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knitpicks_cowl

Knitting as Therapy – Fighting the Blues With Creativity

Posted by | Being Craffty, Knitting | No Comments

Lots has been made lately about knitting being therapeutic which I am sure is no surprise to us seasoned knitters. No matter what part of this blue and green orb we live on, there are pockets of us knitters and crafters that if you inquire (nicely) will tell you how relaxing and or beneficial working on a project can be.

 

Negatives To Positives

Just on the outset the ability to take a negative and turn it into positive would fall directly into the domain of knitting. The ability to create beautiful and artistic pieces that are tangible can contrast in a good way when one may be dealing with a case of the blues for whatever reason. It reminds one of one’s ability and talent and ultimate creativity. It is also depending on the piece being worked on a reminder of a STILL useful skill that while many engage in, many more are unable to grasp fully.

 

Knits and Purls

It’s hard to remember or focus on the lies he or she  told, or the thing that made you cry when one is engaged in navigating through a pattern and stitches. Successfully doing so, however is its own reward. Navigating through a project to the end leaves the owner with the reward of something useful, beautiful and reminds them that they can make it through adversity.

Survey Says

My personal assessment aside, there are loads of studies being done on the therapeutic aspects of knitting  –

Should You Knit – Psychology Today 

Knitting Has Proven Therapeutic Value – Mentions the Wounded Warrior Project

 

Of course creativity can chase away the blues, If however you find yourself unable to shake them you should seek the help of a professional who can make an assessment and help guide you through the process. Then you can knit the knits and purl the purls…

 

entrelac_UY

Yarn Really Does Matter

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I am realizing  that yarn really does matter now that I am venturing back into the knitting and crocheting world  of crafting. When I used to knit and crochet on the regular years ago, I  primarily picked up yarn at whatever store was close by and it almost always was something acrylic. Red Heart was the choice more often than not and I had no real understanding or exposure to anything else.

 

Now picking up my  knitting needles after years of not doing so and I am finding that the process of identifying yarn to use is almost as much fun as actually knitting. Especially when you find a good one. Right now I am on an Entrelac jag and have been experimenting with a few pieces, have done 2 scarves already.

These two pieces were worked with Universal Yarn – Classic Shades and I was drawn to the color combinations. When I got the yarn I did notice the softness and this is a sticking point with me. If I am going to be working with yarn for hours on end I need not be working with yarn that feels like steel wool. It doesn’t inspire confidence for a finished product either for it to be scratchy and itchy before you even start working with the skein.

I have also in the course of refining my entrelac skills discovered KnitPicks Chroma which is a worsted weight wool blend that feels like butter. I actually love the feel of the yarn. It is light and soooo soft. The colorways are definitely interesting enough and I picked up a few balls of yarn from them. Here is a cowl I am working on with the Azalea colorway

I have at this early stage at least, identified two yarn brands that are keepers for my stash and will be go to’s for upcoming projects. I have a few on my wish list like Crystal Palace Mochi Plus,  Berroco Weekend, and Zauerball which right now  the graphics person in me is reveling in the use of color gradients in projects. I daresay it will wear off some day but no time soon !

 

harbor_scarf

Knitting vs. Crocheting

Posted by | Being Craffty | No Comments

Ah yes the old battle of which is better which I decided to chime in on based on my own experience.

Having myself, learned to knit and crochet at the age of 9, at that point crocheting was the lesser of two evils. I didn’t have to worry about counting stitches as much and I definitely did not have to contend with dropping stitches. I could and did make tons of squares and was even able  to venture into working  on blankets because it was for me then easier.

I always however came back to knitting on occasion because I always admired the finished work and the amount of options afforded one for making something that had  a longer wear life and that was an option for wearing to work in a professional environment without being branded a hippie.

I ultimately plugged away at both and my crochet skills zoomed right past my knitting skills and expanded to include  making lace and coming up with my own patterns for small things like baby blankets and such. I would think that is actually one of the major likable things about crochet is the ability to come  up with something on the fly a lot easier.

Taking nothing away from knitting and actually in the last few months my interest in expanding on my knitting skills has grown and led me to enroll in an online course at Craftsy.com – Exploring Cables. It was in this class that I rediscovered my love and yen for knitting. Making swatches became good sport but  finally starting to work on projects clicked the i-love-knitting meter right back into gear.

I would say at this  point my knitting and crocheting skills are closer to being advanced – especially in crochet but the knitting is catching up quite rapidly. I  believe it took learning the one to appreciate the other. Ultimately the ability to create anything by hand is an often overlooked skill in this instant gratification society.

Working with one’s hands used to be a highly sought after thing – now it feels more like it has been relegated to the weekend hobbyist and the retiree.

Well I am neither and I do have a  love for both…..so I count the battle of knitting vs. crocheting at a stalemate. AT least in these parts it is.

Carry on crafting….

traveling cable stitch swatch

Relearning What Was Taught

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After a long hiatus from picking up anything other than a crochet needle I have made the jump back into knitting and am currently enrolled in “Exploration of Cables” class online at craftsy.com

Previously my knitting had mainly consisted of stockinette stitches  ribbing and a random bobble here and there.  I had never really delved into working with cables but always wanted to and now I am.

We have been introduced to the cable stitches and have  had opportunities to learn to read the patterns as well as follow the chart for each. 

The class is set up nicely and Patty Lyons is a great instructor. The site interface allows for you to do a 30 second repeat where you can review a segment of the video lesson repeatedly until you deactivate it. This helps a great deal with tricky points like  the alternative cast on.

What is also good about the class is that there is no time limit to finish so you can work on projects and lessons at your leisure. That comes in handy especially if your schedule is crazy like mine can be at times.

right_cable_blue

Begin the Beguine – Starting from Scratch

Posted by | Being Craffty | No Comments

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