Making an effort

I don’t usually talk about my challenges on the blog but it’s tough right now … it’s easy to lose hope, to feel down and depressed, to want to stay in bed all day (the election, the rapidly increasing number of COVID cases and hospitalizations and knowing the rising death rate is coming, and my limited mobility from the broken ankle). I need to push past the feelings of hopelessness and I know that walking into my sewing room and working even for 30 minutes makes a difference. I’ve finished the blocks for the 2nd PLUS 3 and made a few more masks so even short periods of time in the sewing room are productive.

I feel luckily too that I have my knitting and crochet to occupy my hands. I’ve finished the scarf … a ufo from a couple years ago. And started a new hat

Free pattern found on Ravelry- Be Simple Variation

I haven’t knit many scarves lately. I’ve been busy crocheting blankets the last couple years but I knew I had a bag with a bunch that needed to be donated. There are 5 including this one ready for donation.

But there are 7 that just need a couple ends woven in. Who does that?! Knit one after another and stuff them in a bag??

These are now beside my chair and I’ll weave those ends in and take all of them to GA with me and see if I can’t find a place to donate them.


  1. I understand Mary. Breaking your ankle was as the saying goes, “the frosting on the cake”. But, I’m constantly inspired by your motivation, and your blog postings. Look at all you accomplish. I deal with grief over the loss of my Bill every day, plus all the isolation I feel, heaped on top. I try to think of something that I’m thankful for every day. My friend Carolynn told me it helped her so much. It does. I’m still not sewing much though. I’ve lost my mojo lately. I’m not looking forward to winter with the exception that rain will be so welcome here in Northern California because of the increasing fire danger, and what we have recently experienced with fires here in Sonoma County. Keep plugging away—I am hoping better days are coming.

  2. I am with you Mary. I am despondent at the disregard for the truth. As a recently retired RN with significant training and experience in Infection Prevention, I am beyond angry with the disregard of science and the “my rights” movement. My friends in healthcare are being slammed because of ignorance. It is horrid.

    Were it not for quilting, reading, gardening and cooking in my life I might go off the deep end!

    Hang in there 🙂 You are not alone.

  3. I noticed an increase in anxiety myself, and find solace in crafting, reading, and following creative blogs such as yours to keep my spirits up. You inspire me weekly to keep working my way through stash – both fabric and yarn, and donate to various charities. There is a lot of good in the world, and I’m trying to be part of it.

  4. I’m right there with you . . . a month ago, I didn’t want to do anything even though I had a lot of craft projects. Thankfully, I recognized the signs of increasing depression and spoke to my doctor. He tweaked my medication, and now I feel “normal” again. This has been a tough year. I live alone, so I miss social interaction more than anything. Now that winter is here, it is going to be even more difficult to deal with that. I don’t watch the news anymore because it’s too stressful. Blogging is helpful and a wonderful way to connect with others. Together we can get through this rough patch.

  5. I understand completely. It is hard to stay motivated when the world is in such a turmoil. Staying busy is the answer I feel. And I try not to watch the news too much. Just enough to know what the current lies and situation are and then I turn if off. It is so frustrating not knowing who is telling the truth about anything right now. You have accomplished so much and you can be very proud of that. And the fact that you donate so much of what you make is amazing. Hang in there and as they say, this too shall pass. Take care!!

  6. So much despair. Hug Keith, pet Finn and finish the stuff you put off because you could be more productive and have more fun. You really are doing well. My foot almost did me in and there was no pandemic. Staying busy and keeping my mind occupied helped me. I couldn’t sew or quilt for long so I did things like puzzles, research and photo books. It is almost time to make books for the grands isn’t it. You have done all you can with the election. I personally am on a political vacation not listening to anything about the election and after today nothing about plans for next year from either side. I will wait until the dust settles. I hope you can find something to occupy your mind and keep yourself busy and even happy for a while. We all need a liitle joy.

  7. i am totally with you Mary. I woke from a sound sleep at 3:00 worrying about the election, Covid, and not being able to be with family. We have a winter home in Arizona that we aren’t comfortable in going to. We know that should we get the virus our medical care is better here in Minnesota. We have plans of doing our Thanksgiving and Christmas on Zoom this year. I am happy that I have quilting and knitting to keep my hands busy. I have made 6 of the Be Simple scarves this summer and am now starting a Christmas stocking. We decided we wanted a puppy to spoil and take our minds off the world troubles. We are on a list and should have one by spring. Thanks for sharing on the blog.

  8. You make those scarves specifically for donating?! I find that interesting because my knitting friends always feel sad when they find handknits at the thrift store. This story should lift their spirits!

  9. Oh Mary, the ankle will heal in time. There’s nothing you can do about the rest of the stuff on your list except wear your mask & vote so try to let it go. What will be will be. Getting into the sewing room and being creative is always a big help for me too when I’m in a dark mood or just aggravated at the world. What would we do without our creative outlets?

