I was emailing my cousin yesterday, discussing knitting, and I described to her how our Grandmother taught me how to knit. As this is a knitting (and sewing. and baking) blog, i thought that it may be of use or interest to the wider world how i got started on my woolly adventures.
Now, Gran had already taught me to knit once before, when i was about 9 or 10. I learnt how to do a basic knit and created the ugliest, wobbliest “scarf” ever seen. It took me about four years to do four feet of ugly knitting and it was then discarded in favour of other things (MTV! Boys! More Boys!) and i promptly forgot how to knit entirely.
When I was 28 I decided to take it up again – i think i’ve explained that earlier on, but not gone into the true horrors of Gran teaching me to knit. Now, she is my Gran, and I love her, but she is not a tactful lady. I phoned her when I’d failed my driving test for the second time and her response was: “oh, you’ll have lost your dignity then!” which wasn’t much of a comfort then, but is something I tell my friends and we all fall about laughing over. Hey ho. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes…
The Knitting Lesson
Gran always seems to have knitting needles lying about in her back room and i stumbled across them one afternoon when i was visiting her. I had been harbouring strange thoughts about making a blanket before I started my new job, sort of a way to be fantasticly creative and use up the hours i would otherwise waste on facebook. I momentarily forgot who i was with and thought that she would kindly and patiently indulge my nascent interest in knitting. So i asked:
Me: Gran, could you show me how to knit?
Gran: ok. will you listen?
Me: of course!
Gran: <magics up knitting needles and wool from her cardigan sleeve> right. have the needles.
Me: <fumbles slighlty>
Gran: put your needles there. No, there. No. Are you left handed? Well stop that. Ok. put your needles in each hand. Get the wool. No, just one needle. One hand. Get the wool. Loop this over that under here and then start stitching. ok?
Me: like…loop this and…
Gran: No. loop THIS over THAT. No. THAT. THAT. <mutters about lefthandedness>. Right. THAT now goes under that. UNDER that. THAT. And then under. Then <performs elaborate wrist twist> just do that and start knitting.
Me: Ok. So loop THIS over…um…
Gran: KNITTING. start knitting. No, you loop THIS OVER that. THAT. And… just give it here.
<furious clacking of needles followed. i went to make another cup of tea>
You haven’t missed anything by not seeing pictures. it really was as unfathomable as that. I searched youtube for knitting tutorials and bought a “how to knit” book instead.
Now, I know that I last blogged about the crochet knitmare. I have to confess that that wasn’t the first time I strayed over to the single hinderstick craft. No, when I was pregnant with t’baybeh, I stayed at my Gran’s overnight as I had a meeting not too far from her house the next day. She greeted at the door with the usual tact and discretion (“in that coat, nobody would ever know there was anything wrong with you!” i told her that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I was 8 months pregnant. She ignored that…)
Anyway, after a cup of tea and some discussion over the weather, I noticed she had been crocheting. A dark thought, an evil, dark thought rushed into my mind. Perhaps Gran could teach me how to crochet?
Me: Gran, could you teach me to crochet?
Gran: <sigh> ok. here’s the needle. No, put it in the…just hold… I’ll hold it.
Me: <sudden memory of knitting lesson. Regrets asking> okaaaaay…
Gran: so you get the wool, you hold it, twist it, under over twist and then it’s a stitch.
Gran: you holdtwistunderovertwist. See?
Me: I think I missed the first bit
Gran: <too busy crocheting to listen> and when you get to the corner, you just pickuptwistunderovertwist. See?
Me: <strokes blanket that gran has crocheted in approx .85 seconds> that’s a nice blanket
Gran: it’s mine. Did you get the crochet?
Me: ok. so I hold the needle here
Me: and then take the wool, place it over this, and twist it and then…
Me: I think I’ll stick to knitting
Gran: yes. Did I tell you about Isa next door?
And that, dear readers, is how i got started on knitting. But not crocheting. Never crocheting.