Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Knitting Saga - not quite an Aga Saga!

I'm really suffering from flu at present and have nobody to talk to so I'm taking it out on my blog!

I mentioned previously that I have a known tendency to start things and not finish them - even if all it takes is to block and make it up. Ladies and gentlemen... this has now changed! On Christmas Day I started knitting a Clapotis in Noro’s Silk Garden (colour 224)... and finished it on the 4th January - yay! I was like a woman possessed, knitting at every opportunity possible with this gorgeous yarn. I found the pattern easy - although I couldn’t for the life of me work out ssk (having a blonde day) so just did k2tog instead. I don’t think it shows on the pattern, although others may argue - I just don’t care... it’s finished!! I found great enthusiasm and encouragement listening to some knitting podcasts, especially Brenda Dayne’s Cast-On - thank you soooo much Brenda, I feel you are a true friend and I don’t even know you!

I taught myself to knit when I was about 7 years old, much to my mother’s amazement: seeing me knitting in very thick, bright orange wool on huge wooden needles (I’m sure in hindsight it was only 5mm needles and aran weight wool but to a wee sprog this seemed huge). Both my mother and grandmother were very prolific craftswomen: knitting, quilting, sewing clothes, weaving, etc, that I know this is where I got my enthusiasm for all things handmade.

Growing up in a liberal and quite bohemian atmosphere with a mother who was keen to generate a replica of The Good Life in west London where we lived, which then expanded to a cottage in Gloucestershire (near the current home of HRH don’t you know!) for weekends. Couldn’t have been easy to do holding down a full-time teaching job, bringing up 4 children, running a household with your mother incumbent and your husband working long hours... phew, makes me feel tired thinking about it! I remember going to bed when I was about 8 or 9 with my mother starting cutting out a pattern for a dress for me and then getting up in the morning to a finished garment - she must have worked until 2am and then got up at 6am to prepare breakfast for us all! I never really appreciated what she did for us, so my way of giving thanks (apart from saying I love you Mamo!) is to be creative myself - damn I thought she had a spinning wheel which is what I’d like to try next, but unfortunately not (The Man wouldn’t agree with me and will be thanking all deities that it doesn’t exist...).

Since the wonderful Clapotis - of which you will no doubt see many versions of this very ‘now’ pattern online (for once, I’m current - yippee) - I have knitted a couple of pairs of really sweet bootees for a friend who’s just had a beautiful baby girl called Alannah - one made from Rowan’s Kid Classic in cream and the other in Rowan’s Cashsoft DK in a coffee colour. Both pairs finished (and stitched into shape) and just waiting for adornment - I thought I’d make some teeny felted flowers using needle felting with maybe a seed bead or two - what do you think?

My dilemma is what next? I’ve started another pair of bootees (all of these are from Zoe Mellor’s book 50 Baby Bootees to Knit) this time some knot bootees using Rowan Kidsilk Haze in cherry - but the needles are tiny and I have to use the yarn doubled and they’re horrid to knit...taking forever. Finished one bootee so I suppose I’d best stick with it and finish the second especially after all’s been said above!

Perhaps then the French Market felted bag from Knitty, or a Clapotis Cap from Needles & Hooks, or socks from Lorna’s Laces Shepherd’s Sock Yarn just waiting in the shadows for me to try my hand at socks...the list goes on (just like my posts - sorry). And I’ve fallen in love with the Eris cardigan from the girl from auntie, but it looks darn complicated for my present state of mind.

Best go and knit - will try not to have verbal diarrhoea next time.... as if!

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