This week’s episode contains:
’raise a cuppa
On the shelf
On the couch
Personal skill set
A time for hygge and
· You may have noticed the addition of one segment, “Spotlight”, and the change in title in another. I wanted to change “On a Positive note” to something that more represented what that segment represented so it has been renamed to “Contemplation Corner.”
· If you have a question, comment, or would like to be a guest on Little Cabin Knits you can email me at littlecabinknitsAK@gmail.com
This week I would like to hold the spotlight on a relatively new podcast. Named “Get Kit Done” by Michelle Gregory of the Knit School out of Ireland. Michelle has been hosting a knitting academy for a few years now and she is gearing up for another session!
This podcast is wonderful. It is nice a short, I think the longest is only 35 minutes. In the podcast Michelle aims at discussing different techniques and schools of thought in knitting. I really enjoyed her two episodes on socks and their anatomy.
Michelle’s voice is welcoming, and she call us “lovelies” throughout the show which makes me want to give her a hug.
If you are looking for a quick 15-minute podcast that talks more about the techniques of knitting rather then the traditional “what’s on my needles” format I think this is a great option.
Raise A Cuppa
This last week I had good Friday off as a paid holiday which was new a novel to me. I really enjoyed my day, going to the gym, and settling in for a long knit as I caught up on my YouTube shows. I think this last weekend I knit over 30 hours! My arms hurt, but as you will see in my on the shelf segment it was very fruitful.
Easter Sunday was a quiet day at home. I listened to the LDS general conference on YouTube in the morning as I knit, and throughout the day I took my time making Easter dinner, with the help of Jeremy of course. We had meant to play our favorite game of dominos but though the day was lazy it seemed to fly past and before we knew it, it was time for him to join his weekly Sunday night online gaming with his friends and brother (I never interrupt that time as we all need that connection with our friends and loved ones don’t we, especially now). So no dominos instead I snuggled in to watch “Wartime Farm” on Amazon prime and knit on.
On the Shelf:
· Marshland by Tin Can Knits
o Knit with Knit Picks
o US size 7 needle for gauge
o MC: Knit Picks Provincial Tweed Worsted weight in Grey
o CC: Frozen Pond, Caremel, Black, and Salsa Verde
o Jeremy’s wedding sweater
On the Couch:
· Starfall by Jennifer Steingass
o Knit with knit picks City Tweed DK
o Us 5 and 6 needles
o MC: Kelp
o CC1 Harbor Seal, CC2 Artichoke, & CC3 Primrose
o Emily’s wedding Sweater
· Test knit for Alexandria Waigner (AKwaigner or wee_ewe_knits)
o Aegolious Top
o Knit with mad Tosh Twist Light in the Copper Pink colorway
o Knit on US 4
o Due Date: May 1st, 2021
Personal Skill Set: Personalities
In the knitting world there is a constant debate over which style of knitter you are, or more like what type of knitter personality you possess. Are you a process knitter that enjoys the challenge and engagement of a pattern or project? Or are you a product knitter that enjoys the idea of the finished project and so “suffers through” the process of knitting the pattern or project so that you may have the joy of the finished object.
This is rather an extension of a pop culture psychology movement over the last 50-75 years to pigeonhole an individual into one type of personality or other. The belief is that if we know what type of personality you are then it should follow that we will know what types of relationships you will have, your processing of ideas or patterns you possess, your ability to perform a job in the workplace, even if you would be a good fit for certain jobs or not.
Now you may have noticed that I used the term “pop psychology.” That is because in psychology and counseling we never use these personality tests on our clients. Why? Because we know that a person cannot be pigeonholed into one personality type or another. Please note that a diagnosis is different than pigeonholing. If you had a diagnosis of the flu, or cold, you know that you can heal from that and move forward in your life. The same is true of a psychological diagnosis. Just because you were diagnosed with depression in your youth, does not then automatically mean that you have depression 20 years later. (another note: there are some diagnosis’ that present a lifelong healing journey, but they are still a diagnosis not pigeonholing you as a whole).
