Burnout and new projects

and playing with new yarn

Isn’t it funny how procrastination and productivity happen to take opposite forward directions hand-in-hand, happy to drag us along for something that we’d be hard-pressed to see as a ride… Especially with burnout in the mix?

burnout and new projects - featured image
Burnout and new projects
This is not the shade I was looking for ⸺ but the photo is this blurred on purpose.

This burned-out post is brought to you by Rohrer & Klingner ink in Verdigris

and by too many thoughts running through my head.

Burnout blows.

Short. Succinct. To the point. Achingly, painfully true.

And yet, do you know, were I in a different state of mind, were this a different ⸺ sunnier, maybe ⸺ season, I doubt I’d even be in the ballpark of short and to the point. Because I’d try to give you a nicer, sleeker, more playful opening.

I’d try to make a play or two on words. On sentences. On clichés. Why not on famous opening lines, to really make those phrases pop.

But you’re not getting nice things, because I can’t, because burnout blows.

Isn't it awful, feeling drained?

Understatements aside, and alliterations aside with them, your not getting nice things ⸺ even from me ⸺ isn’t strictly true. The only way I got myself in a burnout state to begin with was the actual unceasing making of nice things.

Regrettably, I didn’t see the burnout coming until well after it had settled in.

So what have I been up to?

Well, here’s a little sneak peek.

Should Be's and Could Be's

And of course it is now, when burnout has me no longer feeling like I’m able to tackle anything, that I keep mentally circling back to everything I mean to do.

Like that one book that I’ve been meaning to write for a year now. (As opposed to the other books that I’ve been meaning to write for longer still.) Or the (semi)related book I’ve been meaning to edit for just about as long.

Or the backlog of blog articles scratched into the pages of various notebooks, and on the backs of envelopes, and in random notepad memos on my phone.

Or the little patterns of all the gifts and things I’ve knit lately that I should de-jumble from their respective scraps of paper and put into words. And pdf files. And possibly videos, to be cute.

(Meanwhile, I’m too burned out to give myself a manicure.)

The sad thing is, it isn’t even so much overwhelm. It’s just literally can’t. Can’t bring myself to lift the smallest little finger. It’s like a death by a thousand overlapping shoulds and coulds.

Burned out in more ways than one

AKA what happens when you buy actual bunches of course bundles and want to commit to going through them at least a bit.

But of course, that’s a different kind of burnout. The kind that’s itchy and restless… Trying to combine the desire to learn all the things with the uncomfortable reality that you can’t ⸺ and often don’t ⸺ click with everything you’re watching or listening to, or with every presenter’s style.

Learning by doing and by seeing done

Incidentally, this attempt to mainline conten has actually taught me a valuable lesson.

The whole clicking thing showcases how important it is to showcase your voice when you want to convince people to buy your thing. Especially when that thing you want them to buy relies heavily on your voice.

It’s why I love it when people take the time to put up free previews. Not just so you can see the value they’re giving you, although that helps.

No: so you can see if your learning style or listening style or patience and focus style mesh with who they are.

It might not, and that’s totally OK. It’s just important to know before hitching yourself to their wagon, so to speak.

…Or, you know, a phrase of some other flavor that isn’t as old-timey, and doesn’t do quite as good a job of giving away how tired I am.

When knitting is procrastination

burnout and new projects: mystery project

Even though it feels like it isn’t.

Because the thing is, I love to design knitting patterns. Love it. I’d even forgotten how much, on account of how I hadn’t had the time to pick up a pair of needles in a good couple years… But it’s something I deeply enjoy.

 

It’s something that feels creative yet practical. Something that helps tease out and process all kinds of solutions to all kinds of worries while still feeling useful and creative itself.

It’s kind of like coloring in that way, though the practical side of the result is vastly more wearable.

The procrastination that pretends it isn't

And so, lately, I’ve been knitting up a storm. Filled whole entire little notepad pages with trials and patterns and notes…

And here I am, not sharing them.

Or at least, yet. (I hope.) It’s probably in part the curse of the perfectionist that I don’t just wanna text-dump inside a Word doc and then toss it out there, but instead want to create a nice layout that matches the design and the color-way I’m using and blah-blah-blah.

