As soon as I embarked upon my journey to learn to knit, I became aware that shawls were a Very Big Thing in the community. In fact, they are their entire own thing. Knitters, it seemed, were very passionate about shawls, with some making them their sole focus of the craft.
And I'll be honest with you - I didn't get it.
It's not that I don't like shawls, but for most of us, they're simply not things that we wear, use or ever bother think about on the day to day. We grow up associating shawls with a caricature grandma with a grey bun and little round glasses, or with downtrodden Cinderella before the fairy godmother came and did her makeover.
But more involved I become in the knitting world, the longer I spend browsing Ravelry, and the more Instagram knitting accounts I follow- the more I realise that I was very wrong.
Shawls can be intricate, versatile, works of art and examples of impeccable, eye-wateringly beautiful design. And I can see why they are the focus of so much passion!
In the past week winter has fully descend upon Ōtautahi.
I finally got to take my big woollen coat out of hibernation, as well as my scarves, merino tops, densest tights and also...hang on...wait...where are my gloves?
WHERE THE HECK ARE MY GLOVES?
It's been a full eight days and the mystery of my missing fingerless gloves is still very much unsolved. I've pulled out the entire contents of my wardrobe, searched my big box full of scarves and hats several times, tipped out my satchel (no luck, though I did find 578 different lipsticks and balms that I thought I'd lost) and checked every pocket in every coat, robe, jacket, kimono and blazer that I own - and no joy.
I'm reluctantly having to accept that my beloved mitts are gone - and I'm feeling a little lost.
Whilst we all should dress to please only ourselves, to bring our hearts joy, and to feel our most authentically us...it sure does feel good when you get some external validation.
So when, within 5 seconds of walking into the supermarket, I got stopped by a stranger and complimented on my Carlisle cardigan, on its first ever outing - well I’m not going to lie, I felt good!
And those compliments are even sweeter when you get to smile and enthusiastically reply 'thank you, I made it!'.
As I’m sure you have picked up in my previous posts about my making the Kingston Sweater, Tara-Lynn Morrison’s Good Night, Day has been my knitting awakening.
These are patterns that are designed to be simple, minimalistic, accessible, size-inclusive and take a more holistic approach to the creative process in the way they are designed to be like a meditation, a launch point for your own ideas and creativity - leaving you free to express yourself with colour schemes, customised sizing, length and proportion, and optional embellishments.
I'm Lou, an Ōtautahi based personal stylist and craft-lover, and this is Never Been Knit - my journey from complete knitting virgin to...well, let's find out together!