In which I attempt to write about my life in stitches
Much like the break in this selection of little memories, I took a long break from knitting for quite some years. I had been busy, producing two small people, who have now grown into substantial older teens. But as they grew a little older, a friend reintroduced me to knitting.
There really seemed to be a big resurgence in the popularity of knitting at that time. Suddenly, a lot of us, people like me who had learned from a relative when young, were picking up the needles and knitting again.
One of my friends had decided to start a knitting group, as “Stitch n’ Bitch” sessions were now all the rage, and I was invited! But it had been so long since I’d made anything, I wasn’t even sure if I could remember what to do. So she lent me a pair of needles (all of mine having decided to disappear in the intervening years/house moves), and gave me a big ball of nice navy blue yarn. So I thought, “well I’ll just knit a scarf, that’s easy”.
I cast on, that wasn’t forgotten! I decided to make a 1 x 1 ribbed scarf. I thought that it was a stitch that would look nice when done, would be reversible and not curl up and it didn’t need a pattern (I had never really bothered much with patterns) and didn’t require much thinking. It went ok. First row done! Second row, yep, knit one, purl one, got that down fine. Keep going. Hmmmm…
My fingers had gone on automatic for several rows already and my brain had obviously shut down in the meantime. This wasn’t a beautiful slinky narrow rib! I realised I had got my knits and purls alternated from the start and had been making moss stitch (that’s seed stitch to US readers). “Ah well”, I thought. It looked nice, it was easy to do, and it was reversible. So it still fulfilled all my requirements! I knit all that yarn until it was nearly done and cast off. My stitches were nice and even and I hadn’t made any mistakes, so I was pleased! It was a small narrow scarf as there wasn’t that much yarn, well for a scarf. But it fit my little son perfectly that winter. So now I remembered that I could actually knit, and not too horribly, I was prepared for knitting group!
We met in a local pub most weeks. I made new friends, all of whom seemed to know loads of knitting things that I didn’t. They talked about Ravelry (a website which looked horribly intimidating and scary to me so I ignored it for a couple more years!), about “yarn” (to me it had always been wool, whatever it was made of), they had beautiful needles, straight wooden ones with gorgeous ends, circular needles (what on earth were those for?!), new magazines and books.
There were yarns from companies I’d never heard of, like Colinette and Noro (wow…you mean to say not everything is made by Sirdar or Robin or Patons?!). They talked about the things they were knitting with pattern names attached to them, names that made the item sound mysterious and interesting, not the kind of utilitarian pattern names I was used to seeing like, “Style 105 Jacket with short or long sleeves in DK”, nope, these designs sounded like people or characters or far away places! “I’m making another Ishbel”, my friend would say, and pull out something that looked like a crumpled mess of holes and stitches bunched up on needles, in beautifully soft yarn. Something that would later turn into an enchanting neat little lace shawl. I really had no idea how on earth that worked!
I had a lot of catching up to do….