|Feeling inspired by beautiful knitwear ...|
My grandmother was a big knitter. Every autumn she would set to work kitting out the whole family in winter scarves, jumpers and cardigans. She was a fast hand knitter and she loved using her knitting machine too. I can remember sitting on the floor at her knees as she taught me how to knit when I was a little girl. I had my own pair of red child size knitting needles and a small red work box - I still have the work box, though the knitting needles were lost along with childhood. Eventually I got the hang of it but I will never have the same level of knitting skill that my grandmother had and that my mother has too so I can only make quite simple things.
When I was about 10 years old I decided to rebel against knitting by teaching myself how to crochet with the help of a library book. My grandmother couldn't crochet, nor could my mother so I felt like I had something to prove in teaching myself. Once I had acquired the skill I taught my best friend and my mum how to crochet too, passing on the needle craft just as my grandmother had taught me how to knit.
It has been years and years since I indulged in any wool craft; the last thing I made was a baby blanket for my nephew who is now in his mid teens, so it's been a while! Just recently though, as the weather turns colder and the nights grow darker, I have been yearning for the feel of the yarn at my fingertips. I am greatly inspired by the beautiful knitted scarves, snoods and wrist warmers on the Hush website but I don't want to just buy a woolly scarf - I want the pleasure of making one for myself.
I want to enjoy the process of sitting with my feet up before the fire, watching TV and plying the needles and yarn; creating something unique that cannot be bought in the shops. So I drove down to the little wool shop where my Mum and Nan always purchased their knitting supplies. It hasn't changed a bit and stepping inside is still like walking into the very heart of a rainbow with brightly coloured yarns stacked in high shelves right up to the ceiling. I purchased three 100g balls of soft wool in a creamy cappuccino shade, which cost less than a fiver and I started to crochet myself a scarf as soon as I got home. I knew I would need something to occupy me after the dental operation I had on Friday so a crochet project was ideal. I plan to make matching wrist warmers too...and all for less than five pounds!
There was a time when almost all women could knit, sew and crochet etc. It is one of the feminine arts but these days needle craft seems to be a dying art form and there are lots of teens and twenty-somethings who wouldn't know how to handle a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook. It is a shame that such skills seem to be diminishing in modern society. I'm really grateful that my grandmother took the time to teach me how to knit, and that I taught myself to crochet in the spirit of independence. It is a skill you only need to learn once and then you will have it for the rest of your life. In addition you can make something totally unique, at a fraction of the cost of a shop bought mass produced garment and it is such a cosy way to spend an evening, curled up in an armchair, or tucked into bed working the needles, hook and yarn.