Archive | Bracelet RSS feed for this section

Depression and knitting

27 Feb
Opus 301 beaded cuff bracelet

Opus 301

I suffered from postnatal depression (PND) after the birth of my first child. Then I had antenatal depression (AND) with my second and PND again. The third was easier and I stopped there. Now you know the background, what has it to do with knitting?

Depression

I was just trying to show Linda that I can do fancy headings as well!

Depression is so misunderstood. People ask “what are you depressed about?”, but it’s just not like that. When you’re angry or unhappy or excited, there’s some reason for it, but with depression, there isn’t a reason. I have blogged about depression lots on my other blog – so I won’t go on too much about it. What I wanted to say was that I don’t think I would have suffered as badly if I had been knitting at the time.

I started knitting as a teenager and was very keen. I stopped knitting regularly when I went to University at age 18 and only knitted a couple more things before giving up entirely. For 20 years!! Just before my 40th birthday, I picked up the sticks again and very quickly became an avid knitter. I met Linda, helped her design the toe-up version of some socks and the rest is still being written.

a day in the life of a knitter..

A day as a knitter (or sewer or painter or any other person who has a creative hobby) is so different to a day without knitting for me. When I was looking after my wonderful first daughter, I spent hours doing stuff with and for her: I played with her, I fed her, I took her to baby groups, I read her books, I washed her clothes, I changed her nappy…. and on and on. I spent most of the day this way and with the time I had left, I slept. But there was no part of my day that was for me. Not even 5 minutes, because I didn’t have anything I could do for 5 minutes. Although I loved my time with her, there was nothing that was driven by me.

Opus 600 sock with ruffle

Opus 600

And now? When I go to bed at night, I think about all the projects I have in progress – what the next steps are, when I might do them. And I think about all the projects that are still in the planning stage – what pattern I might use, what fabric or yarn. The I think about all the materials I have that I can use – fabric, yarn, threads, beads, ribbon. And then I can think about all the materials I haven’t bought but could in the future – the projects I can do at some other time. And when I get up in the morning, I spend some part of each day doing some of that. Sometimes it’s 2 hours in the afternoon sitting down and knitting, sometimes it’s 10 minutes sitting with the girls as they watch TV before making their dinner. But it’s always there and it’s just for me.

so what’s the link?

If I had had something I could look forward to that was just for me, would I have been so depressed? It’s a difficult one to answer but I feel that I wouldn’t have. I think part of my PND and AND was a feeling of being lost in this new role which left no room for me. And there was no ‘me’ left anyway – my study and work had stopped, so what was left?

Anyway, I went to a workshop last week on ‘surface stitching‘ and came away with 2 exciting new freeform embroidery projects. I spent some time over the weekend knitting, but also plenty embroidering and I loved it. My youngest was inspired to start a little sampler herself, although I doubt it will get finished. It doesn’t matter – it will give us something to do together while she is enjoying it.

and on to patterns

Why not have a look at our sock patterns? They are what started Opus and Linda has some wonderful designs to show you. How about Opus 100, our first pattern. It’s a simple lace pattern that you can do with some boring coloured yarn, because you get to do a bright toe, heel and top edge. They’re really pretty and ideal for those who need to be seen to be wearing smart socks but can then know hidden under your shoe is a bit of decadence. A bit like wearing lacy underwear under a plain suit 🙂

Opus 100

Opus 100

OK, that’s enough from me.  Happy knitting all.

BUSY LADY

11 Jan

Happy New Year to you all. Half of Opus Knitting Patterns has been very busy since I last wrote. There are several new patterns and the launch of our ‘untitled’ artwork series. Check out the artwork catalogue for some truly awesome designs.

Untitled 801

Untitled 801

As well as socks, we now have patterns for a cardigan, hat, scarves and a kindle case. There have been some new additions to the Opus 301 beaded cuff as well – 2 new options to make it even more exciting.

Opus 301 wristlet option

Opus 301 wristlet option

Several of the patterns are free so have a look and see what you fancy 🙂

Publishing patterns

8 Jul

CableMabel is getting better slowly but not up to much knitting yet 😦

The big news for me is that I have finished the first 2 patterns of my own and published them.

The first is Opus 301 – this is a variation on CableMabel’s Opus 300 beaded glove. I wanted to use the beautiful motif she had designed for the wrist but to make it like the Indian jewellery that goes over the back of the hand and finishes in a ring on the middle finger. My first attempt was good but I wasn’t happy with the way the edge sat on the wrist or the shape or the way the decreases looked, so I took the brave step or reknitting it. Brave because of the number of beads involved. But by this time my beading technique was pretty good. I also took the opportunity to show off a bit and added a second bead colour into the design. The second knit corresponded with a quiet week at home so was done in no time. Now the pattern is available on Ravelry for £3 as of this week. No buyers yet but it’s so exciting just to see it there 🙂

The second pattern is Opus 600 – this is a creation entirely of my own. CableMabel bought me some Sirdar Salsa as a holiday present and it made me think of Ra Ra skirts in the 1980s, which was my era. I’ve seen ruffles on socks but I wanted to do something outrageous. I was also inspired by Wimbledon to think of socks to wear with trainers or tennis shoes. So these socks are very short with 3 huge ruffles sitting right on the ankle bone. Because they are so short, they are ideal for summer and they can be knitted with 50g of 4-ply, so you can get 2 pairs for the usual 100g. It took me a while to work out how to get the ruffle in the right place – when you knit it, the ruffle comes out on the inside of the sock. When you purl it, the ruffle looks great but better from the top than the bottom. As I normally design and knit toe-up socks this wasn’t ideal. So I decided to knit this one top-down to make the ruffle edge look great. They knit up really quickly as once the ruffle is done, it’s stockinet all the way, except for the lovely fisherman’s rib heel, which is quick and easy and looks great. This pattern is on Ravelry for £3 as well. Lots of people have Favourited it so looking forward to some buyers soon.

