Episode 52: Baby Knits and Self-Care Christmas
Little Cabin Knits is a biweekly podcast all about knitting, mental health, advocacy, 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
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 YouTube Channel is hosting a special Knit Along in collaboration with one of the great friends of our show, Anna of Zebra Yarns. It is called “knitting the Blues Away.” Anna has 3 special colorways she has designed specifically for this KAL and she is still offering them on her Esty shop!
The KAL is running from Jan 10 – Feb 7th
Winners of the Grateful question from the Thanksgiving YouTube episode was announced this last weekend! So, if you think you might be a winner go and watch the episode to find out!
We are also having another knit along, or more accurately, a Project Along (PAL) in January that I am calling “Project Down Along”
So far, we have prizes donated by our friend “knitterCat” on Ravelry. She is very generously gifting us 2 skeins from her stash!!!!
In addition, I have another beautiful sock set from Zebra Yarns that will be a prize!
And a sweaters Quantity of Knit Picks fingering in the Storm colorway as a prize!
So, Come January 1st we will all be working on finishing all those languishing projects in the “project Down Along”
Use the hashtag #projectdownalong2022 on IG and I’ll also open a FO thread in our Revelry group of Between Knits and Purls.
PAL (project Along) will run from January 1- March 31st
And if you know of anyone/maker or generous doner like Catt, who would like to contribute to the prize pool let me know!
Raise A Cuppa
These last few weeks have been amazing though full of pregnancy nausea and growing pains. At our last OB visit I had actually lost 8 pounds so my doctor instructed me to start drinking ensure shakes in the morning and honestly eating whatever I can as often as I can.
Things have gotten a tad better over the last week, the nausea has gone down a tad and I had one full day with none, so I ate everything in sight! Lol. It was marvelous.
I have been posting the December Self-Care Challenges each day on the website and really enjoying the feedback I am hearing from you all about how you are incorporating these into you Holiday season. I will be talking later in this episode about what self-care is and how we know we are engaging in it.
Mr. Radio and I attended a Christmas party with some friend’s last weekend. It was so much fun to get together with people we hadn’t seen since the wedding. We laughed, I ate a lot of deviled eggs (baby seems to like those), and we had a gift exchange in which we received a pack of organic cloth diapers and an art piece of Chewbacca riding a huge squirrel fighting Nazi’s. Mr. Radio loved it so much he was actually speechless for a few minutes. He has already dictated that we hang the picture in the baby’s room.
Otherwise, I have been working a lot, trying to get as much in place for the new year as I can, sleeping, and lying on the couch moaning. It feels as though I haven’t gotten a lot of knitting done, but as you will see there has been progress.
We have been watching a lot of Christmas movies on Netflix and Hulu. I particularly liked the new Netflix movie “A Castle for Christmas” it has a knitting group in it that yarn bombs a small Scottish town, and they play central roles throughout the movie, even teaching the main character to knit (though if you look closely you can tell she is faking it in those scenes as no one would hold the needles as she does and actually accomplish any knitting in the process). But I don’t care I just loved all the knitting!
I’ve convinced Mr. Radio the “Bridget Jones Diary” is a Christmas movie and so we plan on watching that this evening along with the “Muppets Christmas Carol.” That just leaves the Bill Murray classic “Scrooged” and The Nicolas Cage movie “Trapped in Paradise”, and we will have completed my yearly list of Christmas movies for the year.
On the Couch:
· Jelly Roll Blanket by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears
o This pattern was gifted to me by my cohost Steph of Farmsteadknits on IG
o This is a scrappy blanket using leftovers and mini skeins.
o I am using my Merry Everything and Happy in July swap packages to knit this up.
o I am finishing up the brown stripe and I will be moving onto a blue stripe of minis that will be going next to the pink stripe.
o This is going to be our baby’s main baby blanket so I want to make sure and complete it in time!
o Cast on using Knit Picks Proviecial Tweed in the following colorways
o Black, Coffee Bean, Salsa Verda, and Cream
o This project is in time out as I have attempted to knit the ears three times with no success. I am very disappointed in it. I would have liked to have seen better pattern notes on sections like this in which shaping is the make it or break it technique after you knit the basic shape. Have no fears I will be picking it up again, but probably not until after Christmas Day.
o I cast this on Thanksgiving Day. I am using my Annie Paaren Bridgerton set. Which is fingering weight held double.
o I have about 6 inches completed on the cowl so far and it is looking so beautiful!
