Monday, 1 December 2014

Knit storm

When life sends a sh*t storm, take refuge in a knit storm! It's not a saying but I think it probably should be, or something along those lines. Just putting it out there :-)

Not that I would describe life as being particularly stormy at the moment. In fact, after some ups and downs earlier this year, things recently seem to be calming down. Nonetheless, I have been been knitting furiously this autumn, and in the process have come to realise just how restorative an activity it is, for me. Simultaneously simple and complex, hypnotically repetitive, harmoniously occupying the hands and mind - it's like mindfulness completely embodied in creativity. Mindfulness being another thing I've got into in last couple of months, and the relative calm that's arrived in parallel is probably not coincidental.

Anyway. The knitting :-)

Look at these lovely, lovely cables. And the short-row set-in sleeve! In seeming contrast to what I just said, this cardigan almost killed my knitting mojo because the pattern, while clear and really enjoyable to follow, made my brain hurt. However, the wool was so delicious, and the challenges so rewarding to complete, that it couldn't help but be a soul-soothing knit. Or maybe I'm just looking back with rose-tinted glasses. Either way, the immense pride with which I finished it - my first cables! first buttonholes! - is what unleashed the slew of projects that followed.

Unfortunately, it was made with a specifically coordinating dress in mind. A dress which I have not quite got round to making yet.

Thus, modelled photos shall follow at an entirely unspecified point in the future.  I just wish I could let you touch it with pictures, because it's Malabrigo merino and it's ooooooohhh so so gorgeous.

Right. Also in the "incomplete sets" category, we have this:

It's a Beatrice scarf and it goes with this:

Which is an Odessa hat (free pattern!). It looks really cool with the spiral pattern but it was very - deceptively - easy to knit. I did it over one weekend. Things I like about it: how the decreases at the top swirl into the crown, and how it's light and not too warm. I do so hate to have an overheated head. The yarn is a dk weight cotton, which therefore turned out to be ideal.  And these two I will happily model when the set moves into the "complete" category, because mustard. I have visions of mustard knitted stylishness.

Now, this one is properly complete, and I have a picture of it in action!

This is a Flax sweater, also a free pattern, from this fabulous beginner-level collection by Tin Can Knits. The impressive size range goes from newborn to adult 4XL! I made the 6-8 year size for my 5-and-a-half year old boy, and unsurprisingly, it's on the large side. But he loves being able to swing the sleeves off the end of his arms, so it's cool.

Here's a picture of the garter-stitch sleeve detail and the kfb (knit front & back) raglan increases, just because I like how they turned out.  Any eagle-eyed knitters out there who can spot the deliberate *cough* mistake in the garter panel? So far I've managed to leave little handmade 'signals' like this on every single thing I've ever knit. I don't undo them, to stop myself getting obsessive :-)

Aaaand finally, here's the current project in progress!  It's a sweater for my daughter (because sibling sweater rivalry) and I just have the sleeves left to do.

After this is done, there shall be more hats. And another sweater! And SOCKS!

Yes, knitting is really making me happy at the minute :-) So I shall just do it more, and more, and more - because when it comes down to it, that's exactly how I think life should be led.

What things keep you on an even keel? Sewing, knitting, other kinds of crafting - or something else completely? Is crafting something that soothes for you - or is it something you need to take a break from too?  Feel free to share your sanity-savers here!  I'm sure plenty of us could do with taking notes :-)