Red sweater


One paragraph, I am saying to myself.

Just write one paragraph. (Technically, this is paragraph two, I believe. Whatever.)

I will say a couple of things.

First: If you don’t know this from personal experience, then allow me to enlighten you: Depression is a horrible way to spend a weekend, let alone an entire, rather gorgeous, season, particularly every knitter’s favourite season: Autumn. The season of mitten knitting, sweater knitting, and holiday gift knitting. It’s our peak season, we knitters, and like knitters everywhere, I watched Ravelry fill up with every sort of Knitted Thing imaginable as the leaves “put on their party clothes” (as the Yarn Harlot would say) and gradually danced their way to the ground.

Second: Being too depressed to blog, when one has been a blogger almost as long as anyone has been a blogger, is just plain super-sucky. Days upon days of waking up (in the middle of the night, in the morning, after a nap) thinking, Today I can do it. I can write a post. Put up a photo, even. Doesn’t have to be eloquent; just has to be words typed into my laptop. I know that if I write a word or two or twenty, then perhaps that will punch a hole in the walls that depression erects around one, walls that start out as soft, sheer curtains, and end up made by that third piglet, the one who loves the smell of well-mixed mortar and properly aged bricks.

Before I know it, another day of excuses, interruptions, and procrastinations goes by. Without a blog post.

Be gentle on yourself, friends say. Hard to be gentle on one’s self when the demons of depression left me feeling as if I do not know myself any longer. But for love of friends, for love of you, Gentle Faithful Readers, gentle shall I be. Anything to ensure that this isn’t the last post for another three months.

(Shhhh. Yes, I know I have officially passed the one paragraph mark. Don’t tell.)

There, for example, is The One Photo, accompanied by two of its friends, as promised. That is my Mirabel Cardigan, the one I started just over a year ago. (I got lost in eight inches of five-point-five stitches per inch, 287 stitches (or something like that). I am happy to report that the eight inches have been completed, as have two short sleeves (as shown above: they even match!). Over the Labour Day weekend, I joined the fronts to the sleeves to the back, all in proper order, all facing the proper way, albeit by the third try. Since then, and since this photo was taken, I have worked another couple of inches upwards, encountering both neckline and bust shaping in due time.

I wanted to finish this in time to wear over a white blouse on Christmas Eve, but I am not going to hold my breath over it (and neither should you!).

I am going to stop now, before I really want to stop, on the theory that I might feel better about blogging if I could resign myself to shorter, less tome-like posts. I am going to break blogging courtesy rules this once and not do the work of linking every possible thing I could link. I am also not going to allow myself to second-guess everything I have written and edit the life out of my words, as I often do when I am not feeling my best. I hope you understand. 

Thank you for still being there. Post a comment; let me know how you are doing in the pre-Christmas chaos!
I almost never listen to music these days, for a variety of reasons. However, I got double-sized Big Girl Panties and, before I began writing this, I searched for holiday music on YouTube. Dulcimer Christmas Music, a playlist by Jane Fountain. Gorgeous. Not too saccrine-sweet, not too happy-happy, just lovely, complex-but-simple tunes played on one of the most glorious instruments on earth.

“Things are looking up,” says one-year-old Ben. “Because when you look up, you might ccatch the food that falls off the counter before it hits the ground!”

Peace. I hope to see you soon. 

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About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. 2 year-old kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
This entry was posted in Animals, Goblins of Winter, Knitting, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Red sweater

  1. Sylvia Dresser says:

    Sandi, it’s great to hear from you! I’m sending you best wishes to fight the good fight – yes, I’ve been there too – so glad you have your furbabies, too. Ben is adorable!

  2. elaine says:

    So good to see you pop up in my inbox! Love your red sweater! It will be beautiful. I’ve been trying to finish a pair of socks ~ Getting there, just a lot of stuff I want to do and enjoy this holiday season, as always. Hope you get to enjoy some things that bring smiles, warmth, and peace your way!

  3. Victoria says:

    Oh, please hang in there. Get help if you need it and if you can. I so relate. I spent nearly a year in a deep depression. It’s an awful place to be. I was lucky to have survived. Don’t give up on you!

