Right in time for the beginning of autumn, I have finished knitting my cuddly Anker's Cardigan made with Cheeky Merino Joy. But as great as the joy was that the temperatures finally dropped and I could wear it right away, as huge was the emptiness inside me: I had nothing on my needles!
Instead of knitting always and everywhere, I suddenly found myself without needles in my hand, sitting idly as a passenger in the car, and with my hands empty while watching TV. And how well I could have spent the hour at children's gymnastics! Not only did it feel like lost knitting time, but I was simply missing something. How could this have happened?
I often started several favourite pieces at once instead of focusing on just one. So it sometimes took longer to finally finish a sweater. But in return, I never ran out of things to enjoy. There was something for every mood and occasion. While it's quite nice to be disciplined about finishing and completing something before starting the next project - for this year's (hopefully!) cold season, I'd like to knit in parallel again.
In line with these thoughts, I recently read the chapter "Planning Projects" from the book "Knit for Health & Wellness". I already quoted from it in the knitting letter Knitting for the Soul, and I'll share a bit of the interesting things I found there.
According to author Betsan Corkhill, it's important to take time to plan different knitting projects, as this can satisfy different needs and intensify the positive effects of knitting.
So I've put together a few characterizations for you that you can use to intentionally knit to fit your particular life situation.
A challenging pattern on the needles offers our brain the opportunity to distract itself from worries, problems and pain. And dedicating ourselves to a complicated task and creating something artful gives us a sense of control in otherwise confusing situations. For such cases, for example, the Let it Fall sweater or the shawl Delightful are suitable because the lace pattern requires a calming level of concentration.
Regularly learning new skills promotes brain health. Luckily, there are endless knitting patterns that can challenge us in a pleasant way. This way, we can always keep a piece of knitting handy and spend some time learning a new technique without any pressure. Maybe you'd like to try knitting a mosaic pattern? The beautiful shawl Zimtstern offers you the opportunity to do so. Or are you interested in getting to know shortened rows? Then the scarf Piace is exactly your design.
Of course, it should not always be complicated and challenging. With a simple knitted piece that the hands knit automatically, we can let our minds wander and our souls unwind. Pure relaxation is promised, for example, by plain-coloured tops that are knitted in the round in stockinette stitch, like the Mengeti tee from our collection Decade. But also a shawl in garter stitch, such as Tatto, always goes well on the side.
You can never have enough hats. And they're also a great "take-away" project because of their manageable size – and especially their simple patterns. Just slip a bag of knits into your purse and enjoy the commute to work, long trips, or waiting hours knitting. The Yndi hat, for example, could be such a purse project.
Short-term knitting fun for in between, preferably in your favourite colour, brings a quick feeling of achievement and puts you in a good mood. The Juble hat is perfect for this. Not only is it finished in no time, but its bright colours instantly brighten up any winter doldrums.
Some knitting projects, on the other hand, need a lot of time and attention. If we can nurture and enjoy them without pressure and keep knitting exactly when we feel like it, it makes us all the happier in the end. For example, a cardigan, such as Veselie or Festa. Even a large blanket like the one I knitted in Portugal years ago is something solid for a longer period.
This brings us to the last point: Back then, I knitted my blanket of individual squares freely without any instructions. And I have modified my Tatto shawl to my taste. Such a creative process not only promotes and nourishes creativity but also helps, according to Corkhill, to simply let things go. I can only confirm that!
With this in mind, happy planning and happy knitting in all circumstances!