books, Focus, giveaway, me me me, Momentum, review, wool journeys

Giveaway – The Mindfulness in Knitting

I’ve had need for mindfulness lately. Have you? It’s literally been a mind-bending time in the world at large and even if you’ve not been affected by that (you’ve not! really?!) many of us have need to practice mindfulness and take some time out of things to focus on us and how we feel. Even just taking yourself off for a massive cuppa and a slab of cake is a wee thing you can do, that is just for you! I did that last week. After having a whirlwindy week I decided I needed a self care day and just followed my feet to where they took me – following my inner momentum and practising some mindfulness.

I actually did not knit that day (as I needed to do something for me that I don’t always allow myself), but I don’t need to tell you that knitting can be a calming and grounding exercise.


When I recently talked about Rachael Matthews new book, The Mindfulness in Knitting, it was lovely to find out that many of you had been enabled into getting a copy for yourself. Lovely KB friend Alison Mayne ended up buying an extra copy and wondered if I would like to offer it as a prize here. Thank you so very much, Alison, that is a lovely act of kindness and – as anyone who has this lovely wee book knows – the book will be something that the winner will pick up again and again.

To be in with a chance of winning this book, please comment below with your favourite method of self-care or being kind to yourself. Comment by 12pm on Thursday, 15th December. I will choose a winner via and Alison will send your parcel out soon after (but do remember the busy-ness of this season – your parcel may not be sent until January).

If you do not want to leave it to the luck of the draw, you can buy Mindfulness in Knitting from good bookshops. It is published by Leaping Hare and costs £8.99

There are more bookish gifts coming from me this festive season too – so stay tuned.

Also, a wee note – This year I will not be doing the gift posts that I have done throughout the month, each December. These take quite a while to put together and my work schedule is quite hectic this month. I will though have my usual doses of enabling via the podcast! If you need some gift ideas, head straight to Karie Westermann’s blog and see her incredible post on knitterly gifts.

Updated on 15th December – the winner chosen by is the 78th comment, which belongs to Mazzy! Congrats! I shall pass your email address on to Allison!



  1. Christoph Zechner says

    I like to go to the sauna, which relaxes me and is great fun also. Always calms me down and is a great place for talking to friends too. 🙂

  2. Gemma Thompson says

    I do yoga during my toddlers nap time. I find that taking time to breathe in the middle of the day helps be be ready to deal with whatever is thrown at me.

  3. Penny says

    As I have a newborn, my favourite self care technique is to have an early night whenever I can!

  4. Trudy Buwalda says

    I love to do yoga, and then come home to a nice cup of tea and my knitting 🙂

  5. I knit whilst listening to a good crime audio book ignoring any housework/washing etc that still needs doing it can wait another day ( or two).

  6. Anni Howard says

    I find walking by the sea calming, but when that’s not possible I retreat to my bath. Lots of candles, essential oils and no noise. Some of my best ideas come in those moments when I’m not trying to think of anything at all. ☺

  7. Sara Foster says

    I have quite a hectic job which involves me keeping a lot of plates spinning at the same time. By Friday evening I’m usually mentally and physically exhausted and in bed by nine thirty. My antidote is a lie-in on Saturday morning. I have a very understanding Other Half who brings me a cup of coffee in bed and then leaves me alone. I switch on my tablet (I know, not supposed to have electronics in the bedroom) and I spend some time reading about knitting, catching up with Ravelry posts and a number of knitting and crafting blogs that I follow. I find it energises and inspires me and sets the tone for a gentle, calm, weekend. I just appreciate the time to be on my own without any demands on me.

  8. Kathy says

    I’ve been so out of sorts the last few weeks, finding myself going into rages all out of proportion. My exercise routine was off, I found myself drinking alcohol more than usual, something has to change.

    Yesterday my husband and younger daughter, both who have sleep issues, and I (who do not!) attended a Yoga Nidra workshop for 2 hours. It’s like meditation but you do it lying down and put yourself into a psychic sleep. It was amazing. I downloaded a file of her talking us through it and look forward to going to bed early tonight and trying it on my own!

    • Hey Kathy, I hope you are feeling better. I just took a yoga nidra workshop too and it was amazing! It totally changed my perspective on resting, meditating and sleeping. Plus, yoga + bed; whats not to love about that? Cheers!

  9. Sara Anthony-Boon says

    My favourite method of self care is a combination of a few things….Top of the list is knitting. I love spending time taking photographs, love just chilling with my two dogs on the sofa and finally spending quality time with my teenage son who makes me laugh and keeps me so grounded.

