I, like perhaps most knitters, take a knitting for long car or train journeys and anywhere where you know you have to wait, like in a health centre. Recently I’ve started to take a knitting for a walk and hike, too. I’ve read about many knitters who knit and walk at the same time. I would probably go flying if I did that because I mostly walk in the forest and quite often there is no path at all, or if there is one, it’s full of roots, rocks, sticks and other foresty things that would make you trip over if you didn’t look where you were going.
Instead, I do my walking first and then sit down somewhere nice on a rock or a tree stump and do a bit of knitting while admiring the view. Sometimes I take a flask of coffee, too.
I love walking in the forest. Did you know that it’s well researched that walking in the forest lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, eases muscle tension, calms the mind and help lower stress? Add knitting and I’m so calm I’m practically in a coma! Seriously though, I’m certain it’s true and I always feel miles better after I spend time in the woods.
I always try to have a simple sock or mitten knitting handy for walkies (although this time it was a leg warmer). Below is the project bag I take with me. Before it became a project bag it used to be a toddler’s spaghetti strap summer top. I turned it so that the straps were in the middle and sewed a seam to the bottom. Done. It’s just big enough to take a sock or mitten knitting and it easily folds into a rucksack or camera bag.
I have lots of yarn but I keep knitting old, unravelled jumper yarns. What’s wrong with me? I don’t know. I just hate wasting stuff and having a jumper in the wardrobe that never gets worn seems like waste to me.
I knitted a jumper in the mid-80’s. I liked it and wore it quite a bit for some time. After that I’ve not worn it at all. It was quite big, like jumper were in the 80’s and these days it wouldn’t fit inside a jacket or coat, and that makes it unusable, as far as I’m concerned.
So, I unravelled the jumper and knitted a smaller, simple, no-nonsense top-down jumper. Now it fits inside a coat. I don’t know anything about this yarn. It’s some kind of man-made fiber, possible mostly, if not entirely. In the 80’s I liked the colour. I liked those little colourful blobs. I still do. The yarn is quite thick and it only took about a week to knit this.
Back in the 80’s I remember thinking that this jumper is really warm because it’s so thick. Of course, it’s not that warm at all; I know that now. I plan to use it as an in-between seasons jumpers.
This scarf shows how much smaller the new jumper is compared to the old one. This is the leftover yarn from the jumper. The scarf is all garter stitch and I knitted until all the yarn was used. The scarf is about 160 x 32 cm so it’s a reasonable size.
None of this is helping me reduce my yarn stash but at least I didn’t waste much time on these AND at least now in my wardrobe there is a jumper I can use, rather than a jumper that just takes up space. The scarf is a bonus. WIN-WIN, methinks.
I love to repurpose stuff. I keep old clothing to make something out of them later. I cut t-shirts into t-shirt yarn and sew bags from old jeans. I make sock monsters from socks. My sister sometimes sends me a package full of old clothes and other stuff, and one time I found an old pair of kid’s gloves in there. Hmmm….I made a pair of bunnies.
The cuff was cut in half and sewn into legs. The two middle fingers (or rather the middle finger and the ring finger) were cut out and made into arms. The place where they were was sewn shut to make the top of the head. The thumb was cut out and shortened to be the tail. That was it. Then the bunny was stuffed and buttons were sewn for eyes and a cross for a nose/mouth.
Well, the bunnies were ok but a bit boring, to be honest. I left them for a while, until I suddenly thought that the bunnies need some winter gear. I knitted scarves and mittens for them and now they look a lot nicer.
The last few days have flown past! The best thing about holidays is having time to just sit and knit.
I discovered audio books some years ago. Here in the north we have long winters and lots of snow and we spend a lot of time ploughing. Audio books make that job enjoyable! You can completely forget that you are actually ploughing while listening to a book. All last winter I ploughed with Jack Vance’s Cadwal Chronicles. Fantastic! Little while ago I realised that audio books would work equally well with knitting. Even though knitting is enjoyable even in total silence, audio books are a nice distraction (as are films and tv series). Past couple of weeks I’ve been knitting to Sylvain Neuvel’s The Themes Files.
I hate wasting anything and one of the things I do with knitting and yarn is to collect short bits of yarn in a box and once I have collected some, I knot them all randomly and wind them into a ball. I use anything longer than about 30cm/12″. Bags are a good thing to use the surprise yarn ball for because all the knots are hidden underneath the lining.
For the project bag I used mostly specialty yarn. Some 15 years ago there was a bit of a thing with card making using specialty yarn, and because my mum loved specialty yarn and had lots of it, I asked her some for my card making. She gave me loads but I never made more than maybe one card. I decided to knot mostly these specialty yarns but also some ordinary yarn. The result is a project bag so hideous that it’s almost cute! I added a satin lining and a drawstring. It’s big enough to take a sock or mitten knitting for a car ride with you.
Waste not, want not!
I suddenly realised that I had no gift for my sister’s 2-month-old puppy. Luckily I had some t-shirts ready-cut into t-shirt yarn. I used red and orange to make a crown knot dog toy. It was my first go at crown knots and I was surprised how simple it was. The toy is a bit wonky and looser at one end, but is a tiny puppy going to notice that? Hardly. I’ve been told that Helmi (that’s her name – Pearl in English) is a little tearaway anyway, so watch out, dog toy!
The English Cockers in the picture are the spitting images of my dogs, Oskar and Tesla. They were knitted by my mother. Sadly, Tesla is no longer with us. Oskar, however, is a spry 14-year-old. I gave the toy to Oskar to see if it’s a good one and I almost didn’t get it back. I tried to swap it for snacks but Oskar preferred the toy (that’s a first!). I trust it’s a good toy because Oskar doesn’t usually play with toys. There’s something to be said about handmade toys!