Feeling Woolly

The Chronicles of a Dropped Stitch

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Category: Knitting (page 1 of 2)

Feeling Cool with The Gang

I love September.  The changing of seasons with the Autumn beginning to creep in with all her colour, sun beginning to lower and allowing all below to bathe in such beautiful light and shadow.  The weather almost in two minds as to know if she should cling on to those last few days of summer warmth, or let go and allow the autumnal chill to set in.  Cooling us down, and so pushing us to delve into the depths of our wardrobes, or blanket boxes, to pull on our winter woollies.

There is another reason for me feeling cool though!  It is because I have just finished knitting my Chief WIP (work in progress was whipped as they say!  Sorry, once again never can resist a pun on words).  In my post of the same name, I briefly touched on the nature of this project, but now it is completed I can share and elaborate a little further.  Bet you never thought that you could feel cool by knitting a cardy did you!  Actually I retract that very brazen comment.  Of course those knitters amongst you will have felt the same on your own projects.  There’s a very warm tingling inside (whilst of course feeling very very cool!!)

It is not hard though when you’re knitting a Pop Life Cardigan by Wool and The Gang.  Just browsing through their website, you’ll know what I mean.  Such very beautiful kits to make your ‘own’, simply presented and very contemporary.  ‘Handmade’  here looks very slick indeed, but their appeal for me lies in their welcome to all attitude, to learn these crafts for yourselves and become one of ‘The Gang’. There are video tutorials to help you on your way, and I found them very quick to respond to a query I had.  For me they seem to be doing a great job putting the ‘cool’ back into ‘wool’.

This sloppy cardigan is knitted in their Billie Jean Yarn, which I really loved.  A mixture of 60% Upcycled Denim and 40% Upcycled Cotton, it is soft to the touch and hangs beautifully.

Billie Jean Yarn

It became a bit of a full on family affair in the making!

Preparing for blocking by spritzing!

Spritzing the cardy

Then someone else has to join in….note determination on his face.  Not sure he was aiming at the cardigan!

Under attack!

Of course there’s another fella never too far away from the action.

Mr Lumpford looks on

After a soaking (more me than the cardy I think!) we blocked and all that was needed was the body for whom it was intended.

Blocking Billie Jean

Being for my sister Em, it winged it’s way by post the 325miles from Guisborough to Swansea, and was gratefully received mid week.  I think she looks happy!

My gorgeous sister

…..and very cool!

Looking good missus

For me seeing Em in this cardigan feels so important.  Not because I want to see her in something I have made.  But because it connects us, and as I have said before draws us closer, squeezing the miles in between.  When you miss people, these small things really do matter.  You can’t beat a cardigan cuddle can you!

 

 

Chief WIP

A newbie knitter like me has been enlightened learning a new knitting language all of its own.  It really feels like decoding secrets and for me is all part of the fun.  Part of the challenge is figuring out what all the symbols/abbreviations mean.  Then, satisfyingly putting them into practice in the most hands on of ways.

For quite some time, I pondered over one such abbreviation however.  Unlike those on a pattern, which always have a key to interpret, this one didn’t appear to have any explanation, but appeared like a familiar friend in conversational speak (websites, blogs and even face to face chatter).  It was you could say “the lingo“,  and I felt like an outsider not party to that conversation.  Dont worry I don’t take offence easily, in fact I was ever determined, to suss out its meaning!

Ok, the seasoned ‘makers’ out there may have already guessed I am actually referring to the term “WIP”. Actual translation: “Work in Progress”.  Aah what a devil you were, because for such a while your identity illuded me.  What could you have been? Wellies in Porch? Wild in Peru? Wool is Pants? (heavens couldn’t be!) What is Point? Or maybe Wandering in Purgatory (yes I was!)

To top it off I can’t even remember how I finally figured it out.  Oh who am I kidding, of course it was Google!

Anyway, I have many WIPs (that’s Works in Progress!) as you can see.

some knitting!

and also…..

The ironing pile!

