Slow Burning

A discussion picked up on Twitter the other day about the pleasure in a slow and steady knit. It was quite apt given the garment I just finished and FINALLY took pictures of but I'll talk about that a bit more in a minute.

What we agreed was that while wearing knits was wonderful, it's always with slight sorrow that we bind off. I find myself eager to get to that finishing point, to have my hat, to wear my shawl, to share it with other knitters who will 'ooohhhh' and 'ahhhhhhh' along with me at the clever pattern features and gorgeous yarn. However, I always feel slightly bereft at the point of cast off. I wish I was at the beginning again with all that fresh promise. I love the first few sessions of knitting on a new project. It's like making a new friend.

It's often when you're at the end that you've really hit your stride and can do the pattern repeat instinctively and of course, that's when it all speeds up and you're suddenly almost at the Bind Off. To be fair, there's also been projects that I've cast off and thought 'Oh thank God, I'm never knitting that again!' As a general rule though, slow meditative steps in our knitting should be celebrated as much as the 'quick knit' and the instant gratification that it promises. There's lots of workshops out there for you to speed up your knitting. I know I'm slow but I love every piece just as much.

If hats are fast and dirty, sweaters and socks are slow burners for me. I just don't knit that fast. It irked me when I first learned to knit as I wanted all my sweaters to be handmade and never to have to buy socks again. This is absolutely ridiculous at the rate I knit and even this far into knitting, with a back catalogue under my belt, I'd not make such a silly pledge.

It was rather lovely though to photograph these two slow burning projects at long last because I took them at a very steady pace which means I adore wearing them all the more.

Julissa in Miss Babs Yowza!

The first is my Girl Crush Sweater. I settled for photographing it on my sister (oh she had a lot of modelling to do that weekend) so this doesn't quite show it's full glory, but still, a special sweater all the same.This sweater saw me through the discovery that I was pregnant, the big move from North to South London, settling into a home full of some pretty enormous DIY projects, the arrival of my daughter and then finally settling into Motherhood and feeling I had run a marathon! Each stitch has a story and I smile each time I reach for this sweater. I will always think of the many moments I retreated into its' comforting lace and cables when there was some huge changes going on in my life.

Pyrite Socks in JFA Buffy Toughie

Then, finally, there is the Pyrite Socks and I adore them. I bought the yarn after a visit to Asti's farm and each time I look at the beautiful colours I think of that magical countryside holiday with close friends and our family. Meeting Asti was the icing on the cake and we've formed a friendship that I treasure.

So I am now slightly lost and a little perturbed about my next knitting plans. The Ravellenics always unsettles me, making me feel that I should run to keep up and then, as is so often the case, I shrug and retreat into my slow, plodding knitting and remember that I'm just not that way inclined. I prefer to be the person coaching the team; I'm better suited to enjoying other people's glory than my own. I won't even model my own sweater for goodness sake!

x

The Bit Inbetween

As the last mince pies are being nibbled on and I'm pondering why mulled wine is so irresistible, I just wanted to pop in to wish you all well and thank you for reading the blog this year. I'll be recording a holiday episode over this next week and then thinking about 2014 and all that it might bring. I've been tinkering around with

my info pages

as I plan to return a little more to regular scheduling (which means organising sponsors for the New Year) and work bookings (which means learning to juggle further still).

For us, this year's festivities have been about remembering the joy of Christmas when lights and wrapping paper and so many people bring the sweetest of smiles and the greatest of pleasures. Watching Christmas through the Playful One's eyes has been a delight. I'm so looking forward to watching the magic of Christmas unfold for her over the coming years.

More soon!

A Little Stocking Filler

Just in time for Christmas I received a lovely email from Clare Devine, the designer behind

Sock Anatomy

which I mentioned in the

previous podcast

. She would like to offer a discount code to all Playful listeners and readers. How festively generous!

'Flexor', (c) Clare Devine

To claim 

20% off the cover price, enter the

 code 'aplayfulday1' when making your purchase on Ravelry. The code is valid through till 14th January 2014. 

'Planum', (c) Clare Devine

Happy Holidays!

A Song For Boo

Christmas is about coming together and thinking of friends and family and something happened several weeks ago that made me realise how important it is to nurture our relationships. We lost a beautiful person and I've not really found the words yet to express the way this saddened me. Somebody did and they've created a song, with all proceeds going to Diabetes UK, a charity very important to Boo and her family as she struggled to come to terms with her condition.

If you can find it in your hearts to buy the song, I for one would be very grateful as would her family who I know will find this particular holiday a very raw and painful one. The song was written by her former guitar teacher and his songwriting partner in her memory. 

It is a very beautiful song and I will always think of that Autumn day, staring at the stained-glass in Guildford Cathedral while surrounded by the many friends and family that came to show Boo how much we loved her. It hurt to listen to but it also gladdened my heart that her spirit lives on in all the many, many, many people she inspired. You can purchase the song through iTunes and download it

here

. If you make one holiday donation this year, I would be so grateful if it were this one. 

I wish everyone reading this the most warm wishes this holiday season and I hope 2014 brings many wonderful things into your life. 

Thank you