Archives For November 2015

A few weeks back I put together a Knitted Gift Guide for all the knit-worthy people in your life. Today I’m turning that around and offering up a list of delicious gifts that knitters themselves would love to receive! You deserve a little spoiling, especially with all that gift-knitting you’re surely in the middle of right now, so this is a handy link to forward on to anyone wondering what you’d like to find wrapped up with your name on it this holiday season! (And if you don’t want to wait and hope, you can treat yourself to one or more little presents as a reward for knitting well done!)

Something you want…

Technically we know that all that’s necessary for knitting are two sticks and some string, but why stop there when the word is full of beautiful knitting tools, notions, and accessories? From the practical to the beautiful to the just-because, any of these items can help to make precious knitting time extra special. Even for the knitter who has everything, there’s always one more gadget or little luxury that can make life just that bit better.

 Gift Guide Accessory Collage

Top, left to right: Gin Stitch Markers from The Little Grey Girl, Christmas Spice Candle from Wild Planet.

 Bottom, left to right: Grellow and Grey Sirka Counter, Bento Box Case for Sirka

Something you need…

It seems as though devoted knitters always have a heap of projects on the go, and keeping them all sorted and ready to pick up at a moment’s notice is key to switching effortlessly between each piece. Beautiful project bags are wonderful presents for a knitter, because you can really never have too many of them, and there are so many gorgeous designs to choose from.

 Project bag collage

Top, left to right: Macaroon notions bag and zippered XL project bag by Maria Elena Bliss

Bottom, Small zippered project bag from The Little Grey Girl

Something to stash…

No knitter’s holiday can be complete without something new and wonderful to play with. There is strictly no such thing as too much yarn, and no matter the size of the stash, a luxurious skein or two of a special yarn is always welcome. I fell in love with so many magical yarns this year that it was almost impossible to narrow it down, but here are a few I’d love to find in my stocking.

yarn gift guide collage 2

Top, left to right: The Fibre Company’s Canopy Fingering in Red Ginger, Anzula Squishy in Grace, Skein Yarn‘s Top Draw Sock in Ice on the Windowpane

Bottom, left to right: CoopKnits Socks Yeah! in Malachite, Blacker Yarns Doulton Flock Border Leicester 4-ply in white, baa ram ewe’s Titus in limited edition Wesley Bob

And something to read…

Books and magazines full of photos, patterns, information are indispensable to a devoted knitter. We go to them for instruction and inspiration, for hints about technique, and a hit of pure beauty. They make amazing gifts. It’s wonderful to look up at a row of knitting books and issues of magazines on your shelf, knowing that you can dive in and explore at any time.

reading gift guide collage

Top, left to right: London Stitch and Knit: A Craft Lover’s Guide to London’s Fabric, Knitting and Haberdashery Shops; Top Down: Reimagining Set-In Sleeve Design; Field Guide to Fleece, The

Bottom, left to right: PomPom Quarterly ; Amirisu Magazine ; Maker Spaces – Creative interiors from the homes and studios of inspiring makers and designers

Don’t make them guess this year! Email this guide to the chief present-givers in your life and let them know what will make you smile. If you’d like to be a little more subtle, I recommend strategically leaving your browser window open now and then…no matter what, I hope you receive all the lovely gifts your crafty heart desires this holiday season.

Play

Ch 102

Today I’m finally getting a chance to talk to the wonderful Sue Blacker from Blacker Yarns, who also runs The Natural Fibre Company, an artisan wool mill which specialises in spinning beautiful yarn from small batches of fleece. It’s a godsend to the local and rare-breeds wool community here in the British Isles, and to knitters everywhere. Sue knows just about everything there is to know about wool, and she took the time to share some of her knowledge with us on the podcast. She’s also the author of Pure Wool: A Knitter’s Guide to Using Single-breed Yarns which is an indispensable reference with some lovely patterns. I was completely fascinated listening to Sue, and I think you will be too. This episode is one for the true wool nerds (which is possibly all of us, I think.)

Show sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their wonderful Acadia yarn.

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

You can find Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to making the Curious Handmade Krimbo Party such a lovely event. Special thanks to the people and companies who contributed lovely door prizes:

Meadow Yarn
Blacker Yarns

Julie from Suffolk Socks

Mina, host of the excellent Knitting Expat Video Podcast (check out her Etsy shop, Mina Makes)

This week’s Knitvent 2015 pattern is the Ice River Hat, a companion to the Ice River Snood that I released a few weeks ago. It’s super cuddly and super-fast: some of my American knitters even managed to knit one up around the Thanksgiving festivities yesterday! Super impressive.

