Embracing Slowcraft: The Art and Soul of Knitting

Knitting and Writing

About a year ago, I thought I would start a blog and send it out as an email newsletter. It would be a regular way to chronicle the mistakes and successes of running a small business. To question how we measure and manage our personal wins and losses. Managing profit and loss as a tiny business in a big corporate world and how sustainable practices might fit in to that dialectic. The blog would be part of learning about knitting, colour, and textiles and understanding the environmental impact of clothes and fashion and how we can shape that in a small way.

Mental health was key for me too. I wanted to talk and explore the way we balance our work and how crafting can support us to be mindful and develop our creative skills.

But I wrote a few, then stopped. Life got in the way. The blog did not seem as important when compared with more pressing issues in the shop and website. At least this was what I told myself at the time.

In retrospect, to write a regular blog and to actively take time to consider the ‘what and why’ of the business Thilde and I started, now seems to be the most important thing I could have done. Had I kept writing last year at the speed of one blog a week I would have a grand pile of words to mull over and undoubtedly would have become a better writer.

And I spent all year berating myself about it.

It then struck me that I do write a lot, and over the years I have written lots of things. Letters to friends and family, a set of short stories, lyrics for songs and bad poetry, one best man speech, two (can you believe it) training courses, and of course email after email all day every day in my corporate job. I even managed a little humour…

The lesson might be to stop being negative about the lack of doing something, and rather just focus on what you are doing. I think we all probably juggle too much and end up being exhausted by mistakenly thinking we should have done way more. Often the aggregate result is notable.

Learning to knit was a similar experience.

I seemed to be bad at knitting, clumsy even. It felt odd under my fingers, and I couldn’t work out what Thilde was doing with her fast fingers and perfect tension. I would put down my ‘wip’ and it would take me a long time to get back to it. I even resented it at times, feeling exposed as a bit of a klutz (or a dunderheid I should really say as I am Scottish, but I always loved New York movies and tv shows where they used that word)

Yet the knitting was always there when I did get back to it, and one more row could always be added and that was just the way it was, one stitch, one row, at a time. Regardless of how impossible it seems you will find the project starts to reveal itself. If you are reading this as a knitter, you know this as obvious, but for me as a middle-aged man, it’s all a bit of a revelation.

So then, the blog. The term SlowCraft seemed apt, referring to the Slow Food movement of which more can be read about here:


Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. It was founded in 1989 in Italy.

The business for me is aligned with those values of community and environment. It is a labour of love, a stubborn experiment to create a small sustainable business centred around traditional craft built with modern tools.

It would be great if you wanted to read about that and let me know what you think.


Small business

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