I love travelling on ferries. I suppose I could blame my Viking blood, but I have always found sailing immensely enjoyable and relaxing. Last week I visited Northern Ireland for the first time which meant a long ferry ride across the Irish Sea as well as a long bus journey through the Scottish Lowlands. The journey home was especially lovely as the sun was out and I found myself a window seat where I could knit away and watch the waves without getting disturbed. Utter bliss.
I'll write more about this towards the end of the year, but I have realised that knitting is both a journey for me as well as something that makes me travel to all corners of the British Isles.
At the heart of it, every knitting project is a journey. You begin travelling as soon as you cast on and the process of your project is the road you are travelling. The language of geography is intertwined with the language of knitting: the yarn travels through our fingers, we have travelling stitches and we consult charts to help us navigate a challenging pattern. Then, as we near the end of our project, we have the diary of our trip in our lap. Do you remember the day that you worked the rib section? How happy you were to cross that river or climb that mountain? Or the evening you sat knitting dreaming of future adventures as you traversed across an endless desert of stocking stitch?
And it also means something else for me personally.
Currently I am knitting socks. They are the perfect travel project and they kept me entertained during my stay in Northern Ireland (no internet connection! it was lovely!). I have designed three sock patterns for the Old Maiden Aunt Sock Club 2015 (also three exclusive never-to-be-repeated OMA colourways) and I really, really enjoyed the experience. A sock is a very different canvas to, say, a shawl and I relished playing with this new-to-me canvas.
I am currently on my second almost-vanilla sock. This pair is just for me and my journeys around these isles. Who knows what will happen next.