craft · family · health and wellbeing

Comfort

  

And so once again, it is all about to change.

Autumn is packing away its leaves to make way for Winter to unfurl its blanket of chill. It’s now with haste that laundry is whipped in before the early afternoon crispness descends and cats position themselves in ever diminishing wedges of sunlight. It’s not going to be the same as we have become accustomed to over previous months, we must now prepare for difference.

We all vary in our response to change – either shunning and resisting or welcoming and adapting. Either way it does present as a challenge and usually it is underlying fear of the unknown that creates the difficulty. These are the times when as humans we seek out comfort, immersing ourselves in rituals and activities that bring about a feeling of good.

Comfort of course is quite intangible, as the very thing that makes one feel good may not have any appeal to another. You do need to establish what constitutes yours, as it will serve as your armory in times of uncertainty. Defining your sources of comfort is a highly individualised exercise, but the time spent consciously and deliberately identifying these sources is time exceptionally well spent.

I have put this to task recently and have amassed a reassuring stockpile. Taking my cup of tea to sunny garden space (yes I am like my cats) is a wonderful mid-afternoon treat. Retiring to a blanketed sofa on a chilly Sunday night to be immersed in an 18th century Cornish copper mine saga, watching the protagonist Ross Poldark do his best to be noble, is a wonderful place to be. Pulling a baked dozen from the oven or settling the lid on a rumbling stew, provides an inner satisfaction that can not be manufactured.

Building a fabric of inter-looped yarn by rhythmic needle clicks, a pastime that calms the mind and rewards the creator –

 and then pulling such fabric on when the day’s work is over, only amplifies this simple pleasure.

Running alongside a sun-glistened bayside horizon, passing warmly jacketed dogs and masters while inhaling chestfuls of ion-laced breeze – magic.

And drawing the blinds on a task-loaded day to return once again to sun dried sheets and fluffed pillows.

Locate that irresistible journal or notebook that you knew you someday would need and gather your comforts. Pen them for referral, as times of change will always present.

 home bootsPostscript: If you would like to add these hand-knitted home boots to your comfort armory, here is a similar pattern to those I have made (which was purchased from Lincraft so cannot be reproduced here)

craft

Cotton

cotton knitting face cloth seed stitch

 

Cotton. A sense of comfort and security pervades at the mention of it. The common sense, no-nonsense fibre behind the umpteen babies’ singlets, fresh bath towels and crisp cotton dresses we have loved forever. It doesn’t perform the non-shrink, non-iron tricks of it’s synthetic peers – and that is because it is real and it lived. Organic in fact.

So what a wonderful thread to create with and then pass onto others. And there is something quite rudimental about knitting with cotton. Both material and process, originating from the days of our early kin, have a timeless, almost esoteric feel when you spend an afternoon caught up with them. Knitting takes time and steadies a galloping mind. Cotton moves smoothly across bamboo and produces a firm, sensible fabric to be proud of. After an hour or two in the company of both, inner equilibrium is restored – a calibrated being with an accomplished piece.

The lovely ridged fabric you will produce here, makes an excellent face cloth. Gentle, yet nubbly enough to wipe away all traces of the most frantic of days. Set some time aside and make one for your face and for the face of another.

1 50g ball 8ply cotton
1 pair 3.50mm needles

Cast on 44 sts

Knit 10 rows garter stitch

Row 11 k5 *p1, k1* to the last 5 stitches, k5

Row 12 k5 *k1, p1* to the last 5 stitches, k5

Repeat rows 11 and 12 46 times.

Knit 10 rows garter stitch

Cast off (not too tightly)

Darn in your loose threads.

 

seed stitch face cloth knitting

Postscript: And I have the perfect common sense, no-nonsense,  firm and sensible person to gift this one to.

craft · personal style

Snood

snood

If you subscribe to the school of Carrie Fisher and like her, believe that instant gratification takes too long, then clicking up a snood for yourself this winter will be just the ticket. Done in a night, if you keep your eyes on the needles rather than on the screen, a snood may spark your knitting journey or kick-start a long stalled one.

Apart from being an overnight product, snoods can significantly improve your scarf-wearing life. They stay on, they don’t dangle in the washing up water and you’ll never suffer the same fate as Isadora Duncan (an American dancer of the early 1900’s). Duncan’s fondness for long flowing flamboyant scarves led to her death in an automobile accident in France, when she was a passenger in a car. As she motored along in her open top vehicle, her silk scarf, draped around her neck, and flowing freely behind her in the breeze,  became entangled around the open-spoked wheels and rear axle, breaking her neck.

Snoods in all their guises can be found at Ravelry but rather than being blinded by overwhelming choice, here is a small one to tackle first.

handknitted snood

Gauge: 8 sts and 12 rows to 10 cm

2 x 100g balls of chunky/bulky yarn (I used Lincraft Luxe but any yarn that comes close to the above gauge will work)
1 long pair of 12mm needles

Cast on 56sts
Row 1: knit
Row 2: purl
Repeat rows 1-2 five times
Shape snood
Row 13: k1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts  k2tog k1 – 54sts
Row 14: purl
Repeat  rows 13-14 four times – 46 sts
Row 23: knit
Row 24: purl
Repeat rows 23-24 three times
Cast off
Sew side seam using mattress stitch

knitted snood in progress

Postscript: Be assured, that the simplicity of this project will ensure that it will not be discovered in a cupboard in 18 months time still attached to its needles.