o I am using US 6 needles, but the needles I have are just a tad too long so it is making it a bit uncomfortable to knit. I think I want to go down from a 32” cable to a 24”. Plus, since I really enjoyed using the addi turbo squared needles on a different project I ordered myself the US 6 circular in 24”
· Random socks
o So. I knit the first sock using one of the crazy sock lady’s patterns.
o Then I set it aside and found it again 9 months later, not remembering the pattern I had used on the 1st sock, I decided to knit the 2nd sock in plain stockinette.
o They are fine. But the thing is I really love this yarn. It is by Long Dog Yarn in one of her Christmas Colorways. It is bright acid green with speckles of pink, blue, yellow, purple, and dark green and it screams fun! I had an epiphany this morning that this yarn and colorway would be perfect for my baby’s first onesie. Its bright and cheery just like I know he will be. So, I am frogging out the socks and casting on the Anker Onsie by Petite Knit. I can’t wait to cast this on this evening while watching “Bridget Jones Diary”!
On the Shelf:
o Yarn: Loops and threads Impeccable in the colorway 01763 I nice icy blue.
o I used size 7 needles for this knit and finished it in about a week.
o I love the cables at the top of the sleep sack. They are really simple cables but very effective in that they really do look like owls!
o I have knit this pattern once before back in 2013 for a friend who was expecting and I always said I would knit it if ever I was expecting so here we go!
o Yarn used: lambs Pride Bulky in the colorways:
§ Jaded Lagoon,
§ Grey heather
§ Warm Carmel,
§ And Emerald Green
o We purchased this yarn while on our honeymoon and Mr. radio asked me to make him this hat when he saw it on display at a yarn shop we visited in Colorado.
o The pattern is from the bulky booklet from Patons.
o The pattern only comes in one size, so I tried to knit a bit loose, and I blocked it pretty heavily as well. The nice thing about bulky yarn is that you can get away with things like that while knitting in colorwork and not have your floats peep through the fabric when you are done.
o The hat is wrapped and under the tree for Christmas Morning.
o First off thank you to Mywoolmitten for suggesting the name for this pattern!
o I wanted to knit Mr. Radio a pair of mittens to keep his big hands warm on his daily walks (even in negative temperatures)! However, I didn’t like ay of the patterns I was pulling up on Ravelry for bulky yarn weight yarn. Add to that I knew I wanted some colorwork in the project, so in the end I decided to write my own pattern.
o I used the same yarn I had for his Cap It Off hat though the colorwork is not the same. It is a simple colorwork motif that works well with the thumb gusset increases, and the top of the mitten decreases.
o I plan on knitting myself a pair of these mitts as well and am in the process of writing up the pattern. I will post it online for free when I am done- but since I probably won’t have had it test knitted before I post it, please be kind in your comments and suggestions!
o I have these all wrapped and put under the tree for Christmas morning along with his hat.
Personal Skill Set
All through the month of December I am posting a daily invitation to participate in an activity that promotes self-care. I did this back in July of this year as well and I heard from a lot of you about how useful the ideas were. This time round instead of recording the post and publishing it daily on the podcast, I decided to write blog posts for the website. You can see all the posts on www.betweenknitsandpurls.com They will always be there for you to look over. While a lot of the ideas for this month are centered around the holidays, I do include many ideas that can be utilized year-round.
I wanted to take a moment to talk about what is self-care and why I create these daily prompts.
I hear from so many people, at work, in my personal life, my podcasting life, and as a mental health therapist, that they feel run down. They tell me that they don’t have anything left to give and even if they did give it would break them. I know the feeling my friends. We all get swept up in taking care of others, of putting their needs before our own and forgetting to do anything to care for ourselves outside of the daily routines of bathing, eating, and sleeping.
There is a pervasive cultural belief that if you do anything for yourself that you are selfish, self-centered, and people may even call you narcissistic (which is a term bandied about wayyyy to much in my opinion). Luckily in the last ten years or so, there has been a push to take care of the self more, with the idea that if you take care of yourself, you have more energy to give others. This is a wonderful idea, but honestly not anything groundbreaking or new. It’s just that social media has picked up the cry to arms and so it has gotten a lot of attention.
So much so that Self-Care has turned into a billion-dollar industry, with self-proclaimed self-care coaches, influencers, and gurus. I really struggle with the method that people are sharing the message of self-care because they often promote that you need these experts in order to do it “properly.”
I’m here to tell you that you don’t. Here’s the big secret.
Self-Care is all about intention.
It’s not about taking a weekend getaway to some expensive retreat or hiring a coach to keep you accountable. No self-care is a personal journey of intention.
