Friday, March 29, 2013

Tic-Tac-Toe Aran Square


Tic-Tac-Toe Aran Square

(to be used either alone or in combination

with other squares to make a Toddler's Play Mat)

Designed by: Anne Goodwin

(copyright March 29, 2013)

Tic-Tac-Toe Aran Square For Toddler's Playmat

Designed by: Anne Goodwin (copyright March 29, 2013)



Materials:



  • one ball of Mary Maxim Aran Irish Twist (205 yards/187 metres) OR any sturdy worsted weight acrylic yarn
  • 3.00 mm/US size 2 knitting needles, flat or circular are both fine
  • 2.5 mm/US size 1 knitting needles, shorter flat ones would be easiest to use
  • cable needle
  • stitch markers
  • D” crochet hook (to pick up and fix dropped stitches)(recommended)
  • large flat-tipped sewing/darning needle (to sew in yarn ends)



Ideally the square should be 12” x 12” inches. Please make adjustments to size of knitting needles that you use to obtain required gauge. (Simply knit a few rows of about 20 stitches to see how many stitches you get per inch.) If you would like your square to be larger, then use larger knitting needles. The pattern will work to any size knitting needle. In fact, if you would like this single square itself to be a playmat all by itself, then you would simply use very large knitting needles.



Terminology:



K – Knit

P – Purl

PM – Place marker

SM – Slip marker

1/1 RC (One by One Right Cross) – Slip one to cable needle, K1; K1 from cable needle

1/1 RPC (One by One Right Purl Cross) – Slip one to cable needle,hold to back, K1; P1 from cable needle

1/1 LPC (One by One Left Purl Cross) – Slip one to cable needle , hold in front, P1; K1 from cable needle

K1tbl – Knit one through back loop



Instructions For Making Large Square (the main piece)



On all wrong side rows, simply knit the knitted stitches and purl the purled stitches. The instructions for the rows make the design for the FRONT or the RIGHT SIDE of the piece. Therefore, when you are finished knitting the square, you will actually have knitted TWICE the number of rows as what are numerically listed below.



Using larger needles, cast on 84 stitches, using the cast-on method of your choice.



Knit 6 rows (3 ridges) of garter stitch. Now work the rows as follows, remembering to keep the 4 outside stitches at EACH edge as GARTER STITCH. I recommend you use markers in order to easily remember this. Now work the rows as follows:



  1. [K1,P2, K1, P1, K2, P1] eight times, K1, P2, K1.
  2. [1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 RPC, 1/1LPC] eight times, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  3. [P1, 1/1 RC, P1, K1, P2, K1] eight times, P1, 1/1 RC, P1.
  4. [1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC] eight times, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  5. P1, K2, P1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, K2, P1.
  6. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, PM, K 20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, PM, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.*
  7. K1, P2, K1, SM, K 20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, SM, K1, P2, K1.**
  8. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K 20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K 20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  9. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  10. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  11. P1, 1/1 RC, P1, K 20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, 1/1 RC, P1.
  12. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K 20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  13. P1, K2, P1, K 20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, K2, P1.
  14. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  15. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  16. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  17. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  18. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K13, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  19. P1, 1/1 RC, P1, K6, K1tbl 48 times, K6, P1, 1/1 RC, P1.
  20. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K6, K1tbl 48 times, K6, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  21. P1, K2, P1, K6, K1tbl 48 times, K6, P1, K2, P1.
  22. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  23. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  24. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  25. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  26. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  27. P1, 1/1 RC, P1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, 1/1 RC, P1.
  28. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.



You are, at this point, half-way through completing the square! Keep going!



  1. P1, K2, P1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, K2, P1.
  2. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  3. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  4. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  5. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  6. 1/1LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  7. P1, 1/1 RC, P1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, 1/1 RC, P1.
  8. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K6, K1tbl 48 times, K6, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  9. P1, K2, P1, K6, K1tbl 48 times, K6, P1, K2, P1.
  10. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K6, K1tbl 48 times, K6, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  11. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  12. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  13. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  14. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  15. P1, 1/1 RC, P1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, 1/1 RC, P1.
  16. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  17. P1, K2, P1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, K2, P1.
  18. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  19. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  20. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  21. K1, P2, K1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, K1, P2, K1.
  22. 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.
  23. P1, 1/1 RC, P1, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, P1, 1/1 RC, P1.
  24. 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, K20, K1tbl 3 times, K14, K1tbl 3 times, K20, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  25. [P1, K2, P1, K1, P2, K1] 8 times, P1 K2, P1.
  26. [1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC] eight times, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC.
  27. [K1, P2, K1, P1, 1/1 RC, P1] eight times, K1, P2, K1.
  28. [1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 RPC, 1/1 LPC] eight times, 1/1 LPC, 1/1 RPC.



