Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Climbing Out of a Slump

I've been feeling really low this past month.  Partly it's this long winter, and then there's other "stuff" going on.  It's all put me in a bit of a slump and I've not felt happy vibes for a while.  I was seriously considering calling it quits with the blog, but couldn't make up my mind.  I was afraid if I ended this, I'd regret it a bit further down the road, so I just sat back for a bit and haven't really been into it much ... either posting or visiting.  I've started making the rounds this week, however, and have been to visit most of you, but not all.  I realized I've missed the connection with everyone, and although I don't seem to have a lot to share these days, I've decided to continue the blog for now. 
My blog feed has always been messed up, and I cannot "unfollow" a blog if I choose (even though I've been through all the proper steps ... at the final question "are you sure you want to stop following this blog" I click "yes", but nothing ever happens and I'm still following every blog).  Because of this glitch, my blog feed is full of blogs I am no longer interested in, so instead of relying on that I just go down my list of favourite blogs on my sidebar and click on your blogs there.  I guess my point is it's a slow way to do it rather than just check into the feed and see what's new, but I have no choice.  And I hate this slow process, it seems to take me forever to visit everyone.

Anyway ... boring stuff. 
Our days had dropped back into the sub temperatures these past two weeks (-20C), but today at last we had a reprieve, and it's hovering just below 0C again (at least I see drips coming off the roof!).  This is the type of weather for the maple sap to start to run.  Cold nights and warm days.  How I loved helping my parents with this springtime ritual even up until a few years ago when they still had their country property.  All the grandkids would help in some way too, and it was a guaranteed week of sitting in the woods before the vat of boiling syrup in front of the fire.  I wrote a post about that here if you're interested in a little extra reading.  Now I rarely visit a maple sugar bush unless my nephews come for a visit from BC, but they won't be coming this year. 

The dog is getting his walks, but it's been a struggle, and now we have to deal with heaps of salt tossed on the roads (why?!).  The Town hardly put any salt on the roads all through the tough part of winter, but now they're just pouring it down thick.  Poor pup gallantly limps along until he can take the stinging pain no more and stops with paws up.  By the time we got home today, he was just a sloppy mess from the road salt and the mucky snow.  March tends to be a messy month don't you find?  So into the laundry tub he went ... he just fits ... and a good soapy bath ensued.  Then he raced upstairs and tore around the house for a good five minutes just because he felt so good.  I lay his mat in the sunshine and he warmed up and dried off fairly well.

I've been working on bits of knitting, and have made up some little mittens to go with some baby hats I've knit.  These will all be heading off to LILY once I get the mittens done.  I picked up some variegated yarn (Lion Brand) and really like how the brown/pink/white combo works up.  The baby mitts look so cute in this colour too.

There was also this blue/green combo which worked up in a very boyish looking hat ...
... so I made one mitten to go with it ... yep, ran out of yarn and I'll have to get some more.  This is the first mitten I have knit in the round, and although it looks okay, I was a bit lost when I had to cast on a couple of stitches above the thumb.  I have trouble reading knitting instructions even now.  After the little blip there, the number of stitches was off for the rest of the top, and I was glad to be done with it.  The worst part about mittens is, if you have trouble with the pattern, you still have to suffer through the making of another one.  Hopefully the second mitt will work up easier.
I had a ball of "oatmeal" yarn too, so I tried that with the blue/green.  I knit one round blue/green, then one round oatmeal.  I love how it turned out.  I would like to have a scarf made up this way.  I have a book that has a scarf knit in the round using this same technique, and that's why I tried it here.  It gives it a very rustic look, don't you think?  If I made a scarf this way I would get some 100% wool rather than the acrylic (although the acrylic is quite soft, and this is what LILY requests, I prefer the natural fibres myself).
Then I made another headband using the brown/pink/white one row, and the oatmeal for every alternate row.  I didn't like the look of it as much as with the blue/green.  There was too much white in the variegated yarn already, so the oatmeal didn't show up as well.  It just made the whole thing look rather muddy.  I made this for my daughter who told me the headband I made earlier kept sliding down off her head ... this one is made in the same way, but I cast on 104 stitches instead.
And then I had a few scraps of pure wool from my Mom's stash and my own stash, so I whipped up another tea cozy.  This is for my two-cup tea pot ..

