Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So Rock and Roll

I love knitting. I’ve learned to knit many times over the years. I was probably six or seven the first time and every time I want to do it again, I have to relearn. I’m clearly a bit dim when it comes to knitting.

I can’t remember if my Granny or Vera was my first knitting tutor. I think Granny’s speciality was crocheting so it was probably Vera. Vera lived in the village; she and her husband had lots of feral cats and no children. They had a cat called Winky, which was the euphemism our Mum used for front bottoms; I was a bit shocked by this.

There was no pattern Vera couldn’t knit. I remember her knitting tiny intricate Fair Isle patterns – and I was already in love with Tristan Farnon of All Creatures Great and Small who wore Fair Isle jumpers - I so hoped one day to have a husband who wore Fair Isle jumpers. (I grew out of that.) And she did that magic thing that several of my knitting teachers have done… she didn’t look at her knitting while she did it: she watched TV. To this day, I can’t take my eyes of my growing knots knits.

Vera used to hand knit jumpers for shops in London. She’d get about £2.50 per jumper and the shop would sell them for £80. I can remember being outraged on her behalf.

Although I was okay at knitting straight lines: the first successful project I remember was a Tom Baker Dr Who-like scarf for my brother, and actually the lines weren’t that straight but it was really long. Thinking about it, it might have been my only successful project until recent years. Success has to be measured by completion and not by the recipient wearing/using it. In my gap year, I tried to knit a jumper but it was abandoned half way down the second side. Thank god; frankly, it was hideous.

Having not knitted for years, I had to learn to knit all over again for a project I did at art school. I had to learn to increase and decrease stitches for a project on personal identity. This time my knitting teacher was my lovely mother in law.

I shall leave you with two knitted Jennies from my foundation course. Tomorrow, I’ll try to come to the point on why I started knitting stories.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm moving to Bangkok soon. Currently living in Phuket. I'm from Singapore. My two children aged 12 and 14 are looking for International School in Bangkok. They attended British School in Phuket. Thought it is better for them to continue with the British education and French. But we find out the fees are very high. We are planning to stay around Sathorn area near my husband's office. We need more informations on the International School and is it better to look for a school that is nearer to our home? Pls email to serline@hotmail.com. Thks alot!

JJ Beattie said...

Hi there Anon, I'm emailing you now...

Carol and Chris said...

I've just recently re-learned to knit and I loved it!!! I was inspired when I went to a craft fair with my Mum....you can now do (please don't laugh) extreme knitting!! (No, it's not knitting whilst zooming down a mountain on your ironing board before you ask!!). You use about 10 balls of wool at the same time on huge big knitting needles...Chris has said that he will treat me to a set once all our money is sorted out :-) (Guess what everyone will be getting for Christmas and Birthday's this year!!)

C x

JJ Beattie said...

Carol, I've seen that. They're great, aren't they? It started in fine art/textiles.

Juliette M said...

I was going to marry Tristan when I was about 9...

Do you know what's happening to the NovelRace? Why is it being reviewed? I have been hugely lax of late at blogging so I am worried I am going to be asked to leave...

Thanks J x

JJ Beattie said...

Juliette, who says it's being reviewed?

Debs said...

How clever. I bought some wool and knitting needles when my sister announced she was pregnant with her first child. I started knitting frantically...never finished.

Mind you, she's 22 now, so I doubt it would fit anyway.

Lane said...

I have never been able to knit. I can crochet in straight lines and am still doing an enormous blanket which may be finished circa 2020:-)

Love your knitted Jennies!

HelenMHunt said...

The stripy jennie is very cool!

JJ Beattie said...

Debs, oh dear. Yes, that's nearly the kind of knitter I am too.

Lane, ah, I've tried to learn to crochet several times with MiL, but I can't work out which hole to put the hook into... actually I can't see where the holes are!

Helen, thank you.