Making waves

Another pair of socks

Another pair of socks

It’s always nice to have a project on the go that does not require much thought. Currently I have a couple of these: a nearly completed pair of socks for Mr Snail-of-Happiness and a cushion cover for my sister. The latter was requested, but the specification was simply that it had to be in greys and purples to match her newly decorated living room. I really like this sort of commission – no exact colour-matches required, no compulsion to follow a pattern I don’t enjoy making, plus a great excuse to toddle off to Red Apple Yarn. And in this case, it has given me an excuse to have a go at a design that I’ve been itching to try out for a while now, namely Attic24’s Neat Ripple pattern. If you have never visited Attic24, do go and have a look at Lucy’s wonderful patterns and creations… just bear in mind you may be some time!

Testing out the colours of the cushion in situ at an early stage of creation

Testing out the colours of the cushion in situ at an early stage of creation

These sort of projects are important to me because they give my hands something to do whilst my brain is elsewhere. Admittedly, the elsewhere may be watching the TV or listening to an audiobook, but it might also be thinking about the garden, planning a new blog post, mulling over a course that I’m going to be teaching or simply letting my mind wander, nevertheless it means that I am being physically creative. One of the reasons that we have so many pairs of hand knitted socks is my commitment to keeping my hands busy. Many of the socks have been knitted whilst I have been teaching. I often set learners tasks to do and need to be available to answer questions; reading a book whilst being on hand is impossible, but I can knit, keep an eye on activities and chat all at the same time… and at the end of the day there are socks. I also work on such projects in meetings. Colleagues have finally got used to me doing this and know that it doesn’t mean I’m bored or not paying attention – quite the contrary: it keeps me focused and enhances my creativity.

Of course, I also create things that are much more of a challenge – you need to focus when knitting a snail or crocheting a mushroom – but there’s a time and a place. All this goes to explain, at least in part, why I have so many projects on the go simultaneously… well, that and my short attention span!

Neat ripple pattern

Neat ripple pattern

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