Knit 6 rows (3 ridges) of garter stitch. Cast off comfortably, not too loose but not tightly.



* and ** setting up markers and explaining how to use them; instructions from here on in will not mention the markers; however, you should continue to use markers to separate the garter stitch border, the decorative border and the main piece.



Instructions for Making the 'X' and the 'O' Pieces (small squares to play the game)



I recommend that you knit the 'X' pieces in one color and the 'O' pieces in another color. This will be easier for a toddler to work with; also we are using flat pieces instead of smaller felted cut-outs of x's and o's because it is both easier to play with and SAFER!



To Make the 'X' piece:



Using smaller needles, cast on 16 stitches. Knit 3 rows garter stitch (1.5 ridges). Just as for the main piece, all wrong side rows, you must knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. So, keeping 2 stitches at EACH edge apart (marked with a marker) for a garter stitch border, do the following:



  1. P2, K1, P6, K1, P1. (This and the following rows do not include instructions for the garter stitch border.)
  2. P3, K1, P4, K1, P3.
  3. P4, K1, P2, K1, P4.
  4. P5, K2, P5.
  5. P5, 1/1 RC, P5.
  6. P4, K1, P2, K1, P4.
  7. P3, K1, P4, K1, P3.
  8. P2, K1, P6, K1, P2.



Knit 3 rows (1.5 ridges) of garter stitch. Cast off comfortably.



To Make the 'O' piece:



Using smaller needles, cast on 16 stitches. Knit 3 rows garter stitch (1.5 ridges). Just as for the main piece, all wrong side rows, you must knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. So, keeping 2 stitches at EACH edge apart (marked with a marker) for a garter stitch border, do the following:



  1. P5, K2, P5. (Again, this and following rows do not include instructions for garter stitch border.)
  2. P4, K1, P2, K1, P4.
  3. P3, K1, P4, K1, P3.
  4. P2, K1, P6, K1, P2.
  5. P2, K1, P6, K1, P2.
  6. P3, K1, P4, K1, P3.
  7. P4, K1, P2, K1, P4.
  8. P5, K2, P5.



Knit 3 rows (1.5 ridges) garter stitch. Cast off comfortably. Weave in all loose ends.



Make at least 5 of each of the 'X' and 'O' pieces.



Enjoy playing the game with your youngster!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wild Rose Textured Dishcloth

As of April 28, 2013 this pattern has had some errors fixed up.  Hopefully all is now perfect!

Wild Rose Textured Dishcloth

The wild rose is the provincial flower of the province of Alberta (Canada) and that is where I grew up.  This dishcloth pattern is dedicated to my mother, Marcella Schwenk, for showing me both how to 'smell the roses' and to 'do the dishes' when I lived out in Alberta.  Thanks Mom!










Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream Cotton

Needles: Small, use size 4 mm for 9-inch square; Medium, use size 4.5 mm for 10-inch square; Large, use size 5 mm for 11-inch square

Cast on 45 stitches.

Rows 1 to 7: Knit across.

Row 8: K4, P37, K4.

Row 9: K23, P4, K18.

Row 10: K4, P14, K1, P3, K1, P18, K4.

Row 11: K13, P3, K5, P1, K5, P1, K17.

Row 12: K4, P13, K1, P5, K1, P3, K2, P2, K1, P9, K4.

Row 13: K12, P1, K5, P3, K7, P1, K16.

Row 14: K4, P11, K1, P8, K1, P7, K1, P8, K4.

Row 15: K12, P1, K6, P1, K9, P1, K15.

Row 16: K4, P10, K1, P10, K1, P7, K1, P7, K4.

Row 17: K11, P1, K6, P1, K12, P1, K13.

Row 18: K4, P8, K1, P13, K1, P6, K1, P7, K4.

