Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

The joy of knitting


The past couple of weeks have been particularly tough ones.  A series of events and situations culminated in the happenings of a number of scenarios that did not do good things for my stress levels.  The latest event was my car getting broken into and having the stereo speakers stolen.  I don’t really want to go into the rest of it.  It’s too heavy, and really not appropriate for this blog.

What does a knitter do when the going gets tough?  Why, she knits, of course.

The happy news is that my sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy this week.  Both my sister and baby nephew are doing well.  I had a wee hoodie in the making for him, but I had put it down temporarily as I thought I had another week to go before he was born (his due date was 28 September).  All it needed was sleeves.  I got it out and finished it last night.  It has been blocked, and here it is:

It’s really quite cute.  I don’t normally like knitting for babies but I made an exception for my new nephew.  I don’t remember how I came across this pattern, but I suspect I found it through Ravelry.  It’s called the Easy Baby Cardigan, and it’s free from Knitting Pure & Simple.  My sister wanted a hoodie for the baby, so this is what she’s getting.  She didn’t want it in blue, so I chose a combination of dove grey and leaf green.  I hope it meets with approval!

If you haven’t come across Knitting Pure & Simple’s website before, it’s well worth having a look – it’s a website devoted to providing patterns that are designed by Knitting Pure & Simple (from what I can tell!)  There are some nice, basic, but tasteful patterns there.

The little cardigan is knitted top-down, my favourite method.  I knitted the 18 month size in a lighter yarn than suggested in the pattern, so I am hoping that the size is more suitable for a 3 – 6 mth old.  I remembered when my children were babies, how I hated buttons – the damn things would pop out of their holes all the time, which was quite stressful when you’re trying to keep your baby warm!  I would also be afraid that the buttons would dig into them if they slept in the wrong position… So the ties on the front looked most baby-friendly to me!  Don’t they look sweet?

The yarn is a departure from my usual New Zealand yarn knitting – it’s Shepherd’s new Merino 4 Me, a yarn that looks and behaves remarkably similarly to Sublime’s Cashmerino, but at literally half the price.  I wanted a very soft yarn for a newborn, but it needed to be DK weight.  Most of our baby yarns in this country are 4 ply (baby weight). This new yarn seemed to fit the bill nicely.

In addition to the finishing of the cardigan, I also test knitted another Mythral Neck Warmer:

I laid out the pattern today, so it will be out within this week for those who’d like to knit one of their own!  It’s probably quite a good one for Christmas gift knitting as it only takes one ball and a bit (sorry… I couldn’t get it right with just one ball), or 130m.  It’s a great stash buster though:  if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got a few left-over ‘one and a bit’ balls from finished projects haunting your stash.

I find though, that when I’m feeling really low, the best thing is to knit something that brings me great joy.  This is most effective if it’s a project that I can immerse myself into, so that it takes away all thoughts of other matters pressing on the mind.  And in this case, it’s Stephen West’s Creekbed (from the latest issue of Knitty):

As you can see, I haven’t got far into it since I first spoke about this pattern, due to too many other things getting in the way, and not enough ‘selfish’ knitting time.  But oh, in the brief, stolen moments with this scarf, how I love seeing the colours developing, and how pretty it’s looking.

It has cheered me up no end, and brought a sense of calm.  It has reminded me what it is that I love so much about knitting – it’s the thing I turned to when I had nothing else left in my life except the daily work grind, and very little opportunity to get out and about.

Knitting brought me creative expression, learning opportunities, tactile and visual pleasure (the sensation of yarn slipping through the fingers!  Oh the pretty colours!!), meditative peace and above all, a great sense of satisfaction.  It doesn’t hurt that my knitting has also brought pleasure to others as well.

Sometimes, I lose sight of that.  However, to keep the joy of knitting alive, I believe that being able to knit something you really take pleasure in is a key and crucial factor.

On that note, I think I’ll just go and do a bit more selfish knitting now… 😉


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

19 thoughts on “The joy of knitting

  1. I’m sorry to hear about all the misfortune that has found you recently. Thank goodness you knit! Knitting really does help people get through tough times.

  2. Congratulations on the birth of your nephew! And I hope things get better soon.
    I totally agree with the therapeutic nature of knitting/crocheting.
    I’ve been doing it for a while, but just recently got really into it. Sometimes there is nothing better than complete silence and a good yarn related project.
    Oh…and I LOVE the hoodie. I will potentially have to make this for some friends littlies…

  3. And remember, without knitting you wouldn’t have started knitting this blog and all of us wouldn’t have ‘met’ you. That would be a great shame.

