Over the end of year festivities, I had time to do a bit of creative work that didn’t include writing. Instead, I undertook an adventure in knitting.
I was a tiny three year old when my mother gave me a pair of knitting needles, a ball of wool and spent the next several years teaching me to knit. It took patience on her part because, like all kids, I wanted to do it instantly and it’s not quite that easy. I knit European style with long needles, one trapped under the right arm and the other loose to do all the movement. When you finally get the knack it’s fast and easy. My Mum spent most of her free time knitting and I wore beautiful jumpers, coats and dresses as a kid. My children also wore her creations. Unfortunately, she passed away too early. So, it’s up to me now to take over from her.
First effort these holidays was a project started by a friend who left it behind when returning to the UK. A Minion beanie.
It was pretty simple and the pattern was easy. Knitting for the body and crochet the eye. Had fun with it though.
Next came something for my grandson – like all nearly 3 year olds, he’s into spiderman. So off I went to the internet and came up with a great pattern by Irene Johnson – Webspinner. It’s free too. The wool arrived early December and it’s Wool of the Andes – lovely colours and nice to work with. Then I started. I judge myself to be an intermediate knitter but this project shot me up to expert level. It uses a method I’d read about but never tried – Intarsia. The method is like weaving all the threads so that you don’t end up with lots of threads at the back of the work when it’s finished – but you do while you’re knitting. The 1st photo shows the 12 different strands I was using to get Spidey going in the back. After embroidering the wed, it ends up looking much better on the inside than the fair isle method and ensures the black doesn’t show through the white of the eyes. And kids don’t have anything to pull loose – bonus!
So I ended up with a nice jacket for the grandson that I now just have to go and find a zipper for. According to the pattern it’s the hardest bit – getting it straight. I have found though, that if you do things slowly and with patience it normally works.
And that’s the point. One thing I didn’t have when I was young and Mum was teaching me, was patience. I managed a few pieces over the years but each took me more than 24 months to finish anything. In fact, I didn’t really pick up knitting again until a few years back. It seems in the intervening years I learned patience – most likely with my kids (at least some of the time LOL). And now the frustration levels are low and allow for these more complicated adventures in crafting something special.
I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I guess now it’s time to find another adventure in knitting. Although I do have to finish collating and editing my writer’s group end of year novella – The Alien Zoo. Plenty of stuff to get on with.