Next to hats, single skein cowls are one of my favorite things to knit. They’re such a good palate-cleanser and a great way to use up the fun single skeins that I tend to buy. And I love wearing cowls too — the back of my neck always gets cold in the winter! So when I was waiting for the MKAL pattern to drop, I pulled out a skein that was calling my name and cast on a Crocodile Run Cowl, which is free on Rav. Here’s an unblocked and blocked view:
It’s written for DK weight with simple lace. I loved knitting it and really wish I’d been smarter when I cast on and weighed how much each pattern repeat used. I’m pretty sure I ended up with enough yarn to do another repeat. So if you knit one, weigh your yarn after the ribbing and then again after you do the first repeat. That way you’ll be able to check before you start the second round of ribbing and use up as much yarn as you can! Oh, and my yarn is Old Rusted Chair Squish DK in Oil Slick, and I love it so much. It’s hard to see but there are little bits of turquoise and purple in there.
I might have a couple of finished socks by the end of the month too — I think I might need the mindless knitting for some stress relief! I’m helping out with a couple of extra projects at work, and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday means I have fewer days to get it all done. Plus we have the launch event this week for the veterans resource group I’m helping with, so I’ll be attending a lunch with a bunch of people I don’t know (and hopefully a few I do!). Plus I get to fly on the company plane later this month (not like a huge corporate jet, just a small plane) which is super super cool but also sort of scary because I have to find the hangar at 6:30 am and there are high odds of bigwigs also being present. Plus I have my first colonoscopy next week — I’m not really worried about it, but I’m also not looking forward to it and it’s another day of missed work when I have a lot on my list. ARGH.
So it’s going to be a slightly crazy month, but I think it’ll be manageable. Because do you want to hear something really crazy and scary? My mental health is … pretty good? Like, better than it’s been in a long time? I’m tapering off my antidepressants. I’ve been on a half-dose for a month and now I’m switching to every other day for a couple of weeks. For the first few days, every time I got frustrated or sad about something, I freaked out a little bit and worried I’d made a mistake, but I kept reminding myself that a bad hour or a bad day or even a bad couple of days doesn’t meant I’m not handling it — it just means I’m human. And each time, it’s passed. I’m still cautious, because I’ve been on them for about nine years, but I’ve felt really stable and overall happy the last several months. It’s amazing how much the new job helped. Being in a supportive environment where I feel appreciated and valued and I’m given the opportunity take ownership of projects has been huge. I guess I didn’t realize exactly how much my former job was messing with my head. I’ve also built up more strong friendships over the last year, which has also been enormously helpful. I mean, seriously, my knitting peeps are the best. So … yeah. Maybe it’s overly optimistic to go off the meds at the most stressful time of year when the outside world gets literally dark and cold. But what if it’s not? That’s what I’m holding onto right now.
Happy Monday, friends.
The cowl is lovely. It sounds like you are coming off the ADs the right way and that’s great. Being busy in a job you enjoy and having the MKAL will also keep your mind busy. Most people I follow don’t tend to be able to keep up with the pace of KALs so don’t worry if you fall behind, from your Instagram it looks like you are doing great on it so far. Onwards and upwards…(and on a private jet!)
Thank you, Liz! The first week went well but we’ll see how the next one goes. Maybe the thanksgiving holiday will help—or maybe I’ll knit while I prep for my colonoscopy! 😂
I’m impressed, Bonny! Partly with your prodigious knitting but more so that you have the capacity to discuss a serious and sometimes sensitive topic like mental health in your blog. Recognizing the role that a supportive environment has in getting healthy and staying healthy means you will always seek that environment as time goes by.
Thank you so much. I struggled a LOT with feeling ashamed and afraid to accept that I needed help when I first started dealing with depression, and I just hope that the more people talk about in a matter-of-fact way, the more the stigma will be reduced.
I love knitting cowls too. I find them useful and quick, so thanks for sharing this pattern. It seems like every time I search on Ravelry for something good (but simple) to knit, I can never find it. This looks perfect. Glad you are feeling strong, healthy and supported enough to make some changes. Change is good!
Thank you! Yes, even though I struggle to adapt to change sometimes, some changes are so healthy! Hope you knit the cowl—it’s a fun one!
What a fun pattern! I always love seeing the unblocked/blocked versions of lace and textured patterns – they are so different
Support is so important! I’m glad you’re in a good place right now. I hope the holidays are the fun kind this year and not the stressful kind! (I hope that for all of us, honestly. I’m not sure what my holidays will be like, since this is the first year that my grandma won’t be with us.)
And I love the cowl! I can see the flecks of turquoise in the yarn, though my computer screen doesn’t show the purple as well. Still, it’s really pretty yarn and I love the color combo!
Oh yes, I definitely hope for low-stress holidays for everybody, but it’s probably too much to wish for. I’m sure you’ll feel the gap from missing your grandma, but I hope you’re able to help fill it with happy memories at least.
That’s what I’m hoping. We’d known she was failing for a while, so at least it wasn’t sudden.
We can still hope for low-stress holidays! Though I guess we shouldn’t expect them… that could be a cause of stress in itself… 😉
Glad to hear you are doing so well emotionally! I need to remember what you are saying about having a bad day: it will pass. And I love your cowl! 💙
Thank you, Alissa! Remembering that is definitely easier some days than others. I’m just so grateful to be at a point where I actually believe that it will pass!
So glad to hear the good news about your mental health! You are doing great, and thank you for bringing up this important topic 🙂 You are right – bad days will definitely pass!
Also, your cowl is just beautiful! Thanks for linking to the pattern – that is a really good one 🙂