Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The joy of knitting

My capacity to continually surprise myself, well - quite simply, it surprises me. This week was no exception.  I admit it, I am now a knitter. I own three sets of knitting needles, have the first two pattern books in my knitting library and a bag dedicated to carrying my 'in progress' projects around with me just in case I find a spare minute or two to slip a couple of stitches in. What a fascinating world I have stumbled into. It all began after a friend who is keen on this art asked me whether I could take her to the Plassard factory shop. Plassard is one of the main knitting companies in France and they have their sheep, museum and factory just a few miles away. I was going to drop my friend at the door and pick her up later, not wanting anyone to spot me in an establishment reserved for old ladies and spinsters with cats. But curiosity got the better of me and I thought I'd just take a peek - just for information you understand, some of our guests may want to know about the place. Kid in a candy shop - the colours, textures, and funkiness of the place sucked me in and when we left over an hour later, I had balls of wool in my possession that I hadn't the faintest idea what I was going to do with. I found myself being drawn back to the place time and again over the next few months, each time leaving with another ball of glittery ribbonned wool, fleecy shaggy wool, bobbly mad wool.... and so it might have continued if my friend B hadn't stopped me in my tracks with a poignant and relevent question 'Can you knit'? No, I couldn't. 'Why don't you learn?'
Why don't I indeed. So, B and I signed up for an afternoon introduction to knitting. B drew up a list of vocabulary which we studied and tested each other on, we chose patterns for very simple jumpers (all knit no purl and created in one piece - no sleeves) and off we went. I loved it. I couldn't put my knitting down and took it to friends houses, on a plane ride to the UK, to visit relatives and even to bed with me! I tell myself that this is good finger exercise staving off arthritis, that having a wooly something on my knees will keep me warm in winter but the truth is I just enjoy the repetition, the watching something grow that will serve a purpose and make someone smile, the using my time creativley. The joy of spending the afternoon course with other women sharing time and stories whilst learning tips taught to them by their grandmothers. I'm now working on a jumper for Mark and looking forward to my next afternoon amongst the knits.