During my masters to become a counselor, we even studied some of these that used to be relied on by psychologist even 20 years ago like the Rorschach Test (or ink blot test) but this test was debunked, or discredited in the psychology community as the results were seen as week or even nonexistent as it listed more then half the people that took the tests as having distorted thinking. We no longer use this in psychology.
As a teenager I remember being enthralled with these personality tests. My mother and I took the color code test when I was a teenager and I was very disappointed to learn that I was marked down as a red personality type while my mother was a white.
What does that mean exactly? Well, according to the book, and yes, we bought the actual book on the subject, red meant that you needed to look good, be right, and be respected. They are also leaders and love challenges.
White’s need to be accepted and treated with kindness. They are logical, objective, and tolerant of others.
I was dismayed at the time. I have always abhorred the color red and I hated the idea that I “needed to look good.” In other words, always worrying what others thought of me.
My mother on the other hand seemed to align perfectly with the white. She has always preferred peace and harmony, longing for us to “stop your squabbling” and just get a long with each other. Similarly we knew that mother was always to be treated with kindness, not least of which because our father would have boxed our ears if we said a mean word to her, but also just because we’ve always viewed her as our “angel mother.”
Then later on in college it was the in thing to take the Myers Briggs Personality Test to see what type of person you were. I don’t remember what I was then. I was curious however to see what they thought of me today, so I took the test again and discovered that I am a cross between an ENJ-A and an ENJ-T person.
Meaning that I am an extroverted, intuitive, judging, and thinking individual that is a mix of assertive and turbulent personality. SIGH that’s a lot to take in and yes, I am now judging myself. Here’s what the Myers Briggs described me as:
Myers Briggs test: ENJ-A/ENJ-T- Protagonist personality
Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.
Protagonists are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence,
Protagonists take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.
You can read the rest of the differences between the two personality types here.
When I stepped back I thought, “they are pretty spot on there. I am a leader, but I try not to push my ideas so I see myself more as a coach and even a teacher then a leader. Plus, I am more then happy to take the back seat and let another lead…unless they are making a muck of things that is.”
Hmmmm could they be on to something here?
Curious I researched out a number of other personality tests and took as many as I could. (I have linked all the tests I mention in my blog post if you would like to have a go at them yourself).
*Please note that I am not accrediting or backing any of these tests, even the ones that claim they have a team of psychologists behind them. Take any with a grain of salt and at your own discretion.
These tests included:
The DISC assessment, widely used in professional settings. My scores were as follows:
Influence: 40%, Dominance 29%, Steadiness 26%, and Compliance 5%.
They rate me as a socially oriented stating “you have a strong self-motivation to get to know people in all walks of life and to nurture those relationships. You have a natural enthusiasm for all types of ideas and projects – your own and other people’s. People are likely to describe you as gregarious, persuasive, and optimistic”
If I’m honest I didn’t feel this really described me much outside of being enthusiastic of ideas, and being gregarious.
So, I tried another…
Next I tried the “Who Am I” test that measures 15 personality traits such as self-control, resilience, conscientiousness, and sociability. This was a pretty long test compared to the others. Here is what they had to say about my personality.(also it had a crap ton of marketing questions that started to annoy me by the end but I was in it to see what they said about me so I continued).
According to the Who I Am test: Openness 93%, Conscientiousness 31%, Extraversion 99%, Agreeableness 97%, Neuroticism 54%. They then stated the following: Your outlook is Emotional meaning that you embrace positive and negative emotions fully. Your Character is Thoughtful in that you have a very giving and sympathetic character and are genuinely interested in and concerned about others. Your self-control is reserved in that you may feel a bit conflicted when you’re been wronged. Your self-composure is direct, and you may find it hard to resist impulses. Your taste is pioneer in that you are interested in the new and different. Sociably you are a leader and enjoy social situations. Action, you are spontaneous and full of energy. Attitude progressive in that you tend to have a great deal of faith in human nature and believe in education. Process you are a dreamer in that you get very excited by a new prospect and new ideas and seeing the world. Resilience you sensitive in that you are extremely aware of potential dangers and problems around you, perhaps a little too aware sometimes.
