Craft As Medicine


I went to visit my Gran today. She taught me how to knit… again. She taught me years ago and I did knit a few things (read: anything you can make based on a knit/purl square or rectangle, so… a scarf and a headband and a pair of fingerless gloves I think are the three things I can add to my knitting CV…ha!). A while back I thought to myself, damnit I’ve knitted before and I will bloody knit again. I watched a video on youtube, attempted a cast on, ended up in a pile of loosely tangled wool and two sticks. I threw the whole thing to the other side of the room in a tantrum and admitted to myself that that day was not going to be the day I reinvented myself as Lucy Who Knits.

Today was much better, I practised casting on with my Gran who, very patiently, let me do it over and over again in front of her for about ten minutes while she nodded and said Yes Dear when I exclaimed loudly that I could do it I could do it I could do it! Meanwhile she was knitting a square – she told me she had tried to convince the other ladies in her retirement village to all knit a square in order to make a communal blanket which they could then raffle off (to raise funds for what, I didn’t ask). She said no one was into her idea so if no one was keen by the time she finished her singular square she would give it to me to use as a face washer instead. Last time she knitted squares she and some friends yarn bombed the local library.

So this week I am determined to knit a square, I’m seeing her again in a couple of weeks and promised I would come back with something to show for her efforts with me today!

In other crafty news I’ve been making a fair few things lately. Craft is so infinitely good for my soul and every time I pick up my crochet hook or material or sewing machine (not that I pick it up, as such, but we all hear my meaning yes? Too late and too tired to delete that sentence and try again) I get into the zone. You know, the craft zone? Craft is the only thing that stops me from thinking, stressing, over analysing things. Keeping my hands busy with making is my medicine, it saves me in those moments when my head is going to burst with overwhelm, when my to-to list is off the planet or just at any time really. I cannot believe that I nearly failed Year 8 Textiles because I was too busy writing on my pencil case in whiteout and staring at pictures of Jimi Hendrix. I didn’t click with my teacher and after a bad experience with a patchwork cushion I didn’t even attempt anything remotely close to making something again until I had a baby. All those years wasted!

I digress. It’s so late and I’m ridiculously sleep deprived but now I’m here you’ll have to put up with me! Righto. Where was I? Oh yes, in the first picture above you can see a kimono I made last week. I haven’t finished any of the seams or anything like that; given it was for me I gave myself a break. Plus I wanted to wear it pronto so I used every short cut I could. Not many were needed though as this is SUCH a simple project. Google DIY kimono and you’ll find heaps of different tutorials showing you how to make it. Easy peasy!

The next picture shows a cardigan I just finished crocheting for the bebe, the pattern is this sweet yoke baby cardigan which is fairly simple to whip up as well. I’m thinking of making a few more of these for winter and for a few friends, they would make a very sweet little present. The wool I used was 8 ply but it was rather on the thin side so the 6-12mo size I have made is almost too small. I made one with a thicker 8ply when Pixie was a baby and it ended up being too thick, so I’ll have to test it again on the 12mo size and see how it comes up. It’s very cute though and I honestly can’t get enough of the veggie buttons. So glad I finally found something to use them on as I’ve been carrying them around for a while now.

Next on the make list:

+ knit a square

+ finish blanket before 2020

+ more sweet yoke cardis

+ a few skirts for upcoming kid birthdays

And with that, goodnight to you all, and to all, a good night.

a crochet kinda week

With a few ups and downs last week I found some steady comfort in the hook. A new baby was born into our family last weekend which kicked me into gear. First appeared a little birdie for a new little boy… then one for his big sister, and the obligatory baby hat of course, both which I forgot to take photos of. Baby was quite taken by the ‘bords’ so I made her a special rainbow one minus the buttons and so on which she has been carrying around the place. A jar cosy also entered the mix.

You can find patterns of the little bird here, the jar cosy here, and many other wonderful ones here! Fantastic site where all your crochet dreams will come true.

We’ve also been discussing the divide between knitting and crochet. Crochet makes sense to me, yet I only learnt last year and have been ‘knitting’ for many years resulting in nothing more than a pathetic crooked looking scarf every few years. Can you knit and not crochet or vice versa? Or are you incredibly and wonderfully and totally amazingly talented and can do both super well?

Clickety Clack

I have been invited to join a knitting circle.

Once a month over the cold days of winter, a group of women will meet and sit and talk and knit by an open fire. I’ll be one of them. Brilliant!

I was just so excited about this prospect that I didn’t pay much attention to the best part: the cause. So this morning I have been reading all about knit-a-square which is a children’s charity aiming to warm and comfort children who are orphans as a result of HIV Aids in Africa. Knit-a-square also aims to raise awareness of this mostly hidden human tragedy.

To take some words from the website:

Crocheting and knitting for charity, especially for children in need, is a meditative act of love.

More importantly, it makes a difference. There are many millions of abandoned and vulnerable children and AIDS orphans in southern Africa, who live in dire poverty.

Many lack the very basics we take for granted—love, shelter, food, education and warmth.

Your contribution of squares to this crochet and knitting project adds to the many thousands of 8″/20cm squares from around the world, which are joined into blankets and distributed to these children.

There are loads of different patterns and ideas on the website. Can’t knit? Not a problem! There are also links to online how-to-knit classes, patterns, a blog and more.

To find out more visit knit-a-square and see how much difference your little contribution will make.

Reclaimed Fabrics, Reclaimed Me.

In all my budget and slowing down and living a calm, relaxed and quiet life haste, I have gone a little blog crazy. I am addicted to blogs! Every day I am discovering more and more, I can’t stop. Bye, bye iPhone and Total Baby, hello to all the mamas in blog land!

I have found so many amazing blogs and beautiful, inspiring and creative things to make and do and dream that my to do list is now pages long. Problem is, most of them are sewing projects… I don’t know how to sew… and don’t even own a sewing machine for that matter… but who ever let the truth get in the way of a good story, or something like that. We’ll sort out that problem later.

Did you know that it’s Buy Nothing New month at the Salvos? I found that out at one of the many brilliant blogs I have found so this week: Little Eco Footprints.

I was reading Little Eco Footprints last night and got so inspired that Baby and I trotted off to our two local op shops this morning to start my fabric collection. I figure when the day comes that I do get a sewing machine, I’ve got to have a stash ready, right? And besides that I think I will probably knock on my mother in law’s door a few times between now and then and sneak a little lesson on hers. I thought that finding really great second hand fabric treasures would be hard, but after just half an hour I walked back to my car with a whole bag!

This one just happened to sneak out of the bag and onto my dining table…

I thought I might use the blue/pink floral ones to make a cot sheet set for Baby, with MIL’s help of course. That will be the second creative project. The first is a little singlet I have started knitting for Baby. I have never followed a pattern before so I have been spending lots of time sitting up in bed, lap top in front of me and headphones in my ears so as not to wake Prince Charming or Baby, watching tutorials on Youtube. Who would have thought that knit, inc 3 sts evenly across … 57 (63-69) sts. would be so easy?

Thirdly, dear friends and family, you are my guinea pigs and unfortunately for you I am planning on having a Buy Nothing New Christmas by making all my gifts or buying vintage treasures if the whole ‘making’ thing goes awry. We’ll see how that goes. If I have no friends or family by New Year, we will all know why.

I feel so excited by all this creativity.