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 :-)


  1. Your Marion is lovely and that yarn looks so yummy! I was supposed to join in with the Marion KAL but didn't get round to it. Its on my to do list! I've just finished a jumper and am about to start a chunky winter cardigan. At the moment knitting is definitely my go-to craft, over and above sewing, because it's very portable and I can do it in dribs and drabs while looking after my nearly-4-month old. I love your son's flax too, especially the swingy sleeves!

  2. Such pretty knits. Like you I do find it very calming (until I f- something up but once fixed my feathers settle again). I think what I've been thrilled with is that everything I thought was hard about knitting really isn't that scary! I'm just about to start Such A Winters Day which has s beautiful textured pattern. But being the start of summer here it'll be a while until it gets worn!

  3. Yes, portability is exactly why I got into it too! The Marion KAL was fun but I found the pattern demanded a lot of attention, so with a little baby around maybe not such an easy one to get into! Chunky cardigan sounds ideal - where I am it's just turned freezing :-)

  4. YES that's exactly what I've found too - it's not that hard! I had no idea! The texture of that sweater really is gorgeous, I love Heidi Kirrmaier's patterns. And at least with summer coming up you'll have plenty of time to get it done in time for next winter :-)

  5. Wow you've been busy! I love all the items you've made :) I currently find that knitting keeps me very relaxed, and some sewing in moderation.. But I love knitting for the fact that you can do it while sitting on the couch or while traveling.. Whereas my sewing room gets really cold in the winter..

  6. You really have been knitting up a storm! Everything looks so lovely, and I do indeed wish I could reach through the screen and pet that Malabrigo. :)
    I couldn't agree more as regards knitting. It's been a tremendous ally to help keep me sane. :)

  7. Wow you've been very busy I absolutely love the Odessa hat, that swirl is very effective! Your Marion is lovely and your sons sweater is so cute! I think I would be a crumbling wreck without sewing or knitting, they work so well at keeping my mind off things and making me focus on the moment. The prospect of doing some knitting in the evening is often incentive enough to get me through a bad day!

  8. I'd love to know more about your mindfulness but for now, I'm enjoying all your knitting. Gosh, you have come such a long way!! How cool does you son look in his new sweater and I can't wait to see you modelling your outfits. Mustard knitted goodness... sounds pretty great to me!

  9. Hey Jo! How lovely are these makes! And thanks for sharing the wolwereld shop, so much pretty stuff. Love that shade of green on your boy. I didn't know you knitted btw, lots more stuff we could have talked about I guess :) xo Lisa

  10. I absolutely love how your Marion turned out! I'm completely jealous of your gorgeous yarn :)

  11. Jo - would you mind please if I used a picture of one of your Anna's on my blog as one of my fave makes of the year? No problems if you'd rather I didnt! Thanks so much :)


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