It goes nicely with my one-cup tea pot.  I have a few of these cute brown tea pots :)

And that's it.  I'll knit up a few squares to send off to LILY too, and that will all go out sometime this month.  I usually just send squares, but I noticed other people were also sending hats, so I decided to do something a little different. 
Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you're all having a great week,



  1. I've been in the dumps since Monday, we too have 'stuff' going on. I'm also trying to unfollow some blogs and I just can't figure out how to..some have an easy unfollow button, some.. I just can't figure it out.
    Still chuckling at 'the sounds in the car are normal'!
    Chin up...this too will pass,eh ?
    Jane x

  2. I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling down lately. I can certainly understand how you could feel that way with all that wintery weather you've been having. I can only handle so much of that and I end up feeling down. I understand the blog thing too of not really being all that into it. I have periods of time like that too. In fact, I'm kind of like that now. Even though I'm super busy, I don't really have much to blog about. But, I've been in that place before and know I'll eventually get back into it again. In the meantime, I just let it sit. You sure have been busy kntting! WOW! That's a LOT of FO's! I like them all too! That tea cozy is adorable! And, I love the first set with the pink and brown. So cute and I love the colors! Hang in there! I'm sure things will get better! :-D

  3. Sorry that you have been feeling a bit grim Wendy, I think that it is the time of year, it definitely seems to be getting to everyone one way or another. I hope that you are feeling more yourself soon and that you do keep on blogging because I would miss you! Your teacosies are very cute and I am sure that all of your other lovely knitting projects will be much appreciated - love the little mittens! xx

  4. I am saddened to hear you have been down Wendy - I have been missing you a lot - but can understand how so much of 'that' weather can get to you, along with everyday life at times! I do hope you decide to keep on with your lovely newsy and cheery blogging, and also your thoughtful and uplifting messages; they've been such a benefit to me and no doubt many others'!
    You've been very busy with your lovely hats and mitts, as well as the cute tea cosies - you've certainly not been idle and always do such a great job with whatever project you are working on, well done! I'll be looking forward to seeing some pretty fabric putting in an appearance sometime soon as well - there's a challenge to keep you going eh?
    Keep smiling my friend and I do wish you a wonderful rest-of the- week! xo Joy

  5. I wish I had something super uplifting to say but I don't. Winter sucks, Wendy. And after this winter, I'll bet you will have a greater appreciation for the warmer months. Warm weather is easy living. Just put on a pair of sandals and go. None of this shoes, socks, coats, hats, gloves, umbrellas, etc etc etc. If you feel like getting out and about, try out a new restaurant's happy hour here and there. It would help liven things up a bit and pass the time too (even if you have to twist someone's arm to do it). You might find a few places to hang out for many winters to come. I'd miss you if you didn't blog but at the same time, I am so busy my blog might end up on the back burner too so I understand. Sometimes, I am not much good at being a friend by saying the right things but I do hope you cheer up soon.

    I love your knit hat and gloves but the tea cozy is the cutest thing ever. It is so charming. You could do a little afternoon tea party post featuring your cozy tea pot. Take care ~ Stacy

  6. Wow, you've been doing a lot of knitting! I love the tea cozies, and that pink/brown/white on the hat and mittens is my favorite combination, but maybe that's because it reminds me of chocolate-covered cherries ;)
    Must be frustrating to try to delete blogs from your list but have them stay...could there be a "save" button hidden way down at the bottom of the edit screen? I've found that is sometimes the problem when I can't make a change stick.
    Hang in there, Wendy. This winter is knocking the stuffing out of a lot of us, but we're still standing! Personally, I may be leaning a little, but...still standing! ;)

  7. I know how hard it can be with bad weather and things that go on in our lives. It makes it hard sometimes to blog...I feel the same way. LOVE your beautiful knitted creations! You use the most beautiful colors! Sending you some warm hugs, Diane

  8. I'm sorry you've been feeling down, Wendy. I well remember the winters I spent living on the NY side of Lake Ontario, and I can definitely commiserate. It's a very hard winter. I'm glad you're going to keep blogging, I always enjoy visiting here. Your knits are wonderful and they will be much appreciated. Take care.

  9. Life gets a bit like that, doesn't it. I hope when Spring comes finally to your li'l corner of the world that your spirits will be lighter and you will be able to greet the other 'stuff' with somewhat of a smile. My, you have been knitting up a the blue/green pieces. I too love knitting with natural fibres...they seem to last forever and never lose their shape. Take care!

  10. I think it's called the February Blahs Wendy, I've felt it too. I've been reading blogs but not commenting because I don't feel I have anything worthwhile to share. My poor dog suffers from the salt on the sidewalk too and I wish they'd use sand or something environmentally friendly.
    The tea cozy is cute and I hope you're enjoying some tea on these frigid days.

