Deborah Hillman Photograpy
A few years ago I took up knitting again because just sitting and watching TV in the evening stopped being fun and, because I'm also into instant gratificiation :-) I picked socks as my project of choice. Enter the wonders of Ravelry.com, a free site for knitters and crocheters (I'm NZYvonne on there if you want to look up some of the socks I've done.) What a treasure trove of patterns and ideas.
I've found that I love to work with colour, so hand dyed merino-blend yarns are an absolute delight for me. Colours make my brain happy, doing something useful in a time of relaxation makes my brain happy, seeing a project completed in a reasonably short period of time makes my brain very happy. That said, for Mr Fix-It, I do stick to his preferred (yawn) navy, grey or black. Everything in me rebels at working with the plainer tones but that's tempered with the fact that I'm making socks, with love, for the man I love.
My eldest daughter, The Drill Sergeant, has recently joined me in knitting as a relaxation (except we won't talk about the 13 attempts it took to get her most recent beanie completed, or how relaxing it may or may have not been, LOL!) We've both found knitting to be a mental time out, whether we're thinking about other stuff or just letting our minds wander or even if we're just (okay, that's me) obsessively following the pattern. Either way, we've both found it beneficial, and I've also found that my creative writing juices flow more evenly during the days following an evening of knitting.
I think I've always been an active relaxer, certainly since I've had my two gorgeous girls. Initially it was cross-stitch and floral design, more recently mosaics and quilting (hey, I didn't realise it but they essentially go hand in hand, don't they? Piecing bits and pieces of colour together to make pretty pictures?) and latterly, knitting.
How about you? Are you an active relaxer or are you blissfully happy to do nothing at all in those precious moments when you are able to do nothing at all. Share your thoughts with me and I'll put you in a draw for one commenter to win one of my backlist books (stock permitting.) And, if your native tongue is a different language to English, and if I have a foreign edition in that language, you have a choice of an English or foreign edition ~~ Yvonne Lindsay
Ah Yvonne, that is so easy for me to answer. I can't barely sit through a movie. The idea of just lying on a beach fills me with dread. I get edgy watching TV unless I'm folding washing or doing something useful at the same time.ReplyDelete
Relaxing for me means doing some energetic! My last holiday was a six-day trek in Tasmania wilderness, the major one before that was walking the Cinque Terre and the one coming up is walking in Lamington National Park - a pattern emerges. My dream is to walk El Camino de Santiago in Spain which takes about a month.
There is one way to make me sit still for a moment - give me a freshly brewed coffee and a magazine - can last up to 10 minutes.
I think I am a bit of both depending on the activity. If I am reading then I am happy to do nothing than lounge in bed. But if I am listening to music to relax then I am singing and dancing along with the song.ReplyDelete
It depends how much wine I've had!!ReplyDelete
Seriously, though, I have tried cross-stitch and quilting and knitting and I'm terrible at them all...I have little projects all over the house plus a cupboard full of fabric and every now and then I look at them- and then I remember the dropped stitches and the frustration and I pour myself another glass and switch on the TV!
I do, however, like to be active if I have lots of spare time- like Jen I couldn't imagine a holiday on a beach for a week- I'd be bored to tears- so I love a good nosey and a brisk walk and a chat. (preferably at a vineyard!)
Those socks look very professional! If I could knit like that then maybe I'd do it more.
Hi Yvonne - I'm not much for sitting down for longs spells. I can and do love watching movies, but the idea of meditation or even sun baking just feels like a waste of time. I love to read, but find I do it 'quickly' so I can get on to other things. My spare time is usually spent with my horses, and that's where I relax. Now I think about it, maybe I am a neurotic writer...... :)ReplyDelete
Oh, what is wrong with all you cats?!?! Passive, here. Very, very passive. I could sit all day in the same chair and read, only getting up for food. Sure, I try and get in a daily walk, and, sure it makes me feel better. But if I could dump that for more reading time, I would.ReplyDelete
Oh, and, yeah, daydreaming on a beach for a whole week--I'm smiling in bliss at the very thought. :-)
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Now I'll try it without SO many spelling mistakes.ReplyDelete
I've always got a project on the go. At the moment I am knitting booties & beanies for the premmies up at the hospital.
