Can you believe it has been a year already? The intention is to create stronger bonds between us as a community, making space for the joy of sharing and being joined together by our love for our crafts and the joy of creating and making. This was such a delightful happening last year – we are so excited to invite you to vote in the 2023 edition of our The For the Love of … Show and Tell Challenge!

We made 3 categories, open to a well of interpretations, it was totally up to you what meaning to put into them: Happy Accident, I Never Thought I Would Make Something Like This, and My Brain has Superpowers - I totally rocked this technique.
Inviting our dear newsletter subscribers* to contribute for this second edition, we are over the moon discovering how many of you that came to play along!

I am absolutely bursting with excitement! Our gallery is now open and voting can commence. Yes, there will be rewards for the winners, and also a prize draw between those who decide to vote - but remember, it is all about humor and friendliness, we are not looking for the perfect nor the 'best girl in the class' – this is for us all to find joy and a moment of happiness through our Love for knitting, yarn, crochet, fibre, making and creating … and everything between.

This challenge has ended, and it is no longer possible to vote.

* To join in you have to be a newsletter subscriber, because this is all about us bonding together as a group.

Happy Accident

Project #01 - by Kim

This one did make me laugh, I was trying to knit a little drawstring bag and again it was a technique I'd never tried before and instead of having a lovely flat circle I created this weird little hat... It was so cute that I cast off the little hat and it fits one of my old, rather dusty ornaments (sorry knitting has taken over housework) . I'm not sure if Abigail Ahern would approve of one of her fat lady statues in a little hat but it makes me smile  ?

I've also included the finished drawstring bag that I was trying to create along with some of the funny pics we took along the way

Shizen bag by Beatrice Mase along with Fat lady bobble hat masterfully created by Kim!

I Never Thought I Would Make Something Like This

Project #01 - by Lynn

I always knitted clothing items, but I was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.  I am currently having chemo for blood cancer, and I get 'brain fog' lol!!! So the smaller projects are enough to focus on. I made the Giraffe for a friends birthday!!! She was thrilled to bits with it. The Mouse for a Charity Prize. Then the jumper is for me, It is knitted in the round, so no sewing up!  I think it's been my favourite jumper so far.  

 I love my knitting, it keeps me occupied & keeps my mind off Chemo which I'm having daily at this time for blood cancer.  Love reading your newsletters. Thank you!

Project #02 by Nan

For the love of my next grandchild, whom we expect end of July, I began a cashmere baby blanket. The parents requested gender neutral bright colors of pinks and greens. Not quite knowing what to do with such an assignment, I just went ahead and did what I hope they will like. 

 I never thought I would knit a baby blanket in cashmere! But when my daughter was a nursing mother she told me how delightful it was to be cozy with a newborn wrapped in cashmere [she put her newborn inside a sweater (a jumper to you) which I had made for her] I decided my second grandchild would have a cashmere blanket. 

And then they asked for a long rectangle so they could use it on a stroller in the cold, windy, foggy San Francisco summer. You may have heard that Mark Twain once famously mentioned that the coldest winter he ever experienced was the summer he spent in San Francisco. 

Anyway, I never thought I’d knit a baby blanket out of cashmere. I will send SOAK soap, a basin, and a large collapsible drying rack with the blanket so they will be able to wash — and dry — it. 

Much love and luck to you and the Knitters With Attitude! 

Project #03 by Kim

This is a scarf I made as my first project when getting back into knitting after a 10 year break. My young niece had recently started knitting and made the most gorgeous cardigan and I'd forgotten how much I used to love knitting so decided it was time to make something again. I had a long mooch on Ravelry and came across this beautiful scarf design and knew that was the one ?

It certainly challenged me as it has several stitch techniques I'd never done before but I kept at it and slowly but surely it grew and grew and I ended up with this gorgeous creation. I now have my knitting mojo well and truly back and just can't stop buying wool and finding amazing patterns for future makes.

