Friday, 10 February 2017

Picking Up Knitting Needles Again

I hope everyone is well? I've been a little quiet the past week because that 8 week cold I had that went away finally at the beginning of the month came back! So I've been a tad poorly again, same chesty cough and runny nose, pfft! The good thing, if there is a good thing about this adenovirus, is that it seems to be on the way out today and I'm feeling a lot better, good thing really as we start teaching a 5 week robot workshop to kids tomorrow.

I've not been doing much card making whilst I've been ill, instead I've been knitting again, it's been about 4 years since I've done any knitting and I admit to being a bit rusty, I further admit to having given away almost all my stash of baby wool to places like Cats Protection in the knowledge that I wouldn't be needing it any more, least so I thought when I gave it away. But life decided that it wants to shake things up a bit and my stepson and our new daughter-in-law are expecting, despite their plans to wait for a few years. We're thrilled about it, and so dear reader I will indeed be needing some baby wool after all, and I'll need to dust off my rusty knitting skills so that I can make some items for our future grandchild.

Now I've never been a very accomplished knitter, I can do a few basic things, stocking, garter and moss stitch and I can work a rib, and of course do the standard knit and purl, increase and decrease but that's about the height of my knitting skills. I taught myself to knit back in my early 20's with the aid of a book from the library and a lot of trial and error. My Mum used to knit, I can remember sitting as a child holding wool for her as she wound it off my out stretched arms and balled it up. Although I don't recall any garments she made, save for a jumper she made for my Dad, which was a rusty orange affair with a cable pattern and very chunky.

My favourite Auntie was also a knitter, she used to make all my brothers jumpers and did lots for her children, she was the queen of lacy 'angel' cardigans for babies and cable knit jumpers and she could turn her hand to any style or pattern. I was in awe of her talent and used to love watching her knit. I don't recall her ever trying to teach me to knit, although she did once try to teach me to crochet, and I was terrible at it lol! Maybe that's why she didn't try to teach me to knit? To be fair I am infinitely better at knitting than crochet, for some reason I just can't get the hang of crochet at all.

I digress, I decided last Friday that I would knit something jolly for our future grandchild and asked my poor hubby top get the wool out of the loft, he did and I discovered that all I had left in my stash was either furry teddy bear style wool or balls of gender specific colours, and as we don't yet know if it will be a boy or girl, I can't knit something with that until we know the sex of the baby.  I really was eager to get started though so I went to Hobbycraft on Sunday and bought a few balls of gender neutral wool, mint green, lemon and a nice multi-colour that's a bit of a mix of all colours.

As I was browsing the wool shelves, I noticed a free pattern for knitting a little hat, mittens and bootees, so I popped it in my basket. When I got home I searched my box for the right size needles and I made a start on getting my knit on, by Monday tea time I'd completed my first hat complete with pom pom! I was rather pleased with myself, it only required a little shaping nothing major, but I'd managed to get my needles moving again and start and finish a project in very little time, you can see my first efforts above.

When I first taught myself to knit, I did it in the hope that I would one day be knitting for a baby of my own, I taught myself shaping by following basic patterns to make little baby cardigans and jumpers but sadly dressing a baby of my own with the garments I created just never happened. I did knit for friends and my eldest brothers babies, and I knitted myself a cardigan and a couple of jumpers and masses and masses of scarves for friends. I never quite mastered any fancy stitches or tackled anything elaborate, I did make knitted toys and an assortment of hats, but then I stopped knitting altogether.

Until weekend when I picked up the needles again and got clicking and creating, ever row I knitted of that hat, I wondered about the little head it would sit upon, I imagined the joy and the adventures we'd have with our grandchild and I couldn't stop smiling. The responsibility of being a Nanna is something I hadn't really understood until now, but its a responsibility I can't wait to take on, the past few days I've been going through patterns and books and noting things to knit when the baby is born and for many years to come as well as things for their step siblings.

I've bought more baby wool to make a blanket and some more hats, and a couple of patterns, one of which is to make a cuddly teddy bear, rekindling my love of knitting toys. Coincidentally as I was going through my knitting stuff, I came across the above items that I'd started years ago and never finished - I seem to do that a lot lol!

They were intended to be a Witch, a pumpkin and Friar Tuck toys by Jean Greenhowe from her Witty Knits collection. I made oodles of them in my 20's turning the ghost pattern in to a snowman and adapting hats and scarves etc from the other figures to clothe the snowmen. I made lots of Santa's as well and sold them to make some spare money one Christmas, and little artists, cowboys, Robin Hood's and scarecrows.

Suffice to say these will get finished very soon, I just need to get some felt for the 'feet' bases and find my toy stuffing, I have a box of toy wool that needs using up so I think some of these Witty Knit characters could well end up being knitted for the Cats Protection craft fair. I'm now on to my second bobble hat for our grandchild, this one is being done in the mint green wool I got at weekend and will have a matching pair of mittens.

I didn't think I'd ever pick knitting needles up again when I packed everything away, in fact during the summer of 2016 I was contemplating giving everything away because I hadn't used the stuff in such a long time, so glad that I didn't now!  In one of my wool boxes I came across some wool that would be good to knit hats for adults for Christmas, so I think that's how I'll use that up and I found several lots of wool and patterns I'd bought to knit things for myself. This time round, I'm going to try and teach myself some new tricks and stitches and see if I can get a bit more creative, I doubt I'll ever complete anything to rival the things my auntie used to make, but there is no harm trying :)


  1. Hi Debs your knitting is gorgeous. I too used to do a lot of knitting much of it for our daughter. I don't know if we will be grandparents it must be a wonderful thing. Enjoy every minute of it as they grow up so quick. Take care. Hugs Jackie

  2. They look lovely, congratulations.

  3. Lovely knitting and little projects, my cat can knit better than me:-) xx


Thanks for your comments on my cards and posts, they are very much appreciated, I'll get back to you as soon as I can if a reply is required. Hugs - Debs x