What with the depression and all the sitting/lying around and doing not very much of any worth at all over the last year and particularly the last six months or so, I had put any kind of creativity beyond ocassional blogposts on hold. When I was in my sister's last May, I gave myself the goal of knitting one dishcloth every day. I did actually knit them but then when I got home, threw the bag in a corner and never even got around to taking them out of it to finish them off and actually use them. The closest I have gotten to thinking about doing any crafting is washing some of the material in my stash but to be honest, this was mostly to make up a full load of washing so I'm not sure it counts.
Since actually going to the doctor and asking for help, it is sort of helping me to break out of the vicious circle of depression and last week was slightly easier in some respects than say, the week before. Small steps but each one helps. In the way that these things go the universe seemed to be conspiring to bring knitting back to the fore as a couple of weeks ago in the garden I heard one of the older women say that she was going to organise a sock knitting workshop sometime since a few people had seen her knitting socks and asked her about it. I told her I'd be interested but assumed it could take weeks or months to get organised or possibly not happen at all, as so often happens with these things. But I got an email a couple of days ago saying that she was going ahead with it in the garden on Sunday at two. Luckily, one of the women who was interested in learning is also one of the keyholders so it all worked out very easily and we gathered there this afternoon and spent a couple of hours sitting in the pavilion (it was hovering around zero or one degree most of the day) but with gorgeous sunshine coming in the windows so that we didn't need any light on at all.
And having committed to going there today, it forced me to get up and out yesterday afternoon as well, since I needed to buy the double-edged needles for knitting in the round. And while I was in the department store that sells knitting stuff, since there was such a long queue for the cash register on that floor, I wandered up to the homewares department and happened to see two bottles of lamp oil on sale for half price. So I now have something to use to give my bargain lamp (even more of a bargain than I realised since I noticed that the original price tag on the lamp didn't say 30 but actually 300!) a try. But I am waiting until I have cleared up some of the mess of paper that exists on nearly every surface in my living room at the moment.
Back to the knitting though. I have wanted to learn how to knit in the round for such a long time, known it couldn't really be that difficult and just not trusted myself enough to give it a go on my own. And it really isn't that difficult but I just needed someone to get me started and be there to answer questions if I needed help. And I learned a couple of important things:
Cast on stitches using two needles held together and then before you start knitting just slip one of the needles out - this means you have a nice loose stitch to start with, which makes dividing them onto separate needles a bit easier (casting on on a bigger size than what you will actually be knitting with will do a similar job).
And, if using a rib pattern of two plain, two purl, always use a stitch count of multiples of four. So I am using a total of 56 stitches spread over three needles. Instead of having uneven numbers or trying to divide by three, I have two sets of 20 and one set of 16. The big advantage of this is that no matter what side I am on, I always need to start with plain and from the small amount of rib I have done a part of other projects before, I know this is a big help and should hopefully help me get over that problem of having reversed lines halfway through everything.
So far I have about three inches of one sock done. It's a start.