Slow stitches, everyday beauties – tin can knits

Content warning – I turned 40 this year! Cue mid-life philosophical musings… and, as you’d expect, more knitting!

I’ve spent much of my life running towards goals – driving, striving, aiming to improve. Now, don’t get me wrong; I love to hustle! But my habit of rushing headlong though life cuts both ways. Sure, the sheets and the kids are washed somewhat regularly. Alexa and I answer emails and publish new patterns. I keep on adding new projects and dreams to my list. But my laser focus on ‘getting stuff done’ can make it hard to stop and breathe, to smell the flowers and enjoy the sunshine.

Knitting helps me slow down – to notice the small, soft, everyday things that bring me joy.

When I do slow down and focus on the real, concrete experiences of life, it’s calming and makes me feel well. Even if I’m just folding laundry with John, listening intently to a kid’s silly story, or feeling the velvety softness of a flower petal on my lips.

Neve is running along the beach, wearing a handspun sweater. Here eyes are closed, and the sun kisses her face.
Give me a little bit more ‘in the moment’ pleasure like this, please!

Knitting helps me to find this ‘in the moment’ joy, to pay a little bit more attention to the world. It brings my focus to the level of the stitch, to the woolly reality of the current moment. As I knit, I work the needles with purpose. I feel the yarn slip through my fingers. I watch the pattern forming, stitch by soft stitch. When it’s done and I see my kids wearing one of my creations, it brings me joy all over again, perhaps even a little bit more.

Detail of a sweater hem against a white wall showing garter stitch fabric with five braided cables at centre front. The front hem is shorter than the back hem.

And in another way, knitting feels like an investment in myself, a reminder of my hopeful belief that the small things, the little woolly stitches, actually matter. While my cynical side says, ‘Obviously nothing really matters,’ my hopeful side says, ‘Yes! Every little soft thing matters.’

Although I can be cynical at times, I’m always trying to heap encouragement upon my hopeful side. Knitting is one of the ways I pile a little bit more evidence onto the ‘everything matters’ side of the balance.

Cable knits with their slow, nuanced beauty, are one of my favourite ways to slow down and savour each delicious moment. There’s a rhythm to a cabled knit, the twists coming at regular intervals and the pattern slowly appearing.

Knits for slowing down, knits for noticing

Our new cable collection Lazy Sunday is full of the sort of slow, satisfying cable knits that bring me pleasure. I love the baby set that Alexa made, while looking forward to a new addition to her extended family. Thinking on this new, precious little loved one who would be joining the clan, she just couldn’t stop knitting little things!

The simplicity of garter stitch and a few delicious little braided cables make Wander a great meditative knit. Choose a yarn that you love to handle, one that softens and blooms with wear, and after an enjoyable knit, you’ll have a comfy, well-loved classic to pull on for your next beach-combing adventure!

Stitch by stitch, you watch the cable motif POP as you make the Peregrine shawl. While the reversible cable panel LOOKS complex, the truth is you only have to work four cable turns every 8th row! The rest is just sweet soft garter stitch, and a little bit of ribbing. Perfect for relaxing, and savouring the slow stitches. This beauty is reversible too! Which side do you prefer?

Peregrine Shawl pattern
The more detailed pattern is the ‘right side’ of the shawl; that is, the side on which you’ll work the cable turns. However, the chunkier, bolder pattern is what shows up on the ‘wrong side’. Which do you prefer?

We have a tutorial that explains what reversible cables are (spoilers – they’re basically the same as regular cables… but even better!) and how easy it is to work them; just in case.

Peregrine shawl pattern

What helps you to find that ‘in the moment’ joy?

Is knitting part of it?

As this new year begins, and I wait for the snowdrops to push up out of the frozen ground, I’m gonna keep on knitting. You can knit along with me by signing up for email updates, or following along on Instagram or Facebook.

~ Emily

Silhouette of John and my kids against a moody winter sky.

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