…in the moment

Colouring books seem to be every where at the moment don’t they? And it’s all in pursuit of ‘mindfulness’ apparently. If I’m honest, that sort of thing isn’t really me  – I tried colouring and kept on going over the lines. It just made me cross.

But as I sit and crochet in the shop, or knit the endless rows of stocking stitch for a son’s jumper in front of the TV, I am calm, meditative, relaxed, and crucially, creative too. My fingers know what to do and the easy rhythm of stitch making is very lulling. As a bonus, at the end of all this gentle activity, is a warm pair of socks, a cozy jumper, a blanket or a scarf to wrap my dear ones in. Which makes TV watching much more worthwhile too!

When you first start to knit or crochet, when your fingers are clumsy and your brain is slow to take on the new signals, crafting with yarn can seem anything but relaxing. When I try something new (like lace knitting for example) it seems like I can knit OR talk OR listen to the radio. I certainly can’t engage in conversation while trying to follow all tgrey wrap detailhose yarn overs and SSKPO’s. But I guess I’m ‘in the moment’? And I suppose if you’re doing something that demands all your attention,  you’re not worrying away at all those little demons that can haunt you in the small sleepless hours. Knitting is therapy in that sense, crochet a comfort too.

And there’s another advantage: you knit or crochet with both hands. At this time of year, when drinking a wee bit too much is almost a daily activity, and snacking an obligation, knitting may well be healthy too!

Knitting on the internet

Knitting and crochet are a BIG THING on the World Wide Web. Just try ‘googling’ knitting – you get millions of hits! It can be a bit intimidating, but it’s well worth having a look around on the “t’interweb” as Peter Kay famously called it.

So here are a few that I like – and of course, if you’ve got some suggestions for one’s you think I’d enjoy too, leave them in the comments!

(Click on the name to go to the sites)

Blogs – Blogs are internet journals – written to entertain or educate. Many are funny and wise, some simply showcase great patterns or ‘works in progress’. There are literally millions but these are my favourites. At the moment!

Yarn Harlot

Roobedoo – be warned, the writer is looking after her First Love who is very ill with Myeloma, this means that it’s not always the happiest of reads.

Kate Davies 

Winwick Mum

Did you make that? This is primarily a sewing blog, but the creator also knits and the blog is always interesting.

Patterns and what not

If you’re looking for inspiration – and some free patterns, check out knitty.com – it’s published several times a year and is always worth a look.  Ravelry is the on-line ‘community’ for knitters and crocheters. Once you’ve joined (and I accept that it is a bit of a performance) you can access links to thousands of patterns, millions of finished projects and  reviews and details of most of the yarns available on the market. So if you find a pattern you like, you can check out how it’s turned out for other knitters, how it suits various body shapes and the possible yarn alternatives. One warning, it has rather an American flavour – it was set up in the States. Drops, famous for its yarn, also provides free patterns.

Also worth looking at:

Etsy – a market place for crafters and a good source of lovely things and inspiration.

Craftsy – On line classes. A very commercialised site, and not for everyone, but its classes are popular.