I was always a knitter, I come from a long family of knits. I learned to knit when I was 4 years old, it was almost an extension of me. Girl Guide knitting badge was like taking candy off a baby, not of course that I would ever do that!
At university, I used to knit my own clothes. I remember an illicit weekend in Dublin and I was knitting a dress to take with me. Time was against me, I was knitting blue Donegal tweed and silk on a circular needle. I kept knitting until I stepped into the magic circle, and, I thought it covered all the requisite bits. A pair of pink tights, and white ankle boots and I was ready to go! And I am sure I was lovely. Looking back, it was a little on the short side!
For me, when I had children, it was great! Now I got to knit children’s jumpers. There was a brief halcyon moment when I used to design my own jumpers for my twin boys.
And then came the Julius Caesar dagger in the heart moment. Twin one was whispering to twin two. “Can you knit school trousers?” asked twin one. “No, you can’t” I replied. The relief in the voice was tangible as twin one whispered to twin two “she says you can’t, we will be buying them in a proper shop”. Et tu Brute.
So …. That was the end of the knitting, and a heart broken mother.
Fast forward 25 years and twin one marries a girl who not only knits, but spins her own yarn. Result! But talking to the young is a whole different language these days, yarn not wool, cake not ball, (cake – I eat cake!), indie dyers not wool shops, ravelry not patterns in a big folder. This was all a foreign land to me, then my daughter in law took me to Unravelled in 2016.
Unravelled was my epiphany. I had no idea what was going on, mostly, but it was ever so exciting. I walked round and round in a state of confused awakening. I love all these skeins, but what do you do with single skeins? Why does everybody knit shawls, or wraps, or even stranger, haps? What is a hap? How do you know how much wool to buy if you don’t have a pattern book to flip through? Where did all these “young” people come from? They all knit? I came home enthused but emotionally exhausted. I spent hours reading knitting blogs and trying to get to grips with Ravelry. I started buying random amounts of wool, sorry yarn, but no clear idea what to do.
And then Heather contacted me. I had left a comment on this Hookery blog, Heather and Elaine had a conversation about this lady who had posted a comment and how there could be connections. Elaine, realised we had gone to school together and that our fathers had been friends for years and years. And then I was contacted, I was invited to join the girls in their meet up. And …. It all clicked. I had come home again. I could see why folks knitted more shawls and scarves than there were days in the week! Knitting in the round and having cake on the needles was where I was meant to be! I spent a lovely summer with the girls, and set off to our very own Yarnfest at Whitehead in August fully prepared.
This time around, I knew where I was going. I was buying skeins with a purpose. I knew what BFL high twist was, I knew what fingering weight was, I even knew what sport yarn was. And, no it isn’t a jumper you wear when playing cricket!
So, back to my declensions. I knit, I knitted, I will knit. I DO knit! And I look forward to spending time with the girls again, and seeing the eventual completion of Bernard. And, would you believe it? I have even mastered brioche! Yes, this time last year, I thought brioche was a French bread too.