FO: Mara Shawl

aka the Ode to Garter Stitch. 

A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

I have dreamed of such shawls as this! Warm, squishy garter stitch in soft Merino yarn. It's huge, it's embracing and it is sad that I didn't get it finished, blocked and ends woven in till early Summer. It's ok though dear shawl, we will have many hours to huddle together in front of a laptop come Autumn. Trust me. 

A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

This was such a comforting knit. The pattern is a freebie put out by Madelinetosh called Mara. The yarn is Organically Farmed Merino Wool - Aran Weight. Using Aran weight rather than the DK weight this pattern calls for was my first modification and I don't regret it. I wanted a wearable blanket for cold, work from home days and I would say I've got it. You can read all about my lovely green garter stitch wonder on my Ravelry page here too. 

A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

Further Modifications:

  • I opted for size 5mm needle to account for thicker yarn
  • As per another knitter's notes, I used the same increases as are used in Ishbel (every row rather than just one) to make it longer for maximum shoulder coverage.
  • I basically knit till the yarn ran out (a little too literally)
  • I used a suspended bind off for a nice neat ribbed edging. (I used this tutorial)
A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

A Playful Day's Mara Shawl

I had a few problems when I ran out of yarn and had to tink back then tried to futz around with the bind off several times but ultimately, I love it. I'm almost sad Summer is just round the corner. 

Almost. 

For the Love of Writing

A few nights ago I was melancholy. There were various events over the last week that left me listless, dissatisfied and a little emotionally raw. In the past I kept a journal which I poured my soul into but having stopped the habit years ago, picking up a pen now feels overwhelming.  I felt like that was what I needed though and while the blog helps my urge to write and tell tales, I don't have that same release any more.  

I started at an empty page wondering where to start. I needed to work through, cataloguing things to find a pattern, a catalyst and hopefully reach a resolution. I didn't know how to any more though. I was overwhelmed by the words I suddenly didn't have and still, there was this noise in the background, making it hard to focus. I wanted it out so I could move on. Nothing BIG was wrong. I was just blue and struggling to move on. 

So I put out a plea via Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry and found others who kept journals. A few different systems were suggested:

- Bullet Journalling (I NEED this in my life too, also I need something reflective too though..... how to incorporate?)
- One thousand Gifts. (while not religious myself, I found the idea of finding joy in each day interesting.... this could easily be included in the Bullet Journal format)
- Every few days, writing highlights and notes, collecting pages, adding details through tickets or photographs (note: I would love a polaroid for just this reason)
- 5 year diaries. A small note each day that you return to year after year. My grandfather has done this for decades. I hope to inherit these as I understand the preciousness of the daily act. 
- A journal with additional clips and sticky notes, colour coded for different types of note such as knitting, anxiety and shopping lists. I liked this idea a lot. 
- Doodles, yarn swatches and a visual index of things that have provoked a reaction. 
- Journals with prompts such as quotes or images already on the pages.
- Describing your immediate setting as a way to launch a meditative entry. 

I've been left with lots of ideas that I like so I wanted to share them with you. I might try and develop a 'system' and share it again, inviting you to join me. 

Do you write? And if so, how? Come tell us over in the group. There's more than just me who'd appreciate the inspiration I can assure you!