…shawl be right mate…
It was around the time I failed the FQS Block Of The Month quilt that I swore off craftalongs. The formal, follow a timetable, keep up with everyone, kind. The Saturday night, shoot the breeze, chill on instagram type was such more my speed. I did sign up every now and then – Once Upon A Time (slightly started and completely abandoned), and Story Time Samplers were similarly started then ignored. They were just confirmation that craftalongs weren’t for me.
Then 2020 happened. As everything changed, by the hour, it felt sometimes, some things remained reassuringly the same. In the dying days of The Before, when we still felt safe to make jokes about bats and coughs, the group chat exploded. There was a new stitch along in town. For a brief moment, it was the good old days all over again, the days of daily chat threads in Facebook groups, of blogging and round robins and group projects. It was a rare instance were everyone in the chat was in agreeance this was a project we needed to do. My newfound resolve melted in the face of being the odd one out. Old patterns of thought trump new personal growth, and so I split the postage of a kit with a friend, and I was on board.
Then everything changed, and so did I. That stitch along will forever be known as the turning point of me becoming a person who finished things. I have participated in another two stitchalongs after that and kept up, as well as finishing things on the regular. The past two years have given me the confidence to attack something bigger.
One part of my crafting process that hasn’t changed, is the seasonality of my mojo’s inclinations. The first two incarnations of Say! Little Hen’s Bookish Knitter’s Society have crossed my radar, but failed to grab me. Volume three, however, struck at the perfect time. I was between projects. We were on winter holidays. I had just ditched a knitting project but still had the knitting itch. Add in an author I like and a project that I can see slotting into my wardrobe nicely, plus a healthy craft budget, and I decided to take the plunge.
I chose the Onion Nettle kit, in the Heather colour way. I am fascinated by the idea of alternative fibres, and this kit seemed the perfect opportunity to try it out. There was a slightly awkward moment after ordering I remembered my childhood allergy to nettles. Thankfully, I seem to have grown out of it, having patted my delightful yarn almost daily since it’s arrival with nary a reaction.
Of the two books suggested for the book club, I had already read one. I was tossing up which way to access the second book – should I order from my semi-local indie? Grab it from the library? Get it on my kindle? Then before I could commit, I remembered an email from audible. Our subscription includes a free book each month, however we already had July’s freebie. Instead, audible emailed me a voucher for a book of my choice. It was a no brainer. I grabbed the audiobook, so now I can knit and enjoy the story, all at the same time!
Today marks the official start of the knit along. I may or may not have cheated slightly, swatching as soon as the yarn arrived, and also sneaking in a practice run through of the set up rows. The temptation to start early was strong, so I went with redirection.
On Monday, I cast on a new project, but I was still tempted. On Tuesday, I started cutting a project bag to match my yarn, but I was still tempted. On Wednesday, I sewed, but I was still tempted. On Thursday, I crafted my way through one bag outer, one bag lining, the end of the knitting, binding the bag,and casting off the knitting. That night, I had a finger ache. On Friday, the crafty caterpillar cracked from her cocoon with a blocked cowl and a packed bag, needles in hand, and ready to cast on.
And cast on I did. I went through the Friday morning motions like a functional adult. The teen got taken to work. The books got balanced and the banking done. I zoomed with Car and folded washing. I got the house cleaned up. I helped the kids make a cubby house to play inside on this delightfully rainy day. Then I settled myself on the lounge, I pulled out my yarn and needles, and dived straight in. 15 rows later and I’m already loving it. If anyone needs me this weekend, you’ll find me with my knitting in hand and my audiobook playing.