Category: Uncategorized

tips for anxiety

Let me start by saying that I’m not a medical professional and these tips are not a substitute for medication or professional help. I fully believe that medication and therapy have their place. Anxiety and panic attacks are very serious; please talk with your physician or a medical professional!

I recently posted a story on Instagram asking if anyone had tips for anxiety. The truth is, I was in the middle of a panic attack. I haven’t officially been diagnosed with anxiety, but have had it for a long time – even before I could put a name to it. I specifically asked for tips other than medication and essential oils (both of which I am well versed on, so I was looking for alternatives). I have tried essential oils, but haven’t found them to do much for me personally.

I was overwhelmed (in the best way!) with the response to my little story. People that I don’t even know personally offered to lend an ear anytime I need. It was one of the kindest, most touching things I’ve experienced. The truth is, we don’t always have someone to talk to or maybe we find it hard to fully express ourselves. The following is a list of the tips I received. I had never heard of many of these and found them to be very helpful. My hope is that they help someone else too!

  • If you’re home and have pets (or if there’s a cuddly pup around), it’s always helpful to pet and snuggle your dog or cat!
  • Leave where you are. More specifically, go outside. Take a walk or go for a run. Breathe in the fresh air.
  • Drink a big glass of water.
  • Listen to your favorite music. I find that the wrong music can contribute to my anxiety. If you have Spotify, find a “chill mood” type station.
  • Count to 100 and back to 1.
  • Take a hot bath or shower (if you’re like me and don’t like baths!). One tip was to put some Vick’s vapor rub on the wall of the shower – I’m definitely trying this soon!
  • Practice meditation and breathing techniques. There are some great meditation apps (Headspace is one I know of); I tried one once and it made me anxious… go figure. But it helps a lot of people!
  • Do yoga. This helps with the breathing too. If you aren’t into yoga, do whatever exercise you enjoy.
  • Weighted blanket or a tight hug from a loved one. The blanket is a great idea, one that I want to look into..
  • This one I loved and for sure will be trying next time. It’s a grounding technique: slowly and deliberately acknowledge 5 things you can see, then 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.
  • Similarly to that one, look around the room and name things you an see (for example, I see a yellow wall, a clean sink, the oven is on).
  • Play a game on your phone like Candy Crush (or Two Dots – it’s pretty entertaining and mindless). Something that distracts you and causes you to focus on something else.
  • Start a gratitude journal. I have one within my bullet journal and need to start it up again. Name 3 things each day you’re thankful for. Say them out loud or write them down.
  • Lie down on the floor on your back and close your eyes. Breathe deep. This helps calm your fight or flight defense by grounding you and making you feel safe.
  • Find a mantra you like. Memorize it, then concentrate on and repeat it.
  • Knit! Duh! Most of these tips were from knitters. But if you have another hobby, do that. Keep your hands busy.
  • Someone suggested organizing and I think that’s a great idea! Organizing or even cleaning always calms me.
  • Obviously, eating well and getting enough sleep is never a bad idea!
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol during stressful times. I find that I have to limit caffeine anyway, as I’m very sensitive to it.

That’s all the ones that were recommended to me! I’m quoting some verbatim, because I liked the way it was said, but I’m not giving credit to protect the privacy of my friends. If you contributed a tip and/or messaged me, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It means so much.

If you have any other things that have helped you with anxiety, please feel free to leave them in a comment! And please, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance. There is no shame in helping yourself, ever! And lastly, know that you’re never alone.


#anyhatkal2018 | rules, prizes & more!


Thanks for your interest in the Any Hat KAL, hosted by me on Instagram! I hope you’ll join in the fun! Below is some information you need to know in order to be eligible for prizes! It’s a very relaxed and fun knit-along, so don’t take it too seriously! 😉


  • Knit a hat (any hat)! WIPs are okay, but please don’t be more than halfway through the hat before September 1.
  • Snap photos of your progress and post them on Instagram using #anyhatkal2018 – please note that sometimes photos get excluded from hashtags for one reason or another. Click the hashtag to make sure yours appears. If it doesn’t, share your post with me via DM by clicking the “paper airplane” below the photo and sending it to me (@theknitpicky). I will make sure you’re included in the prize giveaway for that week! If your account is private, I will not be able to see your photos! If this is the case, please DM me with a screenshot of your post and I will add you to be eligible for prizes!
  • Only one post per week per person will count – this is to keep it fair for everyone!
  • Unfortunately, due to high shipping costs, physical KAL prizes are only available to US and Canada residents. Everyone else is still eligible for digital (pattern) prizes, so please join in!