Row 19: K10, P1, K7, P1, K14, P1, K11.

Row 20: K4, P6, K1, P16, K1, P6, K1, P6, K4.

Row 21: K9, P1, K7, P1, K16, P1, K10.

Row 22: K4, P5, K1, P1, K3, P13, K1, P7, K1, P5, K4.

Row 23: K8, P1, K8, P1, K10, P2, K5, P2, K8.

Row 24: K4, P4, K1, P8, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P3, K4.

Row 25: K7, P1, K10, P2, K6, P1, K8, P1, K9.

Row 26: K4, P5, K1, P9, K1, P3, K2, [P1, K1] twice, P8, K1, P3, K4.

Row 27: K6, P1, K8, P1, K1, P1, K4, P3, K10, P1, K9.

Row 28: K4, P5, K1, P10, K1, P9, K1, P7, K1, P2, K4.

Row 29: K6, P1, K7, P1, K9, P1, K11, P1, K8.

Row 30: K4, P4, K1, P11, K1, P10, K1, P6, K1, P2, K4.

Row 31: K6, P1, K6, P1, K11, P1, K10, P1, K8.

Row 32: K4, P3, K1, P11, K1, P11, K1, P6, K1, P2, K4.

Row 33: K6, P1, K6, [P1, K11] twice, P1, K7.

Row 34: K4, P2, K1, P12, K1, P10, K1, P6, K1, P3, K4.

Row 35: K7, P1, K5, P2, K9, P1, K13, P1, K6.

Row 36: K4, P2, K1, P11, K3, P9, K1, P1, K2, P2, K1, P4, K4.

Row 37: K8, P3, K4, P1, K8, P1, K2, P2, K9, P1, K6.

Row 38: K4, P2, K1, P8, K1, P5, [K1, P6] twice, K1, P5, K4.

Row 39: K8, P1, K7, P1, K5, P1, [K7, P1] twice, K6.

Row 40: K4, P3, K1, P5, K1, P9, K1, P3, K1, P8, K1, P4, K4.

Row 41: K8, P1, K9, P3, K11, P1, K4, P1, K7.

Row 42: K4, P4, K1, P2, K1, P13, K1, P11, K1, P3, K4.

Row 43: K7, P1, K10, P1, K14, P1, K1, P1, K9.

Row 44: K4, P6, K2, P14, K1, P11, K1, P2, K4.

Row 45: K6, P1, K11, P1, K14, P1, K11.

Row 46: K4, P8, K1, P13, K1, P10, K1, P3, K4.

Row 47: K7, P1, K10, P1, K13, P1, K12.

Row 48: K4, P7, K1, P14, K1, P10, K1, P3, K4.

Row 49: K7, P1, K11, P1, K13, P1, K11.

Row 50: K4, P7, K1, P13, K1, P11, K1, P3, K4.

Row 51: K7, P1, K11, P1, K12, P1, K12.

Row 52: K4, P8, K1, P12, K1, P11, K1, P3, K4.

Row 53: K8, P1, K10, P2, K10, P1, K13.

Row 54: K4, P10, K1, P8, K1, P2, K1, P6, K4, P4, K4.

Row 55: K12, P2, [K3, P1] twice, K7, P1, K15.

Row 56: K4, P12, [K1, P5] twice, K3, P10, K4.

Row 57: K23, P1, K3, P1, K17.

Row 58: K4, P14, K3, P20, K4.

Row 59: Knit across.

Row 60: K4, P37, K4.

Rows 61 to 66: Knit across.

Cast Off.

This pattern can be used to make dishcloths for craft sales meant for charity. Please do not resell the pattern or use it for personal profit. It is copyrighted to me (Anne Goodwin), January 15, 2012.






Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Assembling Sweater Pieces


This is a hooded baby sweater where the hood is already attached. What is left are two sleeves, right front, left front and back to attach together in addition to hemming the bottom of the sweater and the bottoms of the sleeves. The first step in assembling the sweater is to BLOCK all the pieces. We do this by pinning the pieces and wetting them with a bit of water.





In this photo, I have taken the sweater outside in the sunshine and sprayed the pieces. It only takes about five minutes to dry in bright sunshine.










