Thursday, April 16, 2015

Crochet corrective





I started crocheting hexagons this week. I think they'll become a blanket for our bed. I don't normally start making blankets in the spring, but I figure I'm going to need hundreds of these hexagons to make a blanket, so I can spend the warm months making them and the cold ones turning them into a blanket. I think I'm join them with cream-colored yarn. I'm envisioning something like a paintbox. The colors are soft, meant to coordinate with our duvet set. I plan to add more colors, some warmer ones like gold and rust, as well as greens and purple, maybe brown and tan. I'm using DK acrylic yarns, several brands, lots of loose ends and small bits. It's a great stash-buster. Now I just need to stop buying yarn.

I love crochet for many reasons, but one stands out above all the rest: it keeps me busy. I love to read and write, but when I'm truly frazzled, nothing else can comfort me the way crochet or stitching does. I spend plenty of time in unproductive ways too, don't get me wrong, but I find that everything in my world works better when my hands are busy. Other people notice it too; the Bear always knows when I'm in between projects. I'm different: I fidget, I talk too fast, I pick at my nails, I eat too much. You could say that I'm in withdrawal. Handwork is a balm to my soul.

This week was difficult, with the Bear traveling for work and all the normal daily-life stuff falling to me and the extra worry and stress of the LB's medical stuff. I haven't had much time for blogs or Instagram this week; I've been feeling a little low and keeping to myself. The LB had a test on Wednesday morning. We had to be at the hospital early; a neighbor who is also a friend took the GB to school for me. Thank goodness for friends.

After the test, I had him sit down in the lobby for a snack (I'd brought juice and a cereal bar with me). An elderly woman commented on the bandage he had on his arm (he'd had an IV during the test). She told us she was there for brain surgery, on a benign tumor taking up a large portion of her brain. She was remarkably calm. I noticed she had a bag on the chair next to her, with yarn and knitting needles inside. She was prepared to knit while she waited for her brain surgery. I was alarmed and touched and inspired all at the same time. I wondered if she would be able to knit again soon after the surgery. I hope it helps her heal.

I've only made a small start on these hexagons but I felt their power this week. I felt better about everything in the afternoons when I sat down to crochet, with the radio on and the windows open to the breeze. I'm glad to have this kind of work to do. It's fulfilling and centering. I love having beautiful handmade things to admire, of course, but the work itself - the emotional satisfaction and soothing nature of it, the way it girds me and grounds me - is by far the best thing about making creative handwork a part of my life.

40 comments:

  1. I love your hexagons- the colours are gorgeous and I can't wait to see it finished. As you say, it will be perfect to do in the Summer. I hope LB's tests go well; our thoughts are with you. I finally got around to listening to your bread making podcast - I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was lovely to put a voice to a face. Wishing you a relaxing weekend - remember, keep calm and carry on crafting! xx

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  2. I'm exactly the same when I'm between projects. I feel as though I'm breathing too fast and I can't settle. Having a large project stretching out in front of me is a happy thing. Your blanket is going to be lovely, and it's beautifully portable as well which is handy. I'm wishing you many happy relaxing hours of stitching. And a very lovely weekend. CJ xx

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  3. I hope that you'll have a more relaxed week next week... Not easy, having to cope with such things alone ! I hope the Bear is more at home upcoming week... And I hope LB is doing well (considering circunstances...)
    Do make time for crochet, if that helps you relax ! (PS me too I have the same thing with crochet... When in between crochet projects, I also get nervous, and I also eat too much !! I think it's because my hands have nothing "to do" that I start eating... When I still smoked, I would smoke more, now it's eating... Healthier, but not so good for my waist ;-))))

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  4. I so know what you mean. For months now I've been hoping from hospital to hospital with both my mum and son because they both needed surgery. Everywhere we went my knitting and crochet bag came too. It made me calmer and waiting times am awful lot shorter. It was a real life saver for me during these worrying months.
    I really do hope that your son's health improves soon. It must be such a hard time for you.
    Rosie

