Hey there, welcome the lucky group! “What lucky group?” you ask….. well we are lucky because we have a readily available stress buster at our fingertips!
Being isolated from the world is hard. No one is going to deny that the past few weeks have been seriously tough on nearly everyone. Even those who choose to live alone, never think that in a lock-down situation, their only company will be themselves. The anxiety and panic surrounding not only the loneliness and cabin fever of the past few weeks but also the nervousness around getting sick or hearing about someone you love getting sick have just added to the pressure.
But, Dr Herbert Benson, a pioneer in mind/body medicine and author of “The Relaxation Response” says that “the repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state like that associated with meditation and yoga.” This basically translates into – knitting is good for you!
So, we should do more knitting, but not necessarily alone. We can practice this stress-buster in groups either via self-arranged video calls or via organised knit-a-longs which are springing up online all over the place.
As you guys read in our April 16 newsletter, W&G are currently doing 2 virtual knit-a-long projects to keep everyone busy during these long days at home. The Summer Shirt by PetiteKnit and Novel-T by Laura Nelkin. Check out the newsletter here for details of our W&G knit-a-longs.
On top of that, I decided to search the web to see what other fun knit-a-longs (KAL) were going on and pick out my favorites. I found two great ones and have included details below.
Pacificus DK KAL by Nelkin Designs
Laura Nelkin (designer of the Novel-T in the W&G KAL) is doing a really cool KAL for another one of her summer t-shirt patterns, Pacificus. One of the really special things about her KAL is that she is publishing videos for each step of the journey. The phase one video gives hints and tips on picking your size and yarn and also how to swatch for the project. Her first video is here: https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/nelkin-designs/4024193.
Some yarns we would suggest for this pattern would be Shibui Fern, Organic Cotton Solid or Prints or Cacade Ultra Pima. Remember that you have to play around with your needle size until you find the correct gauge for each of these yarns.
The Arne Carlos Quarantine Mystery Knit Along
Arne & Carlos are our favorite winter knitting guys. Their 55 Christmas Balls to Knit, usually sits center stage in our window display for the holidays. They are quarantined at the moment and have decided to hold a mystery squares KAL with the patterns only being released over time. It’s designed for Double Knitting yarn (22 stitches and 30 rows to 10cm / 4 inches) but they say not to worry if it’s not exactly like this.
You could use any of our double knitting yarns from the store including the cotton examples given for the Pacificus KAL above.
Some other choices are: Shibui Nest, Kokon DK, or any of our other DK yarns on this page https://www.woolandgrace.com/shop/Knitting/YARN/DK-Weight-Yarn.htm.
They have released 5 squares to date and will be releasing more over the next few weeks. These are all simple, small squares which should only take a short while to knit. Check out their released KAL patterns here.
Remember, the most important thing for everyone right now is to stay well and also to stay sane. If this means that you explain to your family that you need at least 2 hours un-interrupted knitting time per day, then so be it! Just tell them Dr. Rhona told you so!