i had a bit of a moment this weekend just gone, one of those moments when something small happens and suddenly the flood gates open and you realise how everything is just WRONG, and its nothing to do with the small thing that just happened.

i’ll get to the ‘stuff thats wrong’ in a second, but let me dwell briefly on the precipitating moment. of course, its knitting related. i was packing up my stuff to come to perth (which is where i am now), and that meant deciding what knitting to take. i was nearly finished the first of the unst socks that ive been working on for ages in the spud & chloe fine that i got in new york. i love love love that yarn. it was looking really good as an unst. i decided i would start the second sock while travelling, so i dug out the finished ‘evening stocking for a young lady part one’ that it had been originally been made into, which had turned out too short (dont ask). i unpicked the cast off and that was a bit tricky but i managed it, and then i set about unravelling it, but it wouldnt unravel neatly, it kept getting caught, and so i had to twist and tweak it through a knot every few stitches, and that really wasnt meant to happen, so i thought maybe it was the funny little rib at the top, so i cut that section off. yes yes i took scissors to my knitting, something i swore i would never do, but i had heaps of yarn (theyre very generous skeins) and i thought that would get me past the tricky bit, and you can probably tell by now i was getting pretty stressed, and of course, it didnt get better, it just got worse and the more i tried the more tangled it got. by that point id pretty well lost it, pulled the needle out of the unst as well, shoved the whole thing into a plastic bag and promptly burst into tears.

i cried for quite some time, indicating something other than a failed pair of socks was amiss. ive been so busy i was only partially conscious of something not feeling right, emotionally speaking, and then i realised that it was being so busy that was the problem. my life has become quite seriously unbalanced, on a few different levels. ive always struggled with balance, and when my intellectual life is at the froreground pretty much everything else suffers. and work has been stressful. i like what im doing but the expectations are extremely high. if i get this project right seriously good things can happen. im not particularly career driven but the implications for the rest of my life are signficant, eg, large promotion, lots more money, lots more life options. it occurred to me on saturday night just how much stress id been putting on myself to perform, and how that meant neglecting other things, like my physical and emotional health.

and that has been exacerbated by being away. perhaps people are envious of me having to travel for work, and i have done some fun things this year, but travelling for work is not travelling for pleasure. firstly, when im away im working. and its harder because im working with other people, people i dont know. thats hard work for me. and its hard because im on my own. i dont mind the solitude, but theres been a lot of that this year, and theres a difference between being alone and being lonely. im ok with the first. but ive let the second get the better of me. im out of my usual routine, im having to eat out a lot, and ive been sick from too many airplanes and too much air conditioning. and because of all the travelling, ive missed a few knitting gatherings, and i feel isolated and cut off from people.

maybe writing about that will help. i feel a bit better today. perth is proving interesting, the campus at edith cowan uni where i was today truly stunning,

and the people extremely helpful and interested in my project. i got to take a little walk along the river this evening

and im going down to ‘calico and ivy‘ and freemantle on wednesday on my day off. i just have to get through another day of meetings tomorrow. i keep telling myself one more day and then this phase of the project is over, and i can be at home for the rest of the year and get back my equilibrium.

and see my knitter peeps! i miss you all.

k xx


About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

22 responses to “unravelled

  • shellauw

    *big hugs* Living out of a suitcase and travelling all over the place is exhausting.

    Not long to go now, and you can be at home. Thinking warm thoughts your way. And you’re not alone, but I know what you mean. Take some time out to really treat yourself when you can. You deserve it. 🙂

    PS: so sorry to hear about the socks. 😦

  • RoseRed

    You know when I saw that uni phit all I could think was “we don’t need another heeeer-o, we don’t need to know the way home. All we want is life beeeee-yond (d) the Thunderdome”. Surely the students must have that in their heads every day (although they are probably too young…heh!).

    Sorry about the socks! You will be able to rescue Unst no problem, and I am sure you will rescue the yarn from the evening stocking too. With a bit of patience and some good music (soothing music!).

