(not so) mindless knitting

thank you all for your great comments and feedback about my last blog, I nearly didnt post it because it thought it might be so boring so I’m glad I did as lots of people seemed to think it was pretty interesting!

Sometimes I think I am a crap knitter. I start far too many projects and don’t finish enough of them, I LOVE starting something new, buying wool and looking at all the projects on ravelry and planning how I’m going to take photos of it when its finished…..I get so far and set it down… then don’t pick it up again for months!! I literally have ‘notions’ that last a day. A few weeks ago I thought maybe I would like to try some fine lace (like 1ply and 2.25mm needles kind of lace) and ordered needles. By the time they came I’d kinda gone off the idea?!? To shame myself into finishing some things I even debated taking a photo of all my UFO’s and doing a blog inspired by these recent posts by Donna and Karen, alas that is not what I’m talking about today..

recent bargains, on the left: Lovely alpaca from the littlewoolcompany and on the right: vintage shetland wool from the Cancer Research charity shop

I think the problem is not that I’m a bad knitter, and I’m definitely getting better, I’m just quite slow which I think puts me off. So last week I had a case of ‘startitis’ (the urge to start something new, whilst ignoring all the projects hidden away). I have so much wool guys, seriously. Problem number 1: I work in a wool shop (self explanatory, who can blame me for buying it. I’m surrounded by it.) Problem 2: I have no self control (if I see a bargain, I have to buy it) this is coupled with Problem 3: I frequent many of Lerwicks Charity Shops and the Saleroom (Cancer Research Shop, I’m looking at you, you are my downfall…but also my favourite. – nice Shetland Wool appears more often at these places than you would think. Hence, I must buy them) and Problem 4: I have a designated crafty room (in theory for my cushion making business but its slowly being overtaken by WOOL)


SO with the urge to start something new I made myself sit down and look at stuff I already HAD: a pattern, needles and wool. I wanted to make a jumper or cardigan that wouldn’t take too long, I decided on the Annabel Cardigan which I am knitting in Shetland Aran shade BSS72. I love the look of garter stitch (knitting every row back and forth) mostly confined to ones first scarf stitch but in this case it is a completely seamless cardigan. Initially when I found this pattern on Ravelry it was the sister of the cardigan I noticed first, the Annabel Pullover but quickly I realised I would have to purl every other row. (urgh) so when I worked out that in the cardi you went back and forth my mind was set. I started this last week and I have just gotten past seperating for the sleeves and I’m onto the body


The yoke shaping kept me interested and now that I’m past that the integrated buttonholes are given me manageable goals, there are only 6 and i’ve already done 3 so I have high hopes. I’m not letting myself knit anything else, I’m being a one project lady until this is finished!!!

Sometimes I’m quite overwhelmed by the sheer possibilities and colour combinations of all the WOOL I have so I needed something plain, squishy and easy to give me time to think about finishing all the other stuff.


Hopefully writing this post will spur me on to keep going so I can show you the finished thing. I even already have buttons..

Tomorrow we are hopefully going to the Peat Hill to raise Peats and I should get some pictures of something I have recently finished and shock..horror.. it wasn’t for me. (hint: its not a knitted Peat cover.)

Speak soon,


15 thoughts on “(not so) mindless knitting

  1. A crap knitter? I think not but I DO know what you mean because I am right behind you with my knitting, spinning, weaving and sewing…good grief. See, you feel better already without all these other things hanging around behind you :) I would NEVER pass up vintage Shetland wool.
    Keep up the good work and give it a home……. Peat, how I love the smell of it burning. Have a good day and don’t work up too much of a sweat haha

  2. I am just like Susan–a spinner, knitter, weaver and seamstress. Since we enjoy all our “stuff” so much it’s not hard to jump from one thing to an other. A long time ago I worked in a yarn shop, only one day a week, but I never took a paycheck for 2 years. It’s so hard to pass up lovely wool. I ended up working there for 10 years part time and dutifully purchased many skeins.
    Your new cardigan is lovely and winter will be upon us before you know it. I’m still putzing with the Peerie Flooers hat and gnashing my teeth at the decreases. But Perseverance is my middle name!!

  3. You are a fine knitter! My knitting is mainly samples for the shop where I work and I am itching to get back to personal knitting. I have UFOs in various stages of finishing and my spinning, well that is another story! Happy knitting!

  4. How awesome to work in a wool shop. I love the color of this cardigan. I will have to check out the pattern. There’s something comforting about garter stitch.

  5. What do you do with the peats ? Very interesting.
    Love your knitting…lots of us get a touch of startitis now and then. There arent any real rules in this game of knitting, so who cares how many things are started.

  6. You completely describe my problem: buying wool is simply much faster than knitting it. I gave up on trying to keep up and I give in to casting on when I feel like it. My little destash group on ravelry is very forgiving and we have a monthly challenge: finish or frog. So far I have mostly frogged and cast on for something new slightly afterwards. But there were some real finished ones, cast on two years ago and now laying in my cupboard waiting for winter to arrive.

  7. Ella there are nine of us on a knitting tour about to visit Lerwick, I’m sure we can help the charity shops as well as the Woolbroker! Look forward to meeting you, and yes, the last blog about blocking was awesome.

  8. Oooh – I really envy you the wool from the charity shops… And wool is like Money in the Bank, in my opinion.
    The cardi looks great – and an interesting pattern…
    I just knitted a tie (for a present), in 2.5mm laceweight – an impulse buy in a sale – with a garter stitch diagonal stripe, the unusually small and sharp needles made a few holes in my fingers when I wasn’t attending… I’ll put a pic on my blog next week (carysdavies.wordpress.com). An interesting, long knit!

      1. Good tip – will look it out. Although in this case, the 2.5mm tips were so sharp they had actually sliced the skin! I started knitting with plasters on. Really, those old-fashioned thimbles with no top would have been better…

  9. To me you sound like a modern knitter, we have so much choice of yarns, so many different things we can make, access to information on specialised types of knitting from all around the world and we are not knitting for necessity for work or to clothe ourselves and our families. So this can lead to having lots of things on the go, as you’d see if you saw my desk (you don’t want to, as Katie Morag’s mum would say, it’s a midden, if a woolly one). I am incredibly jealous of the charity shops and salerooms you have access to and am increasingly considering a charity shop tour of Shetland, were I well enough, keep trying to persuade my sister she wants to take a holiday on Shetland but I think she’s sussed why…

    For speed have you tried altering your knitting style? Continental is supposed to be faster, slower for a bit while you learn, I keep meaning to try it. If you’re into garter stitch have you read any Elizabeth Zimmermann? She was garter stitch mad; it can be very soothing, that’s a great cardigan you’re making.

    Also don’t think of it as excess wool, it’s necessary insulation!

  10. What a lovely cardigan and very much in the knitting tradition of garter knit garments. Since it is garter stitch it will be very soft and flexible to wear, very nice. Now, I am a slow knitter, really, but I get there in the end and I enjoy it , and yes I too am surrounded by the stash and the started projects. Do not worry about it, just part of knitting, enjoy it! My Mum is a dauntingly proficient knitter, a Second World War knitter, but despite her efforts I largely learnt aged 8 in primary school in the Sixties and in a quiet corner with her Woolcraft magazine! We all do it differently! Incidentally I find small items a very nice way to clear the mental channels!

  11. Wow Ella amazing speed can’t believe you have got so far only saw you a few days ago and we spoke about it great work xx

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