However, I have elected my Chief WIP (ironically I have never been exactly sure who or what that is either- sorry!)  My Chief WIP, is this absolutely marvellous Pop Life Cardigan by Wool and the Gang.

My lovely new kit

My Chief WIP

It’s the first time I’ve tackled a cardigan, and am truly loving the whole process.  It is another sister knit, this time for Em, who with her impeccable good taste chose this, and asked me to make it for her.  I will elaborate more once it is completed, as this is one company I really love.

Until then, hope you enjoy these last few days of summer!

Thank yous with Novelty Knits

We’ve reached that time again when our children have completed another year at school and all are ready for that 6 week summer holiday.  For our two boys, it also marks the end of their time with each of their teachers, as they individually move upwards into their next classes, and for one in particular a new school.  So of course what better way to say some ”thank yous” than to get the knitting needles out and find some fantastic free patterns to whip up a gift!

With not a great deal of time left before the end of term, something small(ish) and easy was required…..and I had the urge to do novelty!  I suppose after spending the last few months being committed to completing a serious shawl (by the way I didn’t have a serious face on during that time, I loved every minute of it!),  it is lovely to do something completely different and light hearted which makes you smile.  Not to mention (groan, here she goes again!) my “Knitter’s Hand” which in truth is still not quite fully recovered, so I didn’t want to overdo it!  So this is what I chose.

Bookmarks…..

Owl bookmarks on some nicely staged books

 

….and a Mug Cozy!

Keeping the cuppa warm!

I used whatever so called scrap yarn (I love the term ‘scrap’, because it is anything but!) that I had.  The pattern I used for the bookmarks by Aldersign Design, is called Owly Bookmark which I originally obtained through the Love Knitting website.

Owly Bookmark

You can pick up some fantastic free patterns here, along with tools, yarn and general advice.  This was a great quick, effective knit and they looked so pretty as a gift.

Then came the mug cozy pattern which I just fell in love with.  This Simple Sweater Mug Cozy by Lily Sugar’n Cream was also free and very easy to follow (even for me).  This being a gift for a male, I did go out to search out for some old fashioned buttons, the kind that you may find on an old Aran sweater.  I was so pleased when I found these!  I think they make it feel a little more masculine don’t you think!  But oh so cute!  Oh don’t you love a novelty knit.

Love these buttons

So happy holidays to all those lucky enough to have some, and to those who don’t, maybe you’ll be lucky to get away when the summer rush is over, and quieter times ensue!

 

Help I’ve got “Knitter’s Hand”!!

I have been knitting constantly.  Passionately.  Lovingly.  Obsessively?…….for months and months.  However my body is telling me to slow down.  Through my own self diagnosis I have developed what I like to call “Knitter’s Hand”.  Now firstly, I will point out, that as far as I am aware there is no such condition in the text books.  No no, it is a name I have attributed myself, to what is I am quite certain a common physical complaint which may develop after knitting too much!  I have not required a doctor to tell me this!  Indeed it is not so serious I need a doctor at all.  Just diversional therapy!

For me it has affected my left hand, but more specifically the muscles controlling my thumb.  Highly likely it is a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) brought on over the last few months whilst completing my last large knitting project.  If analysing this more deeply (sorry once a Physiotherapist always a Physiotherapist!!) I would say the muscle overuse has been due to holding teeny, tiny needles whilst repeatedly pushing the stitch from left needle to right needle with my overworked thumb.  When you are a ‘Righty’ like me – an expression here by which I mean right handed (not someone who just happens to believe they are right about everything!), you begin to realise just how much of a ‘stabiliser’ your left hand is.  Naturally, the opposite would apply if one happened to be a ‘Lefty’ – an expression by which I mean left handed (not a person who supports left wing politics)!  Of course you’re on to a winner if ambidextrous.

There is a tremendous amount of strength required in being the ‘stabiliser’ and one only notices this when there is a deficit in that strength.  The knock on effect of my “Knitter’s Hand” has made the everyday activities, like washing up (oh boo hoo now can’t do it), opening a jar and even holding a media device such as a tablet, just a little more tricky.