    And a good cry is always a cathartic experience. When it comes with insight, then even better!

  • 2paw

    I’ve cried over my knitting like that too, or my sewing when I’ve put a complicated sleeve in the wrong armhole!! I am glad you are going to take more care of yourself, but I do understand that a person has to have their future in mind.
    Many women these days are responsible for themselves alone, and they have to put more effort into having a career path. I don’t think travel for work is fun, I think your pups miss you and you miss them and your knitting ‘peeps’!!
    I am glad you are going to have some equilibrium, I can highly recommend colouring in your diary page like I did!! It’s fun, nice to look at and it certainly has made me think about balance.
    I am sure your socks will behave when you get home.

  • missfee

    i’m sorry about your socks too – I have done similar before too.

    I did have to laugh with Rosered’s singing and now thanks I have a Tina Turner ear worm!!!

    come home soon – and be excited as my new job means 2 days a 12 day block in the gong!!!! and I will need sanity

  • Ailsa

    Just two more days.. Hang in there..

  • gidgetknits

    Now all I can hear in my head is that song… although, personally, I often head for Meatloaf’s “Life is a Lemon”! I know the feeling. Heck, I end up crying over my inability to decide what to have for lunch, not even a knitting mess! Poor sock. But you’ll get it fixed. It will be a triumph!

  • Knitdra

    Tap those red heels and you’ll be home soon. Keeping the foot on the peddle for our careers can be tough at times and I do hope that will ease up for you, enough so you can regroup for the next phase. And see your knitting peeps in the meantime. Unst will be reborn I’m sure, maybe the Spud&chloe don’t want to be socks and they’re rebelling! See you soon xx

  • jp

    Work Travel is overrated. Seriously overrated.
    Sometimes a good cry is a great thing., and it is good you have insight from it.

    So sorry about your socks.
    Find some you time it is really important.

    See you soon.

  • Yarna

    Sorry to hear about the sock debacle. It probably wouldn’t have seemed nearly so bad if you had your knitting support group/s close to hand!
    I do a fair bit of travel for work too, but luckily I am largely working with people and places I know. But it is still exhausting and not at all glamorous. Enjoy Fremantle – it’s a lovely spot.

  • travellersyarn

    Watch “Lost in Translation” – the original, work travel is overrated movie. I’m sure that a clearer head will help with picking up the stitches.

    Good luck with the work stuff!

  • 1funkyknitwit

    Oh Kylie this post saddens me, if I were there I’d give you a big hug. It is hard to get life balanced and I don’t think many get this successfully right. At least you do have knitter peeps that care and to come home to along with the your doggys of course 🙂 In the meantime I hope it all falls your way and you get the promotions etc that your working so hard for. xo

    Take care, enjoy Cal & Ivy and that campus is an amazing structure against the red earth – love it.

  • Ailsa

    Hey – and don’t forget the first weekend in November either …

  • Kris

    We miss you too! I hope things are getting better. Think about hot Vikings and kicking Greyjoy ass. 🙂

  • tracy

    You know, I’m almost certain that if half of me understands that I need to cry, but the other half of me hasn’t caught up, the half of me that knows goes and finds a project that needs unravelling (there’s always one somewhere) and makes the other half unravel it and then I burst into tears. I hope you are feeling a bit more on top of things. Sorry about the loneliness. It does make things harder. xxx

  • Leonie

    Send me the socks. Seriously. I will untangle and send them back. It’s zen like for me and I need a little unknotting, untangling, unknitting in my life right now.

    • drkknits

      well that is a little crazy. thanks for the offer, im going to try and unpick from the toe and if that doent work i’ll email!

      • Leonie

        Was wondering whether they were cast off at the toe and that was why you were having trouble, but you wrote that you undid the cast off edge, so I didn’t mention it. Drop me an email if you want some help 🙂

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