Knit, and Meditate, and Mindfulness

Just few days ago, I found this link hovering over my facebook news feed. Actually, I lied… it was more than few days ago, and it’s been there for a while. I was just not bothered until few days ago, and finally read it properly.

If you, just like me, can’t be bothered to read all articles popped in your way while doing your thing on the internet, I can save your time and tell you what that link was about. Basically it is about how baking for other people is actually good for our mental wellbeing.

Baking is good for your mental health. Especially when you are baking for people you care about…

Baking, just like knitting is actually good for our mental health because of its therapeutic effect. It is not only giving us a sense of achievement when finishing it the way we want it, it also keep us focus to the task, and keep us away from negative distractions. It is a kind of mindfulness training.

What is mindfulness? It is a new trendy buzzword. From what I understand it is basically meditation, but trying not to sound as serious as that. So, what they’re trying to say is that baking, or knitting gives the same kind of therapeutic effect just like meditating.

They just cannot say it like that, because it doesn’t sound scientific enough.

But this is my problem…

Imagine when you are meditating. People know you are meditating, and in the process you are healing yourself. NOBODY, would ever come to you and say: “Good morning… Do you want a cuppa?”

it definitely helps when people just leave you alone when you’re knitting… you make a proper progress when they do

Of course not.

But, why don’t they do the same when you are counting stitches? Why won’t they leave us alone when we were reading that bloody lace patterns (which row we were in again?)? I mean… we were practising mindfulness and in the process of healing ourselves too, weren’t we?

I think we knitters need to educate people of how knitting is related to mental wellbeing. By educating them, maybe… just maybe they will know why we go ballistic when they’re talking to us when we are in the middle of counting stitches….

x ❤ x

Weekend Push

I like weekend.

It means my husband is not working, so it means we could spend the time together. It means we could snuggle a bit longer in the morning, and ignore each other a bit longer during the day — he is busy with his computer game, and I am with my WIPs.

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And, although I am currently not working, it feels like a special day for pushing the WIPs, just like other crafters who work during the weekdays.

The white cardigan grew really fast. I have to say that I enjoy making it so much. It was very easy to follow, and I can say that the wool is incredibly nice and fluffy, and very easy to work with. I have never used this brand in the past, but I will definitely use it again in the future.

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It is called Happy Sheep yarn. I found it at QD — a local discount store in Norwich. It is weird though, because it does have a url address in the yarn label, but when I tried to find out more about the company from the url address, it didn’t go anywhere. I wonder… Have anyone heard about this yarn before?

Anyway… like I said, the knitting WIP grew really fast. Soon they looked like these… See? Those are two for the front, two for the sleeves, and one for the back. I know!! They look really simple!

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Alright! Alright! I know… I have a lot of 4mm needles. I thought I have more than I need, but then project like this happened and I realised, nope… the more needles, the better. So next time, if anyone (read: my husband) ever tell me again in the future that I don’t need more needles, I will show him this photo as an evidence that it is not true.

Anyway… This cardigan is done in yoke. I have never done yoke before. I don’t even know how to put the word “yoke” in a sentence. Is it a noun? But blimey, it is incredibly easy to do! I wonder if I could modify the pattern, using the same method, but different eyelet/lace motif.

Lo and behold…

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It does look nice isn’t it? Sewing up next, and you’d see one more FO 🙂

x<3 x

Not All WIPs Are Created Equal…

At least that’s how I feel anyway.

Especially, when you have more then one or two WIPs at hands. You know in your mind, that you have to divide your time and attention, and love –of course, equally. But you cannot, can you?

Cross Stitch WIP D3

Cross Stitch WIP D3

Like this cross stitch WIP, I love it. I love it a lot. If I sit and do this project, I could spend hours and hours, and start forgetting that it is time to make supper. Love it. Love it a lot.

But then I found this pattern at ravelry.

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I really like knitting this. Not only because I am making this for my niece, but the pattern is so easy to follow, and it is so easy to fall in love with the project. Then, somehow I forgot that I have a cross stitch project.

I think I will knit more than I stitch anyway…

x ❤ x

Fund Your Hobby Without Breaking Your Bank…

Okay… If you know how to do it, you should let me know…

Like I said earlier, I have a lot of hobby… I cook, bake, knit, crochet, and cross stitch. And they do require a lot of money if you want to make something really good.

