Guest blogger Amanda from OwlPrintPanda considers how much our surroundings influence our knitting.
Unconsciously, we draw from our surroundings. Whether it’s our mood, our style or our inspirations, it’s bound to happen sooner or later, and the same can be said about our knitting.
I find one of our main influences to be our friends, as evidenced in the very enthusiastic Lush KAL - (featuring the Lush cardigan by Tin Can Knits, above) which was held by a few of the UK knitting podcasters recently! Though a lovely pattern, it’s likely an item I wouldn’t otherwise have committed myself to knit. Often friends can nudge us toward projects we may never have embarked on. We know others are nearby and able to help us should we run into difficulties, and it’s exciting to be part of a large, sociable project. By looking at everyone else’s knits, we identify what we love about those projects, and can take all those good parts into something we really love.
Where our first influence is who we spend time with, our second must surely be where we spend our time. Personally, I adore Glasgow and all it encompasses. It has a slightly murky reputation, but this only serves to provide a contrast for all the wonderful events and locations which can be found here. From the parks (as in the Kelvinway shawl), my favourite pubs (as in Ashton Lane shawl), to a stereotypical beverage (see the Bru shawl) Glasgow shines through in my recent projects. There are shapes and colours in our surroundings which we can use to inspire the stitches in our knits, and she shapes we wish to achieve.
Ashton Lane shawl
An obvious third choice is the weather! Those of you in sunnier climes may never see the purpose in a super-chunky yarn, but some of us in Scotland would tend to agree with the “you can never wear too many knitted items at once” philosophy.
Of course, all of this inspiration doesn’t stop with what we knit. It’s very exciting to begin spinning and dyeing your own yarn, even if it ends up an unmitigated disaster. Something created from scratch always feels like an incredible achievement, even if it is a bit lumpy.
This is a rabbit hole of yarny goodness – after I started spinning I became very interested in the breed of sheep, what their yarn felt like, what it spins like, how it dyes up. Creating my own yarn added a whole new dimension to knitting – and added another hobby to the now growing list of things which distract me from other things I really should be doing instead!
Read more from Amanda at www.owlprintpanda.blogspot.co.uk