30 Poems: Day Nineteen


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I am a knitter. Have been since I was a child; almost entirely self-taught. It is more than a hobby: it’s a passion. And the social history around various crafts fascinates me. For instance, aran patterns (those cabled, twisted, usually cream coloured sweaters), contained symbols of various families, so that if a fisherman were lost at sea, his sweater (which would survive due to the high lanolin content), would help to identify him.

Knitting for my children, I have always had that feeling of putting love in every stitch. Sometimes when I am stressed, knitting works better than a valium.

I hope I will always be able to knit, in some form or other.

SLIP ONE, KNIT ONE, PASS SLIPPED STITCH OVER

1.

Sitting at mother’s knee, fumbling with plastic needles

Garter stitch. Mother cast-on and cast-off.

A few dropped stitches. But finally producing

A pot-holder.

Never used for holding pots,

It sat proudly in the kitchen for years.

 

2.

Sitting alone in her room, listening to Slade.

Tackling her first sweater. Stocking stitch.

Mother did the ribbing.

Pink angora, to match her new skirt.

Didn’t quite fit properly, but worn nonetheless

Once the tears subsided.

 

3.

Sitting in the living room, feeling exhausted.

Needles propped on pregnant belly.

Complex lace pattern in lemon yellow.

Every baby needs a matinee jacket,

with love in every stitch.

She never did finish it. Went into labour that night.

 

4.

Sitting in the coffee shop, post divorce.

Detailed intarsia work on a jacket.

Rosewood needles and bamboo yarn.

Sipping latte. Knitting can be sexy!

Finished that piece and wore it on a date.

 

5.

Sitting in the sun-room, slightly confused.

Is she staying here tonight? Where’s her room?

Must keep knitting. But who for again?

Slipped a stitch! Damn arthritic hands.

Plastic needles. Cheap acrylic yarn.

Back to garter stitch.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “30 Poems: Day Nineteen

  1. Nice series. Let me look up ‘intarsia’ – ah of course: technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. I’m impressed that you resisted the temptation to make this 5 separate entries. Could have seen you through to middle of next week. Well done.

  2. Knitting, it goes with one through life. For me it’s crochet, I make rugs to help keep us all warm and cherished. My grandmother taught me, and every rug reminds me of her and the bond we had.

  3. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with
    my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thank you

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