knitting-projects

Transitions between the Wheel
(For the four seasons)

This is from my personal practice with observing the wheel of the year and my focus on each transition between the sabbats. I honor the current seasons in between. Each transition has it’s importance to self care and managing the home and garden. I will probably add to this later cause some paragraphs I wrote I feel like are a bit vague. Some of these transitions are not meant to be 100% literal and static but I feel like they are good areas to focus on for that moment in the year.

Yule->Imbolc
Resting

During the thick of winter when it’s too cold to do anything and always dark, it’s the perfect moment in the year to rest. The focus is on relaxing, taking extra time to sleep and care for the body especially to not get sick.
Winter is also ‘spa’ season because the air is so dry and harsh it’s a good time to soak in hot baths and scrub away dead skin and moisturize with protective lotion. Do not try to make new plans, yet sit home, rest and reflect. 

Imbolc -> Ostara
Cleansing

When winter thaws it’s a great time to clean the home and prepare for spring. Personally, I also like to do a body cleanse since I tend to eat a lot of processed (yet delicious ;-;) foods all year round. This also makes up for all the heavy foods I’ve been eating since Summer (all the BBQs) to Winter comfort foods. As I clean the home and get rid of stuff that has accumulated over the year, I clean the body. Also the focus is on cleaning the home as well. Breathing in the same air, especially if its full of dust, is really unhealthy and it’s good as the days are getting a little warmer to open up the windows for a few minutes to allow in fresh air to circulate. This is also the time of year I throw out old furniture, accumulated things and rearrange furniture in the room as well.

Ostara -> Beltane
Sowing

Spring is a great time to germinate sprouts along with other seeds and clean the backyard or garden to grow plants. If you like to compost it’s a time to start mixing in the vegetable/fruit/plant scraps with the soil. Spring is also a great time to sow bigger changes in life as well. Something about the warm new season brings an air of flirtatiousness and ‘socialness’ that makes it perfect for making new friends or finding a partner. (Probably because people can finally come out of hibernation). It’s also a fantastic time to work on your image and portfolio and apply for long term jobs that begin in the summer or fall. Spring is the season for new beginnings and putting long term plans into action.

Beltane -> Litha
Growing

A tradition I like to do on Beltane is repotting of plants and gardening. Repotting plants is a tradition I try to focus on every year because it’s very easy for house plants to die due to dead soil. Plus it makes the inside of the house super vibrant and lively to have fresh new soil in pots. From this point to summer solstice is the point of growth. Growth in the garden but also growth of personal goals. May and June feel like hectic months where there are so many events and opportunities to advance your work or change your social scene, that if I am not personally progressing, I focus all of my attention on my growth.

Litha -> Lughnasadh
Thriving

Its the heat of summer! It’s time to get out and feel the intense hot energy and use its power to focus on goals and networking! Where I am there’s usually an exciting event every week where it’s an opportunity to make more connections and meet more friends but also since its warm and nature is so vibrant it’s time to take some days to relax and get away to enjoy the heat and life of nature. Go to the beach, go hiking, swim in a lake, sleep under the stars. Be active since the efforts will pay off. 

Lughnasadh -> Mabon
Reaping

This is the time you earn what you’ve sowed both literally and metaphorically. If you have a garden its the time it will start giving back. If you are an active goer of a farmers market you will notice how beautifully abundant the stands are. If in Spring you’ve sent out tons of job applications, and in Summer got the job you’ve wanted and worked hard, then by now you should start seeing some results. If there are no results being seen it’s a time for reflection and re-strategizing. There is a second chance in this time to start again before the cold and the holiday season bulldozes through.

Mabon -> Samhain
Harvesting/Gathering

This is the time to gather and harvest. Usually family tends to gather now since it’s the holiday season. There’s not much other than gathering to be done since family and holidays are bombarding you from all sides. Also there is an abundance of food. This is great to store for the next transition which is

Samhain -> Yule
Preparation

This is the moment to prepare for winter. My warddrobe completely changes here, I take up knitting projects that were abandoned last Imbolc, and I store food and herbs for the winter to use. Also making preserves from things in the garden or hand knitting clothes make great presents for the winter holidays. This is also a time to prepare the garden for hibernation. Take in potted plants, harvest the last of the herbs and food (that are not potted). Make sure plants you do not want to die have a place to chill in the house.

Sensory Overload Tips

as someone who frequently gets sensory overloads, here’s some tips for helping a friend with sensory overload and some tips for coping with them yourself.

To Help:

1. Give the person space!
this might seem like the most obvious thing ever, but if someone’s having a meltdown they need space so they don’t accidentally hurt you while they’re having a hard time.

2. DO NOT hit, get physical with, smack, or tackle the person to the ground!!!
DO NOT DO THIS. a sensory overload and subsequent meltdown is NOT your chance to physically harm someone. slapping them or hitting them will not make them “snap out of it” and you’ll only make them have a worse time.

3. Try to get them to a place where the stimuli isn’t as bad
i know that oftentimes it’s hard to remove a person from a loud situation, especially if they’re at a dance or a club, but trying to get them somehwere quieter like a bathroom or a stairwell will help 100% more than just getting people to move away from them and leaving them in the area where they’re overloaded.

4. Quietly ask them if they need anything and try to get it if they do
PLEASE do not pester the person with questions, just ask them calmly if they need water or a stim toy or something.

