My how time flies!
We have been living in 2018 for more than three weeks and it has taken me this long
to get here to wish you a
H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !
I sincerely hope that 2018 brings good tidings to all because 2017 brought adversity to many people that I know. It was a most difficult year for me, battling bureaucracy and other challenges.
The reason Lupey Loops has been
The urgency and desperation to maintain access to affordable, independent transport for me, my family and others in my community motivated me to push my body beyond safe limits. I knew I was playing a dangerous game but I figured it was only for a short time. I needed to get as much community support before the politicians and influential media went on leave for the summer and before people became pre-occupied with their own holiday plans. It was only a matter of weeks but involved long hours, hard work, physical exertion and emotional stress.
Never mind that it was the lead-up to Christmas as well which, due to other events beyond my control, could not be planned well in advance this year. I was being bombarded by big balls of stress from multiple directions, often without warning, and it was all I could do to keep them juggling up in the air.
Frequently, my usual stress-management strategies were thwarted by sudden events and demands that could not be ignored or delegated; I felt like I was on a circus train that I needed to stay on in order to reach my destination: to get specific and necessary things done and and survive through to the Christmas holiday. "Then I will rest," I told myself.
I could feel the body gradually becoming worn down. I needed to take some time out and I knew it. Crochet is usually my happy place for rest and rejuvenation but I was already so drained, physically and emotionally from a relentless year, that I was too exhausted to be bothered picking up a hook and my brain was too tired to engage in reading patterns.
This listlessness towards crochet, my passion and therapeutic antidote to stress, greatly disturbed me. It's not like me to lose enthusiasm for things that I love. It was an alarm bell to a possible 'depression stalker', a common companion of chronic illness.
Honestly, I could not find any enthusiasm or excitement for Christmas either. Everything was a chore. My extended family was affected by unhappy news which further took the shine off a normally sparkly, happy time of year. After the events of 2017, I didn't feel like celebrating and then I felt guilty for feeling that way because I wanted to be cheerful for the sake of my children. Where was my usual Christmas spirit? It was overworked away.
By Christmas Eve, I felt tired and apathetic. I hadn't been able to attend to Christmas preparations properly until a couple of days before and was exhausted. I just wanted it all to be over and done with! Isn't that sad? That is definitely not me!
My family came to the rescue. Everyone piled into the car, dragging their reluctant mum with them and headed for the hills. We went back to Lobethal with its festive lights and happy crowds. It was the perfect solution.
I resolved to not allow myself to worry or stress about Christmas Day. I would not be pressured by the expectations of others. I would take it at my own pace and let myself enjoy it. "It will be what it will be." It was a 'different' Christmas this year but I found enjoyment in the company of family and relief that all the last minute changes to the usual plans worked out okay. Christmas was over! My time was now mine.
My favourite day of the year, to which I look forward every year, is Boxing Day (26 December). It's the one day of the year with no demands, no clock schedules, no phone calls, no visitors. It's a public holiday so there's no reason to go anywhere. It's the ultimate "Pajama Day". I don't cook or do any housework whatsoever, sating hungry appetites with Christmas Day leftovers.
I love to do nothing more on Boxing Day than watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Test Cricket on the television. In recent years, the yacht race has had extra interest because one of my children has taken up sailing and, this year, was travelling on Boxing Day to an interstate competition held over the New Year.
You would not believe how much difference it makes to the amount of laundry and housework to be done when a single one of the offspring is away (but then again, parents of teenagers probably can believe it!). It made a remarkable difference (for the better) and I was able to rest well.
Eventually, after many languid days of forcing myself to rest and reigning in my activity levels, the energy slowly returned. For many days, my brain could not contemplate much. The activity of choice became watching movies in bed or on the couch and it was lovely togetherness with my remaining children who did not demand much from me at all. I am a lucky mum!
While resting on the couch, it became plain that it was time for that new throw rug I had been planning to crochet for ages. The blanket ideas percolated over many naps until it would not rest any longer. I woke up with the urge to find that chunky yarn that had been taking up too much room in the cupboard. "Would those colours really go together?" and, "What other chunky skeins do I have?" I must see them for real and not in my imaginings.
Here I was, checking the yarn stash on Ravelry and I had the energy to actually fetch it from storage (after dreaming about it for a couple of weeks)!
At last, my brain was able to process ideas and make plans again. Coloured pencils, in the same colours as the yarn, provided further therapy, allowing me to easily experiment with different colour combinations and design ideas.
|Five ripple samples'Pink Ripples' by Jan Eaton (2006)|
'Pink Ripples Variation' by Jodiebodie (2018)
'Arctic Waters' by Jan Eaton (2006)
'Soft Waves' by Jan Eaton (2006)
'Neat Ripple' by Lucy of Attic 24 (2017)
Time to make some samples. The minute I felt the soft, fuzzy, lofty yarn slip across the light, warm, bamboo hook, I knew. It was right. It was soothing. I was home.
I found my crochet happiness again!
I'm please to announce that the baby blanket I was making last year did get finished and became a happily received Christmas gift. (That's why I couldn't reveal it earlier!)
As fate should have it, the colour was perfect, a mum's favourite. It suited baby's complexion and matched the nursery decor. Don't you love it when things work out so well?
I was hoping to get a photograph of baby with the blanket but did not have an opportunity on Christmas Day (which is true but also a polite way of saying that I forgot to get one anyway)! So, here is a photo of the blanket on the blocking board before it was wrapped in sweet tissue paper and festive Christmas wrappings.
|"Heirloom Ruffles" baby blanket|
Crocheted by Jodiebodie (Sep–Nov 2017)
Pattern designed by Kay Meadors (Leisure Arts 2011)
Yarn: Four Seasons Marvel 8 ply acrylic (DK)
Colour: no. 1043 Mint; lot: 820537
Amount: 470 grams; 1330.1 metres
Hook: 4.25 mm (G)
You will see from the previous post about this blanket that I had a number of baby blanket patterns at my disposal. I am ready to revisit that list because ... guess what ... another beautiful brand new soul arrived in my social circle in January! I can't wait to make another lovely baby blanket for that family. How exciting!
Yes, indeed! My crochet passion has definitely returned.
Has your passion ever been "lost and found"?
Eaton, Jan, 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns: exciting patterns to knit and crochet for afghans, blankets and throws, Milner Craft Series, ISBN 1-86351-348-5, first edn., paperback, Sally Milner Publishing Pty Ltd, PO Box 2104, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia, 2006
Lucy of Attic24, "Neat Ripple" online crochet pattern, Attic24, blog, July 2017: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/neat-ripple-pattern.html
Meadors, Kay, "Heirloom Ruffles" crochet pattern, The Big Book of Baby Afghans, book #5518, Leisure Arts, ISBN-13: 978-1-60900-143-8, www.leisurearts.com, USA, 2011:
- Ravelry–original pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/heirloom-ruffles
- Ravelry–Jodiebodie's project: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/Jodiebodie/heirloom-ruffles
Related Posts on Lupey Loops
"Christmas Smiles", 25 December 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/12/christmas-smiles.html
"Access All Areas: Petition Power (Part 1)", 24 November 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/11/access-all-areas-petition-power-part-1.html
"Battling Bureaucracy", 3 November 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/11/battling-bureaucracy.html
"New Baby, New Blanket", 28 September 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/new-baby-new-blanket.html
"Too Soon to Tell", 20 August 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/08/too-soon-to-tell.html
"Lobethal Lights Christmas 2016", 24 December 2016: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/lobethal-lights-christmas-2016.html