Over the past year, I've been so busy working my butt off; either working with clients or on Alfred stuff alongside Andrew. It's left me little time to read non-work books or do as much crafty stuff as I like. However, since last year, I've fallen in love head over heels with knitting. Back in September 2010, in a flight of fancy, I drove out to a village half an hour away to visit a local yarn shop called Yarnsmith. Its owner, a nice lady called Becky, invited me in, past her kids' weekend soapbox car racing game, and into her garden studio, which was like Aladdin's cave for knitters tucked away in the Suffolk countryside.
Patiently, she talked me through yarn weights, needle types and all of the things that had never crossed my mind before. Wanting a break from the complicated craft that was sewing, I thought "hey, how complicated can knitting be? It's two sticks, a piece of string and a bunch of knots, right?" Of course, I couldn't have been more wrong. As with any craft, the rabbit hole goes deep. Very, very deep. I left with a bag of colourful yarn, some circular needles and a couple of patterns Becky kindly gave me to start off.
It was handy that I chose to visit Yarnsmith that Saturday. Two days later, I had a car accident which, while not life threatening in the least, caused me to have to stay at home, mostly laying on my back, for nearly three weeks while recovering from a painful whiplash which still taunts me to this day every morning. It was incredibly frustrating but I found some solace in the Stitch n Bitch book and some extra chunky wool, making my first few scarves; boring garter stitch and basic ribbed stitch patterns. They're like training wheels for knitters, it's where you start, but you're not Evil Knievel just yet.
Since then, thankfully, projects have gotten more exciting.
I've made a winter headband for my mom out of llama & silk yarn (yes, llama!), held together with a button from my grandmother's stash.
I've nearly finished a small but very time-consuming Citron shawl, reminiscent of the citrus fruit segments, probably my proudest achievement to date.
I've taken part in a mad, mad project called the Beekeeper's quilt, which involves knitting tons and tons of little hexagons, then attaching them together to form a quilt. I've got around 40 of these little hexipuffs, and hundreds more to go. Andrew thinks I'm a complete nutter - and when I start counting the puffs it'll take to make a blanket, I question my own sanity too - but I'm having such fun in the process, that's what matters.
(As an aside, over the next few days, I'll post a mini interview I did with the Beekeeper's quilt designer, Stephanie Dosen. Wooh!)
The biggest upside to knitting, as opposed to sewing, which I also love very much, is that I can knit while in a social setting. I can watch TV, chat with Andrew, even stand in the queue for my latest Apple purchase and knit at the same time. I've even been to pub meetups with fellow knitters, which was great fun and I should do more often!
Sewing was all about shackling myself to the sewing machine, but as it resides in my home office, when evenings and weekend roll around, I'm not that keen to be up in that room by myself more often that necessary. So I knit.
It's a great stress-buster and something where I feel that, with every project, I can improve at. It can either be an automatic no-brainer project, or an incredibly involving complex pattern where I can't talk at the same time.
As a result, expect to see a lot of pictures of knitted things in the coming months. And hopefully some more blogging too.