Thursday, 9 August 2012

Knitting Therapy . . . and Lace Beads

Whenever I am flagging a little with my embroidery or fabric cuff inspiration I will often turn to knitting to revive me. It is so automatic, so comforting and it always seems to get me back on track.
I have knit all my life - my silly bad memory cannot recall exactly when I learnt, poetic perhaps that I cannot remember when I started - because it feels like I was born knowing how to knit !!
I prefer to be an intuitive knitter - I am a make it up as I go along type of gal.
I have no problem with patterns and have sold many in my day - but I love the buzz of  ‘add lib’ knitting. However, somewhere along the way - usually half way into a maverick piece - I begin to think . .  oh this is nice . .  and I start writing it down. I then end up with notes written on scraps of paper that I can never work out later.                                                                                                                                              
There is something so soothing and basic about knitting, the finger movement, the click of the needles, the roll of the ball. The fact that you can watch a TV programme  and not have to look down too often, that you can hold a conversation or plan a detailed shopping list is a bonus. It is portable and a very acceptable public craft.
It can therefore be both an easy social and a deeply solitary therapy.
It is part the tradition - part the ritual - part the rhythm that I love.
There is a whole knitting world out there that accepts you back even if you have been abscent for awhile. Once a knitter - always a knitter . .  the comfort in that !

If I need a quick fix I knit a little bracelet or lariat - those rewarding pieces that grow and mature quickly ! The finishing of these is not so fast as I feel compelled to add beads or buttons or embroidery. So this knit therapy of mine means I have an ongoing bag full of knitted pretties waiting patiently to be accessorised. That stage is saved for days I am creatively energetic !

Let me introduce you to one of my little therapy bracelets.                                                                                           
I started knitting this style one evening where I really wanted to be making something but was in that anxious state I call  ‘creative threading water’.  I had taken out a few things I was working on and could not decide on choice or colour/ trim/ bead etc.  I was doing a lot of looking and no doing ! With no clear direction and an indecisive mood, I still having itchy fingers, which meant I grabbed my knitting bag.

Here are two versions of the bracelet knit on same size needles - just different yarns. Based on cast on 3 stitches /cast off 3 stitches repeat it is a cosy little quick knit fix.

A few days earlier I had experimented with making beads from lace. I used 1930’s lace and twisted it around a knitting needle with a coating of fabric glue. The twists dried into very cute little lacy beads and were perfect to add that little extra to my knit bracelets.

To close the bracelets I used a speckled button and picked up the colours of the buttons in the seed beads I added around the lace.

These are thin and simple knit bracelets - with a twist.

And the bracelet in white . . . 

Did I say I love knitting ??  I love knitting.


  1. What an interesting read. I know exactly what you mean about sometimes needing to create something but unable to fix on one thing. And I adore the lace beads! Bravo Mary.