  11. Hi Wendy, I am counting days in the calendar till spring!! ...and it will be there soon :) I do hope you will keep writing the blog; I always enjoy my visits here. The knitted items are very pretty, I specially love the tea cosies,
    have a wonderful evening, - Gaia

  12. Hey you.....I hope that the weather warms up in the next couple of weeks! I think we could all really use it at this point. And my feed thing does the same thing..super annoying! I understand your feelings about blogging. Some months I feel as though I am super excited to get my posts out and then other months my motivation is low. I love the connections to like minded people (like you!) and having an outlet to share is awesome...we shall see where the road goes! I would miss you terribly I might add if you were to stop your beautiful space here! Your knitted projects are beautiful friend! You should be so proud of your work! Those little mittens are so cute and those hats! They make my heart melt! Well done and such a good cause! I hope that the sun and new growth that spring brings will give you a warm lift...thinking of you and sending you a big hug! Nicole xoxo

  13. You have been very busy with all those knitting projects. I enjoy your blog, so please don't stop writing! I'm not sure if this would help you, but I'm able to arrange my blog list by "recently updated". That means that blogs that seem to have died just slip right down to the bottom of my sidebar where they are not in the way.

  14. Hello Wendy, so sorry to hear you are in a slump, maybe it's your long Winter months and as soon as the weather improves you may feel better. Spring certainly lifts my mood. I don't think you are alone with your blog, I look at mine as a virtual diary. I so hope you decide to cotinue as I will miss your posts.

    Brilliant and beautiful knitted makes. The little mittens are so cute and the colours are gorgeous.

    Take care

  15. Gosh Wendy the relentless cold weather you've been experiencing would make anyone but a snowman fed up! It's no wonder you feel like this, fresh air and sunshine is a real tonic and I hope some finds it's way to you least you can keep yourself warm with your knits....I'd have no hope!!! Take care :) x

  16. Hey Wendy,

    When the snow is sky high, and the temps are so low, it is very natural to feel as you do. You are not alone in your slump; in fact you have a lot of company, from many many bloggers who are experiencing the same condition due to these climatic conditions! I have lived half of my life in Canada and the other half in Greece, and I can't say that I miss those Toronto winters, but I do miss the change of seasons, each refreshing and rejuvenating in their own way. Summers can be very hot here, and the locals usually end up locked inside, with the shutters drawn to keep out the extreme heat, (and consequently, the sunlight), during the day, only venturing out either early morning, or late afternoon. I'm not complaining, and I do sympathize with you, especially since getting older has meant that I am less tolerant of those harsh Canadian conditions and the fact that I am not used to them any longer. Hang in there, spring will show its face sooner or later. In the meantime, you have knitted such lovely creations, that will definitely warm the hearts of those who are lucky to receive them.

    As far as blogging is concerned, glad you are still here; was wondering where you went! That place, where you did go, we've all been to, with regards to blogging. I only post when I am inspired or an opportunity arises, and that is not every day, which is fine, since blogging to me is more about the connections I have made with like-minded people, who always bring a smile to my face and occasionally, tears to my eyes, for their sweet and consoling sentiments.

    Take care!


  17. I hope your spirits lift soon. I'm not surprised that your mood is low, temperatures of -20 and the amount of snow you have. It must feel as if there is no end in sight. Although I dont spend as much time these days reading or posting I do still enjoy it and I suspect many of us are in the same boat as you.
    I love your baby knits and I would say just post whenever you can.

  18. Oh Wendy love, this isn't like you at all! Spring is on its way and I hope that will lift your spirits. You have had a very bad winter, we are lucky in comparison (apart from the poor people who are continually being flooded) as it hasn't really been cold, just very wet.

    The thing with blogging is sometimes you feel like it and sometimes you don't. Please don't give up on September Violets, I'd miss you very much! I haven't been blogging the same recently, sometimes life just gets in the way ... and I'm sure lots of other bloggers identify with that ... from the above comments, you are a very loved blogger!

    I'm always here if you need a chat Wendy, hope tomorrow is better ...

    Love Claire xxx

  19. I do hope you keep your bog going, I've only just found it, sorry does that sound selfish! Sometimes with so much going on blogging seems just too much to add into the mix, I know I didn't at all in September last year. I do hope when spring arrives you feel better about things!

  20. Hi Wendy, it's no wonder you are feeling down in the dumps, with the awful winter you have had, I'm sure anyone would feel the same. I'm so glad you are going to keep going with your blog I would miss you and your posts if you did. As for the unfollow thing, the people I like to follow are in my side bar like you and I find it easy just to right click on each one that's posted, then work through them one by one. I love all your knitted things they are going to be so well appreciated. Sending lots of hugs!! Spring will soon be here. xxx

  21. Love the knitting, especially the tea cosy. I don't like February much - but March always seems filled with the promise of spring, so just go with the flow.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  22. I always enjoy your gorgeous yarn creations. I use Feedly for my reader. It's quite easy to unfollow. I've really cleaned up my reading list. I like a small group of regulars. You form a connection with them. Some must blog for comments. I do not. I think we all could use a hefty dose of sunshine. :o)

  23. Very glad you didn't "pull the plug" on your blog!!!!! Blogging slumps happen. But like so many things, they eventually go away. And if we leave our blog alone, it is there to come back to. :-)

    "Following".... I make a separate private blog, on which I install a Google Gadget, to "Follow" blogs. This private blog, shows me when new posts, are posted. I can see the blogs, I choose to "follow." No one else can see my list, on my private blog. So no hard feelings, when I lose interest in a blog, and delete it.

