We recently had a chat with Julia from @stylonylon, a lovely freelance journalist turned blogger, living in the Scottish Highlands. Julia is a knitter, and makes many of her own jumpers. We were keen to ask her more about her knitting process, and hear her thoughts on a slower way of living. Julia also tried some of the pieces from our AW20 collection, and styles them beautifully with items from her existing wardrobe.
Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I'm half-Scottish half Italian, born in England, and grew up in Copenhagen and Edinburgh — so quite a mix! My parents travelled all over for work and I was lucky enough to join them in many places as a teenager from Mumbai to Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro! After living in London since my early twenties, my family and I (we have a nature-obsessed eight-year-old boy!) have made an exciting move to the Highlands for all the fresh air and gorgeous green space.
When did you start knitting?
My Scottish granny taught me when I was little (my Italian Nonna taught me to crochet!) and I made simple things like scarves for ages. In my twenties I took a sock knitting class at Loop London and knitted socks during my lunch break at work every day! When lockdown began, I got my needles out and thought I would try something different and was thrilled to find knitting jumpers wasn't as hard as it looked — and now I just can't stop! My Christmas wool haul has just arrived and everyone is getting something, from jumpers and hot water bottles to hats and socks! I had better get started...
How does making with your hands make you feel?
I find the process of knitting incredibly therapeutic and it really helps me feel calm and deal with any anxieties I have. I like just letting my mind wander while I knit and it seems to magically turn over and solve any niggling problems, from the more practical, to the deeper kind. I also use it to switch off completely and lose myself in audiobooks — anything from science fiction to black British history at the moment.
What have you been doing to live more thoughtfully over the past few months?
During the first lockdown I realised that I didn't need to be moving at such a frenetic pace for work, and that has also been part of our move up here. I'm trying to take extra care of my health at the moment, and moving at a slower, more considered pace is something I aim for. This is not always achieved – I tend to buzz at quite a high frequency! – but slowing down and taking time to absorb and watch the seasons has been something that has materialised in a very positive way for me this year, and I find it incredibly healing at all levels.
Pausing to sniff the breeze and take in the changing colours of nature makes me feel more grounded and connected to my environment. I think I've been rushing on by so quickly for so many years now the time has come to take it a little easier in a more relaxed way!