What do I mean by that? Well, when I intentionally take a deep breath because I am stressed or anxious, I am engaging in self-care. When I intentionally cook myself that gourmet dinner, I watched Gordon Ramsey make on the cooking channel, just because it looked so good, I am engaging in self-care. When I intentionally take a break from work to go outside and breath some fresh air, or take the dog for a walk, I am engaging in self-care.
Okay so I’ve used this word “intentionally” a lot already. Let me just pause for a moment and break that down a bit more. To be intentional about something means that you are consciously making a decision and engaging in that decision and the behavior that go along with it.
You are already living a life of intention my friends. Every morning you decide if you are taking a shower or not. That is a conscious choice and thus living with intention. When you decide what to wear that morning you are living with intention. When you call your mom, friend, or partner just to check in, you are doing it with intention and thus living a life of intention.
To put it simple intention means a conscious choice.
So, you are already living a life of intention. The question is does the intention align with the longevity of yourself? Are you doing things, or making the conscious choices, to ensure your safety, health, and security? Or are you living the life of someone else’s intentions?
I am reminded of the holiday movie, “the Last Holiday” with Queen Latifah. (we’ve already talked about how I am on a Christmas movie binge at the moment lol).
I’ve always loved Queen Latifah as an artist and actress, and this is perhaps my favorite movie of hers. In it Latifah plays Georgia Byrd, who lives life as if in a fog. She goes to church, sings in the choir, works at a dead-end job, and daydreams of proclaiming her love to the man she works with. She cooks the gourmet meals she sees on television, but she never eats them. Instead, she either throws them away after making them or invites her young neighbor over to enjoy the food while she eats a lean cousin. All the while she keeps a scrap book of dreams.
Georgia Byrd lives in a world of self-sacrifice, living to other people expectations (or intentions); believing that if she just keeps giving and doing good works that someday her dreams will be fulfilled.
Then the most awful thing happens. She is diagnosed with a rare and untreatable brain condition and given only three weeks to live. In a fit of anger Georgia quits her job, cashes out her life savings and heads to Karlovy Vary, in the Czech Republic to live out her last days as she has always dreamed. (On a side note I visited Karlovy Vary when I was 18 and it is indeed as beautiful as the movie displays. I plan to revisit it someday with my family).
While in Karlovy Vary, Georgia eats all the delicious food she’s never allowed herself to indulge in, she buys herself comfortable and pretty clothes, not the serviceable ones she’s been wearing for so long. She goes to the spa, and she takes long walks around the beautiful town in contemplation. In other words, she is putting all her self-care into her last three weeks of life. And now she is living her life to her own intentions, not those of others.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but the lesson learned in this movie is that life is to be lived and embraced. Lived with intention and not waiting for your dreams to come true but making them a reality.
Georgia learns to take care of herself first and in the process is amazed that she has so much more to offer others in return. Why? Because she is living her true life, full of self-care and self-love. She is living with intention.
My friends, it doesn’t take an untreatable brain condition for you to begin living with intention and self-care. You can do it in small but significant steps each day.
This is why I am so invested in sharing my love and devotion to self-care with you this year. Why I take the time to plan out daily actions of self-care.
There is much I could share with you. I could share my own experience with self-care and how it has impacted my life. However, I want you to determine what it means to you. You don’t need my testimonial; you need to discover your own.
So, I invite you to engage in little acts of daily self-care. Be it through simple breathing exercises, a walk, reading, listening to your favorite song over and over, calling a loved one, making that gourmet dinner, taking a time out from social media, listening to a podcast, or having a meaningful conversation with a loved one. All of this and more can be self-care as long as you have the intention behind it. The recognition that you are doing this action to care for yourself.
A time for Hygge:
To my Hygge is self-care. In fact, I dedicate a whole day to Hygge in my December Self-Care invitation. Day 10 I entitled “Hygge time”, and I reintroduce what Hygge is to everyone.
Today I invite you to look through my daily self-care posts and find one thing that you want to engage in for self-care or Hygge time.
Today is day 21, all about laughter. I am so blessed that laughter is now a daily part of my life thanks to my loving and amazing husband. He is the funniest man I know. Just last night he made me laugh so hard that I was snorting, and my belly hurt. I had to beg him to stop being so funny so I could breathe again. Laughter has so many benefits to both the body and the soul. I discuss the myriad benefits in today’s blog post, so I invite you to take a look at that. In the meantime, I plan on laughing with my beloved husband for the next 50 years and for that I am extremely grateful.
What will you do to Hygge today? To intentionally engage in the caring of yourself?
“I lied and said I was busy. I was busy; but not in a way most people understand. I was busy taking deeper breaths. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am okay. Sometimes, this is my busy - and I will not apologize for it.” ― Brittin Oakman