I’ll be honest I found this test fun but in the end the results had me rolling my eyes.
There were a lot of other personality tests I took, and I have listed them all in my blog post if you would like to try them for yourself.
However, the last one I took I was really excited about. It is the Test Color. Remember the one that I took with my mother all those years ago? Well I had the opportunity to take it again, or so I thoughts, and I couldn’t resist! It was nothing like I remembered it, essentially it was rating your color preferences in order form most liked to least liked and vice versa. (so, I am not sure it is actually the color code from my youth) however, from that they gave me the following results:
You are 41% extravert and 59% introvert.
You are creative, you always have new ideas, and your inspiration comes from the inside. You are also able to listen to others, you show a good emotional intelligence, you know how to bring your support to others. You are charismatic and good in communication, you know how to attract and manage people.
Okay, okay, let’s back track out of this rabbit hole. My whole point of this was to discuss the various outlooks in knitting styles: project or process knitter.
Personally, I think I am more of a project knitter. Why? Because I am a reward driven individual. I don’t need a personality test to figure that part out. I already know that; I know that I am driven by the reward of having accomplished something or gaining something beautiful for my space. So, I use this to advantage in my knitting.
Remember last time when we talked about dream knitting and how I daydream of Jeremy and I at our wedding in hand knit sweaters? Well that image is a reward and was enough of a drive to pick up the needles to knit two adult sweaters in less than six weeks.
But does that automatically follow that I am not a process knitter? I don’t think so. I love the adventure and challenge a new knit brings. Learning new techniques, styles, and methods. I thrive on learning and discovering. So, one could argue that I am also a process knitter. I guess I don’t fit into either label.
Labeling ourselves and others is a safe way to interact with the world. If we can label a person as “safe” or “dangerous” then we will know how to proceed. For example: let’s say you have two paths in front of you 1) is a dark and narrow side street that is hard to look down. The 2) is a bright and sunny square with tables out with umbrellas to protect the laughing and engaged people gathered around the many tables. Which one would you judge as being safe to enter into? The Dark and narrow street, or the bright and sunny square? Your judgement of this is another word for labeling. But in that judgement lies safety doesn’t it? The dark and narrow street could hold people who will jump you and steal your money, or it could hold an out of the way yarn shop that is just bursting with fibery goodness that you would treasure. Likewise the sunny square could hold lots of joyful people thriving in the sunshine and in each other’s company, but on closer inspection you see that many of those at the tables are leaning forward in intense discussions, with tension in every fiber of their being, and the laughter hides a strained look that makes you tense up in some unknown worry. So, what does one do? Do we traverse the unknown and take what comes or do we rely on our judgement and labels to hold us safe. For that you need to look within yourself.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that there needs to be less labeling and more enjoying and claiming our craft and motivation in whatever form that takes. Know yourself, don’t rely on tests to determine who you are and what you are good at. Pay attention to what motivates you, excites you, what you fear, and dread.
You are the master of yourself. You just need to be aware of it.
A Time for Hygge
Let’s look at awareness a bit closer. I see the act of Hygge as awareness, and even a meditative, or mindful state of being.
In Hygge they don’t just say “eat whatever you want for tomorrow we die!” no they encourage you to enjoy the eating process, how the food feels on your tongue, as you bite down, and swallow. How it feels in your stomach. Weather that food is a carrot or a pastry the act of enjoyment and awareness is the same.
When the Danes promote lighting candles and snuggling in with a good book under warm and snuggly blankets they are again advocating for awareness and stillness. Slow down, take stock of yourself, let your body and mind rest as you engage in a frivolous or deeply provocative book. Allow yourself to become immersed in the process.