  10. Eline says

    I have a deskjob 2 to 3 days a week, and it happens often that I’ve been looking forward to knitting all day….and by the time I can finally sit down with a project my hands/shoulders/wrists are aching from working behind a desk all day. So much so that I find it too painfull to pick up the needles. Whenever that happens, and it’s not that late at night, I like to bake. The structured weighing of ingredients, the peacefull kneading of dough, it eases my mind and makes me use my hands in a different way with different movements. And it helps me get over the frustration of not being able to knit at times that I really need it.

  11. I love to curl up in a big armchair with some music and my kindle. I do most of my reading in bed, just before I go to sleep, so it feels really decadent to read in the day!

  12. Hannah says

    My escape is the bath ( so hot it’s nearly scalding!) with a bit of chocolate and a good book, or going for a good long walk through beautiful countryside. Even better if I can do both…

  13. My favorite method is a long walk,2-3 hours, with my dog followed by a hot soaking bath. The dog is calmer and so am I.

  14. Susan Hobkirk says

    My favourite method is to find somewhere quiet and OUTDOORS to sit and read. Somewhere that I will not be disturbed!

  15. Helen says

    I like to paint my nails. The colours thrill me every time I see them, and I can’t be ‘busy’ ‘doing all the things’ while they dry,

  16. Anne (Suuf) says

    Walking, running, horse riding, or skiing in our next-door forest is one of the best things that I can do for myself. Even a ten-minute walk in the middle of a busy day calms me and gives me energy. Knitting is my other thing as it relaxes me and gives me a lot of pleasure.

  17. Anita Sama says

    After a particularly tough day, I am lucky enough to be able to turn off the world in a small jewel of a bathroom and retreating to soak. Sometimes bubbles and sometimes not, but usually, from a nearby ledge, spreading over me like a blanket, the gentle voices of podcasters, like you Louise, reminding me of the part of my life that is so gently satisfying.

  18. Lesley Bambridge says

    I read my favourite books, or listen to audio books while I knit

  19. Fiona Campbell says

    It has bothered me that I spend so much time each day, unproductively, staring at this screen. So, I made the decision to have an iPad-free day on Sundays….. What a difference! It frees my mind for all sorts of other things, such as uninterrupted knitting, reading (real paper!) and not thinking I must just check to see if there’s a new email, post, whatever. I recommend it! ????

    • Eline says

      I have the same feeling almost daily Fiona, this sounds like a very good idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I will definitely give this a try 🙂

  20. Christine says

    Knitting for my grandchildren, they live so far away and I imagine them wrapped up in my knitted love. When that doesn’t work a brisk walk with the dogs is good.

  21. I’ve got 2 young children so finding time for me isn’t easy but I try! I love to knit with beautiful wool, a nice repetitive, almost meditative pattern. When I’m really struggling I try to carve out 10mins to practice mindfulness. And I’ve also just discovered the Gilmore girls so I am binge watching that!

  22. Martha Kent says

    Wish I could have included you in my doctoral dissertation on Mindfulness and Leadership effectiveness. Would love to own a copy, have not been able to locate one.

    • louise says

      Tell us about your favourite method of selfcare and I will enter you in the giveaway! Good luck!

      • Sue Gilbert says

        The best thing I can do for myself is to become (and stay) healthy- so my favourite self-care method is a good long walk. Whatever the weather, I’m out there, striding out and I always return feeling more positive, pleasantly knackered and even inspired for the rest of the day. It’s free, it’s simple, it requires nothing but comfy shoes and weather-appropriate clothes.

  23. Mary Dobbie says

    I feel rejuvenated after spending an evening at home in front of the fire either reading or knitting.

  24. Barb Ross says

    I like to take the dog for a walk on the nearby trails. Fresh air. Simple sounds. Happy puppy.

  25. My preferred method is to go for a stroll in my local park. Walking and fresh-ish (well as fresh as possible for London) help slow the brain cogs and boost the serotonin levels.

  26. Silvercloud says

    Just had a stressful house move & not in the first flush of youth, I’m yearning to get back to some regular knitting and Pilates and long walks for back problems and health in general.

  27. When it all gets too much I like to bundle up and head out for a right good walk over the marshes, the sort of traipse that leaves you pink cheeked and nose tingly, achey and tired but all invigorated at the same time, then once I’m home I like a nice long bath, with a big cup of tea and a good book…..doesn’t cost much but the way it restores is priceless.