    Sorry about your car, I used to always leave mine unlocked until some nice blighter decided that he’d/she’d boost her pocket money by taking all of the loose change I used to keep in it. (I was sort of hoping they’d take the car!!)

    Wish me luck, I am casting on my very first pair of socks today as Jasper has 2nd round of Rugby County Trials and I have a day of sitting with my Ex watching him (Jasper not the Ex).

    Wore my finished hat, got the last bit wrong as got carried away with the Kn 3, 2 tog bit but looks and fits lovely, but Mum now has her eye on that too!!!

    Happy Sunday xx

    • Socks are the best thing to knit in a situation such as you describe. 🙂 Have fun with them. Do blog your hat – I’d love to see it! Happy Sunday too. xx

  4. Sorry to hear about your car, the trials and tribulations of life can sometimes be overwhelming, knitting is such a comfort and a way of getting through whatever life throws at us.

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your new baby nephew, the little hoodie is beautiful, love the colour combination……………and the yarn for your scarf is gorgeous, hope you find a little more “me” knitting time. x

  5. Lovely news about the baby! And love the hoodie too. Can’t wait yo see the creek scarf the colours look terrific. Meantime hang in there and keep knitting we love ‘knowing’ you, lotsa luv xxxxxx

    • Thanks Karen. 🙂 Starting this blog has also been one of the best things I ever did – I feel so privileged getting to know you and others from around the world.

  6. Sorry to hear about your rough week. Thank heaven for yarn! You did a lovely job putting into words the joy and serenity (most of the time) that knitting provides. It is so important to have those things in life that we can turn to when things don’t go as planned. Your nephew’s hoodie looks so snuggly! I’m sure your sister will love it 🙂 And the ties are a brilliant idea. I haven’t had any of my own children yet, but I’ll keep that in mind when I get around to it! Best wishes and enjoy your selfish knitting!

    • I agree with Lacey! Take care of yourself. And I really love the colors in your Creekbed project. 🙂 Sending more good energy.

  7. Oooh, a new baby in the family! What joy … and I can only imagine the happiness your sister will feel when she sees the fabulous hoodie you knitted for her baby boy. It’s perfect (color, ties, hoodie — all of it). I blogged recently about how knitting can be a mood changer — both in lifting my mood but also in creating feelings of frustration. Regardless, the fact that it has become such a regular and important part of our lives is the real gift. Cheers to endless hours of selfish knitting (with no guilt!). xo

  8. So sorry to hear about your car – I had that happen to me so I know how awful it is. But a baby! How wonderful is that! It’s a shame you’re not keen on baby things. I love them because they’re such cute and fast projects. Keep up the selfish knitting, the touch and smell and feel of wool are a great healer, me thinks. Sabine 🙂

  9. I really like how you can put your emotions down when you pick up the knitting. You said it perfectly…..knitting keeps us sane! Sorry you had such a bad week, why the universe tests us is not always clear? How lovely to have the distraction of a new baby to snuggle and hold 🙂 His Hoodie is really sweet and I love the colours you chose, not typically baby and brilliant boy colours. I pick up my Stephen West scarf when I need some distraction….its almost finished and the miles and miles of stitches sooth the soul. Take care of yourself xx

  10. The stressful things will pass. I always think of the car thing happening in larger cities in the U.S. like the one I live in. How naive. Bad folks everywhere. The good thing is there are great folks too and you have a community in your crafts! Beautiful sweater

  11. Yeah for selfish knitting! When I’m stressed I turn to my cashmere stash, it always soothes me, and no wonder, right? Hope all settles for you and the stress and deadlines and theft fade away in the comfort of your knitting – the Creekbed looks lovely already!

  12. The hoodie is soooo cute!!

  13. I think I’m turning from seasonal knitter to a truly obsessed one because even now that it’s no longer cold enough for woollies I still want to knit stuff. I guess that’s also why I don’t mind unravelling projects that went wrong and starting all over again (and again).

    • I’ve noticed a change in your knitting ‘approach’ – seeing the lovely things you’ve been showing lately on your blog! Welcome to the club! 🙂

  14. Thank you!!! The hoodie is so cute and going to be a wee favourite for the little man 🙂