Mastering the Craft of Knitting

A few weeks ago I was browsing Facebook – as you do – when I came across a really interesting article on the Mail Online headed, ‘Why we’ve forgotten how to knit (but can still use Wi-Fi)‘. It lists 20 traditional skills, including knitting, map reading and spelling and grammar, that are in danger of dying out because we rely so much on technology nowadays to make our lives easier.

It’s an interesting read and it got me thinking about traditional skills. Obviously a lot of amazing people are working hard to keep traditional skills alive and they’re doing a fantastic job but, on the whole and in my opinion, we are losing a lot of important life skills. I mean…what if (just humour me on this one) something catastrophic happened in the world and we lost all access to electricity, technology and everything else we’ve come to rely on just to get by? What would happen then? I believe (personal opinion), that a lot of people would be completely lost and wouldn’t have a clue as to what to do next.

Anyway, enough of that.

As I said, the article got me thinking and I realised that, despite the best efforts of my mum when I was young, I can’t knit. You see, when I was little, knitting just wasn’t interesting. Only grannies and mums knitted. Then, as I grew up through the 80s and 90s, knitting just wasn’t cool. Think tank tops and leg warmers. Nowadays though, things have changed. Knitting is one of the coolest crafts around. In fact, knitting has become so cool that it is now considered to be an art form! Yes – it’s true!

And so, I’ve decided to…

Master the Craft of Knitting

Around the time that I read the article, DeAgostini brought out a set of step-by-step, knitting instruction magazines called Simple and Stylish Knitting and I signed up for a subscription. I don’t normally do things like that but, after browsing the first issue online, it looked as though it could be exactly what I needed. Each week you get several different knitting patterns but there is also a large project which continues for the length of the subscription – 90 issues in this case. The project is a knitted throw made up of, I’m guessing, 90 different squares each one created by using different stitches and techniques and I have to say, so far, it has been unbelievably easy to follow.

Here are a few of the squares I made earlier:

The Craft of Knitting

What I can’t get over is how easy basic knitting is compared to what was in my head. I had decided it was unbelievably complicated but I now see that knitting is really just two stitches – plain and purl. It is however, what really skilled knitters manage to do with those two stitches and how they manipulate them, that creates some of the beautiful examples of knitted art that we see around today. Please note that I, myself, am still mastering garter, stocking and moss stitch so don’t expect anything amazing from me just yet.

I am starting to feel a little bit more ambitious though and, whilst I wait for the next issue of the magazine to arrive, I’ve decided to go ahead and make some things on my own. My mum-in-law bought me the ‘Big Book of Knitting’ which has some great patterns and fab instructions in it and from that I’m going to make an ear-warmer headband. I’m also going to make a big chunky scarf with pom-poms from the magazine. Get me!!

Here’s what I’m using to make the scarf and ear-warmer headband.

IMG_0625

It’s made up of:

  • Erika Knight Maxi Wool (flax)
  • Erika Knight Vintage Wool (wisteria)
  • King Cole Baby Alpaca (mauve and fawn)
  • Millward bamboo needles (3mm, 3,25mm 10mm)

Clearly I’m going through my purple and beige phase

Anyway, if I can get one person to give knitting a go after reading this post I will be very happy. I’m always excited and enthused when I take up a new hobby but this one has really made a difference to me. Knitting is a great lifeskill to have not least because it’s so useful. As you become more skilled at it you can make almost anything you can imagine. Even better though, it’s extremely relaxing and very therapeutic.

So, if you’re already a knitter, let me know what it is you do in the comments below.

If you have any fabulous or quirky knitting tips for me, let me know them too.

If you’re just starting out with your knitting or have decided to give it a go after reading this post, I’d love to hear from you.

If you want more stuff on living a creative and crafty life then sign up for my NEWSLETTER. You can also join in the fun over on the FACEBOOK PAGE if you can stand all the excitement.

Lastly – here’s the link to the full Mail Online article.

Enjoy!

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4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. What a coincidence! I just (re)discovered the joys of knitting this week. Found a jumper I had started about 10 years ago and tried to finish it (without the benefit of the pattern which I had managed to lose) but sadly had to admit defeat. Nevertheless, I found a free pattern online to download and am now the proud owner of a cowl/neckwarmer thingy, complete with zigzag pattern. I really have been bitten by the bug so can’t wait to go into town to find the raw materials for my next project.

  2. That is a coincidence, Carol! How funny.
    I’m finding knitting to be so therapeutic and am loving it although I’m not quite at the stage of following zig zag patterns yet 😐 so well done you! There’s just something really satisfying about creating something beautiful and/or useful from a simple ball of wool. I’ve definitely got the bug too.
    You maybe already know about this shop but I’ve just discovered http://woolforewe.com in Aberdeen. Looks fab!
    Good luck with your next project. Looking forward to hearing how it’s going
    Denise

  3. Yay! Another knitter. Even after almost 8 years of knitting, I’m still a beginner, mainly because I don’t have enough time to really learn new pieces of the craft. Some day I’ll be able to expand. In the meantime, I’ll just do simple projects to keep me going.

    I totally agree with you about people not being able to “survive” without technology. We’ve become so reliant on it that we don’t know what to do with ourselves or even FOR ourselves should we need to. I am proud that I had to teach myself the technology after originally learning the “old fashioned” way, as opposed to growing up with technology and not knowing there was ever a manual way to do things. It gives me to benefit of being able to actually fend for myself if I needed to.

    1. Hi Kanalt! Great to hear from you. I’ve already discovered that part of the beauty of knitting is that, even if you don’t learn some of the more complex techniques, you can still create great pieces from the simple, straightforward stitches. I’m sure though that even though you call yourself a beginner, you’re way more advanced than I could ever hope to be at the moment.

      Like you, I didn’t grow up with technology either and I actually feel very lucky to have known both worlds – the world with and the world without. And you’re absolutely right. Knowing that we could fend for ourselves if necessary, is a huge benefit and also, in my opinion, provides a certain sense of security. Fingers crossed that we never have to put it to the test 😀

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