It was knit in The Fibre Company’s Tundra bulky yarn, which is a super-luxurious bulky yarn made from a blend of alpaca, merino, and silk.

During the interview, Sue mentions The Campaign For Wool

She also says that very soon, in partnership with Wovember and WoolSack a directory of small farm wool producers will be released, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

You can read about the rare breeds like the Soay and Boreray Sheep on the Blacker Yarns Meet The Animals page

Take a virtual tour of The Natural Fibre Company Mill

Check out her great articles for Wovember and on Blacker Yarn’s website for more woolly wisdom from Sue.

Single Breed Swatch Along

That’s everything for this episode! I hope you enjoyed hearing about all the thought, effort and skill that goes into producing the beautiful yarns made at The Natural Fibre Company. If you have any questions (or ideas for new colours for the West Country Tweed yarn!) don’t hesitate to contact myself or Sue.

Have a great week, and happy knitting!

Ch 101: Indie Gift Along

Helen —  November 20, 2015 — 2 Comments
Play

Ch101

Today’s chat is mostly about upcoming events, my hope and plans for the last little bit of this year, and some pondering I’ve been doing about the future of the Curious Handmade Podcast. This is one I’d really love to have your opinion on, so be sure to visit the Ravelry group for a chat after you listen!

Show sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their very special Acadia yarn.

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

You can find Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show links

I was watching the really great Bakery Bears Podcast, and they gave me a lot to think about!

Bakery Bears Patreon Page

Smart Passive Income Podcast

Patreon Episode

 

I’m officially going to Squam in the spring! So excited. I really want to make my West Water Tunic before I get there.

The Knitvent pattern this week was the Cabin Path Shawl! I love this big cuddly shawl, and I’m proud of the pretty knitted border: this is a new design feature for me and it’s so fun to knit.

024A6560

For the sample, I used the delicious Canopy Fingering from the Fibre Company in the colourways River Dolphin and Dragonfruit.

Upcoming events

Shiny Bees Bead-Along 

Winter Wander from Knitvent is one of the included patterns, so you can double dip with this KAL! The other patterns are:

Kunye by Clare Devine.

Be With You by Boo Knits.

and one crochet pattern, Lisa’s Shawl by Shireen Nadir.

Cast on will take place on 16th November 2015 at 8:30pm live on Periscope with@Shinybees.

The KAL/CAL will end on 10th Jan 2016.

Curious Handmade Krimbo Party

CH Krimbo Party SQUARE

Sunday November 22nd from 2:30pm until 6:00pm…I’m hosting a Curious Handmade Christmas Party in London! I’m really looking forward to sharing afternoon of knitting and festive surprises with everyone who can come along. We’ll enjoy a holiday glasses of wine and snacks together, too! There are going to be some great door prizes, too, including two skeins of magnificent Life in the Long Grass from Meadow Yarn.

Blacker Yarn is sending Blue Leicester DK, and we’ll have other prizes as well, including a treat from Suffolk Socks and a little something from me as well!

There still some tickets left (they cost £9.50), which you can buy here!

Indie Designer Gift-Along

The Indie Designer Gift Along has just started, and there’s a big discount on certain patterns by participating designers. Including me! You can participate with any of my paid designs, and there are about 20 of my patterns that are 25% off as a part of the GAL.

There’s a coupon code GIFTALONG2015 in the big GAL sale! Discount: 25% Coupon Code: giftalong2015

Promotion starts Thursday November 19, 2015 at 8 pm (20:00) US-EST

Coupon Code good through November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm (23:59) US-EST

That should just about do it for this week! I hope you enjoyed the episode and that you have some thoughts to share with me. Until next week, happy knitting!

Play

Ch 100

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their beloved Acadia yarn.

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

You can find Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links

I recommend two wonderful video podcasts that I’m really enjoying (and binging on!)

Melody of Mandarine’s and Molly of A Homespun House

I went to see a wonderful exhibit: The Fabric of India at The Victoria and Albert Museum.

