Yey!


Housekeepers I am about to type a sentence I suspect you never thought I would ever type.

I have spent the weekend knitting. Yep. Knitting. Going clickety clack with some pretty red needles and feeling immensely proud of myself and insisting that everybody applaud this huge achievement and worrying ever so slightly that I looked like an old lady every time I sat down and picked up my needles again and feeling absolutely astonished that I could become so thoroughly absorbed in something I have long considered absolutely impossible.

On Saturday morning, Lisa and I set off to take a beginners work-shop in knitting at Knit Wise in Ormskirk. I wasn’t holding out much hope for success. My Darling Mum has shown me how to knit, ooh maybe a hundred times in my lifetime and everytime I have watched, knitted a few rows and declared it impossible. I once even went so far as to take my self to John Lewis and spend many a pretty penny on bamboo needles and gorgeous yarn, only to knit half a garter stitch scarf and promptly abandon it in favour of sitting on my bottom and doing nothing at all.

So there we were, Lisa and I, speedily equipped with a ball of pink yarn and a pair of needles and sent upstairs to learn the mysterious art of casting on with Myra, the owner of Knit Wise and a woman impossibly patient with those of us who can barely fathom something utterly natural to her. There were just three of us trying to learn, me, Lisa and a lovely fellow blogger, Lo from La Folie Emilie who charmed us all with her French accent and frustrated groans as she tried to muddle her way through the bewildering business that is knitting.

And so we began by casting on. Something that befuddled me entirely because I had always cast on by tying the wool around the needle and making a stitch and Myra wanted us to learn the Cable method and I couldn’t find the right stitch everytime and generally fussed and proved myself to be a terrible pupil and Myra was shockingly patient and Lisa laughed a lot and Lo concentrated and a I waffled and before I knew it I was knitting. And to my utter shock purling. And then alternating the two stitches and making pretty patterns and dropping a stitch or two because I was talking too much and showing off a little bit…

I simply couldn’t believe I was knitting. It has been such a long time since I was taught anything scrumptiously new in a workshop setting and I had forgotten how wonderful it feels when something clicks in your head. It was clicking! I was click-clacking past myself. Lisa was deliriously excited as you can see below, and before we knew it we were casting off and signing ourselves up to a pattern reading course in May because patterns may as well be in double dutch, but that too might click right??

And then it was time to go home and Lisa trotted off to look after a husband ailing with man-flu and I delayed going home long enough to do a little shopping and while I was trawling the aisles of W.H.Smith a Cath Kidston knitting tin jumped out at me and the combination of Cath with knitting was too much to resist and before I knew it I was sitting at home casting on 180 stitches to make a Cath Kidston inspired scarf in rather lurid stripes and getting adventurous by throwing in a couple of rows of slip-stitch to this garter stitch pattern and planning on adding a few vintage buttons and avoiding the rather enthusiastic attentions of both Finley and Jimmy the kitten and knitting my way through Britain Has Got Talent and for the first time understanding why an addiction to knitting could become as all consuming as an addiction to crack cocaine…

For tell me this and tell me no more: how is a person to fit in the time-consuming business that is knitting? Will my house go to rack and ruin as I sit and master the art of moss stitch? Will I need to re-mortgage the house to afford all that much coveted yarn? Will my housekeeping readers abandon me in droves as I wax lyrical about my latest obsession?  Will Richard leave me for someone who doesn’t sit around in her dressing gown with a ball of wall flung over her shoulder? I mean really, where will it all end??

Ooops. I got carried away there. Do excuse me, this post is clearly nothing more than the exalted ramblings of a convert.   But readers, I am sooo excited. It feels nothing short of wonderful to finally understand something that has bewildered me always, and I am truly astounded by the almost meditative act of sitting quietly and just knitting…

I’m off to join Ravelry. Happy Monday Gorgeous.x

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15 comments on “Yey!

  1. Happy Knitting Alison!
    I adore that picture at the top of your post…the colours are fantastic! Good luck with your Cath Kidston knitting kit. I bought the crochet one and am not that impressed with the acrylic yarn, it splits too easily. Very fustrating. I must admit that I find 100% wool more forgiving and more satisfying at the end of a project. But CK colours are great 🙂

  2. brocantehome on said:

    OOOh gill, that is the exact problem I have been having: the wool splits! I thought it was just me being inept…

  3. Well…I am speechless! I am presently paying somebody to knit for me! deep shame.What are you knitting?

  4. Well done! It’s a fab feeling to master something that’s always proved impossible! X

  5. I am a knitalohic. I took a class last summer and haven’t been able to put it down since. My best friend and i call ourslves the knitwits. Tell me, are the cute little clippers with the flowers on them (in your instagram life post) handknit? If so, can you tell me where to find the pattern?