Love your hands…..ay yaz this actually hurts!

And so I am acknowledging my body, and giving my wee hands a break.  Don’t get me wrong, I am itching to get those hands on a ball of wool, however I understand how allowing them to really rest and recuperate (perhaps with some massage and stretching…..there I go again), in due course they will be back raring to go all guns blazing.  Ironically, knitting teaches us to be patient, to slow down.  Nothing is completed quickly or in an instant.  Here it continues to teach us that we still need to down our needles from time to time, giving our mind and body a real holiday from the activity.

My “Knitter’s Hand” though is a real nod to my time as a Physiotherapist.  Those were lovely years, where I met extraordinary people, in both colleagues and patients.  It is where I have made friends for life.  It also reminds me of all those medical conditions which have almost been mocked in their given nicknames.  Many will have heard of a ‘Frozen Shoulder’ for instance, but it is just one of many.  “Knitter’s Hand” on the other hand (pardon the pun!) is of course unrecognised, but certainly describes my predicament.  I can also think of a few other afflictions which would suit a nickname.  The “Stubborn-as-a-Mule Head”, a condition I can relate to where the poor person is unable/unwilling to back down!  And then we’ve all come across those people with a real humdinger of an ailment,  whereby they have absolutely no control over their tongue thus speaking before thinking.  I think you’ll agree “Shoot Your Mouth off Tongue” is most sad and undesirable!

So where will my diversion therapy take me.  With tennis season upon us I could perhaps partake in a few games.  Umm no…..could get Tennis Elbow.  Ok my husband would love it if I threw myself into housework.  Umm no…..could get Housemaids Knee.  And Trigger Finger….well, you don’t want to ask!  No, I think I know where I’ll be……

A walk in the woods

Diversion Therapy

 

Much Love from Us Lot Up North

I am very lucky.  I am the youngest of four girls and am proud to say, although naturally not mirror images of each other, we are still close.  For all our differences, there are of course many similarities.  I think us girls agree, we are all uncomfortable with confrontation.  We reflect on events and act accordingly and don’t just jump in.  There is kindness and empathy in all of us.

Gorge Walking Gals 2016

It is a rare occurrence for all four of us to be in a room together, our different lives spread out over long distances throughout the United Kingdom.  However when this does happen, let’s just say there are giggles of laughter resonating through the walls!

Since starting knitting three years ago, I have slowly been creating pieces for all of my sisters.  For me the process of hand knitting an item for somebody, whoever that may be, enables me to focus fully on that individual.  There is a constant feeling, a presence if you will, that this person is there, right by your side.  This is an unexpected phenomenon which I hadn’t prepared for when taking up this craft.  It is an almost overwhelming connection between person and creation, which inevitably keeps you going.  The art of making a gift for someone, wherever they are, undoubtedly draws you closer to that individual.  I concur with the phrase ” there is love in every stitch “.

So it is with great pleasure that after three months of steady knitting, I have finally been able to send a very belated birthday gift to my biggest sister Kate (ironically she is the little one on the far right of the photo!).  It is a shawl, well more specifically a Hap, and although it is my first, it will certainly not be my last.  I am brimming with enthusiasm about this piece.  The pattern is called A Hap for Harriet which I bought as part of a kit from Kate Davies Designs.  There is something lovely about receiving a parcel in the post don’t you think.   In this case, when it is a kit, you suddenly become armed with all the tools to go on and create something wonderful.  I ordered the needles separately, but when put all together, there’s a huge excitement brimming inside as you suppress that urge to just down tools and get cracking straight away.

Ready, set, go!

What can I say about this particular kit though?  There is the stunning Fyberspates Gleem Lace in ‘Tweed Imps’, which I previously mentioned in my post A Tall Storey in Yarn.   It is such a treat to handle, with sweeping, subtle colour changes of purples, indigos, raspberries……oh I could go on!  However, it is the pairing with a seemingly simple repeat pattern which is so clever.  After the final phase of stretching and blocking (don’t ask!)…..

