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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Guide to Knitting While Stressed Out

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My mother is home, still very ill, but firmly on the mend. I still have to do quite a bit of nursing, which isn't always easy with also having two children who need my attention, and I do not get home from work until 6pm, but I'm working on it.

Something I have mentioned a few times over the past week has been stress knitting. For me, stress knitting is knitting that I do when I am super stressed. I can get so stressed out that I actually have some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome for a short time: longer lasting headache, muscle pain, joint pain that moves, exhaustion, memory issues. As these usually only last a short time, and are caused (in my case) by severe stress, I simply sit in my recliner and knit.

When using knitting as a stress relief, especially for severe stress such as family illness or (heaven forbid) death, or waiting for a life-changing decision (job interview), or relationship problems, it is important to figure out what kind of knitting will bring you relief.

Complicated Knitting, for those of us who need to focus hard:
Double Knitting Example
I prefer complicated knitting, something that will force me to focus, but will also keep my attention so it needs to be very interesting. This is why the Born of Fire MKAL has worked so beautifully for me (that and Gilmore Girls on Netflix when I can). The yarn I am using with this pattern is from knitpicks.com and is called Stroll (fingering weight).

Another project that could work to distract the individual who needs complicated knitting would be lace or a heavily cabled project.
Lace Example:
Such as the New Year Mystery Shawl 2016 aka Mandala III that starts on Saturday, this is a lace (lace yarn and lace pattern) shawl that will be huge, and starts from the middle, expanding out. Also called a Pi shawl. I will be using Knitpicks.com yarn called Gloss Lace (lace weight). (I really need to start winding this yarn).

Cable Example:
I am not currently working on, or immediately planning on working on, a cabled project (which is rather shocking, probably due to my current obsession with double knitting). But here is a great example of cables that my sister wants me to cast on for her in a burgundy red, called Birch Bay. I have some lovely Berroco Vintage that I picked up at the last Webs tent sale (2015) to knit this up with. (Note on picture, it is not mine but from the ravelry website).

Non-complicated Knitting for Stress Relief:
I know that many of you need something that is relaxing, will not make you concentrate, and is as easy as possible to knit in order to make it through stressful times. Some ideas for that could be:

One example is the so popular Vanilla Latte Socks, which is also a free pattern on ravelry.com.

Another is the Double Gusset on Bottom Toe Up Sock Pattern, which is also free and one that I have attempted myself (though I ended up with a dropped stitch on one of the socks so they are both in time out haha. (the picture was early in their development haha). I am a huge fan of toe-up.

Garter Stitch Scarf:
This is an easy, carry around, type of project. Simply cast on 45 stitches, size 7 or 8 US (4.5mm or 5.0mm) needles (or more or less as you prefer) with worsted weight and knit every row. This kind of project is probably doable even in a movie theater, if you are so inclined.


Everyone has their own way of dealing with being stressed out, knitting can really help you get through the tough times. We all know this and feel it, but I hope that my blog here has given you some ideas to think about.

Life always has trials and tribulations, then we have calm moments and waters before the ripples set in and life rocks us a little.

Be well!