I have found that knitting is a wonderful way to relax and create new things. For those of you who are new to knitting and would like to learn, please click on the you tube link below, which will give you a head start.
Knitting can help with depression -Knitting has also helped with some people who suffer from depression, as the rhythmic movement of the needles allows the mind to relax and concentrate on being creative, which in turn can help you focus on something positive and therefore elevate your mood.
Knitting for Charity - I really enjoy knitting for charities such as Knit for Peace and the Mother Bear project. I find doing this keeps me occupied and enables me to reach out and help others in a productive way.
Click on the mystery knitting club link to find out more!
Here are some examples of my knitting for charity.
The Gospel Butterfly
It gives me great pleasure to interview one of the UK's most celebrated hand knit designers Debbie Abrahams here on my Gospel Butterfly website:
1. Why do you knit?I have hand-knitted since the age of six and was taught the basics by my mother, aunt and nan. I remember being fascinated by the whole process - taking a ball of yarn and creating something three-dimensional from it was totally amazing to me. I used to love experimenting with different stitches and stripes using all the multi-coloured oddments from the bags of left over yarns given to me – to me it was like painting with yarn! My fascination with knitted fabrics is as passionate today as it was back then. And now that I am actually making a living from it, it has also become my means to survive and pay the bills each month! However, despite becoming a business, this has not affected the enjoyment and enthusiasm that I feel for the craft of hand-knitting in any way. It just means that I totally love my job as much as I do my leisure time!
2. Recent studies have shown that knitting for some people can improve mental health, what are your thoughts and comments on this?I have read many studies and reports about this which are supported by hard evidence that knitting is an excellent therapy for all sorts of health issues, including mental health. And in my experience I have to agree that it is. I get many emails from members of my Mystery Blanket and Cushion Clubs who tell me how my knitting projects have got them through difficult situations and illnesses from bereavements to cancer. For many of these people knitting provides them with an escape from what is going on in their lives, enabling them to create something which gives them a sense of achievement. The whole process of working on a project and learning new knitting techniques and stitches is a great way to focus the mind and I am sure that it goes a long way to improve the quality of many people’s lives.
3. Why do you think it is important for the skill of hand knitting to be kept alive?Modern life is filled with technology, and with the pace of life seemingly getting ever faster, I think that it is important that we hold on to some of the values that are at risk of being forgotten. I don’t have anything against technology – it’s how the world is moving forward and it does have many plus points! – but we are at risk of becoming totally reliant on our computers, tablets and phones at the expense of neglecting our creativity. I believe that any craft is good for your mind, health and general well-being – whether it’s knitting, sewing or crocheting to name but a few – so it would be detrimental to mankind if such skills were lost. Designers like myself have a responsibility to keep the craft alive by creating exciting projects that people want to knit, and by teaching new techniques that people want to learn, and this is what I hope I offer people through my business.
4. If money was no object how would you spend your time?I would spend it travelling the world with my knitting so that I could be inspired as I experience the many places and countries that I have always wanted to see! My business takes up a lot of my time so taking time off for holidays is always a bit of an issue as there is always so much to do. I don’t think that since starting the business I have ever been away and not looked at my emails – even on my honeymoon! So it would be lovely to be able to go away on holiday and not worry about the business and simply focus on where I am and what I am doing with my family, with my knitting close at hand, of course!
5. Which knitters inspire you?The first hand-knitting designer that inspired me was Kaffe Fassett, and still to this day I find his work hugely inspirational. I was fascinated by his use of colour and pattern and remember collecting postcards, knitting patterns and magazine articles about him – in the same way that I collected memorabilia of my favourite rock and pop bands! I was introduced to him personally through my work with Rowan Yarns and have met him several times over the past twenty years. To me he is a still the great master of colour and pattern and in the early days when my business was young he made me feel that anything was possible. I also have always admired the designer Kim Hargreaves and over the years I have knitted many of her garment patterns. To me she is the queen of shape and style and I know that when I knit up one of her designs it will be beautiful and something that I will treasure forever.
6. What items do you enjoy creating the most?I love designing and creating home accessories, with the biggest focus for me at the moment being on blankets and cushions. I get the most enjoyment out of experimenting with colour, stitch structures and textures all in one project. So accessories are the perfect vehicle for this, allowing me to play to my heart’s content without the worry of having to wear the finished article – twenty colours in a design with cables, lace and beads would be a bit too much for me but could be fabulous in a cushion or blanket! Many of my projects are beaded and this is something which has become my trademark as a designer. My husband runs Debbie Abrahams Beads, so having stock of beads is never an issue. And I love things to be sparkly!!!
7. What makes you happy? My son Seth, my husband Steve, my cat Zach and my knitting.
8. What are your plans for 2019?On a work level my plans are to progress my “Mystery” clubs with the introduction of a Baby Blanket Club. I am already running an annual Mystery Blanket Club and a Mystery Cushion Club. However, there is a huge gap in the market for good quality, well designed baby clothes and accessories, so this is where I would like to direct more of my design time. On a personal level I would like to improve my work/home balance so that I can spend more quality time with my family.
9. Do you believe in God ? – please explain your answer if you can 😊 I was brought up in the Christian faith and I continue to follow that in my life as an adult. It is something that is important to me and I know that I need it in my life. However, I don’t feel the necessity to be part of any establishment or place of worship to practice my faith. To me God is with me every day and I can talk to him whenever I want.
You can find out more about Debbie and her work by visiting Debbieabrahams.com
Stay tuned we will be publishing an interview with James McIntosh and Dr Thomas A. Ernst FRCP, to discuss their book Knit and Nibble......coming soon !