    I love this method, and it works for me. Perhaps you might try it?

    Gentle hugs,

  24. #1 - keep blogging, but only post when you feel like it
    #2 - I admire anyone who can hang in there and live in cold, cold cold. It cannot be easy.
    #3 - In layout on your blog roll, you have the option of alphabetical or by recent posting. When you choose recent posting, you just have to go to the top of the blog roll and see what's new.

  25. Love all your oatmeal and colour knits Wendy and your tea cosies are really cool (if you see what I mean!!). I tend to try and make pairs of things on the same day in case my tension changes (but then I'm usually only doing small things like arms legs and ears!!)
    Thought of you today - I'd read your post last night and was intrigued by the maple syrup collecting - then, this afternoon, James Martin (a well known chef over here!) mentioned maple syrup and its collection on his tv programme (so I happily thought of you whilst I drank my relaxing aternoon cuppa tea!)
    Love to see you here....whenever you are!
    Thinking of you
    Ali x

  26. Hi Wendy, I'm sorry to hear you have been feeling down. I'm glad you have decided to continue blogging though...I enjoy visiting you here. It can be tricky to keep up with everything I agree, and I often find that blogger messes up my blog feed too.
    Anyway, looks like you have kept busy with your knitting and your makes are lovely. I really like the baby hats and mitts, very sweet.
    Marianne x

  27. Hi Wendy , I think it's always a bit gloomy when the winter is so long and harsh ... hope your creative endeavours have helped to lift your spirits .. glad you kept your blog !! have a peaceful weekend...Gail x

  28. Oh Wendy, I hope you start feeling better soon. This Winter has been so long and dark and after a while it can really get you down. I hope your beautiful creative makes help lift your mood, the things you've made are so cute! I hope you keep blogging, I love stopping by and seeing what you've been making. Blogger can be a right pain but I switched to bloglovin and it's so easy to follow, unfollow and organise your favourite blogs there, have a look. When I realised I could organise the blogs I follow into different groups I was hooked :) xx

  29. I wrote about the too many blogs in my reader too-way too overwhelming for me-and many were duplicates of my friends that are in my blog roll-it took several tries on bloglovin to delete-I noticed the same thing I would take the time to delete and they were still there. I worked on it yesterday-some took 4 tries but the ones I worked on are deleted now-finally. and I decided to go back to reading on my blog again. I have them set in order of new post entries so I think I like that better.
    sometimes we just need to step back from blogging for a bit-I have done that-and just popped in to visit my friends.
    Love all your knitted pieces-have you tried making booties for your dog? would help keep the salt off his pads.

  30. I know just how you feel! Inspiration doesn't come easy after a long, cold winter! But things will get better soon! And your knitting is lovely as usual!


  31. Hi Wendy...I'm so sorry you've not been feeling on top form....I hope that your spirits are lifted by reading all the comments above. I am thrilled that you have decided to keep on blogging, I enjoy reading all your posts and seeing your life on the other side of the world! I think you must enjoy blogging though so just do so when you feel like it, we'll all still be here to read your posts. I do hope that you have a lovely weekend and thank you for adding me to you blog list. Sarah xo

  32. Lovely Wendy so glad that you are not going to give up - I think about it too from time to time when I get bogged down with work and life and feel that I am not a good blogger. But then I think about what I would miss and I keep going. You have been busy Wendy and I love all your makes, they are just lovely. I am sending lots and lots of hugs and loves, always look forward to reading your posts as they are always so interesting Wendy. Have a lovely weekend

  33. Lovely hats, Wendy! Don´t close your blog...just take it slower until you feel like coming back. We will be waiting ;-)

  34. Sorry to hear you've been a bit low Wendy and hope things pick up soon. I just love that little tea cosy.

  35. I was down in the dumps from November through February, but I'm normal again now! I discovered I was suffering from SAD. This winter was the darkest one yet and I wasn't even going out for walks since I lost my dog. I can't believe what a difference going for a daily walk made to alleviating my suffering, but now I know. Hope your "stuff" clears up soon and you feel all cheery again. xox

  36. Your tea cozies are so cute! I love the shape of the pots, too, and that makes the whole thing just fun. I know spring is coming your way, so hold on a little longer. You are still reading a LOT of blogs! Take turns with them. Read X number each day and give yourself permission to have that be enough. =) (You're reading my group blog, Hexagon Alley, and we don't post every day anyway!)

  37. hope you are feeling much better since this post, was wondering if you have shared the teapot cozy pattern? would love to make one too.
    all your little knits are beautiful
    thanx for sharing


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