  6. Oops, i meant cute little slippers…

  7. Oh, Alison, you have no idea what you have let yourself in for. Alice Starmore and Nancy Bush lurk around the next corner. If you decide to try knitting a project with cables and get your self a cable needle or hook, for the love of God get one of those little elastic loop things that are usually used to hold the temple pieces of eyeglasses, some glass faceted beads and other goodies, some string wire at the bead store and make yourself a pretty necklace that will come down past the middle of your chest, with the loopy thing in the middle of your design. Now when you are finished with using your cable needle for the row, you can just slip it into the loop and it will be securely held. If you don’t make something like this to hold it between use, I will guarantee that it will be constantly slipping down the sides of your chair or between the sofa cushions.
    Also please fix the color combination in the comment boxes. White on light gray is almost impossible to read and thus tell what is typed. I had to open Notepad to type this comment.
    Have fun knitting.

  8. Laura_Elsewhere on said:

    Don't you fret, lovey! Knitting, once you stop needing to spend ages working out just where you were each time you pick it up, becomes something you can just pick up and put down and do for a few minutes and while you watch tv and so on. Honestly, it comes pretty quickly, being able to knit a row without looking at each stitch!

    Ravelry, on the other hand, is completely addictive and sucks the time out of your life like a vampire sucking your lifeblood… but I wouldn't be without it!

    Also, knitting is immensely soothing. Really. It is therapeutic and many of us will head for the knitting in times of trouble to "knit on it for a while" and find suddenly we have made a decision, or worked out what to do, or whatever was needed to soothe our troubled brows.

    And it's so portable, so you can knit on buses, trains, in waiting-rooms…

    And just THINK of the adorable sweaters you can knit for Finn… original designs by you!

    And the cosy socks for padding around the house after a bath… maybe a little duck-egg blue soft cashmere? Pale lilac fluffy angora? Sturdy pure-wool boot-socks in cheerful warming stripes for wearing in winter inside your wellies!
    (Check out New Lanark for the very best, incredibly cheap, lovely Scottish wool online – I use it all the time, even if it is handwash… that just means I get to add a few drops of essential oil and a teaspoon of glycerine to soften the wool and scent it gently in the final rinse – lavender for bedsocks, rosemary for bootsocks, rose for summer lacy socks…)

    Welcome to our world, Alison – you'll be so glad you came in…

    Laura_Elsewhere

  9. Laura_Elsewhere on said:

    Oh, and if you start a Brocante group on Ravelry, please let us know!!

  10. WoodlandGifts on said:

    Oooh! I love knit wise, such a sweet shop. Have you seen some of the wool from lazy kate http://www.etsy.com/shop/lazykate?section_id=10065440 who runs spinning classes there (not the energetic kind though!) Beautiful. 
     
    I am a fairly new knitter and managed to whip up a beautiful shawl using this ravelry pattern.
    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/3s-shawl, it is a lovely simple pattern and you can freestyle with the lacey bits which keeps it interesting. I wear mine lots and am going to make another one with some custom yarn lazy kate has made especially for me! 
     
    Happy knitting! 

  11. BarbaraB on said:

    Congrats Alison! Loved this post and all the photos…..it’s a good addiction.  I can only think that Richard will think you are even more amazing !  My hubby told me the other day as I was knitting..”that is just genius how you weave all those knots together ” .  Watching TV or a movie with husbands as we knit is a little tricky but manageable . Be sure you sit right beside him and always say yes when he asks did you hear that or did you see that  ( this will be asked several times ) . When asked ” did you see that ‘?  Say yes, stop knitting for a few seconds or  a minute and just look at the tv or movie untill you can tell he is not looking at you…then proceed to knit. Trust me, when they ask “did you see that” , they will be watching you until you stop and look up.With some patterns and experience you will be able to knit without hardly ever having to look down at your work – thus impressing them all the more,  Children seem to be more impressed with this one. 
    Happy knitting Alison – can’t wait to see a photo of your scarf ! 
    All things are possible when you own a cat !  – love your blog even more now!

  12. Oh Alison, that’s wonderful! After learning several times as a child I picked knitting back up a few years ao and now can’t stop. I’ve had good luck buying yarn at a local craft supply shop that seems to get all the discontinued ends at a decent price. I really recommend knitpicks.com too for good quality wool and cotton at a reasonable price. I don’t know what shipping would be to the UK though. It’s always been very reasonable to Canada, surprisingly so actually. As for time? The other posters are right, it’s something you can pick up and put down. I love to knit while watching TV with my husband. I live in a larger city and take transit, and knit on the bus and train. I knit while waiting at the doctors office. I even take my knitting to concerts, which occasionally leads to some amusement as I produce most of a sock in the span of the evening. The portability is useful.

  13. I’m so glad you’ve learned! I love knitting. I learned so that I could knit my own sweaters. Then fell in love with knitting socks. I adore knitting socks.