Episode 55: Vulnerable Knits




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Little Cabin Knits is a biweekly podcast all about knitting, mental health, advocacy, my pregnancy journey, and life happenings here in the wilds of Alaska with a little bit of Hygge sprinkled throughout. I’m your host Emily. I am a knitter, crafter, mental health therapist, and explorer of my home state of Alaska


This week’s episode contains:

Admin

’Raise a Cuppa

On the Couch

On the Shelf

Personal Skill Set

A Time for Hygge

Contemplation Corner


Admin:

  • Andersmillknits on IG and Ravelry

  • Between Knits and Purls on YouTube

  • You can find all the show notes on our official website: www.betweenknitsandpurls.com

  • If you have a question, or comment you can email me at littlecabinknitsAK@gmail.com

  • The Hygge Home Swap sign up is open until Feb 14th at midnight Alaska time. You sign up via google forms which I have linked on the shownotes at betweenknitsandpurls.com as well as a thread in the between knits and purls Ravelry group, and Linked in my Andersmillknits IG account. All the details, expectations of engagement as well as the survey to fill out for your partner to get to know you is all included in the google form. We've had quiet a few people sign up and I am so excited! So don't forget to join in the fun of a low key swap this spring they are always a blast and I love getting to know my swap partners through this. I always seem to get paired with someone I've never met before and it is awesome to make a new friend :)

  • The "Knitting Your Blues AWAY KAL" is now complete and we will be drawing prize winners on our next episode on the Between Knits and Purls YouTube channel. The KAL is ran from Jan 10 – Feb 7th

  • “Project Down Along” is going strong! I am seeing a lot of people post on IG and on the Ravelry thread their FO's so keep it coming!

  • PAL (project Along) is running from January 1- May 31st

We have a new prize donor for the PAL! Alexandria of wee_ewe_knits on IG has very generously donated 8 prizes of her patterns! Winners will receive the code to download 1 of her patterns for free from Ravelry!!!!

Other prizes include:

2 skeins from her stash!!!!donated by our good friend “knitterCat” on Ravelry.

o And 2 sweaters Quantity from Knit Picks

1. in fingering in the Thunderstorm colorway as a prize!

2. in lindy chain in Harbor Colorway

o Remember to use the hashtag #projectdownalong2022 on IG and I’ve also opened a FO thread in our Revelry group of Between Knits and Purls.



Raise a Cuppa

I don't know about you but I have been super excited and invested in the Olympics. Every chance I get I am checking in to see how our people are doing. I am also heavily invested in the Ukrainian Olympic team. My brother in law is Ukrainian born and his parents and other siblings still reside back in the Ukraine. As a family we have been very concerned about their welfare and the current crisis that Russia is presenting. I have been overwhelmingly impressed with the stoicism of the Ukrainian team members as hey compete against the ROC team in each event. They seem to be greatly engaged in the games themselves and appear even unfazed when they compete so closely to ROC members. I commend them for their stoicism.


I have been working very long hours of late and I am very exhausted both mentally and physically. No my job is not a physically demanding job, but this pregnancy sure is! lol By the end of the day it is all I can do to stumble from my office, and plop on the sofa, or just go to bed and sleep. And yet I find time to knit because knitting gives me that relief from these challenges and seriously feeds my cup of energy to then come back the next day with a renewed spirit.


I just had a check up this week with my OB and our little fella is still doing AMAZING! we heard his heart beat this visit and as usual I cried. I feel so blessed to have this miracle in my life and I know it is because of the love and healing that my husband brought into my life.


We are preparing to change our little condo around all over again. Mr. Radio is taking off all of next week and we are dismantling the office room to patch up the walls, paint, rip out the old 40 year old carpet and lay down some wood laminate flooring. Mr. Radio is just chomping at the bit to get going on this project and he has already started going through 20 plus years of paperwork and collectables to either donate or throw away to make room for our little fella. In some ways I feel rather selfish. I know I need to get rid of things, like some of my books, or even yarn, and yet I shudder at the thought. I envy those people who have a destash and really determine what they want to hold on to and what is honestly just taking up space. For me I cherish every skein and I struggle to give up the yarn because I dream of knitting every yard that I own even though I know that I have more right now than i could knit up in a lifetime. Sigh, perhaps I will try and work towards letting go of some of them.


Do you guys have any suggestions on how to go about destashing and letting go of our beloved yarn?


On the Couch


Anker's Onsie by Petite Knits

  • cast on using Lucky Dog Yarn in the Christmas Confetti Colorway. I got this in one of my 24 Days of Cheer swaps a few years ago and I love it! Though Mr. Radio says it looks like clown barf!

