Monday double takes

It’s the sort of a funny start of the week where the unexpectedness of the day put me into a ‘just go with the flow’ kind of mood. Usually I plan my week with detailed to-do lists and goals that need to be met by a specific hour of a specific day. Yet despite writing these plans all out, it wasn’t a typical kind of Monday. And I was totally fine with it.

The photo is a good summary of the kind of day I had. On my commute to work I was looking into my camera because I had something in my eye (I don’t own a mirror – tend to borrow them when needed) and lo and behold I noticed the bone graphic behind me. It turns out it was a skeleton bone but, well, you get the picture.

Total double take.

Get to work and do the email double take (e.g. ‘did I just read, yes, yes I did’). Then went to a marking meeting what was all about double takes (e.g. our marks don’t quite agree but they’re in the ball park, sort of. More or less. Sure). Then afternoon slump – need – sugar – hit- now moment as I walk past the entrance of my favourite cafe, then turn around and walk back in to order a double chocolate brownie and large latte.

Lots of going-with-the-flow kind of moments.

Also went to the pub after work this evening. Rarely head to the pub nowadays, let alone a Monday night, but was returning home after an evening seminar and couldn’t be bothered to cook. So, to the pub we go…only to find out (after we had ordered a round) that it doesn’t serve food on Mondays. This is more of a face palm than a double take but it was that kind of Monday. So pizza delivery it is. No double takes here, just double portions. Going with the (hunger) flow. All in all, an unexpected positive start to the week.

Sunday Service: More crafts

From knitting to sewing. Yep, it’s like that in my world. Spent this Sunday afternoon testing out this new pattern for a drawstring bag. Well, making a drawstring bag is new to me, and I wanted to do a ‘test run’ on some cheap fabric scraps I had lying around instead of botching up the pattern with good fabric.

Yep, learned(-ing) the hard way to understand patterns. Made some fab jogging trousers and pyjama bottoms for myself. Tried adapting the same pattern for my partner and…well, considering he’s about nearly a foot taller than me you can imagine how badly that project went. Those of you who’ve sewn with jersey fabric know the hell I’m talking about.

Anyhow, yesterday I had a look at my knitting pile and thought I needed somewhere to store all this stuff. That led to heading out for my first ever visit to this shop called ‘Hobbycraft’. A kind of superstore for crafts. Usually I buy my supplies online but today was a day to try out a few new things.

Yet again I found myself with the urge to finish this bag in one day. I didn’t find this project as relaxing as knitting, mostly because I was set on finishing the bag in one afternoon because, in my head, if I can finish it, I can understand the pattern. In some ways this is true. Just instead of using a regular sewing machine, like normal people, I decided to start with my overlocker (‘serger’ to North Americans) then switch to my sewing machine in the end. Maybe I should just start with following the pattern properly before making adaptations to the process.

I just really, really love my overlocker! The end result were still pretty good, and more importantly it fits one of my knitting projects!

Hand made anxiety

Well the title is a bit misleading. I am using my hands to make things, just not ‘making anxiety’. I suppose ‘the act of making stuff by hand is my current way of dealing with anxiety’ isn’t that snappy a title, but it is the focus of this post.

I learned to knit this year. A friend got a bunch of us together and convinced us to try knitting. I tried it, was hooked, and haven’t looked back since. Knitting is usually associated with lonely old women, grandmothers (not the same thing) or hippy earth-mother types. At least that was my impression. Was I ever WRONG on all accounts. It’s a brilliant hobby and one that has helped me manage my stress and anxiety in surprising ways.

When I knit, I’m focused on knitting. In the now, and on the thing I’m making. It feels like a break. A long, proper break from the anxiety I feel about work and life (mostly work, but that’s another time). I’ve got several projects on the go, so the struggle for me is to slow down and take the time to enjoy the process. I tend to focus on finishing rather than taking it slow and taking it in. I should be enjoying the ‘break’ but I find old habits die hard: the need to complete things. The need to finish. The need to accomplish something. To do something useful. To have something to show – It’s not easy to untangle (heh heh) all these inadequacies, but I’m learning. Slowly. One bit of wool at a time, I suppose.

It feels good to make things with my hands. In the end, that’s what matters to me. That feeling of a proper break.