  10. My husband has Alzheimer’s. It’s not too serious yet, but all responsibility is on my shoulders. With the virus, the election and the hate in the US, it can be too much at times. A friend suggested meditation and that very same day CNN had a short thing about meditating for 3-5 minutes a day, several times a day. Sit quietly and breathe in slowly. I say a word like Love. Focus on breathing out and I say Hate. I sit wherever (doctors, dentist, grocery lines) and quietly breathe in love, kindness, gentleness, hope etc. I breathe out hate, resentment, anger, despair. I will say this has worked for me 100%. We have just bought a house that has much updates and repairs and I am very calm each day. I am always very impressed at how much you accomplish each day and the beauty and quality of your quilts, scarves and afgans. It’s OK to be upset about all the terrible things happening in our country and world, this makes us human. But don’t let anything drag you down. Try meditation, it works.

  11. mary you are preaching to the choir here…i think a lot of us feel the same way…my faith is a strong foundation and often keeps me going when i falter…and i have a stack of good mysteries…lol

  12. Hi Mary,

    Thinking of you, and praying for our country that Biden/Harris win the election!!! It’s so sad that during this pandemic, we have had the worst President ever!

    I hope your ankle heals quickly and completely, and that when we can travel again, I’ll see you for a visit back in Minnesota!!

    Grateful for quilting to keep us grounded! Susan

  13. I can understand that things get to you at times and seem overwhelming. I want to let you know that I look forward to your posts about your everyday life and enjoy your photos of projects, nature, and family. I am sure I am not the only follower that feels that way.
    I share your yarn pattern references with my sister. I recently responded to a notice in a local paper and donated lap sized crocheted items to a local senior center. My sister is locating and donating hats and mittens she made 3 years ago before the local church stitch and sew group closed down.
    The senior citizens have not been able to congregate at the center and there are many shut-ins. This will make their Christmas a little better. It lifted my spirits just donating items.
    Your handmade items are beautiful and would be appreciated by any youth or senior center.

  14. Thank you for your heartfelt post, Mary. My faith is what keeps me going, but then I am also able to get out and around for walks and bike rides. Keeping you in prayer.
    BTW: I love all the beautiful colors in your scarves. Thank you for sharing those and your thoughts.

  15. I’m with you on the efforts it takes some days to even get out of bed. I feel very helpless most days lately. We all need to hang in there and try to believe that life WILL return to normal eventually.

  16. Mary, I’m sorry you are feeling down right now. Just know that you will feel better in time. From reading your blog I know that you appreciate your family and the blessings you have, big and small. I will pray for you. Going into the sewing room even just to look or piddle helps me too when everything is getting to me. Practicing gratitude and imagining the things I will do once we have a working vaccine helps too. Take care of yourself.

  17. First, how wonderful that you’re donating all those beautiful scarves! Who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive something so pretty and handmade? Just lovely.
    Second, I hope you know you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by current events. It’s a lot to process. But there are good people all around us, even if we don’t know them. There was a sweet, anonymous note on our doorstep this morning, thanking us for putting a sign up. It absolutely made my day! So maybe this is the day I’ll finally get back to my sewing room and finish the VOTE sign I started a few weeks ago. Maybe then I’ll want to keep working on other projects started and abandoned in my mental fugue. Maybe I won’t need to take a nap today. I’m sending good thoughts to you today and every day, as seeing your messages always leaves me feeling hopeful and encouraged.

  18. Myself and so many of my friends feel the same as you. A good friend who is an accomplished knitter can only knit dishcloths right now as she just cannot concentrate on anything more challenging. Before Covid I had an active social life so these last months have been a major adjustment. This summer I was able to spend most of my time outdoors but the coming winter months will be very difficult. I am so thankful for my family, my comfortable home and that I do have several hobbies. It is easy to feel despair and helpless especially with the lack of leadership and misinformation from Washington. I am sure when your ankle has healed, you will have a better outlook! Take care and remember you do inspire so many of us:)

  19. Me! I do that! I think I have a whole pile of dishcloths that need ends woven in. 😀 Beautiful scarves! I hope someone will enjoy them. I know how you feel about well, everything. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in all the ick that’s happening. On bad days, I make myself put the internet down and just do something. Are the dishes done (or done enough), is there enough laundry for a load; maybe just water the plants or tidy a bathroom. I try to do one little thing to make my tiny corner of the world a little better. It usually gives me enough momentum to move forward or at least feel a tiny bit better.

  20. Thank you for continuing your blog even when you feel down. I look forward to it every day. You’re younger than I am, but you inspire me. Hang in there, it will get better.

  21. I understand where you’re coming from with words in your post! As other commenters have said, so many folks are having these feelings, I live in New Zealand so I’m fortunate to not be dealing with your circumstances in America, even so the happenings in our world right now have me agreeing with the quote you’ve posted by Tennyson. I hope you find peace.

  22. I have been unable to load your blog to read it in at least 3 days. But I MADE it! Now to catch up. Maybe there is something in the air. I have been down, but mostly it is because of a few things my grandson said to me about the election, among other things. Maybe this will give you a laugh. He and his wife would be Republican IF they DID vote, but apparently he thinks we should vote for trump because he would benefit more if trump stays in than if Biden is voted in. The speech that went with it is what depressed me. I raised that kid!! I remained speechless and will not argue politics. My husbands feelings are hurt. We’ll get over it.

    So chin up and do something that brings you pleasure and keeps your mind off the state this country is in.

    xx, Carol

  23. I think most of us feel the same way. We are in a horrible state of affairs, with a president that does’nt seem with it. I feel you do wonderful work where you’re always donating to people in need . I guess we all have our moments I pray better days are coming, it’s just going to take a while ! Take care! xo

  24. Dear Mary: You are so amazing!!! You share your feelings just like the most of us are feeling. You share so much and teach us so much… just remember that. Remember on an airplane when they teach about use of oxygen and putting on the mask… you must first put it on yourself then on your little one. This rule also applies with life … take care of yourself… build yourself up then help others. You probably know what makes you feel good. do this with in your restrictions. Watch fun TV. Zoom with your Mum…hear her voice. Sew for 30 minutes and congratulate yourself for each small success you have done. Remember while you are sitting there crocheting or knitting do your exercises, don’t cross your ankles, have a favorite beverage(non alcoholic) at your right side and enjoy your successes. Sit in the sun with your Finn doggie friend. You will heal in time… is it 6 weeks or 4 weeks now? Remember you are AMAZING. Enjoy Fall and the changes it brings. All the very best, Carolyn

  25. Hi Mary! I’m sorry you are feeling so down. I think we all feel the tug of depression this year…the COVID thing is dragging on, there is uncertainty regarding the election, Mother Nature is putting her world to bed for the winter and you have the added burden of a broken ankle. It is easy to fall under the spell of it all and stay positive, but it is possible. Some words of advice…1) Stop watching the news. I did many months ago. Most of it is just too biased or depressing. 2) Stay busy. You certainly are doing that! I am amazed at how much you get done! 3) Take pleasure in what you have done. Nothing is more satisfying than completing a project. In the past few months, I have finished several UFOs. I also have 75% of my Christmas gifts made or bought and my Christmas newsletter is finished. I’m ready to start wrapping! 4) Don’t worry about what you can’t change. Accept what is and move on. Dwelling on the negative taps your life energy. And, we need every ounce of that energy to get through this challenge and come out better for it on the other side. 5) Cherish what you have. Your health (except for the ankle), your family, your two beautiful homes, your companion Finn, and most of all, your creative talent. Best Wishes to you and Chin Up!

  26. Sending you warm wishes from Maine, and hope that the blues will see some relief at the end of next week. It is hard and the struggle is real. I really miss people – they bring such joy. Finding joy in weaving in ends is hard. I would need my happy music or a really silly show to make fun. Thanks for being open about your struggle, we all need to be able to let it out! If there is anything I can do, let me know, but I will send good thoughts your way.

  27. It is so hard to stay positive… Keeping busy is good. Helping others seems to help me more. Prayer is something I do just because I don’t know what else to do. And of course all the projects that let the fingers find purpose if not always the mind. We are all sisters along side you!

  28. I had covid back at the beginning of March. Doc said it was a mild case, but I’m telling you I felt like I was gonna kick the bucket. It took weeks (seemed like months) to get back to something resembling life. In that time, I got into bins I’d packed for moving, dug out crafties, incomplete projects, scraps…whatever I could find. And I started sewing, knitting, crocheting, working in 1/12 & 1/24 scale minis (dollhouses), etc just to fill the endless hours/days of being isolated at home. With no phone, no internet, and only one person who did snail mail with me, it was stressful. Only took me a week or two to completely use up my stash. By then, covid was strong and everything was closed. I began sorting through clothes just to find scrap material. Since then, I’ve made two twin sized crazy quilts for the homeless shelter, a whole stack of blankets for the animal shelter, hats/gloves/scarves for christmas gifts. Last week, the fabric store was actually open so I went out and got materials for a few dresses. And the hugest haul… a brand new Heavy duty Singer machine! YEAH! listed at $299 and I grabbed it for $150 on sale! So, now, with my quilting bin refilled, a handful of new clothing patterns, and a bin full of yarn, I’m back. Good thing, too. because this week, we went back to “level 3: red” (1being very few,4 being catastrophic) and things are closing down again. At least McDonald’s is still open… its nice to get out for a while.

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