Thursday, November 01, 2007

A very merry unblogthday, to me (and you)!

I've had a shitty couple of weeks. Don't worry, nothing serious -- neither I nor anyone in my immediate family is dead, destitute or seriously ill. Just work, bills, weather, and a minor breakdown where I realized I've been neglecting really important parts of my life. But it was the necessary kind of freakout and I felt better almost immediately afterwards. By last night I was 100% back in the saddle, and here's why:

First, I finished this.


I'm pretty sure that this is the Best Sock I've Ever Knit. It's on its way to a friend who lives 1813 miles away, and will knit up the second sock herself. I'm a little afraid that it will be too big, but I tried a needle size down and that was definitely too small. Fingers crossed!



Speaking of friends (oh, I am so FUNNY), this arrived yesterday, and is the second reason for my return to happytown. You have spoiled me rotten, Leslie. Thank you!!!

Thirdly, we're selling my Subaru wagon and have bought what is, if possible, the only dykier vehicle: an old compact pickup. Please welcome Smurfette to the family.



I don't know if I'm blinking or squinting or what, but don't let it confound the fact that I LOVE HER. She's cute, she's practical, and she's old enough to drink.

Lastly, rounding out the list of Good Things, yesterday was my 1st blogthday! I worried a little when I first started this blog, that I was just doing it to feed my ego. But you know what? That's not why I've stuck with it, at all. Sure, it's awesome to get positive feedback about a project, but heart of it is that I feel more pride and joy and love for this craft, and the people who practice it, every single day. There, I did it. I got all sentimental on your collective ass. And to thank you for being here and putting up with my maudlin self, what else but a contest??

So, because my streak of good vibes can only last so long in this sweet gray city I call home, I want you to tell me your tips and tricks for keeping your chin up through the winter. I don't have full-fledged SAD, but I do have a rough time of it most years. Comment by midnight on Monday the 5th, and you'll be entered in a random drawing to win a delicious yarny prize, which I have yet to photograph, but I will, by the weekend for sure. But take my word for it, it is delicious, and it is yarny.

ETA: See, I told you.

33 comments:

Christy said...

Hello smurfette. Such pretty socks.

JulieFrick said...

Ugh. SAD. I think I have it for sure. I've already started getting the creeping dread towards nighttime. I think sometimes making little rituals that are only cold weather rituals are good- hot cocoa, fires, s'mores...do one a night. Also music. And dancing. And the occasional strong drink. I'm right there with ya, sister!

Sulafaye said...

I'm a cheater, because I actually like winter. I love dressing in layers, especially handknit ones. I think handknit socks which actually keep my feet warm are one of the best parts! I do hope that this winter is a good one for you!

nicole said...

Aw, I love Smurfette. She's got moxie!

My surefire way of beating SAD is exercising, especially outside. I live in one of the coldest cities in the world and I can attest to the fact that it is possible. Not always easy, but possible. Walking, running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, shoveling, they've all made a HUGE difference in how I feel. Oh, and yoga classes help too.

Jodi said...

Lovely socks!

Getting outside and taking advantage of what sunlight there is really helps me out in the winter. Even if it's just a short jaunt around the block. Also, having winter gear that I actually enjoy wearing helps. Cozy wool house socks, warm down throws, lots of tea, building a fire in the fireplace if you have one...

schrodinger said...

Great sock! I'm sure your friend is going to love it.

I'm a total SAD-o!! I've never really figured out a cure, but things that can help is finding things to do, esp with friends :) My crafting has helped those winter blues, getting excited about the new projects for the new season. Happy blogthday! And congrats on the car.

Kat said...

I drink a LOT of apple cider from my favorite mug. I also curl up on the couch with a good (trashy, non-grad school related) book and ignore that it's cold a dreary outside. Oh! And listen to good music. So, simultaneously drink, read, and listen to good music and you'll be miles away in no time.

Kat

Elinor said...

I just love that Drunken Bee pattern. Your yarn choice really compliments the pattern too!!! I'm glad your sock pal did such a good job knitting for you! Now we get into the dark side of this swap: matching gauge. Heh. Should be interesting...

I battle SAD too and like Nicole, I fight it by exercising more. And getting up earlier. Getting up early helps me reclaim the day, even if it's dark!!

Amy said...

SO beautiful. I'm sure they'll fit whoever your friend is--I remember reading on another blog how they were quite small as written.

