The value of slow

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For most things in my life, I strive for using as little time as possible. I also try to organise my day so that every hour is planned and therefore used efficiently, given my tendency to start watching TV and suddenly realising that is midnight and I didn’t do anything. These days everyone is working towards faster, faster, faster and I am not the exception.

I realised the other day however that the only slow thing I do is crocheting and knitting. If we think about it in terms of process and time, we are talking snail-speed here. From choosing a pattern (we have all spent countless hours on Ravelry), to finding the right yarn, swatching, then knitting/crocheting the actual project, finishing and blocking, it is a very slow way to get a shawl/hat/sweater/etc. into your closet.

There is a new term going around called slow fashion, it is mainly applied to the fashion industry and how to make the whole supply chain more sustainable and fair to all who take part in it. I believe that this is extremely necessary and important, and we should all support it as customers. But I also believe that this micro level of slow fashion, the personal one, is essential. Taking the time, however long that is, to make something with your hands that is to be worn and loved is something I have really come to appreciate in the last year. Instead of falling on this “go faster” mentality us knitters and crocheters are constantly looking for more challenging patterns that actually make us go even slower, ain’t that amazing?

At the end of 2015 I made my first knitted cardigan. I started on a train journey at the beginning of October and finished it by the holiday time in December, it was a beginner pattern and it actually felt like a quick project. Hallelujah for knitting/crocheting and its magic to make us go slow in a world where faster is king.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

xx

Sol

PS If you are looking for a great beginner sweater pattern, the Ramona Cardigan is perfect. Top down construction in aran weight yarn, a very well written pattern and a lovely and simple fit. Can’t recommend it enough.

Doings and undoings

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Hello everyone, how’s your week going? I have been very busy lately with the blog, my new design and my upcoming classes in Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Did I mention I am teaching three classes this year? I couldn’t be more excited!

I also need to sort out my shopping list for the festival, which let’s be honest: it should be nothing considering the size of my stash but we all know that the yarny fumes at festivals are unavoidable so I might as well be prepared. Any of you going to EYF? Would love to meet up if you are around!

The last few days I have mostly worked on my Owls jumper, the pattern is by Kate Davies and it is sooo cute. I am using a yarn my sister got for me when she was on holiday in the south of Chile last year, it is a very rustic blend of wool and alpaca and I love the colour with browns, greens and pinks showing through. It is very unfortunate that after reaching the underarms I had to rip it all out though… 😦 I realised I was making the wrong size (two times bigger) after forgetting my bust measurements (we all have our days) and getting my gauge wrong. I considered leaving it but decided to rip out and start over and I must admit to being a bit proud of myself for doing this.

It takes so little to undo all that knitting, quite scary indeed to see all those stitches come undone: it’s probably the definition of a horror movie for knitters. It is a quick project though so I am already at the waist with the new size, and now of course I am worried it is a little too small… ain’t that always the case? That is the problem with bottom up sweaters, you can’t really try them on easily. I don’t particularly like fitted jumpers but the pattern calls for a bit of negative ease and it seems to look nice on everyone else on Ravelry so fingers crossed! I don’t think I could rip it out again to be honest so it will just have to fit.

What is YOUR criteria for ripping out and starting over?

Let me know in the comments!

xx

Sol