If you’re like me, the new year is full of promise in the knitting department. If you chose to make gifts last year for friends and family, it can feel like a breath of fresh air after the holidays are over. This is the perfect time of year to begin your slow knitting—knitting that focuses on the meditative craftsmanship of simply making.
While it might be tempting to throw a few simple, small projects on your needles for instant gratification, think instead about tackling something larger. New techniques, detailed lace, cables or textures, applied to grand scale garments are the best medicine for recovering from a season that often feels hurried, rushed, and materialistic.
Consider your fibers carefully. While binge-shopping clearance sales and end-of-year specials may tempt you, think instead about saving for a purchase that will bring you joy with every moment of construction and wear. Do your research start to finish—know the source of your wool, the yarn’s traits, and match it to the perfect pattern to showcase your work and time. Choose colors that can be worn with everything in your wardrobe. Slowly knitted garments are celebrations of time and craftsmanship. Don’t compromise on sub-par materials.
Above all, swatch. Celebrate the swatching and the act of it. Enjoy the feel of testing the new yarn on your favorite needles. Does your pattern call for a stockinette swatch, but feature an intricate lace? Practice that lace motif once through before starting, blocking and all. If things aren’t coming together, don’t despair, but see it instead as an opportunity to perfect the project through a better pattern choice. This is a process not meant to be done hastily.
When everything is aligned, when the yarn and pattern and needles and swatch are all singing to you, take a deep breath, and begin.