The last time I saw summer was in December 2011 and the next time I see summer will be in December 2013. I have been in a constant (short) autumn, (long) winter, (short) spring cycle because I keep jumping over the equator in spring and finding myself back in autumn. Sigh. Bad planning.
All this has meant that this “outdoor girl” has had to find some indoor activities (other than writing a Master’s thesis) to keep boredom at bay.
So… I started knitting. The nice thing about knitting in Oulu is that it is perfectly socially acceptable to be younger than 70 and knit. People knit in lectures, while watching TV, while waiting between classes, on the train…
While knitting is relaxing and finishing a project is definitely satisfying, to be honest, nothing has caused me to swear as much as knitting. Not even bad drivers. A dropped stitch that gets lost might mean that you have to pull out hours of work. Sometimes you “work it into the pattern” and other times, you just have to be cold-hearted and pull it all out. One particular pair of socks irritated me so much that I could only knit one of the pair and did not have the emotional energy to complete the second. What do you do you do with one sock? A Finnish friend suggested I stuff it and put it on my shelf. I thought that was a brilliant idea and knitsidermy (knit+taxidermy) was born.
That was my second ever knitting project and since then, I have done a few more and really enjoyed myself doing them. I even got a “commission” (there was no money exchanged) from a friend in the UK to make her a pair of gloves. I told her if she doesn’t like wearing the end product, she can just frame them as a reminder of our friendship. She could, of course, knitsidermy them if she wants.
I found knitting to be a bit like baking. There are patterns or recipes of how to make things but once you get the general idea, you can mix it up and create your own patterns and projects. The options are endless. Which is good because two years of wintry weather feels pretty endless too.
And I was surprised to find out that you can do more than knit a scarf and a baby blanket. Yes, there are actually some really nice websites and magazines that give you some patterns for things you could wear in public and/or give to your friends and family to wear in public without that cringe factor (actually that depends on your skill level. see my ugly sock above. no one should wear that in public. or even at home). I suppose it’s helpful that knitwear is the ish at the moment. Someone suggested these three websites to me and they are sites that I drool over every now and again.