Wednesday, 14 October 2020

The Power of Knitting


So happy to have been gifted a copy of
'The Power of Knitting' by Loretta Napoleoni, published by Tarcher Perigee, October 2020.

The title grabbed my attention followed by a curiosity to find out what could this Italian journalist, economist and political analyst have to say about the gentle craft of knitting.

"In a fractured world plagued by anxiety and loneliness, knitting is coming to the rescue of people from all walks of life. Economist and lifelong knitter Loretta Napoleoni unveils the hidden power of the purl and stitch mantra: an essential tool for the survival of our species, a means for women to influence history, a soothing activity to calm us, and a powerful metaphor of life". (Extract from the publishers)

Loretta takes you on a personal journey through her life. Along the way she describes historical, social and political changes with knitting an unlikely and influencing feature. Family, friends and strangers feature in this story of how knitting has influenced Loretta and the people around her.

In a particularly interesting section (Chapter 7 Knitting in the Age of Neuroscience) the author describes discoveries in neuroscience which explain how knitting can be helpful for mental health and wellbeing. She describes the way she coped with personal challenges and over came them with the help of knitting.

There are also 10 knitting patterns included in the book.  As remembrance day is fast approaching the poppy pattern caught my eye. It’s a quick and easy project.

The book is an inspirational, positive read and I recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about the gentle craft of knitting told from a different, interesting perspective.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Make Along and a Competition

Would you like to join a knitting Make Along for this blanket? It’s the Special Stripy Blanket in a new colour way called ‘Sea Breeze’ made with 7 shades of Stylecraft Special Chunky yarn.

The Make Along begins on 13th August in the Stylecraft Yarns Make Along Group on Facebook where you’ll be able to find the link to the pattern with a special discount code.

The original colour way 'Beach Huts' (on the left in the image above) and the new 'Sea Breeze' were inspired by the seaside.

There’s a competition to design a new colour way based on a 'Deck Chair' theme. You can find the entry template on the Stylecraft website by clicking on the image below and downloading. To enter the competition choose a 7 colour combination from the Special Chunky shade range. List your colours on the template chart (with your contrast colour first). Scan or take a photo of your finished chart and email to

I’ll be selecting my favourite colour way and the winner will receive the yarn courtesy of Stylecraft to make their own version of the blanket.

Good Luck!

Monday, 23 March 2020

Ripples Shawl Knitting Pattern

Keeping busy and a positive mind set is something to be aimed for and never more than during this time of Covid-19. Knitting is something which helps me to stay occupied and focused generally but especially so now. 

This latest pattern is a shawl which uses a variegated cotton blend yarn with contrast stitches creating ripple effects. It's a wrap to use as a cover up when sitting outside (hopefully) enjoying the unpredictable summer weather. 

The yarn is from Stylecraft and inspired by the artist Monet. This shade of blue called Giverny gives an hint of the artists work and reminiscent of his painting the Water Lilies. A definite summery  blue vibe with hints of soft pink. The ripple effects are created using two solid colour shades of Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK.

Ripples Shawl knitting pattern is available to download from Ravelry. 

Read on if you'd like further details about the pattern.

Skills required
Cast on, cast off, knit, purl, knit 2 stitches together, slip stitches, knit into the front and back of a stitch.

(A) Main colour, x4 Stylecraft Monet aran 100g 183m/200yds shade, Giverney #3971
(B) Contrast colour, x1 Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK, 50g 92m/100yds, shade Grey Blue #3965
(C) Contrast colour, x1 Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK, 50g 92m/100yds, shade Ivory #3665

5.5mm circular knitting needle 60cm long to accommodate number of stitches

Blunt tapestry needle for weaving in ends

190cm (74inches) long x 35cm (14 inches) wide

Ripples Shawl is available to download from Ravelry.