There are two windows open in the Knitvent 2015 Calendar so far! The first pattern was the Winter Wander Shawl, and there are already a few completed Shawls! I’m so impressed. Several people have mentioned that this is their first beaded project, and I think it’s a great one to start with. The beading pattern is simple, and overall this shawl is a relatively “Quick Win”.

 Winter_Wonder_Shawl_2_Helen_Stewart_medium2

That brings me to a fun KAL you might want to join, if you haven’t cast on yet! Jo at Shiny Bees is about to begin a Bead-Along, and Winter Wander is one of the included patterns! You know I love a chance to double-dip on KALs! The other patterns are:

Kunye by Clare Devine.

Be With You by Boo Knits.

and one crochet pattern, Lisa’s Shawl by Shireen Nadir.

Cast on will take place on 16th November 2015 at 8:30pm live on Periscope with @Shinybees.

The KAL/CAL will end on 10th Jan 2016.

The Ice River Snood was behind Knitvent Window #2, released yesterday, and several of the super-speedy knitters in the Curious Handmade Ravelry Group have it cast on and halfway finished in just a few hours! Inspiring.

 Ice River

If you haven’t joined us for Knitvent 2015 yet, there’s still heaps of time. Four more windows to go, and whenever you purchase the collection you will automatically get the patterns that have already been released! You can buy the whole collection here.

Hint: several of my wonderful fellow knitters, podcasters and bloggers have been spreading the word for me and have discount codes to share with you if you’d like to get a deal before the end of the month! I’d like to thank them very much for letting everyone know about the joy of Knitvent!

Shiny Bees

Knitting Pipeline

Stash and Burn

Yarn in The City

Yarniacs

A World of Imagination

I just got my newest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly, which is always a great day in my book! Some patterns that caught my eye immediately:

Cicely by Jemima Bicknell

Deco City by Amy van de Laar

Carlu by Kiyomi Burgen

Hulanicki by Rachel Coopey

Wilding by Cirila Rose

Callas by Bristol Ivy

Oops, that’s almost all of them. I told you I love this magazine!

I’ve been reading several books recently, including:

The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work
by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Upcoming events

Curious Handmade Krimbo Party

Sunday November 22nd from 2:30pm until 6:00pm…I’m hosting a Curious Handmade Christmas Party in London! It’s going to be a very festive afternoon of knitting and holiday surprises, with a few holiday glasses of wine and snacks. There still some tickets left (they cost £9.50), which you can buy here!

CH Krimbo Party SQUARE

Indie Designer Gift-Along

This is a HUGE event on Ravelry, with hundreds of prizes and a very exciting atmosphere. I almost wasn’t going to participate this year, because it’s a crazy season anyway, but I couldn’t resist. The Indie Designer Gift Along starts next Thursday, and there’s a big discount on certain patterns by participating designers.

There’s a coupon code GIFTALONG2015 in the big GAL sale! Discount: 25% Coupon Code: giftalong2015

Promotion starts Thursday November 19, 2015 at 8 pm (20:00) US-EST

Coupon Code good through November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm (23:59) US-EST

So that’s it for our 100th Episode! Extra-special big love and thanks to each and every one of my listeners. You all mean so much to me!

If you listened to last week’s podcast, you’ll have heard me talk about a wonderful new yarn I had the chance to try recently. Sue Hole is releasing some wonderful single-breed small-batch yarn that I know is going to appeal hugely to everyone who fell in love with her nephew Benjamin Hole’s Hole & Sons recently. As I mention in my podcast review, Isle Yarns – pure wool from the Isle of Purbeck, is amazing stuff. With all of our talk recently about sustainable fashion and materials, I’m finding myself more and more drawn to small producers like this. I love knowing the story behind the fibre I am holding in my hands. It makes everything more magic and more real.

Isle yarn comes from a carefully bred and tended flock on the Isle of Purbeck. It has a vital rustic appeal: when knitting this yarn you really feel connected to the source. It has a lot of individual character and is not so processed that it could be from anywhere. It manages to be light and robust all at the same time, and it’s very, very springy.

It’s a lovely DK weight but the knitted fabric is quite sturdy and firm. I knit my test swatch using 5mm needles and I like the slightly open fabric. It still has a lot of body and keeps its shape even though the recommended needle size is 4mm. The fibre bloomed beautifully after a good 20 minute soak in Eucalan. It became much softer, with a beautiful body to it. I just laid it out and let it dry without pinning out or stretching it.

