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
Sitting at mother’s knee, fumbling with plastic needles
Garter stitch. Mother cast-on and cast-off.
A few dropped stitches. But finally producing
Never used for holding pots,
It sat proudly in the kitchen for years.
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.
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.
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.
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.