Happlify: the best shopping guide + blog

You may notice it most of the year in December: we live in a fast-paced, busy society. We expect to be able to keep 1000 balls in the air at once. And then keep smiling. And so you resolve: in 2020 I will relax more often!


"Yes, but how do I do that: slow down and really keep it up?" You may have tried everything: mindfulness, yoga, long baths, floating, and so on. But those moments of relaxation start to kick in around the third week of January.

I have also tried everything to slow down and discovered why I often do not last. Mindfulness for example: I love it when I don't have a lot on my mind. But if it's busy in my head? Then I keep thinking during a mindfulness session: "Great, give me fifteen minutes to properly list what I still have to do. Oh wait, I had to let go of my thoughts…."

Go knit!

Fortunately, I found the solution a few years ago: I learned to knit! And not a boring straight forward scarf made of acrylic (=plastic) with heavy aluminum needles. No: a pattern that I have to read, so that my head stays with it and can't wander off to my to-do list. And working with good quality light needles (available at the better wool (web) stores) and real wool (for example a soft merino): using nice material immediately gives better results, especially if you are still a beginner. If I spend half an hour on a pattern that I have to keep my head up to, and see how something very beautiful appears under my hands, I am fully charged again to finish the rest of my list!

Knitting lessons: offline or online

But where do you start? You can of course take lessons at a local wool shop or knitting studio (if you live near The Hague Scheveningen, you are very welcome at my place). It is nice to be completely focused on learning a new skill together with others every week (relaxation!). There are of course many free videos on YouTube, but sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees (not very relaxed when you find out halfway through a video that the one thing you wanted to know is not clearly visible). Taking online knitting lessons may be something that is more useful to you; you are then assured of clear videos.


Good knitting patterns (also crochet patterns by the way) can be found on Ravelry . Most patterns are in English, but I advise you to get started with that. English-language patterns are much clearer than Dutch-language (more unambiguous in terms of knitting terms). And you avoid using a pattern that turns out to be mistranslated. On Ravelry you can search for patterns for a certain type of wool (useful if you already have wool at home, but don't know what you want to make of it). You can also search by level (from absolute beginner to advanced). If you want to know everything about using Ravelry, watch this video .

Another tip: the Simple Collection from TinCanKnits. Patterns for beginners, with links to explanations. Super handy to learn something new step-by-step!

Sustainable winter wardrobe

I wish you a fantastic 2020 and hope this slow down tip will help you keep it up all year round to slow down enough! An additional advantage: at the end of the year you will have knitted your own sustainable winter wardrobe together, how nice is that!

Mariko Naber
Author - Mirjam Molenbeek
Since September 2017 Mirjam has been doing what she loves best: giving accessible knitting lessons, searching for the finest knitting materials for her webshop and blogging & vlogging about knitting and wool. Because: knitting relaxes, slows down, offers a resting point in our fast-paced society. Doesn't that make everyone happy?! - Mirjammolenbeek.nl

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