basics · gratitude · inspiration

Back to Basics

What with all of the cold weather we have had of late, I decided that I was well overdue for a new jumper. Not just any jumper though, it had to be the soft, cosy variety, one that invites you to wrap yourself up in it, cuddle up on your favourite chair with a steaming hot cup of coffee or chocolate and a good book, whist enjoying this temporary dose of cooler days.

As it has become my habit over the past few years, my initial thought was simply to take myself off on a shopping trip to buy a ready-made jumper. On second thoughts, however, I came up with an even better plan, a plan which the “old me” would have come up with immediately. Like I said, I have developed a few “habits” over recent years, all of which I now recognise as “easy” fixers.

Back in the good old days, I made quite a few of my own, and my children’s clothes. Growing up in a family of crafty minded people, (and I mean that in the nicest way, as in, self-sufficient), it would have been impossible for me not to learn the finer arts of sewing, embroidery and cross-stitch, crochet and knitting.

From the tender age of ten or eleven, it was nothing for me to whip up a new jumper or two for myself each winter, not to mention a few jumpers, cardigans, trousers, beanies, gloves and scarves for my dolls along the way!

My babies always wore little hand knitted jumpers, jackets and booties, made out of the finer three and four ply baby wool and progressing to jumpers knitted in the thicker yarns as they grew older. My neighbour once noted that my daughter’s doll was better dressed than some babies she had seen!

As the years progressed, the quicker and easier way of acquiring new outfits has crept in, that being a quick trip to a crowded shopping centre. Not this time, though. I caught myself before rushing out of the door in pursuit of a mass produced number, taking the alternate route to the local craft store.

The familiar feeling of browsing through pattern books, wool colours and knitting needles was a delight in itself, and made all the more pleasurable when my eldest daughter met me at the store, to help me make my choice.

With pattern, wool and knew new knitting needles chosen, I left the store feeling a sense of achievement, and I hadn’t even knitted a stitch yet! Just the mere fact that I was making a return to the basics, rather than taking the easier and more expensive route, was extremely gratifying.

With my knitted jumper now in progress, each night I sit comfortably in my chair, my older “Queen Cat” cat curled up beside me, younger “Cutie Cat” asleep on the chair next to me and my dog snoring away contentedly at my feet.

Ah yes, that’s what life’s all about. There’s a lot to be said for enjoying the basics. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. Oh, I love to knit, but I haven’t done it for years and I don’t have a guide for when things go wrong. But it is one of those things which I need to get back to and it is definitely on my list of things to do!

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  2. You know, Joanne, in the last couple of months, knitting has helped me keep calm and carry on. It’s meditation for me.

    I’ve finished the scarf I started knitting at Mum’s bedside, and every time I wear it I think of her. There’s the long wrap vest made of multi-coloured yarn that’s a real joy to wear and now I’m in the final stages of finishing the throw rug I started a year ago. There is just something about knitting – both the process, the colours (I’ve used a lot of Noro wool lately – sublime!) and the joy of the finished product, knowing it’s one of a kind and you made it. You’ll have to share the finished product with us – I’d love to see it!

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  3. Gaelikaa, you always sound so busy, so I do hope you have time to take up knitting again. 🙂

    I love the way memories attach themselves to every article you knit yourself, Káren, and yours are memories to treasure. 🙂
    Yes…”one of a kind” knitted articles is what I love too! Along with the calm pleasure it brings as you knit away, lost in your thoughts. My jumper will probably take around 3-4 weeks to complete, I’m hoping, so I’ll let you know when it’s finished. 🙂

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