Thank God for The New Year, or How I Learned To Use Ravelry Support Groups.

*Crawls out from the rock she’s been living under for the past two months, hisses at the sunlight*

Happy (Belated) New Year! New yarn! New projects! Stash building!

I love the sentiment of the New Year. The idea that you can start over, refresh yourself, and make a new set of goals to make the next calendar year better than the last. I usually make small resolutions. Clean up more regularly, study earlier in the day, knit one thing at a time (ha). For me, it’s the small promises and goals that make big differences in my life. One of my resolutions for this year? Reach out. Reach out for help when you need it, reach out to help others, reach out to yourself.

The last few months of this year were a rough ride for sure. Between several family emergencies, a ridiculous class testing schedule, and heavy holiday travel, by New Year’ Eve I was completely deflated, done, pooped, empty. I’d neglected knitting projects, refused to check my grades, was content to stay in bed as much as possible, and of course had no motivation to blog. Despite the lack of knitting, I couldn’t get off Ravelry. If I wasn’t going to knit, I could at least look at other people knitting. It was there that I stumbled upon the support group section of Ravelry. I’m not talking knit along, or knit help, I mean life help. I mean “this is what life is giving me and I don’t know what else to do except express myself on this forum” help. Well thats a new idea for me, using an online medium to vent and listen to other people vent? Not really my style. But it wasn’t like I was up to much else over the holiday break, so I gave it a shot. I immediately received a wave of support and stories of others who were having a rough time of it. Well heck, I’m not the only one in the world with problems? Goodness, who knew?

It feels pretty good to vent sometimes, other times it helps to listen to others and try and offer advice, a reminder that even though you feel empty you still have some positive things to say! This is also a reminder of the amazing community that knitting has to offer. The comfort that a project can bring or the emotional support of a fellow knitter makes a world of difference.

After my discovery of this knit support group, I turned to a fellow knitter and some good ole’ yarn for comfort. What do you know? It didn’t all feel so bad. Lesson learned.

So how am I going to take this lesson to heart? I won’t be putting my needles down again, I won’t be forgetting the power of reaching out any time soon. When life flings you off your bike, kicks you in the shin, and steals your purse…get up and jog! Don’t stop moving no matter what. I’ve got big life and knitting goals for this year. Let the jogging begin.

In honor of never giving up, I present…Leaf and Trellis from Victorian Life Today.

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I expect to be done with this by the end of the week. This is one of the largest and most intricate shawls I’ve ever made and I’m totally in love.

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I’m using Ella Rae (of course) fingering weight yarn on size 8s.

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I have some sort of mental block against memorizing lace patterns. Much respect for the many knitters on Ravelry who boasted about their ability to memorize the two charts for this pattern. Don’t know how you do it! More details to come at the end of the week.

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Knit on, my ladies! Knit on.

P.S. A special thank you to all of the Ravlery support forums! A huge thanks to my knitting friend who has helped me get to the beginning of a new and better year. And of course, thank you to Luna, who in my darkest hours, allowed me to pet her belly and play with her paws.

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