This photo shows where I am sewing an INVISIBLE SEAM. In order to do an invisible seam, you pick up the BAR between stitches on EACH side of the seam and then sew together.








This photo shows what NOT to do when making an invisible seam. You must pick up the BAR, not the side of the knitted stitch.







Here the sides of the sweater and also the side of one of the sleeves are completed, using invisible seaming.









This photo show the seaming is done all the way. The raglan sleeves were inserted and then sewn from the INSIDE.









Here is a photo that shows the HEMMING being done up.









Once the sweater is assembled, it needs to be blocked once again.









This is the finished sweater.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mending Knitted Socks With A Knitted Patch

Today I mended a pair of my hand-knit socks using a method recommended by a friend of mine from the Ottawa Knitting Guild. I will go through the stages to show how it is done. A warning, in advance, is that since this was my very first attempt please do not expect perfection! I was merely aiming to fix the soles of my socks where they had worn through.






As you can see the socks have holes in the soles. The left sock was mended roughly and had worn through again. The right sock was also mended roughly but still holding.


The first thing I did was to cut around the mending I had previously done. Then I inserted double-pointed knitting needles into the live stitches on the top and bottom of each 'square' hole that I had made. This was done to hold the live stitches in place for when I would later want to attach the patch to the holes.

I then did two things. First I crocheted a number of loops and then I knitted from the loops (provisional cast-on). I counted the live stitches and cast on that number plus an extra stitch or so on each side.

I also counted 'up' the number of rows on the sides of the holes in the socks, thereby learning the number of rows that would be required. To be on the safe side, I added 2 extra rows to each of the patches that I made. In the photo to the left here, you can see the provisional cast-on along with the patch that I made.

The next stage in the mending was to use kitchener stitch to attach the live stitches at each end of the patch to the live stitches at each end of the square holes in the socks. This requires a great deal of patience and concentration! In this photo, you can see that I have already attached one row of live stitches to each other and am about to begin doing the next row.
In the next photo, you can see that the top and bottom rows of live stitches are now completed. What remains to be done is to sew the sides and to tuck in the loose threads.

This photo shows the completed patch, completely knitted and sewen into where the holes were. Am I finished? Not quite. There is still one step (no pun intended!) left to do.

I turned the sock inside out in order to see how it looked from the inside. What I saw were some 'rough edges' that I felt needed 'pruning'. So I took my scissors and VERY CAREFULLY went around the 'rough edges' and trimmed these.
This completes my explanation of the process. I wondered if the socks would feel comfortable aftering this patching and they do. I hope this helps you if you ever find that you also have socks that need mending but you are not quite sure where to begin!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stitch and Pitch at Rogers Centre in Toronto 2010

Here are some photos from a lovely night away July 27-28, 2010 in Toronto. It was "Stitch & Pitch" night, this year's event hosted by The Purple Purl. I had a wonderful time watching the Toronto Blue Jays play the Balitimore Orioles and sitting in the stadium with other knitters and enjoying knittalk, sharing yarn and showing off what we were working on or had completed. I enjoyed meeting Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (who threw the opening pitch for the game). Before leaving Toronto, my two friends and I visited three yarn shops in Toronto and then happily headed home with fresh yarn and exhilerated spirits.



1. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and myself.





2.
This is the bar at the Rogers Centre where we stayed. It directly looks over the baseball field and you can watch the live action!





3. My friends who I travelled with to Toronto.




4. & 5. Showing off finished projects. These were done by the knitters sitting behind me.





6. & 7. The game and the action. The Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 8 - 2.






8. The Purple Purl yarn shop, one of three yarn shops that we visited.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Little Black Dress Tea Cozy



This was a quick and enjoyable one-week knitting project. "Little Black Dress" is a pattern you can find in "Tea Cozies 2", edited by Emma Kennedy of Knitting magazine and published by Guild of Master Craftsman Publications in 2009 (ISBN: 978-1-86108-659-4). I am going to quickly show you the steps that I took to create this classy tea cozy.


1. I knitted the two sides of the cozy and this involved the placement of a few beads along the bottom edge.



2. I tried the tea cozy on 'for size' to ensure that it fit the teapot that it would be placed upon.



3. I knit the camelia (flower) and placed beads around the stamen.




4. I hemmed the dress.




5. I used mattress stitch to stitch the seams of the two sides of the tea cozy, again 'fitting' it as I went along.




6. I tucked in the threads.



7. I inserted the ribbon in the eyelet holes of the tea cozy and placed the camelia.


8. I made the ribbon and voila, it is done.




A couple of notes about this pattern:

1. In the instructions regarding the camelia, row 2, 4, 6, and 8 omitted to tell me that I should purl after having made the required increase.

2. In knitting the camelia, it was unclear whether to continuously knit the pedals in a row or to cut and bind off on each petal. I choose to do the latter.

3. In the final assembly instructions, it does not explain that you have to 'hem the dress.' I, however, knew to do this as I have done a doll dress that followed the same instructions around the bottom.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Knitting As Therapy

This is my first attempt at writing a real blog! :)

Truthfully, this article is mainly meant as an exercise in blogging. Nonetheless, I will tell you a bit about how knitting helps me 'cope.'

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Long before actually being diagnosed with a mental illness, I enjoyed knitting. I enjoy the creative qualities inherent in knitting -- everything from choosing a pattern to picking out the yarn to the actual process of knitting (and completing) a chosen item or garment. Knitting is a practical skill that I have wanted to learn ever since watching my paternal grandmother make slippers and mittens for each and every one of her grandchildren at Christmas.

I was first introduced to knitting needles in HomeEc in Grade 10. (Remember the days when Home Economics was a "must" for every girl? No, probably not. Those days were coming to an end even as I was going through my classes!) Anyway, my first project in HomeEc was to make a scarf. I was delighted to choose some yarn and to get started. Well, as is typical for anything for a young person, this process turned out to be much more difficult and frustrating than I ever expected. I got half-way through my scarf and it was left as a UFO, complete with holes and dropped stitches.

I actually did not pick up knitting needles again until I was in my early twenties. I was invited to a crafts home party and it was there that I was re-introduced to the art and craft of knitting by a new friend I met . The hostess, Linda, was a knitter and so I told her about how I was wanting to learn to knit. And so it happened that Linda was the wonderful angel who got me going again. She explained that scarves are very boring to make and that I would do much better with knitting a sweater. I was dubious of this but I went along with her suggestion. With Linda's help, I picked out a pattern for knitting a Nordic sweater along with the required yarn. I decided the sweater would be a gift for my boyfriend, Andrew (who became my husband).




The sweater project actually did go very well, despite that I had to learn how to weave threads of different colours in the yolk and wrists. This took a great deal of patience on my part but I was determined to complete the project. Linda assisted me when necessary but for the most part, I did just fine. The nordic sweater took me close to a year to make and I was proud of how striking the gray and black patterning was against the solid bright red I had chosen for the main colour.





So, once I had an actual garment completed, I was eager to knit more. Thus began a journey of learning to make vests, baby blankets, afgans, more sweaters and yes, even scarves. Moreover, I learned that if I kept my hands busy knitting, then it was easier to keep my lips shut and not to overtalk others (as I had a habit of doing from time to time). So, already, knitting was therapy and this was long before I had even heard of the concept.

Knitting truly became therapy after I was hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I learned, without anyone even telling me, that if I picked up my knitting needles during times when my mind was either racing or unfocussed and/or if I was experiencing distressing or stressful thoughts then I calmed down and was able to focus on this practical, physical activity. Later on, I understood that knitting is very much a meditative thing to do as well. Stitch by stitch, row by row, it allowed me to productively use my time. And I learned that just as prayer connects me to God, knitting connects me to my inner self.

Knitting is not only a calming activity, it is stimulating as well. When I pick out brightly-coloured yarn for a desired project, then this 'picks up my spirits.' When I find a pattern that excites me, then I know that I have further purpose in my life. When I complete a knitted item for a loved one, I know that I have done something that is pleasing to God.

I recognize that there are many different therapies for everyone, of which knitting is only one. However, knitting is my therapy and for that reason, I more and more am to be found with a knitting bag containing my newest project no matter where I am at, be it a guild meeting or a concert or visiting with friends. I find people are very accepting of this and are getting used to my knitting bag as part of my persona. This is good as I long ago told people that I expected to be a "bag lady" one day and here I am!

I wish you well with your knitting and I hope it is therapeutic for you in some way too! Please feel free to share your experiences if you wish.