Content warning for the following:

  • Living under systemic ableism, and governments being terrible to minorities. Its me, I'm minorities.
  • This assumes you're familiar with knitting terminology, but I've opted not to use abbreviations so that you can at least look up what things mean.

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Government Mandated Knitting

I'm not disabled enough for the Disability Support Pension, so in order to live I get the Jobseeker payment, which needs you to be actively seeking employment (or becoming more employable). As part of my mutual obligations I had to apply to volunteer jobs, and take the first one that accepted me, which lead me to volunteer knitting. I will put my income at risk by quitting, thus the term Government Mandated Knitting is born.

Here I'll document the stuff I make, until writing about them stops being good to me.

Beanie #1

Started: Feb 2023
Finished: Mar 2023
Total Time: ~20 hours
Pattern: Hinagiku hat (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: 1 and a bit balls of 4 Seasons Flinders 8ply Cotton in Ruby

Progress Log

This pattern was a bit of a doozy to start with. The ribbing is done on 3mm needles, which are really painful for me. Once you get past that, every other round has a lot of knit 3 togethers, and juggling between your left and right needle.

Truly one of the decisions of all time. Really slow to work on, but I've picked up speed as I get used to it. About 8 hours in I made a mistake, causing the pretty spiral to become a weird straight line on one side, thanks to an extra stitch that snuck in at one point. But after giving it some time in Yarn Jail before frogging, I went back to work and the rest of the hat went really smoothly. By the end of it, I've really come around on this pattern, and it's not as hard as it felt when I started. I guess I've never done a pattern like this before.


For no reason in particular, I replaced all of the knit 3 togethers with knit 3 together through the back loop. I don't remember why, I honestly think I started doing it as a mistake, and when I noticed just went "whelp, guess I'm doing this now".


I like this pattern. I was very skeptical of how it decreases so quickly on the crown, but it seems to look fine, so I guess it's fine. This is my first successful beanie anyways, so maybe that's just how they are. Next time, I would do the crown on 4.5mm double pointed needles, but I don't own any, so I'm not losing sleep over it. Only a knitter would notice anyways, and it was better than the alternative of going down to 3mm.

Yarn is also nice. Got it on sale, too, but even full price it's slightly cheaper than my usual brand. For "bang for your buck", I recommend it. If you've got the money to support a local business instead, though... maybe not.

I don't at all recommend this for Government Mandated Knitting, at least not before doing a swatch to see how the pattern works up. It was very slow to start with, before I got used to the rhythm, and that was massively demotivating. Making for yourself or a loved one, though, I thoroughly recommend it. It's free besides your time, after all.

Shawl #1

Started: Mar 2023
Pattern: Wavedeck Shawl (free on Knitty) (Ravelry page)
Yarn: Abbey Road Freedom 8ply Cotton in Freckles

Progress Log

After a few false starts with other, more boring shawls, I started this one off eager to go. The garter tab is something I tried once before, so now I properly get how it's supposed to work.

Tiers 1 and 2 were a breeze. Fun to work, colours have been good, aside from the occasional yarn over I forgot to do, no major mistakes. Tier 3, however... Its a lot of stitches, and a lot of room for error. I made a variety of mistakes early on, and some will be living in the final product too. As a result of that, I drew on the charts to make it clear how many times I need to repeat certain parts of the pattern, and after that it's been smooth sailing and (mostly) error free. Its a really enjoyable pattern, and its definitely one I'm going to make more than once.