Then I will be embroidering some pillow cases as a gift for a friend, & then, for another friend, knitting up some kitchen wash cloths that I make that she loves and then......
I'm always planning ahead.
Jen, I'm exhausted just reading your post, LOL! You really take active relaxing seriously :-) !ReplyDelete
Jeannette, that sounds like the perfect compromise...plus, it would be pretty hard to sing and dance while reading ;-)ReplyDelete
Louisa, LOL, I didn't say I was any good at this. I certainly make mistakes. The advantages of multi coloured yarns is that mistakes are well hidden, most of the time!ReplyDelete
Helen, you do whatever works for you in the relaxation department. There certainly is no right or wrong way, just what works best to give us a break.ReplyDelete
Mary, you sound very busy, and in a really good way :-) I have lots of ends of skeins that I thought would be fun to make into beanies for premmies. I found a pattern today, while tidying up my stash, for just that purpose. One of these days I'll do some of them!ReplyDelete
Those would be the JK ads right? I too would have thought of my relaxation being passive, but when I think about it, its a bit of both. Reading or a nice relaxing warm bath is passive, but I too like knitting or sometimes cross-stitching as a form of relaxation.ReplyDelete
Michelle you and I are clearly twins separated at birth. I can happily lay in bed all day and read - especially if its raining! And if I should happen to drift off for a little catnap? Lovely :-)ReplyDelete
I am a total slug. Which is why I'm never going to be skinny.....
I'm over in the warm reading chairs with Michelle and Amy. Ah, the thought of nothing to do all day but read or watch the entire mini-series of North and South... Bliss.ReplyDelete
I have a few acres of trees around my house and I take the dogs walking through them every day, but I spend some of that time just standing still, listening to the sounds of the bush, watching little critters move about and taking in all the earth colours. I could stay like that for ages except the dogs usually nudge me to get moving again after a while.
I love stillness and just 'being'. However, I also love your socks, Yvonne, and am mightily jealous of your skill! I've been trying to knit at night in winter while watching TV, but it's mainly about making sure my poor strained eyes don't stay focused on the TV screen too long. When I'm knitting I look up and down a lot.
I always wanted a twin, Amy. And, Yay! Rach is over here in our corner. We'll just read and snooze, shall we? ;-)ReplyDelete
Lyn, we sound very similar. I can curl up and read for hours, in fact I try to do that regularly :-), and, oh, a nice soak in a warm bath...just bliss!ReplyDelete
...and, yes, Lyn, they are the John Kirwan ads I was referring to.ReplyDelete
Bed slugs, now there's a picture. Have to admit that I really love doing that, too. Although I do get to a point where people need to bring me cups of tea and slices of toast and if they're not around I'm forced to get up and do it myself, and then once I'm up I can't allow myself back into the cocoon. :-DReplyDelete
Rachel, just "being" is a real knack, or at least it's a learned art, in my opinion. Your property sounds idyllic and taking time out to just "be" explains why you're so wonderfully calming and grounding to be with. Most times my mind won't stop whirling long enough for that but I do promise myself I will grow more adept at it...one day ;-)ReplyDelete
Yvonne, your socks are awesome! I've had a go at knitting gloves - one of the pair was pretty good but the other one was NQR! Mmmm, I've never tried socks... but your fabulous creations make me want to try. What size needles do you use and how thick is the yarn, I wonder... I'd better get myself over to Ravelry.com and have a look!ReplyDelete
Sharon, I use double pointed needles (haven't tried magic loop yet but I hear once you try it you never go back) in varying sizes, 2mm-3.5mm mostly, and I use 4ply yarn, mostly merino with a 5-10% blend of nylon. Honestly, if you can master gloves (I bow in awe) you can probably do socks with your eyes closed! I have only ever knitted cuff down, never toe up. I figure why mess with what I already know...and pendantically labour over!ReplyDelete