Books & Blocks

September turned into a sprint with lots of mum stuff going on and suddenly in the blink of an eye it’s October! I’m all for the slow life but there are limits to how slow one can in reality go with two boisterous little girls and a husband that works long hours – especially in the school holidays! It would be so nice to lie on the veranda appreciating the birdsong all day every day but people will need clean knickers and feeding (three times daily no less, how very dare they?! ๐Ÿ˜)

Not of course that I’m complaining – as they say, no mess would mean no precious family, always worth reminding oneself of that, particularly in my darker moments haha – but I am always mindful of monitoring my mental health and ‘self care’ needs. It’s very easy for me to allow things to get frantic in my head, fuel with coffee and neglect to eat well enough – which is of course a recipe for burnout. 

While keeping an eye on these things, in the spirit of ‘slow’ I also stopped creating crochet deadlines for myself and only hooked when the mood took me, otherwise reading fiction in my down times – a great way to calm my often anxious brain. Crochet has its (vital!) place in my mental health toolkit, but I am prone to ruminating and catastrophising and sometimes recently I’ve needed a bigger distraction than the block patterns I’ve been working on, relatively complex though some of them are. 

I’ve devoured several novels in recent weeks and have thoroughly enjoyed them:

The Captain’s Daughter by Leah Flemming

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

A Pure Clear Light by Madeleine St John

I’m currently reading Freya by Anthony Quinn and loving it. I’ve been reading mainly non-fiction for ages and am truly delighting in getting back into fiction. Always interested in discovering new fiction authors – who are your favourites??

I guess it’s a measure of my usual hooky ‘output’ that although I’ve been crocheting a lot less, I’ve still done a lot more than I thought – 10 x 8.5 inch blocks! Here are 9 of them (you can find links to all the patterns in this blanket cal here)

Wishing happy hooking – and reading – to all ๐Ÿ˜Š Here’s to a fabulous month ahead!

Pam x

Gifts to Selfย 

I believe it’s very important to take care of oneself in form of gifts, both tangible and otherwise. Today one gift arrived in the mail, and I’ve added another for good measure ๐Ÿ™‚

The first is a delivery from KnitPicks.com, hurrah! Once again, speedy and well-packed all the way from the US. So chuffed! Practical items: a retractable Clover tape measure and a new pair of thread scissors. Yarn: 8 balls of CotLin which I’ve wanted to try for ages. Patterns: Interweave Crochet Home Special Issue 2015 (clearance) PLUS there was free book coupon on my order day so I also have a copy of The Well-Made Home {Crochet} by Knit Picks! 

My favourite apart from the yarn is my new mug – I love it! Bigger than I expected which is perfect for my morning coffee (my other addiction), and excellent for my afternoon green tea. And emblazoned with very important words of Crochet Wisdom โค ๐Ÿ˜

My second gift today is time. Time just for me. Sometimes life speeds up and it’s good to take a moment to just STOP. I am now well on top of my iron deficiency but the related forced stop of my running routine really impacted my mental health. Five weeks without my run therapy left me slipping into depression again, with increased symptoms of anxiety, too. So frustrating and disapointing, as I’m now more than 8 months off my meds and had been going so great. 

I am now thankfully in a position where I recognise the signs early and I can see it coming, but nevertheless I was really clawing my way back for a week or so there. However, I’m running again now and have reimplemented my yoga routine, plus I’m swimming once a week while my girls have their lessons. Within a week of running slow interval 5ks every morning with 2 rest days, I stopped waking up under a cloud of inexplicable dread. So grateful! And taking extra good care of myself. 

Taking good care of myself doesn’t mean lavish spending or elaborate outings and plans. Today, it simply means a few balls of yarn for my stash, a new mug that makes me smile, and an afternoon off my chore list to sit on the veranda and listen to the birds. It means crochet, and a good book, and a big comfy, striped sofa dragged outside to its new Spring/Summer home – my peaceful perch for a few hours before I’m back on Mum mode. Bliss!

It’s the little things โค

Happy hooking, all ๐Ÿ™‚