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Crazy for Ewe
  • Albertine, take me away
  • Ellen Lewis
Albertine, take me away

I always smile when I hear newer knitters say, I'll only have one project at a time.  I'm going to finish this project before I start anything else.  It's so well-intended, and I totally understand the sentiment, but the truth is that if you knit as much as most of us do, you can't have just one project at a time.  Knitting with friends calls for a simple project.  You want to participate in the conversation and enjoy the company, so you need to have a project that occupies your hands, but not your mind.  Of course, it depends on how accomplished you are.  If you're a beginner it's probably something like a garter stitch scarf.  If you've been knitting forever, it may be an easy to memorize lace pattern.  Anything where you don't have to count or refer to the pattern will work.  This is the same kind of pattern you want when you've had a rotten day and you just want to relax and unwind with some easy meditative knitting. 

It's always nice to have something on the needles that's a little bit challenging.  Patterns that require your attention and stretch your skills a little bit are extremely rewarding.  This kind of project gets you into what's called Flow.  You can read more about it here, but basically, flow is a state of heightened focus in which the challenge of the task at hand exactly matches your highest skill level.  During flow you lose all sense of time and are completely engrossed an activity.  Researchers have spent a lot time on studying flow because it is such a satisfying state of being that it's addictive.  Being in flow takes your mind to a different place where there is only you and the task -- everything else seems to fall away, and when you stop, you feel refreshed and energized.  I'm sure you've experienced flow at many points during your knitting journey.  Remember when you first started knitting? Mastering the needles and yarn, creating the fabric was all you wanted to do.  I do.  Once you've been knitting for a while it can be hard to find a project that offers a flow opportunity.  Even really good knitters can find overly complicated lacework too fiddly and end up in the frustration zone rather than in flow.

Ellen's Albertine scarf by Louisa Harding at Crazy for Ewe

When I started knitting Albertine, I realized pretty quickly that this was a flow project for me.  I was working on it one afternoon and before I knew it, the sun had gone down and several hours had passed.  The time I spent there seemed like nothing at all.  It was great  Very intoxicating.  If you're ready for something a little more challenging, but not fiddly and frustrating,  Albertine is just perfect -- it's a beautiful way to find your flow.  Stop by the shop and pick up an Albertine kit, or you can order it here.

If you need a little support for the project, we're offering a great class.  You'll learn everything you need to master the pattern.  We'll go over the entire stitch repeat several times so you feel confident.  We'll also use a lifeline in there just in case, because this is about flow, not frustration.  Register at the shop or here - class includes the kit.  

I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table - with your easy mindless project, or in the class getting your flow on.  You are always welcome here.  

Ellen

Back to 26 April 2016 newsletter

  • Ellen Lewis

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