5. Act like it’s not a big deal if other people ask what’s wrong
this one might not be the case for everyone, but i’m always so so thankful when my friends don’t make a scene when i’m overloaded. it’s embarrassing when people start to ask questions and if someone acts like it’s a big problem, that’s even worse.

6. Let the person stim in whatever way they want
even if the stims seem weird, their comfort is the most important thing in this moment. if they request stim toys or their personal items like their bag or phone, give it to them. they desperately need the stuff and now’s not the time to be preaching about how dependent we are on technology.

To deal with:

1. Try to recognize the signs as quickly as possible
is your heart racing? are you sweating for no apparent reason? feeling tightness in your chest or lightheadedness? it’s probably a good time to find a quiet spot or bust out a stim toy.

2. Don’t try to control your stimming/echolalia
trying to stop yourself from stimming really doesn’t help. i know you don’t want to cause a scene, but you need to get rid of the excess sensory input in order to calm down. if you really want to conceal your echolalia, hold your phone up to your face, everyone will assume you’re talking to someone.

3. Bring your stim toys/comforting objects with you!
i know my stim toys/comfort objects tend to be bigger, but just bringing a spinner, headphones, or a clicky pen or even hobby items like a knitting project can help. most other autistic people i know have stim bags that they keep on them, and that’s great for sensory overloads! bringing scented items helps me a whole lot, because smells tend to calm me down.

4. Grounding techniques
anything to remind you where you are/that you’re still real and in the present is helpful. rubbing your hands together (but not so much that they start to feel numb), touching something slightly warm/slightly cool, pressure stimming, or covering your ears can be very grounding.

5. Drink some water/eat some food afterwards
this one’s really important, you need to stay hydrated especially! i know it seems beaten into the ground, but some room temperature/cool water really helps me after because drinking is a grounding sensation to me. food might not be the best idea if you get queasy, but beverages are helpful.

6. Treat yourself after!
aside from getting yourself a pick-me-up in the form of food and a beverage, do something nice. eat that special food you love, do one of your favorite hobbies, play your favorite game an hour longer than usual. you deserve it.

Art Witch Activities

- Use moon, sun, or storm water or even a crystal elixir (amethyst works super well!) to clean your brush when painting with watercolors. 
- Use paint water for curses or washes to antique pages in your sketchbook or grimoire.
- Create collages for deities or parts of your craft such as favorite herbs, crystals, animals, etc.
- Collect wildflowers and herbs and draw them in your sketchbook.
- Draw, paint, or doodle sigils for creativity or motivation in your free time. 
- Use color correspondences in your artwork to infuse it with your intent.
- Use knot magic to create macramé, friendship bracelets, knitting or crocheting projects.
- Sew poppets in different shapes and sizes!
- Paint images of your deities, spirit guides, familiars, etc. for altars or as devotional acts. 
- Wear orange! Orange is the color of creativity!
- Color in coloring books to aid in meditation.
- Create small clay figures (animals, people, or even simple shapes with sigils carved into them), offering bowls, and candle holders as offerings or decoration for your altar.
- Enchant pens, pencils, or other drawing implements to encourage creativity and motivation. 
- Use paintbrushes, pens, or pencils as wands to channel your energy!
- Turn sketchbooks into altars or grimoires!
- Create your own pendulum board.
- Seal spell jars/bottles with melted crayon wax instead of candle wax.
- Scry using wet paper and watercolor (look for images as the paint spreads over the damp paper). 
- Make your own salt dough (the water and salt in any salt dough recipe are wonderful for purification) to sculpt with.
- Make your own paint/ink using natural materials or ash from burning sigils or incense. 

Oh hey.
I finished it.
Like a week ago.

I feel very relieved and happy.
But I also really miss working on this. If I don’t start another big project soon, I might just start another one of these.

Also, its crazy heavy. I feel like I am wearing a bears coat. I love it. I can’t wait to move back to somewhere where it snows.

Note: I still have to fix the raglan seams… but I spent like three hours sewing all the seams up and I would like to pretend I never have to sew another one again.

P.S. THANK YOU ALL for your super supportive and amazing comments. I really appreciate them. I wish blessing on all of your very own knitting and craft projects 💕

Would any of you knitters of tumblr be interested in contributing to a knitting zine? I am looking for submissions. Your imagination is the limit. Anything to do with knitting will be considered. Be political, be edgy, be yourself. I would love to see inspiration pictures, free patterns, illustrations, comics knitting tips, poems, pictures, drawings, blurbs, stories or anything you can think of. The only parameters are that it must make sense in a 4.25”x5.5” printed format and should be one or two pages. I would be willing to consider longer submissions. Email me at valentinancastro@gmail.com if you would like to contribute or would like a copy of the final priduct. Include your name and insta url or blog url so you can receive credit for your work. Deadline for submissions of the first issue is Monday September 25th.

Baby Fever

I have had baby fever really bad lately, I don’t plan on ttc anytime soon though I have always taken the stance that if I do get pregnant that I will go with the flow. I am married. We are financially stable now that we are both working. We are in a good position but we both would still rather wait. I don’t know why my baby fever has been so bad lately. I can’t complain though some good has come out of it, I am currently knitting baby blankets that will be donated when they get done. I have finished quite a few pair of baby mittens, booties and hat sets in varying sizes that I have donated. I have also started knitting a coworker’s wedding gift. I am making her dishcloths and coasters for her and a blanket for her and her husband