Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Gentle Art of Knitting...

Today I wanted to go out in the garden and tidy up a bit but even though the sun was shining the wind was bitter so I thought better of it... Besides which it's *that* time of the month and, to be honest the thought of doing anything other than curl up in a ball and drink tea quite frankly made me feel ill. The Other Half was camped on the sofa with British Superbikes on the TV (6 hours of it no less...) and the Little Man was alternating between running about like a loon and using me as a climbing frame.

But instead of feeling sorry for myself I decided to snuggle up in bed...

With a good book, of course.

The Gentle Art of Knitting by Jane Brocket was exactly the tonic I needed. I mean just look at the cover -surely that cannot fail to lift your spirits?

From the lovely tactile cover with no dust jacket, (which is cool. I hate the way dust jackets get shabby if the book gets a lot of use, and this book, I think, will be getting LOTS of use!), to the gorgeous photography and styling, this is book to get cosy with...

Divided into five sections including Comfort (chunky cabled rugs, squishy slouchy hats and fabulously simple hot water bottle covers) Charm (tea cosies, ornate egg cosies, colourful round cushions) and Style (beautiful open stitch scarf/wrap and designer inspired handbags) there are 40 gorgeous projects to choose from and, with the exception of the knitted apron (which is lovely but the first line of the pattern - cast on 143 sts - is enough to put me off...) I want to make all of them!
Love cables - want this rug!

Jane's philosophy is that knitting should be relaxing and fun to do. There should be no stressing over a complicated pattern you don't actually completely understand, no worrying about tension or whether the shaping is right or getting half way through and thinking you should have done the next size up/down...
She feels that knitting should go hand in hand with enjoying a good film or radio show, maybe even a glass of wine (yes there are even some suggestions!) and the patterns in this book reflect that - simple without being boring, enabling you to produce beautiful and fun handmade pieces to treasure rather than get fed up half way through and consigning the project to a box in the attic - something I am all too guilty of!

I will be making one of these VERY soon...

My only gripe would be that the some (well, most) of the recommended yarns are just way beyond my minuscule budget. As much as I would LOVE to knit everything in beautiful designer yarns it's just not possible. Although, to be fair, Jane is very relaxed about the whole yarn  issue (no stressng, remember?) and gives plenty of tips on yarn substitutions.

In all this is a fabulous book for beginners and those rediscovering knitting alike. And flicking through the pages from cover to cover, propped up with stack of pillows, covered with my lovely spring green eiderdown, with a cup of tea close to hand was a truly gentle way to spend a Sunday afternoon...

Please note this is NOT a sponsered post. I bought 'The Gentle Art of Knitting' myself and loved it so much I thought you'd like to see it too...


  1. I have recently started back to my knitting after many years. I know what you mean by the expensive wools they use! Great that you are offered alternatives. I do love a knitting book so will be looking out for this one :)

    1. she doesn't so much offer alternatives as give tips on how to select your own... As long as you get the yarn weight right (dk, chunky etc) and knit a small sample if you are unsure, there should be no problem. I substitute yarns all the time!

  2. I love (and sometimes practice) the idea of knitting while enjoying a glass of wine.

    1. I must admit I am warming to the idea myself ;-)

  3. I don't knit myself, but my sister has recently taken it up, so I will keep this in mind when her birthday comes around.

    P.S I love your Blog Header!

    1. awww thank you :-)

      PS try the Book People for a bargain price ;-)

  4. I haven't knitted since I was seven .. I wouldn't know where to start now !

  5. That looks like a lovely book. Yarn is so expensive - I hope my husband never finds that out because I've got so much of it he might start to realise how much I've spent!

  6. Sounds like a super book and my sister is a great knitter so might consider the book for her birthday in June. Lovely blog. Edwina


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