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Friday, February 21, 2014

Depression and some cures for it - at least in my neck of the woods

The backyard.  Snow doesn't stick around long most years, so you gotta take pictures quickly.  This was taken in the morning, and two hours later, the snow was gone.
It happens every year.  Just about now, in February, many of us Pacific Northwesteners get depressed.  It rains a lot, it's dark too much, and we are sick of the prospect of three more months of winter weather.
You know what I do to cope with this depression?  I let myself cry and fret, instead of asking myself what's wrong with me.  I eat chocolate... the strong, 85 percent kind.  I try to go for daily walks, get fresh air and a lovely view of the grey sky.  When the sun comes out, I frantically try to expose my skin to it.
And I dye wool.  There's nothing like color to lift depression.


Right?  
I have been experimenting for years with dyeing wool naturally.  Lichen is a great and easy way to get color.  It's such a magical process, this alchemy of collecting lichen in the forest, simmering it on the woodstove for a day, and then immersing wool into it and letting it do its magic for several hours.  In the photo above, the brown-golden roving on the right has been dyed with lichen, and the yarn on the left was spun with it.  The shiny part is mohair.

Lungwort lichen


Another strategy for battling depression is knitting.  I can't wait to show you the sweater I knit for Steve.  It has taken a couple of months to complete, and it still needs to have a collar, but I can show you the parts I have blocked.  By next week, he will wear it.
I am also knitting hats for felting to stock up my inventory.  Christmas markets are good for me - people buy my hats, and I need to make more.
Another anti-depressant: find yourself a cute little girl who gives you flowers.
Aren't you glad I'm giving you so many tips to stay sane?

The blocked sweater front and back, plus a felted hat, drying in front of the woodstove.


2 comments:

  1. Your daughter is so cute! And you are super-creative and super-talented. I am inspired by your versatility and resourcefulness. I love the lichen-dyed yarn. And your felt hats are adorable. I have to get the purple one! Much love to you and your family. I agree that colors really brighten the soul! I also like dancing to shake off the blues. Good music is magical for that too.

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  2. Tuyet - Yes! Music is another antidote for depression. I should have mentioned that!

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