Knitting tree ornaments was my ‘unwind’ before Christmas. I was reading The Knitter magazine on a train homewards after three days away for work. There were only a few days left to go before the maelstrom of Christmas Day and the ‘To do’ list was rattling around my head. I know the remedy should be to get on with the said to-do list – knock the items off the list one by one. Somehow, though, the lure of something pretty and quick to knit in the magazine kept catching my eye as I flicked through the pages – a pattern for knitted tree decorations by Tora Joenson.

The tree was already decorated. I had no need of more tree decorations, but that wasn’t the point. I needed something to focus on, to unwind a little (in between getting on with everything else), and this hit the spot. Focussing on three stitches of red, one of white, five of red, one of white etc etc helped to steady the chattering of the mind. Even better, was the finishing of one item in a short space of time before switching the brain on to the ‘onwards-and-upwards-no-slacking ‘ frame of mind.

Knitting with a small ball of plain white handspun yarn that had not yet found a project was also satisfying. So, how to remain serene in the face of the gathering speed of Christmas preparations (because one is never prepared despite the fact that Christmas happens at the same time every year): take up the knitting needles!