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  5. Jennifer - you and I must have been channelling the same crochet thoughts this week as your hexagons look really similar (as in exactly the same) to the ones I've been making. Yours are a round bigger, though. How odd is that? But I agree - I do like a crochet project on the go to keep my hands still (or busy) in the evenings. Calming our inner souls is important, I think. Hugs to you and LB. I bet he was a brave wee boy! :o)

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  6. Reading is to me what crochet is to you, I find it incredibly soothing and absorbing, I couldn't live without it X

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  7. Oh you are so right, I need to crochet to have something to occupy my hands, it occupies the spaces in my thoughts that are whirring on other things if I am not occupied. It is a great balm for the soul. I am glad that you have been soothed by it this week, I hope that all will be well for LB and you and the lady you met as well. xx

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  8. glad that your crochet is soothing your anxious days

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  9. I agree with you, handwork is a real therapy.
    Doing some knit or crochet is so good when you are in stress period or worry about something.
    enjoy every good moments you can have.
    Miss

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  10. So true, I too find that I need something to quietly sit and do, especially the last few years when my health has not been so good. I often think how hard it must be to be blind. I do hope that you are given strength for each day, especially the difficult ones and that all turns out well with LB and you all.

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  11. Sitting using my hands to create something always has a soothing effect on me. I'm working on fabric hexagons at the moment, it is helping lift my mood. Take care dear Jennifer xx

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  12. They say that yarncrafting has health benefits and I'm sure it does, we can look at ourselves, as you have done here, and see what a difference it makes to us. Your hexagons are lovely, such pretty colours, and it will be a portable project for you this summer before you have to start joining them together. I hope the results from your son's tests are what you want to hear, sending lots of hugs.

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  13. I totally agree with you're words, the hexi's look lovely, hope things went well with the tests xx

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  14. I know just what you mean - I'm lost without a project to work on when I need to relax. Wishing you a happy, relaxing weekend. x

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  15. I get your need to have busy hands. I think we all find the medium that soothes us. I am glad that you have found yours and that it has bought you comfort during your busy week.

    P.S. I shared my knitted rooster on Wed ;)

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  16. Ah, yes. Crochet is such a wonderful therapy! What did I ever do without it? I love your little hexies and the colors in your duvet. They look great together. I've started a big hexie project too. I'm giving myself plenty of time, even weeks or months, to do it. It's so much more fun that way. You don't want the therapy to turn into just another stress-maker, right? Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

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  17. Yarn is so therapeutic is it not? I will send that woman some positive thoughts and some for you and your son. I know that medical issues can take such a toll, especially on the Mom who tends to carry all this around with her.

    Take care of yourself,
    Meredith

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  18. I love the colours of your crochet, your blanket will look stunning on your bed, a perfect match! I wish you a peaceful and happy weekend.
    Jess xx

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  19. A few days ago I posted a photo...a glimpse of a Steller's Jay with you in mind, Jennifer. [ I also posted a photo of the garter snake I saw just before spotting the Jay, so be forewarned :) ] You describe well how crocheting/knitting are a part of my life....even though I get tangled up in the process of making from time to time. Your current blanket project is showing pretty promise. I usually carry along a dishcloth in the making which has launched interesting conversations such as you had at the hospital. So glad you had a neighbor- friend to help care for GB! Hoping the test results are good, and that you and yours enjoy your weekend xx

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  20. So glad that you have this beautiful hobby to keep your hands busy my friend. Your creations are stunning! And I hear you on the week.....my little guy has lung issues and we were in the hospital today...takes a lot out of you for sure. Still thinking and praying for your boy....He is lucky to have a mama like you. And to that sweet woman you met..I will send out some thoughts for her too. That she can return to her normal after her surgery. You have a good weekend. I hope it is full of really good things! Nicole xo

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  21. Those hexagons will make a beautiful blanket. There must be something extra soothing about the shape. I made hexagons during my last hospital stay. You've put into words exactly how I feel about crochet and I'm sure hundreds of others. Hang in there. Where there's crochet, there's light! J x