Project #04 by Mary

This is really 'For the love of Knit With Attitude', but since that isn't a category, maybe it could go in 'I never thought I would make something like this.'

I bought this gradient set in 2020, probably during one of the iKnit 7 promotions, without any real plan. I thought it was 5x50g and might work for a shawl, but it turned out to be 5x100g – so great value! The skeins sat in my stash for a while, and then I started a colourwork sweater, but it wasn't working out, so I ripped it all back and started this faded sweater using Jonna Hietala's Mon Manet Light. I've nearly finished the sleeves and hope to be blocking it soon. By then the weather may be warmer, but I can look forward to wearing it next winter. 

Project #05 - by Jenni

Hi Maya, Your email arrived on the day I blocked the gansey, so I felt I really should tell you its tale. It is a very long story, in fact it has been dragging on so long no-one in the family can actually remember when it started. I am going to guess at around 7 years ago. 

My husband decided that for the first time he wanted me to knit him something, he wanted a traditional fishermans gansey. Although I had been knitting for a long time I had never tackled anything that ambitious or indeed that big. His Mum bought him 2 cones of Frangipani 5ply in cornish fudge, and so it began. I started with looking at old books for inspiration, I went to a local museum and looked at ganseys in their collection, we went to Whitby and Staithes. He chose a design from Staithes and I began swatching. 

Version 1: turns out twisting your cast-on and attempting a mobius gansey is a bad idea. Version 2: Was huge, with no proper pattern it was tricky to work out the size. Version 3: seemed OK, did the garter rib at the bottom with false seams and headed off on the endless rounds of really dull stocking stitch. It was constantly being put aside for more fun  colourful projects. 

 Literally years past...... I knited myself a lovely Di Gilpin Moray Star gansey and wore it to a rag. Still trudging on through the stocking stitch. Then Di Gilpins Gansey Source Book came out and I was inspired. I  knitted some fingerless mitts to practise the gussets. So I used her book to work out how to do under arm gussets and neck gussets and the sholders straps. Now I was really having fun and making progress. 

However ...... when  I went to look for the second  cone of yarn it was nowhere to be found. I turned my small house upside down. Then I remembered I had donated a bag of yarn to a local Zero Waste shop, and it must have been in there. To make things worse the mill had stopped making the yarn and it was no longer available. When the new stock came in it would be different.  Thankfully we found some 100g cakes of seconds. The shade was good for 2 of them...not so good for the other 3. But I decided if I swapped shade between the garter band and the stocking stitch it won't be too bad. I also thought in the old photos I had seen the bottom of the sleeves was sometimes a different colour as they were re-knitted once they had been worn out. Maybe people would just think he had loved it so much he had worn out the sleeves. 

Apart from a brief spell in the naughty  corner, after I had to rip back loads of a sleeve that was too tight, it was full steam ahead. I was having so much fun by know I was almost sad to be nearly finished.  So much so I actually dragged it out by  cutting off the bottom garter rib. I decided I would look much better with side slits. I did a practice swatch and realized if I did it exactly at the junction between the stocking stitch and the garter section you wouldn't see it changed direction. After all that I wanted it to be perfect. I decided that I really wanted to block it on a traditional jumper board, so I emailed round my woolly pals and sure enough one was offered.

I still can't quite believe I have finished it. I have learned so much over the last 7 years. So many new techinques and gained so much confidence. I would now have a go at anything knowing that all mistakes and problems can be fixed. I am even glad my initial progress was so slow as I wouldn't have had the skills 7 years ago and would no doubt have handed it over to my mother in law to knit.

My husband is delighted with it, he says it feels really comfortable and not scratchy at all and is a really wearable thing. I am looking forward to re-knitting the sleeves once they are worn out. 

I hope this saga with a happy ending inspires other folk to overstretch themselves, and also not to worry about taking a very long time to knit something.

Thank you for all the inspiration over the years. I hope at some point to venture to the big city and see your fabulous shop in reality.