As for the winter, my husband has this issue and has found two things that actually seem to help: First, full-spectrum light bulbs. Second, exercise. Even if he doesn't exercise outside, any exercise at all keeps his spirits up.

Good luck!

Kara said...

oh the socks both yours and your "friend's" are just so perfect. It would be a lot easier to get out of a funk wearing those.

My suggestion for keeping your chin up? Usually it is the simple things. Giving yourself little treats like going and getting yourself some really fancy hot chocolate or making yourself a new mix cd to dance in your living room to.

Macoco said...

Welcome Smurfette! Who doesn't love a truck that's old enough to drink. ;)

To keep my chin up during what I refer to as "the dark months" I try to appreciate what I like about that time of the year. For instance, I love how crisp and clean the air smells. How bright the sun shines in the winter and how pretty the gray skies can be. Sometimes when I get really down I make a point to notice these things.

Specs said...

Your sock looks great! I actually haven't finished mine yet, so my poor pal is going to get a late sock.

I happen to like winter, but my boyfriend gets pretty depressed and mopey every year. We try to combat this by doing stuff and making an effort to get out of the house, or at least doing things out of the ordinary (baking cookies together, renting a movie we've been wanting to see, going to a restaurant we've been meaning to try, etc). It isn't much, but it helps.

sweetea said...

I will have to agree with the recommendations to exercise. My partner and I don't spend much time outside during the summer - the heat drives me mad, and she farms so she is just exhausted at the end of the day. So we spend dark winter evenings walking. We put on many layers (thank you knitting!!) and head on out to gaze at the stars, watch the lake freeze, or make our way to a good cafe for steamed milk/chai/hot cocoa.

Try to tell yourself not to get overwhelmed with the dark, to learn to love it. I have to say that to myself during the summer! "It's ok, the heat will stop soon. You do not have to go to another god damn barbecue and eat dry veggie burgers. You may go swimming."

One more thing: massages. Or saunas. Some special treat, if you can swing it. Good luck!!

Kristy said...

Smurfette is aweseome!

I just try to enjoy the things that I can only really appreciate in winter... steamed milk, candles, warm handknits, fireplaces (if you have one-- I don't anymore), etc

ikkinlala said...

I know other people have mentioned it already, but for me the best way of beating the winter blues is exercise. I try to go hiking and skating when I can (or cross-country skiing when I'm at home, but unfortunately my skis don't fit in the car when I move to school), but when it's too cold or the snow's too deep I like to stay indoors and dance.

I also make a point of spending as much time as I can out in the sun, exercising or not. Our daylight hours are short here, so sometimes that isn't much.

noricum said...

Happy blogiversary! In the winter I love to go out on a cold, clear night (which comes very early in Winnipeg in winter) and look at the stars, which are fabulous!

Another great pick-me-up is to drink hot chocolate in front of the fire, curled up in a comfortable chair with a good book and a snuggly blanket. :)

(I came here from your flickr photo. I'll send some others your way.)

Dr. B. said...

Amazingly beautiful sock, totally rad Smurfette, and many condolences on the blues. As a survival tip, I'm going with staying connected to people you love, especially those who make you laugh. Let them know you're gonna need them to pick it up a little bit and check in with you so that you don't feel like you have to do all the heavy lifting.

And keep on blogging! Happy blogiversary!!

a friend to knit with said...

cool ride!
and, i really should try those drunken bees...too cute.

i too am a bad one to get advise from, because i love winter. mainly because i am a homebody already. i do think that staying warm, eating warm foods, and knitting are my important things....i can't stand to be cold.
and enjoying a little outside time(while dressed warmly) :), in the light OR dark are high on my list.
and maybe a little sort of swap...because let me tell you, i had such a blast secretly reading your blog and putting a package together for you!

Desiknitter said...

Congratulations on the first blog anniversary! And hello Smurfette!
Winter foils - single malt scotch, hot chocolate, and staying indoors with TV and some colourwork knitting in the evenings - my brightly coloured Turkish Balaclava hat (you can search for it on ravelry, I can't link it here) kept me going, and warm.

femiknitter said...

Congrats on the blogiversary and the sock! It looks wonderful and your friend is sure to love it.