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  22. I absolutely agree one hundred percent with this. The act of crocheting, or sewing, is more valuable and restorative to me than anything I can produce with the results (although that's a very happy by product). It calms and soothes me and I can't really watch tv nowadays without something in my hands. I am so glad these beautiful hexagons brought you comfort this week. And I adore the sound of a paintbox blanket. xx

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  23. I love this idea. And I really love those colors you chose. I think I may try my hand at crochet again one of these days. I've been completely hooked on Call the Midwife and have fallen in love with the blanket that they made together! I can imagine finishing a large blanket feels amazing, can't wait to see yours. Have a great weekend.

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  24. Your hexagons are so pretty and the colors are soothing. It'll be a pretty blanket. I agree, working with your hands is soothing.

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  25. Oh, so pretty! Reminds me of my English paper piecing.

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  26. Dear Jennifer,

    I love the pretty colours of your hexagons and will make a beautiful quilt. My thoughts and prayers are with your little boy and the lady you met. I always found it nice to have some knitting to do when I feel stressed and just seems to calm one down having your hands busy.
    Enjoy the weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  27. A beautiful blend of colours in your hexagons, Jennifer. It is amazing how soothing crotchet, knitting or hand sewing can be, as many of us have found. I feel lost without something to pick up and occupy my hands when I need a bit of 'time out'. It is such a worry when children have medical needs - all the very best to you all.

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  28. You write such lovely posts Jennifer and have a wonderful way with words. I like your hexagons and have been thinking about using my stash yarn to make some too, it gives me great pleasure to just sit and make something simple knowing that something beautiful or useful will eventually develop, I can relate to that lady completely, I would do the same because my crochet goes everywhere with me and like you I hope she makes a good recovery. I hope you and your lovely family have a great weekend. :) xx

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  29. I am glad that creative work helps to focus your energy in difficult times. Thinking of you. xx

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  30. I've seen lots of hexagons around lately so will have to join in I think. I love your colours too. Knitting and crochet does focus the mind doesn't it, and also makes time go quickly, especially if you are waiting for an appointment so I can relate to the lady. I do hope everything goes well with LB. Take care xx

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  31. I hope your LB' s test went okey and he's fine. It is wonderful to be able to make things through crafting. You have nice, handmade things as a result but the making process also gives enjoyment and satisfaction. Crafting can be therapy, it is good for the soul.
    I have tried crocheting hexagonal before. I only managed to make two and we're now using them as coasters. X

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    1. Sorry, I meant hexies, not hexagonal.

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  32. Hey lovely, thinking of you and all the worries going on with your boy. I understand how hard each hospital visit is with an ongoing condition. Id so much rather it be me than my boy. And concealing those worries and keeping face as mum. Crochet helps me in that way. Of getting out of listening to the inner monologue in my mind and doing something simple. It's always a good experience too to see what strength people can muster in adversity. Blessings to you, xx

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  33. I know exactly what you mean about between project fidgetiness. And about handwork grounding you. I do hope all is well now with you and yours and your family is back to its normal routines.

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  34. I didn't take any craft with me to London this week, and it was only when I sat down last night and worked a few rows of my granny stripe that I realised how much I had actually missed it! And no wifi either... no wonder I was in bed and asleep by 11 most nights!

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  35. So many people here in agreement - knitters and crocheters know, as you pick up the yarn and sticks (or hook) a calmness descends. I have no proof but I think I feel my blood pressure and pulse drop. I love your hexagons and look forward to seeing what other colours you add in

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  36. Hey Jenifer,
    This post has really moved me. I can't put my finger on why, but I've just sat and scribbled loads of stuff down in my journal.
    Leanne xx

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  37. I love the colours you've chosen for the hexagons so far...I've been very static with anything creative lately...lots of thinking but not much doing. Sometimes you need a bit of pondering time. xx

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  38. The crafts like crochet, knitting and cross stitch etc are great for calming us.

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  39. Love our hexagons by the way.

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