  28. Joy McMillan says

    I make glass beads – there’s something about really having to pay attention and focus on one thing that’s very calming when my brain starts to whirl.

  29. As funny as it sounds, organizing things. Especially my table, craft things, magazines, books, yarn….

  30. MaryjoO says

    Lovely thoughts. Self-care — taking deep breaths (as I just did now, starting Monday morning …. and making lists. It clears the anxiety, and then I knit! Lovely giveaway, too!

  31. Pamela Butler says

    The things that go on either side of a knitting project: looking through patterns and wools, arranging different yarns into projects, planning and dreaming the next project; then the finishing up of a project. Nothing beats taking a completed project off the towel where it’s been blocking, removing pins and seeing the finished piece of knitting

  32. Setting aside time for knitting whatever I want (not what I think I need to finish) is one way of self care…last week I got a tiny kitten, and just sitting and watching her has been great! I feel that her silliness is a great antidote to stress.

  33. I just go to my studio, and take out a project and knit. Recently I have been exploring the wold of pod casts and have “met” some really great people. So my favorite chair, knitting and watching something inspiring or go to the internet and look for inspiration. Thanks for all you do, and you add loveliness to my world.

  34. There are different ways I use. It depends, if I’m really frustrated in an angry way, I go for loud music and dancing in my living room. If it’s rather the blue feeling I go for chocolat, after all I’m Belgian 😉

  35. Maureen House says

    Either sitting in the comfy armchair beside our woodburner, with some knitting. Or playing the harp .. I’ve been learning for just over a year, and it is very relaxing. This year I can play 4 Christmas carols, which has been wonderful.

  36. A walk in the forest with my camera fills me with inspiration and lets my mind escape, I forget time and routines! Recently I haven’t been able to go out like this so knitting has been top of any list, a relaxing bath then knit while listening to podcasts. I love reading too!

  37. Ann Shepherd says

    A favourite old film, which I know has a happy ending, and my knitting. That does it for me.

  38. Kate Sheridan says

    We are fortunate in living right by ancient woodland; walking amongst the trees, listening to birdsong whilst my eye is caught by the movement of the local fauna, restores my soul and sense of equilibrium. I walk there every day and lose myself in observing the subtle day by day changes as the seasons come and go. Each season has its own feel and pace and by walking in the woods I can tune in. The changing colours and textures are a continual source of inspiration, too.

  39. NancyMac says

    My most favourite thing to do is to sit on the floor, back against the couch, knitting in hand, book on the table in front of me in its little stand and hubby twirling my hair around his finger. Sounds crazy but my sister witnessed it one day and giggled saying my head lolled back and forth so slowly and my eyes were shutting, even as I knit. She said it looked like I was in bliss. Meditation, massage for the head/mind/soul and with knitting attached! Yes indeed….favourite thing…

  40. Laila says

    Shut the door, turn off everything that can be turned off, put a some good music on and cast on some complicated lace pattern in a lovely yarn – stay hidden for at least 2 hours and I will be (…nearly…) normal when I reappear again 🙂

  41. I sit outside and watch the life in my backyard pond. If the weather is inclement, then I spin, knit, weave or curl up with a book.

  42. My recipe for mindfulness is, put the kettle on, carefully select the mug that suits my need, make myself a tea thoughtfully – no slapdash brewing. Quietly sit at my desk, drink my tea while I stare out the window at my garden with the radio or podcast quietly keeping me company, then I draw a big breath, release and start or continue what ever I am painting at the moment.

  43. Sue Fitzpatrick says

    I take my dog Ellie for a walk in the nearby Petroglyph National Monument. We relax taking in the scenery and looking for coyotes and other desert wildlife.

  44. Kirsten Macfarlane says

    I love to go for a long bath – preferably with bubbles or salts – and catch up on podcasts, especially Knit British! Probably not the best visual for you Louise! 😉 I have a 2.5yr old so getting some ‘me’ time in a room where I can lock the door is absolute luxury for me. Alternatively, any time I get to myself to knit in peace is my way of taking care of myself!

  45. For me, it’s really knitting. My partner can always tell when I’ve gotten a bit too stressed and suggests I go, sit and knit for a bit. Focusing on something tangible, the repetitive motions, seeing progress — they all make me feel better!

  46. Joanne LaC says

    for me…start a loaf of bread, take a walk as it goes through the first rise, as it goes through the second rise and the baking, knit with a book on tape, music or a close friend…end product is me relaxed and recharged…and a great loaf of bread!

