Recently I wrote about my goal of making handmade Christmas gifts for my family. It hasn’t been without setbacks, as mentioned in Coming Unstitched. At the best of times I find it hard to complete projects, but I’m determined to change. I’m using an easy pattern and started with the smallest hat first (for my two year old) to increase my chances of success.

I chose to knit most of the hat with circular needles. However, I needed to switch over to double pointed needles to finish the project. I didn’t have a set small enough so I had to return to my local yarn shop. I brought the hat with me to ask a question about the last part of the pattern. I’m not going to lie- I was disappointed when Jacqueline, the manager, said that my counts were wrong and I needed to rip out roughly 10 rows. She saw the panic in my face and basically told me to calm down with her no frills Australian accent. She’s an expert knitter and patiently helped me sort it out so I was back on track in no time.

Our small, rural town is lucky to have mainly family-run, independent shops. I love supporting them rather than big, impersonal businesses. Bantry Yarns is more than a retail shop; it’s a place where you can also learn and ask for support. Knitting is such an ancient Irish tradition, and I’m glad to continue developing the skill. These days you can find information by watching YouTube tutorials or by utilizing other online resources, but nothing beats a real person who can offer genuine feedback and encouragement!

My partner’s 13 year old daughter was with me at the shop. It was great seeing her pick up the balls of wool, remarking about the variety of textures and colors. Later that day, when I finished her baby brother’s hat, she said I had inspired her. She’s thinking about starting a project of her own. These days most teenagers have their eyes glued to their phones so I think it’s really positive to see a young person express interest in a traditional craft. Not only is knitting practical but it’s also really meditative.

Hat made with “Regina” by Adriafil, 100% merino superwash wool

Blessing (the name I’ve given my toddler on this blog) was thrilled with his hat when I finished it! I was rewarded with a big smile and he proudly tells everyone his mommy made it. I’ve already started making a similar hat (in a different color) for one of my other sons and have really found my groove. What better way to express love than by making something to keep each of my children warm? Plus it’s a very cozy thing to do beside the fire this time of year. Knitting is another way of inviting more hygge into my life.

Back in 2015 I joined Ravelry although I’ve only used it once. Today I updated my profile. If you’d like to connect with me there, my username is robinsview. I’m looking forward to exploring the site and seeing what interesting things other craft lovers are creating.

If you ever travel to West Cork do check out Bantry Yarns. They sell beautiful wraps, hats, and more in addition to knitting and crocheting supplies. You can also buy a few things from their online shop (from the link above), including kits and patterns. I’m aware that not everyone lives close to such a great yarn supply shop.

I’d love to hear from other craft lovers. Have you created anything you’re proud of lately? What inspires you to practice a traditional craft? Was the skill passed on from a family member or did you struggle, like me, to learn as an adult? Whatever your story, I hope you enjoy many more hours of creativity during these cold months of the year.

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2 thoughts on “Handmade with Love

  1. So cute! Well done 🙂 I used to crochet when my kids were younger. I would start and stop projects and finally I made stocking caps in their school colors that hung down to their knees for their homecoming football games. I’d pedal on a recumbent bike while I stitched, makes me chuckle thinking about it.

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