One of our Fenton Knitting Group ladies is celebrating a not so very big birthday today. So last night she decided to get the celebrations started early by bringing along a couple of bottles of fizz to knitting. And very welcome they were too alongside the usual tea and cake. We even managed to find a candle for the Victoria sandwich.
People often ask me when I first started knitting. The answer is that I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t knit. But I can remember learning. It was my Mum who taught me. Mum knitted all the family’s jumpers and cardigans and was never without her needles and wool whenever she got a moment to sit down. I was fascinated by the colour and the patterns of her work and asked her to show me how to knit. I was around seven years old. So that afternoon, just as she had taught me to read, my Mum taught me another life skill that I have continued to enjoy from that moment on. It was a revelation. You could really achieve that much just with two basic stitches? And when you got to the end of the row – no big mystery! Just turn around and start knitting again. Later, Mum taught me to sew, from replacing buttons to full blown dressmaking. By the time I went to secondary school I was making all my own clothes, so, thanks to Mum, I could choose to study ancient Greek at school instead of taking domestic science. The last project we worked on together was my wedding dress. My happy Friday moment came today, unexpectedly, when I was looking through my fabric stash and found a remnant of the cream satin we used. The dress itself is safely packed away in the loft along with my grandmother’s veil, which Mum and I also both wore on our wedding days. The feel of the fabric transports me back to the counter of Dickins and Jones in Regent Street, where we finally tracked down the fabric we wanted. We were both so happy and so relieved. The dress turned out even better than either of us could have imagined. Thanks, Mum, for all those happy memories. x
handmadebysoo is grateful to Mark for finding and sharing the following quotation:
“Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.” – attributed to Dorothy Day
How true this is. For me, knitting has always been an ‘in between’ activity which weaves its way throughout my day. I pick up my needles a few minutes here, a few minutes there. Standing in the kitchen, waiting for a sponge cake to rise, sitting in the car until it’s time to go in to teach, watching a favourite TV programme for an hour, that first sit down after a stressful day, my automatic reaction is always to reach for my knitting. That’s why you will often come across wool and needles tucked away in the oddest of places. Time is so precious and there’s always some knitting to be done.
handmadebysoo will be joining lots of other UKHKA volunteers this Friday at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. We will be teaching visitors to knit or crochet. Why not come along and watch as we create woolly flowers for our PicKnit area?