  47. Vicky says

    I love the extra minutes I give myself in the shower, not to clean, but to relax and allow the stress to wash away.

  48. Terry Prehara says

    My favourite self care habit, is enjoying a cup or two of coffee after breakfast, and knitting. It’s a bonus if there is a new podcast to listen to at the same time.

  49. I loved reading all the comments on here and would like to say that all the self care suggestions are amazing! Knitting, baths, yoga, coffee, cake, yoga nidra, chilling with friends, family, animals, staring at the clouds! I loves them all! I have heard great things about this book too so would feel very lucky to get a hold of it. I blog about knitting and street craft and often weave in my own take on wellness and mindfuless into my posts, so fingers crossed! Regardless, this is now officially promoted to the top of my to-read list! Keep on self-caring everyone!

  50. Marianne Mahoney says

    I swim to relax/ get centered and wash away issues while thinking and looking at the bottom of a pool. Always feel better after some laps.

  51. isabel McKay says

    I love listening to music that i can just float off with while i knit and spin. Also walking my dogs around the lake near our house. Both of these things renew me.

  52. Well, knitting is the obvious answer. But adding to that, being Danish the concept of ‘hygge’ is incredibly important to me. So setting up a lovely atmosphere, lighting the fire place and some candles, a hot cup of something tasty and something great on TV and curling up on the couch with my husband, the puppy and my knitting. That’s some pretty great self care.

  53. Time on my own, whether it is to knit, to read or to sew, uninterrupted. So magical and restorative!

  54. Linda Cook says

    As I’m a massage therapist, having a treatment just for me is my self care treat and also having fun in my pottery class too.

  55. Affienia says

    A hot bath and a good book are my go to when I need to look after me. It’s an hours gauranteed alone time.

  56. Shelley says

    In winter, watching netflix or listening to audio books while knitting, with licorice mint or orange vanilla tea and the fireplace on is my favorite form of self care.

    In summer, getting outside for a walk or bike ride does the trick. No knitting, but still good.

  57. Heather says

    I enjoy walking by the sea. This has a feelgood factor. At home knitting with a cup of milky coffee and stroking the cat.

  58. Stacey says

    I love walking with my dog taking care to be mindful of the beautiful nature around us and of course knitting the repetition of which is fabulous for calming and self care.

  59. Kate Nicholl says

    For me, if I’m in need of a “quick” pick me up, it’s a long soak in the bath with a good book to read, followed by quiet knitting time. If my mood needs a bigger boost and some stronger self care, I take a short drive to a peninsula near to me and go for a walk to the Lighthouse and sit listening to the sea which never fails to relax me.

  60. My best form of self-care is to get outside in nature for a walk. Maybe hug a big old furry tree (Here in Oregon the old trees tend to be moss-covered, so they look furry).

  61. Rhorhobot says

    I always struggle at Christmas my family isn’t involved in it together for around 8 years . We go to our other halfs homes with our new family which I love but still
    Miss my mothers presence at the hobb shouting at my siblings to get out of the kitchen or its burn Brussels they will receive for dinner. So when I’m feel down I grab my photo album grab a cuppa and dive into my past with glee:)

  62. I walk. We live near the woods so whenever I need to relax, take a break or need more space to breathe I go for a walk. This might be just a short one at times, but getting outside will make me feel calmer instantly.

  63. Su Sayer says

    I find writing a list helps when my mind starts swirling and and can’t seem to hold on to my thoughts. I also enjoy getting out of the house for a walk. Even if it’s just to the local shop, the fresh air always gives me a boost.

  64. Rowena Gillen says

    When things get on top of me, I light the fire, watch a comedy show, and either knit, or browse my knitting books to dream of future projects. For me, this is guaranteed to make the world retreat for a while : )

  65. Hannah ross says

    A lot of self-care for me revolves around things that don’t allow me to think too much – I get so bogged down in things that worry or upset me so I need things that help me get a rest from my brain. So baking is a good one, knitting/cross stitch while watching tv or listening to podcasts (either knitting ones, or current favourite My Dad Wrote A Porno – not for the mild mannered but totally cringeworthy hilarity if you can deal with it!), or reading a book. But also going for a walk with my camera, especially at the start of the day if I can get out of bed early enough, and my Pilates class (which has the triple whammy – have to concentrate so stop thinking about real life, the physical benefit of moving and stretching and working out, and the social side – at the moment my class is a really nice mix of men & women, sporty and definitely not so, old and young, and plenty of banter!) 🙂

  66. A long walk with the dog then home light the fire, cup of tea and cake and then either knitting or quilting

  67. This took a bit of thought. It all depends on the mood/state of mind I’m in. If I’m stressed, then I tend to reach for food, especially chocolate! I don’t do a lot of knitting, but it’s a bit of a treat when I finish a piece. Reading, blogging and writing are up there on the list, but as I say, it all depends on the mood.


