I was thinking of a story for Sian this weekend (it’s Story Telling Sunday) and this popped into my mind. When I finished it I didn’t know if it was quite right for her so I made it into a LO instead.
Remember when Jane & I used to knit?
We knit all kinds of things, jumpers, scarves, cardigans, hats, for ourselves and for our husbands.
We started off with big wool and huge needles (Oh how they made our hands ache), so that the garment would knit up quickly and then we progressed to ever more complicated and intricate designs. I used to like a very lacy pattern; the more complex the pattern the better I liked it.
I had a little black & white cat at the time. She used to love to jump in the knitting bag or bat the needles when I was trying to concentrate. This wasn’t too bad really, as she made me laugh and I loved to play with her. That is, until I decided to knit with more than one colour of wool. Do you have any idea just how big a knot a cat can make out of a bag of different colour balls of wool?
Big, huge! Enormous!! And very, very tight; too tight and too knotty to unravel.
Remember Mum teaching me to knit. In, over, under, off. In, over, under, off. In, over, under, off…. Easy to write down and say but Oh so difficult to do once you had forgotten the rhythm or dropped a stitch.
Remember when I used to sit on the floor in front of Mum, back against her legs, arms and hands held out as if showing someone how big something was. With fingers held together she would drop a skein of wool over and she would begin to wind the skein into a ball suitable to knit with.
“Arms up the wool is catching in your hair”
“ Hands out the wool is too loose”
“Turn around and face me, you will be able to concentrate better”
“The quicker I get this done, the quicker you can go”
Remember the smell of the skeins of oiled wool that used to arrive in the post. Mum used to knit beautiful Aran sweaters for us. It was more economical for her to buy the wool in skeins rather than balls, but the smell was very strange and it used to feel funny in my hands, kind of coarse and sticky. Complaining was fruitless.
Remember Mum & Nana knitting socks? And gloves? How on earth they knit on four small double ended needles I never did know.
Remember string vests? And dishcloths? Were they the same thing? Did they become the same thing?
Remember Mum & Nana making a garment between them. Only once did they each contribute to the whole thing because nana knit much tighter than mum! This was discoveredwhen you couldn’t get your arms in the sweater because they were so narrow. Mum & Nana hadn’t compensated for the difference in their knitting because they didn’t do their test or tension squares!
Forever afterwards Nana always knit just the welts and the cuffs and the garments used to fit beautifully.
At Nana’s funeral part of cousin Simons eulogy talked about what Nana was ‘famous for’ one of the things was knitting welts! So many of us grandchildren laughed out loud at the memory.
Remember the very first thing I knit? It was a little yellow vest for Linda my beautiful doll. It took me ages, days, weeks, months even. It’s a good thing she was a doll and didn’t grow! I remember Mum saying that she was sure the little vest was yellow to start with; it was brown now and “how am I ever going to get it clean?”
I wish I didn’t remember some things; Mums Irish tongue could be sharp.
p.s. Now the only thing that flies off my needles are flowers!
The date stamp nd the paper are by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals