Monday, 21 March 2011

Knitting Therapy

Today I'm talking textiles again. Knitting is one of my favourite crafts. It calms me down when I feel stressed and I love the gentle rhythm of it. I also love the fact that there are so many types of stitches I can choose whether to knit something challenging or something relaxing depending on how I feel at any given time. On my needles at the moment is a tea cosy in the making. I have long admired the vintage tea cosies I've spotted in little cafes or at craft fairs and was really pleased to come across this pattern. It's been an enjoyable knit after I procrastinated for quite a while in fear that it was too complicated for me. The stripes turned out to be far less difficult than I first thought and it's been fun to see it take shape. It's just garter stitch throughout which means I can watch my favourite programmes at the same time. The ridges are made by pulling the yarn tightly across the back of the other colour on the wrong side. My only fear now is that I will run out of yarn before its finished and as it was bought as a kit I'm not sure how easy it will be to get more.

I also want to share with you one of my completed projects which I knitted on really big needles and I mean big. I bought these from Ingrid Wagner at  The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. (There is a photo of her knitting with them on her website.) She makes some really amazing things. I decided to start with a bag so I bought some different fabrics and cut them up to make strips, then sewed them together to make a ball of yarn ready to knit with.

The bag knit up really fast but the size of the needles made my arms ache after a while. I was really pleased with it in the end although it is a little on the heavy side. I think the big needles would be great for making cushion covers or rugs with. You can see the finished bag on the right in the side bar.

My next project will be to try to knit this lovely pair of snuggly socks. I've chosen the pattern from my gorgeous new Knitting book 'socks' by Chrissie Day and have ordered my needles and some lovely lilac wool. I have never knit 'in the round' before so I have picked some long slouchy socks in order to get plenty of practice before tackling the heel. I will definitely need some help to work out how to do that!

I will leave you with this true story I read recently about some knitters from Sedburgh, Cumbria. Apparently in the early 1900's knitting was a good form of income and in order to earn extra money Dalesman Farmers began to take up the craft. To increase their output they made special knitting tools called 'pricks' which they wore in their belts. These acted as a second hand, freeing up their own, for farm work such as milking the cows or churning the butter and they would do two jobs simultaneously. I couldn't believe it when I read it. Knitting with one hand sounds hard enough, without trying to do something else at the same time. Obviously, other people at the time thought the same, as these knitters became a tourist attraction and eventually gave up due to being too self concious. Their wives and children continued with the knitting. Several of the women were renowned for the speed of their knitting and became known as the Terrible knitters of Dent. 'Terrible' didn't refer to their bad knitting but to their quick pace. I certainly won't be winning any records with my knitting speed but I will show you my tea cosy when I eventually finish it. If you haven't tried knitting yet - watch one of the many utube video demonstrations and give it a go and I'm sure you'll love it once you get the hang of it. xx


  1. I love your posts!! Not only do you have some amazing skills with needles, but interesting factoids too. I remember you buying those big needles at the Great Northern Fair; love what you do with them, despite the fact it gives your arms a work out! Keep these awesome posts coming, i look forward to seeing what you're working on xx

  2. What a great thought - knitting and milking at the same time...mad!

  3. Your tea cozy is adorable! I tried making one with that same garter ridged pattern, but I just couldn't get the hang of it, and never did enjoy that project. I finished one side, and it's sitting in my sewing room, just wishing I'd make it a mate and sew them together.

    Your bag looks very pretty. Did you tear the strips of fabric? It seems like it's the time it would take me to cut strips that keeps me from working with fabric yarn.

  4. Thanks for all the lovely comments- its so nice to hear from you guys.x
    Bethany - sorry to hear about your tea cosy. Maybe one day you'll feel like having another go at it. It really does look nice when its finished. :)
    In answer to your other question - I ripped some and cut some. Some fabric was just too tough to rip. It was abit long winded but again was really worth the effort. I made some 'yarn' out of fleece too and that ripped really easily. You could knot the strips instead of stitch them together and just tuck the knots in later. That saves a lot of time. Anyway you seem pretty busy at the moment already!!Thanks for taking time out to pop in xx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...