Hello and welcome back to the blog! Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I am a huge fan of European culture, and the concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-guh or hue-gah for those who are wondering) is something that I absolutely love. Hygge is a Scandinavian concept which means "cosiness." It focuses on finding the perfect environment for comfort and serenity and is quite similar to mindfulness, although it is a little more sociable and does not involve any specific exercises or tasks. Think of Christmas, when you are sat with loved ones enjoying quality time, perhaps with candles, hearty food or a warm blanket; this is the perfect example of hygge, and people in countries such as Denmark and Norway will try and have moments like this as often as they can. Personally, I think it links really well to crochet as craft is often associated with warmth and can be easily done both alone and with others. Today, we will look at a few of the key aspects of hygge and how this can link to crafting.
Whilst you don't want to be in the dark, I personally believe that low lighting is much more serene. You may want to use scented candles or possibly a fireplace, though if you do, please make sure that you keep your yarn well away from the fire! If that sounds a little too risky, it may be better to install some less bright lights instead. In this weather, you could even knit outside in the evening - there is often a stereotype that hygge is only for the winter but the sunsets and warmth of summer can also be incredibly good for hygge too.
Your Hygge Space
Your hygge space is very important. Often, hygge will be done in a small area of the house (called a hyggekrog) containing many cushions, blankets and a variety of comforting textures. It doesn't matter exactly where this is - it could be near a window, by the TV or even in the kitchen - so long as it is comfortable to sit in. As mentioned earlier, if you have a fireplace, that's a bonus, and wooden furniture is also very popular for hygge but it's totally up to you - whatever makes you feel calm and cosy.
Food and Drink
Hygge is all about comfort and this includes comfort food. For many Scandinavian people, this will be native food, such as Danish smørrebrød (open-faced rye sandwiches) or Swedish meatballs but hygge food is any sort of treat, so long as it isn't too fancy. For example, a slice of cake or a bar of chocolate can be incredibly soothing. When it comes to savoury options, try something warm and rich, such as stew with homemade bread. Pair that with a coffee, tea or hot chocolate for ultimate hygge.
It is up to you as to whether to be hygge by yourself or with others. Often, hygge is done with just a few others such as immediate family and friends, meaning that it could be good to do with people in your household during lockdown. However, unity and equality are key aspects of hygge, so it's important to share tasks and ensure that no one person dominates the conversation. And whatever you do, don't take your "hygge" time as time to talk about Brexit or Coronavirus!
Your Crochet Project
Knitting and crochet can both be hygge; however, the reason why I think that crochet is a little more hygge is because crochet is often bulkier, meaning that it is incredibly warm and comforting. Personally, I think that when it comes to choosing a hygge project, chunkier is better; any super chunky yarn such as "Creative Smile, " "Lazy Days" and "Stylecraft Special XL" or anything soft is perfect. As for what to make, I have been looking at hygge crafts on Pinterest and some of the main suggestions are blankets, cardigans and wide scarves, though making socks and hats can also be pretty hygge. In order for it to be hygge, you will probably want to pick something relatively simple and familiar to avoid any frustration from mistakes. There are even some knitting and crochet pattern books specifically for hygge projects - here are just a few examples.
That's all from me for now. Next time, I will be rounding off by looking at both knitting and crochet and decide which is better once and for all. Until then, happy crafting!
My name is Sharon the Sheep, the owner of Avicraft Wool Shop in Bromley Kent..