It seems a long time …


I had been doing an on-line survey (I do quite a few) and one of the questions was to do with hobbies. The question asked which was my favourite hobby at the present time. It then expanded on that question into “why, when, where, how long” and a few other questions, which I cannot remember. It got me thinking though, that I have never really taken the time to write down the why, when, where, how long. So here goes.

Its going a long way back to when I was about 7 years old, around 1962/1963. We used to go to my maternal grandmothers regularly and althoughFamous Five there was quite a lot for us youngsters to play with, I often got bored. I suppose it may have been due to the fact that I was the oldest and I possibly thought that I was above these childish games my other brothers were playing. There were always books to read. Mostly by Enid Blyton, but at 7 years old ‘Famous Five’ and ‘Secret Seven’ books were a little too advanced for me yet.

I became fascinated by the way my grandmother could turn a ball of ‘wool’ into a Needles and yarnjumper, a cardigan, a scarf and even a pair of socks! All done with what looked like a couple of sticks. She would sit there, by the fire “click-clacking” away, often without even looking at what she was doing. Only stopping to take another drink from her cup of tea (didn’t do coffee in those days) or to light another cigarette. I have to say, she was also an excellent seamstress and embroiderer. But it was the knitting that held my attention most, and one day I asked if she could show me how to knit. That’s when it started. She cast on 20 stitches for me and showed me the basic knit stitch. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I got there in the end.

It then became the job of my mother, to show me more. Mum showed me how to cast on and cast off, how to increase and decrease and, most importantly, how to do the purl stitch. I then began to pick up a lot of the other stitch types that I use today.

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By 1965, I was knitting quite advanced stuff for my age. My parents were foster carers, and took on new born babies that were being put up for adoption. Not to get into too finer detail, many of these babies were to unmarried mothers. Quite often they were under 16 and a great deal were from poorer family background. So often the children came with whatever clothes had been donated to the hospital. So between me and my mum, we took on the task of knitting clothes for these kids. My first efforts were simple mittens and bootees, but I quickly graduated in to knitting hats/bonnets. Within a few weeks, I was tackling cardigans and, what used to be called romper suits.

This new found hobby carried on for a few years, although it was never mentioned outside the house. I cannot imagine what my schoolmates would have thought/said about my hobby. I drifted out of it when I started work, for no particular reason really but got back into it a little when I met my wife. It lasted a couple of years (the knitting that is) and again it fell out of favour.

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It then took about 35 years before I picked up the needles again. I saw in a magazine, a picture of some daffodils that had been knitted by someone. They looked really impressive and I thought I would give it a go again. I still hadSo far so good all my needles and bits and pieces and was only short of the yarn. I bought some cheap acrylic double knit, in yellow and white from the Pound shop and got going. It took a couple of attempts and restarts to get the first one done, but I soon had a bright yellow daffodil. I was hooked again. More flowers followed, then headbands before moving on to beanie hats.

Now that the eldest and his partner are having a child, I’m back to knitting my favourite, baby stuff again. It’s come full circle and I’m feeling the love once again. Only issue now, is that my ‘stash’ as it is called, does not have yarn that is right for baby clothes!

Nightmare …


Quite often, when I’m knitting from a pattern in a magazine I find I get lost when there are the famous “ ** xxx  *** “ closely followed by “ rep from ** to *** ” repeats in the middle of a row. In those cases, what I tend do WIPis to hand write the pattern repeat and use that when it is needed. My current ‘project’ has a 36 row pattern. Each right side row has a 12 stitch start followed by an 8 stitch pattern repeated 8 times. So I did as I often do and wrote out the repeat. Now this is where I made a mistake! For some reason, when writing out, I missed a yarn over after a decrease on row 13. This meant of course, that when I got to the end of the row, I was 8 stitches short. Bearing in mind that this was the second attempt at this pattern (first time, I dropped a stitch, which ran to the bottom before I could pick it up), you can well imagine the sort of language that was about.

However, after an hour of carefully picking back, I have finally got it back to the place where I went wrong. I am now able to breath again! I didn’t want to rip it all back and start again.

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While on the knitting theme, after some gentle persuasion in the comments of my last post, I decided to have a look at the other three groups. But, to no avail! The first group I tried explained that because of the size of the place where they hold their meetings, the number of members was limited. They did say that they would be happy to put me on a waiting list, so that’s good. The second group was basically a crafting group that had a (very) few knitters, but I was welcome to come along and try out. The third one was a strange affair. Membership was by referral from another member of the group, or at the discretion of the chair. I was waiting for her to say that she would use her ‘discretion’ but it never happened. At least I’m on a waiting list Eye rolling smile.

*** Update***

Guess what! When I recounted the stitches at the end of picking the work back, I find I now have 4 extra stitches that seem to have picked up somewhere. I can’t for the life of me see where they have come from, so there is very little alternative but to pull it all out and start againSteaming mad Crying face

Daily Prompt: Knitting disaster …


My attempt to increase my skill level with double pointed needles (DPNs) has been somewhat thwarted today. I have been knitting a beanie hat on circular needles with the full knowledge that I would eventually Beaniehave to revert to DPNs as the number of stitches decreased. It was to be an important learning curve as I’ve never quite cracked the skill. Today was a large set back in that attempt, and this is what happened.

It became apparent, that I would soon need to add in a new ball of yarn. Like I had been told, I decided that the beginning of round 1 of the 8 round pattern was the place to start. New ball joined and tails woven in as I went along, when I noticed Disaster number 1. I had somehow made an error in the pattern. I traced it back to about 12 stitches from the start of the round. Not to worry, I’ll take it back. I was just about to start when the phone went. Disaster number 2 came as I stood up. My foot caught in some loose yarn and it pulled about 20 stitches off the needle. Shouldn’t be a problem I thought and dropped the lot on the floor, so as not to make things worse. I answered the phone as quickly as I could and went back to my knitting. Disaster number 3 reared its ugly head as I bent to pick the work up. I accidentally stepped on the needle and it snapped (bamboo needles) and more stitches fell off only this time unravelling parts of the last three rounds.

The broken needle is in the bin, the yarn rewound and back in the stash cupboard and the pattern moved to “Try again” folder on my computer.

Mrs H is going to be devastated when she notices. She hates it when I pull any knitting out.