Knitting

So, knitting.  That’s for old ladies, right?  Yup.  That’s what I thought.  I’m not sure what made me change my mind – I wanted to make something wearable in yarn, and I didn’t fancy crocheting a lace quilt.  Or I saw a yarn that didn’t lend itself to crochet.  Something like that.  Or perhaps I just saw a picture or pattern and thought “I could do that”.  Whatever it was, I did what any sensible woman would do.  In summer 2010, I bought myself a complete set of knitting needles and got on with it.


What was the first thing I knitted?  Um, a big chunky Rowan jumper…. which was nice and easy because it’s made from Rowan drift wool, knitted on no. 10 needles, and only in two parts.

The two parts part is important: I have a very limited tolerance for repeating stuff I’ve just done.  If I knit a front, I can just about convince myself to knit a back, because it’s a bit different.  But *two* sleeves?  Seriously??? Who needs two sleeves?!

Then I bought an Amy Butler pattern book, and attempted to knit a pair of lacy legwarmers.  Well that, frankly, was a stupidly over-ambitious second choice, and I ended up passing them over to Penny with my very hearty, warm blessings.

But I *did* buy myself some lovely, pink cashmere.  Beautiful, snuggly yarn.  But ohmygod it’s thin!  And from that I knitted a wrapover cardigan from the Amy Butler book. And it’s lovely, but I didn’t take any photos, so you’ll have to take my word for it!  Two fronts, a back, two sleeves and a couple of ties – all knocked up in about a couple of weeks.  It’s obsessive, this knitting malarkey, I’m telling you!

And then I got stupidly overambitious, and decided to learn cable.  Actually, it wasn’t cable that’s the problem. Cable is simple, and totally addictive.  It’s the fact that the cable pattern I chose to break my teeth on was written as a chart.  It was, in fact, this pattern.  Which I started to knit over Christmas 2010.  It’s not a simple cable.  It’s not even a complex cable.  It’s three different complex cables, interwoven very tightly in three different stitches, over the surface of quite a small jumper.  It was a recipe for disaster, and in fact the part of it I did (one front) was later cut up and added to my son’s jumper quilt


 If there’s one thing I’m really not very good at, it’s admitting defeat.  Next, I bought Jane Brocket’s book, The Gentle Art of Knitting.  Which was a rather inspired choice.  So I visited Texere yarns, and found myself buying the yarn to make a cabled blanket.  Which flew together – again, chunky yarn, size 10 needles, and two days later I had a lovely white blanket. 

 Which now sits on the sofa in my snug, and is well used by me and the children on a regular basis for snuggling, cuddles, birdwatching and long, lazy mornings!

Well, that was it.  I was converted to cabling.  Next was a lovely, bright pink cabled cushion cover for my office, but again – at the time of writing – there’s no picture.

Next, I saw a beautiful scarf in a local boutique.  It was very striking, but £150.  So, getting a little uppity, I decided to make one for myself.  I took the label’s brochure, and fettled out the left over cashmere from my Amy Butler wrapover cardigan.

This took quite a bit of time, and was therefore interwoven with other projects.  And it took quite a bit more yarn than just my leftovers, but it did eventually turn into a lovely, snuggly wrap which uses 3 different contrasting stitches, and mostly spends its life wrapped around my handbag handle, in case I need it.

 There’s a queue of things I want to make in the Jane Brockett book.  It really is a fabulous book.  But the next on the list, to use up some fabulous silk yarn I found – of course – at the Festival of Quilts 2011, was this fabulous beehive beanie hat.  I have to admit, I’m not really a hat person.  But I *am* a commuter and on cold winter mornings I’ll be pleased for this…

Which brings us right back to the point that knitting is pretty much for old ladies, right?!