Have you ever given up something or someone and replaced it by something much better? You’re talking about your last boyfriend? I’m talking about trading cigarettes for knitting needles. One of my best decisions ever. I quit smoking in October 2010 while on tour with Leonard Cohen in Poland and taught myself how to knit. Being a Gemini, I may be an autodidact but patience is not my strongest asset. I spent hours pausing and playing YouTube tutorials and after a few disastrous pieces of holed rags I made my first scarf.
And then, slowly but surely I started learning more about the wonderful world of knitting. There’s so much to discover about yarn, fibers, needles, techniques, stores etc. Then came the “Life on Mars” labels. Mars is my nickname since childhood, didn’t choose it, never really liked it but as it’s here to stay, why not use it well, right? I mostly knit scarves but I also love to adventure myself in new projects: socks, cowls, dolls, pillows and lately sweaters. My favorite yarn is Worsted Cotton by Blue Sky Alpacas and my favorite stitch is the brioche stitch (tutorial on Newstitchaday)
Knitting is much more than just a craft. A creative process in which every step can be delightful: from thinking and cooking the idea in your head, to finding the right yarn, feeling the fibers, imagining the colors, the actual knitting and until the final result. There’s great satisfaction when you wear your handmade creation or see someone else with it. Is there any sexier gift for your man than a handmade scarf around his neck? Lately, and when my real-job-working-schedule allows it, “Life on Mars” has been expanding to sewing creations like pouches and other accessories. Those items and some of the scarves below are still for sale, contact me for purchase inquiries (or for knitting advice).
I believe there’s also a deeper lever and power to knitting; call it therapy, meditation, whatever. Waiting becomes a different experience, meaning less stress and more zen. While others get nervous standing in lines, you go like “Yesh, I have that much time to do that many lines and finish this or that project”. The repetitive movements and the sound of those bamboo needles rock me into the utmost comfortable well-being.
Shalom… or to my Flemish readers (doe je) Sjaalom…