Knitting The Words Together

I have spent this weekend on a writers’ retreat, outside Bristol. The foul weather has only added to the atmosphere of cosy creativity – I haven’t minded the rain storms one jot. (Though I will mind if the roads are flooded when I try to leave. I’m trying not to think about that.)

Knitting is always a very important part of any writing retreat for me. Very, very important. It’s meditative, it’s a reward system, it’s a point of conversation, it’s comforting. I also love how memories become entwined in the knitting.

This time I am working on a Honey Cowl, a knitting pattern that is famously loved on the Interwebs and free. It’s just gorgeous – I can’t stop knitting it! (In between the, ahem, writing.) I’m using Madelinetosh Merino DK in Black Velvet. Two skeins of this stuff is – eek! – a little bit on the expensive side and I felt very guilty buying it. But, hey, I’m knitting a cowl; it’s not a jumper. And, hey, everyone needs to treat themselves every now and then.

Sewaholic made a fabulous version of this cowl here. I find it apt that she titled her blog post ‘Knitting to Keep Calm’. My weekend has all been about calming down. Meditations, collages, more meditations, chatting, games, wine and early nights. And, of course, the writing. But mainly the calming down.

None of it would be complete, though, without the knitting.

I’d love to hear if you have ways of re-grounding. We all need to do it sometimes!

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15 Responses to Knitting The Words Together

  1. Cosy pics and thoughts of warm snugly cowls! I’ve been away this weekend, staying with family, 3 generations of us sitting on the sofa in the evenings with our knitting and crochet. I’m knitting on round needles and seem to be taking out more than progressing this particular ‘weekend hat’, but ripping back and winding wool I find is pretty meditative!

  2. Lovely and tempting! It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve a million things to do but all I want to so is to spend the afternoon in front of the fire knitting. I can’t even use the excuse that the weather’s awful as despite the wind the sun has come out.

  3. Ooh, I was just stroking some skeins of merino wool in a shop the other day! So soft. I haven’t knitted in years, but that pattern looks right up my street…
    I hope you’re having fun on your retreat- sounds fab!
    When I need to ground myself it’s usually because my head is chattering away. I lie on the floor with a bolster lengthwise beneath my spine and breeeathe. It’s amazing what just two minutes of that will do for me!

  4. Stacy says:

    I’m just learning to knit, and you could be more right about it being meditative. I’ve marked this cowl in ravelry and will definitely be trying it out, once I get a little more practice in.

  5. Verónica says:

    Knitting definitely helps. And the occasional foot massage!

  6. Marie says:

    So glad to hear you’re taking the time to re-ground Karen, it’s so important to do so now and again. The writing retreat sounds so interesting and it’s great that it also gives you time to unwind by knitting – your yarn looks delicious!

  7. leirasarah says:

    I agree with u karen. i am also doing th same thing. By the way i love your yarn…

  8. What lovely yarn and a nice, chunky-looking pattern, just the shot for a warming cowl. I confess that when I want to ground myself I’m just as likely to sit at the piano or maybe sew some lavender bags. Knitting? Maybe I’m not good enough at it for it to be meditative or maybe I generally choose patterns that require attention so I never get to the meditative part! I think it’s the former, despite the number of years I’ve been knitting.

  9. Just starting learning to knit, I’m afraid I’m still at the ‘stick your tongue out in concentration’ stage and the thought of trying to watch TV or drink a glass of wine while knitting fills me with the dread prospect of dropped stitches!

    I’m envious karen!

  10. Hi lovely lady, you are amazing! You have so many mad-skillz! It’s lovely to hear about your calming activities and very inspirational. Thanks so much for your incredibly sweet and supportive comment on my self-employment blog post the other day. I don’t feel sane most of the time, but I’m super-happy it may appear to others that I have my shit together! Sending you lots of love

    Zoe xxx

  11. Oh yes, it’s knitting for me all the way if I need to relax or unwind or reset. 🙂 That cowl will be lovely! I love Madtosh yarns.

  12. Debbie says:

    Lovely yarn and the cowl is very nice. I just spent the weekend at a friend’s cottage. So relaxing and I had my knitting with me. I can talk and knit, but also find it very meditative if on my own.

    I also knitted on the journey to and from the cottage, luckily I wasn’t driving!!!

  13. Carol Urban says:

    I take my knitting with me any time we take a drive. I knit as he drives. I finished a pair of ladies socks this past week and started a pair of Dragonfly socks. I finished the first one today. Knitting gifts for Christmas. My favorite place to knit is also in front of the wood stove.

  14. Amy says:

    Oooh, how I long to know how to knit. And go on a writing retreat – how fun would that be?!

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