Project #06 by Sharron

The category for the cacti is "I never thought I would make something like this".  Some years ago I was running a raffle for charity and decided I would knit something for it.  In my knitting magazine there was a pattern for a cactus cushion.  I made it and my son loved it and asked me to make him one, then to make ones for his friends.  Since then I have made them for family, friends, family of friends and friends of family.  I have adapted the pattern so I can knit in the round and minimise sewing up, not my passion, and adapt the size as necessary using varying yarn weights and needle sizes.  I still have people ask me to make them.  They are fun to make and bring joy to those who see and receive them.

Project #07 by Christine

My nephew asked me to make Frog and Toad for his partner's birthday. It's not my usual territory, but her birthday is New Year's Eve and mine is Christmas Eve, so I sympathized. They were a delight to knit, not least because I could startle people by saying, 'Today I knitted a frog's kneecap.' The very idea of a steek makes my blood run cold, but I made tiny steeks to knit their eyes. What a charming grumpy pair!

Project #08 by Maggie B

Never thought I’d knit this!!! But with the lovely help from Laili of Emily Foulds I’m getting through it. It’s my first patterned project and let’s say it’s been a challenge but now I’m addicted I can’t put it down. Loving your mailshots and insta posts. It’s so helpful to know there’s community’s of like minded people helping each other. ??

Project #09 by Maggie F

When the pandemic hit - it felt momentous and the world felt out of control. I wanted to lean into crochet to keep me anchored in the ‘here and now’. I decided in the ‘bigness' of Covid 19 that I would go very ‘tiny’ in my crochet and so started these tiny squares. I have a big bag of them now - and occasionally I will do another one and pop it in. Every square was another moment of living through the pandemic. I have no idea what to do with them but I like looking at them. Maybe I should just leave them not as an unfinished project but as a very finished homage to the love of crochet in tough times!

Project #10 by Sally

I love this idea and my category is……”I never thought I would make something like this” - made a while back to wear at my son’s beach wedding on the west coast of Scotland.   It was extremely expensive yarn being silk and cashmere and I thought long and hard wondering if I could do the pattern and yarn justice. But I splurged and was so very pleased with the finished result.

An additional bonus was making friends through the Ravelry group with a woman in Texas who was working on the same pattern.  Despite me living in England we did meet up when she and her husband were visiting Europe and we are still in contact after several years! 

Project #11 by Patti

My son is a Liverpool fan (bless his heart! ?) and I found the charting for this bird on Ravelry. I decided to make a scarf then decided it needed to be double knitted. 

It’s taken me about ten months to find the right yarn (at least three or four tries) and to actually make the two pieces. At least three false starts with the final yarn too.  Yikes, then had to figure out how to join them. I decided to Kitchener the two layers separately. You can see the join but I figure it would be at the back of his neck so no one will see. 

I’m proud of myself for figuring out things along the way and not losing hope and throwing in my needles. 

Thanks for running this show and tell. Can’t wait to see all the submissions!!

Project #12 by Alena

I have knitted lots of baby blankets over the years as presents but had not actually made one for Lyra before she was born (well I sewed one and crocheted another, but that’s different!!). There were many I had enjoyed making but they were just not quite right. But when I saw the Vertices Unite baby blanket during sleepless newborn days I knew this was her blanket. Angles, stripes, colour blocks, I had never seen a baby blanket like it but it was perfect. Also went for more non-typical colours for a baby but then much of her knitted wardrobe has been just that too. I think some of the yarn I ordered and picked up from your shop door during lockdown, my first proper solo trip out with little Lyra - and knitted over/next to a sleeping newborn. Took a lot longer to finish than pre-baby knits, but it’s still my absolute favourite, and so special in so many ways. 

Project #13 by Angela

It is my version of the Purl Strings Tee by Heidi Kirrmaier.

I've been  ill since Christmas,  and needed something to keep going. This is the very first project I've knit in the round. I've adapted the sleeves slightly for a different look. I'm also knitting this in cotton for the Summer. 