  • Knit using US. 2, or 2.75 mm needles.

  • I am knitting the smallest size for 0-2 month old and it is going to take every last scarp of yarn to complete this!

  • Cast on during the Winter 2022 Olympic Games opening Ceremony and I have been absolutely obsessed with it from the first moment. I am knitting on it every chance I get and I am already knitting the legs on this little guy.

  • Every time Mr. Radio sees it he just chuckles and shakes his head claiming that our son is going to look ridiculous in it but I think he will be absolutely adorable!

Jelly Roll Blanket by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears

  • Continuing to knit this for for my baby as his first baby blanket :)

  • Not much progress has been made since last we spoke though I am over halfway done with the gray stripe.

  • As a reminder, this is a scrappy blanket using leftovers and mini skeins. knitting each column with a focus on a different color

  • So far I have a brown, green, pink, blue, yellow, and now working on the grey column color scheme.


On the Shelf


Moose by Susan B. Anderson

  • I finally finished the moose for Baby! I am so proud of myself. This was actually a pretty difficult project for me. I struggled with all the little fiddly bits like the antlers, ears, arms, and legs but once I got into the project I was like a woman possessed and I just powered through! I knit the moose one of the sweater designs that comes with the pattern and finished that during the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games. I was so excited. Mr. Radio loved seeing the moose turn from an oddly shaped bowling pin into an adorable moose for our little one to cuddle this next summer.

  • Yarn: I used Knit Picks Provincial Tweed Worsted weight in the colorways: Coffee Bean, Salsa Verde, Cream, and Black

  • Needles were size Us 6 needles and 4.5, mainly using dpns throughout as that was just easier.


A Girl's Best Friend by Isabell Kreamer

  • It took me almost 3 years, started in March of 2019, but I got this shawl done!

  • My second completed object for the #projectdownalong2022

  • I knit this with Hazel Knits - Cabbage Rose Colorway

  • With contrasting yarn in Sew Happy Jane in the Aubergine, and Lavender's Blue colorways.


Personal Skill Set


Thank you to all of you who wrote in about your thoughts and questions from the last episode which covered the subject of Depression. There were a lot of requests for me to go further in depth about Suicide awareness and how to help someone you may know who you suspect may be contemplating suicide. I took the time to answer each of your emails and messages privately and I hope they have been of help.


I contemplated going further into that subject today, however, I am also aware that these topics are heavy hitters and can be challenging to take in one after another. With that in mind I actually decided to wait a bit before I make the segment on Suicide, give us a breather if you will, and come back to it in a few episodes. In the meanwhile I encourage you all to continue to reach out to me and to loved ones about the subject. Don't shy away from it, by embracing the vulnerability of the subject we take away its power of fear that it holds over us.


But that did get me thinking about vulnerability. I thought I would touch on that topic a bit today.


When we think about being vulnerable, we think about showing our underbelly, our soft spots, the places that we can be hurt the deepest and easiest. Generations of western society has taught that we need to protect ourselves and hide our vulnerability. Perhaps this stems from a belief that others are not to be trusted, or perhaps it is a belief that we must be seen to be strong at all times that we can handle whatever life throws at us. Children, and especially young men, are taught not to cry because that shows weakness, or so they are told. Even as grown ups, when we see another person cry, whether it be a friend or loved one we often respond by saying "oh don't cry it will be okay." I have a hypothesis that the people either requesting or even demanding that the person stop crying is not because they want to protect the other person or to even help them feel better, but really it is because the speaker of the request is feeling vulnerable, unsure, and even afraid of the feelings being expressed by the emotional individual.


And yet at the same time, we want to provide comfort, make the other person feel better. Sometimes we express that through demands to cease or, in other cases, making light of the situation seeking to bring laughter into the space where sorrow dwells. I understand this feeling of being uncomfortable in the sight of another's pain. We repel mentally when we imagine loved ones hurt either physically or emotionally, and we seek to relieve that pain in whatever means we have at our disposal. It took me a long time to learn that I am not responsible for healing another's sorrow and pain, and honestly I still have to remind myself of that almost daily. Pain is a vulnerable space to reside in and we want to escape as quickly as we can. But to deny pain is to deny our very humanity. As humans we will experience sorrow, pain, injury, and death.


In Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown, she defined vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” Sounds scary! But she also claims that there are misconceptions about vulnerability. Namely that to be vulnerable means you are weak, that not everyone experiences the emotion of vulnerability, or that to be vulnerable it means that you have to expose all your deepest secrets to the world.


