So I have good news and… odd news.
The good news is, we're expecting again. Yay! Babies! To answer all the questions you are too polite to ask: 15.5 weeks at present, due mid-April; for sure just one; everyone says it's going to be a boy, but we'll find out (if possible) next month.
The other news… not bad, but just strange… is that I haven't been knitting. Or spinning. Or sewing. For a solid month now.
This baby, bless him/her, has been a bit of a personality transplant. I haven't been very nauseous (though I was more so six weeks ago), but I've had a sort of low-level feeling of illness that I can ignore most of the time by keeping busy. I only notice it when I sit down to knit.
That's right: knitting makes me sick.
The even weirder part is, I haven't missed it. It isn't as if I wanted to do all these crafty things and couldn't; for a while there, I didn't even remember why I would want to do something like that.
The bit of knitting that has been sitting on the side table, staring at me with the empty eyes of an accusing cow. I finally had to put it away in a drawer because I would feel sick just looking at it. I don't even want to show you this picture, because, blegh.
The handspun I made in August for M's vest. I started thinking it was the colors – orange plus blue? But I think cause and effect has worked the other way. Because this project has been making me nauseous for so long, I now cringe when I see anything orange and blue together.
It looks redder in person.
But by halfway through September, I didn't want to touch it anymore. Spinzilla was off the table. I couldn't even follow the action: by early October, even scrolling through Instagram looking at other people's yarn was making me queasy.
I was entertaining thoughts of some sealskin sewing, and somehow talked my husband into buying the skins I need for making kamiik. These are sealskin boots, the pinnacle of Inuit sewing skill, and I don't know what makes me think this is a good time to start some.
So I wasn't crafting, and I wasn't missing it. I wasn't feeling guilty about it. I was just… resting. My body, my brain, my subconscious, were all just saying, you don't have to. It felt less like a disability, and more like being miraculously delivered from an addiction. I'm suddenly physically allergic to the fictional crafting-related obligations I've been laying on myself for years and years.
It isn't as if I haven't been busy, or obsessed with random things. I've been playing a few video games. Oddly, I've been very much enjoying adventurous cooking again. And I've been circling the rabbit hole that is essential oils. But these are all very undemanding things. I could drop them tomorrow with very little consequence.
I mean, in a way it makes perfect sense. I am stepping into a season in my life with more responsibility than ever before: officially outnumbered by kids, first child in school, and some upcoming changes at work with a lot of unknowns. It makes sense that my brain would want to prepare by really letting go of all superfluous sense of obligation.
In January, when I took up spinning with a vengeance, I needed to learn about intention and focus in many areas, and spinning helped with that. Now, I have very little plans, very little concrete intention. I'm very much having to live in the present, one day at a time, because in the most important areas of my life, I don't have a choice but to do that right now.
Part of it is my own fault, for letting spinning and knitting become such A Big Thing. I've been struggling for quite some time with the question of how crafting fits in with the rest of my calling, with the fact that my spinning and knitting community online has almost no overlap with my real life as a priest, wife, and mom in the Arctic. This struggle had become so pressing that it seemed to permeate, almost poison, all of my crafting. One of them had to really lose for a bit, and I'm pretty relieved my subconscious (/the Holy Spirit?) picked the right one. My larger crafting ambitions really had to die.
It's been long enough now that I've started at least thinking about knitting again. I can't quite think about spinning – my new PLY magazine arrived today, and I had to put it away still in its wrapper. I might not be able to pick up that Orange Thing again (I feel like I owe it to M for Christmas, but even typing that makes me blegh, so maybe not)… but I could start something small. Something in bulky yarn. Something for the baby. Something I don't really have to finish. Or not.
At the same time, a week ago I also passed off outlines of my family's feet to an elder friend, and she's going to make kamik patterns for me. Because even though that project is enormous, and time sensitive once I get going, it has everything to do with my real life here.
It's very very strange. This is not the 1001st blog post I thought I'd be writing, and it's taken me these weeks to figure out how to write it. But here we are. Hm.
12 thoughts on “Not the Next Post I Thought I’d Write”
Congratulations!!!! Don’t worry about the crafting, it will come back when the time is right.
Oh wow, what a thought provoking post. You have had a real struggle but you seemed to have worked through it to see what is relevant and important to your family / work life. It is funny how we put crafting pressures on ourselves when it is our hobby and to be enjoyed. Hopefully when you return to spinning and knitting it will be with a renewed joy and a better balance with your life. Thanks for sharing this it made me reflect on my own crafting.
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Thanks for commenting, Angela. I hope you’re right!!!
What a bizarre and interesting phenomenon. Pregnancy, man. Such a strange process.
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I’m glad someone else thinks it’s weird, haha!
I had an aversion to particular music from Ella’s pregnancy that lasted about three maybe even four years. Pregnancy can cause weird associations. Of course, weeding out things that need more self control or just to be gone completely is always good too. I was at that place two months ago with my art. Beginning homeschool, tending to the baby, still recovering physically from the 3rd (man, the third is a killer!) left me wondering “Should I even keep on? Is it even good for my family?” It’s hard. It’s good for ME, and taking care of myself IS good for my family. But. I also ha e to have boundaries. Because I can get stuck in the creative zone, which becomes a burden.
Aw man I was hoping post-#3 would be easier for you! Funny about the music. Yes I think the message for today is “lay your burdens down,” especially the burdens I put on myself. My goodness.
Rebecca, this is one of the sweetest and funniest blog posts I’ve read in quite a while! I don’t know you very well, but my main memory of you would be of you and Jared knitting at Brandon Z’s birthday party many years ago. I was quite amazed at your ability to knit and read Shakespeare at the same time. At the time I think I was in the 9th month of pregnancy with our 13th child–Tirzah. [If not then I’m mixing up the year.] At that party I didn’t knit or read–instead I had a lovely time with the children, and sometimes listened in on Shakespeare a bit.
What you have written surprised me, but it also makes perfect sense!
Thanks for commenting Mrs. C! Yes I remember that day. I remember Diotema trying to eat my yarn. That was quite a while ago now, wasn’t it? If you know what I’m talking about, after 13 kids, then I must not be crazy!
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Rebecca. I discovered your blog this evening. When my Mum was pregnant, she went off the cat they had, a grey moggie. SHe said it suddenly looked like a rat!!!. Dad had to rehome it. Pregnancy is so strange. Best Wishes from the UK.
Oh my that’s a funny one! I’m glad I’m not the only one with a visual trigger like this.