This yarn is inspiring too – I’ve had a recent yearning to knit blankets, and my mind instantly started ticking along those lines with design ideas for this yarn.

Isle Yarns Poll Dorset Swatch

I think the fact that this yarn is woolen spun contributes to its amazing elasticity, and how it can be so light and airy while staying so strong. For an extremely in-depth and informative article with an explanation and comparison of woolen and worsted spun yarn I recommend this Wovember post by Sue Blacker, founder of The Natural Fibre Co, who spun this yarn for Isle Yarns.

I also have this lovely interview to share with you. Sue Hole gives us a bit more background on her new yarn, and another peek into life on the farm.

*****

Can you tell me more about how Isle Yarn came to be? I know it’s being released under a different label than the Hole & Sons yarn, but I’m curious about the family relationship of the fibre.

IMG_5872(1)

Photo Credit: Marte Marie Forsberg

This yarn is from a different flock but still a family flock. Here on the home farm we have a commercial flock of 1400 north country mules and Dorset crosses. We also have a small flock of 30 pedigree Poll Dorsets which we keep to produce our breeding Rams and this is the flock Ben used.

I’ve got a fabric and wool shop in our local town so I had Ben’s wool for sale but it all sold so quickly that I was soon out of stock! So the next time Ben took fleeces to the mill I took fleeces from my son Sam’s Poll Dorset flock to have knitting wool produced so that I could restock my shop as by then Ben had a fair idea that the next batch of home farm wool wouldn’t be around for long again!

I was excited to see that this batch includes some beautiful colours. I’d love to hear more about your inspirations when it came to choosing the shades for this first release!

The colour choices have been the hardest part of the process! I’d love to have all the colours of the rainbow but for each colour the mill needs 4Kilos so if I’ve got 20kilos  of wool at the mill at one time I have to choose carefully and so from the sample colours that the mill offered I’ve chosen strong, rustic colours alongside the natural.

I’ve had most of the wool balled in 50g balls but half of the natural had been made into 100g hanks and so far that’s what has been the most popular so the next batch will be in hanks and the colours will be Heather, Moss and Mist grey/blue. Over time I’ll add to the colour range and as there is a 10 week cycle from  dropping off the raw wool to collecting the finished wool I’ll aim to choose seasonal colours to coincide.

IMG_5526

Photo Credit: Marte Marie Forsberg

I have a feeling this yarn is going to be a big hit. I know that the very limited quantities are part and parcel of making such special small-batch yarn, but what are your plans for further production and for the future of Isle Yarn?

The quantities are around 20kilos each 10 weeks at the moment. We also have a small flock of Suffolks to breed Rams from and we’ll be shearing that flock at the end of January, so I’m tempted to have that spun for knitting wool too and develop a single breed range. In fact I recently brought ‘The Field Guide to Fleece’ by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius which is a very good reference book. Deborah Robson also does a very good free Craftsy lesson called Know your Wool.

islesheep

Photo Credit: Marte Marie Forsberg

 

When the first batch of wool came back I sent it out to experts like yourself to ask for reviews and that feed back is proving to be invaluable. Claire Ward of claireinstiches on Instagram has designed a hat pattern especially for the wool which is so exciting!  I’ve seen photos of the test knit which has a lovely bold lace pattern running through it and I can’t wait to knit it.

So that’s the story so far!

*****

I want to thank Sue for creating this wonderful yarn, for sending it to me to review, and for taking the time to tell us all about it.  You can buy Isle Yarns wool right now in Sue’s online shop. l suggest you snap some up as soon as possible. I think it might be the best-kept secret in wool right now, but it won’t be for long! You can also keep up with all their adventures at the farm on Sue’s beautiful Instagram account.

Play

Curious Handmade Podcast 99

With several big projects ending last week, Knitvent 2015 just starting, and the holidays looming I feel a little bit upended, not sure whether I’m coming or going. I do know I’ve been burning the candle at both ends a bit lately, so I could probably do with a bit of a slow down. But there are so many exciting things going on and coming up that it’s not always easy to put on the brakes! In this week’s episode I talk a bit about what’s going on for me and my knitting right now, and also review some exciting, magical new yarn from the same family that created the Hole and Sons Yarn which was such a smash hit last year.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their beloved Acadia yarn.