As for the winter blues, I totally feel your pain. I agree with what others have suggested--exercise. Even if you don't have time for exercise, just go outside for a few minutes--walk to the mailbox, walk to the store--whatever you can manage. Also do something a little special each week--buy fresh flowers, crank up the music and dance aroound the house, that sort of thing. The best thing is that your recognize that this happens to you and are trying to mitigate it. Hope this is helpful!

Ashley said...

Winter blues are fixed by pie and stew. Which, in a nutshell, is why I've gained 20 pounds since I moved from Texas to Michigan.

I lurve Smurfette! And your Bee. And your blog. Happy blogthday!

trek said...

Best advice for SAD I can give is get outside during daylight hours as much as you can and also get a natural light bulb for the lamp nearest your desk or wherever you spend most of your time during the day - it really does help - and try to get regular exercise and eat healthy meals.

Kath said...

Happy blogiversary! Living in Southern California for most of my life I had never experienced SAD until I took a job working the noon-10pm shift as an alarm dispatcher in an office with no windows at all! Losing all but a small amount of the daylight hours just kicked it into full swing and I was miserable.

I fully agree with the exercise and full spectrum light bulb suggestions, and even keeping as many lights on as possible even though sometimes the natural inclination is to dim the lights and hunker down.

Knittah said...

I don't have SAD, but I do have a chronic illness that keeps me housebound. So winters are looooong. My suggestions are enjoy the sun when it is out, knit a lot, and (since I can't get out) check in with friends on the phone a lot. Happy Blogthday!

Ann said...

First - both your single socks are gorgeous!! you were a very lucky recipient, that's for sure.

In the winter, I like to ratchet up the exercising, outside if possible. I always start out cranky but feel great when I'm done. Also, I try to incorporate a lot of citrus into my diet - some days I'll eat two oranges. I really think the vitamin C makes a difference.

nova said...

Pretty pretty socks, everywhere. Once I lived in Seattle and the winters made me sad and blue. Then I came to Connecticut, the winters here are saddening too. I totally didn't mean to turn that into a mini poem. In any case, I find things to obsess over. Like knitting baby socks or (my new personal favorite) baking pie. It gives me somethign to research and look forward to. And then there is pie to eat. What's better? You will totally forget about the blues!

Elli said...

It's my humble opinion that everybody gets a touch of SAD...some people just get it a whole lot worse than others. My recipe? Chocolate, knitting, exercise, and lots of twinkle lights (especially once the holidays are over, because January and February are the WORST!).

Love the lovely sock!

Jenna said...

You are a very lucky recipient! The color and patterning of the sock is gorgeous! Knitting the mate and wearing those tall socks should certainly keep you warm in the coming cold months.

I am a total winter hater. I'm actually excited for my first Seattle winter because it will be so much less cold than other places I've lived.
I try to get through it by enjoying some of the unique things about this time of year. I love to eat Clementines (oranges) and cook my favorite butternut squash and tomato soup. While I don't have a solstice celebration, I do like t acknowledge it when it passes and feel reassured that the days will be getting longer from that point on.

whitney said...

Happy Blogiversary! Both of those socks are totally awesome...I'm hoping to knit the Tyrolean stockings really soon, too!

I've been battling SAD my whole life. My main remedy (if you can call it that...every winter is a struggle) is exercise, and I try to be outside during the light hours of the day as much as possible, even if it's just a little 15-minute walk at lunchtime. Another one is baking...I get a nice warm kitchen, and yummy goodies to cheer me up, even if it is dark outside.

Lolly said...

Hey, Smurfette is cute! :) and the new socks are beautiful.

Stacey said...

I hate this time of year...the day we turn the clocks is the worst day!!! I hate the darkness, I hate not being able to be outside in the sunshine......I was thinking about getting one of those special bulbs for my lamp.

That sock you sent off is stunning!!! The one you got is just as nice!

pamela wynne said...

yay! new car! and Smurfette (also the name of my blue Ipod, by the way) is definitely a good kind of dykey (i.e. not a full size Ford F150 with a gun rack, like the gals drive around here). :)

I struggle with SAD when I'm in Minnesota, but so does everyone else. In Mpls, people are very cool about getting out and about despite the insane weather. You might ask your friends to make you get out of the house, even when you don't want to.

And, because my comment isn't long enough, and because I haven't had a chance to say it yet today: POND SCUM!! POND SCUM!! POND SCUM!! xo

pamela wynne said...

Oh, and Happy Blogiversary!!
(pond scum!)