  • I will be randomly giving away at least one prize each week, based on those who post using the hashtag during that week! There will also be a grand prize at the end and anyone who has participated will be eligible!
  • Prizes include YARN, stitch markers, patterns from some awesome designers, and more!
  • This year, each finished hat will be put into a drawing for a special prize at the end – this is in addition to the grand prize for participating!


  • Feel free to tag me if you need help or have question; I’ll do my best!
  • Check the hashtag to see what others are making and cheer each other on!
  • KAL runs September 1-30 and is not associated with Instagram in any way.
  • I will be reposting some of my favorite finished objects – if you use the hashtag, you are consenting for me to repost your photos (public accounts only) – with credit, of course!

I can’t wait to knit a hat (or three) with my virutal knitting friends! Keep an eye out for some pre-KAL chat & maybe even a prize! 😉

hat right now

See what I did there? 😉

Today I want to chat about some of my favorite hats that have been released this year! Some of them I’ve knit already, but most I haven’t – and really want to. This post comes at a good time, as the 2nd annual Any Hat KAL starts September 1! I’m hosting it over on Instagram and have lots of great prizes lined up!

First is Ryg by Woolfolk Design Team, which was released just a few days ago. I’ve never tried Woolfolk yarn, but I have pet it at length and desperately want to knit with it! Ryg uses their newest DK base, Flette, which looks like a literal cloud. I love how simple and understated the pattern is so that the yarn can be the star. It looks so insanely cozy!

Next up is Harlow by Andrea Mowry. I have already knit this one and really love the endless color combinations for the simple 2-color brioche design. It just takes 300 or so yards of fingering (about 150 yds of each color), so this pattern would make a great stash-buster!

I’ve had my eye on Lucerne by Jared Flood since I first saw it. I mostly love that there are options for 2, 3, and 4 colors! This could be another great stashbuster! It is written for Brooklyn Tweed’s new (fingering weight) Peerie yarn, which has a phenomenal color palette. I have really had to hold myself back from buying some! I may just have to knit this hat with some stash yarn to satiate my appetite for new yarn!

One of my favorite new knit is Beloved by Tin Can Knits. I scooped up this sweet little bonnet pattern the day it was released and knit one for my niece right away! Who can resist a good baby knit?! Okay, if you can resist or don’t have a baby to knit for, this pattern is written from newborn all the way up to adult! The shaping was so fun and interesting. I knit it up with less than half a skein of DK weight yarn and gave it a quick steam block. Perfection!

Justyna Lorkowska’s Sea Glass Stories is the perfect pattern for those speckled skeins of DK! I love how she created a pattern to showcase both cables and speckles. This pattern seems to have just the right amount of slouch, which is hard to do!

Speaking of slouch, how gorgeous is Mystic Slouchy by Heidi May?! Mohair is having a moment and I am here for it! I love the look of a strand of bouncy merino held with a strand of fluffy mohair. The effect is just so good! The moment I saw this, I wanted to knit it. Unfortunately I’m on a bit of a self-imposed yarn diet and don’t have mohair in stash. But if I fall off the wagon, it will probably be for this hat! It also has 4 size options, which is always a bonus.

Lastly I want to mention this pair of hats: Ogee & Gosh by Kiyomi Burgin. I haven’t talked to my sister about this… but I have designs on making these and doing a photoshoot with her. (Sorry Jamie, hope you’re game!) I love how they’re the same, but different – just like my sister and I! And you can make them both with 2 skeins of yarn (DK again… I’m just loving it right now). I don’t know if I’ll be able to knit them for the KAL, but I’m hoping by the end of the year!

I added these to my bundle on Ravelry, along with many other favorite hats! Check it out for more inspiration! I hope you’ll join in the Any Hat KAL! It was so much fun last year! If you’re planning to knit along, leave a comment letting me know what you’re going to knit! I’m always looking for great new hat patterns! 🙂

feet flirtin’ | sock journal no. 2

It’s hard to believe that it’s June. It’s also hard to believe that I’m still knitting socks!

At the time that I published sock journal no. 1, I had only knit two socks. Not two pairs, just two, not matching, socks. I have since knit five (!!!) pairs and am halfway through my sixth, keeping me on track for the Box O Sox 2018 KAL! I’ve tried new techniques and explored different yarns and I’m still excited to delve deeper into sock knitting!

You might remember my January Shot Room Socks knit with a yummy hank of Candy Skein I got in San Diego. I’m so pleased that I ditched the textured pattern and went with plain ol’ vanilla for this gorgeous yarn!

I’ve also discovered that a Fish Lips Kiss Heel is just my favorite. It is my preference to knit but it also fits really well on my feet. I ended up getting three socks out of one skein and still have quite a bit left! I’ll probably frog the textured sock and incorporate it into something scrappy.

