Welcome to my blog!
You guys can call me Freddie – I’m 19 years old, I’m on a gap year and I use she/her pronouns and am a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder as well as Depression and I’m sure a multitude of other disorders too. While I have been dealing with them for a while, it has only been recently that I have started getting treatment for them after they began to get a whole lot worse during lockdown (as I’m sure is the case for many people).
In late April this year, the local wool shop changed ownership to one of my Mum’s friends, prompting me to take up knitting again. While my Mum taught both me and my sister when we were really young, I hadn’t done any knitting in years. As it turned out, though, starting again was the best decision I could have made.
The woman who owns the shop was incredibly supportive of me and encouraged me to continue knitting after I had completed my first proper project, the hat shown below.
Completing the hat gave me the push to ‘commit’ (if that’s the right word) to learning how to knit properly and I went back to the store and bought enough wool to be able to make a jumper.
After the jumper I found a pattern that my grandma had bought for me years ago for a zebra toy. When I completed it, it was a little scuffed, a little messy as it was my first attempt at making an animal toy, but I loved it and I had loved making it. I named it Francesca and gave it to my friend (unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of it before I did so) when she was feeling homesick.
After making Francesca I delved into the world of making toys. I started relatively simple, with a tiny panda that I was incredibly proud of at the time, though now I can see it’s really not that great! I followed up the panda with a frog I gave to my grandma and then a border collie for my sister as a replica of our own dog and an elephant for my Mum – again, looking back at them they do kind of suck compared to what I have made since.
The more I made, the more I realised that whenever I was knitting, my anxious thoughts felt more manageable – I had something to focus on and something to ground myself with and came out of it with something that I could feel proud of and as though I had accomplished something
Of course it took me a fair few months to start producing animal toys that began to look good and I started to feel were actually good to people who weren’t… me. The first of these was the koala pictured below
Shortly after that I was asked by the Store Owner (now one of my favourite people, for real, she’s so incredibly lovely and nice) to knit a couple of toys for her new window display as she thought that they were good enough to attract the interest of kids. Her asking me that was the push for me to make the decision to take myself online with my knits.
Mental health is such an annoying thing to have to deal with and so many people struggle with it now. I wanted to make this blog and my instagram (follow me on instagram, by the way @knitting_with_norbert ) both for a very selfish reason of wanting to share things that I’ve made that I’m proud of and also in the hope that others who deal with similar things to myself might find solace or something like that – I don’t know.
I’ll be using this blog as a way to talk about my knits, perhaps give out some tips to people who are starting out, and to talk about Norbert (mostly about how much he really sucks) and how I deal with him, both through knitting and other means. I’ll recommend my favourite patterns and creators as well as equipment and I’ll keep it updated with my current projects. I also want to try and make my own patterns – my current plan is a long-term project to make a blanket designed by myself based off of one of the series that I’m interested in at the moment with a square dedicated to each character from it. I’ll likely have a separate space on this blog specifically for that!
I’d love to be able to use this blog as a way to chat with other people in a similar situation to myself, to other knitters and to pattern-creators. I want to try to make a safe space in which people can share their own coping mechanisms for their mental health.
So yeah! Stay tuned to see my latest projects and if you’re interested to hear in general just about how it’s going!