    Thank you for the chance to win a great book.

    I love a long soak in a bubbly bath with a magazine to read, something to stimulate the creative juices. I follow this with time to be creative, knitting; sketching, working in my art journal or some other arty crafty endeavour.

    I’m recovering from a knee injury following a bad fall, and also a serious complication of a chronic medical condition. Baths are out for the moment, due to the dodgy knee, but I’m knitting up a storm. x

  69. Annette says

    Becoming immersed in Knitting sewing crafting and music have always helped me through the tough times.

  70. Loraine says

    My favourite way to relax is with a cup of Earl Grey tea, tune into a knitting podcast and knit. The world just melts away.

  71. a cup of Camomile tea, something soothing to listen to – podcasts or audio book and something to sew, knit or embroider. When my hands are happy and I am concentrating, the days worries recede.

  72. Nancy says

    I foster kittens for the local shelter. There is noting like bottle-feeding a tiny orphan for putting you in the moment – even if it’s 4 am and the last feeding was at midnight!

  73. Mazzy says

    Gardening has always been something very therapeutic for me, even in recent years when it has been my job as well as a hobby. There’s something almost meditative about weeding. It’s also good exercise, along with the fresh air and sometimes even a little sunshine. At times when I haven’t had a garden or allotment plot of my own I’ve indulged in indoor gardening, mostly with ornamental houseplants, but it can be satisfying just growing a pot of herbs, a chilli plant or a punnet of mustard & cress on a windowsill.

  74. Fiona says

    I like having a long soak in a hot bath with a good book. Would love to be able to knit too, but it might get a bit soggy.

  75. Vee Phillips says

    Puzzles: crosswords, number puzzles, even jigsaws. Anything that engages the brain enough to block out the crap without being important enough to create more stress.

    Either that, or an extra long shower with all the twiddly bits like a face mask, deep conditioning, body scrub & lotion. All the things I can’t usually be arsed with.

  76. Grace says

    I take a long walk to the woods, where we have a circle of old maple trees. I enter the center of the circle and lift my arms to God and thank the universe for All We Are. I am reading A Course Of Love!

  77. Carol Gresham says

    My me thing is defo yoga, closely followed by knitting ???? have to admit this last 2 months there has no me time???? as my house had a serious case of rising damp which resulted in a lot of blood sweat tears and money we didn’t have ???? but I’ll sure be making up for it soon, so close to holiday time. I hope you hae a good ene Louise ????

  78. Helen Davidson says

    Like so many have said I do a yoga class one evening a week and then come home and go straight to bed. Best night’s sleep of the week.

  79. I get a massage on a regular basis, and I find my knitting and particularly spinning to be really relaxing.

  80. africandaffodil says

    It’s tricky at the moment and I’ve been worrying a lot more than normal. A good sleep rhythm is probably the most helpful to me. I recently tried a bath without small children for company but our mouldly bathroom is not conducive to pleasant relaxation. It did make me realise that my hobbies all have searching for or creating beauty in common- birdwatching, choral singing and creating with wool.

  81. Rosalba Bassora says

    Just sitting on my couch while working on a new pattern and sipping hot tea makes me happy . Sometimes I’ll treat myself to a mystery gift on etsy. Yes, it’s usually yarn. I like surprises so that’s what I’ll do for myself.

  82. Lesley says

    My idea of being kind to myself is a setting aside time for a leisurely lunch with friends, usually somewhere on our beautiful Midlands Meander. It’s time for catching up, laughing, supporting and generally relaxing.
    Food for the Soul.

  83. Lindsey Cox says

    When I am tired and a bit work stressed I love a hot bath with a really good romance for that feel good factor. If I am a bit down in the dumps then a really good walk with some up beat music which I do like to sing to as I walk and that set me to rights.

  84. Alicia says

    I like going for a walk or knitting. Just taking time out from the house and kids. I also like swimming, but that takes extra time to get to the pool and back, and by then it is usually more chaotic at home.

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