Imagine tossing a stone across land from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea. We stopped at Mavis Grind on our way to Northmavine, where Shetland Mainland is at its narrowest point measuring only 33 metres. So if you are a good aim, it should be possible. I’m not sure if that would be feasible anywhere else. It was windswept. It was cold. It was beautiful and wild.
There is a particular pleasure and serenity to be had from a long term, slow knitting project like the Mitred Squares Blanket. Mitred Squares Blanket – Part 2 follows on from my earlier post about starting the Mitred Squares Blanket.
“Every single pleasure I can imagine or have experienced is more delightful, more of a pleasure, if you take it in small sips, if you take your time.” Amos Oz
Relaxing. Randomly choosing colours, just making sure that the same colour is not used in any adjoining square. I love to finish a square and then choose the next colour of yarn and pick up and knit the 48 stitches for the next square before leaving the knitting for the time being.
Wonderful watching the blanket growing in size with the completion of every mitred square. Great use for leftover sock yarn.
A blanket full of memories. The yarns remind me of other knitting projects. Outfits that I’ve made for Sasha Dolls. Socks and fingerless mitts. Shawls and hats. Placing the yarns together in blocks in a large project like the blanket creates a colour alchemy all its own. Beautiful.
I find myself looking forward to picking up the blanket and working for a few rows in a square. It is fun. It is relaxing. It is meditative. If something has been stressful, the blanket makes it feel better.
Now it is large enough to snuggle beneath as I knit the blocks.
It already feels like a comforter. I started knitting the blanket in January and I will be sad to see it finished. The blanket isn’t destined to be huge or bed sized. It is to be a snuggly comforter, for throwing over myself while I’m sitting on the sofa or draping around my shoulders if I’m working on the laptop in my study.
I’ve only used colours in the green-blue-purple analogous range. This is mainly because I find these colours to be soothing. They are my favourites. It also means the blanket will look beautiful in our home as these are colours that we love to live with.
I’m not a fast knitter. I’m reasonably slow. I love knitting. I’ve done the fast thing. Typing as quickly as possible for 8 hours a day in an office. This only resulted in lasting pain from carpal tunnel syndrome… I know that for many people in the past, like on Shetland where we went on holiday this year, knitting quickly was really important to help them earn a living.
But I have the luxury of not having the need to rush through my knitting. Why would I rush? I love knitting. I love choosing colours. I love seeing my project progressing. It gives me great pleasure touching the yarn. The smooth warmth of the bamboo needles in my hands. (I can knit for several hours using bamboo needles but 20 minutes knitting with metal needles sets off my CTS big time).
To me it always seems like a little bit of magic that a ball of yarn and two needles can create something beautiful and useful. Something, I’ll enjoy using for a very long time.
I already know I have enough sock yarn and 4ply yarn in my personal stash to last me a lifetime. But, what can I say, I still love adding new sock yarn to my collection. Like other people I have favourite colours. I particularly love purples, blues and teals. I feel relaxed living with them. I adore wearing them.
So I don’t mind not being a fast knitter. I’m never in a rush to see the project finished. I enjoy choosing colours. Planning. Thinking about how it will look when it is finished. Watching it grow and come to life in my hands over time.
And the memories tied into making the mitred squares blanket and the memories of standing looking at the sea from Mavis Grind the narrowest point on Shetland… on one side the North Sea, on the other the Atlantic Ocean… knitted stitches blending with the stitches of time and new memories to be treasured, spending time with Neil, the breeze blowing through my hair, the chill in the air, the peacefulness and looking out for a glimpse of an elusive otter. These are the memories that create the tapestry of a shared life together…