Cross Stitch WIP 29/11

Cross Stitch WIP D1

For example, knitting and crocheting… I could buy a nice pair of needles or hooks at the charity shops, but cheap wool is not easy to find. Most cheap wool I found is not well spun, or nice and fluffy like the more expensive one. Sometimes they would have a dodgy knots in the middle, making your knitted project really ugly, or a uneven plying.

Cross stitch is slightly easier for now. And, as cross stitching takes longer to finish (at least for me), it is cheaper if you calculate it by the amount of days you’re doing your hobby. But with hundreds and hundreds of colours, it will take around 30-40 pounds for one project.

Cross Stitch WIP 30/11

Cross Stitch WIP D2

This HAED for example… I am lucky that I have at least a third of the threads that I would need to finish it. But, I honestly can’t imagine funding a bigger project than this one, as much as want to 😦

So, if you don’t mind me asking…

How do you budget for your hobby? How much roughly do you allocate for a project?

x ❤ x

HAED

I have been a member of cross stitching groups on facebook for awhile now. At first, it was really confusing when I read the conversation about people doing HAED. I mean, I can see that they are doing a very complicated big project, but what is HAED?

After a quick research, I found out that HAED is actually an abbreviation for Heaven and Earth Design. They have a lot of wonderful patterns — big, complicated, and extremely beautiful patterns. Most of the time, I could not afford the patterns, because I don’t have a steady income that I can rely on. But, HAED has this free pattern give away, that they change every now and then. Few months ago, I found this pattern was free to download.

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However, I knew it right there and then, that for a novice stitcher like myself, such project is near impossible. Big project like this one is not cheap — fabric, and thread will cost me a fortune.

But I really want to try to do them. So, when I was at the craft store in Indonesia, I bought a very cheap aida — 18ct, around £2 for 3 metres of the fabric. It would save so much money if I want to do a big project as so far the cheapest aida I could find online was this one from Amazon.
I also tried to find the best way to reduce the cost of the embroidery floss. I mean, for 89 colours, even with 50p a skein floss, it is still going to hurt my bank account. So I have to be slightly crafty and do my research. And I found this on Amazon (what a lovely place to shop).

This is, I think, made in China, and was very cheap replacement for DMC. The code number for this thread (it is not branded, so I am not sure what to call this), corresponds with DMC so you can use it interchangeably. Although I agree that they have different quality if you compare them side by side, I have to say that I can’t really see the difference when it is in a project.

But then again, I am a novice stitcher.

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I was quite dubious when the first time I looked at this product, but after I read the review, I though I could give it a try. I mean, even if it doesn’t work for this pattern, I might use it for other projects. And… I did. I used it for that other project — wedding gift for my sister, and the last project — flowers in the vase. So, I know that the threads are fine.

Now it is just about determination. Would I be able to make my first HAED? Well well… let’s see…

Have anyone of you do any HAED projects?

x ❤ x

Busy Week…

I am expecting a very busy week this week…

First of all, Christmas is coming. I have been trying several recipes for cakes and biscuits that I could make as gifts for friends, and my husband’s colleagues.

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But my busy-ness is mostly caused by the visa application. It is getting closer and closer to the date. I have to start preparing the documents, printing the important form, and get everything done before booking an appointment in London — hopefully in the end of this month, or the beginning of next month at the latest.

I still managed to spare my time to get my stitching going though. I just didn’t have time to post it every day.

I have to say that these WIPs are actually what keeps me cool. It is definitely therapeutic. And — looking at the photo– it is also satisfying to see the progress. I am just not sure what I can do with these projects.

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Some people frame them and hang them in the house, but my house is not big enough for all these decorations. I am not a big fan of cushions either. Maybe I have to learn how to sew to convert these projects to something cute and useful like a purse for example…

Come to think about it… Maybe 2017 is the time for me to start learning how to sew…

x ❤ x

Is It Just Me?

Or has anyone experienced this creepy moment, realising that time has gone without realising it?

All I did was stitching…

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Started with this in the morning…

You know, those time when you pick up your WIP, sit, and stitch while having the telly on in the background. Some moment later I realised that my husband is no longer sitting in front of his computer, playing computer game like usual, and look at the time.

WHAT TIME!?!

How did it happen?

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And suddenly you have this… at midnight…

Creepy isn’t it? And that happens to me so often, I think I need to see a doctor to talk about this time lapsing incidents 😮

x ❤ x