pic

pic

Monday, 11 March 2013

Getting Down to the Knitty Gritty..


I've always been rubbish at sewing and knitting. As in really, really  bad, totally dreadful, worst in the class. I think that I'm missing that gene- my Granny could  'run up ' a pair of curtains in an afternoon and always had her bag of knitting at hand. I think she despaired of me, and, on reflection, it's really quite possible she quietly blamed my mum who isn't exactly gifted in that area herself.

My first memories of struggling were aged about eight or nine in primary school. Last thing on Thursday afternoons, the boys did football - we could see them playing outside in the playground-whilst we learned how to knit. (Clearly it was important to get those gender roles entrenched good and early!)

We'd done the whole 'in the wee bunny hole, round the big tree...' thing for a good bit, and while I'd noticed that my knitting was a bit straggly and grubby looking compared to the perfect neat rows around me, it was only when the others graduated to gloves (using plain  AND purl stitch in multicoloured wools), and I was instructed to make a plain stitch sorry looking teddy bear with a square head, that I realized I was 'special'. Luckily for me, my mate Aislinn was a knitting prodigy, and she patiently picked up my dropped stitches, showing me how to 'cast on' when the teacher turned her back.

Things didn't improve in Home Economics class in secondary school. Rows of my untidy sewing had to be ripped out over and over,  and once after an entire afternoon working on my 'dress' ( a shapeless blue bag with a hole for the head,  I stood up to go and realized I'd sewed the stupid thing to my school skirt.
The following year brought the thrill of making a babydoll nightie with  matching knickers, (Inappropriate, anyone?), but unfortunately the knicker elastic was so tight, that the one time I wore it my legs gradually turned purple as they cut the circulation off.

Sewing machines were hellish too- I just couldn't seem to work out the complexities of threading it, or the  bobbin's purpose, and yet again friends stepped in to help when the HE teacher turned her back. I remember one time she stubbornly refused to disappear into the sewing room for a sneaky fag, so in desperation I had to thread it myself, but when I eventually put my foot on the accelerator, ( or whatever it's called). amidst all the gentle whirring around me, my machine up started up like a tractor. Unsurprisingly, after that little episode, she lost it a bit and told me I was senile.

Needless to say, I dropped the hideous subject as soon as I could, and apart from the unavoidable necessities of replacing buttons and hemming school trousers, I haven't lifted a needle of any type since......until now. It's taken me almost 30 years but my scars have healed and I think I'm ready to dip my toe in again. Several friends have often told me how relaxing knitting is, others swear by it as a weight loss aid (apparently it keeps greedy hands out of the biscuit barrel!), and then when I read that Julia Roberts whips out her knitting between film takes I thought, 'well, if its good enough for Erin Brockovitch, its good enough for me!'

So I did a bit of searching online and found me a starter kit by Cath Kidston. Check it out, laydees- never mind the gorgeous wool inside- I fell in love with the 'fake book' tin! No manky old plastic bags down the back of the sofa for my knitting, thanks very much! And mark my words, before 2013 is out yours truly will not only be *ambistitcherous*, but I'll also be sporting  my very own Cath Kidson scarf! (Yes, I know it's ages but I'm giving myself PLENTY of time!)


(* ambistitcherous-Check me out getting the lingo down already! And no, I didn't make it up-it actually means being able to knit in two different styles....dontcha just love it!)



I've joined up with Sarah Miles at Hello Wall today-go on over and take a peek at the rest! 

themondayclub



13 comments:

  1. Lol Emma, I laughed (somewhat ruefully) all through this post!

    I can knit, sort of ... Ok, I can knit scarfs, never managed to master the art of going round corners oh, and they come complete with knitting needles as I don't know how to cast off.

    I'm expecting a tutorial from you VERY soon ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're a maestro compared to me then! I haven't started yet...but I will! Maybe tomorrow. You gave me a giggle about the tutorial- as if!

      Delete
  2. I have a bunch of my Nan's knitting needles stuck in the drawer...maybe i should give it a go? So long as it's plain and one long piece of knitting.....actually, i don't think i remember how to even cast on!

    Good luck, i expect to see you heading up the craft blogs any day now...xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go on, we'll do it together! But you can do the crafty blog... Sure you've 3 blogs already, what's one more between friends??

      Delete
  3. My school sewing & knitting experience was just like yours; not a notion of what to do, or why I was centuries behind everyone else. The trauma has never left.
    I'm really looking forward to seeing how you get on. Maybe you could spur me on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just stays with you doesn't it. As for spurring you on, I'm afraid I'm much more likely to put you off!

      Delete
  4. Totally Love knitting but don't get anything made quick enough that why I love my sewing machine!! I've resorted to knitting dishcloths.. Quick And useful and u don't get cold waiting for it to be knitted up in the middle of winter., like the cardigan I've been knitting for 4 yrs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've a knitting machine! I.am.in.awe.

      Delete
  5. I'm still laughing at your post especially the entirely inappropriate school projects! Being a learning support teacher, I've pretty much diagnosed myself as dyspraxic - memories of hopeless stitching and matted knitting still fresh in my memory and I haven't yet had any aspirations to try again. However, I wish I could work out the sewing machine I would love to be able to make curtains, tablecloths etc. but instead I have a huge basket of beautiful fabrics languishing away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hearing ya Mama, I'm hearing ya!

      Delete
  6. HAHA! Oh gosh I cannot sew or knit either. Although funnily enough I too am considering taking one or both up! I need a starter kit too...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way!! Great minds and all that...maybe I should wait and we'll do it together!

      Delete