Wednesday, 21 March 2007
The purpose of this blog is to document a journey. To do this I need to describe where I am now - at the start of that journey.
Knitting has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember - I was brought up in an extended family of knitters. I know that I could knit before I went to school but I can't remember whether I was taught by my grandmother, my father or my mother. I expect it was a combination of all three. I have a mental image of myself as a small child persuing whichever adult was within striking distance clutching a dog eared piece of knitting, containing some clearly insurmountable fibry tragedy which they would miraculously set straight in a matter of seconds and set me on my way.
I remember the first thing I ever finished - a garter stitch scarf in red and beige stripes that I made for my father which he wore for many years on his motorcycle ride to work. I can still recall him coming into the house, bringing the smell of cold air with him, taking off his crash helmet and unwinding his scarf.
My knitting career wove itself quietly through my childhood, mainly consumed with learning the tricks of the trade from dolls clothes patterns from back copies of the Woman's Weekly and scraps of yarn left over from my mother and grandmother's projects.
My teenage years saw knitting overtaken by the usual preoccupations until a pattern for a mohair jumper in Jackie Magazine rekindled my enthusiasm. Several mohair items followed in quick succession. Some were more successful than others. The white mohair covered in appliqued cherries made me look like a baked alaska. Even for the 80s this was a peculiarly unpleasant garment.
Through my twenties there was always a bit of knitting on the go - lots of intricate summer cotton tops and fine guage patterns. Money was tight but it was still the era of the local wool shop where they would lay the wool by for you so that it could be bought a ball at a time as finances allowed.
My thirties saw many of my friends and family starting to have families so the knitting was about babies, love and friendship. When my sister told me that she was pregnant with my nephew my first thought was to get the needles out and produce her three cardigans in increasing sizes in bright primary colours as her first baby gift. We had a bit of a cry. She still recalls that when she woke up on the day after he was born, overawed by the prospect of motherhood the first thing that she saw was me, sitting on the end of her bed knitting and felt that all was well with the world.
The last few years have been much more about me as a knitting craftswoman. Up until recently I have been a technically competent but fairly limited knitter who could follow a pattern but beyond that had little comprehension of the craft in its fullest sense. Thanks to the development of online resources and communities, knitting groups and courses I have been able to develop in ways I had no idea of hithertoo. As with all things, the more one learns, the more one realises what there is to learn. This lengthy preamble is about setting the scene. This blog is part of my attempt to document my journey from proficiency to creativity in the fullest sense of the word.