Knitting Through the Snow

Boston remains covered in snow. Public transit is limping along, the sidewalks are a mess, and driving even more unpleasant than usual. I’d be lying if I said I was facing the situation with good cheer and a can-do attitude, so I won’t. Instead, I am knitting. And crocheting. And also spinning.

I’ve also been giving some serious thought to crafting habits that are good for mental health, versus those that are now. I’ll write more about it at a later date, but in the meantime, check out my preliminary thoughts near the end of the the video!

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Continued Adventures in Knitting

With all the snow we’ve been getting in New England, I’ve had a lot of time to knit.

First, I was dealing with some serious second guessing around a project.

(I did finish the project, and I had just enough yarn. So yay for that!)

Later, I got some advice from an experienced knitter, which led to a metaphor. The metaphor collapsed, but I made the best of it.

(The correction to my knit stitches also fixed the problem I was having with my cotton dish clothes, as mentioned in episode 3, above).

Happy crafting!

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When Things Go Well

I’m going to be honest: I did not expect to record a video about my knitting successfully. At least, I didn’t expect it to happen at this juncture. In my non-existent crystal ball, I envisioned spending weeks struggling along, recording increasingly hopeless and frustrated videos, before a triumphant breakthrough.

But that is not what happened.

As I mentioned in the video, I think it’s as important to take a close look at what is going well as it is to analyze what is going wrong. While there is a lot to learn from struggle and adversity, figuring out why something is successful can allow you to draw more of that towards you in the future.

So I leave you with these questions: what is going well right now? And what did you do that brought this good thing or experience into your life? It’s worth thinking about!

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Knitting for Fun and Frustration: Part 1

I’m doing something a little different this week, and for some weeks hereafter: video!

After years of waffling, it’s finally time for me to learn to knit. Join me for the adventure! I’ll be demonstrating some of the ways that I use crafting as a coaching tool, using myself as the guinea pig, but you can tune in just for the schadenfreude. I imagine my frustration as this project goes on will be plenty entertaining.

Why do I expect to be entertainingly irritated? Because learning something new is hard, and it tends to bring up our stuff. That’s why I use learning to spin on a drop spindle as a coaching tool — it’s a fast track to all the thoughts and issues you usually keep a lid on, but which are quietly making you miserable.

This is just the first installment. I expect to add more as knitting developments unfold.

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What I Learned From My Public Speaking Mishap

Things don’t always go according to plan. Understatement, right? It’s never fun when our plans go awry, but sometimes it gives us a unique opportunity to witness a view we don’t often get to see. That happened to me last Friday.

I was scheduled to give a five minute talk at a local event, Ignite Craft Boston. I must have run through my talk a few dozen times during the weeks leading up to it. I’d figured out where I was most liable to stray off topic or get stuck for words, and the best ways to rescue myself from any of those mistakes and get back on track. I was nervous (who isn’t, before speaking to 100+ people?), but I was ready.

The evening started, and it was time for me to talk (did I mention that I was somehow going first? I was). I stood up, took the microphone, started my slides, and began to talk. It was amazing! Despite being in front of all those people, I was more confident, more poised, and more energized that I’d ever been talking to my computer.

Then my microphone stopped working. Pausing to figure out what went wrong would have meant losing some of my precious five minutes. I didn’t really think about it – I just kept talking.

After my talk, during intermission, a number of people came up to congratulate me on handling the snafu so well, which confused me. What else could I have done? Other people did not see it that way.

Lest you think that I am someone who naturally rolls with the punches, let me assure you: I am not. Historically, my inclination when faced with “disaster” is to slink away and give up. I always get back up and try again, but first I give up.

For whatever reason, I was not that person on Friday. On Friday, I was the confident woman who kept skipping along without a second thought.

Where did that person come from?

Partially, she came from preparation. As I said, I practiced that talk dozens of times, and could probably have done it in my sleep.

Partially, she came from years of practicing my life coaching tools.

Partially, she came from using crafts to calm and center myself, as I’ve written about so often.

In totality, she was the result of a number of small steps, steps that I may not have even seen myself taking as I took them. It’s easy to feel like your attempts to grow as a person are fruitless, to feel like you are the same scared, inadequate person you always were. I know it is for me. But it’s not true. Just because you can’t see the progress you’re making, that doesn’t mean you aren’t making any.

One day, you’re going to turn around and surprise yourself. When you do, I hope you’ll tell me all about it while we play with some yarn.

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