Wool runs in my veins.
Not literally, but almost. I come from a family filled with knitters. All my Austrian lady relatives have some sort of handcraft in the works at all times: socks, dolls, mittens, hats, and just about anything else you can think of.
My mom took the hobby to a new level with her own spinning wheel, an angora bunny, and countless fibre projects. In the States, knitting is considered an old lady habit, but I've never put much stock into that. After all I learned how to knit when I was only eight years old. It wasn't unusual for huge bags of raw wool to sit around the house or to spend a whole morning of our homeschool doing some sort of wood carding, dying, felting, spinning, knitting or other wool craft.
Even my 11th birthday party was knitting themed. Every girl got a party favor pin made of a mini knitting done on toothpicks. They were so cute!
At one point I had an orphan pet lamb that I bottle fed and who lived in our house with us (diaper included).
Every year when the nip returns to the air and things outdoors wrap up in favor of cozy evenings indoors, my instinct is to reach for a set of knitting needles and work on some small (or large) project.
I've collected two large baskets of of my own yarn (nothing compared to my mom's stash) and always have a couple ongoing knitting projects. I love diving into my basket and coming out with a ball of fuzzy yarn with the potential to turn into so many different things. There are few things as relaxing to me as the rhythm of knitting — "in through the front door, once around the back, out through the window, and off jumps jack."
Even things that aren't technically knit, like wool blankets, sheep skins or anything else fuzzy or furry made from natural fiber equal the epitome of coziness and home to me.
My first instinct is to make a pair of knit booties when a baby makes his/her appearance in this world. It feels wrong to buy beanies or wool socks from the store because I know I could make them for myself (see above).
I recently even used a different method and felted a sweet mobile for a friend's babe. I loved seeing wool batting take shape and become something that can give joy and brighten up someone's home. Dave loved it so much he tried to convince me to give it to him instead of the baby. I think that was one of the best compliments he's ever given my work.
On our trip to Iceland, I felt like a kid in a candy shop when we walked into shop after shop filled with wool products. Icelandic sheep are unique for their crazy long and warm fiber. I could have spent thousands on the beautiful things I saw. Their patterns and neutral color schemes were like a special kryptonite to me. Needless to say, I left the country inspired and determined to do more knitting this fall and winter.
Throughout the years, the rhythm of needles and yarn, the satisfaction of seeing something slowly form on my lap and the inherent coziness have been constant. I love using little windows of time in the car, watching tv, or waiting for appointments that would usually go wasted to add just a little bit more to what I'm working on at the time.
Now my fingers are itching to dig into a new project. I'm thinking some of my weekend time will be spent curled up with some tea and wooliness.
Find more woolly inspiration and reading here: