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… 😉