Hannah Thiessen’s book Slow Knitting: A journey from sheep to skein to stitch (Abrams NY 2017) is a new book on my knitting bookshelf. I have to confess it was the title which drew me in; I wanted to know all about this thing called ‘slow knitting’.
In her introduction, Hannah laments the constant movement of timelines, deadlines and other ‘blur of tasks fulfilled and checked off and crossed out’ (p9) which make up most of our 21st century lives and, sadly she writes, our knitting lives are not exempt.
‘Long gone are the days of early knitting discoveries; the once slow, halting gesture of making a knit stitch’ (p9) she writes. These are being replaced in part by the euphoria of finishing a project and racing on to begin another.
Enter the concept of slow knitting.
Slow knitting, like the slow food movement, is based on taking a step back from our busy lives. In terms of our knitting this means to re-evaluate how we source our yarn, the time we spend on projects, how we knit and share.
At its core is craftmanship – that place where ‘time spent making an object is just as important as the object itself’ (p10). This deliberate placing of ‘craftmanship’ at the helm ensures the five chapters – Source Carefully, Make Thoughtfully, Think Environmentally, Experiment Fearlessly and Explore Openly, become, in so many ways, a precursor to new ways of thinking and being not only in our knitting but also in our life generally.
Each chapter is structured to include yarn profiles and patterns ranging from cowls and mitts to shawls and cardigans from designers including Norah Gaughan and Bristol Ivy.
I shall leave the last word to Hannah:
‘With this book, I challenge you to rediscover or enhance your own love of sticks and string by exploring your knitting in a new way’ (p11).
Slow Knitting is definitely a book I want/need to re-visit very soon.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the author, her book or the publisher.