Sunday, 29 April 2012

First Knit & Giveaway!

Maat Tarot
So, I mentioned in a post a while back that I had a project to try to improve my relationship to food, and to spirituality, but that I didn't want to talk about it until I saw how things went, and had something to show for it.  And no, it's not a new exercise regime, or fad diet.  It's knitting! 

I've been wanting to do something creative/crafty for a while now, as I mentioned back in December last year!  Finally, things came together in my mind, and so this project, and taking up knitting generally, is dedicated to the Goddess, to tapping into creativity, and to improving my eating habits by giving myself something different to do while watching TV after dinner.

"How did it go?" I hear you ask (go on, please ask!)  Well, I'm certainly not claiming to be a great knitter yet!  Given that the main point isn't to make something impressive, but to do something for my spiritual and physical well-being, I'd say it worked well.

For my first project, I decided to knit a tarot bag for a deck to go on my altar.  First little glitch, it ended up being much wider than intended.  However, as what I'm making isn't the main point I simply changed which deck I would put in it ;)

Second glitch, having ordered some yarn, when it arrived it was in skein form, rather than a ball.  After a "minor" slip, it took me over an hour, the help of my MIL, and quite a lot of fiddling to get it untangled and neatly rolled *eek*  Then it was time to actually start knitting, something I hadn't done in about 25 years!  Still, I feel I did okay, here's a pic of my work in progress after the first day:

From there on, things were easier, and with the help of my MIL (serious skillz), a book, lots of Youtube videos, a darning needle, a crochet hook (for picking up dropped stitches, but I only got to that after a few had been dropped *doh*) and much time and patience, I went via this, after seven days:

and eventually got to this:

Okay, it's not exactly beautiful, but I made it myself and I lost 1.5 kg (over 3 lbs) in the process, in two weeks!  I have put my favourite Goddess deck in it, and dedicated it on my altar just this morning.

I've also learned a thing or two about decreasing, casting off, sewing together, buying buttons, making a loop, and different plys and categories of yarn.  I am now the proud owner of a set of 8 knitting needles, in addition to the small bamboo ones used for this, and a stash of yarn that includes eight different colours.  My next project - also a tarot bag ;D - is already about 5 cms high, as it took time for the buttons to arrive after I realized my first plan - velcro *duh* - was never going to work!

To celebrate all this craftyness/craftiness, I've decided to hold a give-away!  Anyone who comments on this post in the next week (before midnight BST of the 6th of May) will be entered in a draw for some knitting goodness, including a pair of needles and some yarn :D  If you're already a knitter, the needles won't be anything special, but if you haven't knitted before/for a while, it's all you need (that and youtube) to get you started :)  So, whaddaya say?


  1. Well done you and what a lovely bag! :) I really enjoy crafting in the evenings while I'm listening to music, watching a film or now the lighter nights are coming... while looking into the garden through the back patio doors. I find it very relaxing :) I clicked back to your Spiritual Path Reading and to your Runway to Healthy Eating post. There's a bit of synchronicity going on for me here because I too need to look at what I'm eating and why. I'll probably try these spreads next week :)

  2. This is so exciting as well as inspiring! I have several bags of various yarns and different sizes of needles that are begging me to pick them up. Knitting is one of the single-most healing things I can do to ease my spirit and eliminate anxiety. I used to do it when I sat with my father in the hospital before he passed. I am insane not to do it everyday. And what's crazy is once I start, I am totally addicted to it.

    Your bag is absolutely lovely and you should be so proud of it! You are lucky to have yoru MIL who can help with dropped stitches. I used to knit about 3 projects at once in case I had a mistake I couldn't fix. And I love this version of the QofW. My mother used to be a fiber artist. She would knit, weave, spin, make her own natural dyes. I am so foolish not to have wanted to learn such meaningful lost arts while her health allowed her to do them. Maybe when I visit her next I will ask her about it.
    I get back on my eating plan this coming week (if my trainer hasit ready for me). I think I shall follow suit and pick up my needles as well. And my tennis shoes (trainers) because when I am in New Orleans I fall right back into my love affair with decadent food lol. I should be holding needles and not beignets LOL! I am just thrilled for you! I will also have to try your spreads to give me encouragement to stay on a healthy meal plan and see it as a great idea, not punishment.


  3. Ok, so you talked me into it!

    Maybe I could get over my knitaphobia...what do you think?

    I think you did GREAT. The bag is cool. Looking forward to seeing future projects of yours.


  4. I don't see myself knitting anytime soon, so no need to enter me in the draw (I'll let a more deserving blog reader take my place), but I just wanted to say how I disagree - I think your bag IS beautiful and would be a lovely addition to any alter or tarot table. Well done you! And what an interesting way of working around the food issue; feeding yourself with creativity and accomplishment instead!

  5. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for your kind words! Having seen your knitted tarot bags, I know I still have a long way to go, but I see it all as a learning curve :) Hope you find the spreads useful if you try them out! Your in the giveaway draw :)

    Hi Krysten,

    Sounds like you definitely could do with a little push to get back to knitting, so I'm pushing! ;)

    I agree, it's such a shame that, when we're young, we often don't appreciate the skills our elders offer us. I'm blown away at the stuff your mum did, sounds awesome.

    Good luck with the healthy eating plan, and hope to see what you make of either of those spreads :) And of course, your now in for the chance to have even more yarn ;)

    Hi MM,

    Glad I talked you into it! I'll stick a crochet hook in there, too - great for picking up dropped stitches. And you might prefer crochet to knitting - people say it's faster, so good for someone impatient ;) I'm waiting for some thicker yarn before I try it again, as I think that way it'll be easier to *see* the stitches and figure out what I'm doing (never crocheted before in my life) ;)

    Hi PLN,

    Are you sure you wouldn't want to give it a go? You might be surprised, and given how arty you are...

    Anyhow, thanks for your kind words. I hope my next bag will be better, and each one ever more so. Maybe I'll do a giveaway of one once they are improved :) Love the way you described it: feeding myself with creativity!

  6. this looks so awesome.. just the other day, my mom was bitten by the crochet bug and i taught her how to youtube! there is such amazing stuff out there, specially this female who calls herself crochetgeek. she also has an awesome blog. i tried a bit of knitting myself, but got bored :-/ may be some other time, when im less antsy.... :-D great bag btw, this gives me good incentive and reason to learn, as I love tarot bags!

  7. Hi Kareena,

    Well, I don't generally just knit, I watch TV or youtube, or listen to music. Might help. And thanks for the hint, I shall go check out crochetgeek :) And if you win the stash then you'll just have to give it another go ;)

  8. I am a big knitter. It just baffles me though for the last few weeks though I have seemed to have lost my knitting mojo. I think it is probably due to all the stress that I have in my life. Actually I have gone through these period before and I have knit again. Love to knit usually when I am watching tv. I just can not sit there and do nothing.

  9. Knitted tarot bags are always awesome, no matter what, especially when done with such heart. ;D It is one of my favourite things to knit. Yours is really, really nice for a first bag after a big hiatus. I like it. :3 Simplicity is always nice <3 (and after that - yay more textured points, cables, fair isle... ;D someday, someday !)

  10. Hi Suburban Prep,

    I've heard people say that with tarot, too, that they lose their mojo for a while. I guess we all go through cycles, and it'll depend a lot on what else is going on. As you say, though, I imagine you will refind your joy, either with some nice new yarns, or a sudden inspiration of something you want to make :) You're in the draw!

    Hi Helja,

    Sounds like you're a pro with your knitting :) Thanks for the kind words. Cables and what-not are a long time off for me yet, I think, but I am planning to try crocheting ;) You're in the pot!