Let's address the first myth: that to be vulnerable means that you are weak. Brene discusses in the book that we are okay most of the time, listening to other people when they express emotions, but when it comes time to share our own we shut down or mentally run away from the opportunity. Why? because to share our vulnerability must mean we are weak right? not so. In fact, Brene describes vulnerability as the core of all emotions. “To feel is to be vulnerable,” she says. So when we consider vulnerability to be a weakness, we consider feeling one’s emotions to be so, too, she says. But being vulnerable connects us with others. It opens us up to love, joy, creativity and empathy, she says.


When we open up we actually see the opposite occur within us. When we share what we are afraid of, or our deep emotions, we feel more connected to those around us, not so alone in our suffering which leads to comfort and internal strength. So really “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.” reports Brene.


The second myth is that not everyone experiences the emotion of vulnerability. Some people actually lay claim to that statement. That they have never felt vulnerable so they are okay. While in actuality to be human is a state of vulnerability. We are at risk of physical and emotional pain everyday just by being human to live is to be vulnerable.


Being vulnerable isn't a choice we make in this life but rather is it the choice of HOW WE RESPOND when confronted with uncomfortable emotions like fear, uncertainty, or emotional exposure to others.


Many of respond to these feelings with avoidance. We avoid feeling those things and we stuff them down into our emotional Pandora's box praying that no one ever sees it in our eyes. When we make the choice to not stuff down that emotion but to recognize it and share it with others we are choosing courage and loving-kindness to ourselves. In other words we are exhibiting self-compassion and even humility to the experience of being human.


The last common myth that Brene Brown discusses in the book "Daring Greatly" is the belief that in order to be vulnerable you have to expose all your darkest secrets to the world. To lay ourselves at the mercy of the world and their potential judgments and as Brene puts it “letting it all hang out.”


However, Brene strongly points out that being vulnerable comes with boundaries of what you believe is okay and not okay to do or say in any given moment or space and with those we have learned to trust and honor, not with complete strangers. she says, “Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them.”


Being vulnerable takes courage. Each time I sit down to record I worry about it. I ask myself: Am I sharing to much? to Little? how will it be received by my listeners? Will they think what I just said was stupid? In the end I acknowledge that feeling of fear and anxiety and while I do allow it to place boundaries around some of the things I say to you here, you have also demonstrated to me time and time again that what I share is accepted and more importantly embraced not because I am some expert but because I have earned your trust over time. For me the courage to share with you in this space is worth every vulnerable moment.


Brene Brown obviously feels the same because she does not shy away from sharing her triumphs, failings, learning points and growth over the years. In an interview she gave after she published Daring Greatly she reported:


And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of feeling hurt. But as I look back on my own life and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.


I invite you my friends to show up today, to be vulnerable with someone you trust. To share with them those fears that until now you have pushed into that Pandora's box of emotions. Allow yourself the opportunity to truly be seen and heard by those around you. The risk is there but the reward is great.


A Time for Hygge


I don't know about where you are, but it has been super cold, windy, and snowing constantly here in Alaska. So we have been curling up with a lot of fires, warm drinks, home made casseroles and the Olympics. So for today's Hygge moment I thought I would share my recipe for Shepherds Pie, one of Mr. Radio's most favorite dishes that I make. This last week I made a double batch of it and we have been reheating it for the past four days and enjoying every mouthful.


Shepherd's Pie


Supplies:

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (10.75 ounce) can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Tablespoon Ketchup

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire or steak sauce

1 bag of frozen peas and carrots

8 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and mashed

1/2 a stick of butter

1/4 cup milk (whole milk or even cream is great if you have it)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1- 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar or sharp cheddar cheese.

Pot to boil potatoes

Large pan to cook the beef mixture in

9" pie or casserole dish to bake in


Directions:

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees

  2. Peel and cut up the potatoes and set to boil. When soft drain the water, leaving a tiny bit in (about a tablespoon), add butter and milk and mash up in the pot you cooked them in.

  3. Cook the beef and onion in a large skillet until browned and the onions and nice and soft/translucent.

  4. Stir in the soup, bag of peas and carrots, ketchup, salt and pepper, and steak sauce (I usually don't measure these but squirt in whatever looks good to me lol)

  5. Once all combined put beef mixture into the oven safe casserole dish. Spoon mashed potatoes over the top of beef mixture making sure to cover completely.

  6. Sprinkle shredded chees over top liberally (make it nice a gooey).

  7. Cook in the over for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and starting to brown a bit.

  8. Enjoy!


Contemplation Corner


"Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice , vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding under-current of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to be something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.


"To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is one of the privileges and the prime conceits of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically given up, as we approach our last breath. The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant, and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door."

-David Whyte (poet)

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