Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stress and the power of crafting

Last week was stress-filled. One could argue, given the profession that I practice, that every day is stress-filled. True, I've gotten used to a higher-than-average baseline blood cortisol level---par for the course for any healthcare worker. While the day-to-day nature of the job has become 'just what I do,' interpersonally butting up against one's co-workers is something I don't go out of my way to do. But, it happened, I said something that I felt needed to be said in what I thought was a professional manner and it blew up big time.

So, more than a week out from that, I'm still not quite right. Mentally, the strain has almost dissipated, but my physical well-being suffers for a long time after such incidents. You see, I suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and stress can really do a number on that condition, enough said. It's at these times in my life that I turn, in a desperate way, to the calming force of making things with my hands. Now, let me just say that if there is a day that goes by that I don't get to do a little something crafty, I do get cranky, but that's a whole other thing. What I'm talking about here is a psychic immersion---to quiet the mind, body, and spirit----similar to that "Calgone, take me away" commercial.

About two weeks ago, I received via mail, the first installment of Yarn Knot---a "yarn tasting" of sorts available from Dirty Water Dyeworks (this proprietor had me at hello). So what exactly is Yarn Knot? It's a quarterly subscription to a variety of hand-dyed yarn blends in exclusive color ways complete with a suggested pattern. So, this first installment (which is like getting a package for your birthday!!) contained a luscious skein of 50/50 Merino/Silk blend fingering weight yarn in hues of blue----yum, I'm in love........oh, yes and the pattern is for a lovely lace shawl called the Dover Castle Shawl by Judy Marples. Now I've never been an honest-to-goodness girlie girl, so lace has never really made it that far into my wardrobe. I have to say that I'm totally smitten with this lace pattern---it's got a nice rhythm to it---not so difficult that you have to have your eyes glued to the chart every second, but engrossing enough to let you escape from the real world.

Here's the best part....the colorway is named Adrift!!  Kind of how the mind feels when it's under stress, but also, ironically, that place you want to go to when all hell is breaking loose. 

I'm sure that I will eventually give this shawl to some happy, lucky recipient because, like I said, I really don't "do lace." The process of knitting it will be a gift to me.