Project #14 by Wendy

I just want to thank you for you help choosing the yarn and recommendation of the Lykke cypra. 
I have managed to make a lovely shawl called Crockern Tor by Ysolda Teague using garthnor number 1 I bought at your shop. By the end there were over 1200 stitches on the needles, took over 1.5 hours to do one row! and I used over three and a half skeins.

Project #15 by Lyn

I’m recently registered “severely sight impaired”. At the moment I can still knit with my magnifier and am trying to use up my stash whilst I can still see. I made this scrappy top down raglan (no seaming!) but sewing in ends was too difficult, so I tied reef knots - definitely a case of “I never dreamt I’d do something like this”!

My Brain has Superpowers - I totally rocked this technique

Project #01 - by Ann

I love the idea of seeing everyone’s projects.  I’m submitting this crocheted blanket I finished under the category, “my brain has superpowers!”  

I started this Afghan several years ago and then put it in a time out.  I was so frustrated that I couldn’t wrap my head around the instructions. Fast forward to a few months ago, I pulled it back out to have a friend help me with it. I thought I better figure out my exact problem with the instructions so I could ask for specific help. Lo and behold, I actually figured it out myself by just concentrating on the pattern. I was so proud of myself and the Afghan went together beautifully! 

Project #02 - by Kim

I thought I'd share my joyful journey with brioche...... I discovered this amazing french knitting designer Beatrice Mase and after not knitting anything for about 10 years I got back into it because my young niece who is in her 20s made a gorgeous cardigan and I got knitters envy ? 

Anyway firstly I made the most beautiful scarf during which I learnt several new stitch techniques, I'll share a photo of that at the end as it's definitely a candidate for I never thought I'd make one of these category. 

My next project was a blanket I'd seen created by Beatrice, Haruki Blanket, and it was mostly made with Brioche which I'd never ever attempted. My husband and children had bought me all the wool for this blanket and also the scarf for Christmas so a few hundred pounds worth of gorgeous Malabrigo yarn. Anyway I sat down to start my much anticipated blanket journey and I literally spent about 6 hours trying to master brioche following written instructions and just kept ending up having to undo it and start again after about 5 or 6 rows as it was evidently very wrong. I then spent another hour trying to find a different pattern I could use my beautiful wool for as I felt defeated and realised this was a huge blanket and it had taken me hours and hours getting nowhere apart from very angry and frustrated. 

After several cuppas and a lot of cursing I then had a word with myself that normally I don't let anything beat me so I went on youtube looking for brioche tutorials rather than following the pattern and I just practised by watching an online brioche video until I realised I'd cracked the code ?.  I then went back to the pattern and started again using the technique I'd learnt online and voila after several weeks the blanket was complete. It's not perfect but it's one of the largest creations I've ever made and I also had to prove my husband wrong that I could finish it as he kept joking it would end up in the back of a cupboard unfinished like some of my earlier projects from 10+ years ago that I'd been too busy to complete. Anyway I proved him wrong (always a bonus) and I now use this blanket many evenings when it gets a bit chilly and I absolutely love it!

Project #03 - by Amélie

I have been following your newsletter for a while and really enjoy it, so thank you! 

I would love to share this image of some socks I taught myself to make, I had been wanting to make socks for a while and thought about joining a class somewhere but with young kids couldn’t find the time. 

I started by following a you tube tutorial on making socks for the children and after I had done a few I scaled it up to make some for myself, I chose this basket weave (I think that’s what it’s called) and did all the maths to make it work for my size. Especially impressed with myself as I failed maths GCSE twice! 

I love knitting so much, what I love best is the challenge, the working out of the pattern and the idea that through creating my own pattern, no one else in the world will have exactly the same socks as me ?

JUST WOW!!! How many amazing projects that you guys have come up with, I am in awe!!! Now off to vote, let's find out who's our favourites! You'll find the 'ballot' here. you can submit your vote up until midnight UK time Friday June 23rd. We'll do the count and announce winners in the newsletter Sunday June 25th. Happy Voting!