Time to use your hands

January 31, 2024

We've made it almost the whole way through January, and for those of us with kids, we thankfully are now heading back into regular schedules again. Both me and my kids have a hard time with a lack of structure in these long school holidays, so it'll be good to get back to predictability once more.

Something that really spoke to me this week was a reel on Instagram about the concept of 'Effort Driven Reward Cycle'. It was a real lightbulb moment and flicked a switch on why i've been feeling quite frustrated recently - so i'm sharing in the hope it helps you, too!

As makers we're aware that knitting or crocheting or crafting generally helps us feel better. The theory is, actively doing things with our hands connects us directly to the work we are doing and therefore the reward is greater. We feel a distinct sense of achievement after baking something that requires kneading, or getting our hands in the dirt while gardening, than, say sitting at a computer typing (hello!).

Socks Yeah yarn hanging on a pegboard wall
Socks Yeah yarn hanging on a pegboard wall

Which prompted me to finally get the drill out and put up another peg board in the garage ahead of open day this weekend - the enormous satisfaction of having put the board up, filled it with yarn and then seeing it every time I go in the garage has been a massive lift to my mood.

This week, I encourage you to step away from your screen for half an hour and do something completely involved with your hands. Bake bread, knit, spin, paint, plant flowers.

A sea glass hat that's not quite finished
A sea glass hat that's not quite finished

While i've been busy juggling kids and work, i've been making things to use up odds and ends of yarn. The latest of which is a Sea Glass hat by Wool and Pine - a hat version of their famous tee and sweater patterns. It's free when you sign up for their newsletter (and included in either of those garment patterns, too).

The next big project on the needles will be a Voyage Cardigan - the bright colours and chance to use up even more leftovers is very appealing!

Voyage Cardigan by Wool and Pine

Chances are i'll use a mix of random bits, plus some nicely woolly Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumper Weight to help hold the colour work together in the steek.


Shetland Dreaming

Around this time of year, I start dreaming of moving to Shetland for six months, where it's lovely and cool all the time. Turns out, my Shetland relatives are from the beautiful Northmavine, up in the north-west of Shetland. I'll manage to get there in person one day, but for now will have to make do with browsing online and reading the great publications by 60 North.

A stack of Shetland Wool Adventures Journals, and a Fair Isle Nurse book
A stack of Shetland Wool Adventures Journals, and a Fair Isle Nurse book

We now have the new edition of the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal, volume 5, along with more copies of volumes 3 and 4. I also have one lucky last copy of A Fair Isle Nurse - a memoir about being the only nurse on Fair Isle, Shetland in the 1960s.

For more Shetland dreaming of cooler climes, there's still copies of Grand Shetland Adventure Knits available, and we have sale copies of The Shetland Trader: Book 3 as part of Pom Pom's closing sale.

SALE The Shetland Trader: Book 3 by Gudrun Johnston

Have a wonderful week,


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