When you turn out to be cleverer than you thought you were…

I’m basking in the warm and particular glow you get when you have created something that turns out to be rather special, albeit in a small way.

Like many people who learned the basics of knitting as a child, I have recently rediscovered the pleasure of knitting and for the last few years I have been making simple items, mostly following the patterns of the wonderful Erica Knight. She’s inspired me to let my mind wander towards my own projects and I have just re-opened my Etsy shop so I can feature the result: some rather desirable neck-warmers.

Why neck warmers? Well, obviously the pattern is straight forward – it’s a rectangle of knitting stitched together into a tube. Keeping to a simple rectangle has allowed me to experiment with yarn combinations and needle sizes to come up with a very easy to wear and versatile result. I have been wearing my prototype for weeks now and love it – whether going out for a walk, working at the computer, sitting knitting or just watching television it provides the right amount of warmth and definitely helps to stop neck and shoulder muscles freezing. I also love the stitch I’ve used so much that I am toying with the idea of knitting a jumper – something quite blocky, based again on rectangles. I think it could work. But in the meantime, why not neck warmers?

It’s not just me who likes them – I’ve gifted them to family and friends – women, men, boys and girls – and everyone has told me how much they like them. (I know what you are thinking, but my friends and family are very honest people!). I sent one to my artist daughter who tells me she’s been wearing her’s while she works, and that she loves it: it stops her getting a cold, stiff neck while working. Although scarves are great, they often leave a gap where the draft gets in, and they often need adjusting which, if you are focusing on work, can be distracting. My neck warmers are very much “wear and forget” items – that is until you look in the mirror and remember how nice they look!

One of the things that pleases me most about the design is that they are very stretchy and shape-able – you can spread them out for maximum neck coverage, or let them roll up when that suits you better. You can improvise a mini-hat/head band too.

Please take a look at my shop for more colours and information. At the moment I am only posting within the UK, but if you live elsewhere and would like to buy let me know – I can give you a quote for postage.

Thanks for reading! If nothing else, I hope I’ve helped pass on the knitting inspiration and that you’ll have a go at some projects of your own.


The joys of knitting!

Knitting is a skill that I have wanted to get to grips with for years.  I learned how to cast on, knit, purl and cast off as a child, and  with many a dropped stitch I could  slowly produce a sort of scarf shaped thing.

But I have always had tremendous admiration for those people who could turn out not just wearable but beautiful knitwear, and I am fascinated by the technology involved.  It is as amazing to me that someone can take a pair of needles and a ball of wall and create a hat, as it is that you can flick a switch and get light.

A few years ago my daughter gave me a lovely pattern book, and I was inspired to start knitting a simple sweater.  Everything was going well, but I got to a point where I couldn’t immediately see how  to make the pattern work, and so the quarter finished jumper went into a bag.  I always intended to finish it, and so it came with us in the move to Clevedon.

And here I found the beautiful Spinning Weal shop up on Hill Road here in Clevedon and inspiration.  It’s such a great place.  A warm, friendly atmosphere where they run classes and workshops in a whole range of fabric based skills, including weaving.  They have a great range of yarns (and fabrics too, but it’s the knitting I am in to) and all the tools you could need.  I bought a ball of an expandable tape type of yarn and knitted a simple ruffle scarf. It was easy!!  Time to get the sweater out!  It’s a bit rustic looking – well, it was my first major piece of knitting ever, but I love it.

gloves socks

Next I bought a book of great, simple designs by Erika Knight.  Time to learn some techniques, so off I went.  You Tube is there for anything you don’t quite understand from the written instructions and diagrams. A couple of scarves, two pairs of fingerless gloves, a  pair of rustic socks and a rag bag have been added to my list of successes.   Next project:  some socks knitted on four needles, and learning to do cable stitch. And then it’s crochet.  Erika Knight has a great book of patterns for that too ….