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Knitting Spirit Lost

In the side box I see here as I write this, I see there are a lot of topics about “knitting mojo”. While I may have a lag in that, too, I feel this is different.

For me there is a spirit to knitting. It’s a way to touch and feel the fibres run through my fingers, the sound of the clicking needles, and the brain to read & comprehend the pattern. It’s cathartic, releasing, and sparks joy.

At least until recently. Now when I pick up the needles (or hook because I also crochet) all I hear is negative talk. The words that come to me are mean and awful. I hear sentences like, “Why start this when you know you won’t finish it?” “That color will look awful for this ______.” “Ugh, another piece you will have to frog half way through?” These thought hurt and so I now am avoiding the crafts I love.

For example, last night I was sent home early from work because we were slow (so nice). It was a glorious day and all I could think all the way home was spending the afternoon on my patio under the umbrella in my sunsuit listening to my favorite podcast and knitting while my boys played in the grass with the dog. I got home, change into my suit, grabbed a drink, opened the umbrella and as soon as i picked up my knitting tote, I literally felt a shift of momentum. I heard the voice. Her name is Audrey and she stole my spirit.

Do you have periods like this? Do you have voices? I also have Peaceful Penny, Mean Mellie, Bully Barb, Sincere Cicily, Daring Danielle, Beautiful Betsy, Loving Linda. But Audrey is a thief. She is Arduous. Annoying.

Which one of your voices are you hearing today? Know that you are enough, loved, beautiful, smart, kind, gracious, and full.

Have a great weekend.

I’m into mixing colors in dishcloths. Never fails to cheer me up. Even if the color combo is off, who cares? It is a dishcloth and the coffe grounds will soon destroy it, but onto new knitting.

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How do coffee grounds destroy your dishcloths?

I lost interest for YEARS due to depression. When my creativity finally revived, I felt like a beginner. I now choose projects that are small and involve skills that I’ve forgotten. I also gave myself permission to have more than one project going at a time, so that I can switch when I want to, or if I need to step away from a perceived problem until my internal critic shuts up. I think little things to turn to are key: a few hours with something new makes your mind concentrate and pushes out the mean self-talk.

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I find having one project in each of three or four yarn-weight or end use categories is helpful, without getting overwhelming. I am that person who cannot just take a published pattern and knit it, as most patterns for knitting or sewing are not designed for my exact body shape, and need tweaks to fit in a comfortable and flattering way. Even hats…large skull here!

So, I often run into things that aren’t working and need to be thought about, rethought, reworked, or re-imagined—all of which require incubation time while they are set aside. Knowing I can switch and move another project along while that back-burner time happens greatly reduces my guilt levels.

So, the quick worsted weight hat for a relative fits in the middle of the lace shawl, and after a stint of designing on the fly that DK weight sweater, or the linen/cotton summer top. And my mood can be restored!

I am so sorry that you are feeling this way! Honestly, I don’t have advice for you except perhaps, to enjoy something else for a minute. I’m taking more knitting breaks, not due to negativity, but the physical stress on my hands. I can’t bear not to be doing something though, so I’m doing a little stitching and mending.
It is enough, (eta) which I do not mean in a depressed sounding way!

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I find that reverting to my 8-year-old self sometimes helps. It can help her get to what she’s really after.

Audrey: It’s the wrong color.
You: So?
Audrey: You look terrible in puce.
You: So?
Audrey: You’ll never wear it.
You: So?
Audrey: Well it will take up room in the closet.
You: So?
Audrey: You know your kid’s getting bigger and he’s going to need more room soon.
You: Good point. So I’ll give it to Betty Lou. She loves puce.
Audrey: Good. But we should really starting thinking about what kind of space kiddo’s going need soon. I know it’s hard to see him get more independent.
Etc. etc. etc.

Those voices can be very cryptic and it helps me to actually engage them as if they were a real person. Talk it through with Audrey until she gets to her point.

If it doesn’t work just tell her to shut the f up. Your brain, your rules. Tell her she’s not welcome. And if she won’t leave get some professional help. It’s no different than hiring a handyman to get rid of an ugly old couch.

I hope this is helpful. Keep coming back here. It’s a good group with a good vibe.

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What you’re describing sounds like it could be depression, loss of enjoyment of things that you usually enjoy can be a symptom. It also might not be, but it might be worth getting evaluated if you haven’t already, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms. Either way, I hope you are able to find what you need to enjoy your knitting fully again

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