Where'd my knitting mojo go?

I haven't actively posted anything here in over two weeks. Why? Well, the glorious two week vacation at the beach has ended and brought with it the doldrums of returning to reality. I have the blues...
Blue Moon, imported from space.com
The lala land mentality of a beach getaway, with no demands on my time or my responsibilities, was refreshing after working summer school. Being on vacation meant being nearer to family and friends, and now I miss them and the time we spent just lolling on the beach and catching up.


Returning home and anticipating all of the last minute prep for my youngest college gurl's move out took me away from my knitting, blogging, and online reading of most things knitting related. We had one week to finish shopping for her necessities, get her packed up and moved into her freshman dorm. Last Sunday the four of us packed the Zipcar and headed north. Once there, the soccer team was at the ready to unload the cars and hustle her belongings up to the third floor. (Thank you Jesus for energetic and helpful young ladies!) We got to unpacking and setting her room up, but the time was short and we were asked to leave at 2:30. She had orientation ice breakers to attend. I was in a fuzzy state of mind because the plan had been to take her to lunch before we left. The is the back to college ritual with us.  I kinda hate when I'm not in control of things. We will be visiting soon and to lunch we will go, just not as planned. What? Oh, you want to know how she's settling in? She seems fine and likes her roommate. I haven't gotten many more details.... hopefully we will hear more at lunch..... thanks for asking.


My other road block has been the demands of setting up my classroom and preparing for another year of instruction at the high school. (Did you know about my job? No? I am a teacher in the Special Education Department of Boston Public Schools.  I now work with high school aged kids with intensive special needs. I have been teaching since 1999; before that I was a substitute for three years.) Setting up my classroom was delayed due to building construction; we normally have the two weeks before Labor Day to go in and move the furniture and open up the supplies but this year we weren't able to access our space until Labor Day. I do love my job, but most years I find that transition back to work a struggle. This year especially.... I worked summer school for six weeks, had my two weeks at the beach and then the week to get college gurl ready and boom, back to work. Oooh the blues...


"Soooooo, you ask, why was fitting in your knitting a problem? You always seem to make time for it, especially when the stress levels are on the rise.... what happened?" I have projects on the needles, I am on my second sleeve of the Levenwick cardigan, I am nearly finished with my second Piper's Journey. The Bridgewater central panel has about 150 stitches on the needles; with one stitch decrease per row, I still have a ways to go. I love the September Circle pattern but I am not so sure about the yarn. I'm using Noro and it seems a tad stiff and may feel scratchy, pray that Soak can tame it. The Amari Hat Trick shawl is probably going to be frogged; the gauge I am getting is stiff. The same is true for my Slipstitch Cowl, the gauge is too tight/fabric is not drapey enough. I cast on Foxgloves using Tidal Yarns for the Fat Squirrel Speaks Lo-Cal KAL. The pattern is sweet but I don't think it is a good match for the yarn, so I anticipate a jump into the frog pool with that one too.

Love this image from thismonkeyknits.blogspot.com

I have received "No Knit MoJo" condolences and advice from Inky077 of Urban Mouse, Country House. Julie recommended shopping in my stash, reaching in with eyes closed, grasping for a skein that feels delightful to touch, and then trolling the Ravelry advanced pattern search to come up with a quick one skein project. Or go to Berroco or Knit Freedom and choose a new technique to practice, just a swatch with a new stitch pattern. Or.. she deftly slips in the recommendation..... go to a new LYS and splurge on a new project. One thing that has worked in the past is simply cleaning up my knitting space. In the straightening and organizing I often feel ready to finish off the WIPs that are close to being cast off. I rediscover notes about patterns or yarn I have discovered. If I open up my stash storage, I often find inspiration in the items that have slipped from memory. I might even go to one knitting book and see what I can find that could become a new project. Thanks Julie, you've got my back!

If you are in a similar funk and the preceding suggestions aren't resonating with you go take a look at this conversation in the Knitter's Review forums. Or have a read of these blogger's posts when they discussed feeling a bit under the weather with their knitting. Chopped Tomato, Just Visiting HereWoolly Mutts,

Julie has also counseled me on useful strategies to cope with the empty nest issue. Even though I still have two at home, my house seems so quiet and hollow with my Helen gone. "Embrace the change and know she'll be home on weekends" is the advice I am trying to follow.

Comments

I, too, am a teacher...I teach 5th grade in the poorest city in CT..not the largest, but the poorest, at the moment...and this year I have one class made up of 10 Special Ed kids and the rest are ESL....it'll be a tough class to teach, but they are sweet kids....and we'll get some learning done!

Lost mojo, I go online window shopping, sometimes buying or stash diving...I have a large stash...
Kate said…
My knitting MoJo is on fire. Hmmm.....maybe I stole yours?.......bwaaaaaahaaaaahaaaa
Bashful Knitter said…
It's OK Erin. It'll be back. It's change of seasons for you at home and in the air. Reorganize, clean, purge and use the time you would've been knitting to read or take a cooking class. Consider your knitting mojo to be on vaca. I'll miss your inspiring WIP pics,but I know they'll return soon!
Carol said…
Knitters (as opposed to people who knit the occasional baby blanket or mittens) will never stop knitting; they may get burnt out for awhile and take a break but they always come back. This has been my experience - last summer (2011) I took a couple of months off and didn't knit a thing; I just had no interest. By the fall, I was feeling refreshed and ready to get back to finishing one project and planning for a new one. Sounds like you had a nice vacation in Maine!

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