  4. Deb says:

    Hey Friend, it is good to hear from you. I’m here whenever you want to talk. I like be that sweater and I’m heading out to find the pattern. Red is definitely the color for the season. Be sure and post a pic whenever you finish. Take care of yourself and don’t get to caught up in the tinsel. Deb

  5. Kelly H says:

    This year is my first in trying medication for my S.A.D. It’s going… well… hopefully I’ll have it figured out before the season ends, so that I’m well prepared for next year! What I’m trying to say is that I hear you, I comiserate, and I hope for ease for you!

    I’ll be waiting. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  6. Joyheart says:

    We understand. We are grateful for you and for your words, no matter what.

  7. Happy to see you! Happy Holidays!

    So happy to hear from you – even if it’s just one paragraph. Though I must confess, I read all the paragraphs and enjoyed it.

    Looking forward to 2017 – where my stash won’t be so overwhelming, my mojo won’t be sunning itself on a rock like an iguana in Mexico and (leaving me here in the Bronx), and where there’s a shot

  8. Amber says:

    Welcome back! Lovely sweater in a lovely color!

  9. Molly Nichol says:

    life with depression is like a game of snakes and ladders – with giant snakes and very short ladders and rigged dice. i’m glad you’ve gotten to a ‘ladder’ and managed to knit something beautiful and post something even more so! celebrate your small victories and in time they add up to quite a considerable progress! cheers to you and your furbabies!

  10. Mary Alyce says:

    I have S.A.D. From the first of the month I have sat at the therapy light and knit simple hats and mittens, for twenty minutes. Only simple things will do, because the light is so bright. I don’t know if it works. But it is self care, and it is using my skills, and those have to count for something! Be well, Dear Wiseheart.

  11. Bonnie says:

    The red sweater is beautiful, and I’m so glad you posted today. It’s lovely to hear from you. Thanks for brightening my morning!

  12. goldenbishop says:

    Your red sweater is lovely and would be perfect for Valentines Day as well!! Thanks for sharing – and motivating me to “keep moving”!

  13. Robin Ashley says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sandi. I was in the third piglet’s house myself this fall, but have thankfully at last found the door. It really helps to hear you describe the lack of words, the total loss of energy and feelings of worthlessness! Tis a tough road we travel.

  14. Lee says:

    So good to hear from you! That sweater is gorgeous, and the caption for Ben’s photo is great. Hang in there Sandi, one minute at a time if necessary. You are loved.

  15. msonawhim says:

    You are in my heart!
    I have been stuck on knitting irregular triangle shawls with all combinations of edges, main stitches, and fibers. Been a fun creative time!

    Hugs
    MarySue

  16. Rachel says:

    Welcome back! I still am a proponent of “be gentle with yourself” but I get that it is hard to do so when in the depths. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt etc etc. I do know that sometimes just having someone shine a light down that whole helps when you are trying to slog your way out. So remember that there are many out there who love you, who are more than willing to hold the lamp so you can see the way back

    (and yes, Ben certainly has it right!)

    all the gentle hugs
    Rachel

  17. Julia in kw says:

    Glad to see you back here. I live with someone who is going through this same walk as you, so I know this is a good step for you. Keep talking! Take care…

  18. Vicki says:

    Totally understand the blogging blues. The living blues. The stuck can’t do anything productive blues. Been there more than not this past year. For whatever reason, things have been good this past month or two. The only thing that changed is the amount of Vit D I take – it increased substantially. I would say sit in the sun but in Canada in December, warm sun is in short supply.

  19. Vicki says:

    Oopps…it should say “but warm sun is in short supply.”

  20. Tamara says:

    You are not alone my friend. I have experienced varying degrees of depression off and on for many years. For me, insomnia brings it on. Exercise or mindful meditation works the best for me. Using a therapy light box in the morning resets my circadian rhythm, but it has to be used every morning to keep the benefits. Knitting, crocheting, coloring and card crafting help keep me engaged. A dog is a must.

  21. knitwit56 says:

    Kudos to you, Sandi. It’s always good to hear from you, whether it’s once a week or every few months. I, and most of your readers most likely, appreciate your struggle, even when we may not all understand it. Depression is not fun.

    I myself have overcome one hurdle and started a sweater for my hubby, after first completely ripping out the one I knitted over a decade ago that came out in a size that would never fit any human. I finally got past the idea that I could fix it somehow and decided to start over. So far, so good.

  22. Sharon says:

    Thanks so much for posting even though you had to push through to do it!
    I enjoy your style, even though this is the first time that I have commented.
    What you share matters.

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