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

You can find Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

Show Links:

I talk a bit about what I accomplished personally around the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge

I completed 2 out of 3 of my pieces: the Merchant and Mills Dress Shirt, and my own Summertide Shawl:

summertideparty

Still working on the third: the Times Square Vest by Norah Gaughan and I’m really enjoying every single stitch of it, so I’m not sorry I didn’t finish it on time. I am still in love with the yarn I’m using, which is the same as the sample: Knightsbridge by The Fibre Company in the Beaverton colourway

Knitvent 2015 has just kicked off, and the first pattern is out: the Winter Wander Shawl.

The design was inspired by two gorgeous Shibui Knits yarns that I fell in love with on my way to Squam. Silk Cloud and Staccato.

I also mention Wovember again: it’s really worth a look by anyone who loves wool fibre. There are all sorts of great articles and events going on for the month.

I talk about the Knit British Podcast and the Breed Swatch Along

Anyone interested in natural breed-specific wool will find this book useful: A Field Guide To Fleece: 100 Sheep Breeds and How To Use Their Fibres

I’m a big fan of Hole and Sons Farm and their yarn, as you know.  I interviewed Benjamin Hole on the podcast a few months ago, and Hole and Sons Yarn inspired my Whispering Island Shawl. Well, there’s some exciting news: the family has come out with some new yarn: Isle Yarn.

Sue Hole, Ben’s aunt, has created another small-batch yarn from her son Sam’s Poll Dorset flock, and it’s brilliant. She sent me some yarn to swatch and review, and I’m going to use this for my Breed Swatch Along entry. I’ve included a review here on the podcast, but Sue sent me some lovely photos and answered a few questions, so I think I’m going to give it its own post later this week.

Upcoming events

Curious Handmade Krimbo Party

Sunday November 22nd from 2:30pm until 6:00pm…I’m hosting a Curious Handmade Christmas Party in London! It’s going to be a very festive afternoon of knitting and holiday surprises, with a few holiday glasses of wine and snacks. I’ll have tickets for sale very soon!

That’s everything for this week! Happy knitting until next time!

 

I love gift knitting. Love, love, love it. At its best, it is a perfect distillation of everything I love about the holiday season. At its worst, though, it can leave you stressed, strung out, and exhausted. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

– Hiding in the bedroom knitting like a maniac while friends and family party downstairs.

– Wondering if your aching wrists are actually going to survive knitting 25 pairs of socks.

– Staying up until 3 am on Christmas morning to finish one…more…hat.

– Wrapping up a photo of the unfinished pattern you’re knitting with a sheepish IOU to put under the tree.

As a designer, I’m no stranger to knitting under a deadline. I’ve had my moments of panic, but over the years I’ve learned a few things that really make a difference.

  • Plan, plan, plan. The number of knit-worthy people in your life and the number of hours you have available for knitting might not match up. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and don’t push yourself too hard. (You’re already on top of this one if you’re filling out your Curious Handmade Gift Knitting Planner. Hooray!)
  • Find a supportive community. Knitting, especially gift knitting, can be a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be. It really helps to have some kind of outlet where you can share your victories, ask for advice, or just blow off a little steam. I’m a little biased, but I love the knitters in the Curious Handmade Ravelry Group so much. They always rise to the occasion and are so welcoming, generous and helpful.
  • Schedule knitting time. While much of our knitting happens in stolen moments here and there, I always find that I get so much more done in the hours I set aside for knitting and nothing else. When you’re working on something secret, this is even more important. Put knitting dates in your diary and keep them.
  • Pamper yourself a little. Knitting for other people is an incredibly generous use of your time, but it’s not just a selfless sacrifice. Remember why you love to knit. Treat yourself to some nice new tools. Choose fibre that you love to handle. Pick patterns they’ll love, but make sure they’re interesting (and/or easy!) for you. When you sit down to those scheduled knitting sessions, make yourself a big cup of your favourite warm beverage, put on some music, and light a candle or two.
  • Take RSI seriously. Nothing puts a crimp in your plans like a knitting injury. Gift knitting is the big leagues, and it’s so important to take care of yourself. There are plenty of resources to help keep your precious hands (and neck, and arms, and wrists, and back) safe and healthy. Here are a few great ones:

8 Warning Signs Your Knitting Could Give You RSI

Exercises for Knitters from The Fit Knit Chick

6 Ways to Make Knitting More Comfortable by Elizabeth Bagwell