Building work is taking over here so there will be a slower pace from Darley for a while. I am playing with an idea using Sari ribbon and another outrageous idea for socks with beads. Not for everyday wear, for sure, but stunning and fun to knit.

The first 4 patterns we published, that were mostly CableMabel’s work, are proving very popular. Opus 100, 200, 300 and 400 are attracting a lot of attention. They are all £3 to buy except 400 which is free.

Catch me on Ravelry and let me know what you think of the new patterns.

Clothing or jewellery?

30 Jun
Opus 600 in Wharfedale woolworks merino bamboo and Sirdar Salsa!

Opus 600 in Wharfedale woolworks merino bamboo and Sirdar Salsa!

CableMabel is laid up with back pain so I’m in the driving seat this week. There’s lots happening.

I was knitting curly fries last time. They are so cute. A bit fiddly to knit, because you start with 35 sts, knit into front and back of them all, making 70 sts. Then you knit into front and back of all of them, making 140 sts, which you then cast off. They look super, though, and really finish off Opus 400 nicely.

Remember the beaded cuff (Opus 301) that I said I was taking it slowly with? Well a sudden rush of enthusiasm got that moving again and I finished the prototype last week. It was lovely and our official photographer took some great shots of it but I wasn’t happy with a few parts of the design. So, I reworked the pattern and have just finished Mark II. I have started to show off a little and put beads with 2 different colours in 🙂 I sorted out all the kinks from the prototype and I’m ready to publish this one. I have written up the chart and the instructions and just need to get the pattern checked and the thing photographed.

My first totally solo effort took shape this week. It’s Opus 600 and it’s sub-titled “Ruffles”. I finished the first sock last week and I love it. It’s the first of a series of socks I am going to design that combine a simple foot with an outrageous leg. This one is a short summer sock ideal for wearing with pumps or tennis shoes. It uses so little yarn that it will great for using up odds and ends. This is the first top-down sock that I have designed so it’s new ground for me. Second sock is well in progress so hope to photograph that next week and publish it soon after.

I’m thoroughly enjoying this process and looking forward to more ideas taking shape 🙂

Mel

An Introduction

18 Jun
Opus 400 in Garnstudio drops fabel

Opus 400 in Garnstudio drops fabel

This is the first of many entries on this blog for me so I thought I would introduce myself. I am a mum of three living in a village in North Yorkshire who took up knitting again after a 20-year break, in 2009. My enthusiasm has built to the stage where I can happily describe myself as obsessed with knitting now. Along the way, I have added crochet and sewing to my interests but they are just in the wings.

CableMabel first mentioned designing socks earlier this year and I joked that I would create a toe-up version of her designs and a few weeks later, this is exactly what I did. Hence Opus 100 was born. It was intended initially to be a way of using up boring sock yarn and making a sock that looks traditional under trousers, but as soon as the shoes are off, it’s girly and glamorous. Once we both completed our test knits, we asked friends to knit it too and it started to get exciting.

Opus 100 in Garnstudio drops fabel and Marriner Mix 'n' Marl 4 Ply

Opus 100 in Garnstudio drops fabel and Marriner Mix 'n' Marl 4 Ply

Before I finished Opus 100, CableMabel had knitted Opus 200. This was a more complex design and required much moving of stitches between circular needles which was quite a challenge. I loved the pattern, though, and my pair were very pink and girly. The ribbon rib at the top is just beautiful and makes this pair of socks charming. I love wearing them.

Opus 200 in Marriner heritage

Opus 200 in Marriner heritage and Louisa Harding kimono ribbon

Opus 300 was a beaded glove. When CableMabel showed it to me I was amazed. Again, she had used boring sock yarn and tiny beads and it was beautiful. I decided to do my first designing here and use the basic pattern to make something quite different. The beading process is very slow so I decided to just enjoy it, and take my time with that one. So Opus 301 is going to be a while yet!

Opus 400 started as an entry to a KnitAlong (KAL) on Ravelry and CableMabel knitted it twice before I completed mine! I tried a new type of heel with this pattern and it worked well. It gives plenty of room in the sock so will be ideal for those of us with a high instep. I am currently knitting the little curly fries, as I call them – the little ties that will go in the eyelets. I have a ribbon in there for now but I love the fries that CableMabel designed so looking forward to seeing those finished.

And I am slowly moving from adapting designs into designing my own, under the loving guidance of CableMabel. So, the Opus series should continue to grow for quite some time 🙂

FunkyForty