Blocking with pins

Yes that is a giant dragonfly!

….you suddenly see how beautiful this hap is.  And I am so pleased with how it came out!

A hap for Kate

Simple beauty

I could now proclaim a multitude of expressions, such as  ‘Good things come to those who wait’ or perhaps ‘Patience is a virtue’.  Both will be well versed by my family when it comes to associations with little ol’ me!  However, I am of the mind that in the good old fashioned sending of a parcel in the post, with a gift for someone, we can waver any preconceptions that it should have arrived earlier.  I believe that a gift that is sent, will somehow always arrive just when it is supposed to.   One can never be disappointed, just heart-warmed.   In this case, when I had asked Kate three months ago, what she would like me to knit for her, she would not have known how poignant her answer of a shawl would be.   To me it epitomises the need for comfort, wrapping yourself up, feeling loved.  So then I’ll finish by saying, “Much love from us lot up North….. better late than never!”

Fluffy White Clouds in the Sky

I wanted to share a quick knit with you, which I completed at the weekend.  Although I am still in the process of finishing my Hap for Harriet, as mentioned in my previous post,  I was at a bit of a loss when I ran out of wool last week.  So whilst awaiting the arrival of a new skein for that one,  I found myself having a conversation with my Photographer friend Katie of The Picture Patch Ltd She was looking to add a few baby shawls and bonnets to her collection of props which she uses when photographing new babies.  I have previously knitted a few items for Katie, and she already had in mind the kind of knitted items she wanted.  So I sent her to get the yarn and she came back with this!

What can I say? Gorgeous!

I had the patterns at the ready so was set to go.  Armed with some size 9mm (13US) needles I was off, and proceeded to knit the Easy Knit Lacy Baby Wrap by Posh Patterns.   There are beautiful patterns to be found here for sure, so it is definitely worth taking a peep. This is a simple but effective repeat pattern which once again I managed to misread!!  Thankfully you can’t really tell when looking at it.  This is probably because I was at least consistent with my mistake throughout, continuing to add that extra knit row which was not required!!  Such a beautiful colour yarn, it was as though I was knitting through blue sky, with interruptions of white clouds floating through.  Drops Kid-Silk long print, is a mix of 75% Mohair and 25% Silk.  Oh so soft for baby!  As you can also see my companion nicely shows how well this colour goes with chocolate!

Goes well with Chocolate

Although my friend doesn’t look so sure…..

Not sure if it matches my eyes

Ok, so this ball of yarn goes a long way, I had loads remaining, so continued with a bonnet also by Posh Patterns, called  Mohair Lace Bonnet.  So relaxing to knit, and didn’t take long to complete.  I cannot help but feel a sense of contentment when knitting items for babies, in fact there’s always a smile on my face when the end product is finally seen.  Definitely a feel good knit.

Awww…….

Fluffy blue bonnet

And still yarn leftover…….what next?

Yarn goes a long way

 

 

I’ll tell you what next, I will endeavour to finish my Hap!

A Tall Storey in Yarn

Well it’s been a couple of weeks now since I was last here, and do you know what?  I’ve missed it!  That’s a sure indication of how much I am enjoying doing this blog and certainly a tick in the box, in terms of surprising oneself.  For anyone contemplating doing this sort of thing and are doubting themselves, I can honestly say (as the biggest self doubter around!), that there is therapy in writing, which I have found so liberating and cathartic.  Once again we are using that creative side of our brain to string words together and communicate.  It is also fun!  Anyway it has been a busy few weeks and my attention has been drawn elsewhere.  What with our eldest boy Ewan turning 11 and organising a trip to London for him.  Aswell as tests at school (yes SAT’s, those mean ones they make Year 6’s take).  Last but not least my marathon effort to complete a shawl for my sister’s birthday (incidentally her birthday was in February, but I always say you can’t rush these things!)

