Sunday, 25 June 2017

6 Ways to Get Your Knitting Mojo Back

Knitter's block? I know the feeling. Sometimes we just don't feel like knitting even a single stitch. This may be because we've knitted a lot lately and just need a break or because life gets in the way and we can't seem to switch off and relax. Whatever the reason, if you're having a hard time getting back to your favourite craft, there are a few things you can do to help you get your knitting mojo back.

1. No pressure

Easier said than done. When you know it isn't normal for you to not be knitting, you do put a lot of pressure on yourself. This just makes things worse and won't help you get back in the mood. So don't feel bad about it. Just do other things you enjoy doing and return to knitting when you feel like it again. Nobody is keeping score. You will find that changing up your routine actually frees your mind so that you can pick up your hobby with renewed energy later on. You deserve a break anyway, right?

2. Browse patterns

Maybe all you need is a little bit of inspiration to get those creative juices flowing. There's nothing quite like browsing knitting patterns or looking at what other people have been making to realise how much you miss creating something with nothing more than two sticks and some yarn. It's similar to what happens when I haven't written anything for a while and I read a poem or a book: Suddenly I feel that drive again, a longing to put pen to paper. Getting back into knitting isn't any different. So have a look around, go through your knitting books, browse Ravelry's huge pattern database and other knitters' projects and you will wonder why you ever stopped. 

3. Stash dive

Similarly, having a look at your stash might whet your appetite. I am sure that, like me, you have some hidden treasures in those boxes that you forgot you even had. I still have some pretty yarns from my first yarn shows and every time I come across them, I want to cast on something new. It never fails! If nothing else, a stash dive may lead to a little spring clean, which isn't a bad thing either. You can finally get rid of that yarn you know you are never going to use anyway because the colour is terrible, it feels awful, and what were you even thinking?

4. Sort your WIPs

Do you have a WIP or two (or ten) lying around all over the place, just waiting to be finished? Gather them all together, have a look at what's in those project bags and baskets, and perhaps you'll find something that you feel you really want to work on again. Even better if those are small projects that you know you won't have to commit to for long. This helps you stay motivated after a break. This is also the reason I have not yet dived back into my jumper and am plodding along with a pair of socks.

5. Go to your local knitting group

If you can't find inspiration while on your own, how about meeting up with your local knitting group? Bring a little project with you just to keep busy, but focus on your fellow knitters. After all, this is a relaxed social gathering and it gives you the opportunity to ask for ideas and see what others are working on or what yarns people are enjoying right now. There's bound to be lots of chat about what to knit next, what's just come off the needles, and what yarns were just too irresistible to leave behind in a shop. Embrace the community and the knitting will happen!

6. Just do it

Right. Maybe nothing you've tried has worked or you don't like the thought of being sociable and joining a group. If you are absolutely sure you need to knit again even though you don't feel like it right now, there's nothing for it: Just do it! Sometimes we only realise how much we like some things once we've started them, so there is a chance that once you've knitted a few rows, you'll find that you are rather enjoying it. The very disciplined among us will persevere, I'm sure, while others may knit a bit, only to put the needles down again for a while. And that's okay. You can't force it and, to be honest, as in all things creative, I don't think you should. If you don't feel like it, don't knit. You'll come back to it eventually. Needles and yarn are patient friends.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Knitting Inspiration: Unicorn Edition

Unicorn knitting patterns

Our love of unicorns shows no sign of abating! No surprise, then, that there are loads of knitting (and crochet patterns) available for us crafty people who want more rainbows in our lives. This week's knitting inspiration is all about unicorns and I have put together my top 4 patterns for you. Check them out now:

1. This unicorn hat is all kinds of awesome. The horn, the hair, the pompoms - it's perfect! If you love fun accessories that draw attention, then this is for you. The super bulky yarn (suggested: Malabrigo Rasta)  ensures that it is a quick knit. Embellishing the hat looks like a lot of fun, too.

2. If you're more of a mitten knitter and love stranded knitting, these Chance and Comet mittens just have to make it onto your to-do list. There are instructions for adult and child-size mittens, so you can make a pair of these for the whole family, if you fancy.

3. Am I the only one tempted to knit toys even though I don't really have any use for them? No? Good. Spark's Pony pattern is available on Etsy. Not only can you knit your very own pony or unicorn, you can even make your own Pegasus! Three patterns in one? Not bad at all.

4. Oh well. It's probably too late to warn you now. The Magical F-Unicorn is not a glove pattern as such. Instead, these instructions show you how to embellish gloves with a unicorn. Giving someone the finger has never been more satisfying!

Are you tempted? My favourite is definitely the unicorn hat - and I bet people who know me wouldn't be surprised if I turned up with one in winter. What would you make?

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Spinning Wheel Spotting in Torquay

Tiny decorative spinning wheels in the window

It's been quiet over here lately - I've been on holiday. Shamefully, there was no knitting even though I took my own advice to heart and took a WIP with me. And yet, I knitted not one stitch and my project bag stayed in the suitcase.

We went to Torquay and spent a few hours visiting Cockington Village to see the thatched cottages and have some afternoon tea. At the Weavers Cottage Tea Shoppe, I immediately spotted the spinning wheel in the fireplace. This was the place for me! There were also tiny spinning wheels in the window, which I thought were a nice touch. It was a lovely little tea room and I was thoroughly confused by the frequent mention of my name in the kitchen. No, I am not famous. One of the ladies just happened to have the same name. That doesn't happen often at all and felt quite odd.

I shall leave you with this spinning wheel for now. Tomorrow is my first day back in the office and I wished I was still at the seaside. Have a good week!