tips for mid-winter blues

Winter is a difficult time for me, I don’t like the cold (and it doesn’t like me). While I love grey, I also love green, however everything is white and grey outside. I’ve found ways to make it better (such as knitting bright colourwork) but sometimes it definitely tries to get the better of me.

One of the ways I work to combat this is to spend the cold winter nights reviewing and caring for my tools and learning new things.

This post will be a mosaic of ideas for staving off winter boredom when you don’t want to make another stitch and some reminders of some tasks that you should undertake to keep your tools and makings happy and healthy.

I like to review my yarn stash a few times throughout the year. I record everything into ravelry so it’s searchable, but I keep it all in bins and bags away from the cats and foster kittens. By actually taking out, touching, and thinking about what I have I am better able to evaluate what I might need and what I no longer wish to keep. If you would like more assistance with reviewing and figuring out your stash, Jill Wolcott is here to help with her Bust Your Stash program.
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During the first major snowstorm I like to pull out the seed catalogues and plan my garden. It definitely helps me keep positive. My goal this year is to stick to my budget and not be dazzled by plants that don’t work in my specific conditions.

Dry winter heating can do damage to the wood in my house, so I make sure to give regular attention to my wooden bowl and kitchen counter. Every quarter I rub everything down with a mix of melted beeswax and mineral oil (1:4part): let it soak in for 20-30 minutes and then buff dry. Every month or more often if it looks dry (it seems to be every three weeks in the winter), I just use plain mineral oil that I’ve warmed a bit. Learn more with This Old House. This wooden bowl was turned by my father and now holds handknitted hats instead of my thread collection.
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Now is also a good time to care for your woolen accessories, my hats definitely need some attention by mid-February. Learn more about caring for woolens with Soak Wool Wash or Eucalan.
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To learn something new I’ve recently began working on doodling and drawing more. Perfectionism and fear of not being good enough recently got into my way and I found myself unable to doodle anything. It’s silly, I don’t want to be an artist known for drawing, I just want to be able to sketch out a website or a new knitting design. I decided to spend at least 30 days drawing or doodling on an index card a day, I post them to this flickr album and am having a lot of fun. Many friends are watercolouring and I’ve had the supplies for years, but worried I wouldn’t do it right. I finally jumped in and I’m having lots of fun. I’m particularly proud of my painting of Buddy today, I upgraded my brush and acquired a pink watercolour pencil and I think it made a significant difference.

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How do you get through winter?

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