To be more precise I am knitting a ‘Hap’, which is a Scottish term for a shawl/wrap/scarf.

Knitting a Hap for Harriet

Knitting a hap

It is the first time for me in knitting such a garment.  The pattern is called ‘A Hap for Harriet’ and is designed by Kate Davies of Kate Davies Designs.  It is absolutely beautiful and the yarn being used is Fyberspates Gleem Lace It has been a pleasure not only seeing the most gorgeous pattern emerging, but handling this luxurious yarn.   A yarn that beautifully compliments the pattern with it’s myriad of changing colours.  I’ll go into more detail about said ‘Hap’ in my following post, but as you may have guessed, it is not quite finished…..yet!

More importantly for us though Ewan and his Dad went on a two day (one night) trip to London.  A very special treat for a boy who is fascinated by ALL skyscrapers, he has been longing to go and see the big City for a couple of years now.  A modernist I suppose in his taste.

View to the City

View to the City

The Scalpel and Gherkin

The Gherkin reflecting in The Scalpel

He can name them all (even the ones under construction), place them with accuracy by their address, and knows all their heights.  Yes this is his ‘thing’.  London of course is not cheap, but by all accounts cost was kept to a minimum.  You see this whistle-stop trip saw big boy and little boy, tubing, bussing and walking past all the major building developments.  From Canary Wharf to the City of London, Piccadilly Circus to Buckingham Palace.  It was true sight seeing.  ‘Seeing’ places and buildings from the outside and absorbing the hustling, bustling atmosphere.  This costs nothing.

There was one special treat which was paid for though.  A visit to the top of The Shard – our tallest building here in the UK.

The Shard

A long way up to the top of The Shard!

And Ewan was naturally thrilled.

View from the Shard

View from The Shard

On his return home he proceeded to ask when we could all go together, as a whole family. Gulp!!  I have deviously avoided answering that one…..major saving up required without doubt!!

Ok getting back to the unfinished ‘Hap’, it suddenly occurred to me why it has taken so long to complete.  Apart from the fact you’re using a 2-ply yarn on very small needles, I took a passing glance at the label and what do I see?  This 100g skein comprises a whopping 800m of yarn!  And then BINGO!  My subconscious shouts out!  That is the equivalent of a very tall building indeed.  The many retorts of Ewan in all his enthusiasm, reciting the heights of all the tallest buildings (in the world).  I have to acknowledge, I may have only nodded and pretended to listen here and there.  However, without realising it my subconscious was listening.  In effect I have been knitting my way to the top of The Shard, back down again and more than half way back up!  At 309m this immense building is still not as tall as an outstretched piece of yarn.  In actual fact it would take you almost to the top of the worlds tallest building, The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 828m (excluding the antenna).  Wow!  At around £16.00 per 100g skein I’d say that’s pretty good value for money wouldn’t you!

So until next time (when I hope to finally share my ‘Hap’), remember to embrace your passions whatever they are and share them with others.  Enthusiasm is infectious and should be encouraged.  It may not always be obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people are really listening.  What was that Ewan?

My Locals

The internet; an infinite resource for all our needs.  Our answer to, well…..everything.  Isn’t it?  For me personally, the internet has definitely been a lifeline.  From the time we were living semi rurally a few years ago,  to the last 3 years where we have become a one car household.  As my husband requires said car for work, this of course limits any jaunts (shopping trips) for me.  I can honestly say that it doesn’t take long to adapt to this scenario.  Indeed we moved back to this area because of that very reason, knowing it would be possible to walk to schools, shops, and public transport was at hand.

Therefore, if I have needed supplies of any kind, whether that be needles, yarn or patterns, I have been able to easily obtain them by the quick press of a button on the computer.  Not only that, I have been able to learn step by step how to knit a multitude of stitches, mostly through online tutorials and YouTube (yes my lovely Virtual Granny).  So…..job done!  No need to leave the house.  I have everything right here.  In these four walls, my safe cocoon.  Golly how convenient eh!  Certainly no need to face people.  Or talk.  Or discuss.

