i knit because i can ...

Saturday, 8 November 2008

what Alastair Campbell and I have in common ...

Depression, that's what. And thank goodness he's come out about it, maybe he'll make it acceptable, if not downright fashionable. Then we can say goodbye to the 'sock' school of psychiatry (you just need to pull your socks up) and the 'curtain' school (just pull yourself together!) and the idea that depression is just another word for not feeling so good, so I won't bother going to work/cooking the supper/writing the essay/fill your own in here.

In spite of my best efforts then: the yoga, pilates, bone breathing, self-hypnosis, aromatherapy, CBT, counting my blessings, listing my virtues and achievements rather than my shortcomings, etc., etc., etc., even knitting (yep, it gets so bad that even knitting can't help), I have not been able to overcome my feelings of doom lately. Thanks to Alastair, however, i.e., after reading some of the recent spate of his interviews, and his refreshingly common sensical take on the subject, I have betaken myself to the doc to get some chemical help, not for the first time, I must admit.

Trouble is, when you're feeling truly depressed, you only need to look around you to feel that depression is the rational response to the awfulness of the world outside: fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Congo, to name but three. Pollution, energy crisis, world poverty, child labour, excessive consumption, credit crunch, knife crime - what's not to get depressed about?

And that's why I am trying out the 3 beautiful - or good -things idea. The idea being that if I can find three beautiful or good things each day, they will tot up to counteract the dreadful things served up each day by the news media, and remind me that for every horror there is a delight, and that by concentrating on, and where possible adding to, the delights, we may at least keep a balance, and thereby our sanity.

So here goes:
1) The election of Barack Obama! Although I am too old and not stupid enough to imagine he can put the world to rights overnight, or even ever, I do feel it's a step in the right direction. If the good people of the United States can get it right, there's hope in the world.

a wonderful bonfire night on Wednesday. Just a local get-together at Chipstead Rugby Club, with my daughter Kathy, her husband Andy and grandson Luke, but it was great fun, the bonfire was fantastic - 'big hot', Luke informed me - and the fireworks spectacular, although Luke was a bit taken aback - 'big bang, big bang', before he fell silent with a worried look on his face. But that soon gave way to his usual cheerful face when supper appeared!

3) I have finished Scarf from Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today. Great news, as it is to be a Christmas present. I used Habu 2/10 Kusaki-Zome yarn from the fantastic 'I Knit' shop in Waterloo. This Aladdin's cave for knitters stocks the most amazing stuff, and also does knitting get-togethers. Haven't managed to get to one yet, but I will, I will. This is my first time knitting pure silk, and although it was fun, I 'druther' Shetland. But it's good for me to try something new.

This was also my first time using my new 4 mm Harmony Straight Needles. As soon as these came out, I bought a whole set in its own beautiful black damask roll. I am ecstatic about these needles; they rock, they roll, they do everything bar knit on their own when I am asleep (I am working on that). They are made of the same laminate as the circulars and the twin pins, and I would knit anything and everything with them, if I could, but sadly the straights are not (yet) made in the smaller sizes. BTW, I'm first in the queue, so get in line behind me!!

The presentee is a student, so I embellished the scarf with gold beads and shimmery pearl drops on the points - no hint of 'made by grandma' there then! ;) I just hope she'll think it's cool and it's fashionable and it rocks!!

Another good/beautiful thing is that I have reached point eight on the edging for my Princess, but that would be four, so you'll just have to wait!! ;))))


  1. Good for you for getting help! I'm waiting for depression to become fashionable, too. :-)
    That scarf is just gorgeous. I can't wait to see your Princess progress.

  2. Ingrid - many of us in the USA are feeling such relief after last Tuesday's election results. We have had pour own "depression" here the last eight years and feel like we have hope for the future now. We don't expect miracles, but respect for the office is back!

    John Denver said it well when he sang "Blow up your TV, Throw away the paper". The media feeds on all the negativism they can find. I wish you well coping with your depression for in no way do I dismiss how it affects every aspect of your life. Many of us find that our knitting/spinning friends are the best in the world when we need support of any kind.

    Your work is truly beautiful.


  3. Lovely, sincere post, Ingrid. This can be a dark time of year for many.

    Here's hoping the self care and the chemicals kick in soon.

    The scarf is fantastically beautiful... I hope the recipient realizes how fortunate they are!!

  4. My gosh, "scarf" is lovely! I can't imagine anyone, student or not, who wouldn't be thrilled with such a gorgeous heirloom!!!

    I am so inspired by your work.