My Love Yourself Shawl has just been released, and you may be wondering why the name, why the hearts, why donate to a mental health non-profit organization. If those are your questions, you are in the right place!!
This pattern is easily customized and written as a 1-skein shawlette and as a 2-skein shawl (shown below). 15% of its proceeds from February 2020 will go to Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Why the Hearts?
I have always loved anything with hearts, so when I came across a heart stitch motif in a stitch dictionary, I knew I had to design a heart-themed shawl. Right away, I decided I'd be releasing the design around Valentine's Day, and I wanted to use Marianated Yarns. I planned to use a solid pink color, but Marian recommended this beautiful tonal color (Rose Quartz), and it was perfect!
After multiple swatches, heavily modifying the heart motif, including flipping it upside down and mostly inside out, and altering multiple other factors of the shawl design, Love Yourself Shawl was born!
Why the Name?
This shawl is named Love Yourself Shawl, because that name perfectly describes my mission with this shawl: to inspire you to love yourself.
For many of us, it is very hard to convince ourselves that we are worth an investment — time, money, etc — so I’m releasing this shawl with a plea to do something for yourself just because YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT. Maybe it’s allowing yourself to enjoy a hot bath, or knitting a project just for you, buying your favorite “fancy” yarn (like this yarn that I used with 10% cashmere!), or wearing an elegant outfit with your favorite hand knit. Whatever it is that you hold back on, whatever self-care means to you, just do it for you. Love yourself and show yourself that you care.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, how others perceive you, how popular you are, or how you dress. What really, truly matters is that you find your own self worth, that you love yourself, and that what kindles your flame of life is from within. You are the only person you will live with every moment of your life, so show yourself some love!
In effort to portray the concept of doing something special for yourself, I tried to make this a “fancy” shawl. My vision was to design a delicate, but not too complex, shawlette to be worn around your shoulders when you go out for a fancy dinner in your new black dress. Your fancy dinner could be your Valentine's dinner date with a SO, a girls’ date, or a just-because-I-am-worth-it meal out.
I then chose Marian's Scrumptious HT yarn base (my first time to knit with some cashmere!) to add to the elegance of shawl. No, this isn’t going to be my go-to everyday shawl that I grab for comfort and warmth. But it is going to serve as my reminder to show myself some compassion and tell myself I am worth it. And, whether or not you knit this shawl, I hope this can be the same reminder to you. You are worth it, and you are worth your own love.
Why the Anxiety and Depression Association of America?
It is very easy for many of us to fall into the depths of comparison-itis, anxiety, and depression. This is something that I can relate to on a very personal level and am learning how to overcome. One thing I have found very important on this journey has been to find a love for myself, and that is what this shawl is all about.
I think that mental health is something very important that our society should value and emphasize more than it does. My family has a background of mental illnesses, ranging from varying levels of anxiety and depression to manic depression/bipolar disease. It wasn’t until I was married that I truly understood that there are people who *don’t* suffer from anxiety and depression, that there are people who really *are* comfortable in their skin, and that it *is* possible to show oneself some care. I’ve begun to really realize how much our society (including social media and media in general) ingrain the seeds of self-doubt and self-hatred, and therefore how important it is that we show ourselves care, compassion, grace, forgiveness, and so on. It must start within. It starts with our mental health.
While I haven’t (yet) personally used the Anxiety and Depression Association of America services, I appreciate the plethora of resources that they have available to EVERYONE — blog posts, webinars, podcasts, a Find a Therapist Directory — for free -- as well as a ton of scientific educational information, and low-cost treatment information. Basically, I love that it is so accessible and informative. They aren't exclusive to anxiety and depression; they also have resources for OCD, PTSD, eating disorders, and more.
If you suffer from social anxieties, if you can’t comprehend ever loving yourself, if you feel like there is nothing within you of value: please know you are not alone, and know there is hope. You don’t have to stay in this condition. There are resources around you to help you. It’s easy to hide these emotions from many of the people around you. It’s easy to tell the doctor that you don’t have any mental health concerns. But when we do this, we are only hurting ourselves more, and we aren’t allowing others to help us. So I urge you to reach out for help. Even if it’s just beginning to research your condition and to understand how to change your thought processes. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, I encourage you to check out the blog posts, webinars, and therapists at adaa.org.
To purchase the pattern and support the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, you can find the pattern here on Ravelry, PatternVine, and LoveCrafts. What non-profit organizations (mental health related or not) do you support, or do you recommend I look into?