Burnout strikes again.

…Yeah, so what was that I was saying about the thousand shoulds and coulds?

burnout and new projects: all the knitting projects

The balm of the feel-good effect

Because, of course, it helps me feel virtuous to indulge in all the knitting. That’s because I can feel so very productive and multitask-y when I knit and watch/read/listen to something at the same time. 

Objectively, some or most of it probably goes in one ear and out the other, but that feel-good jackpot is sure dinging away!

The patterns so far

Burnout aside, there’s been some volume.

So what have I been working on?

  • a toasty hat and cowl set for heavy worsted yarn ⸺ which is honestly rare for me
  • a couple stupidly cute slim headbands (that would be in addition to Triangulum, which is also stupidly cute)
  • a stunning, masculine scarf in a new-to-me yarn (see below) which I didn’t have the chance to style and shoot before gifting, so I’ll have to do a mockup one of these days
  • an even more stunning and very feminine silk and angora hat and scarf set that is pure stripy happiness (and has held up to both stinging chill and unseasonable mildness, so the silk is really proving its mettle there)
  • an actual baby hat, of all things
  • a secret mystery project that you can sneak a peek at below.
burnout and new projects knitting project: baby hat

Believe it or not ⸺ or rather, as you can see, some of these have already been photographed and everything. The only thing I can’t seem to make myself get down to is the actual writing up.

The upcoming projects

In the long run?

So many. Despite that I should be doing something else.

In the short run?

I have a couple of mainly hat ideas I’m still sort of percolating in the back of my mind…

And then there’s the two-tone.

burnout and new projects: two-tone project

Anyone wanna take a guess at what this is?

The new yarn to play with

AKA the sock yarn that isn’t.

I recently hit a kind of jackpot while I was out shopping and managed to both find and grab a whole mini-stash of Sandnes Garn Tresko, which is a very wooly 3-ply yarn that’s described as supposed to be a sock yarn.

Well, I can tell you right now, the one thing I’m likely never to knit with this beauty is socks.

Burnout and new projects

Although pretty limited as far as color choice (at least if you compare it to other sock yarns), and even more limited in terms of finding ease, this yarn is seriously gorgeous. It’s sturdy, and it’s incredibly warming. It actually smells quite strongly of sheep, which you just inevitably interpret as ‘natural’ and ‘wooly’ by nose alone.

Its colors are gorgeous, for all that there don’t seem to be many actively available at this time. (Mind you, the Ravelry page tells a different story, but isn’t that usually the case.) 

A cozy autumn-winter yarn

And also, if I’m honest, I’m genuinely more than a little taken in by the fact that it’s so hard to find. I like the pressure of having to make do with what I grabbed.

(It also speaks strongly to my exclusivity-loving side. It’s not part of its charm, per se, but I’m not gonna lie, it does give it an edge.)

burnout and new projects: sandnes garn tresko yarn

This is the yarn I used for the masculine scarf I mentioned above. I came up with a gorgeous 2-color pattern that was beautifully reversible, and I gave it an extra dynamic kick by being playful with my color variations.

(The pattern write-up is pending, of course… But then so is the mock-up and 

 

the photoshoot and everything else I’ll need. At least this means I can organically focus on creating a video pattern as I go.)

Tresko is also the yarn I’m playing around with for the mystery two-tone project, which comes with a great story that I can’t wait to tell you once I’m done.

(…In other words, the procrasting-by-knitting saga isn’t about to be ending any time soon. Someone remind me that I have more genuinely lifelong-dream-adjacent plans.)

But first, I need to invest the time to recharge my internal batteries and un-burnout myself.

It might be time for a photo-taking trek.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Burnout and new projects

2 comments on “Burnout and new projects”

  1. Steve Lucas says:

    Have a recharge. Burnout gets to us all but often I find that when I do take a break, my brain fills with far better creative ideas than when I am searching for them.
    #KCACOLS

    1. Allie Vane says:

      Isn’t that so true. Something I have to learn to do better with. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, Steve.

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