Autumn knitting

Autumn is upon us… again

I say again as we have just celebrated our first anniversary as a business! The start of Wool Winders was overshadowed slightly last year by the loss of a business that we both adored, but to be here one year on is extremely exciting indeed. Reflectively, what we’ve achieved in a relatively short space of time is impressive but to take the experiences so far and look forward and continue to plan is sobering.

I looked back last week at the original manifesto that we came up with when starting WWW. At the top of the list is authenticity. The effect of the pandemic for so many people was looking at how we spend our time. Making every second count and not missing out on the things we want to achieve in life is a very important approach; but achieving doesn’t mean trekking the entire globe on a sabbatical or taking up base jumping (perish the thought). Achieving can mean taking the time to learn more skills and enhance the ones you already have. Doing things well is something to strive for in all areas of life as the results speak for themselves and satisfaction is a feeling we should never underrate.

We started our second seasonal Knit Along last week with beginners creating the first garments. When asked what they wanted to get out of the project one answer was “to be the envy of the school run.” A perfectly achievable target, we all agreed. To be authentic is to show your best self, and in knitting terms showing your best work.

It is so important to plan when knitting your first garment. Creating knitwear is a real investment of your time, from choosing your yarn, understanding colour and the pattern choice. Here are some tips from us:

Start simple. Even if you can knit, choosing a straightforward pattern will build your skills and your confidence.

Think about the yarn you will use and the colour choice. Some people are flummoxed by colour, and designers make their choices for a reason. Trust it. Substituting yarns can be a minefield so if you aren’t sure on the first attempt stick to designer’s choice or seek help from a trusted source.

Read the pattern through to the end before commencing. Sometimes pattern instructions will ask you to do two things at once. It’s a good idea to highlight these points ahead of starting. I got so carried away with an intarsia panel on a sweater front I forgot to add in the armholes. Whoops!

Make notes that you will understand. Even if that means writing out instructions in longhand, on a single line of notepaper, ticking them off as you complete. Also use markers and annotations to find your place again.

Make time for your project. You won’t enjoy it if feel any guilt or pressure about taking time for yourself, and that is the most important time of all!

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