In November it will be ten years since I knitted my owl sweater.

A lot can happen in a decade, and that’s particularly so for me. In November 2008 I was an academic lecturer at Newcastle University, researching and teaching literary history. Knitting was one of several hobbies I enjoyed, and I’d begun documenting my crafty adventures on this blog. I fell ill with flu, and while I was getting better I made myself a pullover with cabled owls around the yoke. Everyone liked the pullover. So I wrote a pattern and eventually I I put it up on Ravelry. I had no intention then of ever making a living out of knitting. But when I had a stroke, when I was paralysed and working hard to recover physical function, when it was clear my deficits meant I would never return to academia, that’s what I had to do. The sweater I’d knitted myself in November 2008 helped me to do that.

Since then I’ve created other owl-y patterns.

The Owlet (an owl sweater for babies and kids)

The Owligan (an oversized super-chunky owl cardigan)

and the Wowligan (a wee owligan for kids)

I thought it might be quite nice to mark my ten-year owliversary, and I’m going to do this in various ways at the turn of November. I’d like you to be involved (there will be prizes!)

So: is there anything you would like to tell me about your owl sweaters? Did you lose your owl sweater and find it again? Have you mended or re-knitted it? Does the garment or the knitting of the garment hold any special meaning or significance for you? Are there owl-y photographs you would be happy to share with me? For some knitters, the owl sweater was the first garment they made themselves; other knitters have made several owligans or owlets for friends and family. All owl-y tales are welcome. You can leave a comment here; post a comment on my Instagram, or simply email me at: owls@katedaviesdesigns.com

Thankyou, and enjoy your o w l s.