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
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.