During stressful times, nothing is as important as self-care—if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to keep going to help other people. Even if you can only spare only a few minutes a day, it’s enough to recharge your batteries to handle what life throws at you! We’ve gathered together what the Knit Picks staff have been doing to practice self-care over the past few weeks.
Hannah Maier, Brand Director
For the past month, I’ve really taken time to savor quiet time in the mornings. I make my favorite tea, snuggle on the couch and listen to a podcast or read a book for a few minutes before I do anything else. I’ve been spending a lot more time outside gardening this year too! The sun is out in Portland, Oregon, and I’m planting so many flowers, anything to give a big burst of color later this summer. As for my knitting queue, I’ve noticed that I’m leaning toward projects that take a long time but take ZERO attention. I’m working on a basic top-down fingering weight raglan sweater (who have I become?!) and loving the slow and steady progress every night.
Kate Millard, Administrative Assistant
My favorite comfort stitch is Seed Stitch. I just got done making (another) wrap using Muse Hand Painted yarns in a basic seed stitch. There’s something about the simple binary-like rhythm of never-ending knits and purls that lulls my waking mind just enough to where I can tune out the stress of everyday life yet still maintain my ability to follow any plot twists that may arise during my nightly true-crime-watching/couch-sitting-and-knitting marathons.
Morgan Braaten, Graphic Designer
I have been working on projects that I have to focus on. It helps to stop my brain from wandering and nudges me into feeling more present in the moment. The most recent one I finished was actually my very first fair isle project (To the Top Hat in Alpaca DK)! I loved following along with the chart and putting all my attention in one place.
Stacey Winklepleck, Outreach Director
Miles of garter stitch in my favorite yarn = my self-care. I’ve always loved just doing garter stitch projects to relax, and now I find myself reaching more and more for them—I even had to frog out about 10 inches on my Humo Amargo because I had (oops!) gotten a little carried away. Using my beloved Hawthorne held double, every stitch is a joy on this project, even if I have to redo them.
Hillary Elliott, Catalog Director
I have been taking some time in the afternoon to sit outside in the sun with a tasty sparkling water and some good tunes in my headphones with idle hands. With the craziness of working from home (with a 5-month-old baby and energetic Australian Shepherd puppy!) I don’t have a lot of time not doing something all day long. I also love projects with instant gratification, and that usually means bulky yarn! I recently crocheted a wall hanging in our (discontinued) Super Tuff Puff in less than an hour. Finishing a project and hanging it up within one baby nap is definitely a mood booster for me!
Lee Meredith, Graphic Designer
My self-care tip is: Do what you want to do in the moment. If the sweater/socks/shawl project you are currently in the middle of just doesn’t sound appealing to work on today, start a new project, or maybe something different like cooking or baking, or sewing or embroidery, or reading or drawing … if that what your brain is craving, do that instead! I have different projects for different moods; sometimes plain stockinette or garter stitch will be too boring, making my mind wander, and then I end up picking up my phone and scrolling through twitter instead. So for those times, a fun or slightly complex stitch pattern is best. But when I want to get lost in a movie, I’ll do a square of my Hue Shift blanket or a plain stockinette sweater, so my hands can just do their thing while my eyes can mostly stay on the screen. Right now, I have a colorful sweater in Rainbow Sock Lab yarns I’ve been working on—rainbow colors always make me happy! For self-care beyond yarn crafts, on days when cooking appeals to me, I’ll make a big batch of something (or multiple things) so that I have leftovers ready to go for days when cooking does NOT appeal to me! I love doing things that my future self will appreciate—I think that’s an excellent act of self-care for when you have the energy.
What are some of your favorite ways of practicing self-care? Let us know in the comments or on social media with the hashtags #StitchAwayStress and #TogetherWeKnit. And join the community at the Facebook group Together We Knit!