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Published on March 12th, 2013 | by Serena

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Another runner-up from January – and a new knitting competition coming soon!

Dear Readers,

Kathy’s January competition entry seemed the perfect story to share with you all as she tells her story of knitting through illness (I’ve just returned to work after a bit of time off so it resonated particularly with me) – and she’s inspired the theme of our next competition too!

“Oh My Bear” Hoody by Kathy

A friend taught me to knit a few years ago. I was battling serious health issues, and unable to leave the house except for surgeries and treatments. My friend is a sweet-natured woman, and an incredibly generous person. She gave me a “Starter Pack”, bringing over several balls of yarn, different sized needles, and an instruction book. She showed me the basics and then off I went, teaching myself how to knit.

Knitting was the perfect pastime during that period. It soothed my soul. I was able to disappear into the craft, and to leave my anxiety and fears behind. I thought about beautiful things while I knitted. Images of pastoral scenes full of woolly creatures raised my spirit. I thought about the morning fog, about emerald green hills where flocks of sheep and alpacas graze, and about the gentle people who tend to them. Each stitch gave me hope: “I must stay to wear these works of art. It’s too much labour for it to work out any differently!”

I’ll never be able to thank my friend enough for her gift of knitting. If my sweater wins I will share my certificate with her. She loves yarn even more than I do (which is a whole lot). It would make her day.

This was my first attempt to create a sweater, and also my first try at the Intarsia technique. Since it is a “first” on two fronts I couldn’t resist entering it in the New Beginnings knitting contest.

OMB1

Knitting this sweater was a challenge, and it was fun! I had no idea what I was doing. I just kept at it, hoping I was doing it right. Each time I knitted a large area I was absolutely dazzled by the fact that… oh my gosh… it really does look like a sleeve or a cuff or a hood — and — even a bear!  “RAWR!”

I am now fully hooked on knitting. I especially enjoy colour-work. I’m currently learning the Fair Isle technique, and working on my second sweater. One of my goals this year is to design my own colour-work garment in the Fair Isle tradition.

I am happy to say I’m now in good health. I’ve been given a new beginning. My future looks bright. Cheers to happy endings, caring friends, and yarn!

Materials:
Pattern:
“Oh My Bear” by the fabulous Tiny Owl Knits. You can also find her designs on Ravelry.
Yarns:
Main Colour: 8 balls of Chunky/Bulky knitting yarn [loveknitting recommendation: try Rowan Cocoon for a solid colour – we love it!] I used a solid-coloured yarn, but Debbie Bliss’s chunky tweed is very sweet for the main colour. It makes the bear look as though he is in a blizzard [try Debbie Bliss Winter Garden for the ‘blizzard effect’!]
Bear Face: one ball each of cream, tan and grey. Scraps of bulky black are used for the bear’s nose, eyes and cheeks, as well as scraps of bulky light grey for the top of his nose.
Needles:
60cm (24″) circular needles: one pair 6mm (US 10) and one pair 6.5mm
Other:
Stitch markers, stitch holders, tapestry needle

What’s this about a new competition then?

Kathy’s touching story of the healing power of knitting and her friend helping her through her illness, along with many other entries about the power of knitting groups, knitting clubs or just wonderfully helpful shop staff, have inspired the theme of our next project competition: ‘Knitting Together‘ – stories of love and friendship nurtured by knitting. More details will follow this Thursday! As runner-up of our January Project Competition, Kathy and her friend will receive a 20% off discount voucher to spend at loveknitting.


About the Author

Serena loves sunshine, strawberries and Great Danes. She has gone from non-knitter to yarn obsessive in under two years, and is determined to drag the rest of the world along with her.


Last updated: December 6th, 2013.

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