing myself through the eyes of another instead of through the distorted filter imposed by my anxieties.
So here I am. Things in my personal life are still stressful and uncertain. But I’m back. I’m not waiting any longer. I’m back, and happy to be here.