Skip to content

Fun Friday–What I Do to Relieve Stress

Friday, August 28, 2009


42-16567517I’ve never been one much for hand crafts—needlepoint, crochet, embroidery, etc. I was great at starting projects, but I would soon get bored with them. In college and throughout my twenties, I did take up sewing and made a lot of my own clothes—I even earned a little extra money after I moved to Nashville by doing alterations and seamstressing for people I worked with at the newspaper. But once I went back to college, even that went by the wayside. I occasionally pull out my sketchbook and draw, but don’t really find that relaxing.

Then, about two years ago, I copy edited a kids’ book on learning how to knit. As I read through it, I thought, I could do that. So I went to Michael’s and got a pair of (purple) knitting needles and the cheapest cotton yarn I could find (I can’t use acrylic—I have very sensitive skin, and it’s one of the textures I’m very sensitive to and makes me itch). I learned how to knit and purl. I learned how to cast on and bind off. I learned how to do a rib-stitch (alternating knit and purl stitches). I became the queen of lap blankets and scarves. For Christmas last year, my niece and nephews each received a hand-knitted scarf from their aunt (of course that would be after it snowed in Baton Rouge and they really could have used them).

Earlier this year, I pulled out all those “lap blankets” and a crochet hook and started crocheting all of them into one big blanket (which will never see the light of day, because of all the different patterns/colors of the yarn). But now that fall is almost upon us, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at crocheting for myself one of those cute, slouchy, beret-style knit caps I’ve seen around. They look something like this:


I looked through all of the pattern books at Michael’s this afternoon and couldn’t find anything that looked like that. So I figured I’d just go ahead and get the yarn and come home and find a pattern online. And then I found it . . . one of the skeins of yarn I picked up had a photo on the front of the kind of style I was looking for—and promised a pattern on the back!

Well, that yard is a rough, bulky yarn which, when I started to cast-on, I discovered was very hard to work with, especially after not having knitted for almost a year. So I pulled out the lighter-weight, smooth yarn and decided to give it a go with that first, as the pattern didn’t seem too complicated. I did have to stop to figure out how to inc 3 sts evenly across row (increase the number of stitches in the row by 3) and what M1 meant (make one, or add one additional stitch by picking up the yarn between the stitches on the row below), but all-in-all it was a relatively simple pattern. However, it would probably have given me a result closer to what I was looking for with the bulkier yarn, because this is how it ended up, following the directions exactly:

Not quite as “slouchy” as I’d hoped for. But now that I’ve practiced it (and it only took me a couple of hours to do), I think I’ll be able to do it with the knobbly, bulky yarn and get something more like what I wanted. (And I chose blue yarns because my overcoat is navy with a white and tan pattern on it.)

What do you do to relieve stress?

  1. Friday, August 28, 2009 6:20 am

    I end up messing around with my blog or fidgeting with graphics…or reading…or watching old movies. Sometimes I re-organize.

    Mostly depends on my level of stress and how much I need to unplug. 🙂

    I used to do a lot more non-computer related before blogging and such – quilting, scrapbooking, etc…Funny how things change.


    • Friday, August 28, 2009 10:29 am

      Most of the time, I’ll usually do the crossword puzzle of the day at or play Skip Bo or Mahjong Titans on the computer. But with as much time as I’ve been spending in front of the computer this week working, I needed a break. Plus I wanted to watch Inkheart, which has been sitting here for at least a week, so I can send it back to Netflix. Since I’d seen the movie before, having the knitting to do made me feel like I was doing something productive, not just sitting on my duff for a few hours.


  2. Lori permalink
    Friday, August 28, 2009 8:50 am

    Because my job is so analytical I do more creative things to relax…..knitting (not very good), cross stiching, hook rugs, drawing, painting, and most recently I started scrapbooking. I like to do things I don’t have to really think about to relax. Kind of let the other half of my brain have a turn. 🙂


    • Friday, August 28, 2009 10:32 am

      I haven’t decided yet which part of my brain this knitting experience used. When I do the scarves/large rectangular pieces of who-kn0ws-what, after I count the initial stitches for the first few rows and get a rhythm going, it’s pretty much mindless work (and even more so with crocheting, because I’ve been doing that a lot longer). But following a pattern like this where, on every other row, I was either increasing or decreasing and counting the number of stitches between each M1 or K2tog stitch, and end up with a certain number of stitches, I had to pay a lot more attention to it. So it may have been a little more left-brain—but relaxing in the same way that doing crossword puzzles or cryptograms or playing Sudoku (yuck!) is relaxing to some.


      • Lori permalink
        Monday, August 31, 2009 8:35 am

        LOL! I love Sudoku! It is relaxing to me too! I know I am such a geek!


  3. Friday, August 28, 2009 10:25 am

    Good job on the beret, Kaye! It should be slouchyier (is that even a word?) with the bulkier yarn.

    I like to knit, I can’t purl though, so I just make scarves & plain baby blankets. I made my MIL a prayer shawl when she was going through radiation for breast cancer. I’ve also knitted scarves for the Knit Your Bit charity for the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, I crocheted 12″ squares for Squares for Survivors, a charity that put the squares together for people who lost everything in the storm. These were easy projects that were relaxing for me, but it also fulfilled a need for others.

    I’m a Creative Memories consultant, so I LOVE scrapbooking! : )


  4. Friday, August 28, 2009 2:42 pm

    Your slouchy hat is cute!

    I like to read, or watch a good romance flick. I do like to do embroidery as well. I have thread and all the whatnots from my great grandma that I bust out and use every now and then. I have some of my grandmas embroidered table runners and such displayed throughout my house…if I get to be half as good as she was I’ll be happy!


  5. Friday, August 28, 2009 3:49 pm

    Very cute!

    I’m a cross-stitch addict and that’s what I do to relax and de-stress. The more complicated the pattern is, the better I like it! I knit and crochet too, but doing that for too long makes my left hand hurt something awful. Cross stitching is something I can do even when my hands hurt. I have a floor stand that holds my project for me.


  6. Sunday, August 30, 2009 9:10 am

    I’m doing it! Love visiting yours and others blogs. Love to do internet research as a distraction – history, genealogy, etc.

    Also, anything outdoors where I can enjoy God’s creation and take in his grandeur!

    When I’m stressed often that’s when those creative juices start flowing! I’ve never been a knitter, but think you did a fab job with your hat! I do like to be creative with other crafts, flower arranging. I draw house plans for stress relief, read, but most often I write!!!!!!!!!!!!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: