In which Franki is a terrible blog author…

So, hi?

Been a while, eh. Sorry about that.

I suppose I should have an elaborate excuse lined up, but the truth is that my motivation was non-existent.

On the plus side, I’ve done a LOT of knitting. Since the last post, I finished my baby blanket of joy, and delivered it safely to my beautiful niece, who is now approaching three months old (doesn’t time fly?!). I’ve also completed some fingerless gloves (Vancouver Fog), a Milanese Lace hat and half a pair of socks from the Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon sock club. Granted, I’m a bit behind on that one, but I did get my yarn late…

I’ve also got a few WIPs that are actually getting worked on for a change – but more on those another day I think!

The main reason for my prolonged absence has been my stupidly sporadic depression. Now, a lot of people have problems talking about mental health, but I should say now that I’m not one of them. When I’m bad, I can feel so empty that my entire body goes into a strange kind of numbness and my brain shuts down almost completely. I can still function, maintain routine things (get up-shower-dressed-work-stare at screen-home-dinner-bed) and, for the most part, make it look to all intents and purposes like nothing is wrong. But just doing that takes up all my energy and I just…crash.

And I’ve been bad, I guess. It never lasts any significant amount of time, but it is exhausting and overwhelming. So I’ve slacked at basically everything.

But over the years, I’ve come to realise that my ability to be open and honest about my mental health problems, and more specifically my self harming, can be really beneficial to other people. I’ve been working with an amazing charity, YouthNet, for several years, but over the past 18 months or so, I’ve really stepped up my game and become really involved.

Just over a week ago I was featured in an article about peer pressure in a national newspaper, talking about my self-harm. On the same day as that printed, I was on a national radio station, contributing to a self-harm special of the regular Sunday night show, The Surgery. A week or so before that, I was recorded by the YouthNet team, talking about mental health in relation to employment, and on Saturday I saw the finished product. I’m really, really pleased with how it’s all come out, and I really hope I can go on to do more and more media stuff, because even if I help one person then it’s worth it.

It has meant, though, that I’ve been going from high to low in fairly rapid succession – a lot of things all happening in such a short space of time has had a pretty significant effect on my brain function, and over the past week or so I’ve been on a big ol’ come down. I’m really looking forward to Easter weekend. I have the house to myself for four days – no having to deal with my little sister! – and that means I can catch up on a lot of lost sleep, and a lot of knitting. Oh, and the chocolate. Mustn’t forget the chocolate…

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Blankets and hats.

Ok, so essentially I am the worst blogger ever. Every time I start a blog I forget to update it and it languishes in despair until I forget about it completely. Fortunately for this one, I am about to become unemployed so…more blogging time! And, of course, more knitting time. While I’m not so happy that I have found it necessary to leave this side of the UK, it does mean that I will have plenty of time to get on with the hundred and one projects that are on my needles or that are queued and need to be done by Christmas. First thing is this:

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Say hello to Mission: December Baby. That is the first of what will, in theory, be a huge pile of baby related goodies by the time my first niece is born sometime in December. So far I’ve done…well…that much…of a blanket. That’s one ball’s worth of a gorgeous yarn – Artesano Superwash Merino DK in the Baby Peach colourway – and I have another five to go before I can call it done. Aside from that I have a metric ton of sock yarn to knit up, a lace shawl to get done, and a bunch of hats to knit. Speaking of hats… I recently got into doing test knitting for pattern designers. My first one is this gorgeous thing, modeled by the fabulous Jean Claude:

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Knit in Artesano 100% Alpaca 4ply, held double, it unfortunately clashes majorly with my hair :(. Now…back to my knitting…

Just another generic introduction post…

Cthulhu Hat

Hello.

That’s me, there. In a hat that was my first lesson in many things. Not least, the importance of gauge swatches. The pattern is Cthulhu’s Unspeakable Hat, and it took me about ten hours. Not bad, given that it was my first time making a hat, my first try at fair isle knitting, and my first attempt at doing continental knitting (as well as English – one yarn in each hand).

This…this is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine (etc., etc.). In it, I will talk a lot about knitting, as well as various things which get my blood temperature rising, and the odd mention of something awesome I have seen/read/used/done. But mostly knitting, as it is taking over my life rather well.

So, I suppose I should write something about me? My name is Franki. No ‘e’. At the time of writing I am 23 and a half (and…er…16 days). I’ve been knitting for much, much longer than the number of finished projects on my Ravelry page¬†might indicate. I completed my first ever FO on Christmas Day 2011. Since then I have made 3 socks (not three pairs, 3 socks), one Calorimetry, that bloody hat (notice it isn’t on my projects page – I am going to knit another one with a few alterations to make it bigger), and a pair of Fetching.

I have a small panda obsession. I say small…I mean massive. I guess I am a feminist, though the negative connotations of that word make me reluctant to use it – I am more of an equalist, with more tolerance than those who have met me might expect, given the amount that I complain. And bitch. I bitch a lot. I have little time for people who show intolerance, as well as anybody who uses derogatory, demeaning and offensive language in everyday speech – “retard” as a synonym for stupidity is the most significant target of my seething hatred.

I’m a total yarn snob. This gets expensive. Anybody who wants something knit when it’s not for a birthday or Christmas gift? Buy your own damn yarn. I have not yet managed to knit anything for myself. One day…

I suppose that’s enough, right? I can go back to watching Doctor Who and knitting?

Yeah, course I can.