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Episode 65: Knit What You Love KAL & Curiosity

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Little Cabin Knits is a monthly podcast all about knitting, mental health, advocacy, my new mama 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:


’Raise a Cuppa

On the Couch

On the Shelf

Personal Skill Set

Contemplation Corner


  • Andersmillknits on IG and Ravelry

  • Between Knits and Purls on YouTube

  • You can find all the show notes on our official website:

  • If you have a question, or comment you can email me at

  • I am now an amazon affiliate! When you click on one of the products, I recommend you will be directed to Amazon, and I will receive a small commission for any products purchased. Your support helps keep the podcast going.

  • Support the podcast development through donation on my Ko-Fi account!

  • Charming Ewe the official Sponsor of Little Cabin Knits! Link to CharmingEwe

Knit What You Love KAL

I have been contemplating my knitting, you know as you do constantly! We just finished the season of knitting for others, of being altruistic and working our fingers to the bone to get that last stitch into that hat for hubby, socks for mom, scarf for grandma, and sweater for the neighbor down the street that happened to comment on your knitting one day and gave a not to subtle hint that they would love a sweater for themselves.

This last year I have not knit very much and most of what I knit I did for my little Jimmy, some for my hubby, a pair of mittens for my Aunt, and I started at least 14 things for me that I never finished. So I thought it time to stop pretending I don't want to be a selfish knitter right now and embrace it. I actually hate the term "selfish knitting" I can't think of another hobby or craft that has such a term. Potters throw pots for themselves, sewers create entire wardrobes for themselves, embroiderers and cross stitchers create to beautify their home so why do knitters not just embrace that we knit to wrap ourselves into the squishy lushiness that is wool?

So let's embrace it! From now until June 1st I invite you to knit what you love, for yourself. I have opened a thread in the Ravelry group to show off your FO's and if you'd like to use the hashtag #knitwhatyoulovekal on IG please do!

I do not have any prizes as yet for this KAL so if you'd like to donate a prize feel free to message me on IG and I would very gladly accept your generosity. I will also be raiding my stash for at least 3 skeins to include as prizes so we will have at least those.

So let your nimble fingers get to work on knitting what you love for yourself my friends.

A few notes:

  • entries from now until June 2nd will be included in the drawing for prizes.

  • currently on the needles are fair game to use for this KAL

  • double dipping into other people's KAL's is encouraged

  • the ONLY rule is that you knit something that brings you joy and that it is for YOU!!!!

’Raise a Cuppa

  • Now posting on IG and TikTok my poor attempts to record my cooking adventures. You can find me on TikTok as @andersmillknits

  • Jimmy is now 9 months old and becoming even more of a charactor by the day!

  • Finally have him taking 90% of his naps on his own (I am literally so proud of this I feel like bursting)!

  • He has been scooting a little bit every day on his belly but just the other day he finally figured out how to get his knees under him and that has changed his scooting game major. He now scoots with much more gusto and I know it is only a few more days before he will be crawling.

  • I am still contemplating my career choices. I have applied to a couple extermly part time positions with Providence but I am also still looking into creating my own business and have been talking to my friends who have their own counseling services quiet a lot in the last few weeks. One and all they are extremely encouraging it just depends on how motivated I am to make this happen. Also the cost of start up has me worried so I wonder if I should get a business loan which then puts a lot more pressure on me to make money just so I can pay that back which I don't want. I hate loans and credit cards and I refuse o own a credit card. I am a cash only person. If I don't have the cash then I don't get the thing.That has been my motto since my divorce and I don't want to compromise that.

On the Couch

  • Little Cabin by Caitlin Hunter aka boylandknitworks

Ravelry Link to Pattern:

Link to Boyland Knitworks Pattern Website:

Knit out of Lion Brand Yarn in Fishermen's Wool in the colorway Natural or 098

needles: US 7 & 8

Cast on during the Superbowl of February 12th

Knit in Alaska Jude's Yarn - No colorway

Cast on July 25th 2021

Link to Ravelry Project page

Link to Shannon Cooks Pattern Website

  • Around the House Version 2 Head Kerchief

Cast on using my beloved Charming Ewe July Jingle colorway leftovers from my Musselburough hat.

US 3 needles. So excited to create another kerchief in the series!

On the Shelf

  • Around the House Head Kerchief By Emily Hooyer

This is my first pattern I have designed in many years and it is free to everyone.

I have made it available on Ravelry and I have created a blog post with just the pattern if you want to use it that way instead of going through Ravelry.

I loved the process of creating this so much that I plan on making it into a series. I have at least three more designs for Kerchiefs in my head so I am excited!