So today I invite you to partake in a mindfulness exercise around eating. Afterall if we are not mindful of what we eat how do we know our likes and dislikes? How our body reacts to certain foods? Here is the exercise: meditation taken from an article in the Huffington post
1. Sit down at a table, preferably alone, and free from any external distractions. Don’t worry too much if there are sounds that are out of your control; you can build these into the exercise. Before you even pick up the food to eat, take a couple of deep breaths –- in through the nose and out through the mouth -– to allow the body and mind to settle.
2. Next, take a moment to appreciate the food. Where has it come from? What country? Was it grown or was it manufactured? Try to imagine the different ingredients in their natural growing environment and even the types of people who would have been looking after the crops or animals.
3. As you’re doing this, notice if there is any sense of impatience in the mind, of wanting to get on and eat the food. Perhaps you’re thinking of all the things you need to do. Whatever the reaction, it’s most likely just conditioned behavior -- a habit -- but one that you may find surprisingly strong. Regardless of the feeling, take at least a minute to reflect in this way.
4. Next, without going on some kind of guilt trip, take a moment to appreciate the fact that you actually have food on your plate. We’re so familiar with this situation that we forget that for many people in the world, this just isn’t the case. A deep sense of appreciation and gratitude is at the heart of any stable mindfulness practice.
5. If it’s a food you’re going to eat with your hands, notice the texture as you pick it up, the temperature, and perhaps the color(s). If you're eating from a plate with a knife and fork, notice instead the texture and temperature of the cutlery as you move it toward the food, but still take the time to notice the colors on the plate. You might find it more effective to hold your fork or spoon in your non-dominant hand: This will prevent you from going too quickly.
6. As you move the food toward your mouth, shift the focus away from the hands and more toward the eyes, nose and mouth. How does the food smell? What does it look like up close? And, as you put it in your mouth, what is the taste, the texture, the temperature? You don’t need to ‘do’ anything. You’re simply observing the different bodily senses at work.
7. In addition to the physical senses, notice how the mind responds to the food. For example, is the food met with pleasure or displeasure in your mind? Is there acceptance of the food as it is, or maybe some resistance to certain aspects of it? Perhaps it’s too hot, too cold, too sweet or too sour. Notice how the mind rushes to judge the food and to make comparisons with previous meals or other possibilities. Whatever you do, take the time to chew the food fully. Not only is this a healthier way of eating, but it will allow you the time to taste and appreciate all the different flavors.
8. Once you’ve taken a few mouthfuls, you may find that the mind starts to get bored of the exercise and will wander off into thinking about something else. This is quite normal and nothing to worry about. So, in just the same way as before, as soon as you realize it’s wandered off, gently bring your attention back to the process of eating, and the different tastes, smells, textures, sights and sounds.
9. As you continue to eat your meal in this way, you can start to notice whether there’s a strong habitual urge to eat more quickly (perhaps to move closer to dessert!). Or maybe there are feelings of unease about what you’re eating. If it’s an especially big meal, you may even notice the desire to consume gradually decreasing as the stomach becomes full and you become more aware of these sensations. As much as possible, simply observe these different thoughts and feelings (acting on them when appropriate) and, if you can, notice how the breath appears. The breath may give you some indication of how comfortable or uncomfortable the process of eating is for you.
10.Before jumping up to get on with the next thing you have planned, try staying seated for a moment or two. This is an opportunity for you to take that sense of being present to the next part of your day. It’s an opportunity to realize that the thoughts, feelings and physical sensations that were present before eating have now moved on. In time, this awareness of change can help the mind to feel more spacious and at ease.
“Every human has four endowments; self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom. The power to choose, to respond, to change.” Stephen Covey
My color test:
The qualities that characterize your personality :
You are creative, you know how to see beauty, you are intuitive and your inspiration comes from the inside.
Your emotional intelligence.
You are attuned to others and you show a good emotional intelligence, which allow you to give support to people.
You are a creative person, with always new ideas, and you know how to apply them.
You are thoughtful and deep, you think before getting into action and you know how to communicate your knowledge.
Finely you are thoughtful and capable of listening to others, you take into account the needs of others before setting up the defined objectives. You are open and good communicator, you know how to attract people and engage them. You are intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action and setting your values.