BUSY Lab: Knitting sweaters with Mary



This week the BUSY Lab connected with LMP quality and safety manager, Mary Fountas to learn a bit about what she does to take a break from the BUSY and shape her personal health and wellness. The theme: Knitting.

“It’s fun to make something yourself, and really doesn’t require a large investment,” says Mary.

But that being said, knitting didn’t become an enjoyed hobby for Mary right off the bat.She was first introduced to the activity by her mom at around 10 years old, and lacking the coordination and maybe a bit of patience it didn’t take. The second time was still as a kid and knitting was a component of a class at school, but again Mary wasn’t able to fully embrace it. Finally, years later and enrolled at the Michener Institute, Mary noticed one of her classmates knitting and after seeing the progress she would make throughout a class – it seemed time to give it another try.

“It looked doable – and I’ve always had the mindset ‘well if they can do it, I can too.’”

So the third time was the charm, and from there it didn’t take long before it became a fun, productive, and economical hobby. Mary points out too that as Canadians we have lots of opportunity to be wearing wool sweaters, and we also have a lot of opportunity to actually knit when we’re stuck inside during those winter months.

“You’re able to feel a little better about staying in and watching T.V.,” says Mary.

The benefits of knitting can really differ depending on the person. For some it may be to relax or to keep occupied, others might use it as a creative outlet and challenge themselves with different designs and patterns, and some might just want save money on a new sweater or toque. Whatever the benefit may be there are certainly lots of reasons to try and pick up the hobby.

Mary says knitting doesn’t even have to be a solo activity. When first starting out, she and a roommate spent the better part of a winter knitting together and watching football.

Mary would knit the lower half of sweaters, and her roommate, who was good at knitting tightly around collars, would do the upper half. Working together they were able to make nine sweaters that year for friends and family.

“It’s really neat to make your own clothes, but it’s just as great to see people wear the clothes you made for them,” says Mary.   *Though it was pointed out that she’s not ready to take on any requests!

For those that may be interested in trying knitting there are tons of great resources to get started. You can take lessons at knitting/wool shops (they also offer some at Toronto’s Public Libraries), there are lots of instructional YouTube videos and there are even online social groups with active communities that share tips, tricks, designs and patterns (Mary suggested ravelry.com).

Mary’s current project is a sweater for her son Michael. And though she’s still in the early stages of it you can see what is going to be an awesome recreation of The Dude’s sweater from the movie the Big Lebowski!



…Though as a true quality manager, Mary pointed out that the weave could be a bit tighter if she were following the quality control procedures perfectly.


What do you do when you need to feel “BUSY”?

                                       What’s that thing you do that makes you happy (“Bliss”),

                                                                                         or helps you relax (“Unwind”),

  or makes you feel like you can take on anything that comes your way (“Strength”)?

                       Mary might put aside time to knit a sweater.  What would YOU do?

The BUSY Lab

Stay tuned for the next time we hear about another LMP staff member’s BUSY activity.  We hope these stories may remind you about your BUSY thing, or even inspire you to try something new!




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