Ah…..and therein lies the rub!  As much as we benefit from the conveniences of having the world at our fingertips, there is a whole plethora of reasons why I believe that the internet is unable to provide “everything”.  Humans are, by their very existence, social beings.  Even if indeed one believes himself to be verging on the antisocial (I draw parallels here!), I feel it is so very important for us to have interactions with people everyday, face to face.  Hmm, just the tip of the ice-burg on that topic!

My Local

Leven Crafts, Guisborough

Leven Crafts

Tucked away on an old cobbled street

Which leads me to venture out to my local independent yarn shops first and foremost.  I am lucky enough to have two favourites.  Here in Guisborough, Leven Crafts is a veritable gem of a hideaway.  This lovely shop, tucked away on old cobbles, provides a whole range of materials to satisfy those with a passion in craft making.  Whether it be knitting/crochet, quilting, embroidery or patchworks, the friendly team who work here are always willing to help, guide and encourage their customers.  When I enter this place I am naturally drawn to the yarn section.

Keep calm and carry on sewing!

Lovely yarn

However, I have to say the array of colour and pattern permeating from the range of fabrics and patchworks on display, always captures my gaze.  Colour is definitely therapy and I find myself inevitably absorbed.  I veer myself away, only then to be transfixed by the yarns!

On the rare occasions where I am able to use the car, the 15minute drive to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, leads me to my second treasure trove.  And it truly is.  Ripping Yarns presents itself amid a row of old Victorian shops.

Ripping Yarns, Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Wool…

More wool….

The walk past small cafes, antiques and bookshops, whilst breathing in the sea air, just adds to the nostalgia, as you approach its doors.  A bell tinkles as you go in, and you’re greeted with a bright, cheery space, lined floor to ceiling with a most super variety of yarns.  Here too, the staff are welcoming and all too willing to help.  When I visited it was Yarn Shop Day where together with discounts and raffles,  a Dry Needle Felting workshop was taking place which all could try for free.  A totally new craft concept to me, and once again you’re eyes are opened to try something new.

Yarn Shop Day

So these are ‘my locals’, and like many around the UK (and the world), they are so important to local communities.  The experience you gain is so rich.  Here you can really take in colours and textures, taking time to not only look, but touch each yarn, thus figuring out which is right for you.  You also gain one to one help if needed.  Positive interactions with approachable, like-minded people.

Supporting British Wool

And therefore, it is only if I cannot obtain something from either of these two lovely places, I return to my computer, where I know, as a last resort I’ll always be able to find something.  Thank you internet for everything you do, but more importantly thank you ‘my locals’, for providing just that little bit extra, the over and above (and by the way you’ll find them both on the internet!) I guess we have to remind ourselves, every butterfly needs to leave the cocoon…..to truly live.

T-wit T-wool ! How very Owlish

If you are on the look out for a novelty pouch/case/holder for perhaps a tablet, IPad or netbook, this maybe something of interest.  I made this owlish chap for my son’s IPad Mini last October.

Handmade knitted IPad sleeve

Owlish IPad mini case

This is a free pattern called Owlish by Corrisande and was very straightforward to follow.  Having said that I had never tried my hand at crochet before, so there was an immediadte search for any tutorials on YouTube so that ‘owl eyes’ could be created.  My virtual granny didn’t disappoint and before long (long being the operative word) the eyes of the owl were cobbled together.  I should say though, it is a good thing you cannot scrutinise them too closely from the photograph!

My sister was quite smitten with this little fella and so asked me if I could make one for her 19 year old son Owen, as a Christmas present.  This time however, it was for a MacBook.  So armed with some new measurements (13″×9″), I headed to my local yarn shop Leven Crafts in Guisborough and purchased some Drops Nepal.