I’ve already shared my Hippity Hop Socks, but here’s another link and photo. I did an afterthought heel on these and am not a fan of the fit, so I probably won’t be doing that regularly.

March’s socks were the Old Fashioned Sugar Frost Socks. This dreamy skein was a gift from my friend Christine and I absolutely love these socks!

Pattern: Sugar Frost Socks by Marianne Heikkinen; Mods: C/O 60 sts, 2×2 rib for 15 rounds. 7″ leg.
Yarn: The Fox and The Fawn’s Doe in Old Fashioned
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss
Toe: Rounded toe, decrease to 24 sts, k2tog around, (k1, k2tog) around, then kitchener the 8 remaining stitches.
Special Techniques: N/A
Thoughts: I did a 60-stitch sock on size 1 needles, but have since learned that 64 stitches fit me better on that size needle, so these are a little snug. This yarn is so luxurious! These are my favorites so far.

April socks: Peach Waffle Socks

Pattern:  Bluberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner; Mods: C/O 60 sts, 2×2 rib for 20 rounds. 5″ leg
Yarn: Fiber for the People Gilded in Peach Pit
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss
Toe: Same as above
Special Techniques: N/A
Thoughts: 60 stitches wasn’t as snug because the leg is shorter. I enjoy this length, but like 7″ a bit better. I’ve definitely found the way I like to knit socks – cuff down, 2×2 rib, FLK heel, rounded toe – so I’m not branching out as much as I’d hoped. On the other hand, I’m glad to have found my vanilla sock 😉 This was my first yarn with gold stellina and I really enjoy it!

Finally, my May socks… the fun and interesting IfThen socks! I was intrigued by this pattern the first time I saw it. The idea is to use a self-striping yarn and if the color changes, then you do a certain stitch pattern; thus, IfThen! I think it’s a super interesting concept and I really, really love how these turned out!

Pattern:  IfThen by Shanel Wu
Yarn: KnitPicks Felici in Spaceman; madelinetosh 80/10/10 in Shadowplay for contrast heel/toe/cuff
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss
Toe: Same as above
Special Techniques: Toe-up!! Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off
Thoughts: I finally tried toe-up socks and I must say, I really enjoyed it! Between that and the stripes, these flew off the needles (well, at least the first one did… hah). The bind-off turned out a little wavy, but I don’t mind 1×1 rib as much with toe-up because the bind off is stretchier than most cast-ons. I love the fit of the toe-up and think I’ll definitely knit more in the future! Also, Felici is sooo soft!

Don’t you think taking pictures of your own feet is so awkward?! I always feel like I’m “feet fliriting” with the camera! 😉

new pattern | holston shawl

I’m so excited to announce an exciting collaboration with Brim Collections! Brim Collections is the brainchild of Alyssa Latuchie and Amor Esperanza Valdez, two knitter-friends. I have followed Alyssa on Instagram for a long time and adore everything she knits! So when she and Amor launched Brim Collections, I just knew I would love it… and I was right! Their first pattern collection coincided with the launch of their beautiful yarn, called Breakfast (which totally gives me waffles/Parks & Rec/Galentine’s Day vibes)!

I am completely honored to be part of their second collection with my shawl, HolstonThe Holston River flows from my home of East Tennessee to Knoxville, where its confluence with the French Broad River marks the beginning of the Tennessee River. I grew up visiting the river’s dams and reservoirs, among them Boone Lake and Fort Patrick Henry Lake, where the sample photos were taken.

Holston evokes strength, peace, and comfort. The shawl comprises alternating sections of squishy garter, stockinette, and a textured diagonal stitch pattern. Contrasting crochet detail and luscious fringe add a casual and carefree vibe to the shawl – just like a day on the river!

 I’m so thrilled and grateful that Brim and I teamed up to design this piece!

Oh, let’s talk about that yarn! Using Brim Collections’ Breakfast Sport weight, I chose the Earl Grey colorway, which turned out to be the perfect dove grey that I envisioned. It was also important to me to not waste yarn, so this shawl uses nearly exactly two skeins. The fringe and crochet detail were added using the Creme Fraiche colorway. I just love the pop of contrast and drama it adds to the shawl! The 100% Merino wool is bouncy and has great stitch definition. It was truly a dream to work with and I’d love to try more from the line!

Thank you to Alyssa and Amor, who were an absolute pleasure through this process! And a big thanks to my friend Katy Sergent for taking these photos for me last fall!

I hope you all love Holston as much as I do! It is the piece I’m most proud of. Keep an eye out for the rest of Brim Collection’s new patterns, which will be releasing over the next couple of months!

To purchase the pattern, check it out on Ravelry here.
You can find kits in some incredible color combos here! That Sun Baked colorway is calling my name!

Also look out for a pattern giveaway coming soon over on my Instagram page!