knitting and nanowrimo


So, Nanowrimo is over. And, sad to say, I not only failed to make the official finishing line, but I also collapsed long before I reached my own finishing line (25,000 words).

I was on track for a full eight days during which I managed to hammer out 12,000 words. But then my mini-Nano was derailed by a deadline which was suddenly brought forward from January to November. Work, of the paid variety, always has to come first. And fortunately it was a nice feature to write – it’s about two very interesting people and it will be accompanied by some lovely photographs taken by my friend James.


Although the writing didn’t go entirely to plan I did get a lot of knitting done. I find that simple knitting – of the hats, fingerless mittens and socks variety – is very conducive to the sort of free-form thinking that creative writing requires. Round and round I knit, and round and round my thoughts go. I always have a notebook to hand and ideas pop into my mind effortlessly; so different from the paralysis I experience when staring at a blank screen.


It works with articles too. There is always a point when whatever I am writing about becomes far more complicated than it needs to be. A cup of coffee and a bit of knitting, and the tangle I am in with my writing has miraculously unravelled.

The hats, from top to bottom are Snawheid by Kate Davies (pom pom yet to be attached), Julia’s Cabled Headband by Paulina Chin and finally my first, and not entirely successful, attempt at making a hat without a pattern. I also managed to make several pairs of fingerless mittens using this excellent pattern by Leslie Friend, though I am now keen to have a go at two other fingerless, wrist-warmery, stash-busting patterns, both of which I’ve had sitting on my desk for months now: Susie’s Reading Mitts by Susie Rogers and Runrig Muffatees by Annie Cholewa, aka Knitsofacto, who is currently running a very lovely knitting-related giveaway.

14 thoughts on “knitting and nanowrimo

  1. Hi Charlotte, love all your hats. A tad envious of your knitting abilities-can only manage cushion covers and scarves, but do agree how relaxing knitting can be. Haven’t taken up my needles in a while, but now feel inspired to cast on.

    • Thank you so much! You must explore ravelry as you’ll find that there are lots of really good patterns for all levels of knitter. The best thing is being able to see how people have adapted patterns, the colours they have chosen to work with and so on.

  2. Love those hats and thanks for the links. I haven’t done any real knitting for about twenty years when I used never to be without yarn of some sort or another in my hands or on my machines. I keep saying that I will knit something but apart from a cowl, done last year, I still have to push myself to the yarn shop!

  3. I love the hats too. I also love knitting cowls, especially the mobius type. A fabulous combination of delicious result and reasonably easy to do, leaving some part of the brain free for musing.

    • Thank you. And funnily enough I’ve been toying with the idea of knitting a cowl – I keep eyeing up patterns on ravelry, and then can’t quite decide. Do you have any recommendations?

  4. How did you find making Snawheid? I’m always a bit scared of Kate Davies’ designs because, even though I’m a very competent knitter with loads of experience, all those steeks and special cast-offs scare me!

    • Go for it! You’ll be fine. Snawheid was pretty straightforward, and I speak as a relative novice when it comes to stranded colour work. I think you’d have no trouble with it at all. I messed up the seeded rib because I was watching telly at the same time – I was impatient to get on with it so I decided to simplify things by using normal rib.

      As for steeks, I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ve just received her book in the post, and I’m keen to make the Ursula cardigan so I will be grappling with steeks pretty soon. I’ll follow the tutorials on her blog, and I’m confident that it will be ok, my experience of her other patterns (owls, and a hoody with puff sleeves) is that although they tested my abilities, they were very clearly written and easy to follow and in the end I learned a lot. The i-cord cast off is actually really easy and very satisfying, if incredibly SLOW, and I’ve used it on other things since first using it on the hoody.

  5. Finally catching up with my blog reading … I missed this. The hats are lovely, including the last … that’s a great first attempt😀

    Thanks for giving Runrig a mention … everyone at my knit and natter just knitted a pair and they all love them.

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