Link to my Ravelry Pattern

Ravelry Project Page

Knit using Kelbourne Woolens in the Perennial Base and the 825 Neon Coral Colorway

US 3 Needles

Personal Skill Set

I had a wonderful listener contact me this last week with the following note:

Emily, I have been a diligent listener to your podcast since you started in that tiny cabin in the woods. I have always loved your segment on mental health and though I have never contacted you about it before I want you to know that you have made a huge impact in my life. I think I have listened to episode 54 on Depression at least five times. It really helped me a lot this winter especially. All the unusual storms and extreme weather changes had me experiencing seasonal depression for the first time in my life.
Up till now I have never reached out to you. I want you to know that I have thought of doing so many times but I would constantly forget. But your last episode really got me thinking and I wanted to ask you to explain something more for me, or maybe all of us who knows.
In your last episode you were talking about Self Love and you did a side note at one point about the way we are being to harsh on each other these days. I agree with you by the way. I think things ahve gotten way out of hand and I don't know how to respond to it anymore. But you ended that by stating that you always come at another person's aggression with the question of "I wonder why?"
Could you explain that to me? I can see how that would be helpful as a therapist, but I don't see how it would be useful, or even how I would use it in an actual situation. Could you explain that and maybe give me some tips?
Thank you,
A knitting Listener

Just to be clear my friends, I did get this lovely listeners approval to read her message on the podcast though I omitted her name.

I am so glad that she asked this question! I think many people were probably wondering what in the world I meant by that side tangent lol. I am happy to explore it a bit more and give actual situations in which I have utilized this in my real world and what happened when I did.

My listener is right. That question of "I wonder why?" is honestly the bread and butter of a therapist tool chest. We are endlessly curious about human process, thoughts and behaviors. But it is more then that. By asking that simple question we can often times prompt our clients to look deeper, to reach down for personal reflection and contemplation. It leads to great discussions and almost always leads to an ah'ha moment in therapy.

However, how would it be helpful in day to day interactions? Are you supposed to ask everyone who expressions anger, aggression, insecurity, irritability, or even happiness, "I wonder why you...?"

the simple answer is "NO."

Honestly, if you were to simply think the question in your head it will lead to a change in your behavior or interaction with the other person which will lead to a break down of the unwanted behavior. Why does that work? Because when you start becoming curious as to why someone is acting of doing something that way, you stop REACTING, and start interacting. But not just interacting, you come at the situation with more grace, a thirst to understand, and patience as the other person works through the situation.

It can also surprise the person expressing the behavior which can and does actual jolt them, break the cycle and assist them to stop reacting and start the thinking process again.

Some of the ways it may look like in real life can be a number of things. Sure you could come out and simply ask "I wonder why you are so angry right now?' (but in a voice of curiosity and not one of judgment or condemnation). It can also be something like "I can see you are very upset right now. I want to help I just don't know how right now. Do you have any ideas?" Or honestly a simple statement of empathy "I can see you are really upset right now."

How have I used things in my own life? So many ways! I can remember a specific incident that could have been very dangerous. I was getting gas a few years ago, and I had gone into the gas station for my beloved fountain soda. As I was paying for it a lady crashed through the door beside the register and started screaming at me, the cashier and everyone else in the store. The clerk started yelling back, "You aren't allowed to be here I am calling the cops."

At this point I actually started walking back to my car, not getting involved in the situation. However, that lady followed me and continued yelling. I couldn't make out most of what she said except for the curse words she flung at me. I was nervous I must admit. I could tell that she was strung out. Her physical behaviors were stilted but also wild, her eyes were very wide, and wild looking. I could feel the panic just pouring off of her. I almost turned around to tell her to go away. Instead I found myself turning around and simply said quietly, "you are really upset aren't you honey?"

The lady literally stopped in her tracks with her fists above her head and she looked at me as if I was water and she had been in the dessert for to long. She started babbling at me, I still couldn't understand her but there were no more curse words. She came up to me and grabbed my coat. I just nodded at her and tried to express concern and empathy without saying anything more. The cashier came out the door and hollered that he had called the cops and asked if I needed help. When he did that the lady next to me flinched as if someone had hit her and so I just shook my head at the cashier and waved him off.

This seemed to signal to the lady that i was to be trusted. I said to her, "Why don't we sit down and you can tell me all about it?"

So we sat down on the curb in front of the store and she continued to babble at me. I literally could not tell you what she said, or if what she said made any sense because inside I was a nervous wreck, but I genuinely wanted to help this woman so I put an encouraging smile on my face and would nod at her or make soothing sounds such as "mmhmmm, ahhhh, I hear you" while she "talked" to me.

I don't know how long we sat there but until the cops showed up, but I can tell you that as she talked the woman calmed down inch by inch. Until when the cops showed up she was talking in an almost normal voice and cadence. However, the cops scared her and she almost jumped up to start yelling at them but I gently put my hand on her arm and she stayed with me instead. The cop came over and said that she had to leave or he would have to take her in.

Instead of her answering I did for her, "We understand officer, my friend here just really needed someone to talk to. I think she is feeling better now." I then turned to her and asked her, "do you think you are safe to go home now?" She nodded and I though hit me that it might not be safe at home so I then asked her, "Will you be safe at your home? Is there anyone there that will hurt you?" She looked at me and shook her head. So I patted her on the hand and walked her to the edge of the parking lot and she started walking down the road.

The cop was waiting for me and he asked me "are you all right ma'am?" I nodded and he asked "How did you know what to do with her?" So I answered, "I'm a therapist." he smiled and nodded and wished me a good day and we both got in our cars and left.

After awhile of thinking about that situation and my conversation with the cop I wish I hadn't said that I was a therapist, instead I wish I had told him the truth when he asked me how I knew what to do with her. The truth my friends is that I saw a human being in need and I answered that need with empathy. I knew how it felt to need someone else, anyone else, to listen to me, to believe me, to not problem solve, but just understand and that is why empathy came to my aid and why I was able to help that woman. NOT because of my training or degree, but because I was honestly just a curious and empathetic human being answering the call of another human in need.

That's it, nothing special my friends. Simply empathy and curiosity led to the successful completion of that situation.

I could name quiet a few incidents like that that I have had over the last 5 years. I seem to attract people in need when I am in the community. It hasn't happened since Jimmy has been born and I am wondering how I would react in the same situation with my son present. It could be that his safety would override my desire to help another and that is okay as well. My priorities have changed. I can no longer take risks like I did that day I have to protect my son especially at this stage when he is most vulnerable. If you are in that boat with me please be aware that you are okay to let another person help others if and when situations like this arise, right now your most important role is to your children.

What does this look like in a less stressful situation? I honestly use this curiosity and empathy everyday with my loved ones, but most especially with my husband. This morning my husband didn't get up when Jimmy and I did. He slept in a few hours and I thought "He needs to rest." But then when he did get up he kind of staggered into the living room and I noticed that his face was white and a tiny bit yellow. He didn't say anything before I asked "are you okay?" (hint here is curiosity question)...He responded that he thought he might have the stomach flu.

My response was to pack him back to bed and get his some water and ask what he needed from me (Empathy statement and questions). He told me that he just needed to rest, and as I was leaving the room he said, "I feel bad I need to help you with Jimmy and Watson." I told him that it was okay and that I had them both in hand. He simply responded "thank you hun."

That interaction didn't have hysterics, didn't have unwanted behaviors, and didn't need any interventions to keep everyone safe. But it is still an example of utilizing the question of "I wonder why>>>" and following up with empathy and compassion.

That's how you can use it in your day to day lives. In fact I bet you are all utilizing it already but now that I have talked it out you may be seeing it in your simple day to day interactions with your loved ones. Now take it to the next level and the next time your loved one reacts with anger or irritability wonder why they are doing it.

The reasons behind behaviors are needs. When you look at these behaviors through the lense of someone being in need and you work to discover what that need is, you break through the behavior and you might just be able to meet the need of the other person. Need for understanding, need for help or assistance. Need to have their fears laid to rest, need to be noticed even if it is for doing something they might not be proud of, need to be heard.

Now this is kind of simplistic way to explain behaviors. I could go much deeper to also explain the emotional roller coaster that the person exhibiting behaviors is going through but the reason I am not is because everyone's emotional journey is different and so it would be dangerous for me to try and say that all behaviors are because of this emotional need or that. So I am not going to go down that road. But please know that there is that component as well and to be aware of that.

US Berkley published an article on how curiosity can benefit our lives and I really appreciated their list.

  1. Curiosity helps us survive: By being curious we gain knowledge and understand the workings of the world around us and where we fit in that world.

  2. Curious people are happier: Curious people are happier, less anxious, and have a higher satisfaction with their lives - this was all proven through research

  3. Curiosity boosts achievement: being curious can and does boost are motivation to achieve both at work, school, and our day to day lives. So we may see greater achievements in our lives the more curious we approach life.

  4. Curiosity expands our empathy: I spoke about this already however just to reiterate, by being curious about those around you you gain understanding in their lives which invests you more in their success and increases your empathy in others.

  5. Curiosity deepens relationships: The more curious you are in others the deeper the connection they will feel toward you and the more receptive they will be if you have a suggestion toward change.

  6. Curiosity can boost your health: When health care professionals utilize curiosity towards their clients/patients, understanding of symptoms increase which makes it more likely for medical interventions to be effective.

Next episode I am going to go over a sort of boundaries. AS I was writing this I kept thinking about why we react to other peoples unwanted behaviors as we do and how we can refrain from doing that. So in the next episode I am going to talk about that. In the meantime I want you to think about how you can use the phrase "I'm rubber, you're glue, everything you say bounces of me and stick to you." How can you use that as a sort of invisible boundary so that you are not as affected by another person;s, especially a strangers, unwanted behaviors.

Contemplation Corner

People will hear you better if you speak from a voice of compassion instead of authority. They long to be understood more than to be lectured. – Inspired by Dodinsky
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