The landscape in our part of Scotland is feeling particularly lush and fruitful just now, and our raspberry and blackberry bushes look set for a good harvest. Today’s My Place design is particularly fitting for this ripening time of year, since it celebrates the simple, rewarding pleasures of a fruitful garden – in knitted form! Designed by talented new designer, Eva Lenz, and knitted in three shades of Milarrochy Tweed, I love the quiet, subtle feel that Eva has achieved through the restrained use of thoughtful details. Bringing together a leafy lace motif with small areas of simple stranded colourwork, the Garden Hat has an organic appearance that truly seems as much grown as it as made. Here’s Eva herself to tell you more about her design. . .
My Place is without a doubt my garden. This is where I find peace, energy and inspiration. It is where I feel close to nature even though one could argue it isn’t real nature because it was somehow planned.
But my garden is rather untamed. I love how it allows me to live with the seasons, the plants and animals, and be a part of it all. My garden nourishes and teaches me. It comforts me to think that in return, due to the way I garden, wildlife has a refuge there: Insects, birds, lizards, wildflowers. The principles of permaculture (an approach working with nature rather than against it) help me create this reciprocity that is very important to me. And even though my garden is not at all designed to impress, it is beautiful to me, with its wild corners, its view over the surrounding landscape and its familiar (and sometimes not yet familiar) inhabitants.
Gardening and knitting are akin, aren’t they? One can engage in them alone and still be connected with an immense community around the world. Also, both are relatively slow processes with a very sensuous approach and tend to have a calming effect on the mind. My garden never fails to soothe and console me even in troubled times: as soon as I stand barefoot on the grass or have my hands in the soil or smell the many perfumes of nature, it feels as if all worries are diluted. There things are elemental, real. A seed growing into a plant, a bee on a flower, a bird singing on a newly planted tree – all these small things are good things. The beauty of that is also an unending source of inspiration. In fact there is nothing as inspiring as nature to me.
The Garden Hat is a design that I had carried around in my head for a while, trying to capture the red of fruit and flower peeking through the green of leaves. The lace pattern reminds me of the leaf crowns my children and I often make in autumn with all kinds of colourful foliage. It is in this playful manner and many other ways that I teach my children to find interest in nature.
Passing so much time in the garden has already made them cherish and know the natural world. Even to be able to name plants and animals and know their ways brings them closer to one’s heart. And of course it is the same with knitting or any other craft: it is good to have interest awakened and to discover the pleasure of having knowledge early.
Thinking about this hat I realised that both knitting and gardening connect me with my late grandmother. She taught me how to knit and her colourwork knits are treasured heirloom pieces in my familiy. Spending many hours of my childhood in her garden has given me that love for horticulture that I began to feel strongly only when I was an adult. And even if for her gardening and knitting may have been two separate things, for me they are connected because of her – and because gardening just inspires my creativity. Thus I got the idea for this hat. And so things come full circle.
Thank you Eva! We look forward to seeing more beautiful and thoughtful designs from you!
Eva’s Instagram account is @ephamalia.