Drops Nepal

Drops Nepal

I love this yarn, a beautiful blend of 65% Wool and 35% Alpaca, so it is gorgeously soft to the touch.  I have to say I am really drawn to knitting with natural fibres.  This yarn in particular is dreamy to knit with, stitches sliding off the needles with ease.  It is also a bargain at £2.10 a ball.

I pretty much stuck to the pattern, but increased the needle size to 9mm (13 US ) and used a double strand of each colour of the wool.  I replaced a toggle for the beak this time as felt this may be more secure for the heavier device it would be holding.  As the pattern says itself, they are guidelines really and it can be altered to your taste.

13"x 9" MacBook sleeve

Knitting the MacBook case

Hey, but those crocheted owl eyes are amazing, I hear you say!  And you a newbie crocheter!!  Well, psst!  Listen in….indeed they are superb because I did not crochet them.  You see it took me such an age to do the last pair (for my own son’s device), that I was literally running out of time to be able to send the finished article before Christmas.   Oh how tricksy I am, so how did I do it?  Well, I unpicked  these particular eyes off an old child’s hat which had certainly seen better days, and just sewed them on my new creation.  I always feel it’s good to upcycle don’t you!  Et voila!  Owen’s Owl was born!

Handmade MacBook Sleeve

Owen’s Owl

Anyway, I believe my lovely nephew Owen was pleased with his Christmas present and his owly companion is now in constant use at University (I have been promised a photograph which I’ll add in as soon as I can).  A wise old owl happy in his academic surroundings.

Getting back to those owl eyes though……recognise them from somewhere?

Crocheted owl eyes

The hat in better days

T-wit T-wool!

Mum’s Big Woolly

Mum (on the right) in what might be her woolly!

I suppose when we look back at how we begin new ventures or hobbies, we often find there’s a subtle, subconscious influence which has guided us to that point.  Sometimes it is hiding in plain sight.

For me that influence is this big blue woolly jumper!  Yes there I am again in it – in fact it is rarely off me in the colder months.  It also features down there at the bottom of the page, one of my humble doodles, which will probably act as my signature throughout the following posts I hope to throw out there.  My wee homage you could say to this creation!  I want to say a massive thank you to the lovely Katie at The Picture Patch Ltd for taking some of the beautiful photographs so far (the one of me in black and white up at the top of the page and in my first post and ‘about me ‘ page).  They really do justice to the colour and stitch definition of the jumper.  Check out her Facebook page, she is such a talent.

I have a strong bond with this piece of clothing as believe it or not my mum knitted it for herself when she was 21 years of age.  My mum is now 77, so that makes this jumper 56 years old.  Vintage it certainly is!  However for me there is so much more significance.

There are the obvious reasons of course. The beautiful thick wool, knitted into a drop-stitch stocking stitch pattern, accompanied by the vibrancy of a rich deep blue colour. Not forgetting to mention my mum’s knitting skills.  Although some fading round the collar, the stitches have barely fraid in all these years – only minor patch ups required here and there which have enabled it to continue on its long journey.  A journey that has seen it travel through time.  Being present through all our births (there are four of us girls!), and of course accompanying me to University, from my Welsh home to my new one here in Teesside 24 years ago.  There is real history in its fibres.

Most importantly for me though, this adorable hunk of a jumper connects me to my mother.  Each time I wear it, I feel my mother’s arms around me.  The most comforting hug, even though she is 300 miles away.   When family aren’t near, I believe connections like these are vital for keeping those we love close to our hearts.  A photograph enables us to see a person…..an object enables us to feel them.

So perhaps then, my first knitting project two and a half years ago was always going to be a big woolly jumper.  This time for my lucky husband…..and it’s big and orange!  Not sure if it will last 56 years, but you never know.  As for Mum’s Big Woolly, well the story continues.  Just a couple of months ago, an amazing chance sighting of the original pattern on Ebay caught my eye. I jumped on the chance to purchase it and now I have the very instructions to reproduce a modern day big woolly like my mum’s. I look forward to sharing that project when I eventually get started.  Until then, keep your special items within arms reach…..feeling woolly with you.