Self care – baby steps & Yoga By Adriene

selfcare babysteps yogitea

Hello lovely people!

While we are all yearning for spring to arrive here in the northern hemisphere, it seems we have a final bout of King Winter coming,  in the shape of another fierce and freezing Eastern front, bringing yet more snow and sleet and sub-zero temperatures this weekend. I do hope my birthday is going to have a few rays of sunshine, but I will settle for dry weather.
Fingers crossed!

Today is a dreary rainy Tuesday, so I thought I’d share this wonderful, healing recipe from a lovely lady who’s youtube channel I discovered a few months ago. Adriene is a veritable ray of sunshine, and her videos are very soothing, loving and at the same time funny and grounded. In a world of fake images, she is an authentic breath of fresh air, to me at least and from the count of her subscribers, many more.

I started making this yogi tea at the beginning of this year and it’s not only a wonderful, warming drink but the process of making it, is very soothing to me. A ritual that brings calm to my morning and grounds me for the rest of my day.

YOGI TEA

My personal “recipe” consists of Adriene’s ingredients:

  • 1 l of water, brought to a rolling boil
  • black peppercorns (about 15)
  • sliced ginger, unpeeled (about 8 or more, I like lots of ginger)
  • cardamom pods, crushed (about 10 )
  • cinnamon stick, whole
  • cloves, whole (about 6-7)
  • 1 black tea bag

plus, (and this is taking liberties with the original recipe but it works for me):

Add the ingredients one at a time to the boiling water, keep it rolling, put a lid on the pot and give it about 30 min. Adriene says you can leave it for up to 3 hours but I haven’t the patience for that, plus I feel the black tea would become too strong. Taking the bag out after 30 mins would remedy that of course.

Ok.. after your Yogi Tea has steeped, strain the liquid into another container and discard the spices.
Pour yourself a wonderfully fragrant mug of tea, and enjoy.
You can add a spoonful of honey and a splash of milk to taste. I used almond milk because I don’t drink regular milk anymore.

It’s the small things

What I am taking away from viewing her videos, in general, is that self-care is hidden in the small things. It’s not about forcing myself to hit the gym 3 times a week, (unless that’s what works for you, more power to you of course!)

For me, it’s about taking time to make this tea for instance. And to make it with love.  I have been watching, and later practising her shorter yoga routines for a while, and even though I feel frustrated sometimes that I cannot even do a decent Downward Dog, she always reminds us that it’s not a competition and that it’s about the feeling.
So even if I am in pain because my body is protesting that particular morning, I try to get on the mat and do what I can. And it will be enough.

Just as an introduction if you don’t know Adriene, this is one of my favourite videos of hers. Even if you can’t join on the mat (like I often can’t), and are just watching it,  I hope you enjoy and it brings you peace 🙂

Thank you for stopping by on my little space of the Web, and:

I am curious to know, how do you practise self-care? what helps you feel grounded and centred? I would love it if you let me know in the comments!

Make it with love.

Namaste

Monique

Work-in-Progress Wednesday | Reagan & The Beast

When I wrote about working on Intersect last week, I was actually suffering from “almost-nothing-on-the-needles” syndrome. It’s a bad thing, especially when working on something that needs full concentration. One of my favourite pastimes is binge-watching Netflix while knitting, otherwise known as “knitflixing”. It’s a thing amongst knitters, believe me. Intersect and Netflix however, do not gell. At. All. The only thing I can manage to watch while knitting those cable charts is the weather report and that gets old fast.

This means that Intersect is actually Work. As in, not mindlessly relaxing, but once you get into the flow it’s enjoyable nonetheless. It requires brain cells, and mine are sometimes incapacitated by a thick fog.

So what was needed was a mindless knitting project that could be done when Intersect was too much for my brain to handle, and Netflix was beckoning. In the past, I have been known to have multiple projects on the go at any given time. Every knitter has his or her ideal number of WIP’s, right?
My WIP list used to look something like this (or multiples of this)

  • 1. simple stockinette in the round (not too big so can travel to doctors office)
  • 2. something with a bit of lace or colour for when my lucid moments
  • 3. a fresh cast on, preferably a test to give me a deadline
  • 4. a shawl (this is recent, I never used to dig shawls much, but things have changed!)
  • 5. sleeves. (no socks, no please no socks but Sleeve Island is never far)

On any given moment these 5 would be on rotation, #1 (most likely a sweater body) would be finished; #3 (the fresh cast on) would progress past sleeve separation and morph into the #1 spot. #2 and #4 might occur in the same project, no problemo. And sleeves, well there is always at least one, right?

Lately, however, I have found myself finishing. all. the. things. And not casting on something new. And when you do that often enough, you end up with just The Beast to knit. Said Beast grew into a bolero with 2 sleeves (yay) last week, which left me with nothing mindless to knit. Because cables.

After much to-ing and fro-ing I decided to uproot my entire queue and careful planning and finally cast on that eternal dream: a black lace cardi. Now since black lace cardis come in many different guises and there’s only a fine line between coolness and rocking your gran’s style, I chose a pattern that has been on my wishlist since the day it was published.
Reagan by Isabell Kraemer

© Isabell Kraemer
© Isabell Kraemer

Imagine this in black and presto: UTTER coolness if ever I saw it. Wear it upside down, sleeves folded, I mean come on! Even in black you couldn’t look like your gran if you tried!

As luck would have it, I also had the original yarn in stash in black. Kismet I tell you. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
Anyway, Garnudsalg Blackhill CottonWool is the original yarn, and it’s definitely in my top 3 of all time favourites, because: non-itchy, non-scratchy, great colours, and works fabulously at a multitude of gauges.

Approx. 230 meter/50 gram (mine is still the old 100 gr.)
2½ – 3 -3½ mm needles
Approx. 22-28 stitches per 10 cm
50% merino & 50% cotton for a dreamy 4-season cardigan.

Looks pretty unassuming maybe, but trust me it’s a workhorse. 

Blackhill Cottonwool
© Monique Heijboer

Reagan calls for a provisional cast on with 2 cables, and although I have used that cast on and liked it, I decided to try out a new one named COWYAK by the unsurpassed Techknitter. Talk about a rabbit hole of knitting tips and tricks. My go to source for all knitting woes. 

So off I went and it’s seriously as easy as pie. Another thing learned which I love doing with every new project. Try to learn something I did not know. Check.

Reagan by Isabell Kraemer
© Monique Heijboer

As of yesterday evening, the mindless part has almost been completed, meaning I have 2 sleeves, held together by the back/shoulder piece and I am about to embark on the lace part. Nice and mindless.

Reagan
©Monique Heijboer

How did I progress on Intersect you ask? Ask me again next Wednesday. In the meantime I am crossing off my Netflix to-watch-list.

Happy Humpday fellow knitting enthusiasts.

Monique