Today we're super super amazingly lucky to be bringing you a guest post by Laura Vincent. I actually remember reading in the paper yeeeeeeearsssss ago about this new 'blogging thing' and Laura was profiled as one to check out. Her blog Hungry and Frozen is guaranteed to make you hungry, and now Laura's picked up the knitting needles. It makes me infinitely happy! It also seemed to make perfect sense to ask Laura about her beginner knitter thoughts. Thanks a million Laura!
I am a new knitter. It's only a month or so since I picked up needles and yarn for the first time. And…I am obsessed. Which surprised me, initially. I am clumsy. Impatient. Big on starting projects, not on finishing them. Distracted easily, also easily downtrodden by small mistakes. Not particularly good at following instructions. Sounds like someone who should never get near knitting needles, yes? And yet. And yet. Despite my personality and physicality suggesting I shouldn't, I have taken to knitting in a big way. There's something so utterly soothing in the quiet, repetitive motion of looping wool here and pulling wool there, it's oddly calming to the brain in a way my brain frankly isn't used to feeling. It's soft and tactile and cosy, it's practical and productive, and it's really, really fun - watching your creation grow before your eyes, choosing colours and patterns, finding your muscular rhythm.
I once, while sick during a school holiday, crocheted a wobbly scarf. That's the closest I've got to the woolly arts, till now. A group of us meet regularly at a pub, each at varying levels of skill and project completion, but at equal levels of friendliness and helpfulness. I was baffled at how quickly I picked it up, considering, I don't know, I still can't ride a bike or drive a car. I'm lucky to have great people who help me out as I go along, and the prospect of communal knitting every Tuesday definitely helps me get through that otherwise all-too-typically bleak day. Seriously, what's with Tuesdays?
The oddly reassuring thing about knitting is that if you screw it up, it's not the end of the world. A dropped stitch can be picked up and disguised. A bumpy edge can be straightened off later. Stitches can be ripped back - not as brutal as it sounds - and started again. Which, showing how fully my love of knitting has escalated, doesn't even bother me because it means I get to knit even more.
My first project is a blanket. It's very simple - just straightforward stitching, no purls (I'm not so good at keeping count, so that will be my next challenge) and I'm now three quarters of the way through it. Not only am I still in love with the act of creating this thing, I'm already starting to look for more projects to begin. Knitting might not be for everyone, but truly, don't discount it just because you've been hopeless at other things, or you think it's out of your reach with complicatedness - if I can get this far, you can too.
All images thanks to Laura, and the above is a screenshot of her wonderful Instagram feed. I couldn't resist.
It's our birthday times two!
Saturday marks two years of Holland Road Yarn Company. It's such a joy for us to share the love of great yarn with you.
This week is also the third birthday of Knitsch Yarns - the little hand dyed sock yarn company I decided to start while sitting in a gorgeous yarn shop in London. It's pretty amazing to think that 3.5 years after that moment, both dreams are now part of my everyday life.
How are we celebrating?
Well! It's Knit Night tonight and there shall be cake!
Frozen Peanut Butter Cheesecake, to be precise.
There will also be a few specials and other treats in store. See you tonight from 7!
Last week's Sat Sit & Knit saw us having a nibble on a lemon curd pound cake. It got me thinking, though: could I make one with the raspberry jam sitting in the pantry?
Hooray! Yes! It worked really well, so here's my recipe, adapted from this lemon curd pound cake from My Kitchen Snippets. Yum!
115g of butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup flour
1/3 cup desiccated coconut, plus extra for top
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Grease a loaf pan and heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
Cream together butter and sugar until light.
Add eggs one at a time, beat until well combined.
Mix in the milk and lemon zest.
Add flour, baking powder, salt and coconut. Beat until well combined.
Spread the mixture out in the loaf pan. Using a dessert spoon, add blobs of raspberry jam along the centre of the loaf. Sprinkle extra coconut along the top of the jam.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool and then enjoy with your knitting! We ate it plain, but I think it would be delicious with a bit of cream or yoghurt on the side.