And this is why i knit (for other people)

Since I got to the UK and have been able to show off my skill with needles and hook to a whole new batch of friends, I’ve heard the following comment a lot…

“oooh, you could sell those”

or a variation on the theme…

“Have you ever thought about selling things?”

To which I sometimes smile and just say no, or sometimes explain i tried that and it was hard, or for my closer, more patient, actually want a response friends, I explain that actually, what people would pay versus the time and money I invest would make it a pointless exercise.

But the real reason is this.

I am a selfish knitter. I knit for pleasure, so I can take pride in showing off something I created with my own hands, so I can have something that is exactly how I want it (most of the time) and to pass hours that I would otherwise feel are wasted (or my excuse to watch television).

And because of this, when I do knit for other people, it is for one reason and one reason only. Because I care.

The wonderful Yarn Harlot posted today about the love that goes into a knitted present and how it stays with it. How wrapping oneself up in a handknitted gift really is like a woolly hug. And this is exactly how I think about knitting for other people. For both family and friends, and for new little people who don’t even realise that the thing that is keeping them warm is doing so in more ways than one. Even when I take requests, I accept them because I know that the finished object will not only be valued, but will be a reminder of my love and affection. (seriously, my most recent request I argued against receiving any kind of payment, but the recipient objected!)

I have only been in England a year, but I have made 3 gifts for people here and a few for little people back home. You’ve seen Kylie’s hat and I told you about John’s winter set and now here’s the third…

Fade Fingerless Gloves
or “Proper Thug Mitts” as Sam put it

After knitting Kylie’s hat, I offered to knit something for Sam for his christmas/birthday present (as the two events bookend the coldest part of the year). He asked for some mitts in purple and black and I immediately thought of this pattern* (as I have done it before for another male friend* of mine with great success)

It took me a while to find the right shade of purple in the right kind of yarn, but i finally did just after christmas and in less than a week I whipped up a pair of mitts for my dearest, dearest Sam.

I was worried they might be a bit snug, but he loves them!

And I love him.

See how this works?

 

 

*ravelry link

When you really love someone…

you will part with the perfect hat because it was knitted for them, not you.

this is kylie

She is my best friend here in London. we work together and have lots of fun and totally get each other.

One day Kylie came with me to Loop (even though she’s not a knitter – see, told you she was a good friend) and showed serious interest in a pair of mitts in my favourite teal.

I offered a pair as a belated birthday present.

finally got my hands on some mad tosh in a colour i thought she’d like… but she saw me wearing this hat and decide she wanted a beret instead.

I offered Kylie some patterns (she chose Meret) and 2 days later i had finished what is possibly my favourite hat i’ve ever knitted. I’m completely in love with it.

But i love Kylie more.

 

Things I like – babies and yarn!

A few FOs to show off, including some presents, and i want to share my growing wm collection…

I received what will probably be my last wm skein (for the moment) in the post last week. All my yarn has come from destashes and it’s really easy to see what colours i like! I may destash one of these since i’m not in love with is, but all the others are just LOVELY.

L-R: Pinie, Sabrina, Aquarius, Neptun, Stella Polaris, Verzaubert, Der Letzst Versuch, Fleiderbusch, Magnolie (dark) (some of these are WD but not sure which)

I find it really interesting the way WM has taken off. I describe it as being like collector’s cards. You don’t necessarily NEED them for anything, but you kind of want to collect them all, just for the sake of it… For me, there are certain colours I want to see in person and pet and play with and one day knit, but there’s also definitely the desire to COLLECT. however. I’m putting the breaks on – after all – i’m yet to knit with it and i should make sure i like it first!

I went to a Blessingway (as opposed to a baby shower) for a dear friend on saturday afternoon. Her due date is the opening night of our show, so she is the ONLY person I know (in Melbourne) who has a valid excuse for not being there! (remember to let me know when you book!!)

It was lovely to see her and to help her make things for her birthing process, namely prayer flags (very non-traditional) for the room and a contribution to a necklace for her to wear. We also got to do kitchy things, like decorate onesies (BIG PUFF PAINT DUCKIE!) and play games (like baby animal bingo – AWESOME). I’m keeping track of these sorts of things as i’m hoping to be involved in the planning of someone ELSE’s baby shower later in the year.

I got to give S her lovely knitted gifts, which you should know by now is my favourite part of unselfish knitting. she loved everything.

pixie hat, ribbed sideways knit cardi and milo soaker

Two of these patterns came from my vintage knits baby book – the pixie hat and soaker. the other is from a great ACS pattern book, the cocoon baby collection. I’ve talked about the cardi before and the hat and soaker are pretty self explanatory. I was trying to do a slightly upsized version of the hat for baby’s older sister, but am having epic hat knitting fail. She WILL get something, but not just yet!

This is not it on the baby front this year!!! I just found out my second cousin living here in melbourne has had another little boy (only a year after the first who received the blue baby sophisticate coat last year) and two of my bestest friends in the whole world have now officially announced that they are expecting. This is a bit more of an acheivement in their case as a gay couple, but they’ve done it and there will be another tiny person around in January!

So much baby knitting! lucky they’re small!

Crafty Lady – chapter 3

Chapter 3 – Crafty Lady’s life!

1. My Heartfelt pattern book arrived! It’s just beautiful. The patterns are gorgeous and it’s come with its own errata! I’m planning on doing Calm first, followed by Emily and Cherish. This will be made easier by point 2…

2. I am now working at the Wool Baa in Albert Park, Melbourne’s premiere LYS with beautiful luxury yarns, such as Rowan, Jo Sharp, Debbie Bliss. mmmmm. I’m loving it! I’m only working a few shifts a week and so will need to find other work as well, but I really enjoy it. It should pick up more as the weather gets colder, but that’s a while off yet! (there’s also a part time position going at a book store which would be a wonderful complement). And the best part? Staff discount! And it’s *ahem* hefty! Also, it is strangely satisfying enabling others (even strangers) to feed their yarn addiction, thus reducing my own yearning to buy. Plus i get to pat the pretties 😀

3. My mother loved her knitted Odessa beanie, worked in Teal with silver beads for her to wear to the football. It was her birthday today and this was a little extra unexpected present. She rang to tell me how much she loves it and will send photos soon (or so she says)

4. I am crafting like a fiend and there are many new items up on my etsy store.

5. I’ve made some little packages for Australian Random Acts of Kindness on Ravelry and am looking forward to sending them out!